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Winter Leagues Update – Nov. 26

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 02:41:51 +0000

Play continues south of the border as the Latin American winter leagues enter their final month of “regular season” action.  Here’s the latest: MEXICO – first-half play in the LMP (Liga Mexicana del Pacifico) concluded on Sunday, November 19.  First-half results were: Naranjeros de Hermosillo were awarded first place, and the eight points that go […]

From the Archives: Bob Lemon and the Hall of Fame

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:01:07 +0000

(Editor’s Note: The following was first published on this site on January 21, 2008.) A couple days ago Dr. Michael Hoban posted an article about strange Hall of Fame voting in which he wondered why Bob Lemon was suddenly regarded as a better pitcher than Allie Reynolds in 1972 after Reynolds received more votes in […]

From the Archives: Harry Lunte—The Man Who Tried to Replace Ray Chapman

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:01:58 +0000

On August 16, 1920 the Cleveland Indians prepared to take the field against the New York Yankees to start a crucial three-game series at Yankee Stadium that pitted the first-place Indians against the third-place Yankees. Cleveland was a mere four percentage points ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the standings; New York stood within […]

Swans and Dolphins

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 15:51:37 +0000

Baseball’s Winter Meetings are an event that dates to the beginnings of the 20th Century and before the advent of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), were one of the prime venues for addressing the state of the game. In their earliest history, the meetings effected momentous rules changes that made major alterations in […]

Serie Del Caribe 2018

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:05:37 +0000

November 3 – there’s no need for “baseball withdrawal” after an exciting World Series in the U.S. — there’s plenty of baseball action south of the border.  Here are some highlights from the leagues playing in South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. CUBA– Serie Nacional 57 second-half action is underway.  Defending champs Granma, along with Artemisa, won their […]

From the Archives: Touring the Bases with…Jim Bouton

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 21:10:00 +0000

“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” Former major league pitcher Jim Bouton ended his controversial book Ball Four with those lines in 1969 and the nation has been in his grip […]

On the 2017 MLB Records: Home Runs, Strikeouts, Complete Games, Relievers, and Time

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 03:49:20 +0000

The 2017 Major League Baseball season saw several records set — not season or career records for individual players, but rather records for MLB as such. The one that has understandably gotten the most attention is regarding Home Runs. Overall, more HRs were hit this year than in any season in MLB history — yes, […]

A Season Skitters Between Matt Wieters’ Wickets

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:11:36 +0000

Scroll to the end of the Washington Nationals 2017 season and you will see at the bottom of the final box score this entry: “Fielding E: Wieters 2 (throw, catcher interference). PB Wieters” Therein lies their season. Javier Baez, whom Ron Darling described throughout the series as swinging at the ball as soon as he […]

Bell Jar Baseball

Sat, 07 Oct 2017 18:41:38 +0000

Watching the Washington Nationals in the playoffs is like reading Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar. You root for the protagonist as she descends further into depression, but there is no escape, no uplift that takes you away from the slow descent, only further slipping into a bottomless pit. Washington fans deserve better than classic levels of depression. […]

Brooks Robinson Is Only A Hall of Famer on the Playing Field

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 16:46:10 +0000

I know it’s practically sacrilegious to write this, but Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is a terrible advocate for retirees. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve met Brooks Robinson. He signed an Orioles cap for my father-in-law. He was arguably the greatest third baseman the game has ever known. But as the president of the […]

Sports Book Reviews

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 16:39:44 +0000

The seasons keep changing and the sports books keep coming. They are focused on all kinds of subjects, approaches, dealing with different sports. Herewith, for your reading, exciting tomes dealing with baseball, football, tennis. Hank Greenberg in 1938 by Ron Kaplan (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 235 pages) is an important book for its subject, its time […]

Cuba Ball 2017

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:55:22 +0000

Cuban right-handed pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo holds the record for the most wins in the Cuban National Series. Our Cubaball tour encountered him in his hometown of Pinar Del Rio after the evening’s game against Industriales had been cancelled due to rain. The huge man stood beside a swimming pool and talked about his career, […]

Remembering Elston Howard

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 18:21:24 +0000

“A man of great gentleness and dignity” –on his Plaque in Monument Park “He deserves credit and where would I be without him?  Phew! He can give me a job in the outfield and he can catch, too.  Good kid, too. He’s good.”—Casey Stengel With all the newspaper headlines today documenting angst and anger and […]

The Member of Congress Who Can Help The Retirees w/o MLB Pensions

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:39:32 +0000

Florida United States Representative Matt Gaetz (Republican — 1st District) can help Orlando’s Bill Denehy, Pensacola’s Jim Hutto and 500 or so former players who don’t receive pensions from having played Major League Baseball (MLB). Denehy, who coached Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell at the University of Hartford, was once a bright pitching prospect. He was famously […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1945 NNL & NAL

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:13:08 +0000

Last week the Negro Leagues DB added the 1945 Negro National League and Negro American League. In the NAL the Cleveland Buckeyes, led by Sam Jethroe (.339/.435/.559) and player-manager Quincy Trouppe, ended the two-year run of the Birmingham Black Barons as league champions. The Buckeyes were the eleventh attempt (in 24 years) at fielding a […]

Tony Clark’s Legacy Could Be Significant If…..

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:22:08 +0000

Bob Sadowski was a pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves and Boston Red Sox in the 1960s. In a career that spanned 115 games, 54 of which he started, Sadowski won 20 games, collected eight saves and had a 3.87 Earned Run Average over 439 and two-third innings. Sadowski, who resides in Sharpsburg, Georgia, turned 79 earlier this year.  […]

This Joke Isn’t Funny

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:12:58 +0000

Have you heard the one about the retirees group that doesn’t advocate for retirees? It’s unfortunately not a joke. The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is a Colorado Springs -based organization located on Mesa Avenue whose mission is to, not surprisingly, take care of baseball alumni. So I am completely puzzled as to […]

Remembering Red Barber

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:05:11 +0000

“Red was perhaps the most literate sports announcer I ever met.” – Vin Scully In my early and middle years of writing sports book, I called on Red Barber to blurb them. He never failed. He along with Mel Allen those long ago summer  nights spun the tales of New York City Baseball and hooked […]

Only Thing Older Than The Longest Game Is MLB’s 95-Year-Old Anti-Trust Exemption

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 02:45:10 +0000

(And That Should End Too!) Everyone in Pawtucket, Rhode Island probably knows that on June 23, 1981 the longest game in professional baseball history between the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox ended after 33 innings, eight hours and 25 minutes of playing time. It had started at McCoy Stadium two months earlier, and […]

Giancarlo Stanton’s Impressive HR Lead

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 02:10:45 +0000

I was struck recently not only by the number of homeruns, 54, that Giancarlo Stanton has hit so far this season, but by the lead he has over the guys with the second most: Aaron Judge and Khris Davis had 39 each, until today when Judge hit two more for a total of 41. So […]

Ross Barnes Is First Baseball Pioneer Honored in Monument Series

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:26:30 +0000

Saturday August 19, 2017 a monument was dedicated and unveiled for baseball pioneer Ross Barnes. The event took place at a little park on Main Street in Barnes hometown of Mount Morris, New York. Gary Passamonte a native of Mount Morris, who has been piecing together information and an extensive collection of baseball mementos on […]

Museum Artifacts More Important to MLB Than Pensionless Retirees

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:09:28 +0000

Major League Baseball (MLB) cares more about supporting museums than real live, flesh and blood retirees without pensions. What other conclusion can you reach after the announcement on September 8 that the 30 club owners ponied up $10 million to contribute  to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s endowment efforts? According to the Associated Press, the […]

Yankee Monikers and Nicknames

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 17:59:06 +0000

A lot of things are not the way they used to be. And that is especially true in the world of sports. Baseball once held bragging rights to the best and most nicknames. And the Yankees led the pack in that regard. For your edification and pleasure, a sampler of some of the of the […]

Wheels Come Off for Astros in August

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 17:43:47 +0000

After four strong months, the Houston Astros fell on hard times in August with injuries and poor performance.  The team suffered its first losing month this season with a record of 11-17 in August.  Things should get better in September with players returning from injuries and the acquisition of former MVP and Cy Young Award […]

The Sad, Sad Truth and the Dirty Low Down

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 17:13:28 +0000

When the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convened for its annual convention in Manhattan at the end of June, the New York Times put it front-and-center on the sports page. Sounds like a good thing, but the article featured a photograph of several graying seniors sitting in the first row of a plenary session […]

Summer of ’41: Joe DiMaggio’s Epic 56-Game Hitting Streak

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 13:47:39 +0000

With all the hype and hoopla surrounding Aaron Judge and with all the comparisons to the stir and accomplishments of the Yankee Clipper, what Joe Di did in 1941 stands at the top of the list. So here is the flashback. The 1941 Yankees were a loaded team. They would win 101 games, the American […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1937 Negro American League

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:56:45 +0000

Here’s a brief, belated introduction to the 1937 Negro American League, which we added to the site last month (July 10, to be precise). For a broader view of that eventful year in black baseball history, see my entry on the 1937 Negro National League, which we added to the DB back in 2015. Meanwhile, […]

Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:29:57 +0000

The following article supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on WAR and Win Shares for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. Teams that fail to meet the minimum requirements (4000 PA and 4000 BFP) in any given […]

The Rivalry: Yanks vs Red Sox

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:39:06 +0000

Back then, as the story goes, there was a get-together in the woods. A  Red Sox fan, a Cub fan and a Pirate fan were there. They all wondered when their team would make it to the World Series again and decided to call on God for advice. The Cub fan asked first: “When will […]

Can Tropical Wind’s Ever Blow Strong for Cuban Baseball Again?

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:04:26 +0000

Cuba is a complicated issue and most American fans don’t have the time. For those that do, there is author Peter Bjarkman, faithfully trying to peal back the layers of intrigue and politics until there is only the love of the game that Cubans and Americans share. Peter Bjarkman’s recently published book, Cuba’s Baseball Defectors, […]

How Murderers’ Row Shaped Baseball

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 19:13:08 +0000

When Yankee owner Colonel Ruppert’s “Rough Riders,” as some called them in the late 1920s, were not going head to head against their American League competition, they were playing exhibition games in Buffalo, Omaha, Rochester, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis… Everyone in the little cities and small towns wanted to catch a glimpse of the Babe, Lou […]

Dog Days at Fenway Park

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:56:16 +0000

With the crowds having fun at the hub in Boston, with the team gearing up to go deep this October, with a roster loaded with talent and more on the way, a flashback to Sox in the Sixties is almost like culture shock. September 28th, 1960, Red Sox vs. Orioles.  Overcast, dank, chilly the final […]

Remembering The Yankee Clipper

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 19:26:26 +0000

All the hype and histrionics over Aaron Judge and some of the over-reaching comparisons to Joe DiMaggio trigger the need to go back and re-visit what the Yankee legend was all about. He was born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio on November 25, 1914 in Martinez, California, one of nine children of Rosalie and Giuseppe DiMaggio, a crab fisherman father, an […]

Dusty Watches from the Wings with a Grin

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:03:13 +0000

It was another trading deadline where Hollywood and Broadway got all the press. The rest was just community theater. The Dodgers walked away with the biggest prizes and the Yankees did well in a supporting role. But for all of the ink that Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray will generate, Washington Nationals manager, Dusty Baker, […]

Remembering Yogi Berra

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:17:25 +0000

“Mr. Berra is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.” –Casey Stengel “Talking to Yogi Berra about baseball, is like talking to Homer about the gods.” – Bart Giamatti The kid who grew up in St. Louis eating banana sandwiches with mustard grew up to be one of the legends of legends of New […]