November 28, 2014

Top Stories

“A Million Dollar Deal”

November 25, 2014 · by · 1 Comment 

It’s been almost 50 years since the Cincinnati Reds dealt Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles.  Here’s an article I wrote almost seven years ago that examines that historic trade. December 9, 1965: Reds right fielder Frank Robinson to the Orioles for Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson. When Cincinnati Reds owner Bill DeWitt sent star outfielder Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles on December 9, 1965 for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and rookie outfielder Dick Simpson, he referred to the trade as “a million dollar deal.” Robinson, he estimated,... [Read the full story]

General

Pokey Reese Perseveres: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 23, 2014

November 23, 2014 · by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball free agency kicked off in high gear with catcher Russell Martin inking a lucrative long-term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The signing not only indicates that the Jays are in it to win it in 2015, but that there should be plenty of cash flowing around over the next few months. It used to be that only a few select teams would be serious spenders, but these days there is much more parity when it comes to who dips into the available talent pool. Now, let’s move on to the notes for the week. *Unbelievably, former pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden recently turned 50. A teenaged... [Read the full story]

Features

Where Have You Gone Jay Johnstone?

September 24, 2014 · by · 5 Comments 

I don’t care where Joe DiMaggio has gone; I’m turning my lonely eyes to Jay Johnstone. Baseball has always had loads of talented center fielders, but where, oh where, have all the colorful characters gone? You know: the guys who say crazy things and give the Commissioner a hot foot? Please don’t talk to me about Manny Ramirez; he wasn’t a character. I admit, making a catch and simultaneously high-fiving a fan is colorful, but acting as cutoff man on a throw from centerfield while playing left is merely mindless. Colorful characters don’t routinely dog it to first base... [Read the full story]

Hall of Fame

Pumped Up Charges Against La Russa

July 28, 2014 · by · Leave a Comment 

There Should be No Debate about the Hall of Famer’s Induction on Sunday. More sad and troubling repercussions from the Steroid Era are contentions that La Russa’s Hall of Fame honor is hypocritical or unworthy. Many point out his successes are inextricably tied to the likes of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, and even Dennis Eckersley, with The New York Daily News going even farther by characterizing La Russa’s Oakland clubhouse as an “orgy of anabolic steroid use.” (1) So if Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez and about 100 others from that period will never... [Read the full story]

Minors

Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

August 25, 2013 · by · Leave a Comment 

ROCHESTER, NY – More than a decade has passed since Brett Carroll roamed the fields of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Time hasn’t erased the memories. The veteran of ten years in professional baseball, including parts of six seasons in the majors, has played 180 games in the bigs, hit a home run off a future hall of famer, but still keeps a memento from his summer in the NYCBL. “I still have the hat – Dodger blue with an H,” Carroll said following a recent batting practice prior to an International League game at Frontier Field.  “It... [Read the full story]

General

Pokey Reese Perseveres: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 23, 2014

November 23, 2014 by

Baseball free agency kicked off in high gear with catcher Russell Martin inking a lucrative long-term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The signing not only indicates that the Jays are in it to win it in 2015, but that there should be plenty of cash flowing around over the next few months. It used to be that only a few select teams would be serious spenders,... Read more of this article


Triple Milestones–2014

November 22, 2014 by

Offensive production in the major leagues continued to decline in 2014. The number of home runs per game decreased in 2014 and batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average dropped to the lowest levels in over 20 years. Year Runs/Game HR/Game BAvg OBA SLG OPS Triple Milestone Hittters 1990 8.51 1.58 .258 .324  .386 .710 2 1991  8.62 1.61 .255  .323  .384 .707 3 1992 8.23  1.44 .256 .322  .377 .699 2 1993 9.20 1.78 .266 .332  .404 .736 5 1994 9.85 2.07 .270 .339  .424 .763 3 1995 9.69 2.02 .267 .338  .417 .755 8 1996 10.07 2.19 .270 .340  .427  .767 21 1997 9.53 2.05 .267 .337  .419 .756 7 1998 9.58 2.08 .271 .335  .420  .755 14 1999 10.17 2.28 .266 .345  .434 .779 19 2000 10.28  2.34 .271  .345  .437 .782  26 2001 9.55 2.25 .264 .332  .427  .759 21 2002 9.24 2.09 .261 .331  .417 .748 12 2003 9.46 2.14 .264 .332  .422 .754 8 2004  9.63 2.25 .266 .335  .428 .763 12 2005  9.18 2.06 .265 .330  .419 .749 10 2006  9.72 2.22 .269 .336  .432 .768 13 2007 9.59 2.04 .268 .336  .423 .759 8 2008 9.30 2.01 .264 .333  .417 .750 7 2009 9.23 2.02 .262 .333  .418 .751 6 2010 8.77 1.90 .255 .325  .403 .728 6 2011 8.57 1.87 .257 .321 .399 .720 7 2012 8.64 2.03 .255 .319 .405 .724 4 2013 7.77 1.79 .253 .318 .396 .714 3 2014 8.13  1.73 .251 .314 .386 .700 2   Runs... Read more of this article


Southern Maryland Growth, Including Possible Local Investor, Next Targets as Opening Day Partners Shifts Priorities

November 20, 2014 by

With their recent sales of both the Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers and the Sugar Land (TX) Skeeters now history and with Brinks trucks of money safely tucked away in that both deals are believed to have been for the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars, it would be very easy to see Opening Day Partners saying sayonara to the Atlantic League and casting... Read more of this article


Alvin Dark and the Persistence of Racial Stereotypes

November 20, 2014 by

It was inevitable that Alvin Dark obituaries after he passed away on November 13 would include the controversy provoked by a pair of Long Island (New York) Newsday columns in the midst of the 1964 pennant race in which, as manager of the competing San Francisco Giants, he was quoted as saying that “Negro and Spanish-speaking players... Read more of this article


The Time Babe Ruth Fought a Wall and Lost: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 16, 2014

November 16, 2014 by

Baseball has always stood strong when one of its own passes away. This was proven during the untimely death of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Tavarez during the World Series last month. Tavarez and his girlfriend were killed in a horrific car accident in his homeland of the Dominican Republic. However, the most recent update is that the former... Read more of this article


The Tragic Death of Brad Halsey: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 9

November 9, 2014 by

The days of baseball players spending their entire careers, or at least healthy chunks of it with the same team, are over. While free agency is certainly a good thing for the business of the game and the bank accounts of players and agents, it’s a stark difference from the way things used to be. Now that the 2014 season has concluded, the bidding... Read more of this article


Cuban Sports Officials ‘Understand’ the Cultural Goals As Quebec’s Michel Laplante Builds Unique Baseball Experience

November 6, 2014 by

Michel Laplante remembers all too well how difficult it can be when a baseball player is thrown into a new culture without knowing the language.  He saw it every day during his playing days and again when he became manager of the Quebec Capitales, with the norm being Spanish-speaking players in English-speaking environments, or those who grew up... Read more of this article


Negro Leagues DB Update: 1926 Eastern Colored League

November 4, 2014 by

The newest addition to the Negro Leagues DB, the 1926 Eastern Colored League (the Negro National League and World Series will arrive later), showcases the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants’ breakthrough season. After three years of playing .500 ball in the ECL, Dick Lundy (.355) and company rode the arms of Claude Grier (12-7, 3.21) and Rats Henderson... Read more of this article


2014 World Series Wrap-Up: The Baseball Historian Notes for the Week of November 2

November 2, 2014 by

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning the 2014 World Series! Although not all of the individual games were nail biters, Game 7 and the totality of the series made for great baseball. Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner (Don’t call me Bumgardner) was this year’s player to use the Fall Classic as his personal coming-out... Read more of this article


John Lennon on Charlie Finley: “I Just Didn’t Particularly Like Him”

November 1, 2014 by

Well, He Hands You A Nickel, He Hands You A Dime . . . Such was the way Maggie’s brother treated workers in Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm,” but Charles Oscar Finley doled out considerably more to the Beatles in 1964: $150,000. Charles Oscar Finley longed to be adored, if not loved, though he acted despicably at times.... Read more of this article


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Features

Where Have You Gone Jay Johnstone?

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I don’t care where Joe DiMaggio has gone; I’m turning my lonely eyes... 


Giants in Position for Wild-Card Slot Despite Significant Slide

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As of Monday afternoon, August 18, the San Francisco Giants hold the second National... 


What’s Behind the Texas Rangers’ Pre All-Star Break Collapse?

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Since 2010, the Texas Rangers have never been far from the playoffs – until... 


Frontier Story With a Curve

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In the spring of 1944 Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall discovered that... 


An Interview With 1960s Yankees Minor Leaguer Ike Futch

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Ike Futch, who played second base, mostly, for a variety of Yankee minor league teams... 


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Hall of Fame

Pumped Up Charges Against La Russa

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There Should be No Debate about the Hall of Famer’s Induction on Sunday. More... 


If Not Jack Morris, Then Who?

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The sabermetric question that remains with Jack Morris left out of the Hall of Fame Jack... 


Branch Rickey: Utmost Loyalty or Vehement Dislike

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I have been enjoying the fine bio “Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious... 


SABR, Bud Fowler and a Taste of Cooperstown

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Last Thursday I made my way to Upstate New York for the fifth annual Frederick... 


My First Trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame

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Hey baseball fans! I am off this week because of spring break, so naturally I took... 


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Minors

Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

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ROCHESTER, NY – More than a decade has passed since Brett Carroll roamed... 


Through the Eyes of Patriots Fan: “Hip, hip, Jorge!”

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Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game... 


From the Eyes of a Patriots Fan

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It was a picture perfect night for baseball on Friday (August 16th).  While... 


Stash for a Smash

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We are now into the Sweet Spot time period starting in May and going through June... 


“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

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There are three songs that put a smile on my face.  They are “Happy Birthday,”... 


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