December 21, 2014

Top Stories

Joe DiMaggio Selling Christmas Coffee Makers: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of December 14, 2014

December 14, 2014 · by · Leave a Comment 

Although the major league baseball offseason is in full swing, there are plenty of other things keeping the game in the news. That’s one of its best traits, as there is always something of interest or value that fans can discover or rediscover on a regular basis. There is simply no other sport that can engage the senses on so many levels. At least that’s my take… Now, on to the notes for the week. *The Baseball Golden Era Ballot voting has come and gone, and there will be no new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame from this body in 2015. Dick Allen and Tony Oliva each came within one vote... [Read the full story]

General

Winter Work as Important for Holdzkom and Delabar As for Future $200,000,000 Man Scherzer

December 19, 2014 · by · Leave a Comment 

Max Scherzer is going to sign a new contact any day now which may be worth as much as $200 million.  If everything breaks just right in the new season, two other onetime Independent Baseball hurlers could earn $1 million between them for their work in 2015, yet these winter preparatory months seem every bit as important in terms of career success to this pair of right-handers. Scherzer’s destination is not yet known, but Steve Delabar is hoping to regain a good chunk of his 2013 American League All-Star form and cement a spot in the Toronto bullpen while John Holdzkom wants to pick up where... [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

Winter Work as Important for Holdzkom and Delabar As for Future $200,000,000 Man Scherzer

December 19, 2014 by

Max Scherzer is going to sign a new contact any day now which may be worth as much as $200 million.  If everything breaks just right in the new season, two other onetime Independent Baseball hurlers could earn $1 million between them for their work in 2015, yet these winter preparatory months seem every bit as important in terms of career success to... Read more of this article


One More Independent Star Gets Big Pact in Far East; Colabello Gets Fresh Start With Toronto

December 12, 2014 by

Add one more acclaimed Independent grad to those heading to the Far East for a nice payday. Left-hander Ryan Feierabend (York, PA, Atlantic League) has signed with the Nexen Heroes in Korea for what The Korean Herald reports is $300,000, including a $30,000 signing bonus, with another $80,000 possible in options. Like southpaw Kris Johnson and corner... Read more of this article


Who Were the Most Productive Offensive Players in 2014?

December 9, 2014 by

Numerous methods have been devised to measure offensive performance.  The most common are batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average.  Since none of these averages provides a complete picture by itself, a more comprehensive measure of offensive performance is useful.  Such a measure would include the following elements: The ability... Read more of this article


Mantle, Mays and Klinger From M*A*S*H: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of December 7, 2014

December 7, 2014 by

Baseball lasts through the years not just because of the championships and the statistics, but also because of the memories. The game has produced so many enthralling stories that it will remain its own significant chapter in the story of America. The best way this is all preserved is by historians of the game, and this group lost a titan with the recent... Read more of this article


Reviewing the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

December 4, 2014 by

The 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was recently released. As usual, it’s loaded with candidates for enshrinement next year in Cooperstown for their contributions and achievements in baseball. Some have more compelling cases than others, but they all had distinguished careers and made their mark on the game in some way. Let’s do a quick rundown... Read more of this article


Hall of Famer Ed Walsh’s Time in Milwaukee

December 4, 2014 by

Hall of Famer Ed Walsh’s brief stay in Milwaukee is not well known Not surprising, as it is a small, small chapter in the successful career of the Big Spitballer. But as he is a Hall of Fame pitcher, I think it merits some paragraphs. Walsh first appears on the 1919 Milwaukee radar on February 2, when there was a report in the Milwaukee Sentinel he... Read more of this article


Was Joe DiMaggio Overrated?: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 30, 2014

November 30, 2014 by

Best wishes to those who celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully nobody was done in by that extra slice of pie or sneaking another spoonful of stuffing before it hit the fridge. The moment Americans woke up from their food-induced comas, the holiday shopping season commenced. Neatly wrapped presents are not the only things being bought, as baseball... Read more of this article


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


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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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