August 22, 2014

The Seventh Game of the 1926 World Series: Was it Hollywood or Reality?

August 25, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I can still remember seeing the 1952 film “The Winning Team” starring Ronald Regan and Doris Day.  Of course my knowledge of Grover Cleveland Alexander was non-existent until then.  In fact, I might have checked with my father and asked if it were a true story.  Which he informed me that Alexander was one of […]

Branch Rickey: Utmost Loyalty or Vehement Dislike

August 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I have been enjoying the fine bio “Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman by Lee Lowenfish.  While doing so, an internal debate has erupted in my mind.  The object of discussion is the polarized feelings of those from his baseball life.   Certain members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, such as Rogers Hornsby, and Ralph […]

Through the Eyes of a Patriots Fan: The Infield Fly Rule and the Somerset Patriots

August 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Infield Fly rule is defined in rule 2.00 by describing it, and then later on to explain the reason(s) the batter is out is stated with rule 6.05e.   I have been coaching for many years, starting with the T-ball level up to Babe Ruth League.  At one time I was also responsible for assigning […]

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

August 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game that featured fireworks during and after the game.  The Patriots sent veteran, and former major league pitcher Brad Thompson to the mound.  He gave up five hits and three runs in the top half of the first inning […]

From the Eyes of a Patriots Fan

August 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a picture perfect night for baseball on Friday (August 16th).  While I realize that statement this is cliché’, it is apropos that evening at TD Ballpark, home of our Somerset Patriots of Bridgewater, NJ.  The park bustled with activity, from a dance performance given by a troupe of young entertainers, to the obligatory […]

I Miss My Friend Nellie King

July 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I can remember it as if it were yesterday.  The family and I had returned from a “cook-out,” and my wife Barbara noticed a message on the answering machine.  She informed me that it was from “one of those baseball people.”   I should explain that I am a member of SABR (Society of American […]

Book Review: Imperfect: An Improbable Life

May 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

After reading Jim Abbott’s book, it became obvious that it was not just a baseball biography.   Sure its initial appeal is to baseball fans, especially those of the Yankee persuasion, but it is much more than that.  I would recommend that anyone who has ever felt self-pity to make time and read this.  After reading […]

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

May 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There are three songs that put a smile on my face.  They are “Happy Birthday,” “It’s a Small World” and “Take me out to the Ballgame.”  When you sing or hear “Happy Birthday”, the smile is expected.  After all it is all about you.  When I hear “It’s a Small World,” it’s normally when traveling […]

Through the Eyes of a Somerset Patriots Fan: From the Press Box, Part II

April 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It is a Thursday evening (4/25/2013) and once again, I am sitting up in the press box of the Somerset Patriots.  Tonight is the final game of the series between the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Patriots. Our Patriots dropped the first two of the series, so the hometown fans are anticipating a much-needed victory […]

Through the Eyes of a Somerset Patriots Fan

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A View from the Press Box Most Somerset Patriots fans are aware of the significance of June 7, 1999.  It was the team’s first home opener at their present ballpark.  This was after spending their 1998 inaugural season, on the road.  When the gates were lifted, it ushered in the fruition of Steve Kalafer’s vision […]

Sweet 60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates

April 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who have known me for longer than fifteen minutes, learn that I am a ‘Die hard’ Pittsburgh Pirates fan.  The 1971 team is my favorite Pirates’ team of all-time.  But I have a strange relationship with the 1960 version.  One might describe it as destiny, like the Pirates beating the New York Yankees […]

Book Review: Drama and Pride in the Gateway City

April 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When Mike Lynch asked whether any of his website contributors were interested in reading and writing a review of Drama and Pride in the Gateway City, I jumped at the chance. First off, I love to read, and read a lot.  Second, I love baseball.  Lastly, I have never been asked to give my opinion […]

The Original Iron Man

March 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Generally, the term “Iron man” in baseball is reserved for the player who has played in the most consecutive games in major league history.  Currently, Cal Ripken holds that title by playing in 2,632 consecutive games.  Breaking the record of 2,130 games formally held by Lou “The Iron Horse” Gehrig.  Wiley Piatt was the first […]

Fair Trade?

March 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

March 17, 2013 something bizarre occurred in major league baseball.  Mike Cisco, the grand son of Galen Cisco, former MLB pitcher, and pitching coach , was traded to the Los Angeles Angels.  So, what was so unusual about that?  The Angels acquired the Philadelphia pitching prospect for nothing! Mike Cisco, a prospect, pitched at Reading […]

The Story of the Beanball Hat

February 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I am sure that many educated baseball fans are familiar with the story of the batting helmet.  Although, the popular belief is that Branch Rickey was the its creator.  To be perfectly honest, Mr. Rickey’s part should be described as the first to successfully market and benefit by financially from it.  While, the first part […]

Playing Baseball for the Cause

February 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

  “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval forces of the Empire of Japan…” -President Franklin D. Roosevelt   Our nation entered a costly World War and the American people demonstrated their great patriotism and resolve to finance our […]

Meeting Bobby Thomson

January 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Bobby Thomson is a baseball icon.  Even if the only thing he did in his career was hit a homerun to win the 1951 playoff game, it would be enough to insure his place in baseball history.   Red Smith described the aftermath of Thomson’s home run in a New York Herald Tribune column, “Now […]

The Bird who saved baseball for me!

January 18, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

It must have been back in 1974 or 75 when I became a flake. I was just a short, skinny kid with glasses pitching for my high school baseball team in addition to being one who threw with an unorthodox cross between sidearm and submarine delivery. Now, you must remember that this was before anyone […]

My First Baseball Game: July 31, 1965

January 12, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Most people are fond of memories, especially if it is a first.   Such as a first kiss, first bicycle, or the first time you drove a car, etc… My first love was the first baseball game I remember going to. I can remember the game, how it opened in front of my eyes as I […]

And My Mother Asked, “Who is Ted Abernathy?”

January 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Now, some of you might be saying, who the heck is Ted Abernathy and why should I care? Well, before I explain, let me say he formed an important chunk and gave me an identity to my childhood. When Ted died, so did a part of me… It might seem odd, but I guess my […]

An Introduction to my passion for baseball: Monte Irvin and the lost baseball

January 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I must have been about nine-years old when my dad took me on a very special car ride.   It proved to be a ride that introduced me to a new passion; one that made everything else in my young life seems irrelevant. More importantly it was “one on one” time with my father, the important type […]

How I became friends with Wally Westlake

January 8, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

On April 18, 1947, the Pittsburgh Pirates had their home opener with the Cincinnati Reds at Forbes Field.  That morning, Elmer Hurte and his oldest son Bobby packed sack of chip-chopped ham sandwiches and a jug of iced tea.  With lunch in hand they rushed out the door to catch the streetcar from the North […]

A Confession to my parents: I played sick to watch the 1967 World Series

January 8, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

As my mom says, “Bobby would always confess when he did something wrong, just not immediately after he did it.”    Well, I am at it again.  I have a confession.  Of course it is for something from over four decades ago.  But before I actually confess, let me provide some background to support my little […]

Nolan Ryan’s secret ingredient

December 31, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

As an eleven year old, I can remember leafing through a copy of LIFE magazine while waiting to get a hair cut at the barbers in Somerville, New Jersey.  I was basically flipping through the award winning pictures that the magazine was known for, until one day, I came across an article about Nolan Ryan, […]

Luck of the Draw: April 3rd, a day of Infamy

December 26, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

While December 7th is Pearl Harbor day and known as the “day that will go down in infamy for Americans, April 3rd is also a day of infamy in the hearts and minds of Atlanta Braves fans.  The question that might linger for many Braves fans is, what their baseball future might have been?  Especially […]

A 1978 World Series Cinderella Story

December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“One upon a time in a faraway land, there was a tiny kingdom, peaceful, prosperous, and rich in romance and tradition.”  -Narrator at the beginning of Disney’s Cinderella.   The New York Yankee baseball club was not a tiny kingdom, nor peaceful.  Instead, it was the Bronx Zoo, a moniker coined by  Sparky Lyle and […]

Should Cooperstown Welcome Al Oliver?

November 21, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Before starting this article, I would like to say,  I am sure we all know some fans that become very passionate when one of their favorite players is not in the Hall of fame.  Sometimes the so-called  “bubble” players eventually make it.  A case in point would be the Cub’s Ron Santo; unfortunately he gained […]

Higher Education: The Chicago Cubs College of Coaches

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An old proverb states that two heads are better than one. During the early part of the nineteen sixties, Cubs’ owner, Philip Wrigley took it a little further. He felt that eight heads were better than one. Wrigley decided to employ eight rotating managers. There would be four on the major league staff and four […]

Where Have You Gone Tony Cloninger? Baseball Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You.

September 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

“Where have you gone, Tony Cloninger? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” For those who recognize the preceding Simon & Garfunkel words will also notice that I substituted Tony C.’s name with Joe D.’s. That’s right! The “Great” Joe DiMaggio as Ernest Hemmingway referred to the ‘Yankee Clipper’ in his novel the Old […]

Making it Right: Jim Rooker the Unintentional Walk

September 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Pittsburgh Pirates were in the midst of a 7 game losing streak that began on May 31, 1989 the last game of a home stand as Jose Rios and the Cincinnati Reds beat them 4-3. Afterwards they flew to New York to seek better fortunes, only to be swept by the Mets. They then […]

Touring The Bases With…Jim Rooker

August 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Southpaw pitcher Jim Rooker made his major league debut on June 30, 1968 with the eventual world champion Detroit Tigers and spent 13 years in the bigs with the Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirate before making his final appearance on May 2, 1980.   A year earlier, Rooker was a member of the […]

The 1971 World Series, Game 5: “I don’t need signs to catch your junk.”

August 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In his book STEVE BLASS: A Pirate for Life , the former Pirates’ pitcher writes: “The reality of a pitcher’s relationship with his catcher is that when he’s on a roll, he is almost his own decision maker. By throwing a pitch that the catcher calls for, you endorse their sign. But if you don’t […]

The Infamous Trade Of ’72

August 4, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

The image of our sports heroes have become tarnished ever since Bouton’s infamous baseball diary, “Ball Four.” As Art Spander stated in his April 1973 column for The Sporting News, “Baseball is deceptively simple, a man throwing a ball, another trying to catch it.” Before Bouton’s book, the players we knew only went to church, […]

Living a Baseball Dream, with Tom and Neil Walker

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I am sure the aspiration of many Little League baseball players is to play in the “big” leagues.  On the other hand how many fathers dream of watching their son play at the Major League level?  This explains why I am envious of my friend Tom Walker.  My dreams are his reality! When Tom, a […]

“The DH…and how it’ll never last!”

July 7, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

This year is the 39th anniversary of the American League’s adoption of the “designated hitter.”  Because of that, I wish that I still had my sophomore English report  that I in wrote 1972.  If my memory serves me, at the conclusion I predicted that “The designated hitter will never last!” For those who know me […]

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