Sept. 30, 1971. Seventy years and 10,851 games into the story of American League baseball in the nationâ€™s capital, the Senators, 38 games out of first place on the last day of the season, faced the Yankees in the final game in franchise history. The teams had split the first two games of the series [...]
In 2010, the Minnesota Twins were the only team in the Major Leagues to play in a new stadium. In front of 3.2 million fans at Target Field, the Twins went 53-28, the third-best home record in the major leagues and a 4.5-game improvement over 2009, the last season at the Metrodome. This raises the [...]
Any Seamheads reader should know by now that thereâ€™s a lot of good information at baseball-reference.com. In particular, in the Play Index. For instance: in the last decade, Miguel Tejada led the majors with 223 groundball double play, 28 more than runner-up Paul Konerko. That is only one ground ball short of Jim Riceâ€™s 224 [...]
Beginning with a low rumble on draft day 2009, the Stephen Strasburg hype built gradually in the city of Syracuse, spiking after each successful start for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and peaking gloriously Friday night, when The Phenom took the mound at Alliance Bank Stadium for his first Triple-A start.
Ray Sadecki threw 2,500 innings in 18 major league seasons with the Cardinals, Giants, Mets, Royals, Brewers and Braves. He took the time to sit down for a Seamheads.com interview over the phone from his home in Arizona.
Tommy John was a major league pitcher from 1963 to 1989. He won 288 games and, most famously, underwent a risky elbow surgery that ended up bearing his name. Now, heâ€™s one of several players who supports a childrenâ€™s book called A Glove of their Own. The book has a great message for kids, and [...]
Among Minnesota Twins fans, Delmon Youngâ€™s name has become shorthand for the frustration with Bill Smithâ€™s performance in two seasons as general manager. He and Brendan Harris were acquired in return for Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza. After a decent 2008 that was panned widely, he bottomed out early this season, with fans even calling [...]
By picking up Jake Peavy and Alex Rios, the Chicago White Sox have seriously altered the landscape in the always-winnable AL Central. Whether the change is to their advantage or not remains to be seen.
Two thousand baseball fans had arrived early for a July 7, 1929 game between the hometown Detroit Stars and visiting Kansas City Monarchs, both of the Negro National League. Familiar sounds filled the stadium: vendors hawking their goods, leather smacking leather as the players limbered up, the shuffling of feet as spectators took their seats. [...]
At age 27, Washington Senators shortstop Cecil Travis had kept up a .327/.381/.436 batting line in over 1100 major league games. He’d been named to three All-Star teams, and led the league in hits in 1941. His career batting average was the best ever by an American League shortstop. Then, for all intents and purposes, [...]
Mule Suttles and Turkey Stearnes; Turkey Stearnes and Mule Suttles. Which one is it? In 1930, this was a question of no little importance. The two were the premier sluggers in black baseball, and a seven game Negro National League championship series between Stearnesâ€™ Detroit Stars and Suttlesâ€™ St. Louis Stars promised to help settle [...]
These guys are back from the dead!
Among the quintet of quintessential American holidays, Memorial Day is second to none as an excuse to head out to the ballpark. On Monday, that’s just what I did, packing up the car in Chicago and heading west to Modern Woodmen Park, home of the Quad Cities River Bandits. A few reflections are in order.
Hitting a triple or stealing home?
If, after their respective thrilling finishes in the two divisions of the 1980 National League, the Astros and Phillies anticipated any respite, they were sorely mistaken. That yearâ€™s NLCS went down in history as perhaps the most dramatic playoff series in baseball history.
The 1980 National League featured a pair of the most exciting division races in baseball history.
One of the defining features of our national pastimeâ€”and what lends it to such close statistical scrutinyâ€”is the head-to-head match-up between the batter and pitcher. Itâ€™s an intricate dance that, repeated hundreds of times over the course of a season, yields meaningful insight into the nature of the game. This inherent importance is only heightened [...]
After mucking their way to a division title in Expansion One, little was expected of the California/Anaheim Angels in their playoff matchup with the Pirates. Yet eight and a half innings into the opening game of the series, they had the unmistakable look of a contender.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is giving away free copies of The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2009.Â Here esteemed baseball historian and editor Gary Gillette discusses the new Emerald Guide, his current and past projects, and his beloved Detroit Tigers.
Halfway through September, the teams in the Expansion One division are finally beginning to show some separation in theÂ standings. At the head of the pack are theÂ surprising Angels, who capitalized on a four-game series with the Astros to put themselves in prime position for the home stretch.
In typical Expansion One fashion, a potentially momentous week of divisional matchups instead fizzled into a bland mess of mediocrity. After three more weeks of play, however, thereâ€™s a new king of the hill, and one fewer realistic challenger.
The Mets slump at a bad time, letting all three of their competitors move within striking distance going into a week of divisional play.
In an industry thatâ€™s getting brainier by the day, Brian Bannister is the epitome of the thinking manâ€™s pitcher. After an unexpected breakout season in 2007, he shared an interesting sabermetric theory to which he attributed some of his success. Unfortunately, his sophomore campaign did not go quite as well, as he lost 16 games. [...]
Just past the midway point of the SHL’s inaugural season, here is a recap of first half highlights and lowlights in the Expansion One division.
In the Expansion One division of theÂ Seamheads Historical League, common wisdom holds that theÂ MetsÂ are in a class of their own, whileÂ Houston,Â TexasÂ andÂ CaliforniaÂ are fighting for second place. Nearly a third of the way through the season, however, the Astros, thanks to power pitching and hitting, are only two games back of the Mets going into a three [...]
The Washington/Texas Rangers are one of the most one dimensional teams you’ll ever see.
These ain’t your grandpa’s Devil Rays.
This week featured the first inter-divisional games for the Expansion One division of theÂ Seamheads Historical League, withÂ HoustonÂ squaring off against theÂ MetsÂ and theÂ RangersÂ meeting theÂ Angels. Given the current jumble in the standings, this was an excellent chance to sort the wheat from the chaff, the contenders from the pretenders.
Two weeks into the season, the Angels look positively cursed. What’s the problem in SoCal?
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with two members of the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee about the selection process and the thought that went into it. Both men declined to disclose their votes, but were forthcoming about other aspects of their involvement. Here are the edited transcripts of my conversations with [...]