July 18, 2019

Top Stories

Harry Frazee, William Howard Taft, and the Lasker Plan

July 15, 2019 · by · Leave a Comment 

Most baseball fans know that Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis became Major League Baseball’s first commissioner in 1920.  But if Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee had gotten his way, former President William Howard Taft would have gotten the job two years earlier. [Read the full story]  Read More →

General

Chicago National League Ball Club of 1876 Honored On Monument

July 3, 2019 · by · Leave a Comment 

On May 18, 2019, a monument dedication was held at Little Cubs Field in Freeport, Illinois. The black granite memorial honors the Chicago National League Ball Club of 1876 known as the Chicago White Stockings and today’s Chicago Cubs. The public was invited and joining the event were family members of the catcher of the 1876 Chicago White Stockings, Jim “Deacon” White. The dedication began with Tim Weik of Freeport’s Stephenson County Historical Society and myself of David Stalker’s Baseball Memorial Series unveiling the monument. Denny Garkey, who had the dream of building a replica... [Read the full story]

Features

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

February 20, 2019 · by · 3 Comments 

*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie Banks’ Mr. Cub image being so great is that sometimes it obscures exactly how good of a player he was in his prime, before bad knees forced a move to first base. The present generation may not realize how he single-handedly revolutionized the position of shortstop. Before Ernie joined the Chicago Cubs in September of 1953, shortstops were valued for their fielding and intrinsic virtues, but little was expected of them offensively. They were almost uniformly quick, feisty, pesky little guys with names like... [Read the full story]

Hall of Fame

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

March 23, 2019 · by · Leave a Comment 

It appears that WAR, in attempting to assign a single number to represent a player’s season, has a problem with fielding.   And the problem is not so much with the player’s defensive WAR score – but rather with trying to COMBINE this score with the offensive WAR.   A very good or very poor fielding score appears to seriously distort the player’s total WAR score. As an example, Matt Chapman had a great fielding season at third base in 2018 and his situation illustrates quite well why WAR does a relatively good job of evaluating his offensive value (oWAR) and his defensive value (dWAR)... [Read the full story]

Minors

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

June 30, 2018 · by · Leave a Comment 

Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted by Steve Dunn Located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal Park and its two predecessors have hosted professional baseball since Friday, June 20, 1947. One of the more unique games in minor league history was played nearly 61 years later at Principal Park on Saturday, June 14, 2008. With widespread flooding in central Iowa, the Iowa Cubs and Nashville Sounds played a Triple A Pacific Coast League game that drew an official attendance of zero. “The only other... [Read the full story]

General

Chicago National League Ball Club of 1876 Honored On Monument

July 3, 2019 by

On May 18, 2019, a monument dedication was held at Little Cubs Field in Freeport, Illinois. The black granite memorial honors the Chicago National League Ball Club of 1876 known as the Chicago White Stockings and today’s Chicago Cubs. The public was invited and joining the event were family members of the catcher of the 1876 Chicago White Stockings,... Read more of this article


Vinnie Pestano: Former Side-Arm Reliever Reflects on Successful Major League Career

June 30, 2019 by

Right-handed pitcher Vinnie Pestano was on a sure-fire major league trajectory in college when a severe injury cast everything into doubt. Fortunately, a team recognized his inherent talent and took a chance on his recovery, and he bounced back to have a solid six-year career in the big leagues. A side-armer, Pestano grew rapidly as a closer for Cal... Read more of this article


Mariano Rivera Hits an Inside-the-Park Home Run: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for June 23, 2019

June 23, 2019 by

The 2019 baseball season is in full swing. Along with a full slate of exciting games, comes regular remembrances of players, teams and occurrences from the past. This is the next edition of the Baseball Historian’s Notes. -There is an exciting new baseball museum exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum. “Detroit Stars & The Negro Leagues” opened... Read more of this article


The Other Wright Brothers: George, Harry and the Team that Made Baseball Famous

June 14, 2019 by

It’s almost too much for the senses to absorb: two precedent-setting Hall of Famers and their team that played coast to coast, beat everyone and sold the country on professional baseball. George Wright was the Babe Ruth of his day in the 1860s and ’70s, and he went on to become arguably the most versatile sportsman in American history. His brother... Read more of this article


Todd Greene: Catching Up with the Slugging Backstop

June 9, 2019 by

Certain skill sets can get a baseball player noticed a lot more quickly than others. One of those is power, as that’s something that can’t be taught. One of the best slugging prospects in the last half-century was Todd Greene, who had the benefit of also being a catcher, which made his dangerous bat all the more coveted and helped him go on to... Read more of this article


Bill Buckner: Redefining a Remarkable Career

May 29, 2019 by

After battling dementia, baseball stalwart Bill Buckner passed away this past weekend at the age of 69. Having spent parts of 22 seasons in the major leagues, he will forever be one of the most recognizable names in the game. While many immediately think of him because of one misplayed ball made on the biggest of stages, his legacy deserves to be much,... Read more of this article


Emmy-Nominated Author Granville Wyche Burgess Discusses His New Book The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe

May 23, 2019 by

Emmy-Nominated Author Granville Wyche Burgess has written a new historical fiction book, titled The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe (Chickadee Prince Books, May 1, 2019). Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal, The Last At Bat of Shoeless Joe re-imagines the final days of disgraced baseball legend Joe Jackson and his relationship... Read more of this article


Selling Ripe Bananas and Making Banana Bread

May 23, 2019 by

My 93-year old mother-in-law, bless her dear, departed soul, once opined that she was too old to buy a green banana. Ted Lerner, who was until recently the principal owner of the Washington Nationals is now 93, and many of his decisions in recent years regarding the Nationals have been made out of his desire to see a World Series team in DC during his... Read more of this article


The Old Ballgame? You Have No Idea

May 18, 2019 by

For a sport that relies heavily on older fans watching its product, Major League Baseball (MLB) sure treats its retired players disrespectfully. Take 77-year-old Carmen Fanzone for instance. The Sherman Oaks resident was a valuable utility player who appeared in 237 career games with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Fanzone and 632 other men, such... Read more of this article


The Big Train Rolls No More

May 14, 2019 by

I just learned that my pen pal, Ray Peters, died on May 4. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Janis, and two sons. Ray, who once pitched in the big leagues, was a Harvard grad. He played for the Crimson in 1967 and 1968. His former coach, Norman Shepard, thought so well of him that, in an article published on February 12, 1969, he told Al Brenholts... Read more of this article


More Posts From General

Features

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

by

*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie... 


Ryan Westmoreland: Former Boston Red Sox Top Prospect Talks Playing Career and New Focus

by

For serious fans of the Boston Red Sox, Harry Agganis and Tony Conigliaro are... 


From the Archives: Touring the Bases with…Jim Bouton

by

“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the... 


The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip

by

The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip It was one of the most intriguing matchups... 


Brooks, Still the Magician

by

This is a weird day for me, and probably many other similar-aged people, boys especially,... 


More Posts From Features

Hall of Fame

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

by

It appears that WAR, in attempting to assign a single number to represent a player’s... 


The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

by

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern... 


WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

by

In an earlier post, I pointed out that Matt Chapman’s WAR value for 2018 (8.2)... 


A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

by

My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best... 


The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

by

In a previous post re Koufax and Kershaw, I mentioned one of the benchmarks created... 


More Posts From Hall of Fame

Minors

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

by

Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted... 


Max Watt: The Boston Red Sox’s Power Pitching Prospect

by

Scouting is an integral part of professional baseball. Teams employ and send out... 


Suns’ First Pitch Thrown By Suns’ First Pitcher

by

The Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League asked the retiring sheriff of nearby... 


An Interview with Boston Red Sox Prospect Nick Longhi

by

Growing up rooting for a baseball team, and striving to get into position to one... 


Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

by

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


More Posts From Minors

Baseball Daily Digest

Visit Baseball Daily Digest