May 20, 2019

Top Stories

The Big Train Rolls No More

May 14, 2019 · by · Leave a Comment 

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 of the Harvard Crimson student newspaper that “a pitcher like Ray comes along just once in a while. He was one that could throw the ball by the hitter,” continued Shepard. “You don’t get a real stopper like Ray every day.” For that matter,... [Read the full story]

General

The Old Ballgame? You Have No Idea

May 18, 2019 · by · Leave a Comment 

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 as 67-year-old Bob “The Macaroni Pony” Coluccio, of Costa Mesa, do not get pensions because they didn’t accrue four years of service credit. That was what ballplayers who played between 1947 – 1979  needed to be eligible for the pension... [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

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 5 Best Shortstops in the History of the Boston Red Sox- Excerpt From The Top-5 of the Boston Red Sox

May 13, 2019 by

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most popular and successful teams in the history of Major League Baseball. There has always been significant debate over who exactly are their best players of all time. I recently published The Top-5 of the Boston Red Sox: Ranking and Reviewing the Best Players by Position in Team History in both eBook and paperback form. This... Read more of this article


Mike Trombley Did It All as a Major League Pitcher

May 5, 2019 by

Right-handed pitcher Mike Trombley wasn’t a particularly high draft choice,  but was in the major leagues with four years of being drafted. He ended up filling every role on a pitching staff during his ensuing quality 11-year career. Following a solid career with Duke University, Trombley was taken in the 14th round of the 1989 draft by the Minnesota... Read more of this article


Rafael Devers: Boston Red Sox Third Baseman is in the Midst of a Major Breakout

May 2, 2019 by

The disappointing start to the 2019 season for the Boston Red Sox has dominated the minds of fans and followers alike. After all, coming off a magical 2018 campaign that saw a jaw-dropping 108 regular-season victories and an impressive jaunt through the playoffs that resulted in a World Series title leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Now that the wins... Read more of this article


New Book Release- Trouble at the Lambs: How a Violent New York Nightclub Altercation Resulted in Legal Fallout for Baseball Legend John McGraw

April 27, 2019 by

New Book Release John McGraw was a standout major league third baseman before becoming an iconic manager, who led the New York Giants for over 30 years. The fiery spark plug, whose pugnacious nature on the diamond sometime spilled to off the field, could scrap and fight with the best of them. He nearly lost everything in 1920 when an alcohol-soaked... Read more of this article


The New Math of the Strike Zone: 20% of 145 is 14.

April 24, 2019 by

The other day, thanks to a baseball group on Facebook, I became acquainted with the article at this link, titled “Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Reveals Umps Really Do Suck at Calling Pitches.” From the headline alone, it appears that this is about as comprehensive as it can get—4 million pitches! The data covered the 11 major league... Read more of this article


The Battle for Chavez Ravine: Eminent Domain and the Construction of Dodger Stadium

April 21, 2019 by

Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is a baseball landmark with few peers. The venue, which opened in 1962, boasts the largest capacity in professional baseball and is roundly viewed as one of the most beautiful places to watch a game. Sadly, in order to be built, an entire community was destroyed, and residents evicted from their homes... Read more of this article


Mookie Betts: An Interview From the Vault

April 14, 2019 by

The Boston Red Sox haven’t had much go right with their team this year; leaving fans seeking positivity anywhere they can find it. Young prospects can be one source of optimism, especially when they turn into stars for the teams who draft, sign and cultivate them No better example of this exists then reigning 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts.... Read more of this article


The Age of Ruth and Landis: A Review

April 6, 2019 by

Baseball entered a new era in the 1920s. The home run was popularized the emergence of irascible slugger Babe Ruth and for better or for worse the game was cleaned up in the wake of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox World Series scandal by the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the game’s first commissioner. This resulted in a revolution in... Read more of this article


Negro Leagues DB Update: 1929 American Negro League

April 2, 2019 by

We’re happy to announce the addition of the 1929 American Negro League season to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. This was an east coast league, a successor to the Eastern Colored League (which folded early in the 1928 season), and should not be confused with the later Negro American League (founded in 1937 and based in the Midwest). In its single... Read more of this article


More Posts From General

Features

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

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*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

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


From the Archives: Touring the Bases with…Jim Bouton

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“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

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


Brooks, Still the Magician

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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

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


The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

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


WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

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


A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

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


The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

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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

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


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

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


Suns’ First Pitch Thrown By Suns’ First Pitcher

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


An Interview with Boston Red Sox Prospect Nick Longhi

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


Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

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


More Posts From Minors

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