November 12, 2019

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

June 14, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

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 […]

EASY AS THREE TO ONE

February 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

(This column is adapted from a March 5, 1979, Sports Illustrated article that appears in Jim Kaplan’s book CLEARING THE BASES: A Veteran Sportswriter on the National Pastime (www.levellerspress.com). News item: Yankee pitchers take strenuous fielding practice To the public, spring training is as immutable as a Norman Rockwell cover: swaying palm trees; players leaning […]

Five Changes For the Fans

November 15, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

When I left Sports Illustrated in 1986, I knew I’d be spending as much time in the stands as in the press box. So while baseball scribes like SI’s Tom Verducci suggest ways (see: lowering the mound) to improve play, I have my own five recommendations to enhance conditions for fans. Every time a pitcher […]

Fifty Years Ago Today, Ron Taylor Transformed a World Series, Then Transformed His Life

October 11, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

By Ron Taylor and Jim Kaplan Fifty years ago today, a Cardinal reliever named Ron Taylor transformed a World Series that itself transformed baseball. On October 11, 1964, the Cardinals were down, two games to one, against the heavily favored Yankees, and apparently headed for a third loss. Cardinal starter Ray Sadecki allowed the four […]

“The Greatest Game Ever Pitched” At 50

July 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today is the 50th anniversary of a pitching duel I chronicled in a book called “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched.” On July 2-3, 1963, 42-year-old Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves and 25-year-old Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants staged a 16-inning, 428-pitch clash that might still be going if it weren’t for a […]

The Ignitor (Sic): Paul Molitor’s Misspelled, Misconstrued And Misunderstood Hall Of Fame Career

December 13, 2012 by · 7 Comments 

What have you been working on lately? An essay on the baseball player Paul Molitor. Paul Molitor. Hmm. Is he a Hall of Famer? Are you putting me on? In a 21-year (1978-98) career, he was one of the most consistent right-handed batters in baseball. The guy had 3,319 hits, still the ninth most ever […]