April 22, 2018

Evar Swanson, the Fastest Player in Baseball History

April 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Speed is a quality in baseball that can achieve the swiftest of the swift legendary status. From Hans Lobert racing a horse, to Cool Papa Bell allegedly being able to turn off the lights and be under the covers before the room got dark, there are scores of examples of players showcasing blinding speed. However, […]

Staking a Claim To Failure

April 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Any baseball person concedes that you can’t tell much from the first ten days of the season. You do spot some things, like the starting lineups and pitching rotations, a few notable debuts, some happy returns, but nothing terribly conclusive. Every player is “on a pace” to do something miraculously spectacular or spectacularly horrible, and […]

Chance Sisco’s Violation of One of Baseball’s Dumbest (Unwritten) Rules

April 2, 2018 by · 3 Comments 

The 2018 major league baseball season is not even a week old and there is already a strong candidate for the dumbest story of the year. With his team trailing 7-0 in the ninth inning on April 1st, Baltimore Orioles’ rookie catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt for a single against a shift employed by the […]

The Party No One Came To

March 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Boswell had a fascinating column in this morning’s Washington Post examining whether Bryce Harper will get his $400 million, 10-year contract that has been the talk of baseball punditry for the past few years. The gist of it is that the current parameters of MLB contracts are exerting a downward pressure on salaries. Ask […]

Jackie Robinson: Revisiting an Interview With a Baseball and Civil Rights Legend

March 2, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The age of the internet is a blessing in that it allows for the preservation of so many primary sources—the collection of video, audio and written materials from our past. This is particularly important to baseball history, where there is so much to keep track of. On April 14, 1957, legendary player and civil rights […]

History of a St. Louis Baseball Franchise: The St. Louis Stars

February 27, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

St. Louis Stars The St. Louis Stars were born when Richard William Kent, Sam Sheppard, Dr. J. W. “George” McClelland and Dr. G. B. Keys purchased the NNL St. Louis Giants franchise after the 1921 season. Dick Kent was a very successful businessman, who went from being a shoe shine boy to a real estate […]

St. Louis’ Forgotten Champions

February 23, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

On Sunday afternoon, October 7, 1928, at Sportsman’s Park, the St. Louis Cardinals were about to play the New York Yankees in the 3rd game of the 1928 World Series, finding themselves already down 2 games to none. This was the “Murderers Row” Yankees, with Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Combs, Hoyt, Pennock, etc. They played in […]

1928 Negro National League Season Review – It’s in the Stars

February 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

For both Black History Month and the 90th Anniversary of the 1928 Negro National League season, below is a recap of the 1928 NNL pennant race. The Stars’ Wonderful First Half The 1928 NNL consisted of the following teams (in order of their 1927 records): Chicago American Giants (won 1st half, playoffs and World Series […]

Identifying the Largest Gaps Between Teams and Their Farm Systems

February 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In the process of conducting research for the “Minors vs. Majors” chapter for my upcoming book “Hardball Retroactive,” I tabulated the overall won-loss records among the minor league affiliates for every Major League franchise since 1963. Further investigation allowed me to ascertain the largest gaps between MLB teams and their farm systems, divided into two […]

Could Amazon.com Nationals Park Be a “Thing?”

February 9, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

Naming rights are a very boring topic in the vast universe of what falls under the constellation known as “baseball.” Who really cares what you call the stadium as long as baseball is played there, unless you care about the old place names like Fenway Park and player names like Smoky Joe Wood and Dizzy […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1946 NNL & NAL

January 29, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1946 the Negro leagues began to face the inevitable. The Brooklyn Dodgers finally broke Organized Baseball’s 60-year-old color line, signing several black players for their minor league system—including the best player in the 1945 Negro American League, the Monarchs’ shortstop Jackie Robinson, and arguably the best player in the 1945 Negro National League, the […]

Winter Leagues and Serie del Caribe updates

January 25, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

The latest on the Winter Leagues’ final series and Serie del Caribe 2018 are at the link below: http://www.sabrhornsby.org/2017/08/serie-del-caribe-2018/ I will be updating this link daily from now (Jan. 25) through the Serie del Caribe finals on February 8.  You can stay tuned by accessing the link (it’ll continue to be the same URL) above. […]

From the Archives: Gone Fishin’—The Sobering Case of “Shufflin’ Phil” Douglas

January 13, 2018 by · 5 Comments 

The following was originally published on the site on June 23, 2009. When “Shufflin’ Phil”1 Douglas arrived on the baseball scene in 1910 at the tender age of 20 he brought with him size and a fastball impressive enough to draw comparisons to Walter Johnson’s. Douglas, a product of Cedartown, Georgia, was a big man, […]

All Quiet Along the Potomac??

January 6, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Potomac River is laced with ice near Nationals Park, but it is likely that life abounds beneath the serene white exterior that catches the afternoon sun from the south.  Yes, the water is moving despite the ice and things are heating up hot stove wise. There was the brief flurry of rumors that had […]

The Epic Pitching Duel That Changed the Future of Two Franchises

December 23, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

October 7, 2011 and the melting pot that is South Philadelphia is stirring. From the Parisian redesign of Rittenhouse Square to the William Penn statue at Broad and Market; from South Street to the Mexican and Asian influences of Washington Avenue; from the African-American neighborhood of Point Breeze to the hipsters’ hangout in Northern Liberties, […]

From the Archives: Punch Drunk—The Art Shires Story

December 17, 2017 by · 8 Comments 

The following was originally published on this site on May 18, 2009. Former major league first baseman Art Shires was many things; dapper, over-dressed, well-spoken, loud-mouthed, confident, cocky, entertaining, clownish; a hard drinker and a harder fighter. But was he also a murderer? A Dallas District Attorney thought so and charged him with that crime […]

Winter Leagues Update – Nov. 26

November 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Play continues south of the border as the Latin American winter leagues enter their final month of “regular season” action.  Here’s the latest: MEXICO – first-half play in the LMP (Liga Mexicana del Pacifico) concluded on Sunday, November 19.  First-half results were: Naranjeros de Hermosillo were awarded first place, and the eight points that go […]

From the Archives: Bob Lemon and the Hall of Fame

November 18, 2017 by · 3 Comments 

(Editor’s Note: The following was first published on this site on January 21, 2008.) A couple days ago Dr. Michael Hoban posted an article about strange Hall of Fame voting in which he wondered why Bob Lemon was suddenly regarded as a better pitcher than Allie Reynolds in 1972 after Reynolds received more votes in […]

From the Archives: Harry Lunte—The Man Who Tried to Replace Ray Chapman

November 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

On August 16, 1920 the Cleveland Indians prepared to take the field against the New York Yankees to start a crucial three-game series at Yankee Stadium that pitted the first-place Indians against the third-place Yankees. Cleveland was a mere four percentage points ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the standings; New York stood within […]

From the Archives: Touring the Bases with…Jim Bouton

October 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” Former major league pitcher Jim Bouton ended his controversial book Ball Four with those lines in 1969 and the nation has been in his grip […]

Cuba Ball 2017

September 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Cuban right-handed pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo holds the record for the most wins in the Cuban National Series. Our Cubaball tour encountered him in his hometown of Pinar Del Rio after the evening’s game against Industriales had been cancelled due to rain. The huge man stood beside a swimming pool and talked about his career, […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1945 NNL & NAL

September 21, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

Last week the Negro Leagues DB added the 1945 Negro National League and Negro American League. In the NAL the Cleveland Buckeyes, led by Sam Jethroe (.339/.435/.559) and player-manager Quincy Trouppe, ended the two-year run of the Birmingham Black Barons as league champions. The Buckeyes were the eleventh attempt (in 24 years) at fielding a […]

Remembering Red Barber

September 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Red was perhaps the most literate sports announcer I ever met.” – Vin Scully In my early and middle years of writing sports book, I called on Red Barber to blurb them. He never failed. He along with Mel Allen those long ago summer  nights spun the tales of New York City Baseball and hooked […]

Museum Artifacts More Important to MLB Than Pensionless Retirees

September 10, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Major League Baseball (MLB) cares more about supporting museums than real live, flesh and blood retirees without pensions. What other conclusion can you reach after the announcement on September 8 that the 30 club owners ponied up $10 million to contribute  to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s endowment efforts? According to the Associated Press, the […]

Yankee Monikers and Nicknames

September 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A lot of things are not the way they used to be. And that is especially true in the world of sports. Baseball once held bragging rights to the best and most nicknames. And the Yankees led the pack in that regard. For your edification and pleasure, a sampler of some of the of the […]

The Sad, Sad Truth and the Dirty Low Down

August 31, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

When the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convened for its annual convention in Manhattan at the end of June, the New York Times put it front-and-center on the sports page. Sounds like a good thing, but the article featured a photograph of several graying seniors sitting in the first row of a plenary session […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1937 Negro American League

August 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s a brief, belated introduction to the 1937 Negro American League, which we added to the site last month (July 10, to be precise). For a broader view of that eventful year in black baseball history, see my entry on the 1937 Negro National League, which we added to the DB back in 2015. Meanwhile, […]

Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016

August 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The following article supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on WAR and Win Shares for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. Teams that fail to meet the minimum requirements (4000 PA and 4000 BFP) in any given […]

The Rivalry: Yanks vs Red Sox

August 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Back then, as the story goes, there was a get-together in the woods. A  Red Sox fan, a Cub fan and a Pirate fan were there. They all wondered when their team would make it to the World Series again and decided to call on God for advice. The Cub fan asked first: “When will […]

Can Tropical Wind’s Ever Blow Strong for Cuban Baseball Again?

August 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Cuba is a complicated issue and most American fans don’t have the time. For those that do, there is author Peter Bjarkman, faithfully trying to peal back the layers of intrigue and politics until there is only the love of the game that Cubans and Americans share. Peter Bjarkman’s recently published book, Cuba’s Baseball Defectors, […]

Dog Days at Fenway Park

August 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

With the crowds having fun at the hub in Boston, with the team gearing up to go deep this October, with a roster loaded with talent and more on the way, a flashback to Sox in the Sixties is almost like culture shock. September 28th, 1960, Red Sox vs. Orioles.  Overcast, dank, chilly the final […]

Remembering Yogi Berra

July 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Mr. Berra is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.” –Casey Stengel “Talking to Yogi Berra about baseball, is like talking to Homer about the gods.” – Bart Giamatti The kid who grew up in St. Louis eating banana sandwiches with mustard grew up to be one of the legends of legends of New […]

Remembering Mel Allen

July 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I had the very good fortune in 1990 to visit the legendary Mel Allen at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. I was there to collect memorabilia for the “Stars of David: Jews in Sports” exhibit that I was the curator and executive producer for at the Klutznik Museum in Washington, D.C. My wife Myrna came […]

Baseball Birthplaces and the Retro World Baseball Classic

July 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Upon the conclusion of the 2017 World Baseball Classic (the fourth iteration of the tournament which began in 2006), I started to wonder how the rosters would have looked in previous years. Using stricter rules for roster construction (basing all rosters on birthplace alone, 20-year periods between tournaments and additional stipulations outlined in the Methodology […]

Creating a Season to Remember: The New Youth-Sports-Coaching Leadership Handbook by Jack Perconte

July 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Following is an excerpt from my new book, Creating a Season to Remember: The New Youth-Sports-Coaching Leadership Handbook. I am not sure there was an old handbook but I do know that the current state of youth sports coaching needs a makeover. In this segment, I show a common complaint from people about their coach. […]

Next Page »