September 19, 2019

Notes From the Davey Martinez Fan Club

September 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Davey Martinez, current manager of the Washington Nationals, is a case study in why catchers make such good managers. Be it Bruce Bochy, Kevin Cash, Joe Girardi or Mike Matheny, their years of sitting behind the plate and working with a pitching staff on an every day basis provided key insights into how to manage […]

From Pizza Delivery to the Big Leagues: Jim Rushford and His Amazing Journey Through Baseball

August 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Research shows that only about 0.5 percent of high school seniors who play baseball will get drafted by a baseball team; and less than 11 percent of varsity baseball-playing college seniors will get the call. Of those few that become a draft pick, less than one in five will eventually play in the majors. These numbers all make […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1931 NNL + 1922 Eastern Independent Teams

July 21, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

We’re happy to announce the latest update to the Seamheads Negro Leagues DB, one of the largest updates we’ve ever made. It includes: 1) The 1931 Negro National League (plus inter-regional games between NNL and eastern independent teams). This was the last year of the original NNL. Its death knell sounded when the Kansas City […]

Harry Frazee, William Howard Taft, and the Lasker Plan

July 15, 2019 by · 1 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.

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 […]

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

May 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

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

April 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

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 […]

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

April 21, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

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 […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1929 American Negro League

April 2, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

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 […]

But What Have You Done for Me Lately?

March 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In the wake of Boston’s 12-4 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Mariners on March 28 in the former’s first game of the 2019 season, I was curious to see which defending champions throughout history followed their World Series title with a dud to open the next season. Contrary to popular belief, no Red […]

The Promising Life and Tragic Death of Austin McHenry

March 17, 2019 by · 17 Comments 

(Editor’s Note: The following was originally posted on November 30, 2008.) By the time he was 25 years old, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Austin McHenry was considered one of baseball’s best outfielders and hitters, especially after enjoying a 1921 season that saw him finish with a .350 batting average, second only to teammate and future […]

The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern era (since 1920) according to the numbers that they produced on the field.  (CAWS is an acronym for Career Assessment/Win Shares.)   In addition, the CCG has also created a series of benchmarks to determine whether a player seems to have […]

How Has Bryce Harper’s Contract Impacted Mookie Betts’ Quest for a New Deal?

March 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent signing of free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper to a record-breaking 13-year, $330 million contract by the Philadelphia Phillies sent shock waves across baseball. Although the star slugger will continue making his home in the National League, the deal may have a surprising impact on the Boston Red Sox—specifically in their pursuit to retain their […]

ESTIMATING PARK FACTORS FOR THE NEGRO LEAGUES

February 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Most serious baseball fans understand that ballparks can have a large impact on statistical performance. However, trying to measure that exact impact often proves difficult. In work we’ve done on Major League ballparks at Seamheads.com, it takes about three full years of data, regressed by about one additional season worth of games, to get a […]

How a Runaway Taxi Temporarily Saved Casey Stengel’s Managing Job

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Before he became the legendary skipper of the New York Yankees, winning 10 pennants and seven World Series, Casey Stengel was a pretty good outfielder for 14 big league seasons and a second division manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves. So uninspiring was his leadership of the Braves, that in 1943 he missed more than […]

The “technically …not” Hall of Fame

February 14, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

In 2006, a Baseball Hall of Fame Special Committee on Negro Leagues, made up primarily of expert blackball scholars, elected 17 Negro Leaguers to the Hall of Fame, almost doubling the total number of players and executives whose careers were primarily in the Negro Leagues from 18 to 35. If we use Sol White and […]

Koufax and Kershaw and the Hall of Fame

February 12, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

Consider a pitcher who recorded the following distinctions during his career: Won the Cy Young Award three times Won the ERA title five times Was an All Star seven times Was voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) Sandy Koufax did all of these things in twelve seasons in the major leagues with the Dodgers.   And, of […]

THE BALLPARK CHRONICLES

February 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Soon a new version of the classic ballpark book “Green Cathedrals” will be issued by SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). After having researched over 400 specific Blackball parks for the updated book, here are a few interesting ballpark facts I discovered. Philadelphia Mysteries Pencoyd Park was the home of the 1928 Philadelphia Tigers of […]

Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Peculiarities of the Past

February 3, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame election results were recently announced, with Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez all receiving the requisite number of votes. In particular, Rivera gained national headlines by becoming the first person to be named on 100 percent of the ballots that were cast. While he was a wonderful pitcher and completely deserving of the honor it […]

Chalmer “Bill” Cissell: The $123,000 Lemon

January 14, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

(Editor’s Note: The following first appeared on this site on October 27, 2009 and an abridged version appears in Baseball’s Untold History: The People) Twenty-four-year-old shortstop Chalmer “Bill” Cissell was so highly regarded by scout Danny Long in 1927 that he convinced White Sox owner Charles Comiskey to send what was estimated to be a […]

Negro League DB Update: 1927 Eastern Colored League

December 23, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

Having brought our coverage of Negro league statistics forward to 1948, we are now going back to fill in the missing seasons from the late 1920s and early 1930s. First up is the 1927 Eastern Colored League, along with the Negro League World Series that year. The 1927 ECL opened with the same seven teams […]

“Rooftop Ruppert” Jones and His 12-Year Ride in Major League Baseball

December 11, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

Ruppert Jones has one of the coolest nicknames in baseball history; “Rooftop Ruppert.” This was due to his proclivity in hitting tape measure home runs in Tiger Stadium during his lone season with the Detroit Tigers in 1984. However, this is just one part of a greater 12-year major league career enjoyed by the former outfielder. […]

Negro Leagues Database Update: East-West All-Star Games Added

November 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We have now added 22 new games to the Negro Leagues Database – the 16 East-West All-Star games played annually at Comiskey Park in Chicago from 1933 through 1948, plus 6 ‘second all-star games’ that were played at various eastern ballparks (two at the Polo Grounds, two at Yankee Stadium, one at Griffith Stadium and […]

“Field of Dreams” is Still a Heavenly Movie…Even if Isn’t Always Faithful to Its Source Material

November 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Okay, so you know the real “Shoeless” Joe Jackson batted lefty and threw righty, but that Ray Liotta bats right-handed and throws with his left in Field of Dreams. And that he was semi-illiterate, rather than the raconteur Liotta played him as. Okay, so you know that the real Archie “Moonlight” Graham died in 1965—making […]

Vance Law Discusses His Life In Baseball

November 14, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Vance Law had access to big league baseball that most kids can only dream about. His father Vern had a 16-year major league career as a star pitcher. Not surprisingly, Vance went into the family business and his in the midst of a 40-year (and still going) baseball career. Vance has an 11-year career (1980-1991) playing in the […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1948 NAL & NNL

October 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The latest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues DB encompasses the 1948 Negro American League, Negro National League, and World Series. This was the last season for the NNL, which ceased operations in 1949 as the Homestead Grays and Black Yankees dropped out, and the four remaining teams joined the Negro American League. It was […]

Lenny DiNardo: Memorable Boston Red Sox Pitcher Recalls His Career

October 8, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

Making it to the major leagues is tough enough on its own. Breaking through to baseball’s highest level and becoming part of a historically memorable team is even rarer. Left-handed pitcher Lenny DiNardo had a 94-game big league career, but he stretched it out over the course of six seasons. He also played a pivotal role on […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1901 Cuban League

September 25, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

Our newest addition to the DB is the 1901 Cuban League. This is another product of our collaboration with Negroleagueshistory.com, based on research in 1899-1901 Cuban sports newspapers from the collections of Jay Caldwell and Ryan Christoff. The 1901 season was the second year of integrated pro baseball in Cuba. After San Francisco’s shock pennant […]

Help Select a Negro Leagues Centennial Team!

September 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

From my friend Jay Caldwell at NegroLeaguesHistory.com: The Centennial of the founding of the Negro National League will be upon us before you know it—February 13, 2020. Among the ways we are planning to commemorate this occasion is by honoring a Negro Leagues Centennial Team with a BOBBLEHEAD of each player. You can help us. […]

Greg Litton: Baseball’s Mr. Versatile

September 14, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

When discussing baseball prospects, versatility is not a skill that rises to the top. People want to know how fast someone can throw or how much powers they have more than whether they can do a lot of little things. However, this ability has served some players well and allowed them to have productive careers in […]

From the Archives: “The Mysterious Floating Sensation”

August 12, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The following was originally posted on October 6, 2008 and an abridged version appears in Baseball’s Untold History: The Wild Side published by Summer Game Books in 2017. Did he or didn’t he? That’s the question. Eddie Cicotte is widely recognized as the inventor of the knuckleball, earning his nickname “Knuckles” around 1908, his first […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1900 Cuban League

July 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

This week, as part of our collaboration with Jay Caldwell and Negroleagueshistory.com, we present statistics gleaned from box scores printed in Cuban baseball newspapers (supplied both by Jay and by Ryan Christoff) for the historic 1900 Cuban baseball season. This includes: 1) The Cuban X-Giants’ tour in Cuba in the spring of 1900, during which […]

Baseball Pioneers: True Stories of Guts and Glory as Told by Pioneering Men and Women of the Game- A Review

July 23, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball history hounds can never satiate their appetite for digging in deep and uncovering myriad layers of the game that fascinates them much like an Indiana Jones treasure hunt. The stories, the perspectives and the connections are endless… Endlessly fascinating. Another volume that has weighed in with some additional work is The Sweet Spot Presents […]

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 […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1947 NNL & NAL

June 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We’re pleased to announce the addition of the 1947 Negro leagues to the DB. In that year history continued to bear down on the NNL & NAL. Josh Gibson tragically died in January. Jackie Robinson debuted for the Dodgers in April, and by mid-season other big league clubs were sniffing around the Negro leagues for […]

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