February 20, 2017

The Baseball Historian’s Notes for August 19, 2013: All Hail the Hidden Ball Trick!

August 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In a sport increasingly known for money, technology and deeds of avarice, the hidden ball trick has to be one of the rarest and time-honored plays in baseball. It’s something that has been utilized since the earliest days of the game, yet still has a place today. One blog post from several years ago reported […]

The Baseball Historian’s Notes for August 5, 2013: A-Rod Lacks the Good Will to Help Himself

August 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

News is expected today announcing the fate of maligned New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. For his role in the Biogenesis performance enhancer scandal, he is expected to face anything from a lengthy suspension to being banned from the game. He has reportedly vowed to fight to the end, and accept no punishment despite […]

The Baseball Historian’s Notes for July 22, 2013: Teams Must Be Careful to Not Over-Extend Themselves

July 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In these heady days of nine-figure contract extensions, it is becoming increasingly less likely to see a player spend their entire career with the same team. Those who do, like the New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, can achieve icon status. However, teams seeking to retain their signature players have to be careful not to make […]

The Baseball Historian’s Notes for July 15, 2013: Is it Time to Change the All Star Game?

July 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite making his major league debut on June 3rd and only playing in 37 games, 23-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig received a huge surge of support to make this year’s National League All Star team. The outfielder has done his best Roy Hobbs impression by hitting a blistering .392 with eight home […]

“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 Baseball Historian’s Notes for April 14, 2013

April 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2013 baseball season has gotten off to a rollicking start. From Yu Darvish’s near-perfect game to the exciting emergence of young players like New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey, there has been a lot of good stuff for fans to digest. For all the fun baseball provides, the game also sometimes has a darker […]

Book Review: Drama and Pride in the Gateway City

April 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When Mike Lynch asked whether any of his website contributors were interested in reading and writing a review of Drama and Pride in the Gateway City, I jumped at the chance. First off, I love to read, and read a lot.  Second, I love baseball.  Lastly, I have never been asked to give my opinion […]

Lou Criger Monument Dedication.

June 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunday June 3, 1912marked the 100-year anniversary of Lou Criger’s final baseball game played. It was the perfect day to honor him on a monument along with his family, admiring fans, and residents of his hometown of Elkhart, Indiana. Family members traveled to Riverview Park from Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina and various places in Indiana. […]

Ward Miller Dedication

August 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On a sunny afternoon Sunday August 21, 2011, on the grounds of the Lee County Courthouse in Dixon, Illinois a monument dedication was held for former resident and baseball player Ward Miller. Dixon resident and local baseball historian Mark Stach, addressed the crowd wearing a Chicago Cubs replica jersey, very similar to the one Ward […]

Gambling at the Hall of Fame: Part Two

July 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Are you ready for the bizarre story I promised you last time, about gambling AT the Hall of Fame? If you haven’t read “Part One” please do so before reading this one. In it, I told about the Hall of Fame refusing to hire me in the mid-1990s because of my background as a Las […]

The Greatest Character of the Game: Casey Stengel’s Baseball

April 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

In its longstanding relationship with baseball, New York City has been home to four Major League teams: the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, and Mets. But the first man to wear all four uniforms and only one to do it while each team still resided in New York was Casey Stengel. Dubbed by sportswriters “The Professor” for […]

John Thorn, New Official Baseball Historian of MLB, to Appear Monday on “What’s On Second” Podcast

March 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m pleased to announce that my friend and colleague, John Thorn, who was recently named Major League Baseball’s Official Historian, will appear on “What’s On Second: The Seamheads.com Radio Hour” on Monday, March 7 at approximately 9:10 PM EST.  “What’s On Second” runs on Blog Talk Radio from 9:00-10:00 PM EST every Monday on the […]

Humdingers and Head Scratchers

January 6, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Why not start the new year with a jolt? From a man who mixes pot and pancakes, throws his own pitch (the Leephus), and has something to say about everything comes “Baseball Eccentrics.” Read Bill “Spaceman” Lee’s collection of anecdotes and one-liners because: 1. Lee presents his cast of characters as just that, men who […]

Story of 1921 Expertly Researched and Written

July 12, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

1921: The Yankees, The Giants, & The Battle For Baseball Supremacy In New York by Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.  Spatz and Steinberg put a lot of time and effort into their 515-page recollection of the 1921 season and it shows.  In fact, […]

Baseball’s Dead of World War II

April 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

There has never been a baseball book like Baseball’s Dead of World War II.  (Baseball historian Bill Swank) A few years ago I began compiling biographies on professional baseball players who lost their lives in military service during World War II. At the time I had around 25 names to work with . . . […]

Padres to Honor Nay Hernandez

March 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball historian Bill Swank is a guy who doesn’t give up easily. In fact, he’s the kind of person who never lets go once he’s got his claws into something. In this case, its Bill’s long fought dream to have Manuel P. “Nay” Hernandez recognized by the San Diego Padres baseball club. I’m guessing the […]

My Time With Ben Chapman

March 4, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Unlike my esteemed colleagues on this website, I am not a baseball historian. I am not a professional baseball writer. Nor have I ever played the game professionally. So as you read this article, please keep that in mind. What I am however, is a life-long fan of the game of baseball. I played it […]

Another Great Story Bites The Dust

February 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

At the 2008 SABR convention, baseball historian Norman Macht gave a fascinating one-hour presentation on the pitfalls of accepting great stories as true simply because they sound great. He discussed several classics, including one involving Lefty Grove that was attested to by several eyewitnesses, all of whom happened to be mistaken because the events detailed […]