September 20, 2017

Remembering Pittsburgh from the “We Are Family” Era

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Back when Fisher Bodies were made of steel that was cooked in blast furnaces in Pittsburgh, there was a great baseball team that played along the Allegheny River called the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite the fact that cars are made of plastic now and the city of Pittsburgh is a high-tech center supported by three top-of-the-line […]

It Is the Same Five Teams Who Lead in Attendance Although Kansas City, KS Makes a Nice Jump

July 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The deck has been shuffled, moving Winnipeg, Manitoba, ahead of 2012 newcomer Sugar Land, TX and Kansas City, KS has jumped two spots to third, but the same five teams that led Independent Baseball in per-opening attendance one year ago remain the same past the halfway mark in the ’13 season. Winnipeg, pacing four American […]

Ebbets Field 100

April 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The move of the NBA’s Nets this season has allowed fans and journalists to speak a magical word that had disappeared from the lexicon of major sports leagues for more than 50 years: “Brooklyn.” Brooklyn is probably New York City’s most beloved and, possibly, provincial borough and the relocation of the New Jersey Nets to […]

‘Fun to Watch’ Double Play Duo Helps Spark ‘Relentless’ Wichita to 13 Wins in Last 14 Games

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It is not always easy to find just a word or two that describes a successful baseball team, but Kevin Hooper says he has found himself frequently using “relentless” in describing the Wichita (KS) Wingnuts he manages.  I have a feeling a second word to describe the American Association team that has run off 13 […]

NY Times Unloads Last of Red Sox Stake

May 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

NY Times unloads last of Red Sox stake (via AFP) The New York Times Co., has sold its remaining stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball team for $63 million as the struggling media group moves to focus on its core operations. A regulatory filing Friday said the New York Times Company sold its remaining […]

Clearing The Bases

April 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

We always say at draft time don’t overpay for saves, and that piece of advice seems to be especially important this season.  Closers normally take a beating as it is the one spot on a baseball team that is sure to have the biggest turnover year after year.  Not every relief pitcher is capable of […]

Poetic Justice

December 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Following the winter meetings is like watching grass grow. Washington baseball fans are waiting anxiously to see whether Santa wraps Mark Buerhle up and places him in the Nationals stocking and if so, what else might there be under the tree. There is the issue of center field with so many options there that even […]

Clearing The Bases

November 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

    Well the 2011 season has successfully come to an end with an unlikely champion, the St. Louis Cardinals.  Who saw that coming?  Manager Tony LaRussa goes out on top as he retired a champion, have to wonder if his retirement will push free agent Albert Pujols towards another team.  That is a perfect […]

Touring the Bases with Italian Baseball Coach Andrea D’Auria

October 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

If you ever wondered about baseball in Italy, and if it is even played there, you will love this interview. Andrea sounds like a great guy and I am sure he is and displays the passion for baseball that is like the great coaches here in America. This year was especially rewarding and momentous for Italian baseball, as […]

Happily Ever After

October 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Once upon a time, there was a baseball team. This baseball team wasn’t the richest team, though it wasn’t poor by any means.  It wasn’t the strongest team and it wasn’t by any means the fastest team.  It wasn’t even considered the best team within its region, much less in all the land. This team […]

First Division Finish

September 29, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

No, the Nationals are not headed for the playoffs, and yes, the smug fans up the coast will shake their heads in bemusement at the joy we share at finishing in the top half of the 30 Major League baseball teams. But remember and cheerish that grin, because the Nationals don’t just “hear that train […]

More Than Just a Game

July 19, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”—William Shakespeare (Act II, Scene V of Twelfth Night) And some seize greatness at the most opportune time, like 10-year-old Alex Orr, who etched a memory on a small town in Southwest Washington state that won’t soon […]

A Cardinal Christmas Carol

December 8, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Mozeliak.” The general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, John Mozeliak, looked up from the paperwork on his desk.  Running a baseball team might be enjoyable and have great perks, but it never stops. “Thank you, Molly.  I hope you have a nice holiday as well.  Are you visiting family?” Molly nodded. […]

Next?

October 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

John Russell offered a quiet presence and a patience that is either good or bad for a baseball team depending on the personnel.  Three years after thinking it would be the right approach, the Bucs’ front office may have decided a different direction is needed to continue the rebuilding process letting Russell go with one […]

‘Well, Yeah,’ Why Wouldn’t Pensacola Boss Enjoy Record-Setting 15-Game Win Streak?

July 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

All too often when the Florida Panhandle is in the news it seems to revolve around an oil spill or a hurricane bearing down on the area.  A more pleasant “hurricane” has swept through the area this month in the form of a stunningly-hot Pensacola Pelicans baseball team. The final game of a lackluster first […]

Elmer Gedeon – A True Hero of World War II

July 13, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Elmer Gedeon, nephew of former American League infielder Joe Gedeon, was a three-sport star at the University of Michigan and a major league outfielder in the 1930s. He is one of only two players with major league experience to be killed while serving his country during World War II. Elmer J. Gedeon was born in […]

Is There Really Gator Baseball?

June 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Coming out of Nationals Park several weeks ago I spied someone decked out in University of Florida garb and I quickly offered up the “Gator Nation” salute–an obscene affair–then jumped up and asked whether he knew how our Gators were doing in the SEC championship game against South Carolina.  After a quick browse through the […]

Another Brick in the Wall

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Is Strasburg’s looming debut next Tuesday more important for the future of the Nationals, or Roy Oswalt’s admission on Tuesday of this week, that he would accept a trade to Washington? The two are inextricably linked.  Oswalt’s view that there are good things going on in Washington redounds to the excitement Strasburg is generating, but […]

One More Opening Day

April 28, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Joe Shrode is a father, and a 19-year youth baseball coach. He is the author of “Between the Lines: A Father, A Son, and America’s Pastime.” BTL goes beyond balls and strikes, hits and outs, and wins and losses. It’s about relationships. To see excerpts, visit www.btlfatherson.blogspot.com. One recent Saturday morning, I took the field […]

Home Cooking

March 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Chemical additives have played havoc with athletics and our food.  Cooking at home is a good place to start to combat both concerns.  Some teams, notably the Braves, emphasize drafting amateurs from close to home in Georgia, then slow cook them into quality professionals in their minor leagues.  The Nationals could use a little of […]

Hall of Famers at War – Warren Spahn

March 12, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

Warren Spahn, the winningest left-handed pitcher in major league history, received a battlefield commission in 1945. Warren Spahn was born in Buffalo, New York on April 23, 1921. He played first base for the Buffalo City Athletic Club and pitched for South Park High School in Buffalo where he led the team to a series […]

A Proper Frame for Stephen Strasburg

February 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson left southern California in 1907 a shy young man who was uncertain why the Washington Senators thought he was going to be a star. Manager Cantillon had heard from scouts the kid was a unique talent-77 straight scoreless innings, 166 strikeouts in eleven games. Now, a century later, another […]

Rambling on About My Glory Days – Immortality

February 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

You may recall my last post when I wrote about how I ended up attending Murray State University, tried out and made the baseball team. While there, I was part of a most remarkable experience. It all began with one of my teammate’s box score: 3 At Bats 0 Hits 0 Runs 0 RBI and […]