September 21, 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 […]

Chris Davis is the real Home Run King

July 13, 2013 by · 4 Comments 

After hitting his 36th home run on Saturday Davis has reached a pace to put him at 61 by the end of the season. This continues to be the number by which baseball fans use to denote a record setting campaign. We brush aside Bonds, McGwire and Sosa because of the steroid allegations (and admittance) […]

Tanner Murphy: Trying to Catch on with the Baltimore Orioles

April 4, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Baltimore Orioles may appear to be set at catcher for the foreseeable future with Matt Wieters behind the plate, but in baseball it’s never a good idea to plan too far ahead. Like any smart team, Baltimore continues to cultivate catching prospects, with Tanner Murphy being one of the young players they are most […]

The Greatest Youngster Around

March 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Let’s get something straight: not all Hall of Famers have a World Series ring. For example, Ernie Banks never got one because he played on the Cubs. Harmon Killebrew almost got a ring in ’65 with the Twins, but never got that close to a championship again in his career. Finally, even the great Ted Williams never got […]

Jose Cruz, Jr.: Carrying On His Family’s Baseball Legacy

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Talented baseball players who have fathers who played in the major are often viewed as the gold standard when evaluating player development. On top of their innate ability, the access to elite instruction and being exposed to what it takes to be a big leaguer puts them at a major advantage over other prospects. The […]

The Glory Days: Stocking the Angels and Senators

June 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On December 14, 1960, an expansion draft was held to stock the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. The eight American League teams were required to pull seven players apiece from active rosters (as of August 31, 1960) and eight additional players from their 40-man rosters and make them available for the draft. The Senators […]

2012 Milestones (And Beyond): Home Runs

January 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Depending on which camp you’re in, 2012 will either tickle you pink or make you throw up in your mouth.  With 629 home runs already under his belt, Alex Rodriguez is only one away from tying former teammate Ken Griffey Jr. at 630 and 31 away from catching Willie Mays for fourth place on the […]

“Nobody’s Perfect”

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Just one step away. One break. We all know the feeling. What separates us is what we do when the moment comes and what we have learned to prepare us. That’s what this week’s read, “Nobody’s Perfect,” is about. The “almost-perfect game” is merely part of the story. Read Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce’s story […]

Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary: There’s Nothing Like Being at the Game

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I’ve never considered myself religious by any means. Yet, I’m a believer that everyone has some place where they just feel at home, or safe. A sanctuary, of sorts. To some of the more religious types, a church. Baseball stadiums are my church. There is just something about passing through the gates and walking into […]

The Favorite Toy and…Tony Conigliaro

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Since I went with all-time greats, Babe Ruth and Grover Cleveland Alexander, in my first two articles in this series, I figured I’d shift gears and go with a should-have-been great in Red Sox slugger Tony Conigliaro whose potentially brilliant career was derailed on August 18, 1967 when he was struck in the face by […]

Noticing a Few Similarities Between Ken Griffey Jr. and Willie Mays

November 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Ken Griffey Jr. turns 41 tomorrow, November 21. I recently read through the authorized Willie Mays biography by James S. Hirsch, and although I’d known of a few loose analogies between the careers of Griffey and Mays, I was struck by the sense that the two great center fielders had several key points in common, […]

The Sweet Swing of a Slugger

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Nowadays, it’s difficult to think of baseball players without talk of steroids, performance enhancers, or at least strength training. More than a century ago, however, raw skill and equipment formed a power-packed duo that dictated a player’s success. “Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and the Louisville Slugger” by David Magee and Philip Shirley is […]

The Class of 2010 – the New Hall of Famers

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

At the beginning of the 2010 baseball season, there were eight active major league players who had already earned obvious Hall of Fame numbers during their careers.  Here are those players: Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Jim Thome, Jason Giambi and Mariano Rivera. By the end of the 2010 […]

Steinbrenner’s legacy: Winning and entertainment

July 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

George Steinbrenner passed away today at the age of 80. Although he hasn’t been running the Yankees for some time now, his legacy will always be remembered. From 1973-2010, Steinbrenner created and maintained the most successful franchise in sports, and it was never done without some entertainment. In the 37 years under Steinbrenner, the Yankees […]

Time Marches On

June 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day ~William Shakespeare Time.  There’s no stopping it, no slowing it.  Whether you’re a Hall-of-Fame outfielder, a back-up infielder, or a middle school teacher, time inevitably marches on.  It slows us down, humbles us, and erodes away our natural athletic gifts. The […]

Once Considered Jewels, Baseball Cards Have Lost Luster

May 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Remember the days when “gem” referred to the rock on a lady’s finger or to a pitcher’s performance? Remember the days when you’d scrounge up three or four dollars for a pack of cards, hoping that you’d find that 1:150 insert? Today we journey back to yesteryear with Dave Jamieson’s “Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards […]

Dentro del parque (Inside the park)

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“Corre, corre que la pelota se le perdió entre los arbustos”. Los muchachos saltan a un lado del solar de asfalto, el bate todavía rueda sobre la superficie plástica espolvoreada con motas de arenilla que abona algunas plántulas obstinadas que crecen entre las grietas asfálticas. Al fondo, bajo el azul y el brillo de media […]

Rambling on About My Glory Days – Greatness Comes in Big and Little Sizes

March 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I usually get these questions from my students “Who did you play for?” or “What position did you play?” Adults usually follow up with “Who was the best pitcher you ever faced?” and “Who was the best player you ever played with or against?” I assume all former major league players get the same questions. […]