November 21, 2017

Throwing Hard Easy: A Review of Robin Roberts’ Memoirs

March 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball fans often get lost in the recollections of former players retelling their life journey through the game. A great example of this hardball trip down memory lane is Throwing Hard Easy: Reflections on a Life in Baseball by Robin Roberts with C. Paul Rogers III (University of Nebraska Press). First published in 2003, the […]

106 Major League Victories This Season; You Bet, and That Is Just for Independent Leaguers

September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Twenty-one years ago when Kash Beauchamp was signed off the St. Paul (MN) Saints’ roster in the Northern League and assigned to Class AA the naysayers were continuing to pooh-pooh the future of this new thing called Independent Baseball.  Those who believed it could succeed likely were in the minority. We have pointed out the […]

Touring The Bases With…Gabe Kapler

August 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Gabe Kapler was a 57th round draft pick by the Detroit Tigers in the 1995 amateur draft, then began a very successful minor league career that resulted in a late-season call-up in September 1998.  The righthanded slugger dominated the low minors at the ages of 20 and 21, hitting .300 with 45 doubles, 26 homers, […]

Early Thoughts On the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year Race

June 22, 2012 by · 7 Comments 

Last week I outlined how the American League Rookie of the Year race is shaping up and now it’s the National League’s turn. While the NL has also introduced a strong crop of rookies this year, the level of production has not been quite as high as their AL counterparts. Bryce Harper has gotten the […]

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 […]

A Grooved Pitch—Hall of Famer vs. Three Game Cup of Coffee Youngster

June 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On Sunday, May 26, 1912, the sixth place American Association Milwaukee Brewers opened a series against the second place Minneapolis Millers, facing future Hall of Fame member Rube Waddell. The eccentric Waddell is known to most baseball fans. Although on the downside of his career, he was still a pitcher to be reckoned with. During […]

Touring the Bases With Buddy Biancalana

May 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Buddy Biancalana was a first round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in 1978 who went on to have a major league career as a middle infielder. Used primarily as a utility player, Buddy had his greatest success was in the 1985 World Series when he played in all seven games and hit .278, […]

Harper Means Hustle and the Giant Combo Size

May 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bryce Harper is only a few days into his major league career. It is like a movie and the credits are still playing over the first few frames as we are introduced to the action. And maybe it is too early for the critics to assess what they are seeing, but there can be little […]

Monument Dedication for Lou Criger

April 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On Sunday, June 3, 2012at 2:00 p.m.at RiverviewParkin Elkhart, Indiana, a monument will be dedicated to the life and baseball career of Lou Criger, with the public encouraged to attend.  The event is set for the 100th anniversary of his last big league game that he played, which wasJune 3, 1912 as a member of […]

Rollie Hemsley: How a Hard Drinking Catcher Made Alcoholics Anonymous an International Phenomenon

April 27, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Particularly in the earlier days of the game, baseball had a well-earned reputation for hard drinking and living players. Because the players often socially mingled with the press, and because the writers depended on access to teams to sell their papers, the vast majority of the more salacious happenings failed to make it to the […]

Paul Hartzell: Tales of a Pitcher

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

At 6’5 and 200 pounds, right-handed Paul Hartzell personified a classically built pitcher. He was chosen by the California Angels in the 10th round of the 1975 MLB draft after having attended Lehigh University. The Angels were helmed at the time by future Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams and pitchers Frank Tanana and Nolan […]

Greg Swindell: Representing the Best of Texas

January 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Texas is best known for producing great beef and the best football in the world, but they have another commodity that they export with similar regularity; pitchers. Highlighted by the likes of Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and Greg Maddux, the Longhorn State has had 431 pitchers appear in a major league game. One of the […]

A Brief Dissection of the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

January 9, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

First off, congratulations are in order for the Baseball Hall of Fames’ newest member, Barry Larkin. His selection today caps off an excellent 19 year major league career that was spent exclusively with the Cincinnati Reds. With 86.4% of the votes, Larkin was the only player on this year’s ballot to garner the necessary 75% […]

Kevin Collins: Many Cups of Coffee

November 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin Collins grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts loving baseball. Like many children his dream was to one day play professional baseball for a living, and he was one of the lucky few to achieve that goal. Although he never became a regular player in the major leagues, he played parts of six seasons with three […]

Remembering Paul LaPalme

November 2, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

This past winter baseball lost one of its treasures in Paul LaPalme. He was never a star, nor did he have great accomplishments in the game, but he was a great ambassador for baseball. He passed away in February, 2010 at the age of 86, and left behind a strong connection with baseball, the game […]

Roy Smalley, Jr.—A Baseball Classic

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This past week baseball lost Roy Smalley, Jr., another member of the World War II generation that has been rapidly slipping away in recent years. He was a player, a manager, an armed services veteran, and the father of Roy Smalley III, also a major leaguer. He was part of a vanishing generation that played […]

Catching Up With Scott McGregor

September 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent tragic passing of Mike Flanagan served as a sad reminder of the great Baltimore teams of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Looking at their recent results, it is hard to fathom how far the once proud franchise has fallen over the past couple of decades. The term dynasty should not be thrown […]

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 […]

Koufax or Ryan? Tough choice for Torborg

July 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Don’t ask Jeff Torborg to choose between Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan. The only man to catch no-hitters thrown by both can’t make up his mind. A former back-up catcher for the Dodgers and Angels, Torborg caught a perfect game thrown by Koufax in 1965 and no-hitters thrown by Bill Singer in 1970 and Ryan […]

Touring The Bases With…Terry Tata

June 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Umpire Terry Tata officiated in the National League from 1973-1999, and umpired in four World Series, seven National League Championship Series, three All-Star games and five no-hitters, for two of which he was behind the plate.  During his major league career, he umpired in 3,743 regular season games. Click here to see a video of […]

Quiet and Steady as She Goes

March 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nationals traded Nyjer Morgan for Cutter Dykstra and during the wee hours. The move was no surprise to anyone, but some had opined that the Nationals would take almost anything to get rid of the distractions surrounding Morgan. Dystra is not “almost anything,” but he knows a little bit about distractions. Anyone who has […]

Daubach Interesting Choice as Bryce Harper’s First Manager

March 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     One of the charms of spring training that builds so much momentum for a baseball season is the great writing that emerges, and the memorable stories those in the baseball-writing business dig up.        Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin brought to the surface the fact Brian Daubach, who managed in the Can-Am League at […]

One Gets Look from Cards While Other Star Waits

January 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     The stories of players who have come through the Independent Baseball ranks and show some major league promise are forever fascinating.  Will they get a break by being in the right organization at the right time and make the most of the opportunity or have to settle for a decent minor league career?       […]

Sincerely, Adrian Gonzalez

December 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What if you broke into the hotel room of Adrian Gonzalez, looked through his things, and found a diary? What would it say? Here is a possible answer: June 2000 I DID IT!!!! Today is a day I will never forget. I was the first overall pick of the 2000 draft today. Looks like I […]

Jeff Nettles Adds to Family Home Run Lore

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Although he already has about eight and a half major league seasons, Esteban Yan would like more.  “I hope to get another opportunity”, the 35-year-old said.  “I know I’ve got a lot left.” I did not discuss future major league hopes with Willis Otanez, but the Long Island first baseman-DH would not mind seeing his […]

Andy Etchebarren Succeeds With His Type of Player

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Defense carried the day for Andy Etchebarren during his 15-year major league career, which included six seasons when he either was the No. 1 catcher or shared the backstop load when Baltimore Orioles teams made the postseason.  So it should be no surprise his York (PA) Revolution, already assured of a playoff berth in his […]

Touring the Bases (Again) With…Jack Perconte

June 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

After batting .334, .322 and .326 in three of his first five minor league seasons, second baseman Jack Perconte made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 13, 1980.  He was back in the minors in 1981 where he batted .346 for Albuquerque, then was traded to the Cleveland Indians, with […]

Former MLB Hurler Dick Drago to Appear on “What’s On Second” Podcast

May 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Former Major League hurler Dick Drago will appear on “What’s On Second: The Seamheads.com Radio Hour” on Monday, May 17 at 11:00 PM Eastern (8:00 Pacific).  Drago began his major league career with the expansion Kansas City Royals in 1969 after spending four years in the Detroit Tigers’ minor league system, where he went 50-41 […]

Touring the Bases With…Carlos May

April 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Carlos May, brother of major league slugger Lee May, was selected 18th overall in the 1966 draft, which also featured Reggie Jackson, Gary Nolan, and Richie Hebner.  He spent parts of three seasons in the minors, batting .311 from 1966-1968, before making his big league debut on September 6, 1968 with the Chicago White Sox.  […]

Lena Blackburne’s Playing Days

December 7, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

I first remember hearing of Lena Blackburne several years ago, when Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs went over to New Jersey to gather some river mud with Jim Bintliff, the head of Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud. But his name only stuck in my mind last year, when I saw his name on a list of […]