June 22, 2017

Ike Futch on Life in the 1960s Minor Leagues

July 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Two years ago, I interviewed Ike Futch, who played second base, mostly, for a variety of Yankee minor league teams from 1959 through 1964, about his experiences as a minor leaguer in the Yankee organization at the tail end of its long dynasty. Ike, after graduating high school in Louisiana, always hit .300+ while playing […]

Tim Roberson: Proving the Depth of the Boston Red Sox’s Minor League System

July 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox have emphasized the cultivation of their farm system over the past two decades, which has led to the maturation of a number of valuable major league players. In recent years, the team increasingly relied more on obtaining veteran players through trades and free agency; causing the value of their player development […]

A Life Saved By a Beaning

April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

During my travels through baseball history, I have joined many other historians in a fascination with so-called “cup of coffee” players who played just a game or two or a few in the major leagues, or sometimes only one inning. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham’s one inning captivated Ray Kinsella enough to make him a major part […]

Kevin Pillar: How the Toronto Blue Jays’ Prospect is Raking His Way Through the Minor Leagues

March 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Toronto Blue Jays traded a significant amount of their minor league talent to the Miami Marlins this past offseason in a huge trade that netted Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson among others. Despite the deal, their cupboard is far from bare. Outfielder Kevin Pillar is one of the organization’s best young players […]

Jerome Williams (Three-Hit Shutout), Jered Weaver (No-Hitter) Strut Their Stuff With More Than 100 Others at MLB Doorstep

May 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

My intention this week was to talk up the fact more than 100 Independent Baseball players now populate the rosters of the top two levels of major league-affiliated minor league teams, and while I will get back to that point it is impossible to overlook the masterful shutout turned in by Jerome Williams, who still […]

When Is The Fan Going To Think About These Things?

April 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“They are governed by private associations or corporations by a minimum number of promoters or sports clubs or both classes, to promote, sponsor and organize a sport and will boost programs of public and social interest”. The above is the concept of “League”, so it cannot include the Negro Leagues as this kind of association—simply […]

Harper-Less Hagerstown Suns Open with a Flourish

April 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A very respectable crowd of 2,078 turned out on a very chilly Opening Night, to watch the Bryce Harper-less Hagerstown Suns play the West Virginia Power in Sally League action on Thursday. Still, the contrast between this year and last year when 6,017 came to watch Harper’s minor league debut was stark to the point […]

An Interview With Blue Jays’ Prospect Brad Glenn

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Headlined by Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays have become known in recent years as a power hitting team, finishing in the top 5 in the American league in home runs in each of the past 3 seasons. With their impressive collection of hitters, there is no indication that they are going to let up […]

This Ain’t Your Uncle’s Slide Show

April 1, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

When I was a boy, the latest in home entertainment technology was not a 60″, HD, surround-sound television, but the Kodak Carousel slide projector.  This bit of click-clacking wizardry was hardly entertaining, however, because invariably, Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally would invite you and your family over to view the slides from their latest vacation […]

Catching Up With Former Yankee Johnny James

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If there is anything more difficult in baseball than making it to the major leagues, it is making the roster of a successful team. Thus imagine the upward climb that pitcher Johnny James had as he worked his way through the New York Yankees farm system in the 1950’s, the golden age of the game’s […]

A Brief Interview With Pete Craig

November 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, but every now and then, some of their youngsters get hooked on baseball. One of those kids was Pete Craig, who was born in LaSalle, Ontario. A large, 6’5 220 pound right-handed pitcher, Craig showed enough promise that he was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1963 […]

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 […]

Nick Rickles: Baseball’s Best Unknown Prospect?

October 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The movie Moneyball has brought the Oakland A’s methods of evaluating players to the mainstream. With position players in particular, Oakland covets those who have a high rate of getting on base and are defensively efficient. Nick Rickles qualifies in both of those categories, and if his 2011 season was any indication, he is well […]

Fair Or Not, Terry Francona’s Departure From Boston Is Imminent And Necessary

September 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

According to published reports, the Red Sox and manager Terry Francona will agree to part company this morning after an eight-year marriage that brought the franchise a pair of World Series championships – its first titles since 1918. Tito won’t be fired… his contract expired on Wednesday night and it has been agreed by both […]

Jorge Cordova: The Mentor

July 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jorge Cordova was born to coach. You can tell that after spending a only few minutes with the man, or watching him counsel young players on the field. He combines his vast knowledge of the game with one of the friendliest personalities I have ever come across. It is hard to imagine that Jorge would […]

Out of the Park Baseball 12 Available Now!

June 22, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Now Batting: Out of the Park Baseball 12! Own the Greatest Baseball Sim We’ve Ever Shipped For Just $39.99! Swing, batta, batta! Sa-wing, batta! The baseball season is underway, and now you can launch your digital version of the annual pennant chase in Out of the Park Baseball 12, the most comprehensive version yet of […]

An Intro to Perry Hill

May 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Web gems – they are easily one of the most exciting parts of the game. The footwork, quick hands, and the finesse it requires to be a middle infielder ‘turning two’ may be the most poetic and graceful movement in a game of baseball. And whenever you start to think about how easy they make […]

Bryce Harper Gets It

April 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Bryce Harper is not only extremely talented, he gets it. For the rest of us, our talent ran out at some point, whether it was Little League or high school or college or even the minor leagues. If the game abandoned us, however, we never abandoned it; and so we talk about it and write […]

Jim Riggleman, Still Light on His Feet

January 19, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Baseball personalities rarely lead lives connected to their home communties, which is what makes Jim Riggleman’s tenure as manager of the Washington Nationals so unique.  This morning Jim was introduced to a breakfast crowd by a local Bethesda, Maryland woman who said “Jimmy” was the first boy to ask her to dance, back when they […]

Review: Time in the Minors

November 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

If you want a very good representation of the minor league baseball lifestyle and the near impossible road to the Major Leagues most of these players follow, you should check out Tony Okun’s “Time in the Minors.” Coming in at just over 85 minutes in length, the movie tells the tale of two minor leaguers […]

Follow the River

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Strasburg Was Here Installment Four Follow the River September 6, 2010: Harrisburg 6, Binghamton 5     “No, I shall never drink  my fill, for it is sweeter even than the water of the well that was muddied by the drops.” Lady Sarashina, As I Crossed a Bridge of  Dreams        There may be no victory […]

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 […]

Which Closer Will Be Key to Winning It All? Julio, Williamson, Warden in the Mix

August 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It has been a few years now since Jorge Julio and Scott Williamson were prominent major league closers, and it is total conjecture whether either can get back to that level in a major way since they have crossed over to their 30s.  But this much is certain:  They are vital to two of the […]

The Meaning Behind the Number

August 26, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

“You keep playing… you never stop. Not until they tear the jersey from your back do you give up.” – Anonymous A friend once told me this when we were talking about his baseball career. His time was almost up. He’d been in the minor leagues for far too many years with no signs of […]

Touring the Bases With…Dick Bosman

August 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Dick Bosman is the minor league pitching coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays, rated the best young organization in the game.  Much of that is derived from the unbelievable pitching talent Dick has the pleasure to work with.  Here are his thoughts on his pupils. TL.  The Rays have the lowest runs per game allowed […]

Michael Ryan Had ‘A Blast’ With Angels; Could Aldridge, Mastny Be on Deck?

June 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This has to be a frustrating day for Michael Ryan, one of the bright alumni lights for the Atlantic League, since the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim designated him for assignment Thursday. Ryan, who turns 33 in a few days (July 6), had battled his way through four other major league organizations and a 65-game […]

Rambling on About My Glory Days – Rambling & Wondering

April 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I often get the comment from people, “I bet you wished you played now with the money players make these days.” It makes me dream, of course, but I really wonder if I would have even gotten a chance to play professional baseball in today”s game. I have attended quite a few minor league baseball […]

Strasburg In Harrisburg: “When You Hear the Moos, You Know What to Do”

April 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday I heard Stephen Strasburg throw eight pitches. By the time I realized I could listen to the game on the Internet and got myself connected, it was the top of the third inning in Harrisburg. Leading off the inning, New Britain Rock Cats’ catcher Alec Soto worked Strasburg to a three-two count, fouled a […]

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 […]

PCL Opening Day: 1953

March 12, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

It was the opening of the baseball season in America. As major league teams wrapped up their respective spring trainings and prepared to throw their opening pitch of the 1953 season in a few weeks time, the Pacific Coast League was ready to start now. Warm west coast weather allowed the PCL season to start […]

The Enigmatic Willie Davis

March 10, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Signed as an 18-year-old in 1958, Willie Davis was a ballplayer of many talents and many quirks. A multiple threat in high school, Willie was a basketball star, as well as a right hand hitting lefty pitcher and first baseman with blazing speed. After a makeover courtesy of Dodger scout Kenny Myers, Davis became a […]

Selig, NFL Rushing to Judgment on Blood Testing

February 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Looks like Major League Baseball and the NFL could be headed for a major collision with its players over a blood test for human growth hormone. The Washington Post is reporting today that the NFL has proposed implementing the blood test for HGH that tripped up a professional rugby player in Britain earlier this week. […]

Rambling on About My Glory Days – The Night and Day of Professional Baseball

February 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Sure, playing in the big leagues is everything it is cracked up to be. Along with unbelievable salaries, players are given everything – free equipment, more than adequate per-day meal money, great clubhouse spreads after the game and the obvious adulation. The hotels are five star hotels with first class treatment. Major league players cruise […]