August 22, 2017

Branch Rickey: Utmost Loyalty or Vehement Dislike

August 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I have been enjoying the fine bio “Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman by Lee Lowenfish.  While doing so, an internal debate has erupted in my mind.  The object of discussion is the polarized feelings of those from his baseball life.   Certain members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, such as Rogers Hornsby, and Ralph […]

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 […]

Baseball Notes for April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Other sports like football and basketball may have infringed on the popularity of baseball over the years, but make no mistake about it, the game is still America’s National Pastime. Baseball personifies Amercianism and is often seen as an example of what is right and good in the country. While that may be a Pollyanna […]

American Jews & America’s Game: A Review

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball is so much more than the action on the field and in the box scores. Untold numbers of people have used the game to help shape who they are, and connect them with their ethnicities and national identities on whole new levels. Larry Ruttman’s American Jews & America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy […]

Interview with Richard Giannotti of the Independent Leagues

May 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It used to be that the United States was home to dozens of professional baseball leagues. As Major League Baseball grew and honed its empire, that number reduced dramatically. Proving how much Americans love the national pastime there are still some independent professional leagues that have persisted and continue to pump out a competitive and […]

There Are Things That “Go Bad”

May 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A few days ago, almost the entire Media declared a “national holiday with extension to the Caribbean” because a game is decided by Alex Rodriguez. But, when Albert Pujol hits his first home run of this campaign, after 111 times at bat without producing one, the scandal must have been heard on the moon. As much […]

Chicago White Sox Opening Day: Irish Nachos and the Baroque Batter’s Box

April 14, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

April 13, 2012 Not everyone loves baseball but all people, (except, perhaps, Angelina Jolie) love food and while our national pastime isn’t always played at the highest level at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, there is always copious amounts of unique and satisfying sustenance. Luckily, on Opening Day on Friday, the White Sox were as enticing […]

Mr. President, Baseball Lasts Til Almost November

January 13, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

The St. Louis Cardinals are in the Rose Garden soon for the customary victory lap stop-over at the White House. It will be a rare baseball event for President Obama, and that is a sad commentary for both the game and for a president whose political advisors are so clearly asleep at the switch. Presidents […]

Hall of Fame Honors Selig With Locked Door

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

When the press release was distributed by the Hall of Fame on August 18, it seemed like a cool thing–dedicating a library space to the archives of baseball’s nine commissioners. As the release put it, “Cooperstown will also now be forever celebrated as the archival home for the Office of the Commissioner following the Wednesday […]

The Clark Griffith Monument

June 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

In 1956 a monument was dedicated to Clark Griffith outside old Griffith Stadium just months after the former owner of the team and stadium died.  His passing was marked by every major newspaper, his funeral attended by every official of the game.  He was recognized as a giant of the game whose place in Cooperstown […]

19th Century Overlooked Base Ball Legends Project — And the 2011 Candidates are…

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nineteenth Century Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research conducted its annual election to name the 19th Century Overlooked Base Ball Legend for 2011. Previous elections were won by Pete Browning (2009) and Deacon White (2010). There were seven holdovers from the 2010 ballot and three newcomers, George Gore, Paul Hines and Dickey […]

139 Ballplayers Died in Service in World War II

March 4, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Names such as Bob Feller and Ted Williams instantly spring to mind when we think of dedication to service during the war years, but little is heard of the minor league players who also served. While the majority of big leaguers enjoyed an almost normal existence (albeit for $21 a month service pay) playing baseball […]

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 […]

Historian and Memorabilia Collector Uncovers Truth About Ty Cobb Artifacts and Shotgun Allegedly Used to Kill Cobb’s Father

September 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Ron Cobb, SABR member, historian and memorabilia collector, has penned a fantastic article that recently appeared in The National Pastime: Baseball In the Peach State, titled “The Georgia Peach: Stumped by the Storyteller,” in which the writer uncovers evidence that Cobb biographer Al Stump sold off a collection of Cobb memorabilia that proved to be […]

Lazzari’s Baseball Roundup

August 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In search of some great, late-summer reading? Check out A Bitter Cup Of Coffee by author Doug Gladstone. This terrific publication references the plights of 874 MLB players who were active between 1947 and 1979; due to rules prior to 1980, these players have received NO pension money for their service to the national pastime. […]

19th Century Overlooked Base Ball Legends Project — And the 2010 Candidates are…

July 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It was an early April morning and I was sitting on the back porch of the Otesaga in Cooperstown, New York. The twenty minutes or so sitting alone rocking back and forth in a white rocking chair was a surreal moment for me. I have often heard stories of Johnny Bench and others sharing moments […]

It’s All Here in “The Only Game”

June 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“An afternoon in mid-May, and we are waiting for the game to begin. We are in the shadow, and the sunlit field before us is a thick, springy green” an old diamond, beautifully kept up,” Roger Angell pens in the opening to his essay “The Web of the Game.” (3, Only) Angell’s piece sets the […]

Around the American League With George Case: 1939-1946

June 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

A couple of weeks ago, I got to write the kind of story I love for my blog. The son of a former Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians outfielder named George Case emailed me to say he had a 37-minute DVD compiled from 8 mm color footage his dad shot of his career, which spanned […]

SABR Partners with Tout Wars

March 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Leading fantasy baseball players will now play for The SABR Trophy The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is pleased to announce a partnership with Tout Wars, the high-profile fantasy baseball experts league. With SABR’s support, the writers and experts who play in Tout Wars’ three leagues will now compete each year for The SABR […]

Live From Spring Training ’10: Cardinals vs. Astros

March 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Astro starter, Wandy Rodriguez, couldn’t find a pitch he could get past the St. Louis Cardinals’ all right handed batting order in the first inning and was rocked for 5 runs in a Monday game at Kissimmee..  The big blows were a 2-run double by Ryan Ludwick and a 3-run homer by David Freese.  After […]

Live From Spring Training ’10: Yankees vs. Astros

March 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A sun-drenched, record crowd of 7,020 fans saw the Houston Astros overcome a 4-0 deficit to defeat a New York Yankees split squad 8-6 in Kissimmee Saturday afternoon.  The Yankees struck early against Brett Myers with a home run by Robinson Cano in the second inning and two more runs in the third on a triple by […]

Live From Spring Training ’10: Red Sox Vs. Astros

March 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

On a perfect day for baseball, the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros showcased their ace pitchers before a capacity crowd in Kissimmee.  Roy Oswalt and Jon Lester each worked the first four innings with Oswalt departing with a 1-0 lead for the win.  Oswalt focused on locating his fastball while Lester mixed in more off speed and […]

The National Pastime Almanac and the Joy of Numbers

March 13, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

This time of year is my favorite for obvious reasons: Spring Training is in full swing, newsstands are peppered with baseball preview magazines, and the weather starts to warm up, allowing me to hang out in my back yard with a good book or magazine, an adult beverage, a strong cigar, and, eventually, a Red […]

Connecticut Smoky Joe Wood SABR Chapter’s 2010 Winter Meeting

February 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

On Saturday, February 20, the Connecticut Smoky Joe Wood SABR Chapter held its annual winter meeting.  Over thirty Society for American Baseball Research members attended and listened to several great presentations over a five hour period. Norm Hausmann, a new SABR member and a Hartford baseball historian, briefly discussed old Bulkeley Stadium and his mission […]