November 19, 2017

The Sunday Notes: Remembering Tommy Hanson

November 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The first week of the 2015 baseball offseason has not brought the best of news home. In finding ten stories of interest to share with you each week, the goal is to find stories that will make you smile, pass along a tale you might not know or remember someone’s childhood idol. This week, we […]

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds Deserve Hall of Fame Induction

December 29, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Chances are Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are not going to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame next summer in Cooperstown, NY, but they deserve the honor. The argument against Clemens and Bonds is valid. They, allegedly, juiced. Both men faced action in court and both beat perjury raps. If you are […]

The Hitting Version of Sandy Koufax

November 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! There were many stars in baseball in the 1940s and ’50s that came out of the Giants, Cardinals, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers. But this post is about a very underrated Hall of Famer who played mainly on the Pirates. He had a very short career, but is considered one of […]

The Little Steam Engine with a Huge Legacy

September 26, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Hey baseball fans! I’m sure you all know about who Cy Young is, the winningest pitcher in baseball history in a time when Major League Baseball was in its infancy. But there was a pitcher who might have been just as good and pitched even earlier than Cy did. He is in the Hall of Fame with […]

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 […]

While New Leagues Are Slow to Develop, Independent Roster in Majors Grows Rapidly

August 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Independent Baseball is continuing to turn out major league players in impressive numbers—two more just this week—but operators are not finding it nearly as easy to start new leagues or even to nail down new franchises. A new league has not started and lasted since the Can-Am League launched in 2005, and even that was […]

Through the Eyes of Patriots Fan: “Hip, hip, Jorge!”

August 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game that featured fireworks during and after the game.  The Patriots sent veteran, and former major league pitcher Brad Thompson to the mound.  He gave up five hits and three runs in the top half of the first inning […]

The Hall Of Very Good™ Adds Two Members

August 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

On Monday, July 29, The Hall of Very Good™ opened its proverbial doors to two new members…two-time National League MVP, Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy and former Pittsburgh Pirates World Series hero Steve Blass. “Thank you for the honor of being selected to The Hall of Very Good!” Murphy said.  “It’s great going into this […]

Another Shining Example of a Well-Built Team

July 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Pittsburgh Pirates are the first team to reach 50 wins in 2013 and though they have a ludicrously long streak of finishing seasons under .500, this is surely the year it will be washed out. The Pirates are in this position in part from smart team and franchise management from Neal Huntington. Since he’s […]

Halfway Home and Competitive Balance is Winning With Pitching

July 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The first half of the 2013 season is in the record books and surprises abound. Chris Davis is quietly on a pace to hit 62 home runs when most were predicting an end to the offensive surge of prior years. The Boston Red Sox team that unraveled under Bobby Valentine has vaulted to the lead in […]

Sweet 60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates

April 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who have known me for longer than fifteen minutes, learn that I am a ‘Die hard’ Pittsburgh Pirates fan.  The 1971 team is my favorite Pirates’ team of all-time.  But I have a strange relationship with the 1960 version.  One might describe it as destiny, like the Pirates beating the New York Yankees […]

How I became friends with Wally Westlake

January 8, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

On April 18, 1947, the Pittsburgh Pirates had their home opener with the Cincinnati Reds at Forbes Field.  That morning, Elmer Hurte and his oldest son Bobby packed sack of chip-chopped ham sandwiches and a jug of iced tea.  With lunch in hand they rushed out the door to catch the streetcar from the North […]

36 Up, 36 Down, But Still Lost

January 6, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Hey baseball fans! In honor of the perfect games last season, I wanted to blog about a very strange ALMOST-perfect game: Harvey Haddix, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, was nothing special, but on one day, he happened to just be a pitcher who pitched a perfect game through 12 innings, but gave it up in the 13th. It […]

The Broken Thumb of Fate, the Collapse of the ’64 Phillies

June 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Frank Thomas and I have been faithful friends for nearly twenty years.  I am referring to the “Original” Frank Thomas who was a rookie for the Pirates in 1951 and an original New York Met in 1962; not to confuse him with the White Sox slugger of the nineties. I met Frank at a Pirates’ […]

A Unique Walk-Off

June 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I attended a SABR meeting of the Connie Mack Chapter in June of this year.  It was held at Waterfront Park in Trenton, New Jersey.  This is home to the Trenton Thunder, the ‘AA’ affiliate for the New York Yankees.  That day one of the presentations was about players that had hit over twenty triples […]

The Glory Days: First NL Expansion Draft

June 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s stocked their rosters with players selected in the expansion draft held by the National League on October 10 of 1961 at the Netherland-Hilton Hotel in Cincinnati. The Mets’ brain trust was headed up by general manager George Weiss and manager Casey Stengel, both of whom had […]

Jim Neidlinger: No Regrets

May 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have had a string of legendary pitchers during their existence, earning accolades, World Series victories, and Hall of Fame enshrinements. Many young hurlers have imagined themselves being part of that group upon signing with the Dodgers’ organization, but few have accomplished such lofty goals. During the summer of 1990, Jim Neidlinger […]

The Glory Days: Dramatic Homers Usher in the 1960s

May 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A pair of monumental home runs ushered in the 1960s, and both blasts have been talked and written about ever since. Bill Mazeroski’s seventh-game homer was the first to end a World Series, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates victory over the New York Yankees. Various polls of fans and writers have ranked it the most dramatic […]

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 […]

West Virginia Power Looking for Excitement in 2012

April 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday was a beautiful day for media day here in Charleston, WV for the West Virginia Power, Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sun, freshly cut grass, the smell of baseball in the air leading up to a season of great expectations on the ballfield.    The Power returns eight players from last year’s […]

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 […]

Off the Beaten Basepaths: Spring Training 2012

March 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

It wasn’t easy going to Florida for a Spring Training sojourn because it was up to us to have as much fun as possible on behalf of all our friends who couldn’t go. Our motto was We’re having fun because you can’t.  It took us 15 days and we drove almost 2,900 miles down, around, […]

Forensic Career Bypassed as Indy Grad Jason Cooper Takes on New Opportunity With Pirates

December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Stanford University professors may not want to hear it, but one of their anthropological science graduates has given up an admitted “passion” for forensics to start on Phase 2 of a professional baseball career, this time as a front office rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jason Cooper could see the handwriting on the wall within […]

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 […]

Catching Up With Tom Shopay

October 23, 2011 by · 9 Comments 

Former outfielder Tom Shopay had the pleasure and the misfortune to play for either veteran or very good major league teams during his career. It allowed him to have some great teammates and experience a winning environment, but it also invariably meant that he never got much of an opportunity to establish himself as an […]

Mariners Win one for Rick “The Peanut Man”

July 27, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

The Seattle Mariners snapped a painful 17-game losing streak by trouncing the New York Yankees 9-2 as all of us in Mariners Nation let out a sigh of relief. Mariners Ace Felix Hernandez went 7 frames allowing only a run and for once he got the backing of his teammates who scored 9 runs thanks […]

Feature Film on Roberto Clemente in the Works

July 27, 2011 by · 12 Comments 

A little bit of baseball died on Dec. 31, 1972 when Roberto Clemente was killed trying to deliver food and supplies to the earthquake ravaged people of Nicaragua. Back in Clemente’s baseball hometown of Pittsburgh, a nine year-old boy cried for days over the death of his hero and vowed one day his hero’s story […]

Fireworks in the Steel City

July 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With the Pittsburgh Pirates resurgence this summer, I’m reminded of one of the most abysmal pitching performances I’ve ever come across in all my years as a baseball fan. Unfortunately, it happened to my grandfather, Nelson Greene, in the only game he ever pitched in the Steel City. It’s difficult to imagine any modern day […]

2011 Pre-Season Preview: NL Central –Pittsburgh Pirates

March 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Pittsburgh Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates (2010 record: 57-105) Notable additions: SP Kevin Correia, LF Matt Diaz, SP Scott Olsen, 1B Lyle Overbay Notable subtractions: SP Zach Duke The Pittsburgh Pirates’ current streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons is the longest such streak in history for any North American professional sports franchise. The drought […]

When Twelve Weren’t Enough

February 10, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Where were you on the afternoon of April 17, 2010? That afternoon the Cardinals and Mets embarked on a 20-inning game that lasted close to seven hours. On the way to their 2-1 win, I wonder if anyone on the Mets had epiphanies of Harvey Haddix. Haddix pitched a perfect game for 12 innings in […]

2011 MLB Power Rankings, The Ides of January Edition (Part I, #21-#30)

January 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

  With most of the top free agents now signed and teams starting to take shape as we approach spring training, I thought I would share my pre-pre-season pespective on the relative strengths (and weaknesses) of all 30 major league teams. I have broken the article down into three installments, and will publish one of […]

How About Those Pirates…

October 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Pittsburgh Pirates endured another losing season in 2010 (18th straight and counting), fired yet another field manager in John Russell, tied the 1963 New York Mets for the worst road record for a single season, and drew 1,613,399 fans to P&C Park, the second lowest total in the National League, and still fashion themselves […]

Rattled in the Clinches: Manager Pie Traynor and the Epic Collapse of the 1938 Pirates

September 7, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

On the evening of September 29, 1938, inside the funereal visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley Field, a despondent Pie Traynor leaned back, fired up a cigarette, and prepared to lie through his teeth. His Pittsburgh Pirates had just lost three crushing games to the Chicago Cubs thanks to Gabby Hartnett’s famous “Homer in the Gloamin’” and […]

Little Billy Makes His Play

August 22, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Little Billy squeezed the handle of his new bat so hard his knuckles were glowing white. His new high performance stick with the composite barrel and optimum swing flex was supposed to eliminate all of his hitting flaws—at least that’s what his dad was banking on when he tossed his credit card onto the counter […]

Baseball Industry Network to Meet for First Time in Boston

August 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Baseball Industry Network, founded by my friend and colleague Tyrone Brooks, who serves as Director of Baseball Operations for the Pittsburgh Pirates, will be meeting for the first time on August 26 in Boston. From Tyrone: The Baseball Industry Network invites you to join us in Boston for the Baseball Industry Network Boston Meetup. To celebrate […]

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