March 26, 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 […]

Clearing The Bases

March 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Well all of the fantasy rankings have been completed, it’s time to talk about real life baseball.  There will be very little fantasy talk in this column as I will be making predictions on how the divisions will end.  Predictions are never all that easy and in some cases completely useless once the season begins […]

Cole Frenzel: Seeking His Opportunity with the New York Mets

March 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The New York Mets face a bleak situation with their offense as the 2013 season nears. Other than third baseman David Wright and first baseman Ike Davis, they lack any above-average bats, but hope that help may be on the way courtesy of their minor league system. One player who could be in the mix […]

Swinging Out of the Box: The Case For Alphonso Soriano

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With more Kevin Youkilis trade rumors today, and teams scrambling for productivity at third base, I have an easy, but controversial idea for the Cubs to move the huge contract of Alphonso Soriano. The best thing for Alphonso Soriano, and the Cubs for that matter, would be to start playing him at third base. I […]

Hal Keller Remembered

June 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hal Keller, former catcher for the Washington Nationals and baseball executive for the expansion Washington Senators and Seattle Mariners, died this week at the age of 85. Hal was a local product, born in Western Maryland–Middletown to be exact–and started his career at Hagerstown, MD playing in the baseball organization just down the road in […]

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 […]

All For Paul

May 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

May 27, 2012 Jimi Hendrix, Albert Einstein, Prince Planet, Julie Christie, Harper Lee and Joan of Arc.  What do they all have in common?  They’re about half as cool as Paul Konerko. Konerko, the venerable Chicago White Sox first baseman, is swinging the bat like a honey badger hocked up on Cherry Coke trapped inside […]

A Tale of Two Teenagers

May 20, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Another teenage phenomenon has made his way through Hagerstown, only this year he was wearing visiting gray and his stay lasted for only four games. Dylan Bundy, the Baltimore Orioles 2011 first-round draft pick who is rated by many scouts as the best high school pitching prospect in the last 25 years, threw five shutout […]

Toronto’s Lawrie Gets Four-Game Suspension

May 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Toronto’s Lawrie gets four-game suspension (via AFP) Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was suspended for four games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for a tirade against umpire Bill Miller in a home loss to Tampa Bay one night earlier. Lawrie was also fined an undisclosed sum for his emotional eruption, which came […]

Bobby Valentine: Enemy of Progress

April 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox started off this season in miserable fashion, dropping 5 of their first 6 games, displaying atrocious pitching, and losing MVP candidate Jacoby Ellsbury to injury. Things didn’t look good heading into last weekend, but the team somehow rallied and put together an impressive 3 game winning streak against the formidable Tampa […]

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 […]

The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 4

September 19, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

In this article (the last in this series), I will present the Level 5 players who posted Hall of Fame numbers during the 20th century.  In Levels 1 through 4, there were eighty-eight (88) position players who had a CAWS career score of at least 280.  In Level 5, we have the other twenty-eight (28) […]

American Association Playoffs Have a Different Look

September 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Not one single hint of disrespect is intended toward the four teams in the American Association playoffs because they earned their opportunity during the grind of the 100-game regular season, but there are some unusual sideline observers for the championship run. The playoff field, which was not finalized until the very last day of the […]

New Look for the Astros in August

September 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The month of August represents a turning point in the future performance of the Astros. Gone are Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn and Jeff Keppinger to be replaced by several promising rookies this year and some promising prospects in the years to come. So far, it has worked well. Three players promoted from AA Corpus Christi […]

Webster maintains grip on first place

July 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

WEBSTER, N.Y. — All’s well that ends well, and for the Webster Yankees that means another day atop the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s West Division. Chris Bostick (Aquinas Institute) rapped a two-out, walk-off single in the 10th inning capping  a wild affair as the Yankees trimmed the Geneva Red Wings 8-7 in NYCBL action […]

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 […]

2011 Pre-Season Preview: NL West – Arizona Diamondbacks

March 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Arizona Diamondbacks (2010 record: 65-97) Notable additions: 1B Russell Branyan, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Armando Gallaraga, RHP David Hernandez, 3B Melvin Mora, OF Xavier Nady, RHP J.J. Putz Notable subtractions: 1B Adam LaRoche, 3B Mark Reynolds, RHP Brandon Webb Arizona is an organization that is floundering, always taking a step to one side and then […]

Ron Santo, el legendario antesalista de los Cachorros de Chicago, falleció el 02 de diciembre de 2010. (Ron Santo the legendary third baseman of the Chicago Cubs passed away this December 2nd, 2010.

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Aquella noche de julio de 1968, mis hermanos mezclaban el béisbol con las páginas de sus cuadernos de matemáticas de bachillerato. Hablaban de un juego de estrellas. Su discusión más enconada tenía que ver con dos tipos que jugaban en un lugar que ellos llamaban “la esquina caliente”. Felipe se refería a Brooks Robinson como si lo conociera desde mucho tiempo. “Brooks Robinson es capaz de agarrar un toque de bola con los ojos cerrados y sacar por un paso al corredor más rápido”. Jesús Mario metía las manos en los bolsillos del pantalón de caqui. “Ron Santo hace todas las jugadas, lo he visto hasta hacerle asistencia a Don Kessinger”

The Ultimate Seven-Game Fall Classic: Game Seven

November 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In part one of my Ultimate Seven-Game Fall Classic series, I featured Game One of the 1988 World Series between the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers, won by the latter on Kirk Gibson’s walk-off two-run homer off Dennis Eckersley, ironic because it was Eck who coined the phrase “walk-off piece.” Part two featured an […]

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 […]

Bottoming Out in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

September 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

They should bottle Showalter’s elixir and sell it outside Camden Yarks.  The Baltimore Orioles are showing signs of life in response to their new manager’s tonic after flat-lining for more than half of the 2010 season. The Orioles’ record since Showalter stepped into the dugout is 17 – 10.  That is a .630 winning percentage […]

Touring The Bases With…John Castino

August 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

John Castino was selected co-rookie of the year (with Toronto’s Alfredo Griffin) in the American League for 1979 after batting .285 with eight triples. Due to the tie, the voting process (and point system) was changed in 1980. Castino hit .302 in 1980 and led the American League in triples in 1981, but back problems […]

The Yankees’ future is grid-locked

August 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Remember a couple of months ago when Stephen Strasburg was ready to advance to the majors? The anticipation was as high as ever before: Nationals Stadium was sold out within hours of the announced date of his debut. It seemed as though the world of the Washington Nationals was waiting for the future to thrust […]

Deacon White Named Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend

August 8, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

For Immediate Release Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Nineteenth Century Committee Deacon White named Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend ATLANTA, GA, August 5, 2010 — 19th Century pioneer player, James “Deacon” White has been selected the Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2010 by the Nineteenth Century Committee of the Society for American Baseball […]

Atlantic League Managers Provide Wonderful Material For Major League Trivia Buffs

July 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is probably an understatement of sizeable proportions to say that the eight men who manage Atlantic League teams have quality career baseball profiles.  After all, they have a combined 109 seasons—an average of 13.6—as major league players. The popular nation-wide group SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) took note recently when it made the […]

A Father’s Day Salute

June 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I suppose this is the perfect time to thank my father for turning me on to baseball, for taking me to Fenway Park when I was a kid, and for not only teaching me how to play the game, but also how to appreciate the game.  I remember the time when I was younger when […]

Minor Happenings: Indians Coordinator Talks Pitching

May 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“Minor Happenings” is a weekly column which covers the important developments and news in the Indians farm system. While most of the information in this report is from my own research and through interviews I have conducted with organizational personnel, some information in this report is collected and summarized from the various news outlets that […]

Redbirds Roll Through Weekend

May 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a very busy weekend for me, but the Cardinals did a lot of working as well.  By now you know all about the games, but let’s take a quick look at Thursday through Sunday to get our Heroes and our Goats.  (If you want a more in-depth look, my Week that Was column […]

Pete Castiglione Passes

May 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Peter P. Castiglione was born on February 13, 1921 in Greenwich, Connecticut. A high school baseball star he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization in 1940 and played for the Carthage Pirates of the Class D Arkansas-Missouri League. In 55 games he batted .298 and advanced to the Hutchinson Pirates of the Class C Western […]

Major Leaguers Ponson, Spiezio Stand Out in Openers

April 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Two of the most seasoned former major leaguers were among the opening night stars in the Atlantic League Thursday.  Sidney Ponson would have had an unblemished six-inning stint in leading Long Island past Lancaster 8-5 if not for a three-run, second inning blast by Joe Gaetti, the son of former big league star Gary. And, […]

Strasburg In Harrisburg: Education Day

April 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s Education Day at Metro Bank Park, and 10:30 a.m. when home plate umpire Joel Hospodka points at Stephen Strasburg and calls for the first pitch. ‘Education Day’ is an attempt to put a noble mask on ‘get-out-of-town’ day: both the Senators and the Reading Phillies need to travel, and what better way to leave […]

Memories Of A Special Place

April 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I know, it’s hard to believe–they’ve torn down the old Yankee Stadium; it’s still sinking in. It was called “The House That Ruth Built”–reduced to a pile of rubble while a new greed-fueled edifice graces the skyline just a few feet away. Ah, but they can’t haul away the many memories of a place that was […]

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 […]

News and Notes from the Grapefruit League

March 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Like the Army, baseball is filled with Hurry Up & Wait situations. That’s especially true for writers, who arrive hours before gametime in an often-frustrating effort to pin down players or managers for interviews. There’s competition for each player, with the biggest stars commanding the most attention from media types, and a pecking order that […]

More Interesting Research Finds

March 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the pleasures of doing research for a book or article is the discovery of interesting facts that have nothing to do with what’s being researched, but demand attention.  Here are more interesting and odd research finds that I’ve discovered over the years. Famous Last Words October 19, 1912: When Philadelphia Athletics magnate Connie […]