November 18, 2017

My Top Five Most Underrated Hall of Famers in Baseball History

September 11, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Hey baseball fans! With 205 baseball players in the Hall of Fame, not all of them are recognizable to baseball fans. Whether it’s because of the team they played for, the era in which they competed or another reason, some of the best baseball players of all time are not very prominent. With that being […]

My First Trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame

March 30, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Hey baseball fans! I am off this week because of spring break, so naturally I took a baseball-related vacation… to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York! If you can believe this, it was actually my first time there and it was AWESOME!!!!!! I had a lot of fun and […]

My Visit to the Sports Immortals Museum

January 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! During the recent break, I went to Florida to visit my grandparents, Aron and Salome, and I visited the Sports Immortals Museum in Boca Raton, Florida. There, I got to look at 1% of the biggest collection of sports memorabilia in the world (the rest is in special storage vaults). Let me tell […]

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 […]

Some Thoughts on Secondary Aspects of the Hall of Fame Voting Results

January 15, 2012 by · 10 Comments 

The 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame vote was recently announced, and only one player was elected, Barry Larkin. Fellow Seamheads author Andrew Martin wrote a good post dissecting this year’s vote. I’m not going to do the same, especially since I largely agree with his views: Larkin is marginal but I support his election; Bagwell and […]

Negro Leagues Database Update: American Series in Cuba, 1904-1915

October 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In the 1900s and 1910s, with Cuba newly independent from Spain but under heavy U.S. influence (and sometimes occupation), a baseball exchange formed between the two countries.  In the summers teams of the best Cuban players toured the U.S. as the “All-Cubans” or the “Cuban Stars”; in the fall American teams traveled to Havana to […]

Hunter or Hunted?

July 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Long before Pete Rose, there was Hal Chase. In “The Black Prince of Baseball: Hal Chase and the Mythology of the Game,” authors Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella examine whether Chase left an indelible black mark on baseball or whether the culture of baseball scourged Hal Chase. Read this book because: 1. Chase was one […]

Forerunner Foster

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Long before Muhammad Ali asserted that he was the greatest, Rube Foster staked that claim for himself and his teams. Foster, author Robert Charles Cottrell says, could be considered more influential than Jackie Robinson. Read “The Best Pitcher in Baseball: The Life of Rube Foster, Negro League Giant” because: 1. Foster consistently put the best […]

“Gorgeous George,” a Beauty

March 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Doling out compliments is not one of the first qualities that springs to mind when one thinks of Ty Cobb. Yet Cobb went way beyond that when he lauded George Sisler. Cobb called Sisler the “œnearest thing to a perfect ballplayer.” (5, Sizzler). Cobb didn’t exude praise, so there had to be a reason for […]

Gibson and Paige Set to Battle “Teddy Ballgame” and “Joltin’ Joe” in Bragging Rights League

March 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Some guys still sit at a table with cards, dice and charts and roll the bones for hours at a time, keeping score along the way and imagining in their head the action that’s taking place on the table in front of them.  My buddy Jeff Polman is one of those guys.  But rather than […]

Talk about a Gathering!

January 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve all seen the photo. It’s the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Opening Day in 1939. Naturally, “The Sultan of Swat” sits in the center. Nine men, who may or may not have been Ruth’s equals but were without question baseball immortality, surround “The Babe.” “A Great Day in Cooperstown“ begins with this photo. My, oh […]

Speaker Spoke Plenty Loud

January 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle. All four men bring to mind ideals you want in an outfielder. How about Tris Speaker? Speaker joined Cobb and Ruth on the membership roll when the Hall of Fame opened in 1939, yet not much is said or written about him. Speaker didn’t have Ruth’s power […]

From Bicycle Spokes to Back Rooms

December 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Only days before Thanksgiving this year, a news story hit the wire that a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card brought in big money at auction.  That the Wagner card went for $262,900 is, of course, no surprise. Who that money went to transcended sport. A group of nuns from the School Sisters of Notre Dame in […]

Marvelous Mack

December 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Connie Mack, “The Tall Tactician”, Major League Baseball’s longest-tenured manager for 50 seasons with the Philadelphia A’s, employer of the $100,000 infield. If ever you wanted to discover something about Mack or the dawn of baseball, chances are you will find it in “Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball“ by Norman L. Macht. […]

The Beacon of Birmingham

November 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In the midst of a dark and all-too predictable world, Rickwood Field became a beacon. Birthed out of a conversation with Connie Mack, the ballpark started with a handful of rivals but outlasted each of them to stand peerless. Read Allen Barra’s “Rickwood Field: A Century in America‒s Oldest Ballpark“ because: 1. Similar to last […]

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 […]

Pete Rose: Justice Delivered, But Only Temporarily And Only In Theory

September 12, 2010 by · 17 Comments 

Twenty five years ago today one of the most hallowed records in baseball history was broken when Pete Rose singled to left field against San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show (who’s tumultuous life and death were chronicled by ESPN’s Outside the Lines) for career hit number 4,192, passing the legendary Ty Cobb. Fireworks instantly went off […]

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 […]

SABR 40 Convention Report

August 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By all accounts, SABR 40 in Atlanta was a big success although registration was below the total in recent years.  I know I sure had a good time. SABR is clearly in a time of transition.  Executive Director John Zajc is resigning to pursue other interests.  His replacement is Marc Appleman who has had an […]

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. […]

All-Decade Single-Season Wins Above Replacement Team: A.L. 1901-1909

July 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

On July 1 I unveiled the All-Decade Single-Season Wins Above Replacement National League squad for the first decade of the modern era, so now it’s time to unveil the junior circuit’s team. Below is a list of the best seasons posted by American Leaguers at each position during the period from 1901-1909 based on Wins […]

The Curse of the Virtual Bambino

May 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Even in the world of virtual reality, Babe Ruth is king. It seems that I’m always working on serious research for my next book or article, spending almost all of my free time on it, that I almost forgot what it was like to have fun. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the research/writing process […]

Psst… Wanna know a secret?

April 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

“Wanna know a secret? A lot of your heroes weren’t the men you thought they were. The reality of the game they played differs from your ideal picture too. OK, I guess that’s not really a surprise. But more often than not, histories paint romantic pictures of yesterday’s stars. Perhaps some childhood mischief or an […]

Meet the New Park Factors – Part I

March 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

“It’s a park that could make you a hero or a bum.” – Stan Musial on the Polo Grounds, 1957 Stan Musial was truly one of the most consistently great hitters baseball has ever seen. With a lifetime average of .331, his slumps were like comets—showing up every few years, then disappearing in a flash. […]

A Proper Frame for Stephen Strasburg

February 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson left southern California in 1907 a shy young man who was uncertain why the Washington Senators thought he was going to be a star. Manager Cantillon had heard from scouts the kid was a unique talent-77 straight scoreless innings, 166 strikeouts in eleven games. Now, a century later, another […]