December 11, 2016

Ballplayers of World War II Did Their Part

December 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor which changed every aspect of American life, including baseball and many of its players. Future Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Hank Greenburg enlisted on December 9, 1941. Greenburg had been drafted, served in the Army, and had just been discharged earlier in the […]

What Might Have Been: The Short, Brilliant Career of Charlie Ferguson

September 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Spring 2016 Baseball Research Journal featured an excellent article by Jerrold Casway entitled, “Bacteria Beat the Phillies which covered the careers and early deaths of Charlie Ferguson and Jimmy Fogarty due to typhoid fever and tuberculosis, respectively. Ferguson especially piqued my interest since he was born, lived, and is buried in Charlottesville, Virginia, just […]

Off the Beaten Basepaths #9: The College World Series

July 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Forty Years Ago The Bird Had His Coming Out Party on a Monday Night

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Forty years. Does it seem that long? Not to those who witnessed it. They can remember the emotion–and fun–just like it was yesterday. June 28, 1976 Mark Fidrych, aka The Bird, had the biggest coming out party in the history of Monday Night Baseball. Fidrych was a local phenom in Detroit, but the rest of […]

Lazzari’s Vault: Remembering “Rapid Robert”

May 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The numbers are staggering: 266 victories, over 3,800 innings pitched, 279 complete games, twelve one-hitters—all while missing nearly four seasons due to military service. Oh, he was also a World War II hero (gun captain on the USS Alabama), World Series champion, and an eventual baseball Hall of Famer. When I first heard about the […]

Major Minnesotans: Tim McIntosh

March 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Tim McIntosh was born on March 21st, 1965. The 1983 graduate of Hopkins High School played three seasons at the University of Minnesota before being selected in the 3rd round of the ‘86 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. McIntosh played in five games with the Brewers in 1990, making his Major League debut on September […]

Major Minnesotans: Brad Hand

March 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Miami Marlins pitcher, Brad Hand, was born on March 20th, 1990. The Marlins drafted Hand in 2008 in the 2nd round (52nd overall) out of Chaska High School. In his senior season at Chaska, the lefty went 8-2 with 2 saves, allowing only 6 earned runs in 68 innings for an 0.61 ERA. At the […]

Major Minnesotans: Hy Vandenberg

March 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

March 17th is the birthday of Washburn High School (Mpls) alumnus and Major League pitcher, Harold “Hy” Vandenberg, born in 1906. He made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1935 at age 29, though he wouldn’t win his first game until 1940 with the New York Giants, and his 2nd not […]

Gee, Thanks Brooks: Robinson Gives Away Fortune in Memorabilia to Charity

November 4, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

In 1971 Brooks Robinson, fresh off the greatest individual World Series domination in baseball history, visited the Massachusetts studio of Norman Rockwell. It was a classic pairing: the man who chronicled mid-twentieth century Americana on canvas and the man who embodied mid-twentieth century Americana on turf. The setting was commissioned by the ATO corporation, a […]

An Open Letter to Jose Bautista

October 15, 2015 by · 14 Comments 

Dear Jose Bautista, Congratulations. No one has ever sullied a glorious moment faster than you did yesterday. You hurled that bat in the clincher over Texas as if someone had smeared it with pig waste, and then stared at Sam Dyson as if he was the one who did it. Oh, that was a monumental […]

Posnanski Plays Race Card in His Criticism of Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pre-Integration Committee

October 9, 2015 by · 3 Comments 

I have a daily Google Alert setup to receive emails on the phrase “hall of fame.” I get all kinds of hits. There are articles on the National Toy Hall of Fame, National Bobblehead Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, college and high school hall of fames as well as the major […]

Touring The Bases With…Mark Armour and Dan Levitt

August 28, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Mark L. Armour is the author of Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball, the editor of The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds, and a coeditor of Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, all available from the University of Nebraska Press. Winner of the 2015 Bob Davids Award from the Society of […]

Off the Beaten Basepaths #8: League Stadium in Huntingburg, Indiana

August 1, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

One of the most enjoyable stops on a recent baseball sojourn to the Midwest was visiting League Stadium in Huntingburg, Indiana, home of the Dubois County Bombers of the Ohio Valley League, which is a summer collegiate circuit. League Stadium was also home to the movie version of the Rockford Peaches when Columbia Pictures filmed […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1907 Season Replay

July 31, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Sherry Magee is listed on the Phillies roster for the duration of his career while the Pirates claim Ginger Beaumont and the Reds declare Orval Overall. I calculated […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1906 Season Replay

July 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Freddy Parent is listed on the Cardinals roster for the duration of his career while the Superbas claim Jimmy Sheckard and the Beaneaters declare Vic Willis. I calculated […]

Suns’ First Pitch Thrown By Suns’ First Pitcher

April 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League asked the retiring sheriff of nearby Franklin County, Pennsylvania to throw out the first pitch for the club’s 35th home opener on April 15th, which may not seem extraordinary in any way, except this local lawman threw the actual first pitch in Suns’ history. Dane Anthony, still […]

The Most Important Pitching Study Ever Done: An Overview

April 5, 2015 by · 4 Comments 

For many years, I’ve been toiling on the statistical fringes of the eternal baseball question: what is the best way to handle pitching? My aim has been to put together a baseball equivalent of a “grand unified theory” which would account for the key changes in the way pitching staffs have been deployed over the […]

Where Have You Gone Jay Johnstone?

September 24, 2014 by · 6 Comments 

I don’t care where Joe DiMaggio has gone; I’m turning my lonely eyes to Jay Johnstone. Baseball has always had loads of talented center fielders, but where, oh where, have all the colorful characters gone? You know: the guys who say crazy things and give the Commissioner a hot foot? Please don’t talk to me […]

Giants in Position for Wild-Card Slot Despite Significant Slide

August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As of Monday afternoon, August 18, the San Francisco Giants hold the second National League wild-card slot, leading the next-closest teams by 1.5 games. What I find most interesting is that the Giants are still on pace to make the playoffs, despite potentially one of the sharpest within-season declines after a strong start, in the […]

What’s Behind the Texas Rangers’ Pre All-Star Break Collapse?

July 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Since 2010, the Texas Rangers have never been far from the playoffs – until now. The Rangers made the World Series in 2010 and 2011, reached the one-game Wild Card round in 2012, and then lost a one-game tie-breaker playoff in 2013 to get into the Wild Card round. Barring a miracle comeback this season, […]

Frontier Story With a Curve

July 16, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

In the spring of 1944 Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall discovered that of the 280 or so major league players in the armed forces, most had never left their domestic bases, and many had not even completed basic training, a fact I learned when researching Boots Poffenberger: Hurler, Hero, Hell-Raiser. Boots, who had […]

An Interview With 1960s Yankees Minor Leaguer Ike Futch

July 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ike Futch, who played second base, mostly, for a variety of Yankee minor league teams from 1959 through 1964, recently wrote this about Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra in a comment responding to a post I’d written about the two Yankee greats: “I had the privilege to be on the same field with this fine […]

Touring The Bases With…Barry Lyons

June 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A Mississippi native who starred at Delta State University, Barry Lyons was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 25th round of the 1981 amateur draft, then by the New York Mets in the 15th round of the 1982 amateur draft.  He signed with the Mets and began his professional career in Single A where […]

Off the Beaten Basepaths #7: Trappe, MD, Home Run Baker’s Home!

June 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With school out, many people in Baltimore and Washington will be traveling to Atlantic Ocean resorts. If you’re one of those folks AND you’re a baseball fan, do yourself a favor and take a very short detour through Trappe, Maryland, the life-long home of Frank “Home Run” Baker.

Off the Beaten Basepaths #6: Leesburg, Florida

April 4, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Off the Beaten Basepaths is a video series that takes you to little known baseball sites. Enjoy Episode 6 which will take you to historic Pat Thomas Stadium in Leesburg, Florida.

When It Was A Game

February 21, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

I suppose I sound like an old man in saying that I miss the game I grew up with as a boy. Where I once loved the game of baseball unconditionally, I have now developed a love/hate relationship with it. I realize I haven’t been as active on this blog as I’d first intended, but […]

Maddux: A Dozen Memories

January 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2014 MLB HOF class includes one of the greatest right-handed pitchers of all-time, Greg Maddux.  I had the privilege of watching “The Professor” pitch a dozen times in person.  Here are the games ranked in order of effectiveness. Game 12: May 8, 2006 at Petco Park (Chicago Cubs)  On this night, ‘Mad Dog’ was […]

“Pages From Baseball’s Past” Is a Real Treat For Fans of All Ages

December 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I’ve known Craig Wright for a few years now and have known of him since I read The Diamond Appraised when it came out almost 25 years ago, so I was thrilled to hear that he wrote a new book.  I’m also well aware of Wright’s work at his website “Pages From Baseball’s Past,” so […]

Scalding 50-Game Stretches in MLB History and How Teams Did Immediately Before and After

November 26, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The story of the 2013 L.A. Dodgers is well known. After starting off with a 30-42 record, which left them last in the National League West on June 21 (9.5 games behind first-place Arizona), the Dodgers caught fire. From June 22-August 17, L.A. put together the best 50-game stretch in 71 years – 42 wins […]

Adding a P.S. to a 55-Year-Old Love Letter to Baseball

November 4, 2013 by · 6 Comments 

My Dearest Baseball, I found an old love letter written to you on October 8, 1958, by The Sporting News, one you should have taken seriously. In it, your old beau admits to flirting with a cute new thing named the National Football League. Indeed, that particular issue was the first time that a story […]

Touring The Bases With…Mike Hedlund

October 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A native of Dallas, Texas, pitcher Mike “Red” Hedlund was signed as an amateur free agent right out of Arlington High School by the Cleveland Indians in 1964.  After only 25 minor league innings, the righthander made his major league debut on May 8, 1965 at the tender age of 18 and retired future Hall […]

Swing Time

October 5, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Chris Davis was one tired looking hitter coming down the stretch. So was Manny Machado. Both have a reputation for being hard workers. No doubt fans of every team could name a hitter or two (or eight) who despite the hard work, slumped in September. I am starting to believe that it was because of […]

MO-ments: 21 Rivera Games

October 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

During the past 18 years, I had the opportunity to watch Mariano Rivera pitch on 21 separate occasions.  Listed below are the appearances ranked from least effective to most memorable: Game 21: June 28, 1996 at Yankee Stadium vs. Baltimore Orioles Mariano Rivera relieves Dwight Gooden in the seventh inning with the scored tied 2-2.  […]

Touring the Bases With…Gates Brown

September 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This was originally posted almost four years ago and is being re-posted in honor of Gates Brown, who died yesterday at the age of 74. My good friend Bob Lazzari, award-winning sports writer with the Connecticut Valley Times and NY Sports Day, has offered us fantastic material featured at his web sites, Bob Lazzari On […]

Touring The Bases With…Greg Pryor

August 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A two-time All-American at Florida Southern College from 1969-70, Greg Pryor became the first FSC Moccasin to make it to the major leagues when he debuted for the Texas Rangers on June 4, 1976.  Pryor was a sixth round draft pick of the Washington Senators in 1971 and spent parts of six seasons in the […]

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