January 30, 2015

Ernie Banks Leaves A Powerful Legacy

January 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Ernie Banks, one of the brightest personalities in Major League Baseball history, passed away Saturday, January 26 at the age of 83 from a heart attack. Best known for his sunny optimism and the catch phrase “Let’s play two,” the Chicago Cubs icon is hardly remembered outside of Chicago for his graceful glove at short […]

Bernie Carbo, Ripped Pants and Selling Chevrolets: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of January 25, 2015

January 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The legacy of baseball is built brick by brick with the contributions and passion of its players and contributors. One of the greatest was Chicago Cubs shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks, who sadly has passed away at the age of 83. “Mr. Cub” began his career in the Negro Leagues but gained his success […]

Out of the Park Baseball 16 – Officially Licensed by MLB.com, Available in March 2015!

January 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Pre-Order Now! Save $5, Get Early Access Plus a Free Steam Key, and a Chance to Win a $500 MLB.com Shop Gift Certificate! That’s right: Out of the Park Baseball 16 is the first entry in our 16-year-old series to feature official MLB.com and Minor League Baseball licenses! That means as soon as you launch […]

2014 Featured Bad Offense in MLB

January 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Offensive levels in Major League Baseball fell in 2014 to levels not seen in a generation. Are we on the verge of another pitching boom? The answer is, not really. The simplest statistic to measure, batting average was .251, the lowest number since 1972. On Base Percentage, .314, also hit a 42-year low. Slugging percentage, […]

The Hot Stove in Washington Is Red Hot

January 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Fans in DC woke today to an embarrassment of riches when it was announced that Max Scherzer has agreed to terms and will be the mainstay of the Nationals rotation going forward for the next 7 years. The Washington Nationals inserted themselves again into the 2015 hot stove discussions just when everything seemed the quietest. […]

Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises

January 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Would your favorite baseball team make the playoffs if player X had not been traded? Imagine your team’s roster from any particular year. Remove all of the players that your team acquired through trades and free agency. Would you be able to field a competitive team? All right, let us re-populate the roster with every […]

Ken Griffey, Jr. Gets a New Job: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of January 18, 2015

January 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2015 baseball season is nearly here. The reporting dates of pitchers and catchers are literally just a month away. Once those players start arriving in camps, things start happening rapidly. But until then, there is still much work to be done around the majors. Although many free agents have signed their new deals, there […]

Analyzing the 2015 Hall of Fame Vote

January 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Baseball Writers Association of America elected 4 players to the Hall of Fame this year for the first time since 1955, Randy Johnson (97.3%), Pedro Martinez (91.3%), John Smoltz (82.9%) and Craig Biggio (82.7%).  All four easily surpassed the 75% required for election. Of those on the ballot who were not elected, Mike Piazza […]

An Interview with Boston Red Sox Prospect Nick Longhi

January 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Growing up rooting for a baseball team, and striving to get into position to one day have a professional career are two very different things. However, occasionally, players can have their cake and eat it too, as prospect Nick Longhi is not only looking like a good bet to make some noise as a pro […]

Fidel Pitches Into Extra Innings in Dramatic Win

January 15, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Fidel Castro is throwing one last pitch and it is proving to be his best. Regardless what political prism one sees the island of Cuba through, there is no denying that it has been the home of some great baseball over the years, so the new diplomatic initiative by the Obama administration promises new access […]

Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame Status Anything But Certain

January 15, 2015 by · 5 Comments 

Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are the headline first-timers next year on the Baseball Writers of America Hall of Fame ballot. Griffey Jr. is a slam dunk. Hoffman is not. The long-time San Diego Padres closer locked down saves for the better part of sixteen seasons, compiling a whopping 601 in his 18-year career. […]

Where do the Current Hall of Fame Snubs Rank According to WAR and JAWS?

January 11, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

With the 2015 Hall of Fame election results recently announced, we saw Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio get elected. Many commentators and voters are becoming increasingly vocal about the system, most notably complaining that because voters can only choose 10 players, some high quality candidates are being artificially kept from getting […]

JFK, The Catcher: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of January 11, 2015

January 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame has four new members. This past week, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio all received the requisite amount of votes to establish their permanent residency in baseball’s most exclusive museum. These are all extremely worthy candidates but the voting process is still in great need of […]

Where does Derek Jeter Rank among All-Time Shortstops?

January 4, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

Now that his long and outstanding career is over, many are asking the fun question: where does Derek Jeter rank among all-time Major League shortstops? Answering this question is not easy, and not only because it is always difficult to compare players from across the 140+ years of MLB history. No, the first question we […]

Satchel Paige, Western Movie Star: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of January 4, 2015

January 4, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Now that we have eased into 2015 a new baseball season is on the horizon. Spring training will literally start next month. You can practically taste it it’s so close. With the days shorter, darker and colder, anything that offers a glimmer of hope to ball being played again on a regular basis should be […]

Rating the 2015 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 3, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 6, 2015. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win […]

Why John Smoltz is a No-Brainer Selection for the Baseball Hall of Fame

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Nobody has ever been unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even those like Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, whose production and legend place them in a totally different stratosphere, didn’t receive 100 percent support for their enshrinement. Thus, the annual ballot typically has a number of candidates whose merits are the fodder for […]

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 […]

Dwight Gooden Goes Back to the Future: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of December 21, 2014

December 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

2014 is nearly in the books. Outside of the mad dash that is the remainder of the holiday season, another year is done for all intents and purposes. It was another great 12 months for baseball, as the game continues to be as popular as ever before. Whatever you celebrate (or don’t), have a relaxing and […]

Winter Work as Important for Holdzkom and Delabar As for Future $200,000,000 Man Scherzer

December 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Max Scherzer is going to sign a new contact any day now which may be worth as much as $200 million.  If everything breaks just right in the new season, two other onetime Independent Baseball hurlers could earn $1 million between them for their work in 2015, yet these winter preparatory months seem every bit […]

One More Independent Star Gets Big Pact in Far East; Colabello Gets Fresh Start With Toronto

December 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Add one more acclaimed Independent grad to those heading to the Far East for a nice payday. Left-hander Ryan Feierabend (York, PA, Atlantic League) has signed with the Nexen Heroes in Korea for what The Korean Herald reports is $300,000, including a $30,000 signing bonus, with another $80,000 possible in options. Like southpaw Kris Johnson […]

Who Were the Most Productive Offensive Players in 2014?

December 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Numerous methods have been devised to measure offensive performance.  The most common are batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average.  Since none of these averages provides a complete picture by itself, a more comprehensive measure of offensive performance is useful.  Such a measure would include the following elements: The ability to get on base. The […]

Mantle, Mays and Klinger From M*A*S*H: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of December 7, 2014

December 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball lasts through the years not just because of the championships and the statistics, but also because of the memories. The game has produced so many enthralling stories that it will remain its own significant chapter in the story of America. The best way this is all preserved is by historians of the game, and […]

Reviewing the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

December 4, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

The 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was recently released. As usual, it’s loaded with candidates for enshrinement next year in Cooperstown for their contributions and achievements in baseball. Some have more compelling cases than others, but they all had distinguished careers and made their mark on the game in some way. Let’s do a […]

Hall of Famer Ed Walsh’s Time in Milwaukee

December 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hall of Famer Ed Walsh’s brief stay in Milwaukee is not well known Not surprising, as it is a small, small chapter in the successful career of the Big Spitballer. But as he is a Hall of Fame pitcher, I think it merits some paragraphs. Walsh first appears on the 1919 Milwaukee radar on February […]

Was Joe DiMaggio Overrated?: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 30, 2014

November 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Best wishes to those who celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully nobody was done in by that extra slice of pie or sneaking another spoonful of stuffing before it hit the fridge. The moment Americans woke up from their food-induced comas, the holiday shopping season commenced. Neatly wrapped presents are not the only things being bought, […]

Pokey Reese Perseveres: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 23, 2014

November 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball free agency kicked off in high gear with catcher Russell Martin inking a lucrative long-term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The signing not only indicates that the Jays are in it to win it in 2015, but that there should be plenty of cash flowing around over the next few months. It used […]

Triple Milestones–2014

November 22, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Offensive production in the major leagues continued to decline in 2014. The number of home runs per game decreased in 2014 and batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average dropped to the lowest levels in over 20 years. Year Runs/Game HR/Game BAvg OBA SLG OPS Triple Milestone Hittters 1990 8.51 1.58 .258 .324  .386 .710 […]

Southern Maryland Growth, Including Possible Local Investor, Next Targets as Opening Day Partners Shifts Priorities

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With their recent sales of both the Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers and the Sugar Land (TX) Skeeters now history and with Brinks trucks of money safely tucked away in that both deals are believed to have been for the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars, it would be very easy to see Opening Day Partners […]

Alvin Dark and the Persistence of Racial Stereotypes

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It was inevitable that Alvin Dark obituaries after he passed away on November 13 would include the controversy provoked by a pair of Long Island (New York) Newsday columns in the midst of the 1964 pennant race in which, as manager of the competing San Francisco Giants, he was quoted as saying that “Negro and Spanish-speaking players […]

The Time Babe Ruth Fought a Wall and Lost: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 16, 2014

November 16, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Baseball has always stood strong when one of its own passes away. This was proven during the untimely death of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Tavarez during the World Series last month. Tavarez and his girlfriend were killed in a horrific car accident in his homeland of the Dominican Republic. However, the most recent update […]

The Tragic Death of Brad Halsey: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of November 9

November 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The days of baseball players spending their entire careers, or at least healthy chunks of it with the same team, are over. While free agency is certainly a good thing for the business of the game and the bank accounts of players and agents, it’s a stark difference from the way things used to be. […]

Cuban Sports Officials ‘Understand’ the Cultural Goals As Quebec’s Michel Laplante Builds Unique Baseball Experience

November 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Michel Laplante remembers all too well how difficult it can be when a baseball player is thrown into a new culture without knowing the language.  He saw it every day during his playing days and again when he became manager of the Quebec Capitales, with the norm being Spanish-speaking players in English-speaking environments, or those […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1926 Eastern Colored League

November 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The newest addition to the Negro Leagues DB, the 1926 Eastern Colored League (the Negro National League and World Series will arrive later), showcases the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants’ breakthrough season. After three years of playing .500 ball in the ECL, Dick Lundy (.355) and company rode the arms of Claude Grier (12-7, 3.21) and […]

2014 World Series Wrap-Up: The Baseball Historian Notes for the Week of November 2

November 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning the 2014 World Series! Although not all of the individual games were nail biters, Game 7 and the totality of the series made for great baseball. Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner (Don’t call me Bumgardner) was this year’s player to use the Fall Classic as his personal coming-out […]

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