May 23, 2015

Arky Vaughan: Baseball’s Forgotten Star

May 17, 2015 by · 4 Comments 

Shortstop Arky Vaughan is a Hall-of-Fame baseball player yet remains one of the least remembered and under-appreciated players in the history of the game. Described by New York Times columnist Red Smith as “baseball’s most superbly forgotten man,” his relative absence from the collective baseball memory can be attributed to a number of things, including […]

Teen Kids News — Baseball Facts with Matt

May 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! As some of you may know, I’ve been doing a baseball segment for Teen Kids News, a Fox 5 tv show that airs on Saturday mornings at 9:30am in NJ, and at other times around the country. My segment is called Baseball Facts with Matt.  So far, I’ve done twelve segments, each […]

The Orchid

May 14, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

It was over a year ago that Tony Kornheiser aptly named Stephen Strasburg “The Orchid” in a piece he penned.  Since then the phenom who was tagged as the “best pitching prospect ever” when he entered the amateur draft in 2009, has struggled to fulfill all of that remarkable potential. Those very unique abilities are […]

Bryce and Frank

May 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Frank Howard was Washington, DC’s most prodigious home run hitter, leading the American League in long balls in both 1968 and 1970, but his best year was 1969 when he hit 48, though he finished second to Harmon Killibrew that season who hit 49 to lead the Majors. Bryce Harper has hit seven home runs […]

“Pennant Race/The Long Season” by Jim Brosnan

May 10, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Jim Brosnan was a solid pitcher, most effectively in relief, for the Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, and White Sox, concluding his career in 1963 with his brief sojourn in the junior circuit. His best year by  far was in 1961 with the pennant winning Redlegs when he went 10-4 with 16 saves. Brosnan, who passed away […]

A Perfect Mother’s Day

May 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of this special day, I’m going to talk about a very special perfect game that was pitched on, you guessed it, Mother’s Day! Dallas Braden‘s mom, Jodie Atwood, never watched her son play in the MLB, but after she passed away from cancer during Braden’s senior year […]

Corey Black: An Interview with the Chicago Cubs’ Pitching Prospect

May 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Right-handed pitcher Corey Black is one of the up-and-rising prospects in baseball. With his ongoing development and steady production, he finds himself knocking on the door of the major leagues for a team with one of the most promising futures—the Chicago Cubs. Now 23, Black was selected by the New York Yankees in the fourth […]

The Jackie Robinson of the American League

May 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, but he broke the barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, a National League team. So who was the first African American on an AL team? Well, this Hall of Famer played for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues, missed time due to World […]

Are the Houston Astros Back?

May 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros completed the month of April with a 7-game winning streak and a record of 15-7, their best opening month since 1986 when they finished on top in the NL Western Division.  They lead the American League West Division by four games.  The big question now is if it will last.  This is […]

Baseball’s Weirdest Game

April 30, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

April 29, 2015 The Weirdest Day You could hear a pin drop. You could hear faraway laughter. Or whispers. You could hear the echo of a baseball smacking into a glove, off a bat or against an empty seat. It was baseball in a vacuum, in the Twilight Zone, in the land that fans forgot. […]

You Gotta Have Heart

April 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

FanGraphs Jeff Sullivan asked the question the other day, “Have the Nationals Lost Their Edge?” The edge in this instance is the statistical advantage that the Nationals enjoyed going into the season over the other teams in the NL East. Having lost six in a row since righting the ship briefly at the end of the […]

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 […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1903 Season Replay

April 27, 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, Mordecai Brown is listed on the Cardinals roster for the duration of his career while the Reds claim Sam Crawford and the Phillies declare Nap Lajoie. I calculated […]

New Mexico’s Pueblo Baseball League: A Review

April 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Although other sports may get more viewers on television or fare better in straw polls about popularity, make no mistake about it, baseball is the National Pastime and an integral part of the history of the United States. The game has impacted countless regions of the country and its people over the years. It is […]

“Baseball is a Funny Game” by Joe Garagiola

April 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When Joe Garagiola’s first book, Baseball Is a Funny Game, was published in 1960, an era of the national pastime was coming to an end. A gentle breeze of change had begun wafting over the landscape of baseball in 1953, when the Boston Braves, conceding the Hub’s hegemony to the Red Sox, decamped for Milwaukee […]

Small Triumphs Writ Large

April 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

What may have been most remarkable about Calvin Griffith was his candor. When the former owner of the Minneapolis Twins said of his new Minnesota home–where he had relocated the old American League Washington Nationals franchise that dated to 1901–that there he had found thousands of hard working white folks, he was giving vent to […]

The Overlooked Game Seven of the 1986 World Series

April 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! So believe it or not, the 1986 World Series didn’t end on Bill Buckner‘s blunder on the Mookie Wilson grounder to first. That walk-off error just tied the ’86 Series between the Mets and Red Sox at three games apiece and considering the World Series is a best-of-seven series, one more game […]

The Fight of Their Lives: A Review

April 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Professional baseball and its players are marked by individual moments that act like bricks to build lasting legacies. They are most commonly memorable teams, heroic plays and legendary displays of skill. Unfortunately, they aren’t always positive, as John Roseboro and Juan Marichal can attest. Despite their statuses as two of the best players to ever […]

Making Baseball Work in Montreal

April 14, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

The City of Montreal would like you to know they are ready for Major League Baseball to return. With the help of the Toronto Blue Jays, huge crowds filled Olympic Stadium the last two exhibition seasons to watch the Jays play the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds. Fans of the old Expos will remind […]

All the Games Count

April 13, 2015 by · 5 Comments 

Every game matters, whether it is played in the first week or in the last. It is easy to dismiss the significance of the first weeks of the season, but trends emerge even as early as Spring Training that will haunt the sixth months to follow. The Washington Nationals trip north to Fenway Park was […]

Opening Day 60 Years Ago: Status Report on Integration—The American League

April 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Sixty year ago, when the 1955 season opened on April 11, there were 36 blacks on the opening day rosters of the sixteen major league teams, but only nine on five American League teams. This is the second of four articles on the status of integration in the major leagues nine long years into the […]

Of Baseball, Booze and Bodies—“Mystery Ball ’58: A Season-Long Whodunit”

April 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

“Tough to make out a dead body when it’s covered in peanut shells and Royal Crown Cola. But there it was.” That’s how Jeff “J.P.” Polman’s baseball murder mystery, Mystery Ball ’58: A Season-Long Whodunit begins and from there it’s a wild ride full of…well…mystery and intrigue that expertly mixes real life characters from the […]

Major League Baseball As Seen From Outer Space: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Another baseball season has just gotten underway this week, finally releasing fans from the purgatory of the offseason. For those who truly love the game, this is truly a special time of year. In a famous monologue from the film Field of Dreams, actor James Earl Jones perfectly captures the way people are drawn to […]

Could MLB Really Return to Montreal?

April 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Toronto Blue Jays recently held two exhibition games in Montreal, Quebec against the Cincinnati Reds, drawing nearly 92,000 into Olympic Stadium. The home of the Montreal Expos from 1977 until their move to Washington after the 2004 season, the stadium, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, was considered an albatross. Throw in a shaky […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1902 Season Replay

April 7, 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, Wally Joyner is listed on the Angels roster for the duration of his career while the Astros claim Kenny Lofton and the Athletics declare Catfish Hunter. I calculated […]

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 […]

Lifetime St. Louis Browns

April 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeter. Rivera. Mantle. Robinson. Palmer. Ripken. Yaz. Williams. Rice. Musial. Yount. Brett. Schmidt. Bench. Larkin. Banks. Clemente. Feller. Puckett. Gwynn. Over the years, a handful of players have become associated with a ballclub because that was the only team they played for in their career. These are the players who would be held in special […]

The Minneapolis Millers of the American Association: A Review

April 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The big leagues may get the lion’s share of recognition but make no mistake about it; minor leagues have been the essential lifeblood of baseball since the game became a profession. Preserving the history of these leagues is just as important as the meticulous record keeping and story collecting of the majors. Fortunately, there are […]

What’s in Store for the Houston Astros in 2015?

April 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Expectations for the Astros in 2015 are higher than they have been in several years.  In 2014, the Astros broke a 3-year streak of last place finishes with over 100 losses by recording a 19 game improvement, finishing with a record of 70-92.  Not great but a clear step in the right direction, especially since […]

Josh Hamilton Situation Provides No Winners

April 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Josh Hamilton will not be suspended for his admission of illicit drug use. The case, settled by an independent arbitrator, is a win for the Major League Baseball’s Players Association and a loss of new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and the Angels. The reality, however, is more complex. Hamilton, […]

David Ortiz Risks Legacy On PED Article

April 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz recently penned an article for the website The Players Tribune professing his innocence and annoyance regarding claims of steroid use. The longtime Sox designated hitter was outed by The New York Times in 2009 as a player failing a drug test during the 2003 season. The paper named seven […]

Spring Statistics and How Far Can the Washington Bullpen Travel

April 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Theo Epstein recently said he has never broken camp with a rookie in the starting lineup and to prove his point sent Kris Bryant packing. Spring is is not a good time to be a young major league hopeful. The time with the major league club more often than not ends in a quick trip […]

Athletics All-Time Lineup

March 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Looking back at a particular team’s history has always been, and always will be, an interesting activity. Especially concocting their all-time starting line-up. Today let’s visit the world of past and present Athletics’ royalty. Who was the best? Let’s find out… Pitching Rotation: 1. Eddie Plank- In his fourteen year tenure with the Philadelphia A’s […]

Alfred Hitchcock Presents The Finer Points of Baseball: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In case you haven’t noticed, racism is unfortunately alive and well in the United States. The number of higher-profile incidents only seems to be increasing recently, and no corner of society has been spared, including the realm of baseball. It was recently reported that Curt Ford, a former backup outfielder and pinch hitter for some […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1901 Season Replay

March 28, 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. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with […]

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