October 31, 2014

Lengthy Conference Call a New Step As Independent Leagues Try to Help Each Other

October 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

While Independent Baseball has 22 seasons of history since the modern version of the non-major- league-affiliated game started (1993), most every decision has been made by individual leagues.  Some type of governing body has been discussed from time to time, and the Independents have held a few offseason gatherings to exchange ideas and hear from […]

2014 World Series Observations

October 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We will probably never see another World Series pitching performance like we saw with Madison Bumgarner this year.   Even If the Royals win the World Series, Bumgarner of the Giants should be the MVP. (written after game 6).   Every great pitcher has an occasional bad game (ask Clayton Kershaw).  I thought Bumgarner was […]

Frank White’s Breakup with the Kansas City Royals: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of October 26

October 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In less than a week’s time another baseball season will be finished. A new World Series champion will be crowned and major league teams will press forward with hard decisions about how to bring their 2015 plans to fruition. The lull following the Fall Classic is always a withdrawal-inducing time for baseball fans. However, it’s […]

So, How’s My Book Doing?

October 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans, As a lot of you know, I’ve written an A-Z baseball history introduction book called Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers, which is being published by Summer Game Books, and for which Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer, wrote the foreword. I’m donating all of my book proceeds to four baseball-related foundations: ALS, Turn […]

Boston Red Sox: The Prospects That Got Away

October 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox have developed an excellent reputation in recent years for their ability to identify, scout and draft/sign top-notch amateur talent. As a result, current key contributors like Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz and Xander Bogaerts are all products of their player development system. Despite such strong examples, the organization hasn’t nailed every player […]

Dave Roberts Stealing the Hearts of Boston Red Sox Fans: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of October 19

October 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2014 World Series matchup has been determined with the surging Kansas City Royals taking on the battle-tested San Francisco Giants. The Royals are making the most of their first playoff appearance in 29 years while the Giants will now have appeared in three of the past five Fall Classics. Some don’t think that it’s […]

The Best Average Postseason Attendance in All of Minor Leagues Belongs to the Atlantic League

October 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Chalk this one up to the Atlantic League. Its average attendance for postseason games was the best in the United States, topping all 14 National Association leagues.  The 13 Atlantic League playoff games averaged 4,145 fans, led by a whopping 7,483 on one occasion at Somerset, NJ.  Affiliated baseball’s two Triple-A leagues, the International and […]

Steve Gerkin’s Pickle of a Career

October 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

You never know what can happen to a player when he’s called up to the majors. He could go on a hot streak, like Bob “Hurricane” Hazle, who hit .403 for the Milwaukee Braves in 155 plate appearances in 1957, or Duster Mails, called up to Cleveland in 1920 and proceeded to go 7-0 with […]

2015 MLB Free Agent Predictions

October 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Although the 2014 MLB postseason is still being battled out on the field, many teams have started looking towards next year. Once this season concludes, the gates to the free agent market will swing open and allow interested bidders to rush in like early birds at a swap meet. Here is an early list of […]

The Real Story of Donnie Moore: The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of October 12

October 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball’s postseason is a magical time of year. Of the fortunate teams that make it to the last leg of the season, legends will be made and history written from the intense competition that determines the annual champion in the World Series. The 2014 League Championship Series are currently being waged and have already created […]

Fifty Years Ago Today, Ron Taylor Transformed a World Series, Then Transformed His Life

October 11, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

By Ron Taylor and Jim Kaplan Fifty years ago today, a Cardinal reliever named Ron Taylor transformed a World Series that itself transformed baseball. On October 11, 1964, the Cardinals were down, two games to one, against the heavily favored Yankees, and apparently headed for a third loss. Cardinal starter Ray Sadecki allowed the four […]

The 300th Post on Baseball with Matt!!!

October 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! This is my 300th post on Baseball with Matt! I’m so happy that I’ve done so many fun things in my blogging career and it’s all thanks to you: the viewers. To celebrate number 300, I put up a vlog on YouTube in which I talk about the blog, my book that […]

The Post Mortem in DC

October 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals looked like amateurs playing the San Francisco Giants. It is sad, but it is true. The front office of the Nationals will spend the next few months trying to understand what happened and just why the team that had done so well in the regular season sputtered and faltered in the playoffs. […]

Lining Up the 1995 Mariners and 2014 Royals

October 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For Seattle Mariners fans, the clear sentimental favorite in this year’s playoffs is the Kansas City Royals. There is no overwhelming, uncanny sense of deja vu when you compare the 2014 Royals to the 1995 Mariners, but there are some key similarities between the two teams that explain the simpatico feeling between M’s and Royals […]

The Baseball Historian’s Notes for the Week of October 5

October 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The major league playoffs are underway as the days grow shorter and the weather becomes more temperamental. As another season hurtles towards an unknown conclusion, a cornucopia of baseball historical happenings has sprung up over the past week. *The Library of Congress recently made an extraordinary find—previously unseen film footage of the 1924 World Series, […]

Nationals vs. Giants (1933)

October 3, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

The last time the Nationals and the Giants faced off in the post-season was in 1933. Of course, Washington was in the American League and playing in Griffith Stadium … the Giants were in New York playing at the Polo Grounds … they met in the World Series … and they were on opposite trajectories. […]

Film of the Washington Senators Winning the 1924 World Series Found!

October 3, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Here’s a great article written by Mike Mashon that explains how eight cans of nitrate film were discovered in the rafters of a Worcester, Massachusetts garage and restored.  This is alleged to be the only known footage of the Washington Senators’ victory over the New York Giants in the 1924 World Series.

Memory of Mantle and Stadium’s Outfield Hill Part of Story for Independent’s Newest Team

October 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Mickey Mantle helped put Joplin, MO on the baseball map in 1950 when he reeled off 199 hits and a Western Association-leading .383 average in only 137 games.  Old-timers in the city of 60,000 and market of 250,000 still talk about the feats of the 18-year-old. Joplin is officially back in professional baseball for the […]

Thanks, Paulie

October 3, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Goodbye, Paulie. The final weekend of baseball’s regular season saw the last game of a legendary American Leaguer who was tough in the clutch, a perennial All-Star, a favorite among fans and peers and a World Champion. We’re speaking, of course, about White Sox slugger Paul Konerko. That Konerko’s farewell season played out in the […]

Astros Finish 2014 Season with 70 Wins

October 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros compiled a record of 70-92 in 2014, an improvement of 19 games over their record in 2013.  Only the Los Angeles Angels with a 20 game improvement did better, and the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox won only one more game than the Astros in 2014.  But it could have […]

Adam LaRoche, Going Out With a Bang

September 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2014 MLB Post-Season will profile many of the game’s most brightly shining stars, most of whom have come to regard the October stage as their own. Albert Pujols, now of the Angels, and Miguel Cabrera are cornerstone players who seem always to be playing in October. They are destined for the Hall of Fame […]

Is the Nationals Pitching Really the Best in the NL and Can It Carry Them to the World Series?

September 24, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

With the playoffs just one week off, it is time to trot out those post season axioms that truthfully only work in retrospect. A month from now in all sagacity we will be able to say how clear it was that the experience of the Tigers and Cardinals would play up. Or maybe it will […]

Wichita’s Job Is Done, Somerset Next as Indy Powers Try to Add Postseason Championships

September 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems doubtful anyone would put up much of an argument that the two best teams in Independent Baseball this season, considering the level of play in their separate leagues, have been the Wichita (KS) Wingnuts and the Somerset (NJ) Patriots. Wichita has finished its quest, winning six of seven playoff games to earn its […]

The Ecstasy & Agony of Being a Red Sox Fan: A Review

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Being a fan of the Boston Red Sox can be much more than just following the statistics and the standings. Some adherents see their moods and even their very outlooks on life impacted by the baseball team from Beantown. It’s a rite of passage and a birthright for many, and Stanley Harris has outlined his […]

All the Ghosts of Baseball Past Deserve Their Moment This October in Washington, DC

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a compelling celebration of the moment for the Washington Nationals after after their 3-0 win over the Braves in Atlanta clinched a second NL East title in three years. But reflection is the default mental state for those of my generation and it was not long before I was thinking back on all […]

The Incomparable Tony Suck

September 16, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Shakespeare once wrote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Conversely, a stinker by any other name would be just as foul. One of the worst baseball players of all time had a name that fit him like a glove. We’re talking about the […]

Is the .300 Hitter a Vanishing Breed?

September 15, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

In the year 2000, 26 players hit for both power and average to reach the Triple Crown milestones of 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a batting average of .300.  In 2013, only three players reached all three milestones and in mid-season in 2014, three were on target for all three and six more were […]

In Praise of Timeless Bears

September 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the greatest baseball movies and American comedies of all time has been largely laying low in tall outfield grass for 38 years. Despite its commercial success,The Bad News Bears is rarely mentioned on critics’ lists of classic movies. It’s high time it was put on the pedestal it deserves. Recently, I attended a […]

Atlantic League Honors Ken Shepard’s Memory And Bridgeport Pays Tribute to Its General Manager

September 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Both the Atlantic League and the host Bridgeport (CT) Bluefish had already gone to extraordinary lengths to make Sunday’s Ken Shepard Day an memorable experience.  Extra steps were taken this week in light of the sudden death of the popular Bluefish general manager only nine days ahead of the event when kidney cancer claimed him […]

Closer By Committee in DC?

September 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

“Closer by committee” is used only to describe a dysfunctional reality. It has no upside, no silver lining and when spoken in early September, it can mean nothing good. So when Matt Williams announced that the Washington Nationals were relieving Raphael Soriano of his ninth inning duties, and seeking a new answer so late in […]

Rickey & Robinson: A Review

September 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Announcer Vin Scully is the unquestioned dean of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball because of his work with the team for well over half a century. However, there is another person, just one other, who should be regarded in that same class, and that is writer Roger Kahn. Best known for his work as a Dodgers’ […]

Independent Baseball Ties Its Record With 40 in Majors After John Holzkom’s Meteoric Climb in 10 Weeks

September 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly 200 players have made their way to the major leagues after playing Independent Baseball although very few debuts have carried the significance of John Holdzkom’s first appearance, which came this week with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The fact the giant Californian struck out all three St. Louis Cardinals hitters he faced in the eighth inning […]

Astros Fire Manager after Posting Winning Month in August

September 2, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

In the final game in August, the Houston Astros rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Texas Rangers, 3-2 to post a record of 15-14 for the month, matching their previous best month in May.  The next day, Manager Bo Porter was fired by General Manager, Jeff Luhnow, […]

The ’64 Phillies and the Whiz Kids Precedent: Beware the Big Mid-September Lead

September 2, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies are, of course, famous for blowing a 6-1/2 game lead with only 12 games remaining. Fourteen years earlier, the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies–known as the “Whiz Kids” because of their relative youth and inexperience at the big league level–held an even bigger 7-1/2 game advantage with only 11 games remaining and wound […]

Now Pitching for the Royals, Clayton Kershaw

August 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Much has been said about Clayton Kershaw’s historic season. From his 41 inning scoreless streak to his 206 ERA+, he’s been compared to Sandy Koufax and many other all-time greats. He’s having the kind of season that we haven’t seen since Clemens, Johnson, Pedro, and Maddux were at their peaks. Halfway across the country, the […]

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