February 13, 2016

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1925 ECL & NNL

February 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1925 the Hilldale Club got its revenge on the Kansas City Monarchs, with the help of a toddler wielding a sewing needle. The year before, the Monarchs had ridden their luck to a thrilling 5 games to 4 victory in the first Colored World Series. In 1925 Hilldale won the ECL after a close […]

Baseball Greatness Was Forged on Sandlot Fields in Alabama

January 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The narrative of baseball’s origins centers on distant fields in New York and New Jersey, mythical tales of an army officer inspired to innovate in Cooperstown and other hard to pinpoint half-truths. But it seems baseball really came alive in the sandlot fields of Mobile and the unheralded mill towns around Birmingham, where determined boys […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1938 Negro National League

January 25, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

In 1938 the Homestead Grays solidified their dominance of the Negro National League. Winning both halves at a trot, Cumberland Posey’s powerhouse team had essentially killed off interest in the league by September. At the end of the season a playoff scheme involving the top four teams was introduced, but the Grays pulled their team […]

Monte Made a Mark: The Late, Great Monte Irvin and the Chance Occurrences That Make History

January 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

On Monday, January 11, Monford “Monte” Irvin, Negro League star, major league baseball pioneer, mentor to Willie Mays, and all-around class act, died at the age of 96. Monte lived a full life.  He was born in the South during the time of the “Great Migration” of more than a million African-Americans to the North, […]

Baseball’s Early Days Trace Back to New York

January 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

No state can claim a bigger share of baseball history than New York, starting with the belief that the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York was the first organized baseball team. Fittingly, a player named Austin Knickerbocker (born in Bangall, N.Y.) made it to the majors, although he played just 21 games. Alexander Cartwright, […]

When Is Too Much Scott Boras, Too Much?

January 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Washington Nationals sign Stephen Drew officially as their utility infielder, it will mean they currently have seven Scott Boras clients on their likely 25-man roster. That is 28 percent of all players or slightly more than one-in-four. Is it too much? For purposes of comparison, of the two World Series teams in 2015, […]

Rating the 2016 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 3, 2016 by · Leave a 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, 2016. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance.  One such system, the Win […]

5 Big Questions and Predictions for the 2016 Boston Red Sox

January 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

As the last notes of Auld Lang Syne evaporate into the atmosphere, and 2016 stretches its wings for the first time, the realization that spring training is mere weeks away starts to settle in. Although the Boston Red Sox made a significant splash this offseason to upgrade their roster after consecutive disappointing seasons, they are […]

Max Watt: The Boston Red Sox’s Power Pitching Prospect

December 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Scouting is an integral part of professional baseball. Teams employ and send out hundreds of employees tasked with finding the next great players. Although they monitor first-round draft talent, their bread and butter is trying to decipher the future of players who may not have quite as much polish. As a result, some come to […]

Selecting the All-Time Best Pitchers from Texas

December 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When I set out to write a book that outlined all-time teams by player’s state of birth, I encountered a number of tough challenges. For example, who was the best Texas-born second baseman, Joe Morgan or Rogers Hornsby? I went back and forth a hundred times on that selection and ended up picking Morgan. I’d […]

The Sunday Notes: Frank Robinson Traded

December 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

As Major League Baseball clubs spend and trade this holiday season, preparing for 2016, this edition of the Notes looks back on a trade propelling the Baltimore Orioles to a championship and reviews something this week that never happened before. Although the Chicago Cubs backed up a bank vault for outfielder Jason Heyward, other teams wheeled […]

Unusual Names from the Baseball World

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

As Abbott and Costello would say, they sure give baseball players peculiar names nowadays. As I researched my book, Baseball State by State over a five-year period, I kept coming across players with unusual names. So I included many of them in the book, which devotes a chapter to each state and includes all-time teams […]

The Boston Red Sox: The Frugal Shopper’s Guide to Rebuilding the Rest of Their Bullpen

November 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox made an early splash this offseason, acquiring high-octane closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres to anchor their bullpen. With the team coming off a last-place finish in the American League East, and a relief corps whose 4.24 ERA ranked 13th out of 15 teams, it’s a good bet there […]

Revisiting the Four Greatest Living: Are They Really the Greatest?

November 11, 2015 by · 8 Comments 

I’ll admit that I’m a sappy sentimentalist when it comes to seeing baseball’s old timers. Who could forget Ted Williams’ appearance at the 1999 All Star Game? And so I was looking forward to Major League Baseball’s presentation at this year’s All-Star Game of the Four Greatest Living Baseball players. Initially  I thought, “Great, we […]

Bob Lazzari’s 2015 MLB Awards

November 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes, it’s that time of the year, folks. As the Royals celebrate their championship and players head for their yachts and/or the golf course, let’s give out some MLB awards based on the 2015 regular season: *The FRANK SINATRA “ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL” Award: Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. The man struck out […]

Baseball Monuments Unveiled for Rockford’s Forest City Team and Peaches Team and League

October 21, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

August 29, 2015 Rockford, Illinois celebrated the grand re-opening of Beyer Stadium Park, which was the home of the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1943 to 1954. But on this day, two of Rockford’s teams were honored, with hundreds in attendance. Mike Garrigan, an evening anchor at WIFR in Rockford […]

Pudge- The Biography of Carlton Fisk: A Review

October 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The number of baseball players who are synonymous with a play so famous that there is immediate recognition upon hearing their name is restricted to an elite group. All fans know Willie Mays’ catch or Babe Ruth’s called home run. However, it’s hard to argue there are any more well known than Carlton Fisk’s extra […]

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 · 2 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 […]

Rob Manfred, Studied Contrast to Selig and “Smartest Man in Baseball”

September 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The sitting Baseball Commissioner, Rob Manfred, was the guest of Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club last night for the live airing of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program, “The Kalb Report.” It was a fascinating fifty-five minutes of back-and-forth between the two men, and a lively Q&A followed. It was difficult not to […]

Reflections on Bud Selig, Competitive Balance, and How to Build the Best 21st Century Baseball Team

September 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Listening to Bud Selig is difficult and my heart goes out to the University of Wisconsin students who take his Baseball History class at Madison. Selig spoke last night on a program sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum Associates and organized by former Washington Senators and Redskins Announcer, Phil Hochberg. Listening to Selig was like watching […]

Yogi

September 23, 2015 by · 3 Comments 

September 23, 2015 Yogi Yogi Berra was not a baseball player.  He was an American treasure. Lawrence Peter Berra grew up in St. Louis, served in World War II, played on some of the best baseball teams of all time in the 1940s, 50s and 60s and was not just a Hall of Famer but […]

Unforgettable Ryne Duren

September 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Ryne Duren was one of my all-time favorite baseball characters. His reputation was legendary and has been the basis for several fictional movie baseball players. When first discovered in the tiny Wisconsin town of Cazenovia, he possessed the type of fastball that made scouts drool. It was later a generally held consensus among baseball men […]

Chatting with Former Kansas City Royals Outfielder Pat Sheridan

September 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After years of futility, the Kansas City Royals have been one of the best teams in baseball over the past couple of seasons. It has been their first extended stretch as contenders since the 1980s, when they fielded some of the most exciting teams of the era. An important cog to some of those squads […]

60 Years Ago (1955): Whitey Ford’s Back to Back One-Hitters

September 8, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Whitey Ford won his 17th game of the 1955 season on September 7, allowing just one hit in beating the Kansas City Athletics, 2-1. It was his second consecutive start pitching a complete-game one-hitter. Five days before, Ford had defeated the Washington Senators, 4-2, giving up just one hit. In between, he pitched an inning-and-a-third […]

Beauty Is In The Eye Of Those Who Don’t Care About Ugly Baseball Jerseys

August 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

  The 1970s returned to Chicago’s South Side on Thursday night, only this time, the disastrous decade was a bit kinder to the White Sox. The Sox topped the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on “70s Night” at U.S. Cellular Field, an event that featured great 1970s rock music, lamentable 70s disco music, Afro wigs, 70s trivia, […]

Denny McLain and the Raccoon That Changed Baseball History*

August 18, 2015 by · 3 Comments 

*Or did it? One of the more curious, and disturbing, episodes in baseball history came at the end of the 1967 season, during one of the closest pennant races ever. And it occurred in the time without any divisions or playoffs–there were no extra chances for finishing in second place and no postseason-participation trophies. At the […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1932 East-West League

August 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1932 East-West League, plus four independent east coast teams from that year, forms the latest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. This was the year when Pittsburgh numbers operator Gus Greenlee really got serious about baseball. He hired the architect Louis A. S. Bellinger to construct a lavish new ballpark in the Hill […]

Ginger Beaumont Honored in David Stalker’s Baseball Memorial Series

August 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

On July 19th, 2015, a two-sided monument was unveiled honoring Ginger Beaumont. The event took place on a sunny afternoon at beautiful Beaumont Field in Burlington, Wisconsin. The monument dedication was followed by Burlington’s Baseball Hall of Fame Induction, which Beaumont has been a member of since 2012. Bill Milatz, chairman of Burlington’s Baseball Hall […]

Pedro Martinez: Celebrating His Legendary Stint with the Boston Red Sox

August 2, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Last weekend, former right-handed pitcher Pedro Martinez (along with Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio) was part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s most recent induction class. Although he pitched for five teams during his illustrious 18-year major league career, he is best known for the seven seasons he spent with the Boston […]

Baseball HOF Voting — Some Writers Don’t Deserve The Privilege

July 27, 2015 by · 6 Comments 

As it happens every summer, for one weekend in July, the eyes of the baseball world turned to Cooperstown, New York, for Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Now that they’re over, thoughts will turn to next year’s candidates and Ken Griffey, Jr., who was elected to Major League Baseball’s All-Century team in […]

60 Years Ago–No Spahn Sighting in Brooklyn

The Milwaukee Braves pulled into Brooklyn on July 22 in second place for what would be a make-or-break-the-season four-game date with the Dodgers. Having played 92 games to a less-than-impressive 50-42 record for a second-place team, the Braves had only 62 to go and trailed by 13½. Anything less than winning three of four would likely […]

2015 and ’69 Mets–Deja Vu All Over Again?

July 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

How well do Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard stack up against Seaver, Koosman and Gentry and can the New York Mets find enough offense to make the miracle work again like it did in 1969? As the Mets and the Nationals square off against one another in a three-game set in Washington, DC, […]

Ginger Beaumont To Be Honored On Monument

July 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

On Sunday July 19, 2015, a monument will be dedicated in honor of former baseball star, Ginger Beaumont. The event will begin at noon, at beautiful Beaumont Field, located on Milwaukee Ave. in Burlington, Wisconsin. The public is welcome to attend. Ginger’s granddaughter Jean Cognato will be attending the event along with Beaumont’s great-granddaughter. Jean […]

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 […]

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