July 13, 2024

Why Baseball?

February 1, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

February is finally here. That means that pitchers and catchers report this month. That also means that it’s time to ask the annual question that many of us contemplate when we find ourselves giddy with the notion that there are ballplayers once again stretching and throwing in the Southern sun: Why baseball? What is it […]

Christmas and Baseball

December 20, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The Christmas season used to have a wonderful pace to it, much like a baseball season does. Santa didn’t arrive until the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, which was followed shortly thereafter by the arrival of the first Christmas card. The Grinch That Stole Christmas was broadcast–once–and your entire Friday evening revolved around that […]

Albert Pujols is a Bargain

December 8, 2011 by · 10 Comments 

In order to understand why the Los Angeles Angels are getting a bargain by signing Albert Pujols for $250 million over 10 years, it is important to stop thinking like a fan or a sabermetrician or even a general manager. In order to understand a contract like this, you have to think like an accountant. […]

Bring Unto Me the Little Ranger Fans

November 22, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Oh, somewhere in this fabled land the sun is shining bright. The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light. And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout. And that would be St. Louis, because around Arlington there are 10-, 11-, and 12-year-olds who are now permanently scarred for life because their team […]

USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, NC

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re a “baseball tourist” as I am, you’re always on the lookout for interesting baseball sites whenever you travel. On a recent visit to Cary, North Carolina, I had the opportunity to tour the USA Baseball National Training Complex which was opened in 2007 and is owned by the Town of Cary. USA Baseball […]

Wildest Card Wednesday Looked Like Tournament Play!

September 29, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Immediately, after Wildest Card Wednesday’s games had concluded, the folks at MLB Network and ESPN were saying that this was the greatest night of baseball in the game’s history. Now that we have a few hours’ perspective, it is clear that they were absolutely right. There has never been a night in which the numbers […]

Fixing the Fall Classic

September 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Baseball’s post-season starts in mere days, which means that so will the discussion concerning the waning interest in baseball’s post-season. Bud Selig’s answer is to give the public more of what it already finds dull. Adding a best two out of three wild-card round is most definitely déjà vu all over again. We do not […]

Closing Day in Hagerstown

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“It’s a sad day, a sad day,” said a fan in a Hagerstown Suns camo hat while standing behind the home team dugout some 20 minutes before the final game of the 2011 season. Big Tony, the Suns beer vendor acknowledged that it was. All 656 in attendance seemed to feel that way, although they […]

A Death in the Family

August 27, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Baltimore is the biggest small town in America. Everyone has a sense that they’re either related to, or that they know, most everyone else in town. We feel that way about the athletes who represent us as well, beginning with the old Baltimore Colts who lived in the city year-round and who worked regular jobs […]

When John Kruk Was Quiet, Slender, and Attacked by a Grandma

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

John Kruk was a skinny kid out of Keyser, West Virginia in the summer of 1981, but he had already attracted the attention of several scouts. “A great guy . . . a natural athlete,” remembers Preston Douglas, the head coach that season of the New Market Rebels, the collegiate summer team with whom Kruk […]

Childhood and Wally Bunker

June 17, 2011 by · 9 Comments 

The year 1964 when I was 7 years old, was a landmark for me.  In February of that year, I saw the Beatles for the first time on my grandmother’s 13″ black and white television; a set so full of vacuum tubes and other hardware that it weighed as much as our big screen TV […]

Valley Fans Have a Long-Standing Love Affair With Baseball

June 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The day that many Shenandoah Valley residents have eagerly awaited since last August will arrive tomorrow when the Valley Baseball League begins its 89th season. The Haymarket Senators pay a call on the Strasburg Express to kick off the latter’s inaugural season, but the passion of Valley fans for their local teams is nothing new. […]

Baseball Passion in Small Town America

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We sometimes forget in this ESPN Age the great passion that baseball once inspired on the most local of levels.  Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has had a long love for baseball and there are two towns, some 20 miles or so apart that are perfect examples.  New Market, which saw the last Confederate victory in the […]

Sally League Showdown (Almost) Matches the Hype

May 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The showdown between two of the South Atlantic League’s best teams just about lived up to all the hype that preceded this week’s four game series as the Delmarva Shorebirds sandwiched two victories around two defeats to the Hagerstown Suns. Manny Machado, the Orioles top selection and 3rd overall in the 2010 draft was on […]

Teenage Showdown Coming to Hagerstown

May 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

One of the best baseball showdowns of the season will begin 6 days from now when the Delmarva Shorebirds come to Hagerstown to play the Suns in a four game series. If you’re wondering how in the world a South Atlantic League series is worthy of such hype consider the following: This is an in-state […]

Bryce, Madison, and the Faithful Few

April 18, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

Late on a sunny afternoon, an hour and a half before uber-prospect Bryce Harper will make his debut in front of the hometown Hagerstown Suns fans, little Madison McGillivray is skipping about outside the gate at Municipal Stadium. She is wearing a tiny Washington Nationals home jersey with a red 34 and Harper stitched on […]

Bryce Harper Gets It

April 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Bryce Harper is not only extremely talented, he gets it. For the rest of us, our talent ran out at some point, whether it was Little League or high school or college or even the minor leagues. If the game abandoned us, however, we never abandoned it; and so we talk about it and write […]

Guaranteed 2011 AL East Predictions!

March 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Led by a rejuvenated Manny Ramirez, Tampa Bay will lead the division at the all-star break.  On his return from the All-Star game in Phoenix, Manny will become rejuveniled and absent-mindedly enter Boston’s clubhouse when the Rays resume their season in Beantown on July 15th.  He’ll don a Red Sox uniform and shag balls in […]

The Play’s the Thing

March 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

With the 2011 season upon us, we are guaranteed that we will see something occur on the diamond that we have never seen before. The strangest play that I ever saw came in a game at First Horizon Park in Greensboro, NC on July 7, 2006. We were in town for a wedding the next […]

The Rhythm of the Game

February 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

At the risk of sounding like Yogi Berra, every baseball season is unique–that’s what makes it so typical.  Indeed, the mathematical combinations of possible outcomes in a baseball game are as infinite as the combinations of human genes; thus, no two people and no two baseball games are ever the same.  The very first pitch […]

Boots Poffenberger: No Taming That Tiger!

February 3, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Boots Poffenberger is probably the all-time major league leader in the category of wild stories to innings pitched.  This explains why it seems to many old-timers that Boots’ major league career must have lasted more than 2+ seasons and 267.1 innings.  Boots loved to drink and loved to fish and when he had a mind […]

New Baseball Terminology

January 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week my wife, Martha, and I came across the word atavism and neither of us knew the meaning.  I suggested that it meant “possessing the qualities of an ata.”  That was wrong.  We looked it up and discovered that it actually means “the tendency to revert to ancestral type.”  Kind of like what Brady […]

Is Mark Belanger a Hall of Famer?

January 10, 2011 by · 11 Comments 

If we grant admission to players such as DHs and relievers who were one-dimensional, then we should think seriously about admitting players who played Hall of Fame caliber defense, but were weak with the stick. And that brings me to former Oriole shortstop Mark Belanger.

« Previous Page