February 7, 2023

Baseball’s Biggest Hypocrite

November 20, 2020 by · 3 Comments 

What if I were to tell you that there are 618 former players who aren’t receiving Major League Baseball (MLB) pensions? And that, of those 600+ retirees, many of them are persons of color, such as the Houston Astros’ Aaron Pointer — an NAACP award winner and diversity pioneer (he was the first African American […]

No Way to Honor #42’s Memory

November 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

There are 626 retired men and their families who played Major League Baseball who are being denied pensions by both the league and the union representing the current players, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA), because of an error the union committed 39 years ago. In order to avert a threatened 1980 walkout by […]

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

August 4, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Like a lot of movie fans, I’m very excited about the forthcoming Mister Rogers biopic, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, which opens on November 22. There is another Mister Rogers out there who is the complete antithesis of the legendary children’s television show host. Steve Rogers was a […]

How Jeter Can Be Like Teddy Ballgame

July 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

On July 25, 1966, Ted Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On July 26, 2020, it’s a near certainty that former New York Yankees shortstop and current Miami Marlins chief executive officer and part owner Derek Jeter will join him. What’s not nearly as clear is the kind of induction speech Jeter, […]

Like Complete Games, Respect for Elders Is a Thing of the Past

July 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Golden, 83, is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who resides in Topeka, In 69 career games, including 20 starts, Golden won nine games, two of which were shutouts, and saved one other. In 208 total innings, he threw five complete games. These days, fans are fortunate if they see a starter go […]

The Old Ballgame? You Have No Idea

May 18, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

For a sport that relies heavily on older fans watching its product, Major League Baseball (MLB) sure treats its retired players disrespectfully. Take 77-year-old Carmen Fanzone for instance. The Sherman Oaks resident was a valuable utility player who appeared in 237 career games with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Fanzone and 632 other […]

The Big Train Rolls No More

May 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

I just learned that my pen pal, Ray Peters, died on May 4. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Janis, and two sons. Ray, who once pitched in the big leagues, was a Harvard grad. He played for the Crimson in 1967 and 1968. His former coach, Norman Shepard, thought so well […]

This Con is On Us

December 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Craig Calcaterra, who is NBC Sports’ lead baseball writer, wears his journalistic principles on his sleeve. Like a badge of honor, Calcaterra’s Twitter profile notes that “journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed.” Calcaterra’s website points out he worked for such Columbus firms as Thompson Hine, L.L.P and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. […]

“Field of Dreams” Changed Dwier Brown’s Life

December 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

As iconic moments go, it’s hard to beat the scene from Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner turns to Dwier Brown and, with the late James Horner’s Oscar-nominated score supplying the appropriately tearful mood, asks, “Hey Dad, you wanna have a catch?” “I didn’t understand the profundity of it,” recalls Brown, who served as the keynote speaker this past […]

Lots of Dollars But No Sense

November 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Guess how much each member of the Boston Red Sox who was voted a full playoff share for winning the World Series is getting? Over $416,800. Not bad. Here’s what is bad: at a time when our national pastime is doing financially well, when each team is valued at more than $1.52 billion – that’s […]

“Field of Dreams” is Still a Heavenly Movie…Even if Isn’t Always Faithful to Its Source Material

November 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Okay, so you know the real “Shoeless” Joe Jackson batted lefty and threw righty, but that Ray Liotta bats right-handed and throws with his left in Field of Dreams. And that he was semi-illiterate, rather than the raconteur Liotta played him as. Okay, so you know that the real Archie “Moonlight” Graham died in 1965—making […]

Two Lumbering Oafs

August 29, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

I don’t know much about the process of turning wood into bats. I know the best bats are made from maple, ash or birch, but that’s about all I know; I certainly didn’t get good wood on the ball growing up. That was painfully obvious when I played Little League baseball more than 50 years ago. […]

Clark’s Boner

August 16, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

Next month, on September 23, is the 110th anniversary of one of the most famous games in baseball history. Known as “Merkle’s Boner,” the contest pitted the Chicago Cubs against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York City. As an estimated 40,000 fans watched, rookie Fred Merkle failed to run to second […]

Brooks Robinson Is Only A Hall of Famer on the Playing Field

September 30, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

I know it’s practically sacrilegious to write this, but Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is a terrible advocate for retirees. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve met Brooks Robinson. He signed an Orioles cap for my father-in-law. He was arguably the greatest third baseman the game has ever known. But as the president of the […]

The Member of Congress Who Can Help The Retirees w/o MLB Pensions

September 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Florida United States Representative Matt Gaetz (Republican — 1st District) can help Orlando’s Bill Denehy, Pensacola’s Jim Hutto and 500 or so former players who don’t receive pensions from having played Major League Baseball (MLB). Denehy, who coached Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell at the University of Hartford, was once a bright pitching prospect. He was famously […]

Tony Clark’s Legacy Could Be Significant If…..

September 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Bob Sadowski was a pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves and Boston Red Sox in the 1960s. In a career that spanned 115 games, 54 of which he started, Sadowski won 20 games, collected eight saves and had a 3.87 Earned Run Average over 439 and two-third innings. Sadowski, who resides in Sharpsburg, Georgia, turned 79 earlier this year.  […]

This Joke Isn’t Funny

September 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you heard the one about the retirees group that doesn’t advocate for retirees? It’s unfortunately not a joke. The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is a Colorado Springs -based organization located on Mesa Avenue whose mission is to, not surprisingly, take care of baseball alumni. So I am completely puzzled as to […]

Only Thing Older Than The Longest Game Is MLB’s 95-Year-Old Anti-Trust Exemption

September 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

(And That Should End Too!) Everyone in Pawtucket, Rhode Island probably knows that on June 23, 1981 the longest game in professional baseball history between the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox ended after 33 innings, eight hours and 25 minutes of playing time. It had started at McCoy Stadium two months earlier, and […]

Museum Artifacts More Important to MLB Than Pensionless Retirees

September 10, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Major League Baseball (MLB) cares more about supporting museums than real live, flesh and blood retirees without pensions. What other conclusion can you reach after the announcement on September 8 that the 30 club owners ponied up $10 million to contribute  to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s endowment efforts? According to the Associated Press, the […]

Metaphorically Speaking, The MLBPAA Has No Meat On Its Bones

January 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’ve ever gone to Overland Park, Kansas, you know that Jack Stack, on Metcalf Avenue, is probably one of the finest barbecue restaurants in the country. The barbecue they serve is so tender, the meat just falls right off the bones. The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, out in Colorado, is nothing like that great barbecue place. […]

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror, Mr. Clark?

January 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

From his rookie year, in 1995, through 2001, Tony Clark had 783 hits, including 156 homers, and knocked in 514 runs. Playing for the Detroit Tigers, he was one of the most feared and productive first baseman in the American League.  Clark was one of the players who succeeded Jason Thompson at first base. Similarly, Thompson succeeded […]

C’mon Steve, The Pre-1980 Players Need You To Become Their Captain America

January 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

During his playing days, former Montreal Expos ace Steve Rogers was a great pitcher. That’s undeniable. Oh sure, he gave up that game-winning home run to Rick Monday in the fifth game of the 1981 National League Championship Series,  but other than that, he had a great career. He’s been a lot less effective as […]

Was Mt. Rushmore’s Italian American Chief Carver Chiseled Out of Fame Because He Didn’t Play Baseball?‏

June 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Was the obscure Italian American immigrant who served as chief carver of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial from 1933 through 1940 possibly denied posterity because he didn’t play baseball? That’s the interesting, albeit controversial, question posed in author Douglas J. Gladstone’s new book, Carving a Niche for Himself; The Untold Story of Luigi Del Bianco […]

Oy Vey! Members of The Tribe Don’t Receive Pensions and Health Insurance from MLB‏

November 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Like a lot of Jews, I’m of the opinion that you can’t have justice for yourself unless other people have justice as well. As you may know, my book, A Bitter Cup of Coffee, tells the true story of why nearly 900 retired ballplayers, all of whom played between 1947 and 1979, don’t have pensions. […]

Catchers Manage to Succeed at Managing

October 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

If and when Jim Leyland, manager of The Detroit Tigers, ever decides to hang up his spikes, he’s got a potential replacement for his job waiting in the wings. Or behind the mask, so to speak. Of course, with the Tigers now advancing to their second World Series appearance under him in the last six […]

Is Nick Swisher Hair Today and Gone Tomorrow?

October 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It hasn’t been an especially good 2012 post-season for Nick Swisher. Mired in a miserable 4 for 26 slump, Swisher through seven post season games is hitting an anemic .154, with only one double and one run batted in. Over his entire post-season career, he has an embarrassing stat line of 1 for 34 with […]

Overcome by Smelly, Blood-Stained Socks

October 9, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Seven years ago, American-born Canadian children’s author Robert Munsch and his illustrator, Michael Martchenko, published a children’s book about a girl named Tina, who loves her brand-new socks so much that she doesn’t take them off. Titled, appropriately enough, Smelly Socks, (Scholastic Cartwheel Books, 2005).  The Globe and Mail had nothing but praise for the […]

A Bitter Cup of Coffee: Postscript

May 4, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

On Thursday, April 21, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced, with much fanfare, that they would be giving all those men who played in “The Show” from 1947-1979, who had more than one day of service credit but less than four years, and who were therefore unable to […]

Another One Bites The Dust

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I didn’t know the late William Lee “Bill” Jennings. Never met him, never had a chat with him, never even knew of him until recently, in fact. What little I do know about Mr. Jennings, who died at the age of 85 on October 20, 2010, is attributable to his passing being prominently mentioned on […]

“Helping Those Who Have A Greater Need Than Our Own”

September 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What’s the measure of a person?  How do you gauge his or her character? It’s the sort of question that people have been debating for years. Indeed, no less than the founder of the American Newspaper Guild, the late Heywood Campbell Broun, once weighed in on the topic. “Sports do not build character,” he remarked. […]

The Test of Leadership

September 6, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

“Management is doing things right,” the late management guru Peter Drucker once said. “Leadership is doing the right things.” I was reminded of that sage phrase after being emailed recently by Wanda Burbach, the wife of former New York Yankee pitcher, Bill Burbach. Born in 1947, in Dickeyville., Wisconsin, Burbach played parts of three seasons […]

Wake Up and Smell The (Bitter Cup of) Coffee!

August 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Former Pittsburgh Pirates player and broadcaster Nellie King passed away yesterday at Family Hospice Center in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  Nellie was 82 years old. Signed as an amateur free agent in 1946, King didn’t make his major league debut until 1954. Three years later, at the age of 29, he was out of baseball because […]

Mighty Casey Has Struck Out (Again)

July 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Less than two weeks ago, on Monday, July 12th, Matt Holliday, he of the $120 million, seven-year contract, participated in the Home Run Derby exhibition as part of the annual All-Star Game festivities at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. That same evening, some 1600 miles away from Anaheim, in Sutter, Illinois, 64-year-old Jimmy Qualls came […]

874 Retired Ballplayers Are Gulping Bitter Cups of Coffee

June 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In the final episode of M*A*S*H, the pompous doctor portrayed by actor David Ogden Stiers gets a sendoff that’s arguably one of the most indelible images in television history. After seven seasons of “Major Charles Emerson Winchester” trumpeting his own self-importance, breeding and surgical skills, this upper-crust scion of a prominent Boston family leaves Korea […]