February 3, 2023

Bogo Baseball: When Double-Headers Attack

January 2, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The number of seamheads who have ever attended a double-header is rapidly dwindling. Once a Sunday afternoon fixture on MLB schedules, the double-header is now a rarity, often a last resort in rescheduling a rainout. Better drainage, Doppler radar, and domed stadiums have resulted in fewer postponements, but in days of old the rainout was […]

From Chumps to Champs: Book Review

January 2, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

From 1989-1992, the New York Yankees compiled their worst 4-year record (288-357) since 1913. Yet, they won the 1996 World Series and won 4 of 5 World Series from 1996-2000. From 1996 to 2012, the club played in every post-season but one. Author Bill Pennington explains how the Yankees made the dramatic transformation in Chumps […]

When Jay Buhner Almost Became an Oriole

December 26, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

If not for Seattle Mariners teammate Ken Griffey, Jr., Jay Buhner might have become an Oriole following the 1994 season. Buhner, a 6-foot-3 outfielder, was known for his power, defensive skills and strong throwing arm.  From 1991 to 1993, he averaged 25 homers and 85 RBI. In the strike-shortened 1994 season, he slugged 21 homers […]

Live Man Walking

December 17, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Some years ago, I was watching a Mets/Orioles spring training game in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As is often the case, I got into a conversation with a fan sitting next to me. He was an older gentleman, and since old-timers have a longer involvement with fandom, they are usually much better conversationalists than younger fans. […]

Seamheads Ballparks Database Updated, Includes 2022 Stats!

November 26, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

We are proud to announce another new update of our Seamheads.com MLB Ballparks Database, created by Seamheads.com co-founder Kevin Johnson. The database includes data through the 2022 season; three-year park factor LH/RH splits dating back to 1905; and every no-hitter from 1875-present. The following is what you’ll find: Descriptive data that includes location, date of […]

Dealing With a Decade Of Depression

November 21, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Given the economic storm warnings that have been posted of late, I can’t help but wonder how they will affect the Good Ship Major League Baseball. It’s not as though we haven’t had economic ups and downs before, but now, depending on your financial guru, we are on the verge of…a cyclical downturn, Great Depression […]

The Curse of Rocky Colavito 2.0

November 13, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Make a list of the all-time strangest – not necessarily the worst – trades and Frank “Trader” Lane’s 1960 deal involving Rocky Colavito and Harvey Kuenn will probably be on that list. At the time Rocky and Harvey were as intertwined in the sports pages as Rocky and Bullwinkle were on the tube. Colavito, age […]

The Shemp Syndrome

November 5, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Relativity doesn’t begin and end with Einstein. I don’t think he was a baseball fan anyway. Also, I don’t think he was a movie fan, but if he was, I suspect he was not a Three Stooges fan. He probably never heard of Curly, Larry, or Moe, much less Shemp. But Shemp is all about […]

Positively POTUS

October 29, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A few years ago, the Rangers had a minor leaguer called Benjamin Harrison. I saw him play a few games at Double-A Frisco (Texas League) and was rooting for him to make it to the Show. Since President Benjamin Harrison was the first President to attend a major league game (on June 6, 1892), it […]

Sam Bowens: Detoured on the Road to Stardom

October 18, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1964, Brooks Robinson (.317, 28 HRs, 118 RBI) was voted American League Most Valuable Player and Boog Powell blasted 39 home runs. But the Oriole who captured the attention of teenage baseball fans in my neighborhood was 22-year-old rookie outfielder Sam Bowens. The 6-1, 200-pounder clubbed 22 home runs, tallied 71 RBI and batted […]

Walter Mitty On the Mound

September 23, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

In many MLB cities, these are good days for attending games if your team is hopelessly out of the pennant race. Out of the pennant race?  Yep, that’s right. Tickets are easy to procure, there’s more room to spread out around your seats, the post-game traffic is less, and the lines at the concession stands […]

Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – SSI Computer Baseball

September 3, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

This is the first entry in a series focusing on computer baseball simulations to supplement the chapter “Play Retro Baseball Video Games In Your Browser” from my Hardball Retroactive book along with the corresponding post at Baseball Analytics. The series will focus on baseball simulations – games in which the primary emphasis is on managerial […]

An Open Letter to Rob Manfred

August 30, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Mr. Manfred: I’m sure you are gratified by the decision of the erstwhile Cleveland Indians to rebrand themselves the Cleveland Guardians. At the same time, I’m sure you are disappointed that the Atlanta Braves stood pat, so the winds of change are batting .500. The focus on Native American nicknames, however, has deflected a […]

Manny Mota Mojo

August 20, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I’ve amassed a large collection of autographed baseball cards (around 3,000) over the years, but my policy has generally been to avoid paying for autographs and catch the players at the ballpark, on the practice fields at spring training, or at off-season fan fests, winter warm-ups, caravans, or whatever they call them. Recently, however, I […]

Pitching Legend Failed to Harness “A Gift from God.”

August 20, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

If ever there was a baseball legend, it’s Steve Dalkowski, a life-long minor leaguer, whose combination of speed (the fastest pitcher ever, according to many) and wildness endlessly frustrated those who tried to harness his incredible potential.The authors of Dalko: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Fastest Pitcher write that Steve “had a once in a […]

Stories Over Stats

August 8, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

While on our way to breakfast Saturday morning, the subject of former Oriole, now newest member of the Houston Astros, Trey Mancini, came up. All of Orioledom was sad to see Trey go, but happy that his first three hits for Houston were all home runs, including a grand slam. You don’t even have to […]

First Dibs . . . Second Thoughts?

August 7, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

First-round draft picks always attract attention. There are 30 of them in the amateur draft every year, and the deck gets reshuffled annually. Great expectations abound, and being a first-round draft pick can be a burden. The same is true of expansion drafts. Every expansion team gets a first-round pick who attracts a lot of […]

Aaron Judge in a Nationals Uniform?

August 3, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

No, I did not predict Josh Bell going to San Diego, but who did? In my defense, just about everything else about the generational trade of Juan Soto yesterday, went down remarkably close to my crystal ball projections on July 22.  One has to give DC General Manager Mike Rizzo credit for getting C.J. Abrams […]

Bringing Back Fond Memories of The Rock

July 23, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

The first baseball season I remember was 1960. As an 11-year-old, that season was very memorable. One of the first big baseball stories that year was the Cleveland Indians trading Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn. How could Indians GM Frank Lane trade the American League home run champ, even if it […]

Weekending With Weirdos

July 9, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Even if you’ve never been to Austin, Texas, you have likely heard the phrase “Keep Austin Weird.” If you haven’t actually heard anyone say it, you might have seen it on a bumper sticker, coffee mug, T-shirt, or some other trinket. Austin has long had a reputation for attracting genuinely creative folks (especially musicians) as […]

SNAFU and FUBAR: A Comedy of Errors

July 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m sure I’m not the only baseball fan whose eyes have glazed over while contemplating the welter of statistics out there. Every time I encounter some new statistic, my usual reaction is “arrrghhhh, just what we need, another statistic and another acronym.” Now, however, I have had a change of heart. Why? Because I thought […]

Making a Federal Case Out of Cooperstown

June 26, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

The Federal League expired more than a century ago and lasted but two seasons (1914 and 1915), so its legacy is minimal. The eight franchises are little noted nor long remembered, though savvy fans may be aware that Wrigley Field, originally known as Weeghman Park (named after team owner Charles Weeghman), was built for the […]

A Grey Area of Professional Baseball

June 22, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

If you get a paycheck for performing a task, by definition you have lost your amateur status. Congratulations, you are a professional. But that status is not necessarily desirable. It’s no secret that MLB players are high-status and minor league players less so. Minor league ball encompasses different strata of status. Some minor leagues rank […]

Deconstructing the Juan Soto Horizon

June 6, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Driving up to Baltimore yesterday morning I enjoyed listening to Jim Duquette opine on Juan Soto, Joe Girardi and a host of other baseball issues that dominated the day. The consensus about whether or not Soto gets traded is now one of those vastly complex scattergrams, a worm hole in which one could get lost […]

Saying Goodbye to Juan Soto

May 17, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Juan Soto has been the soul of the Washington Nationals since he first blasted his way through the DC organization’s minor league system as a 17- and 18-year old. In 2018 Soto brought the wide grin, the goofy setup in the batter’s box, and the infectious love of the game to Washington. And DC fans […]

Was Lifetime Ban a Raw Deal For Benny Kauff?

April 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

BANNED FOR LIFE: The Benny Kauff Story Benny Kauff was known as the “Ty Cobb of the Federal League.” The 5-foot-8, 175-pound, left-handed hitting outfield won the FL battling titles in 1914 and 1915, hitting .370 and .342. The 24-year-old put together a sensational year in 1914 while playing for the Indianapolis Hoosiers. Besides hitting […]

Win, Lose…or Draw? Romancing the No-Decision

April 22, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Hall of Fame worthiness is a subjective if not downright arbitrary judgment. Why is this so-and-so in the Hall when that so-and-so isn’t? You probably have your favorite oversight, I have mine: namely, Tommy John. Now you might think I’m referring to his 288 victories or his eponymous status regarding Tommy John surgery (for the […]

A Restless Farewell

April 14, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s closing time and the moment where Ted Lerner, as the CEO of the Washington Nationals, will bid adieu. His family has announced that they intend to sell the Washington Nationals team and have begun the process of inviting bids and negotiating the final sale. Dylan ends his ballad, “Restless Farewell,” about his early tribulations […]

Andrew McCutchen – Three Steals From Some Exclusive Company

April 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Last month, the Milwaukee Brewers signed 35-year-old free agent, Andrew McCutchen. In 2021, McCutchen hit only .222 for the Philadelphia Phillies but belted 27 home runs and had 80 runs batted in. If McCutchen can steal three bases in 2022–he stole six in 2021– he will become only the 32nd player in Major League Baseball […]

Tommy Davis Was “A Magician With The Bat”

April 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver called Tommy Davis “a magician with the bat.” In 1973, former Orioles third baseman and 10-time All-Star George Kell said, “Tommy is one of the game’s few remaining pure natural hitters.” Kell admired Davis’ ability to hit to all fields, torment both lefties and righties and adjust to situations. The […]

The Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time PNC Park (2001-2021) Team

April 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

In 2001, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to their beautiful new home PNC Park and many baseball fans have called it the most beautiful ballpark in America. If only the ballpark had a team worthy of it. In the 21 seasons that PNC Park has been the Pirates’ home, only four have been winning ones and […]

One of the Most Intriguing Players In Baseball History

March 15, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Pete Reiser of the Brooklyn Dodgers is one of the most intriguing players in baseball history. In 1941, he batted .343 and won a batting title at age 22. He also led the National League in runs, doubles, triples, total bases, slugging, and OPS. He was the starting centerfielder in the All-Star Game and finished […]

Wee Willie Sherdel: Most Underrated St. Louis Cardinal?

March 8, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

John Coulson, author of Wee Willie Sherdel: The Cardinals’ Winningest Left-Hander, says the pitcher may be the most underrated St. Louis Cardinal of all time. Sherdel won 153 games for the Cardinals between 1918-1930. “That fact that Sherdel’s record has stood for all these years is amazing,” says Coulson. “The Cardinals have had some outstanding […]

A Letter to Fans About the Lockout, or, The View From Left Field

March 2, 2022 by · 2 Comments 

I would prefer to have ever Major League sports franchise operated and funded by a Municipal Sports authority that supports that city’s baseball or basketball team with luxury taxes on high end real estate in the city. And furthermore, in my book, baseball’s ownership mostly voted for Trump, whereas only a large chunk of the […]

The Little Giant’s Biggest Achievement

February 28, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Mel Ott requires no introduction to crossword puzzle aficionados thanks to such clues as “Hall of Famer Mel _ _ _” or “NY Giants slugger Mel _ _ _” or “Baseball’s ‘Master Melvin’ _ _ _.”  Puzzle designers love prominent people with three-letter surnames. Muhammad Ali and Umberto Eco, among others, are neck and neck […]

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