September 29, 2022

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 · Leave a 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 […]

From the Archives: The Battle For George Sisler’s Soul

February 11, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1910, 17-year-old phenom George Sisler signed a contract with Akron of the Ohio-Pennsylvania League between his junior and senior years of high school. Sisler was a minor, however, and his father Cassius demanded that Akron void the contract. Sisler enrolled at the University of Michigan and began playing ball for the Wolverines. In September […]

Ballparks Database Update: More No-Hitters!

January 15, 2022 by · 2 Comments 

We at are proud to announce another new update of the MLB Ballparks Database! The database includes data through the 2020 season; three-year and one-year park factor LH/RH splits dating back to 1905; and every no-hitter from 1875-present. The following is what you’ll find on the updated no-hitters pages: No-hitters thrown in 2021 […]

From the Archives: “The Kid” Becomes ‘Grata’ Again

December 14, 2021 by · 1 Comment 

This is the third of a series of articles I wrote about infamous trades of the past in which a superstar player was dealt for multiple players of lesser talent or value. This was originally posted on March 18, 2008. December 10, 1984: Expos catcher Gary Carter to the Mets for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, […]

Dear MLB: Your Problem is Relevancy, Not Boredom (although that’s easily fixed, too.)

October 18, 2021 by · 6 Comments 

Dear Major League Baseball, Much has been written recently about your “boredom problem.” Longer games with less action have resulted in declining attendance and declining television ratings, but the solution to your on-field problem is so simple that a Little Leaguer could tell you what it is, whereas a board room full of consultants obviously […]

October’s End

October 14, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Orange October The Chicago White Sox played in the postseason for the second straight season this year, something they have never achieved before in 120 years of baseball. The Sox won the “Field of Dreams” game on national TV in August, giving baseball fans everywhere (OK, except maybe New York) and generations of movie fans […]

Winter Ball: A History of Baseball, Cuba, and Race

October 6, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In 2020, Cuban baseball players took center stage in the pandemic-shortened season. The Chicago White Sox won more than half its games twice in the 2010s. But they finished last season with a .583 winning percentage (roughly a 94 win pace over a 162 game schedule). The club made the playoffs for the first time […]

The Last Living Boston Braves Player and an Unexpected Find

August 30, 2021 by · 1 Comment 

When Del Crandall died on May 5, 2021, an era died with him. According to his obituary in the Boston Globe, he was the last living Boston Braves player. Crandall broke in with the Boston Braves as a fresh-faced 19-year-old in 1949 but had his best seasons after the team moved to Milwaukee in 1953. […]

Field of Fire

August 13, 2021 by · 1 Comment 

The White Sox needed this one. For about 102 years the White Sox have needed this one. The Sox got a two-run home run from All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 9-8 in the “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa Thursday night, a […]

An Historic Trading Deadline–Can It Happen Again?

August 2, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

If ever a Major League Baseball team traded eight players from its Major League roster in a single day, I can find no mention of it. And yet that is what the Washington Nationals did on July 30, 2021. The Chicago Cubs dealt nine on the same day, which was documented as the highest number […]


July 21, 2021 by · 1 Comment 

Frank Howard is a big man. Now in his mid-‘80’s, he was an All-American basketball player at Ohio State University before signing a bonus baseball contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1958. Two years later, he won the National League Rookie of the Year award. At 6’7” and somewhere between 275 and 300 pounds, […]

Isn’t It Time Congress Seriously Examines the Monopoly Power of Major League Baseball

July 2, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In December of 2020, with results being certified in the much contested election that saw the defeat of Donald Trump, and with two senate seats still hanging in the balance in Georgia, Major League Baseball, Inc. unilaterally ended its cooperative relationship with Minor League Baseball. For decades, the relationship between Minor League and Major League […]

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