September 26, 2023

A Star is Reborn: Satchel Paige in the Movies

September 19, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

You might be surprised to discover that Satchel Paige is included in the Internet Movie Database, the encyclopedic go-to source for film buffs. In fact, he has four credits, three onscreen and one behind the screen. The first is a formality, as the credit is for an unscripted TV role in the 1948 World Series, […]

Making the Game Fun Again

August 18, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

As the season loomed large in the late winter months, a friend who had prepared a paper on the impending changes in the rules of the game asked me to look it over. It was the first time I had truly registered the pitch clock and the other revision to the rules that had heretofore […]

Weird, Weirder, Weirdest

August 6, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The independent minor leagues are not as independent as they used to be.  A number of them (namely, the Atlantic League, the Pioneer League, the American Association, and the Frontier League) are listed as Major League “Partner” leagues.  According to MLB, “These leagues will collaborate with MLB on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities […]

When Cash Was King of Comedy

July 15, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Nolan Ryan debuted with the Mets in 1966 but he didn’t make a name for himself till he was traded to the Angels after the 1971 season.  He pitched his first no-hitter on May 15, 1973 against the Royals.  Two months later, he followed up with another one against Detroit.  It was not quite as […]

Oh, Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz

July 1, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

For many years the gold standard of baseball writing was Roger Angell. Simple prose and honest story-telling, he left indelible images about a minor league pitcher who could not quit the game, begging his wife for just one last season of traveling small town America in search of some lost chalice. But my favorite was […]

Users, Cheaters, Six-Time Losers, and the Search for Dignity

June 25, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

(Author’s Note: This story is the sequel to “Hank Aaron and Bob Dylan: Searchin’ High, Searchin’ Low For Dignity,” posted 4/16/23) In the spring of 2005, Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts held a fundraiser in a posh Buckhead home, not far from the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. Since the Center for Puppetry Arts was an advertising […]

Williams Failed to Work His Magic with Rick Reichardt

June 4, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: Rick Reichardt is one of 16 players featured in Barry Sparks’ book, The Search for the Next Mickey Mantle: From Tom Tresh to Bryce Harper, published by Sunbury Press. Rick Reichardt was coming off a disappointing 1969 season. The 6-3, 210-pound outfielder for the California Angels batted .254 with 13 homers and 68 […]

A Most Memorable Memorial Day

May 27, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

In the United States Memorial Day has traditionally marked the beginning of summer.  Typically, MLB used to accommodate the fans celebrating the holiday by scheduling double-headers.  Weather permitting, fans would respond en masse.  In fact, Memorial Day 1948 set a one-day record for major league attendance.  The AL drew 192,300, the NL 145,456 for a […]

Hank Aaron And Bob Dylan: Searchin’ High, Searchin’ Low For Dignity

May 26, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed Dignity never been photographed Or so Bob Dylan says in “Dignity,” a song he wrote in 1988 after learning of the death of basketball great Pete Maravich. Dylan has a point. Dignity isn’t an item or commodity that can be replicated and mass-produced. It’s a quality […]

A Salute to the Senior Class

April 25, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

I recently came across an article about Art Schallock, the oldest MLB veteran still living.  Art debuted in 1951 with the Yankees and just turned 99 years old.  Perhaps a rousing rendition of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” should accompany “Happy Birthday.” MLB has not had a centenarian alumnus since Eddie Robinson died […]

1996 Orioles Set Major League Home Run Record

April 23, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1996 Baltimore Orioles featured a star-studded lineup with unprecedented power. The club bashed 257 home runs, shattering the previous mark of 240 by the mighty 1961 New York Yankees. Seven Orioles slugged 20 or more round-trippers. They were Brady Anderson (50); Rafael Palmeiro (39); Bobby Bonilla (28); Cal Ripken Jr. (26); Chris Hoiles (25); […]

Cleveland’s Brookside Park: Not a Mistake and Not on the Lake

April 18, 2023 by · 1 Comment 

An old saying pertaining to Detroit is, “It’s like Cleveland without the glitter.” When it comes to economy of language, this quote is a gem, as it puts down two Rust Belt cities in one six-word sentence. For the purpose of this essay, however, let’s park Detroit and take Cleveland out for a spin. In […]

A Deep and Interesting Dive Into the World of Scouting

April 15, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball scouts usually fly under the radar. While fans follow the exploits of their favorite players, few know anything about the scouts who signed them. Good teams and die-hard baseball fans, however, understand and appreciate their contributions. Author Lee Lowenfish takes a deep, interesting dive into the world of scouts in Baseball’s Endangered Species: Inside […]

Retro World Baseball Classic, Revisited

April 1, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The World Baseball Classic features ballplayers from various geographical regions competing in a tournament which culminates in bragging rights for the winning team and the country that they represent. I devised a slight twist on this theme back in 2017 to retroactively create a computer-based simulation of the best baseball players in the World based […]

Out Of The Park 24 Available Now!

March 26, 2023 by · 1 Comment 

NEW FOR THIS SEASON Huge visual improvements! Get deeper into the action with new 3D animations and visual improvements that bring the game to life! A new audience model will react to the action on the field, while new fielding, pitching, running, and batting animations make OOTP 24 the smoothest and most visually pleasing version […]

Making Singles Sexy

February 27, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you know who led the majors in singles in 2022?  If so, go to the head of the class: you are the ultimate stat geek. If not, don’t feel bad. The one-base hit is the least sexy safety. Just check the stat sheets. Go to the Baseball Reference web site and dial up the […]

Shedding Light on a Sunshine State Curse

January 16, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The phrase “pitchers and catchers report” resounds throughout the land in the middle of February. All well and good, particularly if you live in Arizona or Florida, but if you are a college baseball fan, the simultaneous opening of the Division I season may be more meaningful. Some of the less heralded divisions start playing […]

Bogo Baseball: When Double-Headers Attack

January 2, 2023 by · 1 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 · 2 Comments 

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 · 1 Comment 

We are proud to announce another new update of our MLB Ballparks Database, created by 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 […]

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