Category Archives: Baseball

Managers Connie Mack & John McGraw Decide Who Bats First At The First All-Star Game

Athletics Manager Connie Mack & Former Giants Manager John McGraw Have A Contest Before The First All-Star Game 1933

Photo shows – Manager Connie Mack of Americans (left) Manager John McGraw of Nationals choose for first up with the aid of a bat.

In the game of the century played at Comiskey Park, Chicago, July 6, the picked team of the American League defeated the picked team of the National League 4-2. Photo: Acme July 6, 1933

It’s hard to believe that this is how they decided home field advantage in the American League’s Comiskey Park for the first All-Star Game, but it’s true.

Kids used to do this in pick-up games in parks to see who would bat first. Continue reading

Indians Lou Boudreau Slides Safely Into Third – 1949

The Yankees Bobby Brown And Indians Lou Boudreau In A Close Play At Third Base – 1949

Boudreau slides into third Brown applies tag 1949

Safe!
New York – Umpire Joe Paparella announces his decision as Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians slides into third on Allie Clark’s pinch single in the 7th inning at Yankee Stadium June 18. Bobby Brown, New York Yankees third baseman takes the throw, Yankees won 6-3. photo credit: Acme 6-18-49

With all that dust flying how could umpire Paparella make an accurate call?

Dale Mitchell was the next hitter Continue reading

Baseball’s Other Dizzy – Paul “Dizzy” Trout

Dizzy Trout Tigers Pitching Star 1944

Tiger Moundsman

Right-hander Paul “Dizzy” Trout, Detroit Tigers pitching ace, now seeing plenty of action in the Tigers’ drive for the American League pennant. 9/25/1944 photo: AP

Ask a baseball fan to tell you a player named Dizzy and the name that will come up nine times out of ten will be Dizzy Dean. Continue reading

Joe DiMaggio Ends His Holdout For More $

Joe DiMaggio Signs A Contract, Then Autographs For Fans – April 23, 1938

Back In Harness With Fanfare
Back in his Yankee uniform after a long holdout, Joe DiMaggio is shown April 23 in the home ballpark in New York City as he obliged autograph-seeking youngsters in the bleachers. The San Francisco slugger expected to be in playing form within a week. The Washington Nationals celebrated DiMaggio’s presence in the park by beating the Yanks 7-4. Photo: Associated Press April 23, 1938

Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez recently signed a seven year $141 million contract. Mets pitcher Max Scherzer will earn $43,333,333 in 2022. Mike Trout possibly the best position player today will earn $35,541,667 playing for the Angels this year.

In 1937 Joe DiMaggio’s second year in the majors, he played 151 games, scored 151 runs, with 215 hits, 46 home runs, 167 RBIs and posted a .346 batting average. He also walked 67 times while striking out only 37 times.

DiMaggio was paid $15,000. Continue reading

This Undated Photo Of Bob Feller Has A Backstory Of War And Sacrifice

It Looks Like Spring Training…But It’s Not

Bob Feller Plays Baseball After Returning From The War

Cut Lines
George Metkovich sent one of Rapid Robert’s curves over the right field fence, but Feller saw to it after the first time at bat that George received nothing good at the plate. Here Metkovich is shown running to first after sending a roller down to the first baseman. Feller is just receiving the throw to cover the base on the play.

While this looks like a typical spring training news photograph it is not. Continue reading

2022 Baseball Lockout Ends – More Stupid Changes Coming

The MLB Lockout Is Over. The Cost?

More Ruinous Changes

A Quick Look Back At A Spring Training Of The Past

Babe Ruth Greets New Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy At Spring Training 1931

Spring training will begin soon now that the avaricious owners and materialistic players have reached an agreement to continue ruining baseball. Continue reading

Those Crazy Nineteenth Century Baseball Rules

As Ridiculous As The Ghost Runner Rule Was For The Past Two Years, 19th Century Baseball Had Some Strange Rules

For instance – a batter could be called out for deliberately fouling off pitches

MLB has been tinkering with the rules for the last few years, trying to improve the game. Seven inning double headers; ghost runners; pitching mound visit limits; and the relief pitcher, minimum three batter requirement are just a few of the gimmicks that have been implemented with many more changes under consideration such as; designated hitters in the National League; pitch clocks and moving the pitching rubber back twelve inches.

Thankfully the 2021 World Series does not have any ghost runners. That is the MLB rule enacted during the last two seasons in which a runner was placed on second base to begin extra innings in the hopes of shortening the length of extra inning games. Most fans hope the ghost runner will be abolished permanently in 2022.

In the 19th century baseball was constantly evolving and changing rules. While baseball’s basic rules have remained the same for the last 120 years, modern fans would be perplexed at many of the old rules. Before 1884 all pitchers had to throw underhand. The batter could request to the pitcher where he wanted the baseball thrown. Very few players wore baseball gloves – they were considered unmanly.

In the 1880s and 1890s the rule changes came fast and furious.

The following examples are from Jerry Lansche’s entertaining book Glory Fades Away The Nineteenth -Century World Series Rediscovered (Taylor Publishing Group) 1991.

1884- Pitchers were now allowed to throw overhand.

1884- An error was charged to the pitcher for a walk, balk, wild pitch or hit batsman and by the same logic an error in the catcher’s column for a passed ball.

1884- A foul ball caught on one hop was no longer an out. Continue reading

Philadelphia Athletics 1931 World Series Pitchers Grove, Earnshaw & Rommel

Three Members Of The 1931 The Philadelphia Athletics Pitching Staff

Grove Earnshaw Rommel Athletics 1931 World Series Acme PhotoMay Play In World Series
Here are three important members of the Philadelphia Athletics pitching staff who are bound to figure in the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Left to right, George Earnshaw, Eddie Rommel and Robert “Lefty” Grove. Photo: Acme September 30, 1931

The Athletics had reason to be confident. The previous year, the Athletics defeated the Cardinals four games to two with Grove and Earnshaw each winning two games.

The photo caption writer here was a bit off with “bound to figure”. Rommel pitched just one inning in the 1931 World Series.

Earnshaw and Grove once again carried the load pitching 50 of the 61 innings for the Athletics, but wound up losing the championship to the Cardinals in seven games. Continue reading

October 3, 2021 Regular Baseball Season Ends / October 3, 1953 World Series Game 4

Baseball’s Regular Season Is Too Long or The Post-Season Starts Too Late

An Easy Out
Jackie Robinson is an easy force out at second in first inning of fourth game of World Series at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York , Oct. 3. Yankee second baseman Billy Martin has thrown to first too late to make double play on Gil Hodges who started play on a grounder to third baseman Gil McDougald – 10/3/1953 credit Wide World Photos

On October 3, 1953 The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers played game four of the World Series.

On October 3, 2021 baseball’s regular season finally concluded. There will be 10 teams competing in the post-season.

It’s no longer as simple as the best team in each league squaring up against each other. Continue reading

Tigers Star Catcher Bill Freehan Dies At 79 – Wrote One Of Baseball’s Best Books

Bill Freehan Dies, Tigers All-Star Catcher, Gold Glove Winner & Author

Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan at Yankee Stadium 1969

Before Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk arrived in the late 1960s and early 1970s there was no question as to who was the best catcher in the American League. It was the Detroit Tigers Bill Freehan.

I won’t recount Freehan’s excellent baseball career or personal story in too much detail here. Freehan told it himself while at the height of his playing days in a little known autobiography.

Author

Freehan’s terrific 1970 book, Behind The Mask: An Inside Baseball Diary (World Publishing) was written with editors Dick Schaap and Steve Gelman and was quickly forgotten.

It is one of the best books ever written about the nuances of baseball. Behind The Mask was overshadowed because it came out the same year as ex-Yankee pitcher Jim Bouton’s explosive tell-all Ball Four. Continue reading