Category Archives: Baseball Reference

TWO MORE AND DONE – HOF THIS YEAR

There are two more players on the Hall Of Fame ballot (in addition to Ken Griffey Jr – see previous post  I think should be elected making it a trio of inductees as we saw last year (see the full list of candidates here). The first is a relief pitcher who held the record for career saves until someone named Rivera came along and the second is a catcher who hit the most home runs ever for a player at that position. Continue reading

JUNIOR AND THE HALL OF FAME

A lasting image I have of Ken Griffey Jr. came on a morning the Reds were scheduled to play an unusual noontime game at Great American Ballpark on a very hot Cincinnati day in July.

The night before, I had driven frantically from a game in Milwaukee trying to get to the ballpark autowhen the gates first opened. Batting practice had concluded and all of the players escaped into the air conditioning in the clubhousespring5 – except for one. All smiles all the time, Junior held court posing for pictures, signing autographs, and just chatting. I noticed two things about him. One, he never took his bat out of his hands. And secondly, he always gave special attention to the kids who had come to see him perform. Continue reading

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT….(CHAPTER THREE)

Once again, a-siegel-deadline
in tribute to the late newspaper journalist and reporter Jimmy Cannon, this piece attempts to capture the flavor of what he might be writing about today………

…..The Chosen One in this year’s free agency field images (9)appears to be Ben Zobrist, (right) who is flexible regarding defensive positions and has just enough offensive power to make him a valued addition for several teams. Reasonably priced, watch the scramble for his services carry well into the winter.

…..When are the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays just gonna images (10)wave a white flag and move the team to a real (potentially) big league city? San Antonio, Texas comes to mind……cynically the answer might be pretty simple….despite the underwhelming support of their fan base, the owners are still making $$$$.

…..Even more than his outstanding abilities with a ball imagesor bat in his hand, Zach Greinke is a student of the game. So much so that he was a welcome resource in the Dodgers war room on Draft Day last year. If he wants, his next career will be as a General Manager of a (lucky) major league team. Continue reading

THE CY YOUNG AND MVP AWARDS – REVISITED

Five weeks ago, I took a stab at who might win the Cy Young (left) images (8)and MVP (below) awards in each league. Yesterday, the top three finalists were announced in each category (somebody had a good idea). The field looks remarkably images (7)similar to the players I predicted would be in contention, except for the inclusion of Sonny Gray who emerged as a candidate for the AL Cy Young. 

While my reasoning behind the selections I made remains constant, my selections now are a bit different, mainly because the Post Season is now over. In the same way I put stock in a player’s TEAM making the playoffs, I now think that player’s performance in the Post Season counts equally as much. So, let’s get to the picks….. Continue reading

A TRIBUTE TO PLAYERS WHO SERVED

On the day we honor Veterans who served in the American Armed Forces, I thought it would be time well downloadspent and interesting to do some research on Major and Minor League players who have served their country. The sheer number is startling – 336 during the Korean War (view list here)  for example according to Baseball Reference, my go-to source for anything about baseball.

Some of the names we are familiar with and a few such as Ted Williams (above) deservedly gainedWhiteyFord-Korea-044-1307011627_4_3 renown for their efforts. Williams (view MLB’s tribute here), a distinguished fighter pilot for the Marines forfeited three prime baseball years to serve. Hall of Famers Whitey Ford  (above right) and Willie Mays WillyMays-Korea-033-1307011639_4_3( right with another Veteran, Don Newcombe) also served in the Korea struggle in the early 1950′ s.  Other names are not as much of note, but count players like Jerry Coleman, who appeared in six World Series for the New York Yankees,  Roger Craig, a 20 game loser for the first New York Mets team in 196 , Don Larsen (no introduction needed), Billy Martin, a journeyman player but a dynamic manager, and Frank Torre, the brother of Joe hit .273 in seven big league seasons, among those who served too. Continue reading