Just in case you were wondering what the 2015 Cy Young Award winners looked like when they weren’t staring at you from a distance of 60’6″ with that menacing beard, here’s a couple of photos captured from this article that appeared in MLB AT BAT news.
Jake Arietta In High School
Dallas Keutchel In College
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blog, Baseball Blogs, baseball photos, Beardless Dallas Keutchel, Beardless Jake Arietta, Cy Young Award, Dallas Keutchel, Jake Arrieta
Tagged 2015, baseball, Baseball Blogs, beardless Arietta, Beardless Keutchel, Cy Young Award, Dallas Keutchel, Jake Arrieta, MLB, MLB Blogs
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 when the gates first opened. Batting practice had concluded and all of the players escaped into the air conditioning in the clubhouse – 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
Posted in 600 home runs, Barry Bonds, Baseball, Baseball Blog, Baseball Blogs, Baseball Hall of Fame, baseball photos, Baseball Reference, CINCINNATI Reds, Eligible for the Hall Of Fame, ESPN, home run leaders, Junior Griffey Hall of Fame, Ken Griffey Jr, MLB Ambassador, MLB Blogs
Tagged 600 home runs, Barry Bonds, baseball, Baseball Blogs, Baseball Hail of Fame, baseball history, baseball stats, Cincinnati Reds, eligible for hall of fame, Junior Griffey, Ken Griffey Jr, major league baseball, MLB, Reflections On Baseball
On the day we honor Veterans who served in the American Armed Forces, I thought it would be time well spent 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 gained 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 ( 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
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, baseball photos, Baseball Reference, Billy Martin, Don Larsen, Jerry Koosman, MLB, MLB Armed Forces Veterans, Reflections On Baseball, Roger Craig, Ted Williams, Whitey Ford, Willie Mays
Tagged baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, Baseball Reference, Billy Martin, Garry Maddox, Jerry Koosman, Korean War, MLB, MLB Armed Forces Veterans, Reflections On Baseball, Roger Craig, Ted Williams, Veterans Day, Vietnam War, Whitey Ford, Willie Mays
As in life there are times in baseball when everything just seems to fall into place. A hitter goes on a stretch where the ball coming to the plate looks as big as a beachball. Likewise, a pitcher goes through a series of starts where home plate seems 30ft away. Teams also have runs where twenty five players and the coaching staff come together to form a juggernaut that seems destined always find a way to win.
The New York Yankees are giving every indication that they are that kind of a team this year. Under the laid back (but focused) leadership of Brian Cashman (left) and Joe Girardi (right) we are watching – not a great team by any means- but certainly a solid and steady team that is avoiding the predictable highs and lows of a long and arduous baseball season.
No, this is not the team of the five year run. This year’s edition of the Yankees is not even comparable to the 2009 team. Except for Mark Teixeria, there’s not even a true All Star on the team.
What the team does have are a bunch of role players who complement and support each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Brian McCann (upper right) for example is proving clutch at the plate while handling a relatively young staff seamlessly. Mashahiro Tanaka (upper left) seeks perfection every time out there. To hear him talk about his start that day, you’d think he gave up ten runs if you hadn’t watched the game.
It goes even deeper than that with contributors like Jacoby Ellsbury (right) who if not the best leadoff hitter in the game today, must surely be in the discussion. A natural center fielder who runs like a deer, clutch is fast becoming his middle name too.
Flying under the radar too is Chase Headley (left). A star by no means….your everyday ball player who shows up for work every day and gets his one hit a night when it means the most. So too with Brett Gardner who Cashman refused offers for a year ago when the season was already lost. Now, he’s having a career year as a graduate of the Yankees much underrated farm system.
This is a good team that certainly can win its imploding division. And when they get to the crapshoot playoffs, look out because they just might find their way to an unexpected but well earned title.
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball photos, Brian Cashman, division races, joe girardi, Mark texieria, New York Yankees
Tagged Brett Gardner, Brian Cashman, Brian McCann, division front runners, Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Girard, New York Yankees, Tanaka, world series title
Putting Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame where he belongs is simply a recognition of what he did on the playing field, the numbers he put up, and the relentless zeal with which he played the game. The man has the most hits ever over a career for God’s sake! And besides, some of the greatest players in the game could also be a jerk at times by demonstrating questionable character.
Ted Williams who is often credited with being the the best pure hitter to ever play the game once was fined $5000 (a princely sum in 1956) for – get this – for spitting on fans during a game in his own ballpark. He was also known as a loner and egomaniac who was certainly not the go-to guy in the clubhouse. Ted Williams is in the Baseball Hail of Fame.
Joe DiMaggio is also in the Hall of Fame. He’s also one of the surliest men to ever don a Yankees uniform. His own teammates viewed him as “unapproachable”. But he did hit in 56 straight games so he is forgiven and everyone moves on. You can read more on his character in Richard Ben Cramer’s definitive biography Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life.
And then of course there’s Ty Cobb who is said to be one of the meanest – most vindictive – players to ever have put on a pair of spikes. Those spikes high sliding into second – be damned if you’re in my way. He too is in the Hall of Fame.
For every Cal Ripken with no visible character flaws in the Hall, there’s a Joe DiMaggio with a tainted image. And for every Derek Jeter (a sure first ballot inductee), there’s a Ted Williams who never really apologized for his spitting episode. The Hall of Fame was built to house and honor the best who ever played the game. No one would ever suggest Pete Rose as a candidate for Sainthood. He doesn’t have to be a Saint……….all he has to be is one of the greatest to have ever played the game. At least, give him that.
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, baseball photos, Hall of Fame, Joe DiMaggio, Pete Rose, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Uncategorized, URL https://scontursi.wordpress.com
Tagged Baseball Blogs, baseball commissioner, Baseball Hail of Fame, Baseball life, major league baseball, Pete Rose, Reflections On Baseball, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb
Bah injuries! The bane of all professional athletes. They’ll tell you it comes with the territory but when you’re restricted by age time on the playing field is paramount. And any time lost cannot be given or earned back.
And yes we argue about Ted Williams and how he missed three years piloting a plane during the Korean War during his prime playing years…….and what his numbers would have been…..but that’s just it……the numbers are the numbers.
And so it was sad to see Giancarlo Stanton go down this weekend while (of all things) swinging at and missing a pitch. He’s scheduled to miss four to six weeks and that includes the All Star Game for which he was to be the starting right fielder for the National League.
With no argument, he is the premier power hitter in the game today.
Another Towering Blast
Moreover, he is the consummate professional the game so dearly needs following the departure of Derek Jeter.
Consider this. In just 74 games prior to going on the DL, he amassed 26 home runs and 67 RBI. At that pace he could (and in his case probably would) be closing in on 60 home runs and 150 RBI by the end of the 2015 season.
And so, like Williams his numbers will be his numbers falling far short of those projections and this injury will be a mere footnote in his career narrative.
It’s not like the Florida Marlins are going anywhere. They are a miserable team made even worse now by the loss of Stanton.
Instead it’s the fans who are the real losers when a player of this caliber goes down. Because you don’t leave your seat when he comes to bat…………somthing really special could happen and often it does. One of those towering majestic drives that takes forever to land…..or maybe one of those heat seeking missles that comes off his bat and leaves the yard in a split second……..
Indeed…….a nation of your fans turns its lonely eyes to you………..Come back soon…..we miss you Giancarlo.
Posted in 2015 all star vote, Baseball, Baseball Blog, Baseball Blogs, baseball photos, baseball stats, Florida Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton, home run leaders
Tagged baseball, Giancarlo Stanton, home run leaders, injuries, major league baseball, power hitter, professional athletes, Ted Williams
In the 21st Century, we live in a video world. YouTube posts go viral and police wear “cop cams”. ……..If we can’t see it, we don’t believe it or it simply didn’t happen.
But there is another way to explore and experience life…….seemingly long forgotten but once the only way we “knew” anything……….and that is by exercising our auditory senses.
Sounds Of Baseball is predicated on that concept. It is a not for profit website that is the work of Ronnie Redmond (Santa Cruz, CA) and myself. Completely reworked by Ronnie, the new mobile friendly site offers a trip back to yesteryear when sound was all that existed. Here’s a sample…….
Ted Williams Last At Bat…………..tell me the radio announcer doesn’t draw you in to the moment with his radio call……..
We are (openly) trying to promote our site. Please consider posting or sending it to your friends on Facebook and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Enjoy the Sounds Of Baseball.
Posted in Baseball, baseball announcers, Baseball Blog, Baseball Blogs, baseball photos, baseball radio calls, Sounds Of Baseball
Tagged baseball, baseball announcers, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, baseball radio calls, Ronnie Redmond, Sounds Of Baseball, YouTube
In addition to the intrigue and mysteries of the game itself, there is a whole lot more to witness while enjoying your stay at the ballpark. Among these are what I term as baseball rituals. No matter what ballpark you visit, these rituals will be choreographed in a manner so precise that you will find yourself following the beat of their serene rhythm.
Rule number one (gloriously there is only one rule) is to get to the ballpark early – as soon as the gates are open. Not only is this often a good time to snag an autograph or two, it’s the best time to Restwatch the players go about their ritualistic way of “doing business”…….or to put it another way…….their job.
From the stretches loosening the hamstrings to the soft long tosses by pitchers strengthening their arm……..to the quiet conversations between a manager and player………and on to the endless banter between men playing a boys game you will see and hear it all. Continue reading
Posted in 7th inning stretch, America's Pastime, Ballpark Rituals, Baseball, Baseball Blog, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, baseball photos, Batting Practice, Fans, Groundskeepera, MLB, National Anthem, National Pastime, Nuances, Rituals, take me out to the ballgame
Tagged ballpark rituals, batting practice, ground keeper, major league baseball, photos, pre game warm up, rituals, seventh 7th innings stretch, take me out to the ballgame