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I am moving forward with plans for a larger scorebook! The plan is for it to be spiral/ring bound, fit 100 games, and be about the height and width of an ipad or a larger moleskin (7.5×9.75 inches). I’d love for you guys to take a look at what I’ve got mapped out and critique it. I know a lot of people wanted more innings, an RBI column, more sub spots and more pitcher stats, so those are included as well as spaces to jot down the umpires. The grid itself is larger as well. Do you guys prefer the diamond graphic inside each square to be big or small? Would you guys want to see the foldout references for scorekeeping included in this, or should it be straight to the point, no frills?

Once I get the design nailed…

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News recently came out of Cleveland that the city will spend $5 million dollars to refurbish League Park, the famed field where the Indians played from 1900-1946, Babe Ruth hit his 500th HR, Joe DiMaggio hit is last hit in his 56-game hitting streak, and Bill Wambsganss pulled off an unassisted triple-play in the 1920 world series (just to name a few).

Here is the full story and a short video on the Park.

Baseball is a human enterprise. Therefore, by definition it’s imperfect. It’s flawed. It doesn’t embody perfectly everything that is worthwhile about our country or our culture. But it comes closer than most things in American life.

- Bob Costas, from Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns, Inning Four

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Growing up during the 70′s & 80′s, these portraits are mini tributes to the players I more or less considered at the time to be my superheroes.

Just thought you guys might be interested in this. I’m an artist (always cringe-inducing to say, but there you have it), and one of my recent pieces features a very familiar scorebook.

It’s called one short (a day without a no-hitter in Detroit). Acrylic and ink on illustration board, 16 x 20″, 2011. July 31, 2011, Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. I have never seen a no-hitter in person, and to lose one so close– with a pitcher so likely to do it– was intense. Much more intense than, rationally, it should have been.

The piece deals with issues of obsession and perfection, and where those themes break apart and fail; it deals with art-making and information-gathering, where those practices intersect and diverge. It deals, of course, with crazy baseball…

For years, LIFE magazine has been known for extraordinary photography. Here is a collection of their best baseball photos. Plus, if you search the site you’ll find many more pictures worth viewing.

Hat tip: Grant Brisbee

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The Preview is online! The magazine is coming along great, and I’ve received more content to expand upon this as well. I wanted to show you guys what I had and put out a call for additional content and ideas. I’d love to flesh this thing out some more and make it nice and meaty. There aren’t any beautiful baseball magazines out there right now and I want to change that.

Right now, planned features include:

Baseball haikus
An interview with Brian Lindstrom
Tales of misery from baseball fans
Unique Baseball Patents
Spotlighted Baseball vocabulary
This day in Baseball
A tribute to the research of James K. Skipper

And more!

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Scorebooks are an excellent stocking stuffer for the baseball fans in your life. Save a few bucks by buying multiple scorebooks and spread the tradition! This bundle includes 3 scorebooks and saves $7 off the regular price. Each book is 5″ x 7.3″.

Included with each scorebook are:

The scorebook, which contains 20 scoresheets and has space for scoring 11 innings, pitching statistics and game totals.

A scorekeeping reference card which has common abbreviations used when keeping score and a diagram in case you forget that the shortstop is “6″ and the third baseman is “5″.

Stickers for you to note if the game took place in day or night, and if your team won or lost.

A foldout starter’s guide to keeping score for anyone who is new to the art form.

Autograph pages…

Three scorebooks for those with lots of scorekeeping friends
scorebookset

Scorebooks are an excellent stocking stuffer for the baseball fans in your life. Save a few bucks by buying multiple scorebooks and spread the tradition! This bundle includes 2 scorebooks and saves $3 off the regular price. Each book is 5″ x 7.3″.

Included with each scorebook are:

The scorebook, which contains 20 scoresheets and has space for scoring 11 innings, pitching statistics and game totals.

A scorekeeping reference card which has common abbreviations used when keeping score and a diagram in case you forget that the shortstop is “6″ and the third baseman is “5″.

Stickers for you to note if the game took place in day or night, and if your team won or lost.

A foldout starter’s guide to keeping score for anyone who is new to the art form.

Autograph pages…

Two scorebooks so you can share with a friend.

Lou Gehrig's Bat From 1939

The boy involved is Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell and grandfather of Matt Franco. The legend is Lou Gehrig. And the bat (pictured above) was the last bat Gehrug ever hit a home run with. How the bat came to be in Russell’s possession (along with a two other bats) is a must read story over at The Postseason.

Hat tip: Craig Calcaterra

After one of the most dramatic World Series wins ever, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa has decided to call it quits:

Tony La Russa waited until after the championship parade and then called a team meeting with his players.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said pitcher Chris Carpenter, who won Game 7 of the World Series against Texas on Friday night. “I think we all figured it was just going to be like, ‘Thataway guys. Great year. Way to battle!’ Instead, he dropped that on us. I think everybody was caught off-guard.”

And with that, the 67-year-old La Russa said goodbye to baseball and became the first manager to retire immediately after leading his team to a Series title — the third of his career.

“I think this just feels like it’s time to end

With 2011 in the books (and a dramatic finish to the World Series) many of us are likely going through baseball withdrawal. Thankfully, Wendy Thurm at Baseball Nation has compiled a great list of suggestions on how to survive the next four months until pitchers and catchers report.

I’ll be spending the offseason daily checking Cubs.com, Bleed Cubbie Blue, and the Chicago Tribune’s Cubs page to see how Theo Epstein remakes my beloved Cubs. Of course, I’ll also be visiting Eephus League frequently to see what other folks have posted.

How will you survive until baseball returns?

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And we'll see you tomorrow night.

Jack and Joe Buck

Washington Post

Before the internet, radio and television, baseball fans had to rely on other means to follow the games. The Atlantic has a great article on some of the early technology employed to follow games. Be sure to check out all the really cool photos.

Hat tip: Rob Neyer

Hey guys, I’m hoping to share some stories of the pains baseball brings us in the zine (the pain from this year is still very fresh for me). If you’d like to share a particularly crushing moment as a fan, post it in the comments and it should see its way into the issue!

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I was sent this wonderful letterpress poster by its creator, Jeremy Reiss, a few days ago, and wanted to share it with you guys. It’s a great illustrative look at some of the more colorful pieces of baseball slang. It’s a letterpressed poster, and you can get one here. It’s always a pleasure to see such beautiful baseball related work, and to see it executed so well is a treat. Great work, Jeremy!

zine

Ok guys, I’ve been lurking for quite some time, and I’m sorry for that. Grad school and work at once is really tough, and I needed to mourn my Braves’ epic collapse. But I have some exciting news! For my next class project, I get to make a 27 page magazine, and I want it to be the Eephus League Zine. Now I have to start gathering content! If anyone wants to see anything specific, please let me know, and if you want to contribute, shoot me an email at bethany [at] eephusleague.com

Current ideas include:

Nickname and jargon highlights
Infographics
Team logo redesigns (If you want your softball logo redone, email me)
Profiles of League members and their scorekeeping tendencies
Book Reviews
Ballpark Food highlights

I found this article while looking for the origins of the phrase “in your kitchen”

Dirt Dogs & Jinegar: Baseball’s Slang

There is a great case to be made about Texas Rangers’ President and minority owner Nolan Ryan (who was a darn good pitcher in his playing days) that he could be the perfect owner. An excerpt from a profile in the Wall Street Journal:

Nolan Ryan, now 64-years-old, won’t throw a pitch this postseason (though don’t bet he couldn’t get an out). As the chief executive and a minority owner of the Texas Rangers, he’s doing just about everything else. If you follow him around on a game day, something else becomes clear: There may be no other executive in major North American professional team sports who gives more time and thought to his players—or who has more useful information to give them in the first place.

It was Ryan who demanded the club stop babying young pitchers with

10.04.11
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“Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. There art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.”

Red Smith
October 4th, 1951

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A closer version of my illustration showing the old crown scoreboard and the famous “water spectacular” fountain beyond the outfield wall.
Click HERE to see other views and more of my illustrations.

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Here are a few shots from game 2 of the ALDS between the Rays and the Rangers from Arlington, Texas.

more pics

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An illustration I created showing what Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium) looked like back in 1985 before all of the renovations.  Click HERE to see other views and more of my illustrations.

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I was in Denver last week and took in a Rockies game. Coor’s Stadium has a section in center field where fans can sit for $4.00. I thought those days were long gone. I enjoyed the game and the ballpark. Go Rockies.

Is this the lowest price ticket in MLB or are others out there? The lowest I’ve found at US Cellular for the White Sox is $10.00 bargain Mondays. The Cubs have some $12 tickets.

Have you ever wanted to see Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, or Christy Mathewson in action? You can here. There are quite a few legends to be found on this channel.

And it’s long overdue. The first Negro League statistical database. From the site:

We are creating the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of the great black baseball teams and leagues that operated behind the color line in the days of Jim Crow segregation. The database also collects a vast amount of biographical information about these players, much of it previously unpublished.

This should make for great reading.

Hat tip: Hot Corner

October 30, 2001. Game 3 of the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees. It was the first game of the series to be played in New York. America was reeling from the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Most remarkable, though, was President George Bush throwing out the first pitch. Scott Miller of CBS Sports recalls the moment and how President Bush appeared to be all alone out on the mound.

Video of the President’s perfect pitch here.

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I heard a radio story about Bobby Douglass, 1970′s quarterback for the Chicago Bears, trying out for the White Sox. I went looking for other Sox who played in 2 or more sports. The Bobby Douglass card actually never happened (see URL).

The question is how many pitchers to use in your starting rotation. Some teams, like the Tampa Bay Rays, have utilized a six man rotation. Jeff Passan makes the case for a four man rotation and frankly it makes a lot more sense. After all, it was almost a decade ago that the five man rotation was declared a failure (and they were right).

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This graphic is the cover of a notepad that was on my coworkers desk this morning. The pad is from the Springfield Tablet Mfg. Co. (Springfield, MO). She thinks it is from the years 1995-2000. I like the design. Has anyone seen other teams in this series?

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Stumbled across some really neat work for the Victory League, a project from NeuArmy. It’s a lot of fun to see other designers taking advantage for the LOC’s baseball photo archive. I can’t wait for the chance to buy the booklet they are producing.

08.06.11
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If the Astros are going to field a triple-A team, they should at least update their uniforms.

Cubs fans don’t have a lot to cheer about this year but this behind the back catch by Kerry Wood to start an inning-ending double play will no doubt make this year’s highlight reel.

07.31.11

I watched a languid and moving HBO documentary today, The Curious Case of Curt Flood, and it’s a must-see for baseball fans. The former St Louis Cardinal great died young in 1997, but not before realizing the true impact of his 1970 career-ending lawsuit against baseball’s reserve clause, which did more than any other challenge to pave the way for modern free agency. His roller-coaster of a life is recounted with empathy and respect. Read the background here:


My friend recently found this 1981 Orioles program at her family’s house and what a gem on so many levels.
The ads, graphics, and the fact they are actually talking about the orioles winning make it a bit surreal.

More pictures below:

Congratulations to Bethany and the Eephus League for winning the 2011 Catbird’s Seat Award from the Fiesta de Beisbol, an annual celebration of baseball in Minneapolis. The award is given to those who “act in the best interests of baseball.” Since that no longer appears to be under the auspices of the Commissioner’s office, we recognize those who actually do look out for the good of the game. Through the Eephus League Scorebook Revival Project, Bethany has done great good for the game.

Sep 16th, 1940. During a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Ebbets Field, a Brooklyn Dodgers fan named Frank Germano ran out onto the field and attacked Umpire George Magerkurth after making a call in the 10th inning which lead to the Reds winning the game. In the words of the cinematic masterpiece that is Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, all I gotta say is “What a sports nut, huh?

I recently read about this fight in the book “Benchclearing: Baseball’s Greatest Fights and Riots” by author Spike Vrusho and was stoked to recently come across a photo of the incident. As far as the book goes, it can be a difficult read due to Vrusho’s tendency to hyper-analyze and describe certain incidents with over the top metaphors. In the end it is still a decent book and worth reading because I never knew about many…

This post is syndicated from ninety feet of perfection..

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I’m up past midnight, watching as the Braves/Pirates gave at Turner Field goes into the 19th inning, and there is this little girl sitting all the way out in left field, who has been screaming “LET’S GO PI-RATES” for at least 9 innings now. Give the girl a medal. Her poor brother just wants to go home.

This game is the longest in Braves history at this point.

Me And The Boys Boppin
The Pittsburgh Pirates won again last night, which gives them sole possession of first place in the NL Central (if only by half a game). This is the same Pirates organization that celebrated their 18th consecutive losing season o…

This post is syndicated from Chitwood & Hobbs.


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