07.14.11
BaseballMascots_1956.jpg

I was recently going through some old files and came across a book a family friend had given me a number of years ago: Inside Baseball for Little Leaguers. The copyright date says 1956. I flipped it open to discovery this collection of mascot drawings printed on both the inside front and back cover pages. Too wonderful not to share.

Leave it to Vin Scully to explain exactly what’s wrong with the All-Star Game determining who gets home field advantage in the World Series.

Further thoughts on the All-Star game here.

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Eric Swartzwelder was kind enough to point this out to me a few moments ago. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s so hard to place where I’ve seen this before…. Oh yes, that’s right, it looks an awful lot like my work, doesn’t it? Well the funny thing is that it’s most definitely not my work. We all look to pieces of design and try to evoke the same emotions, but using the same photo treatment, arrangements and typeface MIGHT be taking it into the “ripping off” territory. I hope this was a personal project by Mr. Mitchell, otherwise his client might not be pleased to know he was paying for him to let someone else do the heavy lifting.

You can see the post here.

1917

Illustration by Joseph C. Leyendecker

A German immigrant who came to the United States in 1882 at the age of eight, artist Joseph C. Leyendecker (1874-1951) created this nationalistic image of Uncle Sam. The poster was commissioned for a government-sponsored program to encourage American support for its impending entry into the fray of World War I. Leyendecker trained at Chicago Art Institute and later at the prestigious Academie Julian in Paris, where he his inspirations included works of artists such as Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec and Alfonse Mucha, among others.

via The Strong

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The Chicago Tribune ran a story about an Evanston, IL artist, Wilfred Santiago, who created a graphic novel about Roberto Clemente – 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/ct-books-0702-wilfred-santiago-20110701,0,5371559.story

“And is there anything that can tell more about an American summer than, say, the smell of the wooden bleachers in a small town baseball park, that resinous, sultry, and exciting smell of old dry wood.”
– Letter from Thomas Wolfe to Arthur Mann

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An online petition has been posted asking Fox Sports to hire Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully for this year’s World Series. I’m all for giving him one more chance to call the Fall Classic. Click here to sign the petition.

jspong:

A brash, tough-talking Texan who spent her life hurdling obstacles placed in her way by chauvinistic sports fans, sexist reporters and class-conscious golfers, Didrikson often showed up in the clubhouse before a golf tournament and bellowed to her female competitors: “The Babe’s here! Who is going to finish second?”

from “Babe Didrikson Zaharias’s Legacy Fades,” by Don Van Notta, Jr., New York Times.

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Ernie Shore & Grover Cleveland Alexander, 1915

A post on Books on Baseball’s Facebook page reminded me that today is the anniversary of Ernie Shore’s big game. On June 23, 1917 Shore was called upon to pitch in relief during the first inning of the first game of a doubleheader. The starting pitcher, a kid named Babe Ruth, had been ejected for arguing balls and strikes after walking the first batter. That’s when things got interesting. Here’s the lede of the game story that ran in the New York Times the following day:

BOSTON, June 23.—A no-hit, no-run, no-man-reached-first base pitching performance by Ernest Shore, Boston twirler; an assault upon Umpire Owens by Babe Ruth, another Boston pitcher, in which the umpire was struck behind the ear, and the defeat of Walter Johnson by Dutch Leonard

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Baseball series N° 2., 1912

oldbookillustrations:

Baseball series N° 2.

From American specimen book of type styles, American Type Founders Company, jersey City, 1912.

(Source: archive.org)

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Comiskey Park, 1957

Sherm Lollar catching unidentified pitcher as Ted Williams waits to bat

(photo by Frank Scherschel, for LIFE)

sportsnetny via ninety feet of perfection

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“A damned good poet and a fair critic; but he can kiss my ass as a man and he never hit a ball out of the infield in his life.”

- Ernest Hemingway, on T.S. Eliot

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Ebbets Field Flannels, the premiere and, quite possibly, only company specializing in faithful reproductions of early and mid-20th century Major and Minor League uniforms and hats, has a blog post up today looking at the history of team names in the Minor Leagues. As a fan of the bizarre, vintage, and hilarious, it immediately struck a chord. 

Here is a small sampling of the best forgotten names from their Industrial list:

“It was common for ballclubs to acquire a nickname related to a local industry, so we got the Brockton Shoemakers, Gloversville Glovers, Bassett Furnitute Makers, Tulsa Oilers, and all manner of Fruit Pickers, Raisin Eaters and Manufacturers. However, the Findlay Natural Gassers of the Inter-State League must have been relieved when their name was changed to Oilers.”

How could a fan base not rally around the…

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

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I just started a poll with a very important question: Would you guys be interested in a small, periodical zine? I’m itching to do some publication design and the opportunity to do it through baseball and work with some other awesome fans and designers is very, very exciting.

I want it to be fairly large in terms of page size, printed on newsprint in two colors. It could also be a fun way to interact with you guys. We could collect stories, take polls, and profile members and feature them in the zine. I’d love to do some analysis on the typography of baseball, scripts, number fonts, and so on, or maybe some fun rebranding of teams. Infographics, profiles of league members and their scorekeeping notations…. it’s so exciting! There is a lot of potential to make something cool and…

IMG_0266.jpg

Living in a group house right now I get a lot of similar comments.

via Nathan Bulmer @ Eat More Bikes

“Baseball, almost alone among our sports, traffics unashamedly and gloriously in nostalgia, for only baseball understands time and treats it with respect. The history of other sports seems to begin anew with each generation, but baseball, that wondrous myth of twentieth century America, gets passed on like an inheritance.”
— Stanley Cohen

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Baseball and beer has always enjoyed a happy relationship— like Mork and Mindy it’s impossible to think of one without the other. Finally then, comes a man who provides both the on-field entertainment and the off-field refreshments.

Chris Ray, currently on an 11 inning scoreless streak, will make the move from home brewing hobbyist to craft beer vendor when his beer, Operation Homefront, is released at Safeco Field at the end of next month.

Released by the Fremont Brewing Company, this particular brew will feature the sweet, sweet flavor that could only be provided by Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats.

From the article at the Washington Beer Blog

“The [Louisville Slugger] maple bats will be used to add some extra character to the beer. They will be added to the conditioning tanks – some of them whole and pristine, others cut into

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

artmodelnyc:

“October 5th, 1947. There are not many things better in Baseball than a well executed takeout slide at Second Base. Jackie Robinson shows Phil Rizzuto how it’s done during game 6 of the 1947 World Series”

90FeetofPerfection

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pitchersandpoets:

“Baseball Managers Fred Haney and Branch Rickey at Hollywood Stars baseball game, 1950.” from the UCLA Digital Collections, first published in the LA Times.

Only in Hollywood would such an outfit be deemed acceptable. 

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

John Dewan at ACTA Sports takes on the Quality Start stat and comes to the conclusion it doesn’t mean as much as we think. After crunching the numbers he discovers that a starting pitcher that goes six, seven, or eight innings and gives up three earned runs still loses 50% of the time. This begs the question as to whether this is a “quality start”.

The problem with statistics in general is that an abundance of different measurements don’t necessarily equate to the development of a predictive model. In other words, not all numbers can be used to actually determine how a player (or a team) will perform.

Time will tell whether “quality start” will be a statistic we’ll still be talking about 10 years from now. My guess is we won’t.

More important than the discovery of the cave paintings in Lascaux, we have finally found the first official mention of the Mendoza Line.

From the September 13, 1982 issue of Sports Illustrated:

“According to an SI poll of big league players, these words and phrases are the newest additions to the game’s lexicon:

When a struggling hitter pulls his average above .200, he has “crossed the Mendoza Line,” so named for former major-leaguer Mario Mendoza, whose career average (1974-81) was .216.

A “yakker” or an “Uncle Charlie” or the “yellow hammer” all describe a fine curve; “good cheese” is a blurring fastball.

A ball that “hits metal” has been misplayed by the fielder.

When a pitcher is “bridged” he has allowed a home run.

“If you’re waving at me, howdy,” is said to a player who strikes out swinging.”

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

(Photo via American Association Almanac)

While traveling around Baseball-Reference the other day, I came upon the story of Ed Kenna. Known as “the pitching poet” for his literary pursuits, sportswriter Charles Dryden wrote that Kenna“may be long on meter but he pitches ragtime.” I may not know what that means exactly, but it sure isn’t a glowing account of his baseball ability. I think. 

The precursor to Miguel Batista, Kenna pitched one year in the Major Leagues, going 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA in 17 innings for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902, but hung around the minor leagues for another five seasons. Kenna was involved in a terrible accident in 1905, nearly losing his eye, but managed to throw 305 innings the next year and an unknown total in 1907. Talk about grit. 

After his playing days, Kenna…

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

On Saturday, with the Phillies in town, the Pirates set a record for attendance in PNC Park. From the Biz of Baseball

On Saturday, Major League Baseball had six clubs see sellouts (Pirates, Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants, Angels, and Reds).

None were more welcome than the Pirates. With the team hovering close to .500, hosting the [Phillies], and having a Zambelli Fireworks display after the game, it all added up to the largest crowd in PNC Park history (39,441) or 103 percent of capacity.

How is this possible? Points:

  1. How does a stadium hold more than 100% of their capacity? There is a physical limit on the amount of tickets a team can physically sell and seat. 
  2. Did an absurd number of lap-sitting babies and small children come through the turnstiles and counted towards the official number? 

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

This photo tells you everything you need to know about Ty Cobb.

Hat tip: Hot Corner

pitchersandpoets:

Russian poster for THE BUSHER, 1919. 

snip: “The film stars actor Charles Ray as small-town baseball player Ben Harding, who, after a chance encounter with the championship Minneapolis Pink Sox, proves his talents and is asked to join the ball club as a pitcher. Harding promises his friends and family that he will return, but the success he experiences turns him into a conceited snob who ignores his loved ones when they come to watch him play. The poster depicts Harding at bat and has a eye-catching yellow and green color scheme with bold Russian text. “The Busher” was one of the few early films to be shown in Russia, as the leaders of the Communist Revolution used the film to show citizens how capitalism corrupts the soul.”

This post is syndicated from It's a long season..

“If we can get him to replicate his swing three days in a row, Jose Bautista could hit 25 homers a year. In fact, I think he could hit 40. He is just so easily frustrated when it doesn’t go right that he blames himself and forgets what he’s learned. Or ignores it. But of all these guys I have, if you want one of them who will eventually do something special in this game, I’d pick him. I wouldn’t be very surprised.” –

Via Keith Olbermann comes an earth-shattering quote from Jeff Manto on Jose Bautista in the year 2007. Seriously, this is like if someone circa 1865 said, “You know, we always had our eye on that John Wilkes character. Dangerous fellow.” 

I don’t know what Jeff Manto’s political leanings are, but if he is this good at spotting hitters,

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

“Harvard Eddie” Grant, 1911

(gelatin silver print by Paul Thompson)

Eddie, a Harvard grad who practiced law after his retirement from baseball, was among the first to enlist in the Army after the United States entered World War I in 1917. An infantry captain, he was killed by an exploding shell in France, where he is buried.

(Shorpy)

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Harmon Killerbrew

MHMorgan1963
05.28.11
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So the day that I got my package from the Eephus League is the same day that the Minnesota Twins held the memorial service for Harmon Killerbrew. I got on my bike and rode down to the plaza so I could see the Harmon’s Hall of Fame plaque on display before the service that night. I asked the security guard to take a picture and I was so pleased even if I look in pain in the picture.

“Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination

—Vin Scully (via stratomaticfanatic)

This post is syndicated from It's a long season..

The Baseball Cliche Narrative:

Emma Span, clearly doing God’s work, has taken two weeks worth of clever and insightful* postgame quotes and assembled them into an actual baseball narrative. 

It’s genius. 

*Such a thing does not exist

(h/t HBT)

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

05.26.11
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Another Stinckers series, heavy on stats (and sodium)..

Splitt is gone. He confirmed the extent of his illness just last week, and very much like Harmon Killebrew before him, passed so quickly we hardly had a chance to consider the man and his career.

Paul Splittorff was born in Evansville, IN, attended Morningside College in Sioux City, IA, and pitched for the Kansas City Royals for his entire career, 1970-1984. Splitt retired with a 166-143 win-loss record and career 3.81 ERA over 2554.2 innings pitched during his 15 seasons as a Royal and is well-known as “the winningest pitcher” in Royals history.

Splittorff wasn’t the snazziest pitcher in the Royal ‘pen, but his presence was unforgettable. His icy stare as he struck out opposing batters could stop deadly lava flow instantly. He was a solid craftsman with a true heart of gold, one of the hardest

This post is syndicated from The Baseball Enthusiast.

Series 3

Weissman
05.25.11
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Here is an uncut sheet of decals I designed for Stinckers. Cut decals were sold in vending machines all over the country (well, you can probably guess which cities).

schafer

“It looks like Marvin the Martian.”
— David Ross

David was referencing Jordan Schafer’s double flapped S100 concussion-preventative helmet, which he brought with him from Gwinnett, as none of the helmets the Braves had with them in Pittsburgh were small enough for his tiny little head.


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