Uh-oh. Already falling behind to the rest of the world in health care, education, and ability to locate items on a map, it looks like Americans are also becoming worse at heckling.

From Hunter Pence after he hit a home run to help the Astros avoid a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays:

“I’ve never had it like that,” Pence said. “I just thought that’s how Canadians might be. They like to heckle.”…In his experience with leather-lunged fans, Pence said only those in the Wrigley Field bleachers compare to Toronto’s taunters.“It’s similar to Wrigley, but in Wrigley there’s so many yelling, it’s almost like you can’t totally pick them out,” Pence said. “These guys had a knack for being loud alone, or all chanting together. It was pretty aggressive.”

If not for the Old Style-swilling Bleacher Bums…

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

Today we lost a legend. I woke up this morning and checked my phone and the first thing I saw was a text message that Harmon Killebrew passed away. He was 74 years old and died from the cancer he had been battling since last year. While his passing was expected it still does not soften the blow to the Baseball community. As always I pay tribute to my Baseball heroes on 90 feet of perfection via a collection of my favorite photos and today is no different. Here’s to you Killer Killebrew, one of the greatest sluggers and good guys Baseball has ever seen.


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“The triple is the most exciting play in baseball. Home runs win a lot of games, but I never understood why fans are so obsessed with them.”

— Hank Aaron

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Saturday night, with CC Sabathia pounding him inside again and again, Adrian Gonzalez decided he would take a page out of Ichiro Suzuki’s book and add a little hop. Being the polite boy that he is, Gonzalez even alerted Terry Francona so that chaos wouldn’t reign supreme in the Red Sox dugout.

Via Reddit, a comparison:

Because of the sheer ballsiness of Gonzalez’s move, the world rewarded him with a three-run homer.

Said Gonzalez after the game:

“I told him because he’s never seen me do it,’’ Gonzalez said. “Normally I don’t. I’ve probably done it in San Diego like 10 at-bats, but he’s never seen me do it. If I go up there and do it, he might be, ‘What’s this guy doing?’ ’’ So, did he get the raised eyebrows from the manager? “He

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

IT WAS A CROWNING achievement in a life perhaps not altogether rich with athletic triumph. I stood on the mound—well, the tar spot on the parking lot that served as our mound—facing down my adversary, Flynny. The close game had built to this moment, the two of us having, for several hours, polluted the sultry neighborhood air with trash talk and profanity, and I had pulled ahead with a long home run in the last inning. This was sudden death now. By our rules, each btter got two strikes or six balls. Flynny had two outs and a strike against him. I reared back and submarined a screwball that hissed as it skimmed a hair’s breadth above the asphalt before suddenly cutting up and in. Flynny swung and missed, which would have been enough for me, but the

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“Confidence oozed out of him. He took something away from you even before you threw a pitch”

— Gene Conley, on Ted Williams (via gerti-rouge)

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Today in Cleveland they’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of Len Barker’s 1981 perfect game, which he tossed in front of just 7,290 fans in cavernous, 74,000-seat Municipal Stadium.

There are lots of great items floating around the web today in commemoration:

  • The Transplanted Phan features “A Perfect Game for Lenny Barker,” a song by Alex Battles & The Whiskey Rebellion about the impact the game had on the city of Cleveland.
  • The News-Herald offers explanations for the low attendance.
  • Cleveland’s News 5 has fantastic field-level video of the final outs and post-game interviews with Barker, catcher Ron Hassey, Bert Blyleven and the man who caught the final out, Indians broadcaster Rick Manning.
  • In The Sporting News, Len Barker recalls the best game he ever pitched.

(photo NY Daily News)

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Despite playing during the time when baseball was perfect for me (defined by Bill James as that time when you are ten years old), I have no recollection of Jeff King. Even the internet seems to agree because there seems to be only two non-baseball card photo of Jeff King available even though he sports an enviable mustache. Here’s the less popular one:

(Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

It turns out that it is all for a good reason: Jeff King hated playing baseball. From Joe Posnanski’s piece over at Pitchers and Poets for their 1990s First Basemen Week:

“I’m not kidding about how much he disliked the game. His manager in Kansas City, Tony Muser, used to tell a story about how he heard King moaning one day about the National Anthem. Muser, a former Marine,

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This is not the headline to an Onion article, this is something that Ron Washington actually did.

From the MLB.com article:

“While watching Kramer and Costanza late on Monday night, the Rangers’ manager pulled out a sheet of paper and completely overturned his roster, putting Julio Borbon in the leadoff spot and Michael Young in the cleanup spot for the first time in his career in an effort to ignite the sputtering offense.

Ian Kinsler batted third on Tuesday after leading off in all 34 of his starts. Slumping third baseman Adrian Beltre was dropped to the No. 6 spot, and Mitch Moreland was moved up to fifth. David Murphy, Mike Napoli and Craig Gentry rounded up the lineup, with shortstop Elvis Andrus staying in his regular No. 2 spot.”

No word on what particular episode…

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Frank Sinatra scores an autograph from Lou Gehrig prior to Game 4 of the 1939 World Series

This photo, which appeared in Jonathan Eig’s Lou Gehrig biography Luckiest Man, is featured in an interesting Hauls of Shame post about a similar Gehrig game-worn jersey that sold at auction this week for $280,000.

(photo Al Stagg / ht/t @Go_GoSox)

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

“When you play this game twenty years, go to bat 10,000 times, and get 3,000 hits, do you know what that means? You’ve gone zero for 7,000.”

—Pete Rose

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Travis Hafner

Bad Bad Mordecai Brown

Cleveland’s occasionally feared homerun hitter earned his nickname in 2001, during his brief time with the Texas Rangers. Legend has it (as does a 2007 article in Sport’s Illustrated entitled “Pronk of the Prairie”) that Hafner had two nicknames while attending Rangers’ spring training: Project (due of his inexperience) and Donkey (due to his clumsy style of running the bases).

Bill Selby reportedly said, “Hey, Project. What’s up, you big donkey?” Hafner’s response was “You can’t call me both!” So Selby created Pronkey, the fusion of Project and Donkey, which eventually evolted into El Pronko, and finally Pronk.

In 2006, Malley’s Chocolate created the Pronk Bar, and a Pronk Bar wrapper can be found in the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Curious Case of the 1970 Brewers Prototype Jersey

Thanks to the fact that a number of different archives of newswire photos are currently being auctioned on ebay, there are a number of fascinating images which are showing up for sale.

See and read more: the fleer sticker project

(h/t jennlevo)

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Hank Greenberg, 1939

(Photo: Charles Colon/TSN/Icon SMI via SI.com)

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A group of fans ignore the law and look after the neglected grounds at Tiger Stadium because fans are awesome. Anthony Castrovince has the story at MLB.com:

They dubbed themselves the Navin Field Grounds Crew, after Tiger Stadium’s original name, and they went to work cutting grass, pulling weeds, removing stones and picking up litter. Through the weeds, they found the pitcher’s mound and home plate areas intact, and they measured off the dimensions of the infield to ensure accuracy.

This was good, hard, yard work done with a purpose and done despite a deterrent. For each time the volunteers who make up this so-called grounds crew stepped on the field, they were trespassing on city property. And the police, fearing liability issues, were and are quick to kick people off.

First Francisco Liriano tosses a no-hitter. Today, four days later Justin Verlander tosses his own giving up only one walk. Looks like it could be another great year for pitchers.


Thanks to the always amazing OldTimeFamilyBaseball, I found the amazing work of InfoJocks. They make incredible infographics, posters and illustrations based around sports. The amount of care and detail in these things are incredible, you need to check out their tumblr as well as their shop.

“Hitting is fifty percent above the shoulders.”
- Ted Williams

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Some guys respond really well to pressure. Take Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins who had been fighting to stay in the starting rotation. What does he do? Throw a no-hitter, of course. Congratulations to Liriano for showing he’s got what it takes to be a big league starter.

I have yet to read or see Game of Thrones, but I imagine it’s similar to how R.A. Dickey names his bats:

“His bats have no stickers. He writes his number, 43, in black ink in the middle, with a name curled around it.

One bat is called Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver and the other is Hrunting. Dickey, an avid reader, said that Orcrist came from “The Hobbit.” Hrunting — the H is silent, Dickey said — came from the epic poem “Beowulf”; it is the sword Beowulf uses to slay Grendel’s mother.”

So, MLB Network, when are you going to start production on your baseball meets fantasy epic?

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

“Slumps are like soft beds. They’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.”

— Johnny Bench (via MQ)

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Both the Padres and Nationals will pay tribute to the military tonight.

Both events are very appropriately timed.


[May 2, 1951]
‘Mudders’ Overwhelm Columbus 11-0
Mays in Torrid Debut, Dandy Raps Four Hits
By HALSEY HALL, Minneapolis Tribune Sports Writer
The Minneapolis Millers captured the first Black Mush Bowl game in Association opening …

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From the description card, dating back to 1951:

“Residents of Fowler, 35 miles east of Pueblo of the Western league, gave away copious amounts of of [sic] beans, butter, bananas, braed [sic], and bacon to advertise their community in the Goodman attendance trophy competition. Then, to climax the evening, following the game they turned six young jack rabbits loose in the park, for the Pueblo players to chase. Attached to each bunny was a $5 bill.”

Boy, people sure knew how to have a good time back in 1951. 

(Via UniWatch)

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.


Dear Tim Lincecum, I know you seem to think the the currently playoff structure has been around like “so long” (1995 is like FOREVER ago, am I right?), but the fact is that if everyone had the attitude you do regarding changing the postseason structure, we’d have a two team postseason and it would suck. I realize there are points at which expanding these sorts of things becomes harmful, but heck, the first wildcard slot was a success, so I’m fine with trying out a second.

Bring on the extra wild card, Bud.


The Cubs World Series Championship drought is almost over. In 2014, all the demons will be exorcised. The reasoning is symmetrical. The major baseball curses all pivot about the year 1961. The Red Sox and the White Sox broke their respective curses in rapid succession in 2004 and 2005.
The Red Sox previous World Series crown was 1918, 43 years before 1961. The Red Sox broke the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ in 2004, 43 years after 1961. Similarly, the White Sox previous World Series crown was 1917, 44 years before 1961. The White Sox broke the ‘Curse of the Black Sox’ in 2005, 44 years after 1961. So by similar reasoning, the ‘Curse of the Billy Goat’ will end in 2014.

The year 1961 is a good dividing point between Classic baseball and Modern baseball:
• Roger Maris…

“I told them, put a little dirt on mine, make sure that (it looks) like I’m playing the game because if I bring that bobblehead home to my mom, she’ll go, ‘Take that back because you ain’t dirty. You (weren’t) playing.’” –

Ricky Henderson on the instructions he gave before yesterday’s bobblehead day.

(h/t BBTF)

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

Over at Pitchers and Poets there is a great post on why baseball is a game that is better suited to being seen in person. Having been to a number of games over the years, I concur that there is nothing quite like being at the ballpark. Watching a game on television you miss a whole lot of the action. So, fellow Eephus League members, what do you think? What do you like best about being at the game?

Hat tip: Rob Neyer

“The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals and three-run homers.”

—Earl Weaver (via quotefun)

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Like how sausage is made and the story of one’s conception, there are some things that I’m fine with having swept under the rug. Which is why I didn’t care if Don Mattingly grew a goatee because the Dodgers were winning or because he felt like he needed a change or if he just hated how his face looked. The cover story was fine as is.

But today, Dylan Hernandez had to pull back the veil

“Mattingly shaved his goatee. Said he grew it because he had a cold sore on the left side of his lip.”

Sometimes the ease of social media is a problem. Had there only been newsprint, chances are good this tidbit would never have seen the light of day. 

(h/t Hardball Talk)

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

(This late post is brought to you by my inability to locate things like my scorebook, the basic reason for writing this.)

Thanks to my good friends Kelly and Gemma, I was able to make my first pilgrimage to Dodger Stadium last weekend to see Clayton Kershaw take on Kyle McClellan. It also gave me an excuse to wear my ‘42 Pelicans jersey and test out my Eephus League scorebook while sitting in seats close enough to touch Tommy Lasorda:

Frozen in baseball awe, I was unable to move from my seat and extend my hand. When finished with his duties as Pope of Baseball, Lasorda then stood at the top of the Dodgers dugout, took James Loney’s glove, and, I assume, proceeded to tell him how he should play the field. Lasorda’s still got…

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

“Most ballgames are lost, not won.” - Casey Stengel

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