Jack Dunn (1872-1928)Baltimore Orioles Manager1921Photographer unknownPortrait Vertical FileMaryland Historical Society[PVF]

This post is syndicated from IT'S A LONG SEASON..

Forty years ago today, Willie Mays hit the first of four home runs in four days to start the season, his last as a regular.

While reading up on Joe DiMaggio recently I came across this great photo. I have always loved this image due to it gracing the cover of the May 3rd, 1993 issue of Sports Illustrated (photo HERE). This is actually an issue that I still own from my childhood. Well, I love it even more now that I know what the entire photo consists of. Sports Illustrated cropped out some of the great elements of the photo such as the cameraman, the lack of a batter’s box, and the catcher’s whole body with the Umpire behind him. I have a hunch this photo is from Spring Training however I could be wrong. In any case, everything is great about this photo of the Yankee Clipper.


The Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation this season makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it. I can…

This post is syndicated from ninety feet of perfection..

I doubt Carlos Santana had any idea he would end up starting a triple play in his major league debut at first base but that’s exactly what he did in the Indians’ victory over the White Sox on April 3rd. Video available at the link.

I’m working my way through Ken Burn’s documentary Baseball and I’m up to the 8th Inning. This disc has Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk waving his World Series left field bomb just inside the foul pole, resulting in a home run by his shear will. The ball wouldn’t dare stay foul with this imposing figure demanding otherwise. White Sox fans were lucky to have Carlton Fisk finish his extraordinary career in Chicago, where gave everything he had every game until he didn’t have anything left to give. Favorite highlights include Carlton tagging out two runners in succession at home on the same play, and chewing out an opposing team rookie who didn’t run out a pop fly – an opposing player! This guy respected the game.

I only had one encounter, completely nonverbal, with Mr. Fisk. When my daughters were…

Snow and baseball don’t go that well together unless it is a snow cone. Just a little poetry to celebrate the missed day of baseball…

No Haiku Today
Game postponed because of snow
That’s Colorado!

wakefield hamilton

Wakefield throwing Hamilton his signature knuckle ball at last night’s romping of the Sox in Arlington. Home runs by Kinsler, Beltre (grand slam), Cruz, Torrealba, Ortiz and Ellsbury. Rangers won 12-5 and went on to sweep the Sox. It’s nice to see competitive baseball in Texas after all these years.

Who’d you pitch against today?”
At San Diego today.”
How’d you do?”
Nettles got me, bottom of the 9th.”

I have been on a big Bruce Springsteen kick lately and “Glory Days” is one of my favorite songs by the Boss. However, I am not sure if it’s just because there is Baseball in the music video or is it that the song just absolutely rules? I am going to go out on a limb and say it’s a little bit of both A and B. I remember being very young and seeing this video and assuming that Springsteen must be a professional Baseball player in addition to being a musician. This was due to the fact that he was on the television throwing a Baseball. Trust me, it made sense at the time.

Unfortunately the Boss was not…

This post is syndicated from ninety feet of perfection..

Michael Walsh, writing at National Review (and remarking on the name of their new sports blog) makes a case that right field is the most difficult position to play:

Not only is right field harder to play at the big league level, but it’s also the most individualistic spot on the roster. Think the Babe, Hammerin’ Hank, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Roberto Clemente, Reggie, Kaline, Dewey Evans, Maris. That’s some serious firepower.

Indeed, right field is like war: Long, lonely hours of patrolling vast acres of territory, then sudden kinetic baseball activity in which everything depends on your making the catch, or showing off your cannon arm to throw the runner out at home. Or coming up with the bases loaded and doing what a man’s gotta do.


The first pitch of a team’s season may not actually mean or portend anything, but it’s pretty special to a lot of people. It means baseball is back.

Using’s Gameday data, I tracked every team’s first pitch of the season. Here’s what I found*:

  • Nobody swings. Of the 30 first pitches, 29 were taken. Only Ben Zobrist swung and he produced a single off of Jeremy Guthrie grounded out to first base. 
  • Among those were 17 called strikes, 12 balls, and the one pitch that Zobrist decided to swing at.
  • Fastballs, naturally, ruled the day. There were 19 four-seam fastballs, two two-seamers, four sinkers, two changeups, a slider, and a splitter.
  • Brett Myers and Carl Pavano were responsible for the changeups, Yovani Gallardo for the slider, and Ubaldo Jimenez threw the split-finger.
  • Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, Clayton

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.

Rogers Hornsby

For the first time in the history of the world, mankind will witness Pujols in a contract year. Anything could happen. No one is safe. Bring your children indoors and keep them close. I predict two home runs in his first at bat.

Pujols’s 2011 contract-year stat line:

• .411 AVG
• 78 HR (by the all-star break)
• 235 RBI (one for every year of America)
• 180 R
• 43 Saves
• 4th MVP Award
• 1st Cy Young Award
• Nobel Peace Prize

A new, wonderful scorekeeping-centric blog was launched today by Mark Niesse and Erin McClam. It’s called Squaretender, and it’s going to be awesome. They’ve got a great, detailed guide on how to keep score, their own scorecard design you can download and print out, and will highlight sterling examples of the art of scorekeeping.

Picture 5

Today we are going to celebrate great opening day events! Who made the spectacular defensive play closed out one of the greatest opening day defensive performances in history? And who was the pitcher for that famous performance?


This is the day we’ve been waiting for, folks. it’s here, and it’s going to be amazing (unless you’re a Mets fan). Enjoy rooting for you team, keep a scorecard for everything you watch, and eat some hot dogs and cracker jacks on my behalf.

Last year, baseball lost one of its truly legendary broadcasters, Ernie Harwell. In 1955, he wrote the following article on what baseball meant to him. He shared this during his 1981 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s still a wonderful tribute to this game that means so much to all of us. As the new season begins today and hope springs for everyone (yes, even Cubs fans like me), it’s great to reflect on his timeless words about our truly American game:

Do you know what we get to do today, Brooks? We get to play baseball.

- Jimmy Morris (Dennis Quaid) in The Rookie

19th Century Baltimore Orioles Nickname Generator:

Dayn Perry of NotGraphs has created the greatest nickname generator of all-time, in the process shaming the porn star and Jersey Shore generators. As Perry describes it:

“As you are no doubt aware, the Orioles of that vintage were a tough bunch of men. They drank all the liquor in America, they went decades without sleeping, they brawled against Norse gods, and they saw all of their children killed gruesomely by primitive farming equipment. All of these things are facts.”

It is only fair and right for there to be an internet device to help give us nicknames. Mine is “The Promise of Famine,” which I quite like. Maybe I’ll add it to my resume.

Click through for yours. 

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.

The strongest thing that baseball has going for it today are its yesterdays.

~Lawrence Ritter, author of The Glory of Their Times, one of the best oral histories of baseball ever published.

“Hating the New York Yankees is as American as apple pie, unwed mothers and cheating on your income tax”

—Mike Royko

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

Visitors to Wrigley Field this season will be in for a treat. The Cubs announced today that Vienna Beef will be the official hot dog supplier for the club. Previously, Ball Park franks were being served at Wrigley. I’ve had both and Vienna Beef is by far the best hot dog around. In fact, one of things I miss most about not living in the Chicago area is not being able to get their hot dogs in the store.

But there is more to the story than just hot dogs. You see, Vienna Beef is a local company and fairly small by comparison to Sara Lee, maker of Ball Park franks. The Cubs also selected D’Agostino’s Pizza as their pizza vendor. They are another local company with a location just down the street from Wrigley on West…

Driving to work this morning, I heard this interesting story about the cost of attendance at Cubs and Sox games. The last 4 points about saving at the ball park are probably universal.

Recently, I was reading the revised edition of George F. Will’s classic, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball, when I ran across a riddle in the introduction that is sure to be a scorekeeper’s nightmare. Although Will claims this actually happened in a minor league game, the Hardball Times says this is only a classic riddle. With runners on first and second and nobody out, a batter hits into a triple play without the ball ever being touched by a fielder. How can this happen? Answer is after the jump.



Hammerin’ Hank. (Daily Braves photo)

Hank, Keeping Sunday Holy.

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

(Photo via UniWatch)

Come April 9th, the Giants will be wearing this golden version of their standard jersey as they receive their World Champion’s ring. I’m a little disappointed for two reasons: 1) they could have made a much bigger statement by throwing some rhinestones and acid wash on the unis and 2) the Giants already have the greatest statement jerseys in the history of the sport that are due for a comeback.

(Photo via Robert Ward Auctions)

Are you telling me that the buying public isn’t ready to purchase throwback World’s Champion uniforms with matching warmup sweaters? I’m not even a Giants fan and I would open a new credit card just so I could wear some of this swag.

This post is syndicated from Old Time Family Baseball.


This scorebook is designed for baseball fans of all shapes and sizes, regardless of whether or not they have kept score before. Scorekeeping is a vital part of the gameday experience and it is time to bring it back to the masses. The Eephus League scorebook is small, easy to carry and allows you to document your entire gameday experience, including where you sat, what you ate and who sang the national anthem. The scoresheets are clean and simple, allowing you to keep score the way you want. Each book is 5″ x 7.3″.

Included in the set 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…

Scorekeeping is storytelling, and a rich art that must be reinvigorated by a new generation of fans.

This shirt is a celebration of how scorekeeping can easily recreate wonderful baseball memories. All it takes is a few filled in diamonds and an E3 and thousands of fans can be transported back to an amazing part of their team’s past.

Price: $19.99

Size : SXL

Return to the shop and Shopping Cart

I was watching the Ken Burns Baseball documentary recently when historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was relating a scorekeeping story from her childhood. Ms. Goodwin was born and raised in Brooklyn and her father was a big Dodger fan. She told the story of how her father taught her to keep score when they went to the games together. She learned well and had taken to coming home from school, listening to the Dodger games on the radio, and keeping score for her father. When he came home from work, she would review the game for her dad, batter by batter, so he could enjoy the game.
The story reminded me of a similar story a coworker had related to me sometime earlier. He was new to the company, and we met at a company outing – a Kane County…

Miners to Majors: The Road to The Show is a fictitious baseball blog that I’m writing that follows Paul Miner, an up-and-coming 18 year old starting pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system on a trek to achieve his dream to play in the majors. I use MLB 11: The Show’s Road to The Show game option as the backdrop to my adventures.

I’m a huge baseball fan and a huge video gamer. When baseball season comes around, there’s only one baseball game to get: Sony’s MLB: The Show series. I specifically bought a Playstation 3, a $300+ game system, just to play this game. It’s that good and I’m that crazy a baseball fan.

In this game, among its many great offerings, they have a game option called The Road to The Show, where you can create-a-player at…

Sixty years ago this week in an exhibition game between the New York Yankees and USC Trojans, a 19 year-old rookie hit a home run that was the stuff of legend:

It was the first inning, one runner aboard, the count at two balls and two strikes, and Tom Lovrich stared down the 19-year-old rookie batter.

USC’s junior ace didn’t know much about him, except that he more than filled out his gray New York Yankees uniform.

“He was a strong, country kid from Oklahoma,” Lovrich said, recalling the legendary at-bat that took place 60 years ago Saturday. “Very strong.”

Lovrich figured the rookie would chase something low and away for strike three, so the 6-foot-5 right-hander known as “Tall Tom” began his sidearm windup and fired.

His head sank as soon he heard


Scorebooks!!!!! It is T-minus 4 days until scorebooks are shipped! If you pledged on kickstarter, make sure you return the email survey that was sent to you Tuesday evening so I can get your packaging ready over the weekend.

I have this one book from the printer, and it has all the pieces except the stickers (which is why I can’t ship till Tuesday). The book looks great! It’s nice and sturdy, the papers are just what I wanted and the color is spot on. The book is easy to handle and fold over when you are keeping score, and the reference card with abbreviations and foldout detailing the fundamentals of scorekeeping are just right.

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.

Bill Veeck

Today I stumbled across a cool site called Baseball Pilgrimages that has reviews of every major league ball park and a few minor league parks as well.

What drew my attention to the site was that he has a write up of Smokies Park which is home to the Cubs Double A affiliate Tennessee Smokies. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever visited and a truly fan friendly site.

Hats off to webmaster Graham Knight. To have a job where you can travel to different ballparks and write about your experiences sounds like a dream job to me.

My 14-year-old daughter Kei is on a mission. She wants to be the first female General Manager for the Chicago Cubs.

Does she have potential? Well, why not?

She criticizes trades openly. When I applaud the proper delivery of a grounder to 3rd by Aramis Ramirez, she snickers and says “well, good job…that’s what we pay you $8 million a year to do.” Like most Cub fans, she is more than cynical about the operations-side of baseball, as in ‘this ain’t working, no ring or trophy yet.’

I’m doing my best to raise her right.

Last week, she blurts out “I am going to be a baseball blogger!”

…OK. Well, why not?

A couple of days ago, she launched her very own blog: “Future General Manager.” And hey, it’s not bad at all. First step towards her mission?…

For me, last year saw a definitive change in the way I ‘used’ Twitter (really, as opposed to having an account but ‘not using it’) when MLB Gameday integrated a Twitter window into their At Bat for PC interface. As the season started, I found myself “joining the conversation” (as Twitter’s marketing puts it) which really means, I found a new group of anonymous Cub fans online to exchange smack-talk, particularly during games. By proxy, this led to a rise in “twilationships” and the grotesque expansion of my Cubs and baseball-related RSS Feed from a handful to a boatload. The Twitter window in At Bat…the folks at MLBAM have their marketing down (as if we didn’t know that already).

I could write an entire article about my Twitter experience, less the baseball player focus…but won’t at this time. For now,

Ninety feet between home plate and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection.

Red Smith

(Due to Word Press limitations on the number of links in a post, I am presenting this missive in its entirety to you in two glorious parts. EPIC!)


Back through the dugout…if you’ve been to a Louisville Bats game, you may know what this is. I don’t know the story behind it, but I remember years ago, at my first Bats game, hearing a bunch of clanging metal sounds occasionally coming from the field somewhere. I guess at first I thought it was someone with a very loud and annoying noisemaker…but game after game rakakakakakakakakakdakakakdakakdakakdaka every now and then. You have to be seated somewhere on the first base side (so you can see inside the home dugout) in order to find out what’s going on, that’s where I was when I saw where the noise was coming…

(Due to Word Press limitations on the number of links in a post, I am presenting this missive in its entirety to you in two glorious parts. EPIC!)


For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Louisville Bats Season Ticket Holder Open House with my daughters Kei and Chihiro. It was a little warmer this year (not by much) and the sun was shining brightly. Another fantastic way to get the upcoming season started just right!

To read the story and see pictures from last year’s Open House, you can do that here

We were able to enjoy the same ‘exclusive’ sights of Louisville Slugger Field that we did last year, and of course partake in our first official “Baseball Meal” of the season…Hot Dogs, Popcorn, and soda while relaxing…

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