In our national pastime, each player is a member of a team, but when he comes to bat, he stands alone. One man. Many opportunities. For no matter how far behind, how late in the game, he, by himself, can make a difference. He can change what has been. He can make it a new ball game.
~Bette Bao Lord, from In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
The infographic below was created by Statista back in March, estimating the potential losses MLB teams would be facing if they were to play an 82-game season in front of no live fans. For an 82-game season, each team in the league would be facing an average loss of $640,000 per game. The infographic shows estimated total losses for the top eight teams as a result of the shortened season and spectator-less games. The total loss for the MLB was estimated to come in around $4 billion.
Fast forward to the current arrangement, with a 60-game season, and these dollar amounts are no doubt looking even more ominous than the ones in the graphic. As much as we all hate that money is such a big part of professional sports, it’s no wonder there was so much of a push to get a season, any season, underway to recoup some of these losses.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, with the coronavirus continuing to spread around the country at such a rapid rate, it’ll be interesting to see if the league even makes it all the way through the planned 60-game schedule.
The 1939 All-Star Game was held on July 11th at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, where the American League defeated the National League, 3-1. Two of the three AL runs were driven in by Yankees players (the third was an unearned run scored on an error), including a DiMaggio home run. Indians pitcher Bob Feller, only twenty years old at the time, threw 3.2 scoreless innings to earn the save.
The box score for the game can be found here.
I’m having a difficult time finding additional information about this short video, so if anyone happens to know anything about it, let me know! I stumbled across this clip this morning, but the poster of the video didn’t include any information about it. I’m not sure who created the cartoon, nor if the creator had a particular player in mind (“The Kid” seems like a fairly popular nickname in baseball). I’m also curious about the song. Listening to it, it sounds vaguely familiar for some reason, but I can’t put my finger on why that is.
In any case, even if you don’t know anything about the origins of this video, it’s a fun little short to watch, and I imagine the song will be stuck in my head the rest of the morning.
Losing is a learning experience. It teaches you humility. It teaches you to work harder. It’s also a powerful motivator.
On July 6, 1945, Braves outfielder Tommy Holmes hit safely in his 34th consecutive game, surpassing Rogers Hornsby’s modern National League record set in 1922. Holmes would extend the streak to 37 consecutive games, with this mark lasting until Pete Rose surpassed it 33 years later in 1978 with a 44-game streak.
This short video from the Baseball Hall of Fame is a few years old, but I love the fact that it includes brief snippets from the opening ceremony in June 1939. In the video, you’ll hear a few words from1939 inductee Eddie Collins as well as from Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, 1937 inductee Cy Young, and 1936 inductee Babe Ruth. Videos of many induction speeches from those early years have proven hard to find, so coming across this video feels like a positive step in the right direction.
To all my readers in the States, please have a safe holiday. Wear your masks, wash your hands, keep social distancing, and if you’re going to use fireworks, please be mindful of others when doing so.
Every night I stood in front of the television watching the game and practicing my swing. I always swung for the seats. I even practiced fouling the ball off my foot. Mom would come in the den and find me limping around the rug, walking off the pain. I never said a word and neither did she. By the time I was nine I knew you gotta play hurt.
~Jane Leavy, from Squeeze Play
In a game against the White Sox at Chicago’s South Side Park on July 1, 1902, Boston Americans pitcher Cy Young drove in the only run of the game. Young’s shutout performance from the mound is his fourth consecutive complete game without allowing a run and is also the right-hander’s third 1-0 victory in nine days.