This day in baseball: Dean brothers domination

In a doubleheader at Ebbets Field on 21 September 1934, brothers Dizzy Dean and Paul Dean dominated the Dodgers, each starting a game on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals.  In the first game, Dizzy Dean pitched a two-hit shutout, blanking the Dodgers 13-0.  Not to be outdone, his rookie younger brother, Paul, followed up in game two with a no-hitter, as the Cardinals defeated Brooklyn 3-0.  This performance made Paul Dean only the fifth pitcher in Major League history to throw a no-hitter in his rookie season.

Paul and Dizzy Dean, 22 March 1934 (Photo Source: Baseball-Fever.com)


This day in baseball: Brett’s last day at .400

In 1980, Royals third baseman George Brett made a strong run at finishing with a batting average above .400 for the season, an accomplishment last achieved by Ted Williams in 1941.  The last day of the season in which Brett’s average stayed above .400, however, came on September 19th, when he went 2-for-4 against the A’s in Kansas City.  What followed was a 4-for-27 slump, from which Brett could not rebound in time.  He finished the season hitting .390 and won the American League MVP award.

Photo source: MinorLeagueBall.com


Quote of the day

Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.

~Jackie Robinson


Relativistic Baseball, by XKCD

If you’re not familiar with the webcomic XKCD, then you are definitely missing out.  Part of the XKCD experience is the What If? blog, which explores a wide range of hypothetical physics questions.  The very first post on the blog was an amusing discussion on “Relativistic Baseball.”  More specifically, it provides us with an answer to the question: What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?

The answer might surprise you — but I’m sure that it will also entertain you.  Click here to read and learn all about it!

Photo source: XKCD


This day in baseball: Spahn’s no-hitter

On 16 September 1960, Warren Spahn struck out fifteen batters, setting an all-time Braves record, on his way to the first no-hitter of his career.  The thirty-nine-year-old pitcher won 4-0 over the Phillies — in his 20th season!

Photo source: Baseball In Wartime


“A Ballad of Baseball Burdens,” by Franklin Pierce Adams

This poem by Franklin Pierce Adams was first published in 1912 in his book, In Other Words.

*

The burden of hard hitting. Slug away
Like Honus Wagner or like Tyrus Cobb.
Else fandom shouteth: “Who said you could play?
Back to the jasper league, you minor slob!”
Swat, hit, connect, line out, get on the job.
Else you shall feel the brunt of fandom’s ire
Biff, bang it, clout it, hit it on the knob—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

The burden of good pitching. Curved or straight.
Or in or out, or haply up or down,
To puzzle him that standeth by the plate,
To lessen, so to speak, his bat-renoun:
Like Christy Mathewson or Miner Brown,
So pitch that every man can but admire
And offer you the freedom of the town—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

The burden of loud cheering. O the sounds!
The tumult and the shouting from the throats
Of forty thousand at the Polo Grounds
Sitting, ay, standing sans their hats and coats.
A mighty cheer that possibly denotes
That Cub or Pirate fat is in the fire;
Or, as H. James would say, We’ve got their goats—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

The burden of a pennant. O the hope,
The tenuous hope, the hope that’s half a fear,
The lengthy season and the boundless dope,
And the bromidic; “Wait until next year.”
O dread disgrace of trailing in the rear,
O Piece of Bunting, flying high and higher
That next October it shall flutter here:
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

ENVOY

Ah, Fans, let not the Quarry but the Chase
Be that to which most fondly we aspire!
For us not Stake, but Game; not Goal, but Race—
THIS is the end of every fan’s desire.


Quote of the day

One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.

~Nolan Ryan