This day in baseball

On Feburary 16, 1924, Tony Boeckel died of injuries received in an automobile accident the day before.  The Boston Braves third baseman thus became the first Major League ballplayer to be killed in a car accident.  Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel, who was also a passenger in the car, walked away from the accident without serious injury.

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“The Abominable Baseball Bat,” by X.J. Kennedy

This one is definitely a nonsense poem from X.J. Kennedy’s The Phantom Ice Cream Man: More Nonsense Verse.  It did make me giggle a bit, though.


I swung and swung at empty air
And when I heard the umpire
Behind me shout, “Strike three – you’re out!”
My bat turned to a vampire.

The whole team had to pry it loose.
Poor Ump looked sorta flat.
Now ever since, my bat and I
Walk every time we bat.

This day in baseball: Breakfast of champions

Dodgers Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson became the first athlete ever to be featured on all three Wheaties cereal boxes on February 11, 1997.  Wheaties bestowed this honor in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the year Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.  The three Wheaties varieties were unveiled by General Mills to be sold nationwide: Original Wheaties, Honey Frosted Wheaties, and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins.

“Talkin’ Baseball” (Philadelphia Phillies version), by Terry Cashman

And now for the Phillies version of “Talkin’ Baseball.”  This was the only video I could find that featured this version of the song.  As a bonus for Phillies fans, it is coupled with “Goin’ Back to Philadelphia, PA,” by Bobby Burnett.  Enjoy!

Once again, all “Talkin’ Baseball” videos may be found here.

Quote of the day

Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what it most truly is, is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps.

~Willie Mays

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This day in baseball: Ted Williams’s new contract

On February 6, 1958, the Boston Red Sox signed Ted Williams to a one-year, $135,000 contract, making him the highest-paid player in Major League history up to that time.   In spite of his age (he was 39 years old at the time), Williams reportedly said, “I feel wonderful and feel I can do anything I could do five years ago.”  He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers

This day in baseball: Baseball on ice


On February 4, 1861, a baseball game was played in ice skates on a frozen Litchfield Pond in South Brooklyn.  As a large crowd looked on, the champion team Atlantics defeated the Charter Oak Club, 36-27.  Each team was permitted to have ten players, with the extra player in the role of backup catcher.  The following day, the Brooklyn Eagle reported: “It will be readily understood that the game when played upon ice with skates is altogether a different sort of affair from that which the Clubs are familiar with.  The most scientific player upon the play ground finds himself out of his reckoning when he has got the runaway skates to depend on, and the best skater is the best player.”


Morris, Peter.  A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations that Shaped Baseball: the Game on the Field.  Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.