They didn’t get along. Gehrig thought Ruth was a big-mouth and Ruth thought Gehrig was cheap. They were both right.
In April of last year, Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado hit a ground ball to third in a game against the Pirates. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez noticed something was off about the ball as soon as he fielded it, but had the presence of mind to throw to first anyways. Unfortunately for Alvarez, Maldonado’s hit had literally caused the cover of the ball to peel back, which prevented him from being able to put any speed on his throw. As the broadcasters point out, Maldonado had literally knocked the cover off the ball!
In Eric Rolfe Greenberg’s novel The Celebrant, Jackie Kapp mentions hanging out on the streets to track New York Giants games on boards designed to allow fans to follow the action. I wondered what this kind of board would look like. I had a picture formed in my head, but then I found this photo the other day that blows that picture out of the water. This is a photo of a “baseball game reproducer” board on the streets of Washington in October 1912, operating during the World Series between New York and Boston. I have to say, if I was living during that time period, with no radio and no TV, I could live with this option for tracking a game. It’s like an early twentieth-century version of MLB.com Gameday.
The beauty of the game is that there are no absolutes. It’s all nuances and anticipation, not like football, which is all about vectors and forces.
This comic puts the financial situation of Major League Baseball and of America as a whole in perspective. As much as I enjoy the game, it has always been ridiculous to me that a man can earn a million dollars to catch and throw a ball and that existing stadiums never seem good enough. We, as fans, are just as much to blame for this. It’s not uncommon to hear folks comparing how good this stadium is versus that stadium, and the desire of fans to see winning teams drives up player salaries. When you consider the situations of other countries on the American continents, it’s kind of embarrassing to realize our priorities.
The final game of the first-ever World Series was played in October 13, 1903 between the Boston Americans (Red Sox) and the Pittsburgh Pirates. In Game 8 of the best-of-nine Series, Boston defeated Pittsburgh, 3-0, to take the championship 5 games to 3. Boston’s Bill Dinneen earned the victory over Deacon Phillippe of the Pirates.
This song made me smile as I listened to it. I love the moments of history that he mentions, and you can feel the nostalgia oozing out of every beat. There’s such a great, full sound to this song, and it reminds me of why I love this game so much. This tune became especially popular during the 2000 World Series, when the Mets and the Yankees represented their respective leagues in a crosstown match-up.
To be a pitcher! I thought. A pitcher, standing at the axis of event, or a catcher with the God-view of the play all before him; to be a shortstop, lord of the infield, or a center fielder with unchallenged claim to all the territory one’s speed and skill could command; to perform the spontaneous acrobatics of the third baseman or the practiced ballet of the man at second, or to run and throw with the absolute commitment of the outfielder! And to live in a world without grays, where all decisions were final: ball or strike, safe or out, the game won or lost beyond question or appeal.
~Eric Rolfe Greenberg, The Celebrant
Ryne Sandberg’s Hall of Fame induction speech is arguably one of the best that I’ve listened to thus far. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of the proliferation of home runs in the game. Even I can’t deny that home runs are exciting, but small ball, in my opinion, is much more of an art form. Sandberg was inducted in to the Hall of Fame as a Cubs second baseman in 2005.
Approximately two week’s after Merkle’s Boner took place, the Cubs faced off once again against the New York Giants on October 8, 1908. The two teams had finished the season tied in the race, so the tie game that resulted from Fred Merkle’s base-running blunder was replayed in order to determine a National League pennant winner. In the makeup game, Christy Mathewson was out-pitched by Three Finger Brown as the Cubs defeated the Giants, 4-2.