While the American League is known for its use of the designated hitter, they weren’t the first ones to ever have an interest in utilizing it. The Pacific Coast League once expressed an interest in implementing the allowance of a designated hitter even before the AL started using it. However, the PCL’s proposal to use the DH got rejected on March 31, 1961 by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee. The American League would begin using the DH in 1973.
Known in baseball as “Pudge,” Carlton Fisk played for both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971–1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981–1993). In 1972, he became the first player unanimously voted American League Rookie of the Year, though he is probably best known for “waving fair” his game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
This speech is the longest one I’ve listened to so far, but it’s worth the time. It’s not hard to get a glimpse of the kind of work ethic and character that Fisk possessed through this oration. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Unfortunately, I am not getting out of work today, but I am still joining in the collective sigh of relief and happiness that Opening Day has finally arrived! And yes, the Royals-White Sox score will be up someplace where I can check in frequently.
The nickname “Cubs” in reference to the Chicago team first appeared in print on March 27, 1902. The Chicago Daily News printed a headline that day reading, “Manager of the Cubs is in Doubt Only on Two Positions.” While the name had existed for the team since 1890, the team was more commonly known as the Orphans, and had also been called the Colts and the White Stockings. The name Cubs would become the team’s official name in 1907.
I have never seen nor heard anything like the story about Ted Williams in this poem, but I do like the idea behind it. As the author comments, it makes for a great story. This piece by Dudley Laufman appeared in Sptiball Magazine in January 2010.
That time there in Warner, New Hampshire,
game between Bradford and Warner,
someone clouted a drive across the railroad tracks
just in front of the afternoon run
of the Concord to Claremont commuter.
Ump made it a ground rule double.
I think I told you this one,
Arlington – Waltham.
Spy Ponder hits one over the tracks
in front of the 6:15 to Lexington,
Watch City outfielder scoots through the underpass,
comes back waving the ball,
wants a ground rule double,
ump says home run.
Yeah, I told you that one.
But get this.
I don’t know if this is true or not,
but it makes a good story.
The Red Sox are enroute Boston-Providence
for an exhibition game in Pawtucket.
Train passes through Sharon or
some little town like that.
Train whistles along the edge of the ball field,
sandlot game, mix of grubby uniforms,
and someone lines one towards the train.
Ted Williams is standing out on the back platform,
reaches out, snags the ball, and keeps it.
Train rumbles on to Pawtucket,
Williams clutching their only ball.
Next day (the Sox stay over),
train headed back to Beantown.
The boys are out on the field
(they found another ball).
The Kid is out on the platform again,
and he throws the ball back,
autographed by all the Bosox.
Babe Ruth signed his 1933 contract with the Yankees on March 24th of that year. In the face of the Great Depression, Ruth found himself forced to take quite a pay cut from his previous year’s salary of $75,000.
Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert had initially proposed a $25,000 cut down to $50,000 for the year, which Ruth refused to signed. Nevertheless, the Babe reported to Spring Training hoping to work out a better deal for himself in the meantime.
Finally, however, Ruppert issued an ultimatum, telling Ruth that if he did not sign by March 29th, he would not be permitted to travel back north with the team. Ruth finally settled for a $52,000 contract, stating, “I expected a cut, but $25,000 is no cut, that’s an amputation.”
So close you can smell it. Only five days until Opening Day!