This day in baseball: Inside the park home run fest

The New York Giants hit four inside-the-park home runs at Braves Field on April 29, 1922, en route to a 15-4 victory over Boston.  George Kelly collected a pair of inside-the-parkers, and Ross Youngs and Dave Bancroft contributed the other two scoring dashes around the bases.  You can find the box score and play-by-play recap of the game here.

George Kelly

George Kelly in 1916 (baseballhalloffame.org)


Chipper Jones’s Hall of Fame induction speech

I really like Chipper Jones’s opening comment to his speech: I can only imagine how nerve wracking it would be to stand up there and talk in front of so many people on such an important occasion.  And the Jim Thome story is absolutely hilarious.  Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.


Quote of the day

Now I don’t care how big a goof a man is, he’d ought to know better than get smart round a fella that’s slumped off in his battin’.

~Ring Lardner, “Where Do You Get That Noise?”

Ring_Lardner_LC-DIG-npcc-03879

Library of Congress


Infographic: The Cost of Being a Baseball Fan

This infographic by PlayNJ appears to have been made fairly recently — just last month, if I’m not mistaken.  As we all know, attending an MLB game is not a cheap outing, and this graphic takes a look at what that cost amounts to if a fan goes throughout the year.  According to the fine print on the graphic, these annual costs include the price of one team cap and one team jersey, plus ticket, parking, one beer, one soft drink, and one hot dog per game for 81 home games.

Cost of Being a Baseball Fan infographic


This day in baseball: Luis Castro’s major league debut

Luis Castro made his major league debut on April 23, 1902, making him the first player from Colombia to play in the big leagues.  Castro took the field at second base for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia’s A’s in an 8-1 victory over the Orioles at Oriole Park that day. The 25-year-old Medellin native would play in 42 games that year and would also prove to be the last player from Colombia to appear in major league baseball until Orlando Ramirez broke in with the Angels in 1974.

Luis Castro 1902

Castro in 1902 (Wikipedia)


“Spring Training,” by Lynn Rigney Schott

I’m still holding out hope that Spring Training won’t be the only baseball we get this year.  In the meantime, we look for other ways to stay engaged with baseball.  This piece by Lynn Rigney Schott was first published in The New Yorker on March 26, 1984.  The author’s father, Bill Rigney, had played Major League Baseball with the New York Giants from 1946 to 1953.  He then went on to serve as the manager for the Giants, making him their last manager in New York as well as the team’s first manager when they moved to San Francisco.  Rigney would also manage the Los Angeles/California Angels and the Minnesota Twins.

*

The last of the birds has returned —
the bluebird, shy and flashy.
The bees carry fat baskets of pollen
from the alders around the pond.
The wasps in the attic venture downstairs,
where they congregate on warm windowpanes.
Every few days it rains.

This is my thirty-fifth spring;
still I am a novice at my work,
confused and frightened and angry.
Unlike me, the buds do not hesitate,
the hills are confident they will be
perfectly reflected
in the glass of the river.

I oiled my glove yesterday.
Half the season is over.
When will I be ready?

On my desk sits a black-and-white postcard picture
of my father — skinny, determined,
in a New York Giants uniform —
ears protruding, eyes riveted.
Handsome, single-minded, he looks ready.

Thirty-five years of warmups.
Like glancing down at the scorecard
in your lap for half a second
and when you look up it’s done —
a long fly ball, moonlike,
into the night
over the fence,
way out of reach.

Bill_Rigney_1953

Bill Rigney, 1953 (Wikipedia)


Quote of the day

Now the game is all different.  All power and lively balls and short fences and home runs.  But not in the old days.  I led the National League in home runs in 1901, and do you know how many I hit?  Sixteen.  That was a helluva lot for those days.

~Sam Crawford

Sam Crawford 1909

Sam Crawford, 1909 (Library of Congress)