“Baseball And Life,” by Stanley Cooper

This one is short and sweet, playing on the metaphor of baseball and life. There are some pretty intense pressure situations in both worlds, for sure.


Baseball ain’t just a game
Ask any fan, it’s a way of life
Life and Baseball, so much the same
Similarly filled with fun and strife

Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two out
Score tied, full count on the batter
He knows, at that moment, with out a doubt
If he fails to hit, nothing in life will matter

To strike out in life, as many do
Brings consequences, not aspired
Just as striking out with count three and two
Is something, clearly, not desired

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This day in baseball: The Clemens faceoff

In a minor league exhibition game held on February 27, 2006, 19-year-old Koby Clemens of the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League hit a home run off his 43-year-old father, Roger Clemens. In Koby’s next at bat, Roger threw a brushback pitch at Koby in retaliation. The father-son duo would later play another game together in 2006, as the elder Clemens was making his comeback with the Astros and pitched a game for Lexington.

Roger and Koby Clemens - sbnation
Roger and Koby Clemens (sbnation.com)

Infographic: MLB and Young Fans

It’s no secret that the fan base for MLB is getting older. Fewer people are attending games in person or even watching them on television, and many in the younger generations have other interests to capture their attention. I like how this graphic depicts many of the reasons for the dwindling interest: the high costs of attending games and the difficulty of accessing a broadcast on TV, for example. This infographic was created by the Masters in Athletic Administration program at Ohio University.

mlb-and-young-fans-infographic ohio university

Quote of the day

Do we need to have 280 brands of breakfast cereal? No, probably not. But we have them for a reason – because some people like them. It’s the same with baseball statistics.

~Bill James

Bill James - NY Times
New York Times

Dreaming baseball

Sharing a dream is not something I’ve ever done here, but then, dreaming about baseball is not something that has happened to me for years and years. Baseball appeared in my dreams last night, though, albeit in a very strange and disjointed manner.

I dreamed that some friends and I were attending some kind of retreat or camp. The theme of the camp was not baseball — to be honest, I’m not sure what the theme, if any, actually was — but baseball seemed to play a prominent role. Throughout the first part of the dream, a variety of activities took place, including a sort of jungle gym/obstacle course, which I decided to tackle. (As an aside, I wish I could do as many pullups in real life as I found myself doing in the dream.) Not too much of the national pastime going on in this portion of the journey, though it was hinted at through an array of miniature bats that littered the tables and the fact that a friend of mine seemed to be doing something with a stack of scorecards. Of course, that same friend later sat down to do some cross stitching. So nonsensical.

The second portion of the dream featured something that actually kind of resembled a baseball game. However, this game did not take place on a diamond, but rather, inside of some kind of church or small cathedral. At the front of the church was positioned a battery, the pitcher’s mound located in between the first set of pews and the catcher positioned just in front of the altar. Instead of a baseball cap, the pitcher wore a graduation mortarboard, the tassel flailing wildly with each pitch he threw. The pews were filled with teenagers and young adults, presumably all who were participants in the camp, each waiting their turn to go to the plate. An usher stood in the center aisle between the pews and behind the pitcher, and when the usher nodded at an individual sitting in one of the pews, it was that person’s turn at bat.

In the final part of this strange journey, the game had ended, and I settled into a comfortable corner with a couple of friends. As we sat there, a letter was handed to me. The letter was from a young girl, and it contained a very important question, “We are choosing jersey numbers for my baseball team, and the only ones left for me to choose from are numbers 3, 15, and 37. What is the best way to choose a jersey number?” It is a question no one has ever asked of me, and I knew the answer wasn’t going to be a straightforward one. After giving it a lot of thought, I finally sat down to write a response, “Choosing a jersey number can be a very personal decision….” And I went on to describe how some folks choose a number related to their birthday, or to a loved one’s birthday, or how a jersey number can reflect something else important in one’s life. A part of me shakes my head in disbelief over how seriously my dream persona took this question, but then again, folks in the real world do get pretty particular about their jersey numbers.

I didn’t quite reach the point in the dream where I finished the letter and mailed it off, however. Right about this time, a sandpaper tongue commenced licking my forehead, waking me from my slumber. I had slept fifteen minutes past my usual waking time, and the cat was hungry.

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This day in baseball: Mathewson and Fuchs purchase the Braves

On February 20, 1923, Christy Mathewson and Giants attorney Emil Fuchs put together a syndicate to buy the Boston Braves for $300,000. Mathewson would become the principal owner and team president. However, the future Hall of Famer’s deteriorating health reduced him little more than a figurehead, and the presidency would be turned over to Fuchs at the end of the season.

judge fuchs, john mcgraw, christy mathewson
Fuchs, John McGraw, and Mathewson (fenwayparkdiaries.com)

Happy Valentine’s Day

From what I’ve seen and heard, not too many folks are going to be celebrating this year, but if you are, enjoy the day! If you are not celebrating Valentine’s Day, just remember, we’re only 3 days away from the start of Spring Training.

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This day in baseball: Ken Hubbs passes

On February 13, 1964, Cubs second baseman Ken Hubbs died at the age of 22 when the red and white Cessna 172 plane he was piloting crashed a quarter-mile south of Bird Island in Utah Lake in the midst of a winter storm. Hubbs had taken flying lessons for the previous two off-seasons to overcome his fear of flying, obtaining his license just the previous month. Ken Hubbs had been the1962 NL Rookie of the Year.

Ken Hubbs in 1964 (Wikipedia)