A couple weeks ago, the Cubs posted this documentary about the restoration and expansion of Wrigley Field. The film also includes a lot of history of the ballpark and is certainly worth the watch. Even if you’re not a Cubs fan, one can’t deny Wrigley is an important landmark in the sport, and it would be nice to keep it around for as long as possible.
On August 28, 1884, New York Gothams pitcher Mickey Welch struck out the first nine Cleveland Blues hitters to come to the plate, establishing a major league record for consecutive strikeouts. Welch’s mark lasted until 1970, when New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver would strike out the last ten San Diego batters he faced in a game at Shea Stadium.
When baseball is no longer fun, it’s no longer a game.
This documentary, “Fastball,” is fun to watch, and currently, it’s available for free through YouTube. Kevin Costner narrates, and you also get to hear from Joe Posnanski, Derek Jeter, Goose Gossage, Hank Aaron, plus a number of other hard-throwing pitchers and the hitters who had to face them. The documentary is rich with stories about many of the great fastball pitchers in the game, both past and present, and I even found myself experiencing small surges of adrenaline as I watched. The science presented in the film is fascinating, as well.
It looks like you’ll have to make your way to YouTube to watch it, as I’m unable to drop the video here due to restrictions. Definitely check it out, if you get the chance!
I like the imagery in this piece, and the wonder of a child watching a baseball game is always enjoyable to think about. I’m not sure of the author’s actual name, as the poem is posted only with the username, Obthompson. You can find the original post here.
The scoreboard reads:
“Batter up!” comes the shout,
Way back in the stands sits a child effervescent with joy;
His father beside him speaks to him softly;
Close your eyes and think,
That could be me.
The roar of the throbbing crowd longing for victory,
Seats teeming with fans
some sad with worry, some happy with glee.
The scuffing of shoes,
The clearing of throats,
The build up to when pandemonium ensues.
That old smell of peanuts,
The roll of the organ,
The batter steps up to take his cuts.
He steps up to the plate,
Breathes; and takes it all in
He closes his eyes and thinks to himself;
Why me and not him?
In a publicity stunt arranged by the Come to Cleveland Committee on August 20, 1938, five members of the Indians (catchers Hank Helf, Frank Pytlak, and Rollie Hemsley and coaches Wally Schang and Johnny Bassler) attempted to set a record by catching a baseball dropped from the top of the 708-foot tall Terminal Tower. In front of a crowd of approximately 10,000 people, rookie reserve catcher Hank Helf managed to catch a ball dropped from the 52-story structure, which was estimated to be traveling at 138 mph. The catch broke Gabby Street’s 1908 mark for a vertical catch, established when Street snagged a ball dropped 555 feet from the top of the Washington Monument.
I think about the cosmic snowball theory. A few million years from now the sun will burn out and lose its gravitational pull. The earth will turn into a giant snowball and be hurled through space. When that happens it won’t matter if I get this guy out.
~Bill “Spaceman” Lee
Congratulations to Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Gilbert, who threw a no-hitter in his first MLB start last night. Gilbert led the Diamondbacks to a 7-0 victory over the San Diego Padres with his performance. At 27 years old, Gilbert had spent six years in the minors before appearing in relief three times for the Diamondbacks prior to being given the start in last night’s game.
Gilbert didn’t play baseball in 2020 after the minor league season was canceled, due to the pandemic. He spent the summer learning to be an electrician from his dad and making some extra money. With last night’s achievement, however, Gilbert commented, “I’d rather be doing this than pulling wires. No offense, Dad.”
A few years ago, MLB.com’s Cut4 did an article listing the teams who had the best record in games played on Friday the 13th, as well as teams with the worst record. If you’re interested, you can find the article here.
I’m sure the numbers have shifted a little since 2018, but even if they’ve won a couple in the meantime, you can’t help but feel bad for the Pirates.
When I began playing the game, baseball was about as gentlemanly as a kick in the crotch.