Video tour of Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame

Earlier this month, TheDailyWoo posted this video of his trip to Cooperstown, New York and his walk through the Baseball Hall of Fame. I had the opportunity to visit the town and the museum a few years ago, and this video was a nice reminder of the sights and the atmosphere of the Cooperstown experience. The town is full of nostalgia, the Hall of Fame museum is awe-inspiring, and this video reflects those feelings well.

Quote of the day

Don’t shed any tears. You think about this. Here I am, the grandson of a slave. And here the whole world was excited about whether I was going into the Hall of Fame or not. We’ve come a long ways.

~Buck O’Neil

Buck O'Neil
Buck O’Neil with the Kansas City Monarchs (public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

2022 All-Star Game schedule

The All-Star break is now underway, and the All-Start game is slated to take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Here is the schedule for the next couple of days:

Home Run Derby: Monday, July 18, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

All-Star Game: Tuesday, July 19, 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox

If you are interested in following the Home Run Derby, you can find the bracket and information about the competition’s participants through ESPN.com here.

Rosters for the All-Star game can be found here.

Dodger_Stadium,_Los_Angeles,_California_LCCN2013632442.tif
Dodger Stadium (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: The foul poles get a makeover

You know how the foul poles at a ballfield have those screen extensions sticking out of them? Those screens were born on July 15, 1939. National League president Ford Frick ordered the two-foot screens affixed inside all foul poles following a dispute between Billy Jurges of the Giants and umpire George Magerkurth. It seems that Jurges and Magerkurth spit at each other after a disputed call down the left-field line at the Polo Grounds. The American League would install the screens on the foul poles in their own ballparks shortly thereafter.

This day in baseball: Sisler drives home 7 in two innings

On July 11, 1925, St. Louis Browns first basemen George Sisler hit a triple with the bases loaded in the third inning and then followed it up with a grand slam in the fourth. Sisler’s phenomenal offensive performance led the Browns to a 10-5 victory over the Washington Senators in front of 15,000 fans at Sportsman’s Park.

The full box score from the game can be found here.

George Sisler 1924 - LoC
George Sisler, 1924 (Library of Congress)

Home Run Derby X – London

The inaugural Home Run Derby X took place in London this afternoon. I had seen some vague references to it over the past week, though nothing that caught my attention to the point of thinking that I needed or wanted to watch it. However, as I sat in my living room hiding from the heat wave that has been pummeling the Midwest for far longer than should be necessary, I stumbled upon the final of the Home Run Derby X streaming on YouTube.

I figured, what the hell, why not put it on? I let the stream run and took a moment every now and then to pause my activities to see what was going on.

Honestly? It was weird. The final of the competition featured the “Yankees” vs. the “Red Sox” (go figure). Representing the MLB for the Red Sox was Jonny Gomes. On the Yankees side, the MLB rep was Nick Swisher. From what I’ve been able to find, every team in the tournament features an individual from four different backgrounds:

  • MLB legend (in this case, Gomes and Swisher)
  • Superstar: Players who hail from the world of softball and women’s baseball.
  • Rookie: Players from the men’s baseball development system
  • Wild Card: “Influential content creators.”

I never managed to get a full handle on the rules, but based on what I was able to gather, teams can earn points not just for home runs, but also for defensive plays. Bonus points could be earned for hitting a particular target or by hitting a home run with an orange baseball. In general, the whole event felt more like a giant arcade game featuring real people, rather than an MLB event. And, in keeping with the stereotypes, the Yankees won the competition.

I won’t say that I hated it. Maybe if I had taken the time to really watch it and get an understanding of the rules and the scoring, it might have captured my interest better. I will say that I am thrilled that the event also features female athletes, because girls can play ball, too. It just seemed like a strange way to try to promote Major League Baseball in other countries.

Speaking of other countries, today’s exhibition apparently is not the only instance of the Home Run Derby X to take place this year. Upcoming competitions will take place on September 17th in Seoul, South Korea and on October 15th in Mexico City.

If you’re interested, you can watch the stream from today’s final in London below:

This day in baseball: Rookie Shea wins All-Star Game

Spec Shea became the first rookie pitcher to win an All-Star Game on July 8, 1947, when the American League defeated the National League, 2-1. In the game, Shea pitched the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings in relief for Hal Newhouser. The New York Yankees hurler allowed one earned run and was declared the winning pitcher.

Spec Shea in 1953 (public domain / Wikimedia Commons)

Quote of the day

You give loyalty, you’ll get it back. You give love, you’ll get it back.

~Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda with the Kansas City Athletics, 1956 (public domain)