This day in baseball: First White Sox game

At Schorling’s Park on Chicago’s south side, the minor league White Sox played their first game in franchise history on April 21, 1900. The Sox ended up losing the contest to Milwaukee, 5-4. The small wooden ballpark, located at 39th and Princeton, was also known as South Side Park, and would continue to be the home stadium for the team when they joined the American League the following season.

South_Side_Park_1907 - Wikipedia

South Side Park, 1907 (Chicago Daily News)


“The Great Mississippi,” by Jordan A. Deutsch

This poem by Jordan Deutsch was published in 1932, and you can see the history all over this piece. I really love the imagery of the sunrise, and the phonetic spelling out of the conductor’s pronunciations (“… Shecargo and Saint Louieeeeee”) just put a voice in my head yelling these cities out.

*

Up from the grasslands,
The plains, the cities,
Up from the vastness of the land itself:
Up Up Up
To the Great Mississippi.

Up to that First Field bathed in the sun,
Basking in the glory of its birth
Immersed in future time.

Further up slides the sun.

Up
To the Red Stockings from Cincinnati,
The original Magnificent Machine,
The dynasty without a future.
Up
To the National Association,
Swaying in its greatness.

Further up slides the sun.

Through the mouth of history slide provocative names
Once breathed on the lips of dreamers.

In what fine grave do the Elizabeth Resolutes
Troy Haymakers,
And Lord Baltimores now rest?

Up moving up
To expanding cities pocketed
In gray concrete.

(Can you hear the shrill and melodic chant of the
Train Conductor calling out his roll?)
:NewYawkHartfordBosstonPhilaDELphia
LouievilleCINCINnatiShecargo and Saint Louieeeeee.

Up up up
Up
To the Great Mississippi.


Jackie Robinson biography

Happy Jackie Robinson Day! In celebration, here is a video biography of Robinson, posted by Biography this past January.


This day in baseball: Harding’s first pitch

President Warren G. Harding threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Washington Senators game held on April 13, 1921, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Washington ended up losing to the Red Sox, 6-3, making this the first time in six Opening Days contests the Senators have lost with the President of the United States throwing out the first pitch.

Warren Harding first pitch - LoC

Library of Congress


Ethnic makeup of MLB players over times

Here’s a cool, animated graph that shows the change in the ethnic makeup of MLB since the late 1940s. The number of African-American and Latino players drew even in the early 1990s. The percentage of Asian players is still barely more than a blip on the graph, but that does seem to be changing.


This day in baseball: Garbey’s debut

On Opening Day in 1984, Tiger rookie Barbaro Garbey became the first Cuban refugee to play in Major League Baseball, having played in the Serie Nacional prior to defecting to the United States. Garbey grounded out in the seventh inning as a pinch-hitter for Dave Bergman, then would stay in the game. Garbey played first base in Detroit’s 8-1 defeat of Minnesota in the Metrodome.

Barbaro Garbey - sabr.org

sabr.org


This day in baseball: Ruth’s first start

Babe Ruth made his first career start on the mound on March 25, 1914 for the Boston Red Sox. The 19-year-old pitcher defeated the world champion Philadelphia Athletics, 6-2, in an exhibition game played in Wilmington, North Carolina. Prior to this game, Ruth had faced 29 batters in relief, allowing just six hits, thus earning his spot in the starting rotation.

Babe Ruth pitching (Bleacher Report)


This day in baseball: McLain indicted

On March 19, 1984, former MLB pitcher Denny McLain was indicted on various charges of racketeering, loan-sharking, extortion, and cocaine possession. In 1985, McLain was sentenced to 23 years in prison after refusing to admit his crimes and accept his conviction. McLain had participated in a scheme that imposed exorbitant interest rates on those who bet on sports and coerced them to pay the illegal debts. After 29 months of the sentence, McLain appealed on the grounds of an unfair judgment, and he was released. He then agreed to a five-year probation deal.

Denny McLain was the last Major League pitcher to win 30 or more games in a season, having finished the 1968 season with a record of 31-6.

Denny_McLain_1966 - Wikipedia

McLain in 1966 (Wikipedia)


This day in baseball: Ruth takes a pay cut

On March 16, 1932, Babe Ruth signed a deal for $75,000, a five-thousand dollar pay cut from the previous season and 25 percent of the Yankees net receipts from exhibition games. The pay cut came in large part as a result of the Great Depression. Legend has it the Bambino signed a blank contract, with the amount filled in later by Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert.

Babe-Ruth-5-500x750


Infographic: Baseball Records That Will Never Be Broken

While I have more of a never say never attitude towards records, all these numbers are impressive, and it is going to take some truly exceptional ballplayers to break these.

Baseball Records That Will Never Be Broken
 

From Visually.