This day in baseball: Waitkus is Comeback Player of the Year

Seventeen months after being shot in the chest with a rifle by an obsessed fan, Eddie Waitkus was named the Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press on November 10, 1950. The Phillies’ infielder hit .284 that season and led the team with 102 runs scored, as he continued to be one of the best fielding first basemen in the league.

Waitkus’s story would provide part of the inspiration for Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, published in 1952.

Eddie_Waitkus - Wikipedia

Wikipedia


Go Get ’em Tigers

Here is the theme song for the Detroit Tigers from 1968. It’s short and sweet, but very catchy. The creator of the video also inlcuded a bit of Tigers history into the video, including images of the team’s logos over the years, ballparks where the Tigers played, and championship teams.


This day in baseball: Leave no equipment behind

On November 3, 1953, the rules committee chose to end the practice of allowing players to leave their gloves on the playing field. Outfielders and infielders were now required to carry their gloves with them into the dugout after each half-inning. Before the controversial change, left fielders, right fielders, first basemen, and third basemen would leave their gloves in foul territory, while center fielders, shortstops, and second basemen would drop their gloves at their position. Plays on the field would take place around the scattered leather.

The rule is outlined in MLB’s Official Rules:

3.10 Equipment on the Field
(a)  Members of the offensive team shall carry all gloves and other
equipment off the field and to the dugout while their team is at
bat. No equipment shall be left lying on the field, either in fair
or foul territory.

baseball glove on field


Teddy the Republican Batter

Theodore Roosevelt is well-known for the line, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” This cartoon takes that phrase and gives it a baseball twist. In it, Roosevelt is depicted as a baseball player on the field amongst other political figures. If you look closely, you can see the phrase “Honest & upright government” printed on the bat, while the ball bears the phrase “Trashy politics.”

The image was created in January 1903 for Puck magazine, a political satire publication printed in the early- to mid-1900s in New York City.

Teddy The Republican Batter - Transcendental Graphics

 (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)


This day in baseball: The end of the Philadelphia A’s

On October 28, 1954, major league owners voted against the sale of the Philadelphia Athletics to a hometown syndicate. A week later, the Mack family would sell controlling interest for the team to Arnold Johnson, who would then move the A’s to Kansas City.

kansas city athletics logo


This day in baseball: Athletics win the 1910 Series

On October 23, 1910, before a crowd of 27,374, Philadelphia’s Jack Coombs won his third game of the World Series to defeat the Chicago Cubs, 7-2. The victory sealed the outcome of the Series, as the Athletics took the championship in five games. Eddie Collins had three hits, including two doubles, in that final game for the A’s.

Jack Coombs (Library of Congress)


This day in baseball: Connie Mack retires

Having spent over five decades managing in the major leagues, Connie Mack retired as skipper of the Athletics on October 18, 1950. At the age of 87 years old , Mack left the game with the most wins and losses in the game’s history, compiling a 3731-3948 (.486) record during his 50+ years as a manager. At the time of his retirement, Mack stated, “I’m not quitting because I’m getting old, I’m quitting because I think people want me to.”

connie mack

National Baseball Hall of Fame Library/Major League Baseball/Getty Images


“Lets Go, Go Go White Sox”

I’m not a White Sox fan, but I admit I was lowkey hoping they’d at least advance to the ALCS, if only so that I could post this without it seeming awkward. But I also know that if I wait until after the end of the season, I run the risk of forgetting about this altogether, so here’s the White Sox fight song performed by Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers.

This song first appeared in 1959 during the White Sox’s run for the AL pennant, which was the team’s first league championship since the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. The song re-emerged and regained popularity in 2005, the year that the Sox swept the Astros in four games in the World Series.


This day in baseball: Mathewson wins Game 1

Christy Mathewson threw a shutout against Philadelphia in Game 1 of the World Series on October 9, 1905, leading New York to a 3-0 victory. The Giants hurler went on to shutout the Athletics twice more during the Series that year.

Christy Mathewson

ESPN.com


“A Fisherman’s Tale,” Anonymous

This piece was published in 1942 and it references Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. In the novella, the main character, Santiago, idolizes DiMaggio and is a big Yankees fan. To Santiago, DiMaggio represents an ideal, and he compares himself against the ballplayer as a way to measure his own success and worth.

*

Ernest
Hemingway
Immortalized
Joe
DiMaggio
and
Joe
DiMaggio
Immortalized
Himself
And
So
Did
Ted Williams
that wonderful slugger from Boston.