To Timothy H. Murnane, by Ralph E. McMillin

Tim Murnane was a former first baseman and center fielder turned sportswriter during the late-19th to early-20th century. He was considered the leading baseball writer at The Boston Globe for about 30 years until his death. While writing, he also organized and led professional sports leagues and helped govern the baseball industry. In 1946, the Baseball Hall of Fame established the Honor Rolls of Baseball and named Murnane one of twelve writers to be honored. He was also selected by the BBWAA as a recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball journalism in 1978.

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Pack up his bats, pick up his glove,
For him the Game is done;
At last the stars peep out above
The setting of the sun.
Once more the field, serene at night,
Is still, and hushed the shout.
The Presence chokes us as we write
Just this: “He ran it out.”

Above the plate Time held the ball:
He turned the last gray bag
With stride that weakened not at all.
His spirit did not lag,
But proudly Homeward bound he sped,
Nor feared the final rout.
High flung at last the silver’d head,
Unbowed “he ran it out.”

RIP Vin Scully

Vincent Edward Scully was born on November 29, 1927 in the Bronx, New York, growing up in Manhattan. He fell in love with baseball when, at the age of eight, he saw the results of the second game of the 1936 World Series at a laundromat and felt a pang of sympathy for the badly defeated New York Giants.

Scully was best known for calling games for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning in 1950 and ending in 2016. His 67-year run calling games constituted the longest tenure of any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history, and he was second only to Tommy Lasorda in terms of the number of years associated with the Dodgers organization in any capacity. Scully was known for his distinctive voice, his descriptive style, and his signature introduction to Dodgers games: “It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon (or evening) to you, wherever you may be.”

He is considered by many to be the greatest baseball broadcaster of all time, with his final game being broadcast from San Francisco’s AT&T Park on October 2, 2016. His many awards and achievements include being awarded the Ford C. Frick Award (1982), the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award (2014), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016). Scully even has a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

Vin Scully passed away August 2, 2022 at the age of 94.

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Vin Scully, March 2008 (Craig Y. Fujii/Wikimedia Commons)

This day in baseball: Annabelle Lee’s perfect game

The first of five perfect games in the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was pitched on July 29, 1944. Annabelle Lee, the aunt of future major leaguer Bill Lee, was a southpaw knuckleballer for the Minneapolis Millerettes, and she managed to stop the Kenosha Comets from reaching first base as the Millerettes trounced the Comets, 18-0.

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Minneapolis Millerettes cap logo (public domain)

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.

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George Sisler, 1924 (Library of Congress)

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)

This day in baseball: The Pirates’ last game at Exposition Park

The Pittsburgh Pirates played their final game at Exposition Park against the Chicago Cubs on June 29, 1909. The Pirates won the game 8–1 in front of 5,545 spectators, with George Gibson collecting the final National League hit in the ballpark. The very next day, the Pirates once again played the Cubs, this time with the team opening up Forbes Field.

Exposition Park in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Exposition Park in 1915 (public domain)