This day in baseball: RIP Ross Youngs

New York Giants rightfielder Ross Youngs passed away on October 22, 1927 of Brights disease.  The future Hall of Famer had a career batting average of .322, having batted over .300 for seven straight seasons, including reaching an average of more than .350 twice.  Youngs was also one of John McGraw’s favorite players, who said at Youngs’s funeral, “The game was never over with Youngs until the last man was out.  He could do everything a ball player should do, and do it better than most players.  As an outfielder he had no superiors, and he was the easiest man I ever knew to handle.  In all his years with the Giants, he never caused one minute’s trouble for myself or the club.  On top of all this, a gamer ballplayer than Youngs never played ball.”

Ross Youngs New York Giants


This day in baseball: World Series rookie dominance

On October 16, 1909, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Tigers, 8-0, to win the World Series, four games to three.  Rookie pitcher Babe Adams hurled a complete-game shutout in Game Seven, having also won Games One and Five.

Babeadamsbaseballcard


Trick plays in baseball

Here’s a nice collection of trick plays to bring a smile to your face.  Some of these plays are downright genius in their conception and flawless in their execution.  Most took place at the major league level, but there are a handful of college ones in there, too.


This day in baseball: First World Series sweep

The Boston Braves completed the first World Series sweep in baseball history on October 13, 1914.  The Braves defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-1, to win the Series, four games to none.

1914_Boston_Braves

1914 Boston Braves (Wikipedia)


Mean runs per game through the history of baseball

I posted another graphic several weeks ago that included the same information that can be found in this one.  I do think that this chart is easier to read than the last one, however, which is what makes it worth the added share.  I think this one better depicts things like the dip in runs scored through the Dead Ball era and the relative leveling-off of run production in more recent years.

I’m not sure of the author of this chart, other than it is posted somewhere on a statistical software site, JMP.com.  Click on the image below to link to a larger version.

Mean-Runs-Per-Game-Through-the-History-of-Baseball


“Life,” by Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant

This piece was written by former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant.  In 1965, Grant became the first black pitcher to win 20 games in a season in the American League and the first black pitcher to win a World Series game for the American League, throwing two complete game World Series victories.

*

Life is like a game of baseball,
You play it every day.
It isn’t just the breaks you get,
But the kind of game you play.

So stop and look your whole team over,
And you’ll find dedication there.
You’re bound to be a winner,
With men who really care.

Your pitcher’s name is Courage,
You need him in the game.
For faith and trust your keystone men,
The grounders they will tame.

Your center fielder is very fast,
Though small and hard to see.
So watch him, son, when he gets,
The ball. He’s Opportunity.

In left field there’s Ambition,
Never let him shirk.
For in right field there’s a husky man,
I’m told his name is Work.

At first base there’s Religion,
He’s stood the test of time.
At third base there’s brotherhood,
The stalwart of the nine.

Your catcher’s name is Humor,
He’s important to the scheme.
For with honor warming in the bull pen,
The game is always clean.

With Love on the bench,
You’ve perfection no less.
With a winning team,
And joy and happiness.

Your other team is Strong, son,
Greed, Hatred, Envy and Defeat.
Are four strong infielders,
You’ll have to buck to make your game complete.

Deceitfulness and a man called Waste,
Are always playing hard.
Selfishness and jealousy,
None can you disregard.

Carelessness and Falsehood,
Are the big boys in the pen.
You’ll have to swing hard, son,
When you come up to them.

There’s one more man you’ll have to watch,
He’s always very near.
He’s the pitcher on that team,
And I’m told his name is Fear.

This game will not be easy,
There’ll be trouble, there’ll be strife.
To make the winning runs, my boy,
For this game is played on the field of life.

So stand behind your team, my boy,
There’ll be many who’ll applaud.
Just remember that you’re the player,
And the umpire here is God.


This day in baseball: POTUS’s first World Series

At Griffith Stadium on October 4, 1924, Calvin Coolidge became the first United States President to attend a World Series opener.  The Giants managed to defeat the hometown Senators in 12 innings that day, with a score of 4-3.

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President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge at a baseball game with Coolidge’s secretary C. Bascom Slemp at right, 1924 (Library of Congress)