This day in baseball: Multiple position players pitching

September 28th was the last day of the season in 1902, and in apparent celebration, the Browns and the White Sox decided to use an assortment of seven infielders and outfielders on the mound, rather than relying on their pitching staffs. Chicago outfielder Sam Mertes earned the victory, and the Browns’ left fielder Jesse Burkett suffered the loss in the Sox’s 10-4 victory at Sportsman’s Park. This was the last time the winning and losing pitchers were both position players in the same game until 2012, when Chris Davis of the Orioles and Darnell McDonald of the Red Sox also accomplished the feat in Baltimore’s 17-inning victory at Fenway Park.

sportsmans park

ballparksofbaseball.com


RIP Tom Seaver

With a nickname like “Tom Terrific,” you know he was good at his job. Born November 17, 1944, Tom Seaver pitched for twenty seasons in Major League Baseball. Over the course of his career, he played for the New York Mets, the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago White Sox, and the Boston Red Sox.

Seaver won the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1967, and during his career, he won three NL Cy Young Awards. He was also a 12-time All-Star, compiling 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts, and a 2.86 ERA. Just to pad the résumé a little, Seaver even threw a no-hitter in 1978.

Tom Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He passed away a few days ago, on August 31, 2020 from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19.

Rest in peace.

Tom_Seaver_at_Shea_Stadium_1974_CROP

Wikimedia Commons


This day in baseball: The first Finn

On August 28, 1921, John Michaelson became the first person born in Finland to play in a major league game. The 27-year-old White Sox right-hander from Taivalkoski would only appear in two games, however. Michaelson posted an ERA of 10.12 in his two appearances for the Chicago team.

John Michaelson in 1921 (sabr.org)


This day in baseball: Cy Young dominates again

In a game against the White Sox at Chicago’s South Side Park on July 1, 1902, Boston Americans pitcher Cy Young drove in the only run of the game.  Young’s shutout performance from the mound is his fourth consecutive complete game without allowing a run and is also the right-hander’s third 1-0 victory in nine days.

Cy_Young

Cy Young (Bain News Service)


This day in baseball: Kenesaw Mountain Landis is hired

U.S. District Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis accepted the offer to become baseball’s first commissioner on November 12, 1920.  The decision to hire a commissioner came in the wake of the 1919 World Series scandal, which involved eight White Sox players who were paid off by gamblers to throw the Series against Cincinnati.  Landis would officially begin his new role in January 1921.

Landis_portrait-restored


Carlton Fisk’s Hall of Fame induction speech

Known in baseball as “Pudge,” Carlton Fisk played for both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971–1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981–1993). In 1972, he became the first player unanimously voted American League Rookie of the Year, though he is probably best known for “waving fair” his game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

This speech is the longest one I’ve listened to so far, but it’s worth the time. It’s not hard to get a glimpse of the kind of work ethic and character that Fisk possessed through this oration.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.


It’s Opening Day

Unfortunately, I am not getting out of work today, but I am still joining in the collective sigh of relief and happiness that Opening Day has finally arrived!  And yes, the Royals-White Sox score will be up someplace where I can check in frequently.
2019 Opening Day


This day in baseball: Weaver applies for reinstatement

On January 13, 1922, Buck Weaver applied for reinstatement to professional baseball. Weaver had been a member of the infamous 1919 Black Sox and one of eight players banned from baseball for his alleged involvement in the throwing of the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. This was one of six attempts by Weaver to get back into baseball, but he would remain banned from the sport for life.

buck weaver

Buck Weaver (Library of Congress)


This day in baseball: Mantle reaches 50

On September 18, 1956, the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle became just the eighth player in baseball history to hit 50 home runs in a season.  Mantle’s home run came in the top of the 11th inning off the White Sox’s Billy Pierce.  Whitey Ford and Bob Grim combined efforts to shut down Chicago in the bottom of the inning, thus sealing the American League pennant for the Yankees.

mickey-mantle


Davidson at the K

I wake up this morning, and one of the first things I see on Twitter is this:

Quite the accomplishment for Matt Davidson, for sure, especially when you consider that Kauffman Stadium is not the most home run-friendly ballpark in the league.

As a Royals fan, however, this is the kind of statistic one dreads to see making headlines.

Davidson has had three multi-home run games already this season, and all three of those games took place — you guessed it — at Kauffman Stadium.  And since the Royals and the White Sox are division rivals, Davidson will have six more games at the K (including today’s doubleheader) to add to his record.

Royals fans already knew this would be a long season.  Now we’re just throwing salt on the wound.

Kansas_City_Kaufmann_Stadium