Let there be joy in baseball again, like in the days when Babe Ruth chased an enemy sportswriter down the streets of Boston and ended up getting drunk with him on the waterfront and came back the next day munching on hotdogs and boomed homeruns to the glory of God.
On July 20, 1926, outfielder Al Simmons of the A’s established an American League record by playing in 394 consecutive games to start his career. The record held until Hideki Matsui played in 518 straight games after signing as a Japanese free agent with the Yankees, surpassing Simmons’s mark in 2005.
In August 1976, the Chicago White Sox wore shorts for three games. A friend shared this video with me, wondering if I had known this little tidbit, which I did not (learn something new every day!).
1976 marked the return of owner Bill Veeck, who had previously served as Sox owner from 1959-61. Keeping in line with his reputation as a promoter with wild ideas, on March 9, 1976, Veeck unveiled the new White Sox uniforms. They featured a long pullover top with a garish faux collar. But what really got people’s attentions were the shorts.
About the shorts, Veeck insisted, “They are not garish. Like my wife Mary Frances said, they have understated elegance. … Players should not worry about their vanity, but their comfort. If it’s 95 degrees out, an athlete should be glad to put on short pants and forget his bony knees. Hell, I’ve got a worse looking knee than any of my players. It’s solid wood.”
The shorts debuted on August 8th, in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Royals at Comiskey Park. The White Sox collected seven hits — all singles — and won the game 5-2. They switched back to regular pants for Game 2 of the doubleheader and lost 7-1. The shorts would not appear again until later that month, on August 21-22 against the Orioles. In total, the White Sox won 2 out of 3 games played in the shorts.
The video below shows footage from the game against the Royals, in which the shorts made their infamous debut.
Personally, I don’t like the term ‘success.’ It’s too arbitrary and too relative a thing. It’s usually someone else’s definition, not yours.
Congrats to Pete Alonso of the Mets on his Home Run Derby victory last night! I am a bit crushed that Salvador Perez got knocked out in the first round by Alonso himself, but I am glad that Salvy managed to put on a show of his own.
The 2021 MLB All Star Game takes place tonight at 5:30 pm Mountain Time at Coors Field. You can find the rosters for both teams here.
Here’s an interesting, even amusing, ad that I stumbled across from the June 1940 issue of Popular Science. The ad features an image of Joe DiMaggio kissing a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, the bat itself bearing a replica of DiMaggio’s signature. The text in the ad reads:
“A ballplayer and his Louisville Slugger are like a man and his dog —INSEPARABLE PALS”— says Joe DiMaggio, Famous Yankee home run slugger and A.L. Champion last season.
Go to your dealer’s and look over the 1940 Genuine Autographed Louisville Sluggers. Your favorite ballplayer’s personally autographed bat is among them!
Free 1940 FAMOUS SLUGGER YEAR BOOK
from your dealer or send 5c in stamps or coin to Dept. Z-34
Hillerich & Bradsby Co., Louisville, Ky.
GENUINE Autographed LOUISVILLE SLUGGER BATS
Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
On July 8, 1939, prior to the first game of a doubleheader with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, a horde of Japanese beetles formed a wall in front of the home dugout. Over 5,000 insects were captured in the process of fending off the insects, however, the problem would return later in that same month.
It’s like baseball. Life is like baseball. Before you can ever get a hit, you’ve got to step up to the plate. When you step up to the plate you’ve got to swing … And you keep swinging.
~Billy Ray Cyrus
On July 2, 1930, Carl Reynolds became just the second player in major league history to homer in three consecutive innings. Reynolds went deep in the first three innings of a contest against the Yankees, leading the White Sox to a 15-4 victory. The Chicago outfielder’s performance included two inside-the-park homers, and he collected 8 RBIs in the game.
The box score for the game can be found here.
Here’s a fun documentary short about Dusty Baker. I had never stopped to think about the origins of the high five before. It’s one of those things that I always took for granted, but I guess that, like all things, it had to start somewhere.