This day in baseball: Williams named MVP

Ted Williams won the American League Most Valuable Player award on November 14, 1946.  The award was bestowed upon Williams after having finished second to the Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio (1941) and Joe Gordon (1942).  The Splendid Splinter missed the last three seasons due to serving in the military during World War II, but returned to baseball hitting .342 with 38 homers and 123 RBIs.

800px-Ted_Williams

Wikimedia Commons


Abner the Baseball

This little cartoon from the 1960s tells the story of a baseball, appropriately named Abner, and his journey from the bottom of a ball bag to the halls of Cooperstown.  It’s a fun twist to think about the game from the ball’s perspective, and I almost felt sorry for little Abner at times.  (On the other hand, Abner does have a rather melodramatic “woe is me” sort of attitude about his situation, which also prompts a bit of snickering.)

I love how the cartoon spins a touch of reality into the saga, even if the details are a bit sketchy.  The Mickey Mantle caricature is particularly amusing, as he carries himself in a manner that I’ve never associated with the real Mantle.


Quote of the day

During the off-season, I go to the movies almost every day.

~Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

Wikimedia Commons


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


“Joe DiMaggio Done It Again,” by Billy Bragg and Wilco

If you’re having a hard time waking up this morning, this song might help.  The tune is quite peppy and the lyrics are pretty amusing.


This day in baseball: The Sandman starts

Though he was usually used as a relief pitcher, on August 31, 1990, Mariano Rivera was given the start in a game on the final day of the season for the Gulf Coast Yankees.  The opportunity allowed him to throw enough innings to qualify for GCL’s ERA title, an accomplishment that carries a contractual bonus.  Rivera threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Bradenton to finish the season with a 0.17 ERA, 0.46 WHIP, 58 strikeouts in 52 innings, and $500 dollars richer.

Mariano Rivera

Wikipedia


This day in baseball: First no-hitter at Fenway

The first ever no-hitter at Fenway Park was thrown by Red Sox pitcher George “Rube” Foster* on June 21, 1916.  Foster no-hit the New York Yankees to win 2-0.  The Red Sox had moved into Fenway in 1912.

*As opposed to Andrew “Rube” Foster, organizer of the Negro National League.
George_Rube_Foster

George “Rube” Foster (Wikipedia)