Henry Chadwick and the box score

In 2009, NPR’s Morning Edition did this short report on Henry Chadwick and the creation of what many consider to be the first box score:

The box score, as well as the various statistics that exist in the game, have evolved tremendously over the years. But it’s pretty commonly accepted that Chadwick is the man we have to thank for getting the ball rolling on the mathematical record-keeping side of the game.

You can find the full NPR story, including the text portion, here.


“Hey Batter Batter,” Trent Tomlinson

The theme of this tune’s lyrics is really more of a bar fight song than it is a baseball song, but one individual in the comments of the video mentioned they used to blare this during baseball practice. I can certainly see how this would get a team pumped up, and I’m sure many teams have listened to this during their pre-game warmups as well.


World Series 2020 schedule

Welp, the 2020 World Series matchup is set: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays. I honestly don’t have a dog in this fight, but the way the ALCS and the NLCS both played out, this should be a very entertaining World Series. Here is the tentative schedule for this year’s matchup:

Tuesday, Oct. 20
• World Series Game 1, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Wednesday, Oct. 21
• World Series Game 2, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Thursday, Oct. 22
OFF-DAY

Friday, Oct. 23
• World Series Game 3, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Saturday, Oct. 24
• World Series Game 4, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Oct. 25
• World Series Game 5, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Monday, Oct. 26
OFF-DAY

Tuesday, Oct. 27
• World Series Game 6, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Wednesday, Oct. 28
• World Series, Game 7, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

See the source image

Quote of the day

I knew if I walked him and he felt good, he’d steal second. And if he felt really good, he’d steal third. That would be like throwing a triple. So I gave him a low fastball, and he hit a home run.

~Jim Palmer on Joe Morgan

Jim Palmer Joe Morgan Getty Images

Jim Palmer and Joe Morgan (Getty Images)


How Hans Became an American, by Elinor Nauen

This poem by Elinor Nauen is a bit longer, but well worth the read. It demonstrates how closely baseball gets associated with Americanism, even to those outside the nation’s borders. I especially love the line, “He goes home because he has nowhere else to go.”

*

I’ve been sitting at my desk a lot
staring at my father.
It’s a picture taken in summer
a few months before he died.
He’s looking at me
with a wry and knowing
–did he know?–
expression. He looks like a man
who needs a private joke
to get a proper snapshot.
He’s looking straight at me, even as I sit
in a cold May, a little too tired,
the Yanks getting beat 4-1 in the 5th
by Oakland out on the coast,
a lackluster they’ll-never-catch-up game
Rasmussen not getting shellacked
just doesn’t have anything
and neither do the hitters.
Gone native in his Arizona retirement
Dad is wearing a bolo tie and looks shrunken, frail.
I liked to kiss him on the top of his bony head
in the desert mornings.

He took all of us to a game only once, my first, I was ten,
Charlie was eight, Lindsay was twelve
and the baby was left home.
We drove all the way from South Dakota
up to Minneapolis
to see the Twins play the Yankees
(my team).
Daddy was a refugee from Nazi Germany
and Mom was English.
They were grownups
who’d never seen a game either. They went
because he was the father of Americans
and I was a little baseball fanatic.

Mom sat quietly for about twenty minutes
fanning herself with a straw sunhat and beaming
then asked, when does the game begin?
Look down there, we said.
It was already the second inning
but I still don’t think she spotted it.
I think she was waiting for the play by play.
The familiar radio sounds
so different in the ballpark.

Daddy wore plaid shorts over his white skinny legs
and puffed a cigar.
He began to like baseball
when he found someone
who knew less about it than he did.
He explained it all to Mom
mostly according to his own logic–
He had an accountant’s sense of symmetry
and the diamond pleased him–
the implication of infinity.
The profusion of numbers and their richness
impressed him…
and it was a damn nice summer day.
I think now of those bleachers
old Metropolitan stadium full of stolid Scandinavians
who never corrected him–
that would have spoiled their fun.
Mom would ask: Where’s that chap running off to now?
And Dad would explain:
He goes home because he has nowhere else to go…

My brother and I spent most of the time under the stands
scrapping with baby Twinkies–
Twins fans who didn’t take to our rooting for the enemy.
Charlie thinks he remembers a game-winning
Bobby Richardson grand slam.
I only recall the Yanks winning in the 10th
and the incredibly intense luxury of that lagniappe inning.

Daddy stuck with baseball too.
Like the voting
that made him proudest as a naturalized citizen
he quietly exulted
at being able to talk to his kids
about what they liked to talk about
which was sports. What pleasure
it gave him
to be able to call
(those Sunday calls!–this later
after we’d all left home)
and say, “So, Mattingly’s still leading the league”
or “I see where the Yankees aren’t doing to well.” …

But tonight there’s an amazing comeback
another 10th-inning heroic to call home about
(“I see where the Yankees are going great guns”)
thought it’s a few second basemen later
and the serene and splendid Willie Randolph
who pulls it out for the team.


RIP Joe Morgan

Legendary second baseman Joe Morgan played Major League Baseball for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland Athletics from 1963 to 1984. Over the course of his career, Morgan won two World Series championships with the Reds in 1975 and 1976 and was also named the National League MVP in each of those years. Morgan was also a ten-time All-Star, a five-time Gold Glove winner, and won the Silver Slugger award in 1982. Morgan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, and he has also been inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and the Astros Hall of Fame.

Joe Morgan died on October 11, 2020 in Danville, California at the age of 77.

Rest in peace.

Morgan Joe CR73-587_HS_NBLMcWilliams

Joe Morgan, 1973 (Baseball Hall of Fame)


RIP Whitey Ford

Edward Charles Ford, better known as “Whitey,” was born October 21, 1928 in Manhattan. Ford spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees, beginning in 1950 and playing until he retired after the 1967 season. He appeared in 498 career games, compiling 236 wins and a 2.75 ERA. Ford won the 1961 Cy Young Award, was named to 10 All-Star Games, and was a member of six World Series-winning teams. He also won two ERA titles and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1950 behind Boston Red Sox first baseman Walt Dropo. Ford was selected into the Hall of Fame in his second year on the ballot, in 1974, receiving 77.8 percent of the vote. The Yankees retired his No. 16 jersey that same year.

Whitey Ford passed away a couple days ago, October 8, 2020 on Long Island.

Rest in peace.

Whitey Ford in 2010 (Wikipedia)


Quote of the day

The greatness of Ty Cobb was something that had to be seen, and to see him was to remember him forever.

~George Sisler

George Sisler, Babe Ruth, and Ty Cobb (Wikimedia Commons)


Rap battle: Babe Ruth vs. Lance Armstrong

Here’s a weird little video whose existence I find rather mind-boggling. This is from a series called Epic Rap Battles of History, created by a couple guys who call themselves Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD. In this particular video, the creators dress up as Lance Armstrong and Babe Ruth. Armstrong comes under fire for the doping scandal, and Babe Ruth for his lifestyle in general. Pitting an endurance cyclist against a baseball slugger seems a lot to me like comparing apples to oranges, but it makes for an interesting, even entertaining, video all the same.


This day in baseball: Cy Young’s final game

Cy Young pitched his final game on October 6, 1911 at the age of 44 years, 191 days. Unfortunately, Young’s final appearance did not prove fitting in light of the rest of his illustrious career. Young and the Braves lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers, 13-3. The game was the 906th of Cy Young’s career.

cy_young_hof_plaque