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Today in Baseball History – January 25th

January 25, 1974

Ray Kroc, businessman and founder of McDonald’s Corporation, bought the San Diego Padres for a reported $12 million. Kroc owned the team until his death in 1984.

January 25, 1978

The San Diego Padres traded Dave Tomlin and cash to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Gaylord Perry. Perry, then 40, had pitched 3 solid years in Texas, but would win 21 games for the Padres and win the NL Cy Young Award. Tomlin would never pitch for Texas as he was sold to Cincinnati before the 1978 season.

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Today in Baseball History – January 24th

January 24, 1939

George Sisler, Willie Keeler, and Eddie Collins are elected to the Hall of Fame.

George Sisler played 15 seasons, mostly with the St. Louis Browns. In 1920, he set the record for hits in a season with 257 which stood until 2004. He finished his career with a lifetime batting average of .340 and 2,812 hits. He won 2 batting titles (1920, 1922) and won the 1922 AL MVP. During the 1922 season he has a 41-game hitting streak.

“Wee Willie” Keeler was an outfielder who played around the turn of the century. He finished his career with a .341 batting average and 2,932 hits. He had 8 200+ hit seasons and won 2 batting titles. He is famous for his advice to other hitters – “Keep your eye clear, and hit ‘em where they ain’t.”

Eddie Collins finished his career with 3,315 hits. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago White Sox. He won 4 World Series titles (3 with Philly and 1 with Chicago), he was the 1914 AL MVP, and is 10th on the all-time hit list.

Born on this day:

1964 Rob Dibble

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Today in Baseball History – January 23rd

January 23, 1950

The Associated Press chooses the 1914 Miracle Boston Braves as the greatest sports upset of the 20th century. At one point the Braves were 16 games under .500 (12-28). However, even with the dreadful start, the Braves steamrolled through the later part of the schedule to outdistance the Giants by more than 10 games. They finished the season on a tear with a record of 68-19 after July 4th. They would go on to sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.

January 23, 1975

In his final year of eligibility, Ralph Kiner is elected to the Hall of Fame. He received a single vote more than the minimum to receive the call. Kiner hit 369 home runs over his injury shortened 10-year career. During that time he led the NL in home runs 7 times and was a 6-time All-Star selection.

January 23, 1979

The BBWAA elects Willie Mays to the Hall of Fame. Mays garnered 409 of 432 votes (94.7%). The 24-time All-Star hit 660 home runs over the course of his career. He won a World Series title in 1954, was a 2-time MVP (1954, 1965), was the 1951 NL ROY, and was named to MLB’s All-Century Team in 1999.

Born on this day:

1970 Mark Wohlers

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Today in Baseball History – January 22nd

January 22, 1929

The New York Yankees announce they will put numbers on the back of their uniforms. The numbers were based on the batting order. All AL teams will use them by 1931 and all NL teams by 1933.

January 22, 1982

Reggie Jackson signs a free agent contract with the California Angels for nearly $1 million a year ending his run with the New York Yankees where he played the previous 5 seasons. Jackson would have a huge year in 1982 hitting 39 home runs and driving in 101.

Died on this day:

2001 Tommie Agee

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Today in Baseball History – January 21st

January 21, 1953

In his first year of eligibility, Joe DiMaggio is not elected into the Hall of Fame. Instead Dizzy Dean and Al Simmons are elected.

Dizzy Dean was best known for leading the St. Louis Cardinals “Gashouse Gang” in 1934 to a World Series title. That year he went 30-7 with 25 complete games including 7 shutouts. Dean would win the NL MVP that year.

Dean’s career would be shortened due to injury. He was hit by a line drive in his toe, breaking it. Coming back too soon he tried to change his motion in order to not land too hard on his toe. This wound up hurting his arm and he lost his fastball.

Dean won 150 games during his career and has his #17 retired by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Al Simmons played for two decades for 7 different teams hitting 307 home runs. He was a 3-time All-Star and won 2 World Series titles with Connie Mack‘s Philadelphia Athletics.

Born on this day:

1946 Johnny Oates

1969 Rusty Greer

1979 Byung-Hyun Kim

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Today in Baseball History – January 20th

January 20, 1871

The Boston Red Stockings are born establishing the oldest continuously playing team in American professional sports. The team would eventually become today’s Atlanta Braves.

January 20, 1966

The BBWAA elects Ted Williams to the Hall of Fame. He is the last player to hit .400 in a season (.406 in 1941) and hit 521 home runs for the Boston Red Sox over his 22-year career. He was also a 19-time All-Star, won the AL MVP twice (1946, 1949), won 6 batting titles, and was the triple crown winner twice.

In 1999, he was named to MLB’s All-Century Team and is considered one of the greatest hitters of all-time.

Born on this day:

1964 Ozzie Guillen

1975 David Eckstein

Died on this day:

1997 Curt Flood

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Today in Baseball History – January 19th

January 19, 1934

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis denies Shoeless Joe Jackson‘s appeal to be reinstated after being banned as part of the 1919 White Sox team that threw the World Series.

To this day he is still on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list and thus not eligible for the Hall of Fame.

January 19, 1977

The BBWAA elects Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Banks hit 512 home runs in his 19-year career with the Chicago Cubs. He was a 14-time All-Star, won a Gold Glove in 1960, and was a 2-time NL MVP (1958, 1959).

He had his #14 retired by the Cubs and was named to MLB’s All-Century Team in 1999.

Born on this day:

1962 Chris Sabo

1971 Phil Nevin

Died on this day:

2013 Stan Musial

2013 Earl Weaver

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Today in Baseball History – January 18th

January 18, 1947

The Detroit Tigers sell Hank Greenberg to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Greenberg would play one final season for the Pirates hitting 25 home runs and leading the league in walks with 104. He became the first player to hit 25 home runs in both leagues.

He would help and up and coming young star in Ralph Kiner who would hit 51 home runs in 1947 to lead the league.

Born on this day:

1938 Curt Flood

1972 Mike Lieberthal

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Today in Baseball History – January 17th

January 17, 1970

Willie Mays is named the 1960s Player of the Decade by The Sporting News.

During the decade, Mays hit 350 home runs four times hitting more than 40 with a high of 52 in 1965. He was the 1965 NL MVP. He was also a 10-time All-Star and 9-time Gold Glove winner during the decade.

Born on this day:

1931 Don Zimmer

1960 Chili Davis

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Today in Baseball History – January 16th

January 16, 1970

Curt Flood, outfielder with Philadelphia, files a a civil lawsuit challenging the game’s reserve clause. Flood was traded from St. Louis to Philadelphia, but he would not report because he said the rules of the game violated federal antitrust laws.

Flood’s case ultimately went to the Supreme Court where they ruled for Major League Baseball.

However, even though Flood ultimately lost his case, it triggered big changes in the game. In 1970, the baseball owners and the player’s association agreed to the 10/5 rule. A player with 10 years of service, the last 5 with the same team, can veto any trade.

Born on this day:

1957 Steve Balboni

1966 Jack McDowell

1980 Albert Pujols

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Today in Baseball History – January 15th

January 15, 1942

President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives the go ahead for baseball to play despite World War II. He encourages more night games to be played so more workers can attend games. The Chicago Cubs scrap their plans for adding lights due to the materials needed for the war effort. There wouldn’t be night games at Wrigley Field for another 46 years.

January 15, 1981

Bob Gibson is elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He pitched 17 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals winning 251 games. He was a 9-time All-Star, won 2 World Series (1964, 1967), the 1968 NL MVP, and won 2 Cy Young Awards (1968, 1970). He threw a no-hitter on August 14, 1971 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Born on this day:

1943 Mike Marshall

1969 Delino DeShields

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Today in Baseball History – January 14th

January 14, 1940

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis grants free agency to 91 Detroit players. Due to covering up the movement of players within the organization, the players receive freedom including future Major Leaguer Johnny Sain.

Sain would go on to be part of the duo that would inspire a poem in the Boston Post in 1948.

First we’ll use Spahn
then we’ll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

The poem was eventually condensed by the media to “Spahn, Sain, and Pray for Rain”.

January 14, 1976

Ted Turner completes his purchase of 100% of the Atlanta Braves.



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Today in Baseball History – January 13th

January 13, 1922

One of the Black Sox banned for the 1919 World Series Buck Weaver is unsuccessful in his attempt to be reinstated. He would try a total of six times until his death in 1956.

January 13, 1939

New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert dies leaving behind an estate of over $6 million (more than $100 million in today’s dollars). His heirs would wind up mismanaging his funds and selling the Yankees in 1945.

Born on this day:

1950 Bob Forsch


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Enjoying Some Baseball Poetry in Winter

It is roughly 36 days until the first team reports for spring training. With that in mind I thought I would bust out one of my favorite baseball poems. Being a Braves fan I never got to see either pitch, but have heard and read many stories.

This was first published in the Boston Globe in 1948. That year Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain went a combined 39-27 for the first place Braves. Of course, they were even better in 1947 each winning 21 games.

First we’ll use Spahn
then we’ll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

Here is hoping for baseball to get here as quick as it can. What baseball poetry do you enjoy? Post some of your favorites in the comments below.

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Today in Baseball History – January 12th

January 12, 1983

Brooks Robinson and Juan Marichal are elected to the Hall of Fame.

Brooks Robinson played his entire 23-year career with the Baltimore Orioles. He was a 18-time All-Star, won 2 World Series (1966, 1970), was the 1964 AL MVP, and set the standard for defense at third base by winning 16 Gold Glove Awards.

Juan Marichal won 243 games, mostly with the San Francisco Giants. He won more games in the 1960’s than any other pitcher. He was a 10-time All-Star and was the 1965 All-Star MVP. On June 15, 1963, Marichal pitched a no-hitter against the Houston Colt .45s.

January 12, 1994

Steve Carlton is elected to the Hall of Fame. Carlton was one of the most dominant pitchers of his time winning 329 games for 6 different teams. He was a 10-time All-Star, won 2 World Series (1967, 1980), and was the first pitcher to win 4 Cy Young Awards (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982). In 1972, he had one of the most remarkable seasons winning 46% of his teams games when he won 27 games for the 59-97 Phillies who finished in last place.

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Today in Baseball History – January 11th

January 11, 1915

The New York Yankees are sold to Jacob Ruppert and Tillinghast L´Hommedieu Huston. Ruppert inherited a brewing company and prior to purchasing the Yankees tried to buy the Giants. He was offered the Chicago Cubs but felt Chicago was too far from his home in New York.

Ruppert went on to purchase Babe Ruth and build Yankee Stadium. He was also elected into the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee and will be inducted in July 2013.

Born on this day:

1910 Schoolboy Rowe

1959 Lloyd McClendon

Died on this day:

1965 Wally Pipp

2000 Bob Lemon

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Korea: Why Do Koreans Call Baseball Yagu?

Ever wonder how to say baseball in other languages and how it came about? Well the Korea chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) recently released an article on why Koreans call baseball yagu.

It is an interesting read into the history of the game in Korea and why the sport became called yagu.

You can read the article online from the Korea Times by Patrick Bourgo through the link below.

Full Korea Times Article Here

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Today in Baseball History – January 10th

January 10, 1984

Harmon Killebrew, Don Drysdale, and Luis Aparicio are elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.

Harmon Killebrew was one of the most feared power hitters of the 1960’s clubbing a total of 573 home runs over his 22-year career. He was a 13-time All-Star, and won the 1969 AL MVP when he hit 49 home runs and drove in 140 runs for the Minnesota Twins.

Don Drysdale was a dominant starting pitcher during the 1960’s for the Los Angeles Dodgers winning 209 games. He was a 9-time All-Star and won the 1962 Cy Young Award posting a record of 25-9. He helped the Dodgers win 3 World Series Championships in 1959, 1963, and 1965.

Luis Aparicio played shortstop in the Major Leagues for 18 seasons with four different teams. He was a 13-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, was the 1956 AL ROY, and won the World Series in 1966 with the Baltimore Orioles.

Born on this day:

1938 Willie McCovey

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Where Are They Now? Our 2012 Top 10 Independent Baseball League Managers

In 2012 we named what we thought was the Top 10 Independent Baseball Managers. We thought this year we would take a look at where they are now. Who moved up? Who moved down? And who retired?

#10 Steve Brook

Starting with our #10 we take a look at Steve Brook of the River City Rascals. Brook took over in River City in 2010 and immediately led the Rascals to its first Frontier League title. In 2011 he led the Rascals to the most wins in franchise history (68) and a return to the championship where they would fall. Since we profiled Brook before the 2012 season the Rascals fell to 4th place in the division. A third place finish in 2013 was followed by a division title in 2014. Brook led the team back to the championship series after winning 61 games. Brook returns in 2015 for his sixth season.

#9 Chris Paterson

Paterson was named the #9 manager in independent baseball in 2012, but he might be rising even higher. He was just named the manager of the American Association Sioux Falls Canaries. Since 2012 Paterson has added a new league and title to his resume. After managing the White Sands Pupfish in 2012, Paterson moved up to the United League Baseball managing the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings where he won the league title in 2014. Paterson faces a huge task of rebuilding the Canaries after their worst season in franchise history, but he has shown he is capable of doing just that.

#8 Phil Warren

Warren has been at the helm of the Gateway Grizzlies for the past eight seasons. Immediately after we ranked Warren #8 he led the Grizzlies to a Frontier League West Division crown. They would lose in the first round of the playoffs, but the 57 wins were the second best in franchise history. The winning has continued in 2013 and 2014 with a second and third place finish in the West Division. Both seasons the team won 50 or more games.

#7 Eddie Dennis

Dennis was the manager of the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings in 2012, his last season as a manager. He led the WhiteWings to a 51-44 record and a third place finish in the North American League. After being out of baseball in 2013, Dennis became the hitting coach for the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York Penn League. The Crosscutters are the Class A short season team of the Philadelphia Phillies.

#6 Andy Etchebarren

Echebarren retired after the 2012 season after leading the York Revolution to the playoffs for the third straight season. The former MLB’er changed the culture to a winning one in York taking a last place team to two straight titles in 2010 and 2011.

#5 Doug Simunic

Simunic has won over 1,000 games in independent baseball, mostly with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the American Association. In 21 years at the helm, he has had only two losing seasons but both have come in the past four seasons including 2014. Last summer the two-year extension on his contract was exercised keeping him in Fargo through 2017. Simunic has been the only manager that the Redhawks have known winning thirteen division and five league titles over that time.

#4 Patrick Scalabrini

Scalabrini entered the 2012 season after winning titles in his first two seasons in Quebec. He has since guided the Capitales to two more titles winning four in a row (in his first four seasons) in the Can-Am League. The team fell off a bit in 2014 finishing with its first losing season under Scalabrini and failing to make the playoffs. He will look to right the ship and return the Capiales to their winning tradition.

#3 Sparky Lyle

Entering the 2012 season Lyle led the Somerset Patriots to a winning record in 12 of his 14 years. Unfortunately year number fifteen, which would be his last, finished with a losing record as well. Overall Lyle finished his managing career (all with Somerset) with a record of 1024-913 for a .529 winning percentage. Lyle led the franchise to eight division and five league titles.

#2 Doc Edwards

Edwards has been in professional baseball nearly 60 years. He has managed at the Major League level, in the affiliated minor leagues, and for the past nine years with the San Angelo Colts. The Colts have suffered in recent years finishing under .500 the past two seasons. It remains to be seen if Edwards will manage in 2015. Not because he isn’t wanting to, but the entire San Angelo Colts and ULB are in jeopardy of being extinct next season. The Colts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last season in hopes of saving the stadium.

#1 Ricky VanAsselberg

Vanasselberg has been winning wherever he has wound up. Prior to 2012 he won the American Association championship with Grand Prairie in 2011 and another AA championship in 2010 with the Shreveport-Bossier Captains. These weren’t his only wins though. In 2006 and 2007 he won back-to-back United League championships with the Alexandria Aces.

Since 2011 Vanasselberg has qualified for the playoffs only once with the Air Hogs losing in the first round in 2013. However, in December he was named as the new manager for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. Definitely a jump up in competition but it will put Vanasselberg in his most challenging position, rebuilding. The Bluefish have finished with three straight losing seasons including a 47-93 season a year ago.

So in review, two managers have retired, one might be on his way out if his team folds, two moved up in the ranks of independent baseball, one moved to an affiliated team as a hitting coach, and four are still at it with the same teams.

You can go back and view our Top 10 from 2012 here:

Independent Baseball League Managers Top 10 – 1-5

Independent Baseball League Managers Top 10 – 6-10

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

Australia: Adelaide Leading League Standings

Halfway through Week 11 of the Australian Baseball League season the Adelaide Bite have a strong five game lead over the Perth Heat. These two teams are facing each other this weekend in Perth with the Heat taking the first two games so far.

There is only two more weeks left after this weekend in the schedule before the playoffs start. The good thing for Adelaide is they finish the final two weeks with two series against the last place Melbourne Aces. The rest of the league is fighting for playoff positioning. Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney are all within two games of each other.

Aaron Miller is having a great season for Adelaide. He leads the league in several offensive categories including average (.389), hits (56), total bases (101), runs (37), on base (.444), slugging (.701), and is second in home runs (12). Another player having a nice season is former MLB outfielder Trent Oeltjen who is hitting .309 with 6 home runs, and 29 RBI for the Sydney Blue Sox.

On the hill, Tim Atherton is having a great season for Canberra. Through ten starts he is 6-0 with an ERA of just 2.21. For Adelaide Morgan Coombs is having a nice season on the mound. Through eleven games (nine starts) he is 6-1 with a 2.32 ERA and has one save.

Current ABL Standings:

1. Adelaide Bite 25-13
2. Perth Heat 20-18
3. Brisbane Bandits 19-19
4. Canberra Cavalry 19-19
5. Sydney Blue Sox 18-20
6. Melbourne Aces 13-25

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Australia: Justin Huber Announces Retirement and Last Game

Justin Huber has decided to call it quits on the playing field. In an email sent to Melbourne Ace members, the 14-year professional stressed the importance of telling the Aces most loyal fans. He announced that his last game on the field will be Saturday January 24th.

Huber has played five seasons in the ABL hitting a total of 21 home runs over that time and helped the Aces make the 2011-2012 ABL Championship Series. Along with playing in his home country, Huber played in the two highest professional leagues playing in the MLB for parts of every season from 2005-2009 before leaving for Japan and the NPB in 2010.

So far this season in the ABL Huber is hitting .289 with 2 home runs. Huber’s best season in the ABL came in the 2011-2012 campaign when he hit .348 with 6 home runs and 26 RBI.

Huber is not done with baseball altogether. He will take over as the Melbourne Aces general manager, a role that has been vacant since Windsor Knox stepped down before the season.

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Korea: A Review of the 2014 KBO Season

The Samsung Lions claimed their fourth straight KBO title in 2014 defeating the Nexen Heroes in six games. The Lions pounded the Heroes in Game 6 to claim the Korean Series winning 11-1 to finish off the series.

The Heroes have made one of the biggest turnarounds in KBO history. Since joining the league in 2008 the Heroes have been a perennial doormat of the league. In 2013 the Heroes finally made the playoffs finishing the regular season in third place. This year they finished just a half game behind the eventual champion Lions for first place in the regular season.

The Lions are arguably the most successful team in KBO history. While they have not won the most titles (KIA has 10), they have made the championship seven more times than KIA finishing the runner up nine times.

The Lions were boosted by some solid years from their foreign imports. Rick van den Hurk had a great year on the mound going 13-4 with an ERA of just 3.18 in 25 starts. J.D. Martin didn’t fair as well but did a good job in the rotation going 9-6/4.78. However, perhaps the biggest impact came from infielder Yamaico Navarro who finished the season hitting .308 with 31 home runs, 96 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.

Some other names you may recognize that had big years in the KBO included:

Eric Thames (NC Dinos) hit .343 with 37 home runs and 121 RBI.

Jorge Cantu (Doosan Bears) hit .309 with 18 home runs and 72 RBI.

Felix Pie (Hanwha Eagles) hit .326 with 17 home runs and 92 RBI.

Travis Banwart (SK Wyverns) started 11 games going 9-1 with an ERA of just 3.11.

Dustin Nippert (Doosan Bears) went 14-7 with an ERA of 3.81 in 30 games.

Charles Shirek (NC Dinos) went 1208 with an ERA of 3.81 in 28 starts.

Henry Sosa (Nexen Heroes) went 10-2 in just 20 starts with an ERA of 4.61.

Andy Van Hekken (Nexen Heroes) went 20-6 in 31 starts posting an ERA of 3.51.

Another big surprise this season was the quick emergence of the NC Dinos. A year after finishing 20 games under .500, the Dinos finished in third place and made the playoffs in only their second year of play in the KBO.

Final Regular Season KBO Standings

1. Samsung Lions 78-47-3
2. Nexen Heroes 78-48-2
3. NC Dinos 70-57-1
4. LG Twins 62-64-2
5. SK Wyverns 61-65-2
6. Doosan Bears 59-68-1
7. Lotte Giants 58-69-1
8. KIA Tigers 54-74-0
9. Hanwha Eagles 49-77-2

Photo courtesy Yonhap

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

Great Britain: A Look Back at the 2014 National Baseball League Season

A new champion was crowned in 2014 in the British National Baseball League. The Essex Arrows not only took the regular season crown, but they took home the NBL Championship trophy as well.

The Arrows took down the London Mets in the finals after the Mets advanced through the playoffs winning in the wild card round over Southern. The Arrows and Mets finished with the top two records during the regular season.

The Arrows swept the Mets in the best-of-three series winning 5-1 and 5-4. This was the first time Essex was in the finals.

Essex finished a disappointing 10-18 in 2013 before making the huge turnaround. Last year they were bounced out of the playoffs in the wildcard round by Southhampton who would go on to finish as the runner-ups.

In other league news, the yearly awards were also announced. Abelardo Salas of the Herts Falcons won the league MVP as a two-way player. Matt Tarrant of the London Mets won the Best Young Player Award in 2014.  This award is given to the most valuable player who is 18 or younger on the last day of the year. The fielding awards were also announced:

Callum Vinall (Bracknell Blazers)

First Base
Gary Davison (Southampton Mustangs)

Second Base
Trevor Allen (London Mets)

Ryan Hackel (Herts Falcons)

Third Base
Maikel Azcuy (Essex Arrows)

Gio Escalona (Essex Arrows)
Josh Rapaport (London Mets)
Jacob Dean (Bracknell Blazers)

Final British National Baseball League Standings:

1. Essex Arrows 15-7
2. London Mets 15-9
3. Southhampton 14-10
4. Bracknell 12-9
5. Southern 12-10
6. Herts Falcons 7-14
7. South London 3-19

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

Today in Baseball History – January 9th

January 9, 1903

The AL’s Baltimore franchise is purchased by Frank Ferrell and William Devery. They will move the franchise to New York and become the highlanders and later the Yankees.

January 9, 1989

Johnny Bench and Carl Yaztrzemski are elected to the Hall of Fame on their first year of eligibility.

Johnny Bench was a 14 time All-Star, won back-to-back World Series in 1975-1976, was the 1968 NL ROY, and was a two time NL MVP in 1970 and 1972. He set the standard for catchers going forward winning 10 Gold Gloves and hitting 348 home runs.

Carl Yastrzemski played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox. He was an 18-time All-Star, won 7 Gold Gloves, and winning the 1967 AL MVP after winning the triple crown.

Born on this day:

1959 Otis Nixon

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