Tag Archive | "MLB"

Today in Baseball History – March 5


March 5, 1966

Marvin Miller is elected by player representatives as the Executive Director of the Major League Players Association. He was the former assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers.

He would hold the position until 1982. During his time he turned the MLPA into one of the strongest unions in the country.

March 5, 1973

New York Yankees teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich announced they have swapped wives. They swapped wives, families, and even dogs.

The moved worked better for Peterson who is still married to the former Suzanne Kekich. They have had four children together. However, Mike Kekich and the former Marilyn Peterson soon split up after the move.

Born on this day:

1947 Kent Tekulve

1966 Kevin Brown

1976 Paul Konerko

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Today in Baseball History – March 4


March 4, 1907

A judgement is handed down where Brooklyn would have to pay the Baltimore franchise $52,000. When Baltimore left the N.L. in 1903, Brooklyn agreed to pay $40,000 to Baltimore but never did. The new figure included interest.

March 4, 1976

Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth purchase the San Francisco Giants for $8 million. The deal would keep the team from being sold to a Canadian brewery and moved to Toronto.

Lurie would be own the team until January 1993.

Born on this day:

1891 Dazzy Vance

1948 Tom Grieve

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Today in Baseball History – March 1


March 1, 1969

New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle retires.

Mantle, a perrieniel All-Star, finished his injury laded career with 536 home runs, a lifetime batting average of .298, three AL MVP titles, seven World Series titles, and the 1956 Triple Crown.

He has had his #7 retired by the Yankees, and was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1974.

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Today in Baseball History – February 28


February 28, 1903

A syndicate led by Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss and James Potter agree to purchase the Philadelphia Phillies for $170,000. It wouldn’t be until 1910 that owners are forbidden to have interest in more than one team.

February 28, 1931

Creator of the American League Ban Johnson dies after a long illness.

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Today in Baseball History – February 27


February 27, 1901

The N.L. Rules Committee decides that all fouls are to be counted as strikes, except after two strikes.

A few other changes that are made were that catchers must play within ten feet of the hitter. Also a ball will be called if a pitcher is not ready to throw to a ready hitter after 20 seconds. A ball will also be called if a player is hit by a pitch.

February 27, 1908

The sacrifice fly is adopted. A batter will not be charged an at-bat if a runs scores on a caught fly ball. The rule was repealed in 1931, but later reinstated gaining final acceptance in 1954.

Born on this day:

1953 Ron Hassey

 

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Today in Baseball History – February 26


February 26, 1935

Babe Ruth is released by the New York Yankees. He signs with the Boston Braves for $20,000 and will earn a share of the profits. He will only play the 1935 season with Boston before retiring from baseball.

February 26, 1991

Bill Veeck and Tony Lazzeri are elected to the Hall of Fame.

Veeck was the colorful owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox. In 1947, Veeck successfully integrated the American League when he signed Larry Doby to the Cleveland Indians. He was known for his publicity stunts such as having the little person Eddie Gaedel bat in a game in 1951 for the St. Louis Browns.

Lazzeri was a part of the legendary “Murderers’ Row” with the New York Yankees in the 1920s. He won five World Series titles while with the Yankees and is one of only 14 players to hits for the natural cycle (hitting a single, double, triple, and home run in sequence). He is also the only person in history to finish his natural cycle with a grand slam.

Born on this day:

1887 Grover Cleveland Alexander

1968 J.T. Snow

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Today in Baseball History – February 25


February 25, 1957

The US Supreme Court decides, by a vote of 6-3, that the only professional sport exempt from antitrust laws is baseball. The issue arose once again when football was seeking antitrust protection as well.

February 25, 1957

The St. Louis Cardinals trade pitcher Steve Carlton to the Phillies for pitcher Rick Wise.

Wise would spend two seasons with the Cardinals winning 32 games before moving onto Boston. On the other hand, Carlton would go on to win 241 games for the Phillies and four Cy Young Awards.

In his first year with the Phillies, Carlton would go 27-10 with an ERA of 1.97 winning his first Cy Young Award.

Born on this day:

1919 Monte Irvin

1940 Ron Santo

1951 Cesar Cedeno

1954 Bob Brenly

1963 Paul O’Neill

Died on this day:

1934 John McGraw

 

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Today in Baseball History – February 24


February 24, 1943

The Texas League announces it will cease play for the duration of World War II.  The league resumes play in 1946 with the Dallas Rebels claiming the title once again.

Born on this day:

1874 Honus Wagner

1956 Eddie Murray

1960 Nick Esasky

1974 Mike Lowell

1977 Bronson Arroyo

Died on this day:

1990 Tony Conigliaro

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Today in Baseball History – February 23


February 23, 1934

Casey Stengel replaces Max Carey as the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

He would go on to manage 25 years in the Major Leagues for four different teams. In 12 years with the New York Yankees he will go on to win 10 pennants and 7 World Series Titles.

February 23, 1960

Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913-1957, sees its last days as demolition of the stadium begins. The stadium would see nine NL pennants and one World Series title in 1955.

Born on this day:

1963 Bobby Bonilla

1972 Rondell White

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Today in Baseball History – February 22


February 22, 1980

The Oakland Athletics sign Billy Martin to manage the club. He would spend three seasons at the helm of the A’s taking them to the ALCS in 1981 only to lose to his former team the Yankees.

Born on this day:

1934 Sparky Anderson

 

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Today in Baseball History – February 21


February 21, 1951

The South Carolina House issues a resolution to have Shoeless Joe Jackson reinstated after being banned as part of the BlackSox Sandal of 1919. He still hasn’t been reinstated.

February 21, 1969

After retiring at the end of the 1960 season, Ted Williams returns full-time to baseball as the manager of the Washington Senators. In his first year at the helm, Williams leads the Senators to an 86-76 record finishing fourth. It would be his only winning season.

He led the Senators for three seasons before becoming the first manager in Texas Rangers history in 1972 after the team moved to Arlington. He retired after the 1972 season.

Born on this day:

1958 Alan Trammell

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MLB: Will We See a Return of Bullpen Cars?


Major League Baseball released new rules to help speed up the game play which seems to be a big concern for new commissioner Rob Manfred. I like what they have done in terms of speeding up the in between inning happenings. This is how the KBO works albeit with a shorter clock between innings at two minutes in Korea.

I think the time limits they are given give the players plenty of time to move on and off the field and get ready for play the next half inning. They will now get 2:45 in nationally televised games and 2:25 for locally televised games. Plus I like that they are going to discourage longer lingering behavior through fines and warnings. This will hopefully cut down on unneeded practices, and I bet Nomar Garciaparra is glad he is no longer in the league.

My question is will there be a return of the much missed bullpen cars of old? Wouldn’t this keep some of the slower relief pitchers in the game from not having enough time to warm up? Many of the younger generation may not remember them, or maybe they only saw one in the movie Major League.

Bullpen Car Indians

It has been twenty years, wow has it been that long, since we have seen any sort of bullpen car. And the last one wasn’t even a car, it was a motorcycle with a sidecar courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers. However, it does seem like there have been some sightings of bullpen cars in various minor league stops around the country and overseas. Perhaps the greatest one ever was dubbed the “tugboat” in Seattle

tugboat bullpen car Seattle

I do hope that the fine system is progressive in order to really hit hard the repeat offenders. For some the fine might have to get high before they take any corrective action.

There are more rules including a batter must keep a foot in the batter’s box between pitches, with some exceptions. There are also some changes to the replay rules.

For more information on these, you can view the press release by MLB here.

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MLB, MLBPA Announce Pace of Game Initiatives and Replay Modifications


Press Release by Major League Baseball

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark and Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, the Chairman of Major League Baseball’s Pace of Game and Instant Replay Committees, today jointly announced additions to the sport’s pace of game program, which will be effective in Spring Training, the regular season and the Postseason, and a series of modifications to the instant replay system. The World Umpires Association also has given its assent to the new efforts, which will be reviewed by the parties following the conclusion of the 2015 World Series.

PACE OF GAME

  • The pace of game program will enforce the batter’s box rule, requiring that all batters must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box unless one of a group of exceptions occurs. The new rule at the Major League level mirrors 6.02(d), which was in place in Minor League Baseball in 2014.
  • A second new component to the pace of game program is the addition of timers that will measure non-game action and break time between innings and pitching changes during each Major League game. One timer will be installed on or near the outfield scoreboard, and a smaller timer will be installed on the façade behind home plate near the press box. Immediately following the third out of each half-inning, the timer will count down from 2:25 for locally televised games and from 2:45 for nationally televised games. An MLB representative attending each game will operate the timers from the ballpark and will track the following events:

Time Remaining

Activity

40 Seconds

PA announces batter and begins to play walk-up music

30 Seconds

Pitcher throws final warm-up pitch

25 Seconds

Batter’s walk-up music ends

20 Seconds-5 Seconds

Batter enters the batter’s box

20 Seconds-0 Seconds

Pitcher begins motion to deliver pitch

  • Pitchers will be permitted to throw as many warm-up pitches as they wish prior to the point when 30 seconds remain on the clock; however, pitchers will be deemed to have forfeited any of their traditional eight warm-up pitches that they are unable to complete prior to the 30-second deadline. Exceptions to these rules will be made in a variety of circumstances, including if the pitcher or catcher ended the prior half-inning at bat or on base.
  • Batters will be encouraged to get into the batter’s box with 20 seconds remaining on the timer. This is the same time that the broadcasters return from commercial. The pitcher is expected to begin his motion to deliver the pitch as soon as the batter gets into the batter’s box and becomes alert to the pitcher. Batters who do not enter the box prior to five seconds remaining on the timer and pitchers who do not begin the motion to deliver the pitch prior to zero seconds remaining on the timer will be deemed to have violated the break timing rules.
  • These rules will be enforced through a warning and fine system, with discipline resulting for flagrant violators. No fines will be issued in Spring Training or in April of the 2015 regular season. Donations will be made to the Major League Baseball Players Trust charitable foundation based on the level of adherence to the new rules.

Commissioner Manfred said: “These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play. The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game.”

Clark said: “The Players believe that enforcing the rules that currently exist regarding between inning breaks and plate appearances is the best way to address the issue of pace of play. We’re confident that today’s announcements will have a positive impact on the pace of the game without jeopardizing the integrity of the competition.”

Schuerholz said: “The Pace of Game Committee wants to take measured steps as we address this industry goal to quicken the pace of our great game. It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away; it is more important to develop a culture of better habits and a structure with more exact timings for non-game action.”

Brian Lam, who represents the Major League Umpires, stated: “These strides to hone the pace of game over time will improve the natural rhythm of baseball, and we applaud and support the Players Association and the Commissioner’s Office as we all move toward this goal.”

INSTANT REPLAY MODIFICATIONS

  • Managers may now invoke instant replay from the dugout and will no longer be required to approach the calling umpire to challenge a call. Managers may hold play from the top step of the dugout by signaling to players and the home plate umpire that he is considering a challenge. A decision can be communicated verbally or with a hand signal. To challenge an inning-ending call, managers will be required to leave the dugout immediately in order to hold the defensive team on the field.
  • Whether a runner left the base early or properly touched a base on a tag-up play will be reviewable.
  • A manager will retain his challenge after every call that is overturned. Last year, a manager retained his challenge only after the first overturned call.
  • A manager must use a challenge in order to review whether a play at home plate included a violation of the rule governing home plate collisions. However, in the event that a manager is out of challenges after the start of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may still choose to review whether there was a violation of the rule.
  • During Postseason games, regular season tiebreaker games and the All-Star Game, managers will now have two challenges per game.
  • Instant replay will not be utilized during 2015 Spring Training, but it will be in place for exhibition games at Major League ballparks prior to the start of the 2015 regular season.

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Today in Baseball History – February 20


February 20, 1943

Chewing gum mogul Philip K. Wrigley creates the All-American Girls Softball League which was quickly turned into the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

The league would run from 1943 until 1954 and served in the early years to keep the game of baseball in the public eye while the majority of men were away during World War II.

February 20, 1953

August A. Busch buys the Cardinals and promises not to move them from St. Louis.

Busch oversaw the team until his death in 1989. During that time the Cardinals won six NL Championships and three World Series titles.

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Today in Baseball History – February 19


February 19, 1953

While serving in the Korean War, Ted Williams’ plane, a F9F Panther, was hit by flak during a raid in Pyongyang, North Korea. He and his plane limped back to a nearby Air Force airfield close to the front line where he safely landed.

Williams flew 39 missions in Korea and was finally withdrawn from fight status in June 1953 after they discovered an inner ear infection when he was hospitalized for pneumonia.

 

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MLB: Pitchers and Catchers Start Reporting Today for Various Teams


And it begins.

The first teams reported for spring training today. Well the pitchers and catchers did. This may not seem like a big day to many, but it marks the first day toward what everyone is waiting for…..Opening Day.

Opening Night is Sunday April 5th with the Cubs and Cardinals facing off at Wrigley Field. The following day is when the rest of the league will get started with a full slate of games.

Not sure when your team will report? Well here is a list courtesy of SpringTrainingOnline.com.

2015 Spring Training Reporting Dates: Major-League Teams

Organization Pitchers & Catchers First
Workout
Position
Players
First full workout
Arizona D-Backs Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Atlanta Braves Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Baltimore Orioles Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Boston Red Sox Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Chicago Cubs Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Chicago White Sox Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Cincinnati Reds Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb.23 Feb. 24
Cleveland Indians Feb. 18 Feb. 20 Feb. 22 Feb. 24
Colorado Rockies Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 26 Feb. 27
Detroit Tigers Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Houston Astros Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Kansas City Royals Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Los Angeles Angels Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Los Angeles Dodgers Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24
Feb. 25
Miami Marlins Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Milwaukee Brewers Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Minnesota Twins Feb. 22 Feb. 23 Feb. 27 Feb. 28
New York Mets Feb. 19 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 26
New York Yankees Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Oakland Athletics Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Philadelphia Phillies Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Pittsburgh Pirates Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
St. Louis Cardinals Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
San Diego Padres Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
San Francisco Giants Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Seattle Mariners Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Tampa Bay Rays Feb. 21 Feb. 22 Feb. 26 Feb. 27
Texas Rangers Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Toronto
Blue Jays
Feb. 22 Feb. 23 Feb. 26 Feb. 27
Washington
Nationals
Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25

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MLB: Alex Rodriguez Apologizes in Letter


On Tuesday Alex Rodriguez released a statement via a letter apologizing to the fans, his teammates, and the Yankees organization.

How fitting that the day Arod refuses the Yankees offer to use Yankee Stadium for a press conference that Anthony Bosch, the clinic’s founder, was sentenced to four years in federal prison for illegally supplying steroids.

The Yankees still owe Rodriguez some $61 million over the remaining three years of his career. He enters the 2015 season at the age of 39 having sat out the entire 2014 season.

Let’s forget about the need of the Yankees for him to return to something that resembles his former self. Instead I’d like to focus on the fact that Rodriguez took the easy way out, again, by not facing the press. The Yankees wanted him to apologize before spring training started to avoid the circus. This just isn’t going to cut it. Expect day one of spring training to be a circus regardless.

If you have not read what is in the letter, I feel the best way is to hear it read in the voice of Morgan Freeman. After all, Alex is just a huge joke anyway, and this is really funny.

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Today in Baseball History – February 18th


February 18, 1943

In an effort to keep the fledgling Philadelphia Phillies out of the hands of Bill Veeck, the league orchestrates a sale of the team to William D. Cox.

Ironically, in less than a year Cox would be banned for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis for betting on his own team. He became the first non-player, and the last manager, to be banned for life from the game.

Born on this day:

1938 Manny Mota

Died on this day:

2001 Eddie Mathews

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Today in Baseball History – February 17th


February 17, 1964

Former Chicago White Sox shortstop Luke Appling is elected into the Hall of Fame.

Appling was a seven-time All-Star who collected 2,749 hits over his career. His career was interrupted by World War II in 1944-45.

He won two batting titles (1936 & 1943) and was a good leadoff hitter for many years topping the .400 mark in OBP eight times.

Born on this day:

1893 Wally Pipp

1915 Rod Dedeaux

1944 Dick Bosman

Died on this day:

1986 Red Ruffing

1989 Lefty Gomez

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Today in Baseball History – February 16th


February 16, 1989

Orel Hershiser becomes the first player to sign a contract calling for a$3 million annual salary. He signs a three-year, $7.9 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hershiser was coming off an incredible 1988 season where he won the Cy Young Award going 23-8 with an ERA of 2.26. He tossed 15 complete games that year including 8 shutouts en route to taking the Dodgers to the World Series.

He would go on to pitch 12 more seasons in the Major Leagues including four more after the end of this three-year contract.

Hershiser would finish his career with 204 wins and a lifetime 3.48 ERA.

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Today in Baseball History – February 15th


February 15, 1916

The New York Yankees purchase “Home Run” Frank Baker from the Philadelphia Athletics for $37,500.

Baker sat out the 1915 season after a contract dispute with Connie Mack. He won four consecutive home run titles from 1911 to 1914 and was considered the best pre-war era third baseman.

He went on to be named to the Hall of Fame in 1955.

February 15, 1990

The owners refuse to open spring training camps without a new Basic Agreement with the Player’s Association. The lockout wiped out all of spring training lasting 32 days.

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Today in Baseball History – February 14th


February 14, 1976

The Atlanta Braves sent Valentine’s Day cards to the media and its season ticket holders.

The cards read:

Rose is a Red
Morgan’s one, too
They finished first
Like we wanted to

But last year’s behind us
We’re happy to say
Now we’re tied for first
Happy Valentine’s Day

The Braves finished the 1975 season in last place, 40.5 games behind the Reds. They would finish 1976 in last again, 32 games behind Cincinnati.

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MLB: 1920s Footage of Babe, Ty, Dazzy, and the Big Train


If you missed Jonah Keri’s article over at Grantland the other day, well you missed something good. Keri took a stroll through the MLB Production headquarters recently and got to see how all the old film is getting digitized.

But the best part was he shared some of the stuff he saw.

Probably the most popular out of the short videos he shared was just under two and a half minutes, but it features four of the greatest players to ever don a uniform in Dazzy Vance, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Walter Johnson.

It is such a great video, in what has been called an instructional video by many because of the content, but it is great in that it shows these great players as human. Here you can see Babe Ruth taking horrible swings we have all taken popping up balls, or Ty Cobb lunging at a ball. But you be the judge. Here is the video.

You can check out the other footage Keri shows off in his article here. It includes a young Bryce Harper playing junior college ball, some 1982 Montreal Expos highlights, some 50’s Reds spring training action, and my favorite some footage of the 1905 Giants.

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Today in Baseball History – February 13th


February 13, 1953

The Philadelphia Athletics changed the name of Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium. This was in honor of their longtime manager and owner Connie Mack.

February 13, 1974

The Hall of Fame Special Committee on the Negro Leagues names Cool Papa Bell to the Hall.

Bell had a lifetime batting average of .337 in the Negro Leagues and is considered one of the fastest players to ever play the game.

Satchel Paige once described Bell as  “so fast you can turn off the light and be under the covers. before the room gets dark!”

Photo courtesy BallparksofBaseball.com

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