Baseball

This day in baseball history — Bob Gibson returns

Featured image On September 7, 1967, Bob Gibson returned to the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals after an absence of almost two months. In mid-July, Roberto Clemente had fractured Gibson’s leg with line drive up the middle. Remarkably, Gibson faced three more batters before succumbing to the injury, but would miss more than seven weeks thereafter. The Cardinals did not suffer during Gibson’s absence. Their record the day he went down »

This day in baseball history — now that was a pennant race

Featured image Labor Day used to mark the beginning of the home stretch in baseball pennant races, back in the old days when we had pennant races rather than scrambles to make the playoffs. The American League standings on Labor Day 1967 promised a great pennant race. Here is how things stood at the end of play on Monday, September 4: Minnesota – Boston 0.5 Chicago 1.0 Detroit 1.5 These standings were »

Meet Byron Buxton

Featured image Baseball is a beautiful game when it’s played well and you can watch it with a rooting interest in the home team. I have continued watching the Minnesota Twins this season even though management recently gave up on their playoff chances, trading away their closer (Brandon Kintzler) and a newly acquired starter (Jaime Garcia) after one appearance. We nevertheless have the pleasure of watching some talented young players come into »

This day in baseball history: The Senators reach .500

Featured image On August 7, 1967, the Washington Senators reached the .500 mark by beating the Minnesota Twins 5-0 at Metropolitan Stadium. Phil Ortega, an undistinguished pitcher enjoying a career year, shut out the mighty Twins on three hits. Reaching .500 might not seem like much. However, the expansion version of the Senators had never been close to that mark as late as August during their six year history. And the original »

Tim Tebow update

Featured image Last month, the New York Mets promoted Tim Tebow from Columbia in the South Atlantic League (“Low A” ball) to St. Lucie, a “High A” team in the Florida State League. Tebow hadn’t done anything to deserve the promotion. At the time, he was batting .222, with an on-base percentage of .311 and a slugging percentage of .340. As I noted, though, the move made financial sense for the Mets. »

Make baseball great again

Featured image I wrote here about the need for a clock in baseball — a clock that would limit the time pitchers can take between pitches. I suggested a 20 second clock. The need for a clock arises from the ever-increasing amount of time it takes to complete a ball game. This season, the average major league game is taking 3 hours and 8 minutes to complete, the longest time in history. »

This day in baseball history: NL wins marathon pitching duel

Featured image On July 11, 1967, the National League won the all-star game by a score of 2-1. The game, played in Anaheim, California, lasted 15 innings, tied for the most in all-star game history (the 2008 game also went 15 innings). The duration was 3:41. Nowadays, it often takes that long to play nine innings. The 2008 all-star game, a 4-3 affair, took 4:50. The National League used seven pitchers in »

Yesterday in baseball history — Durocher’s Cubs surge into first [UPDATED]

Featured image Heading into the 1967 season, the Chicago Cubs had not finished in the top half of the National League since 1946, and had experienced only one winning season since that year (1963, when they went 82-80). The Cubs had hoped that their fortunes would turn around when, in 1966, they hired Leo Durocher as manager. Durocher had won a pennant managing the Brooklyn Dodgers and two pennants and a world »

Mets promote Tim Tebow

Featured image It looks like I missed my chance to see Tim Tebow play minor league baseball. The New York Mets have promoted the former Heisman Trophy winner from Columbia (South Carolina) in the South Atlantic League (“Low A”) to St. Lucie in the Florida State League (“High A). Tebow’s performance for Columbia didn’t warrant the move. He was batting .222, with an on-base percentage of .311 and a slugging percentage of »

Baseball needs a clock

Featured image It has become enormously burdensome, and generally unrewarding, to watch baseball games on television from start to finish. Even if you have three and a half hours to devote, there isn’t enough action to fill that time. The pace is too slow and there is too much down time. According to Dave Shenin of the Washington Post, focus-group and survey data show that younger fans (and presumably anyone with a »

St. Louis Cardinals stand up to LGBTQ activists

Featured image For nearly three decades, the St. Louis Cardinals have held a yearly event called “Christian Day.” The team calls this a reflection of its commitment “to bringing like-minded groups together to share in the unifying experience of Cardinals baseball.” The same commitment manifests itself in Jewish Community Night, Catholic Family Night, Bosnian Heritage Night, Fiesta Cardenales (heavy on cultural appropriation, I hope), etc. And this year the Cardinals are scheduled »

Yesterday in baseball history: A Tommy John masterpiece

Featured image June 13, 1967 was my high school graduation day. In honor of the occasion, my best friend’s father took us to D.C. Stadium (now RFK) to see the last place Washington Senators play the first place Chicago White Sox. I always sat in the cheap seats. However, my friend’s father bought us seats near the field on the first base side. We had barely settled into those seats when the »

Tim Tebow is still a hero in small town America

Featured image Tim Tebow was a Heisman Trophy winning college football player and, briefly, a starting quarterback in the NFL. Nowadays, he’s a football analyst for ESPN. Tebow has been mocked and vilified by some on the left. Why? Because he openly displays his Christian faith. Last weekend, Tebow came to Hagerstown, Maryland. He came as a member of the Columbia (South Carolina) Fireflies, a New York Mets farm team in the »

About that Harper-Strickland fight

Featured image Jim Bunning, the Hall of Famer who died last week, was part of a breed of pitchers who tried to prevent batters from crowding the plate or otherwise digging in. Vern Law, Don Drysdale, and Bob Gibson were from the same school. Most pitchers in the 1950s and 60s were to some extent. They might not protect the space between the batter and the inner portion of home plate as »

This day in baseball history: Bunning vs. Marichal (with surprise ending)

Featured image On May 30, 1967, Jim Bunning opposed Juan Marichal in a battle of future Hall of Famers at Candlestick Park. Both pitchers went the full nine innings, but it was hardly a classic pitchers’ duel. Together, they allowed nine runs and 16 hits. They struck out only seven and walked six. Bunning began the day 3-5 with a 3.75 ERA. Marichal was having a typical scintillating season. His record was »

Jim Bunning, RIP

Featured image Today’s Washington Post features three obituaries — one for Zbigniew Brzezinski (written by long-time Post foreign policy writer Jim Hoagland), one for Gregg Allman, and one for Jim Bunning. The headline in the paper edition for Brzezinski’s obit reads: “Combative adviser helped shape Carter’s foreign policy.” We’ll leave it there. The paper edition headline for Allman’s obit reads: “Southern rock pioneer led Allman Brothers Band.” Scott is our music expert »

“Catfish,” “Blue Moon,” and “Pussyface(?)”

Featured image In my baseball history post yesterday, I mentioned two Kansas City pitchers with great nicknames: Jim “Catfish” Hunter and John “Blue Moon” Odom. If you got the impression that K.C. owner Charlie Finley liked pitchers with colorful nicknames, you are right. Hunter says “Catfish” was a nickname Finley bestowed on him. The pitcher recalled: [Finley] told me, “A player’s got to have a nickname,” and he asked me what I »