Baseball

What will happen to the Hall of Fame?

Featured image Bill James once wrote a book called Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? My question is, what will happen to baseball’s Hall of Fame now? Today, the Hall of Fame will unveil its class of 2013. This is the first year of eligibility for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, three stars of baseball’s steroid era, all of whom were tainted by it. “Exit polling” of those who »

Remembering Eddie Yost

Featured image Eddie Yost died on Wednesday at the age of 86. Yost was a key player on the first baseball team I ever followed, the Washington Senators of the mid 1950s. Yost wasn’t our best player; that was slugger Roy Sievers. But he was the team leader and, as far as I could tell, the most popular player among adult Senators fans. Yost is famous for drawing walks. He led the »

This day in baseball history — a classic game decides the World Series

Featured image On October 16, 1962, the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants played Game 7 of the World Series at Candlestick Park. This game is generally (and correctly, in my view) considered one of the top 10 World Series games of all-time. The game is remembered for the line drive that ended it, for the double play that produced its only run, and, by some, for the impact of »

This day in baseball history — after the deluge

Featured image On Monday, October 15, 1962, the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants resumed the World Series after four days off. The two teams had last played on Wednesday, October 10. Since then, there had been a travel day and then three consecutive rain-outs in San Francisco. You can get an idea of the magnitude of the storms that caused the postponements, and catch a glimpse of “Candlestick Pond,” »

Steven Strasburg and the Nats playoff defeat

Featured image In the wake of the Washington Nationals heartbreaking playoff series loss to St. Louis, John Feinstein takes to the pages of the Washington Post to write a bitter and unfair attack on the club’s management for shutting down ace pitcher Steven Strasburg before the playoffs. Feinstein believes that the Nationals, once they realized they would make the playoffs, should have “stretched out” Strasburg’s season so he could pitch in October »

Heartbreak by the numbers

Featured image Back when I followed baseball closely, I sometimes heard hardcore fans say that the playoffs will expose a team’s weakness. I never really believed this, though. The playoffs provide too few games to guarantee a full, searching probe of a baseball team. The limits of the playoffs as arbiter of pure baseball quality seem even clearer in these days of “wild card” teams. Except in cases of an exceptional injury »

This day in baseball history — keeping the faith, a preview of things to come

Featured image On Wednesday, October 10, 1962, the New York Yankees took a 3 games to 2 lead over the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. The Yankees accomplished this by coming from behind to win Game 5 by a score of 5-3. Game 5 was supposed to be played the previous day, but rain postponed it. This meant that both starting pitchers, Jack Sanford and Ralph Terry, would pitch with »

This day in baseball history — a classic pitching matchup aborted

Featured image On October 8, 1962, the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees played Game 4 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees took a 2 games to 1 lead into the contest. The pitching matchup featured two future Hall of Famers, young Juan Marichal (18-11, 3.35) and veteran Whitey Ford (17-8, 2.90). This was the first matchup of Hall of Famers since 1958, when Ford and Warren »

This day in baseball history — The Yankees win a pivotal game

Featured image On Sunday, October 7, 1962, the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees played Game 3 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium. The pitching matchup was Billy Pierce (16-6, 3.49) against Bill Stafford (14-9, 3.67). For the 35-year old Pierce, this was a long awaited opportunity to start a World Series game. In the 1959 Series, Chicago White Sox manager Al Lopez had limited his long-time ace to »

This day in baseball history — a dramatic end to a classic series

Featured image On Wednesday, October 3, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants played the final game of their playoff series. Though the 1962 playoff series is all but forgotten, it was a classic, made so by an epic second game and a dramatic finale. If these two teams had still been in New York, as they were during their legendary 1951 series, I suspect this playoff would still »

This day in baseball history — the Dodgers and Giants produce an epic

Featured image On Tuesday October 2, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers played a must-win game against the San Francisco Giants, who led them by one game to none in a best of three games playoff for the National League pennant. Dodgers manager Walter Alston turned to his ace, 25-game winner Don Drysdale. Although Double D would have to pitch on only two days of rest, he seemed a better option than rookie »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On October 1, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants played the first game of a best-of-three playoff to determine the National League pennant winner. It was the fourth such playoff in National League history and the fourth involving the Dodgers. They had lost to St. Louis in 1946 and to the then-New York Giants in 1951, before defeating Milwaukee in 1959. The Dodgers and the Giants »

This day in baseball history

Featured image The Los Angeles Dodgers entered play on Sunday September 30, 1962 — the last day of the regular season — with a one game lead over the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers could win the National League pennant by beating the St. Louis Cardinals in Los Angeles. And even if the Dodgers lost, the Giants would still need to beat the Houston Colt 45s in San Francisco to force a »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On Saturday, September 29, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers squandered an opportunity to clinch the National League pennant when they lost 2-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals. 25-game winner Don Drysdale pitched brilliantly for the Dodgers, limiting St. Louis to 5 hits and no earned runs. But the Cards scored 2 in the second inning thanks to an error by lumbering Frank Howard on a Dal Maxvill fly ball. Ernie »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On September 28, 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings. They thus missed the opportunity to clinch at least a tie for the National League pennant. The Cardinals opened the top of the tenth with singles by Curt Flood and Stan Musial off of Ron Perranoski, who was pitching his third inning of relief. With two out, Charley James singled in the »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On Tuesday, September 25, 1962, the outcome of a pair of close games ensured that the National League pennant race would come down to the final games of the season. Heading into the previous weekend, this didn’t seem very likely. The Los Angeles Dodgers held a 4 game lead over the San Francisco Giants with just 9 games remaining. But the Dodgers dropped two of three games in St. Louis, »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On this day, September 22, 2012, Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez won his 20th game of the season. You’re probably asking yourself when the last time was that Washington had a 20-game winner. The answer is 1953, when Bob Porterfield won 22 games. To put Gonzalez’s accomplishment into further perspective, Washington’s top winner last season (a decent year in which the Nats won 80 games) was John Lannan, with 10 »