Baseball

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 »

This day in baseball history — 79 year wait ends in DC

Featured image On this day, September 20, 2012, the Washington Nationals clinched a spot in this year’s baseball playoff. They accomplished this by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1. A Washington baseball team hasn’t played in the post-season since 1933. That year, the Washington Senators represented the American League in the World Series, losing to the New York Giants 4 games to 1. What the Nationals clinched tonight was the right, at »

This day in baseball history — Tom Cheney fans 21

Featured image On September 12, 1962, the Washington Senators played the Baltimore Orioles. Going into the game, which was played in Baltimore, the Senators were in last place, well behind ninth place Kansas City and 31 games behind first place New York. Washington manager Mickey Vernon thus fielded a line-up that featured four rookies — Ed Brinkman, John “Red” Kennedy, Don Lock and Ron Stillwell — plus two undistinguished reserves — Joe »

This day in baseball history

Featured image Many baseball fans of a certain age remember the extraordinary National League pennant race of 1962, in the which the Los Angeles Dodgers needed a playoff to best the San Francisco Giants. But few recall that the American League race was also tightly contested well into September. At the close of play on September 3 1962, the Giants had pulled to with 2.5 games of the Dodgers, having defeated their »

Should the Nats shut down Steven Strasburg?

Featured image Steven Strasburg is an enormously talented 24 year-old baseball player, who has already established himself as one of the very best pitchers in the Major Leagues. Strasburg missed most of last season after undergoing “Tommy John surgery” to repair his elbow. The normal protocol in the year after Tommy John surgery is for a pitcher to throw between 160 and 180 innings, and then stop for the remainder of the »

A Catcher’s Story

Featured image Jim Hibbs was an All-American catcher for Stanford University, a member of the 1964 Olympic baseball team, a minor leaguer for eight years, and, briefly, a major leaguer with the (then) California Angels. He is also a Power Line reader. Jim has written the story of his baseball playing career in a book called A Catcher’s Story. I like the book a lot, and believe that those who followed baseball »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On Sunday, July 8, 1962, the Cleveland Indians lost both games of a double-header to the Chicago White Sox. This ended a six game winning streak and dropped the Indians to second place in the American League heading into the All Star break. Still, Indians fans had little to complain about. The previous year, the Indians had finished in fifth place, 30.5 games behind the Yankees and five games under »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On June 24, 1962, the New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 9-7 in 22 innings. The game lasted exactly 7 hours, making it the longest ever played in terms of elapsed time as of that date. The Yankees and the Tigers had battled for the 1961 pennant, with the rest of the American League far behind. But heading in late June of 1962, as the Yankees headed to Detroit »

Bryce Harper and conservatism, Part Two

Featured image Mark Judge’s piece about Bryce Harper as conservative hero appears to have offended Dan Steinberg, a sports blogger for the Washington Post whose frivolous jottings also spill into the print edition of the sports page (a sign of the times, I guess). Steinberg heaps ridicule (but no analysis; that’s not in his repertoire) on Judge’s thesis. He also quotes Charles Pierce who apparently blogs for Esquire: Mother of God, there’s »

Bryce Harper and conservatism

Featured image There’s an old line that goes: “Do you know what I like about Los Angeles? It’s not Buffalo.” Using the same construction, I say: “Do you know what I like about sports? It’s not politics.” Sports and politics are, indeed, as antithetical as Los Angeles and Buffalo (with sports, if anything, representing the Eastern city in the analogy). In politics, opinion and popularity are paramount; in sports, they count for »

The boy’s a bit special, Part Two

Featured image Tonight, Bryce Harper drove in the winning for the Washington Nationals, a walk-off hit in the 12th inning. It was Harper’s second RBI of the night. Both of these hits were to the opposite field, as was his sharpest blast of the night, which was caught. Harper’s ability to use the whole field is another reason why he seems special. »

Bryce Harper — The boy’s a bit special

Featured image To the extent that I’m still a serious baseball fan, I am of the tiresome “seen it all before” variety. The fact is that I have seen about half of “it” – i.e., the history of baseball in the modern era. And I have read extensively about the other half. Thus, when the Washington Nationals called up teen-age phenom Bryce Harper I was prepared to be a skeptic and a »