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 »

Kaline’s catch, a footnote

Featured image On Saturday, I wrote about Al Kaline’s great, win-preserving catch against the New York Yankees on May 26, 1962 at Yankee Stadium. Kaline broke his collar bone making the play. It turns out that Bill Kristol was at the game, sitting with his father near right field, where Kaline made the play. He recalls the catch here, and provides a great link to sports writer Bill Dow’s recollection of it, »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On May 26, 1962, the Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 2-1 at Yankee Stadium. With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Al Kaline preserved the win with a diving catch of an Elston Howard line drive. Without the catch, Hector Lopez might have scored from first base to tie the game. But the victory came at a big cost. Kaline broke his collar bone making the »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On May 9, 1962, the New York Mets, in their first year of existence, obtained Marv Throneberry from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a player to be named later. “Marvelous Marv” would become the symbol of the futility of the 1962 Mets, who set the modern baseball record for futility by losing 120 games. Actually, the acquisition of Throneberry probably improved the Mets offense. It enabled Casey Stengel to »

Who’s “old school”?

Featured image Washington, D.C. has been off of the baseball map since 1969, the year Ted Williams took over as manager of the Washington Senators and led the club to its first winning season in 17 years. Washington literally fell off the map three years later, when the Senators left for Texas. Although baseball returned in 2005 with the Washington Nationals, that team has been nothing to write home, or even to »

This day in baseball history

Featured image A long-time reader wraps up his coverage of the 1961 World Series. On October 9, 1961, the New York Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field to win the World Series 4 games to 1. As we have seen, the first of these games, Game 3, required the Yankees to come from behind late in the contest. Games 4 and 5 were routs. Much of »

This Day In Baseball History

Featured image Here is another report about the 1961 World Series from a long-time reader. The third, and as it turned out the pivotal game of the 1961 World Series took place in Cincinnati on October 7. It featured another good pitching matchup – Bill Stafford for the Yankees and Bob Purkey for the Reds. Only 22 years old, Stafford seemed on his way to a great career. In less than a »