Baseball

Nats visit White House, Kurt Suzuki wears MAGA hat

Featured image The Washington Nationals visited the White House today, as President Trump honored the team for winning the World Series. Not all of the Nats participated. As I noted here, Sean Doolittle announced early on that he would not attend. Anthony Rendon, Victor Robles, Michael A. Taylor, Joe Ross, Javy Guerra, and Wander Suero all were absent, as well. Guerra said he couldn’t come because he and his fiancee are preparing »

Dave Martinez, a contrarian view

Featured image It’s difficult to say anything about the world champion Washington Nationals that hasn’t already been said. But I have at least one unique take on the Nats: Their manager, Dave Martinez, is getting way too much praise. Rumor has it that Martinez is a strong candidate for National League Manager of the Year. This would be an odd honor for a manager whose team barely made the Wild Card game »

Nary a man is now alive. . .

Featured image When the Washington Nationals made it to the World Series, I wrote that hardly a man is now alive who remembers the last time a Washington baseball team got that far. The year was 1933. Now, the Nationals have won the World Series. I suspect that nary a man is now alive who remembers the last time Washington experienced ultimate success in the sport. The year was 1924. Like this »

The booing of the president, a postscript

Featured image In this post, I discussed the booing of President Trump during Sunday’s World Series game which I attended. Trump wasn’t just booed. Some in the crowd chanted “lock him up.” (I didn’t include this outrage in my eyewitness account because the folks near me didn’t indulge in it.) Some on the left have criticized the chanting, though not the booing. However, many defend both. Perhaps the most bizarre defense comes »

D.C. crowd manifests hatred of Trump at World Series game

Featured image Last night, I attended Game Five of the World Series. This was the first World Series game I’ve had the privilege of attending since 1979. (If there is such a thing as white privilege, this may be it; other than ushers, there were no African-Americans as far as my eyes could see from my seat.) The game was lopsided almost from the start, and not in Washington’s favor. Nonetheless, I »

Hardly a man is now alive. . .

Featured image who remembers the last time a Washington baseball team played in the World Series. It was in 1933, 86 years ago. The next time is tonight. During 33 of those years, we didn’t even have a baseball team in Washington. That makes the dry spell a little less remarkable, though perhaps even more painful. But even a 53 year dry spell is massive (longer than the one experienced by the »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part Four

Featured image The Baltimore Orioles were down three games to one to the New York Mets entering Game Five of the 1969 World Series. The Orioles thus needed to win three straight games. The previous year, the Detroit Tigers had overcome a three games to one deficit against the St. Louis Cardinals. However, that was only the third time in the history of the World Series this had been accomplished. The Orioles »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part Three

Featured image With the 1969 World Series tied at one game for the Baltimore Orioles and one game for the New York Mets, the Series moved to New York City. The pitching matchup was Jim Palmer vs. Gary Gentry. It favored Baltimore. Palmer, who came into prominence by outpitching Sandy Koufax in Game Two of the 1966 Series, had fought off serious injury to become one the best pitchers in baseball. His »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part Two

Featured image The heavily favored Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Mets in Game One of the 1969 World Series. Game Two seemed like a must-win affair for the Mets. They sent Jerry Koosman to the mound to face Dave McNally. These were two of the very best left-handed pitchers in baseball at the time. Koosman was a farm boy from Minnesota. He hadn’t played high school baseball because his high school »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part One

Featured image When the New York Mets finished off the Atlanta Braves to win the National League pennant in 1969, utility player Rod Gaspar declared that the Mets would win the World Series in four straight. Shortly thereafter, when the Baltimore Orioles finished off the Minnesota Twins to advance to the World Series, Frank Robinson declared, “bring on Ron [sic] Gaspar.” Robinson’s confidence seemed justified. The Orioles had won 109 regular season »

This day in baseball history: Orioles defeat Twins in first ALCS

Featured image The first ever ALCS, played in 1969, pitted the Baltimore Orioles against the Minnesota Twins. The 1969 Orioles were an insanely talented team. They won 109 games during the regular season and outscored their opponents by 262 runs. Few teams in modern baseball history have had better years than that. The Twins weren’t nearly as good. They were no slouches, though. The Twins tallied 97 regular season wins, outscoring the »

This day in baseball history: The first league championship series

Featured image In 1969, both of baseball’s two leagues split into two divisions. The division winners in the respective leagues were to face off in league championship series, with the winners moving on to the World Series. On October 4, the first game of both series were played. In the basement of one of Dartmouth’s dorms, I watched the NLCS game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. I think »

This day in baseball history: Gibson finally gets his 20th

Featured image October 2, 1969 was the last day of baseball’s regular season. On that day, the St. Louis Cardinals played the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium before a crowd of less than 12,000. The game was basically meaningless. St. Louis, after winning back-to-back pennants, had long since been eliminated from contention. They began the day in fourth place in the six-team NL East, 14 games behind the New York Mets. The »

Remembering the Black Sox, and some who weren’t “black”

Featured image Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the 1919 World Series, the one that was fixed. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox (or was it really just seven) threw the Series so crooked gamblers could cash in on a Cincinnati upset win. Cincinnati did win the best of nine series, five games to three. Harry Stein has a good account of it in this article for City »

This day in baseball history: How the West was lost

Featured image 1969 was the first season in which major league baseball split its leagues into two divisions. In the National League East, the Chicago Cubs played great baseball in the first half of the season and the New York Mets played even better in the second half. They ended up winning 100 games to take the division crown going away. In the National League West, it was a very different story. »

Coolest baseball story of the year

Featured image I’m sure there are many cool baseball stories this season of which I’m unaware. However, I doubt that any of them is as cool as the one I’m about to discuss. Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of the great Carl Yastrzemski, hit a home run in his first appearance at Fenway Park in Boston, where Carl excelled for 23 seasons. Mike was playing for the visiting San Francisco Giants. The elder Yastrzemski »

This day in baseball history: Mets roar into first place

Featured image The New York Mets’ come from behind victory over the Chicago Cubs in early July of 1969 left the Mets believing they could catch the Cubs and win the NL East. When the Mets took a series from the Cubs later that month to pull within 3.5 games of the Cubs, they believed this even more. After that, though, the Mets went into a tailspin. By mid-August, they trailed the »