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Found 135 results

  1. "Sandy Koufax" is the answer to one of my favorite baseball trivia questions: "Which Hall of Fame pitcher had a career record of 36-40 exactly halfway through his career?" Of note: Koufax's 1965 World Series is the one where he took off Game 1 for Yom Kippur; yet he still managed to start 3 games, and win Game 7 on 2 days rest. In 1966, in his last regular-season game, he threw over 200 pitches. I take no pride whatsoever that he lost the last game he ever pitched to the 1966 Orioles. None whatsoever. Nope. No sir. And the thing is ... I'm being truthful here because he only gave up *1* earned run - Willie Davis made 3 errors in 2 plays by losing pop flies in the sun, and a 20-year-old Jim Palmer pitched a 4-hit shutout.
  2. This may sound ridiculous, given that he's 16-years older than I am, but Jim Palmer was actually somewhat *after* my time as a baseball fanatic (at ages 7-12, I knew more about baseball than I know now, and I was something of a prodigy) - Palmer really didn't hit his stride until halfway through "my prime." I had always thought that he was something of a prima donna, but after watching the video I'm going to present to you, I think I was wrong - he had a very difficult childhood, having been adopted at birth, having lost his beloved adoptive father, Mo Wiesen, at age 9, and having gone from being named Jim Wiesen to Jim Palmer when his beloved mother, Polly Wiesen, married actor Max Palmer in 1956 - this child had three fathers by the time he was eleven! And he had legitimate, career-threatening injury problems from 1967 through 1969 - I always thought he was just a self-pampering person, but I was dead wrong - if you watch this video, you'll see just how much he loved his three parents, both adoptive-, and step-; he never knew his biological parents, but he isn't affected by that in the video (titled, "Jim Palmer - The Making of a Hall of Famer,," and narrated by legendary Orioles broadcaster, Chuck Thompson). He was an All-State athlete in three sports, and yes, he is somewhat cocky, and maybe even a bit "self-aware" when it comes to his athletic talent (and his looks don't exactly hurt), but given the gifts he had, he comes across, primarily, as a loving, devoted son to me - I never knew! In Game 2 of the 1966 World Series, Jim Palmer pitched a four-hit shutout against Sandy Koufax, in what was to be Koufax's final game ever. In the process, the 20-year-old Palmer became the youngest person ever to pitch a shutout in a World Series game - a record which stands to this very day. On Aug 13, 1969, a day after I turned 8-years old, Palmer pitched his only no-hitter: an "ugly" game, as he puts it, with 11 strikeouts and *9* walks! But it was good enough for a no-no against the expansion Kansas City Royals (one of four expansion teams in 1969, the very first year of the League Championship Series (the Royals would exact their revenge in the 2014 ALCS)). Palmer is also the only pitcher ever to win a World Series game in three different decades, and he did it the hard way - beginning in 1966, and ending in 1983. I'm so glad I watched this video - I always respected Palmer; now, I really, really like him as well.
  3. Who has a better career W-L record, Mike Mussina, or Tom Seaver? <--- These are links to their stats. Surprise! Every pitcher who has over 100 more victories than losses is in the Hall of Fame ... except for Mike Mussina. I know, I know: "Most overrated statistic there is." I don't buy it. Expect Moose to be inducted this decade, preferably with an Orioles' cap. We miss you, Mike. Even here in Northern Virginia, we miss you. New York is a bigger audience, but between Baltimore and Atlanta, you were *it*.
  4. Okay, since I started the R.F.K. thread based upon the Nationals being there, and I don't know what the story is with concessions for D.C. United events or other events at R.F.K., it's high-time to steer the baseball food to this new thread. (Moderators: Please feel free to merge/add-in appropriate posts from the R.F.K. thread as necessary) It's been noted in the R.F.K. thread that the new food concessionaires for Nationals Park have been announced as follows: Ben's Chili Bowl, Boardwalk Fries, Cantina Marina, Gifford's Ice Cream, Krazee Ice, Kosher Sports, Hard Times Café, La Piccola Gelateria, Mayorga Coffee, Noah's Pretzels, and Red Hot and Blue. My first question is: Where the heck is Five Guys? I mean, it's a local, home-grown chain, after all. I'd love to see them there. By the way, as of today, the official Opening Day for the Nats season is only 35 days away, and for season ticket holders, the free game on Saturday, March 29th is only 34 days away. Spring is officially 25 days away. Don't those thoughts warm your heart?
  5. Juan González is one of the greatest hitters not to be in the Hall of Fame. Yes, steroids, but at least be aware that he exists - he put up some great numbers in the steroid era, and is a relatively forgotten power hitter of that time.
  6. Yes, but was he the best defensive SS since Mark Belanger? It's kind of sad when you win 8 Gold Gloves, and are only the second-best left-sided infielder on your team, arguably only the second-best defensive shortstop in your team's history (Luis Aparicio is more famous), and nobody even remembers who you are despite playing as recently as 32 years ago. (Of course, Belanger is (unfortunately) deceased, and also had a career batting average of something like .032.) It's okay, Mark - *I* remember you. What's interesting about Smith and Belanger (and no, I don't honestly think Belanger was as good as Smith) is that they both played very vertical - [brooks] Robinson and Simmons play more horizontally, if that makes any sense. Yeah, both SSs had excellent lateral range, but they just "looked" like they were playing up-and-down as opposed to side-to-side. [BTW, I welcome people who grew up loving other teams to write about them and their players. All views welcome here, and the more information, the better.]
  7. Ted Williams is the only person who can claim - along with Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb - to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. Here are some statistics which are so mind-boggling that they simply do not compute: * Williams had a lifetime batting average of .344 - the highest of any player with more than 302 home runs. * Williams had 521 home runs. * Williams missed 3 seasons in the prime of his career due to WWII. The three years before, he batted .344, .406 and .356; the three years after, he batted .342, .343, and .369. * Missing those 3 seasons cost him at least 100 home runs - he would have hit 625 for his career. * Even more remarkable than the above? His *career* on-base percentage was .482. That is not a misprint. * Perhaps even *more* remarkable? Not once did he ever have 200 hits in a season. See for yourselves. How can that be? I guess it's because he walked so much (he had 20-12 vision). There are *three people* on that list of *525-different 200-hit seasons* named Williams, none of which is Ted. * If Williams had played 20 years earlier, I might be able to comprehend these numbers, but he was a *generation* after the big-numbers hitters of the 1920s. * His batting average, his home runs, and his walks - in my mind - make him a perfectly legitimate choice for the moniker: Greatest Hitter of All-Time.
  8. Skip directly to Part 1 Game 4 Announcing Game 4, also in Memorial Stadium, is, once again, Gowdy and Kubek from NBC, along with Orioles' broadcaster Chuck Thompson. Gowdy: "The 1970 World Series. You've watched some of his plays during the first three games - let's take a review of them. This man, 10 times, has been voted the Golden Glove in the American League, as best at his position - he'll win it again this year. 13 times he's made the All-Star team. [Shows play] That was his first great play in this World Series, and he's been rattling them off, one right after another. Look at that stop! And he converts it into a double-play. His manager Earl Weaver says, "You see him make a great play one day - all you have to do is come back to the ball park tomorrow, and he'll do it again. The third-baseman is closest to home plate of any infielder, and that's why he needs the fastest reflexes - Robinson has those reflexes. He's a natural left-hander - he does everything left-handed, except bat and throw in baseball. He claims that he's better going to his left than to his right; but it doesn't matter - coming in on the slowly hit ball, going back on the pop-up, flashing to his left, going to his right - he makes all plays with sure hands, and a steady, accurate arm. [Shows play] Maybe his best play was that one, off the bat of Johnny Bench yesterday: a screaming line drive, with Robinson diving to his left for, with the ball *already by him*, and still made the stop. Always-to-be-remembered plays by Brooks Robinson - the 1970 World Series has been a baseball ballet at 3rd base." View the two-minute tribute which began the broadcast of Game 4. Tony Kubek interviews the legendary Mickey Mantle, talking about whether or not the 1970 Orioles compare with the 1960 Yankees (well, of *course* he's not going to come right out and say the Orioles were better - Mantle was a tremendous athlete and a fierce competitor!). He also discusses other issues about the Orioles and the Reds, in a relatively extensive clip. NB: 1960 MVP Voting: 1) Roger Maris (who also won in 1961, and isn't in the Hall of Fame?!) 2) Mickey Mantle 3) Brooks Robinson This is can't-miss TV - Video of the interview. "Batting fifth, playing third base, number 5, Brooks Robinson" - "And the rockets red glare ...." - York Suburban High School Band - Throwing out the first ball was announced to be Joe Cronin, but was instead Casey Stengel - Gowdy: "Brooks Robinson at 3rd." - --- Top of the 1st, 0-0, 2 out, runner on 2nd, Johnny Bench up, 3-0 count, Jim Palmer pitching - Bench hits a foul pop-up down first base near the dugout. Boog Powell runs over, tried to catch it with his mitt facing up, but the ball hits the mitt and pops back up into the air. As Powell is falling down against the dugout, nearly falling down the stairs, he somehow manages to catch the ball with his bare hand - this really needs to be seen. Video of the play. --- Bottom of the 2nd, Reds leading 1-0, none out, none on; Brooks Robinson up, 2-2 count, Gary Nolan pitching - After fouling off several balls in a long at-bat, Robinson hits a line-drive home run to left field. Now, for the fourth-straight game, Robinson has hit a game-tying, go-ahead, or game-winning RBI. Gowdy: "Brooks Robinson not a *big* home-run hitter, but he'll hit 18, 20, 25 during a normal year - he had 18 this last year, and he's now taken the lead in the Series in RBIs - he's knocked in 5 runs." Thompson: "That is his third lifetime Series home run." Video of the play. --- Top of the 3rd, 1-1 tie, 1 out, runners on 1st and 3rd, Johnny Bench up, 1-1 count, Jim Palmer pitching - Tolan hits a routine pop-up to very shallow left-center. Belanger goes back, catches it, and throws home to prevent Bobby Tolan from even thinking about scoring - Robinson cuts off the play, making a reasonable decision in the process. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it did involve Robinson touching the ball, and being in the right position. Video of the play. --- Top of the 3rd, Reds leading 2-1, 2 out, runners on 1st and 2nd, Bernie Carbo up, 0-0 count, Jim Palmer pitching - Carbo hits a hard, one-hop grounder to Robinson, who catches it, and trots over to 3rd base for the force out, ending the inning. Video of the play. --- Bottom of the 3rd, 2-2 tie, 2 out, runners on 1st and 2nd, Brooks Robinson up, 1-2 count, Gary Nolan pitching - Robinson hits a hard line drive which makes the 2nd-base umpire jump in the air to keep from getting hit, scoring the runner on 2nd base. Center-Fielder Bobby Tolan bobbles the ball, allowing Frank Robinson to take 3rd, and Brooks Robinson to take 2nd on the error. Video of the play. --- NBC plays a recorded telephone interview with the great, humble Pie Traynor - Gowdy: "Pie Traynor, 71-years old, was voted year-before-last the "Greatest 3rd Baseman of All-Time. Lefty Grove yesterday, interviewed by Kubek, uh, said they were both even - so we called Pie Traynor today, and asked him his personal observations regarding Brooks Robinson." Traynor: "Well, Brooks Robinson is stealing the whole World Series - he's a man in a, a spot that it's unusual for a 3rd-baseman to go and steal a whole World Series, but he is doing it, and he's having a great play every day, in the three-game [unintelligible] fielding, and also hitting. But he was known as a great ballplayer eight- or nine-years ago, because I had to go to Baltimore, and we had quite a talk and they said this is the coming third-baseman of baseball, Pie, and glad you two got together." --- Bottom of the 3rd, Orioles leading 3-2, 2 out, runners on 2nd and 3rd, Elrod Hendricks up, 1-2 count, Don Gullet relieving Gary Nolan - Hendricks lines a single to right field - Frank Robinson scores easily from 3rd base, and Brooks Robinson is waved around from 2nd base. Pete Rose makes a great throw to Johnny Bench, who makes an even greater tag, getting Brooks Robinson out at the plate. Note that there were three first-ballot Hall-of-Famers plus all-time hits leader Pete Rose involved in just this one play. You can see on the replay that Brooks Robinson was giving his all, trying to get home, but he just wasn't that fast of a runner, and the slide itself wasn't one for the ages - the way he drops his batting helmet shows he's clearly discouraged at being thrown out. Video of the play ---, Tony Kubek interviews National League President Chub Feeney - Kubek: "With me down on the field, the President of the National League, Mr. Chub Feeney. Chub, this isn't the National League club we saw win that pennant over there - they're not hitting quite well." Feeney: "Of course they haven't been hitting the way they did during the season, but I think you can attribute that to the Oriole pitchers - I think they've *played* very well, these are two great ball club - it's no disgrace to be beaten by this fine club, and of course I Imagine you've heard it many times before, the difference in the series so far is that a man named Mr. Robinson's playing 3rd base for the Orioles." Video of the interview. --- Bottom of the 5th, Orioles leading 5-2, 1 out, none on, Brooks Robinson up, 2-1 count, Don Gullet pitching - Gowdy: "Brooks Robinson - homered, singled, driven in 2 runs, 2 homers in the Series, leads the Series now in RBIs with 6. I think the best statement about Brooks Robinson's fielding was made by Sparky Anderson, the Cincinnati manager: He said, 'I'm afraid to drop my sandwich in the clubhouse - Robinson will dart in and pick it up.' ... He plays ping-pong left-handed. There's a great game for athletes, ping-pong - keeps his quick eyes and quick hands." Robinson lines a single between shortstop and 3rd base. Video of the play. --- Bottom of the 5th, Orioles leading 5-3, 1 out, runner on 1st, Elrod Hendricks up, 0-1 count, Don Gullet pitching - Hendricks lines a single between 1st and 2nd base. Robinson takes off, rounds 2nd, and heads towards 3rd. Rose throws towards 3rd from Right Field, and Robinson slides in safely. But if you take a close look at the left side of this grainy picture, you can see a little orb: Rose overthrew the 3rd baseman, and the ball went sailing into the dugout - as a result, Robinson was able to trot home and score on Rose's throwing error. Video of the play. --- Bottom of the 5th, Orioles leading 5-2, 2 out, runner on 3rd, Mark Belanger up, 0-0 count, Clay Carroll relieving Don Gullet - A somewhat unusual no-pitch situation, as the left-field umpire had run in and called a time-out - this one you need to see in order to understand. Video of the play. --- Top of the 7th, Orioles leading 5-3, 2 out, none on, Pete Rose up, 3-2 count, Jim Palmer pitching - Rose hits a weak tapper straight to Powell at 1st base for an easy out, but as you can see from the pictures, Rose immediately turned around to the umpire, claiming the ball hit his foot (if you listen very carefully, you can even hear someone on the broadcast yell, "... foot!"). Rose loses his argument, and is furious with the umpire - based on the audio and visual evidence, I absolutely believe Rose was correct, and the ball was foul. Video of the play --- Tony Kubek interviews New York Mets' manager, Gil Hodges - Video of the interview. --- Top of the 8th, Reds leading 6-5, 1 out, none on, Tommy Helms up, 1-1 count Eddie Watt relieving Jim Palmer - Helms hits a medium-speed grounder between 3rd and short. Robinson moves to his left for what seems like a routine play for him, but for whatever reason, the ball skimmed off the top of his mitt, into the glove of Belanger, and Helms is safe at 1st with a single. I'm putting this in the "bizarre" category, because from everything I see from the film, this is a standard ground out for Robinson, even though it was ruled a single. As to what might have happened, I can think of only one possibility, other than Robinson being human, which he surely cannot be: The ball hit a bad spot on the field, and either veered sideways or bounced low. If you watch the slow-motion replay *really* carefully (and you might need to watch it five times), the ball bounces right at the seam of the grass and the dirt. Even though the ball was behind Robinson when he reached out, I'm certain he thought he'd catch it - notice how he snapped his mitt together, as if he was expecting the ball to be in it, then pounds his mitt in disgust when the ball gets by him (on the slow-motion replay, which is a much better perspective). He could - and always did - dive for balls out of his reach, but in his mind, he thought sure he had this grounder, and it was at Memorial Stadium where he was familiar with every speck of dirt. This play is just downright odd - Robinson wasn't even fully extended, he wasn't moving at full-speed, and absent a bad bounce, I would have had no problem with them ruling this an error. Unless someone asks him what happened, nobody will ever know. Video of the play. --- Top of the 8th, Reds leading 6-5, 1 out, runner on 1st, Clay Carroll up, 0-0 count, Eddie Watt pitching - This is a very clever play by Carroll: He fakes "bunt" in such an early, obvious way that Robinson has almost reached home plate by the time the pitch arrived. But at the last moment, Carroll instead takes a half-swing, and tries to bounce a grounder over Robinson's head - it might have worked, had the ball not gone foul. Video of the play. --- Bottom of the 8th, Reds leading 6-5, 2 out, none on, Brooks Robinson up, 3-2 count, Clay Carroll pitching - Well, he did it again: Robinson lined a single to the right of the shortstop, giving him a 4-4 day at the plate. Gowdy: "Robinson has just tied a Series record, which has been done many times, of getting four hits in a Series game." Video of the play. --- Tony Kubek interviews Pittsburgh Pirates' manager, Danny Murtaugh (the Pirates would go on to defeat the Orioles in both the 1971 and 1979 World Series) - Video of the interview. --- Bottom of the 9th, Reds leading 6-5, 2 out, none on, Merv Rettunmund up, 3-2 count, Clay Carroll pitching - Wow, this was a weird one: Rettunmund hit a routine grounder to Perez at 3rd base (who, by the way, has played a *fantastic* 3rd base in this Series, and his performance should not be forgotten). Perez threw wide, pulling May off of first, but he tagged Rettunmund out, ending the game. But wait a minute: the tag knocked the ball out of May's hand, and Rettunmund was safe after all, allowing the Orioles to maintain one, last gasp. Video of the play. --- Lee May, who has terrorized the baseball in all four games, hit the two-run homer that gave Cincinnati the 6-5 win. Robinson's best day at the plate simply wasn't enough to pull this one out. --- Final Score: Reds 6, Orioles 5 - Box Score Brooks Robinson's Cumulative Statistics: Slash Line: .500 / .500 / .938, OPS: 1.438, Hits: 8, Doubles: 2, HRs: 2, RBIs: 6, Runs: 4 Total Chances: 21, Putouts: 8, Assists: 12, Errors: 1, Double-Plays: 2, Fielding Percentage: .952
  9. When a team is purposefully tanking, rids itself of every Major League player they can, has to pull players from what has been one of the worst minor league program in baseball you tend to get plays like the following below, "Will There Be a Worse MLB Play this Season than this Orioles Blunder?" by Jason Owens on aol.com
  10. During a late lunch I was half watching today's day game: Orioles/Yankees game in NYC. The Orioles crushed the Yankees. Orioles hits everywhere; homers, doubles, everybody for the Orioles was torching the ball. It wasn't much of a contest as the Orioles went up early and kept adding runs. One play grabbed my attention. It also grabbed the attention of the writers for ESPN who added these sentences: It was NOT a scorching shot. It was a ground ball on the shortstop side of second base. Jeter moved to his left, dropped his glove but it was still to the 2nd base side and below him. My reaction to that play was curious as to Jeter's age and range. The reaction was in sync with the comment above from the article. I couldn't have asserted that others would have made that play or done so easily but it was beyond Jeter's reach. I assume the author above is more knowledgeable than I and he "answered" my unstated question. Jeter has been an exemplary athlete over his career. I hope he goes out in style.
  11. The Washington Nationals' webpage Season opener, 9-7 in 10 innings. Amazingly, the score after regulation was 5-5 - that is a tense tenth inning. A classic Earl Weaver game: "pitching, defense, and 3-run homers." Look: 1) The Nats struck out *18* batters today, and gave up only 3 walks. 2) Error-free the entire game. 3) Anthony Rendon hit a 3-run homer. Strasburg fanned 10, and his BAA (batting average against) was .238. It's remarkable that his ERA after this game is 6.00. We've got to watch giving up the long ball. Box Score on cnn.com
  12. I think Thomas Boswell is one of DC's greatest sportswriters - he is one of the people at the Post whom I look forward to reading whenever I can. Basically, I have nothing negative to say about him. One question, though: I remember back in 1997 when Mark McGwire was chasing Roger Maris, someone for the Post called McGwire "Our Babe Ruth." Shortly thereafter, the legendary Shirley Povich (1905-1998), sports editor since *1925*, took issue with the comment, saying something along the lines of: "Now hold on just a cotton-pickin' minute there!" etc. That's a little embellished, but the general tone is intact. Does anyone remember if this was in rebuttal to Boswell (as opposed to someone else), and what, if anything, was Boswell's response? It was a great little back-and-forth.
  13. Artificial turf first gained substantial attention 53 years ago in 1966, when it was installed in the year-old Astrodome. The specific product used was "ChemGrass", developed by Monsanto and rebranded as AstroTurf; this term since then became a generic trademark for any artificial turf throughout the late 20th century. AstroTurf remains a registered trademark but is no longer owned by Monsanto. Some comments about the second play: Here is Mike Schmidt's posture after the ball has been hit: Schmidt's posture after the first bounce (this is while the ball is coming up): Schmidt's posture after the second bounce - he had done a split-step, and just took a long, first stride with his right leg. After the second bounce, Schmidt prepares to field the ball - he still hasn't touched his left foot to the ground: Bobble (that's the baseball that popped out to his left). All because Schmidt didn't play the ball; he let the ball play him - this was in an All-Star game: You're welcome, Brooks.
  14. Can someone please explain this stat to me, and why it seems to be *THE* advanced metric of choice? How is dWAR (Defensive Wins Above Replacement) sewn into this? I have a feeling WAR grossly undervalues defense, and is extremely flawed, but until I see how it's derived, I can only speculate. dWAR seems very flawed to me, so if it's an ingredient in the WAR recipe, the dish is probably fundamentally wrong.
  15. "The Man They Love To Hate: Why Is It So Easy To Dislike Bryce Harper?" by Tom Verducci on si.com I have not read this article yet, and I don't consider myself to be a rabid Nats fan, but it's a very good question: Why *is* it so easy to dislike Bryce Harper? From what (little) I've seen, I think he's perfectly likable, or at least likable enough. What's the problem?
  16. Sadly, Tom Seaver has dementia. Tom Terrific, the Greatest Met ever, star pitcher of the '69 World Champion Mets, who surprised all of baseball with one of the most amazing upsets of all time, beating the Powerful Orioles in the '69 World Series, Seaver is usually described as one of the all time great pitchers in baseball. Yeah...so I was a Yankees fan growing up...but as the '69 Mets taught us--"Ya gotta believe"
  17. Cant help it folks. I'm a Yankee fan but I gotta get behind the Mets here. Finally looks like they got a good team. Until Wright comes back and spoils it of course.
  18. DonRocks

    Baseball Trivia

    Good luck answering this one ... In what year did we have two batting Triple Crown winners? It's not a trick question. Mouse your cursor over this for a hint (it's an amazing hint, but I still don't think anyone will get the answer): Same City!
  19. This Sports Illustrated article emphasizes the point I was trying to make above: Apr 6, 1992 - "Who's on Third?" by Tim Kurkjian on si.com
  20. I remember reading about this as a kid, and just did a search on it - the internet is amazing.
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