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Death of a Mentor

Harvey Dorfman, author of The Mental ABCs of Pitching and The Mental Game of Baseball, died on February 28th. A sports psychologist, Dorfman counseled hundreds of baseball players, mentoring some of the best players in the modern era. Mike Pelfrey called Dorfman after nearly every start. Roy Halladay, before he was "Doc," went to see the Dorfman and continues to give his book on pitching to all young pitchers. A 2009 profile of "Dr. Baseball" explained how Dorfman worked, "One week I’m Hamlet, the next week I'm Bozo. You come to me with a certain disposition; I better know who to play…. I am neither an asshole nor a saint, in totality. I am whatever is required at the moment."
posted by gladly on Mar 1, 2011 - 2 comments

Willie Lives

Edwin Donald "Duke" Snider, also known as "The Silver Fox," has passed away at the age of 84. Snider played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for the bulk of his career, in which he hit 40 or more home runs in 5 consecutive seasons and hit the last home run in Ebbets Field. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, Snider was the least-known of the famed trio of New York center fielders from the 1950s, but enjoyed a resurgence in popularity after his induction and the release of "Willie, Mickey, & the Duke" in 1981. Mickey Mantle died in 1995, but Willie Mays is still going strong.
posted by waitingtoderail on Feb 27, 2011 - 14 comments

Coach Walt

Wake Forest University's slogan for their baseball team in 2011 is 'What are you willing to sacrifice to help make this team better?' "Head coach Tom Walter's intent was to have his players thinking about sacrifice bunts, moving runners over, and giving up personal glory to help the Demon Deacons improve as a team. But what Walter chose to sacrifice is greater than simply hanging in on a curve ball and taking one for the team. Walter gave up a kidney." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 13, 2011 - 6 comments

Sabermetrician in exile

Sabermetrician in Exile. Voros McCracken's radical idea -- that pitchers have very little ability to induce batters to hit into outs, and succeed mostly insofar as they can strike out a lot of hitters and give up few home runs and walks -- has changed the way baseball teams are constructed. (Heard of BABIP? That's him.) Every major league team has employees who rely on McCracken's insights. McCracken, struggling to make his rent in suburban Phoenix, isn't one of them.
posted by escabeche on Feb 12, 2011 - 20 comments

Just a Game?

Donnie Moore was the California Angels' relief ace in 1986. After he gave up a home run that began the Angels' collapse in the ALCS, Moore's life and psyche steadily deteriorated, until he committed suicide in 1989. Steve Hofstetter wrote about Moore and the divergent paths taken by other athletes in similar situations.
posted by reenum on Feb 11, 2011 - 17 comments

Addictive as heck baseball game

The Baseball Club is a game by MetaFilter favorite Taro Ito, best known for Dice Wars. In The Baseball Club you take control of a high school baseball team and attemp to lead them to victory in The World Baseball Tournament. You keep each player for three seasons and train them in batting practice. Warning: Absurdly addictive.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 10, 2011 - 35 comments

Rusty Torres Was At Three Baseball Riots

In 1972, with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning in the last game the Washington Senators played before moving to Texas, the crowd flooded onto the field, ruining a thrilling late-game comeback over the Yankees. In 1974, the Cleveland Indians tripled attendance by offering Ten Cent Beer Night, but ended up wielding bats against their own fans to protect the visiting Rangers. In 1979, the plan to blow up disco records on the field between the two games of a double-header in Chicago led to riots and fires. And Rusty Torres was on the field all three times.
posted by Plutor on Feb 9, 2011 - 19 comments

Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Wrigley Field

The Baseball Prospectus' Wezen-Ball blog solves a riddle in Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Wrigley Field, explaining exactly which Cubs game Ferris and his friends attended during that fateful day off.
posted by gemmy on Feb 8, 2011 - 41 comments

WAR! Huh! Good god, y'all!

Wins-above-replacement, or WAR, is a Sabermetric term of art for baseball player comparison. Fangraphs, one of the go-to sites for baseball nerdlingers, now offers a way to make WAR grids, an amazingly easily comprehended visual display comparing players based on WAR, sortable by team, position and season, with a default topline of player age. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Jan 14, 2011 - 54 comments

That's CS - E1 for those of you scoring at home.

ESPN baseball writer Jayson Stark presents his Strange But True hitting feats of 2010. Only in baseball's...umm...unique scoring system could someone get caught stealing 3B, and then safely steal 3B on the next pitch. Warning: both links contain auto playing video with ads at the top.
posted by dry white toast on Dec 23, 2010 - 24 comments

A Not-So-Brief History of Pitching Injuries, Starring Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers

Jonah Keri looks at the unconventional methods being used by the Texas Rangers to improve the durability and effectiveness of their pitching staff.
posted by reenum on Dec 20, 2010 - 13 comments

Integrating the Negro Leagues.

Who was Eddie Klep? Everybody knows about the black man who integrated the major leagues in 1947, but hardly anyone knows about the white man who integrated the Negro Leagues the year before. Eddie Klep was no role model, but he deserves to be remembered, and Chuck Brodsky (who's written a bunch of baseball songs) did his part with the "Ballad of Eddie Klepp" (YouTube, lyrics). The name actually has just one p; Brodsky regrets the error (which is also made in this short piece, with lively quotes from Klep's wife). (Thanks, Ken!)
posted by languagehat on Dec 7, 2010 - 9 comments

Warning: what follows is very nearly about baseball.

"In order to renew my Fangraphs membership, every six months, Dave Cameron flies out to meet me in an unmarked parking garage in Washington DC, where I swear a blood oath by candlelight on a stack of Necronomicons never to write anything complimentary about Derek Jeter’s mobility or range. Cameron’s post about Jeter yesterday was faithful to our sworn mission. The awful secret of Derek Jeter’s fifth Gold Glove requires a little background in a few of the more esoteric domains of human knowledge. This may be the most important blog post I ever write; if it is the last, dear readers, only you will know the truth." Sure, FanGraphs appears to be a geeky site for baseball stat-heads who live in their mothers’ basements, crunch numbers whilst sipping Diet Dr. Pepper, and invent silly acronyms instead of dating girls. But FanGraphs bloggers quite firmly embrace their own nerdiness – even going so far as to create NERD, the stat, which rates the “watchability” of a team. Furthermore, they so often blend humor, politics, literature, and philosophy into their writings that to shun the site is to deprive yourself of fascinating, scrumptious nuggets of surprisingly accessible, occasionally math-heavy, and nearly always well-written baseball geekery. Would you like to know if better players have more Twitter followers? Wondered, Is The DH Dying? Derek Jeter cheated... so what? How about a lengthy meditation on baseball and the science of happiness? [more inside]
posted by ORthey on Dec 2, 2010 - 30 comments

There's . . . Killebrew, and Gehringer, and Heilmann and Robinson.

The Periodic Table of Baseball Hall-of-Famers. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus on Nov 15, 2010 - 10 comments

Break Out The Rye Bread, Heaven.

Dave Niehaus, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Seattle Mariners, has passed away at the age of 75. [more inside]
posted by The Hamms Bear on Nov 10, 2010 - 35 comments

And it's going, going, GONE!

The Longest Home Run Ever
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2010 - 41 comments

“If you don’t like him, you don’t like ice cream.”

Legendary baseball manager George "Sparky" Anderson dead at 76. Ernie Harwell on Sparky. Interview on Santa Clarita community access. "Mr. President, I know you love those Cubs, but if you knew these Tigers, you'd love 'em more. Hall of Fame entry. He was a crummy player, though. Remembering Anderson's class. STAY CLASSY, SPARKY! The End of a Sparkling Life.
posted by klangklangston on Nov 4, 2010 - 54 comments

Great Sports Calls, chosen by Posnanski

Greatest calls in sports is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 15, 2010 - 47 comments

The Doc is In

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies has pitched the second postseason no-hitter in major league history. [more inside]
posted by waitingtoderail on Oct 6, 2010 - 52 comments

Did you miss the 1960 World Series? Here's your chance!

Thanks, Bing! It was a long haul for the Pirates, they hadn't won since 1925, and, until recently, we didn't have a film record of the win.
posted by HuronBob on Sep 24, 2010 - 21 comments

Mr Spaceman, Will You Please Take Me Along For The Ride?

Bill Lee, The Spaceman, baseball curmudgeon, subject of a Warren Zevon song, marijuana advocate, has become the oldest pitcher to win a professional baseball game at the age of 63.
posted by Xurando on Sep 6, 2010 - 32 comments

The Financial Documents Baseball Doesn't Want You To See

Today, Deadspin leaked financial documents detailing the finances of several MLB teams, including a few that are getting revenue sharing money. They show that several of MLB's "poorest" franchises turned a profit due to these cash infusions. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Aug 26, 2010 - 56 comments

She Throws Like A Girl

Chelsea Baker throws like a girl. Of course, she is a 13 year old girl, so that is to be expected. She is a pitcher that went 12-0 with 2 perfect games in the Plant City FL Little League this season. She hasn't been tagged with a loss in 4 years. Her secret is the knuckleball that was taught to her by a former coach, retired MLB pitcher Joe Niekro.
posted by COD on Jul 26, 2010 - 142 comments

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Yankee Stadium.”

Bob Sheppard, the voice of Yankee Stadium, died Monday. Only two months shy of his 100th birthday, Sheppard was known for his concise speaking style as the public-address announcer for the Yankees. He held that position from 1951 to 2007, announcing lineups containing baseball greats like DiMaggio and Mantle up to today's players, like Derek Jeter, who requested that Sheppard's voice be the only voice to announce his name in Yankee Stadium. His longetivity and distinct announcing voice made him popular with many generations of Yankee fans. [more inside]
posted by rachaelfaith on Jul 13, 2010 - 8 comments

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Take Me Out to the Ballgame is an American classic, the "national anthem of baseball." Written by Jack Norworth, with notable versions by Harry Caray and friends. Norworth recently got a new gravemarker, but cemetery rules says no changes could be made without approval from his family. When no family could be found, an empty grave was purchased and set aside for some future "unfortunate soul," who will get a teeny, tiny place in baseball history.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jul 12, 2010 - 29 comments

A thousand cuts

We've talked about Mariano Rivera's cutter before. Now you can see why batters find this pitch is so devastating through the magic of a video based on Pitch f/x data.
posted by maxwelton on Jul 2, 2010 - 35 comments

Don't Let the Taco Win

Eighteen years ago, 11 year old Randy Neuenfeldt raced Henry the Puffy Taco mascot of the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball team in the usual 7th inning race. Through a series of unfortunate events, the taco won. On June 24, 2010, Randy Neuenfeldt got his revenge. Also, here
posted by Leezie on Jun 25, 2010 - 36 comments

Boggs

Wade Boggs is known to like his beer. Well, now a Tapper-style game where Boggs drinks beers, throws away girlie drinks, and eats burgers to sober up has been created. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 25, 2010 - 11 comments

"They're not that easy to hit," John said.

Last week, before Jack McDonald died, he told his son, Toronto Blue Jays utility infielder John McDonald (14 home runs in a 12 year professional career), to hit a home run for him when he went back to the team. "They're not that easy to hit," John said.

John rejoined his team and got his first at-bat in the ninth inning this past Sunday. Father's Day.
posted by dirtdirt on Jun 21, 2010 - 25 comments

"It's one of the sadder stories"

Dandy's Story: The Yankees' Long-Forgotten Mascot. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on Jun 16, 2010 - 21 comments

Throw like a girl, part II

On Saturday, in her second start as a professional baseball player for the Chico (CA) Outlaws, 18-year-old "Knuckle Princess" Eri Yoshida received her first strikeout as a player in the US. [Yoshida previously on Metafilter.] [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jun 16, 2010 - 20 comments

Everybody hit. Everybody played.

Mamie "Peanut" Johnson is one of three women to play in the Negro Leagues, and as of yet, the only woman to pitch at the major level in the United States. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jun 14, 2010 - 7 comments

Strasburg Debuts Tonight

He was previously introduced to the blue a year ago wherein he was heralded as the most incredible pitching prospect of all time. A year later, almost on cue, Stephen Strasburg makes his MLB debut tonight in Washington DC amid much fanfare. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety on Jun 8, 2010 - 64 comments

27 Up, 27 Dow ... Not So Fast There, Buddy

Blown call costs pitcher a perfect game. It should have been the third perfect game this season, and only the 21st in major league history. Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game, only to have it spoiled by what will likely be remembered as one of the worst calls in baseball history. "I just cost that kid a perfect game," said umpire Jim Joyce, a 22-year veteran. Can we go to the replay? Nope! [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jun 2, 2010 - 219 comments

Doc Halladay's Perfecto

20 men have thrown Perfect Games in the history of the MLB -- 18 since the modern baseball era began 110 years ago -- yet, remarkably, this month has witnessed two: Dallas Braden's perfecto on Mother's Day (previously), and Roy "Doc" Halladay, of the Philadelphia Phillies, tonight, on Memorial Day weekend (out #27). [more inside]
posted by bjork24 on May 29, 2010 - 41 comments

Swinging away

Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect Five minute slideshow with audio from the BBC of historical images to coincide with an exhibition at Lords on the linked histories of the two bat and ball sports.
posted by Abiezer on May 20, 2010 - 46 comments

Field of Schemes?

Joeurt Puk (aka Joe Cook) is the father of Cambodian baseball. In this feature by ESPN, Patrick Hruby looks into Cook's background and finds that Cook may not be the tireless philanthropist he claims to be. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 19, 2010 - 6 comments

People will Come

If you buy it, people will come. The property from the movie The Field of Dreams is for sale. You could own a 193 acre farm, along with a baseball field, and a tourist destination that gets approximately 65,000 visitors annually. The current owners even have permission from Universal to sell memorabilia. Along with ownership of the property comes ownership of the Field of Dreams site. The asking price is $5.4 million. via.
posted by bove on May 14, 2010 - 44 comments

Perfection

Dallas Braden had a rough childhood. A problem child in the tough neighborhood of Stockton, California, he was raised by his mother and, after she died, his grandmother, both of whom he credits for turning his life around. Today, on Mother's Day, in front of a small home crowd and his grandmother, Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the second in as many years against the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays. This also happened to be 42 years and 1 day after the A's only other perfect game, by Catfish Hunter. [more inside]
posted by dirigibleman on May 9, 2010 - 47 comments

Loooooong Gone

Ernie Harwell, long time voice of the Detroit Tigers and previously the Baltimore Orioles, has died at age 92. Previously here. MLB's commissioner's statement.
posted by JoeXIII007 on May 4, 2010 - 50 comments

Take me out to the ballg ... don't tase me, bro!

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack, I don't ca ... TASER! Phillies fan disrupts game by running onto field, and gets tasered in center field. It's cool, he asked his dad for permission first.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on May 4, 2010 - 129 comments

iPod Don't Touch

A touch screen you don't touch. From Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, a gesture-controlled handheld device that responds thereminically to the motion of a finger held above the screen. Watch to the end for the remarkable 3-d painting app. From the people who brought you the pitching, batting, and dribbling robots. Previous Ishikawa awesomeness on Metafilter.
posted by escabeche on Apr 27, 2010 - 22 comments

No, I said, "GOOD win!"

John Rocker was pretty bad. And their name/uniform/tomahawk chop is considered offensvie by some. But before Hank Aaron, or even Babe Ruth hit his 714th home run with the Braves, there was the miracle team of 1914. Their secret? A lucky (not-at-all-racist) swastika.
posted by ericbop on Apr 6, 2010 - 34 comments

I don't believe what I just saw!

Major League Baseball's opening day is less than a week away, so here are some videos to whet your appetite:
The shot heard 'round the world/The Giants Win the Pennant!
Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run, 1960 World Series
Hank Aaron hits home run number 715
Carlton Fisk waves it fair
Willie Mays: "The Catch." [more inside]
posted by starman on Mar 29, 2010 - 63 comments

Where have you gone, Buck O'Neil?

"Feel sorry for the people who never got to see us," he once said. "We were good." The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City faces a $200,000 shortfall for 2009. The museum is battling both the recession and its own backers, as new management tries to distance itself from founder Buck O'Neil, a move that induced long-time supporter Joe Posnanski to announce that he would "never set foot in there again." Will this chapter of baseball history be forgotten? Or can Strat-O-Matic save the Negro Leagues? (Previously on MetaFilter: Buck O'Neil denied a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.)
posted by escabeche on Mar 9, 2010 - 16 comments

Justice as Commissioner

The judge-umpire analogy has a long historical pedigree. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 9, 2010 - 5 comments

Love and Baseball

Baseball might not allow you to love it by playing it for all your time on Earth, but it can guide you to a love that can last that long. (NYTimes). As Spring Training begins, Doug Glanville, former MLB outfielder and UPenn graduate, offers an interesting and insightful look at how baseball can affect relationships and love. [more inside]
posted by arm426 on Feb 25, 2010 - 28 comments

San Francisco History buried deep within Office Depot

Where is home plate from Seals Stadium now? (Aisle 6.)
posted by serazin on Feb 10, 2010 - 21 comments

Bill Mazeroski statue to be built at PNC Park.

Bill Mazeroski, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates, will join Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, and Honus Wagner as players with bronze statues outside of PNC Park, where the Pirates play. [more inside]
posted by elder18 on Jan 27, 2010 - 17 comments

He was no Joe Shlabotnik

In an age where baseball heroes are reviled as frauds, one player's reputation remains secure. His won-loss record and career ERA set standards that will never be matched; the same is true for the character he displayed on and off the mound. But, unbelievable as it may seem, no one has ever set down the exhaustive account of this lion of the diamond. Until now. Charlie Brown's career statistics, 1951-1960. Charlie Brown's career statistics, 1961-1970. Previously on MetaFilter: action-packed four-panel drawings of some of Charlie's greatest games, with material from his personal life as well.
posted by escabeche on Jan 12, 2010 - 26 comments

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