Thirty years ago today was the infamous "Disco Demolition Night" at Chicago's Comiskey Park. It didn't go exactly as planned: "In the warm air that night, baseball’s routine and soothing sounds mixed with the tribal cadence of off-color chanting, the drifting scent of marijuana and the sight of vinyl records descending through the summer dusk like Frisbees." It wasn't the first time a 70s baseball promotion went astray. Considered by some "the worst idea ever," "Ten Cent Beer Night" at Cleveland Municipal Stadium five years earlier ended when "a large number of intoxicated fans – some armed with knives, chains, and portions of stadium seats that they had torn apart – surged onto the field, and others hurled bottles from the stands." (Previously on MeFi)
Flip Flop Fly Ball - Baseball infographics and other visual treats. Highlights: How tall is the Green Monster?, Assembling and dismantling the '86 Mets, and Wu-Tang Clan vs. E-Street Band.
Last Thursday, USF & UCONN's baseball teams were stuck in a 5 & 1/2 hour rain delay during the Big East semifinals. What to do. What to do. BASEBALL DANCE-OFF! (12:16 video) [more inside]
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved" .... and mad enough to play fantasy baseball. In the new book Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats, a NY Public Library archivist considers documents revealing the author's detailed obsession with the imaginary exploits of players like Pictorial Review Jackson and teams like the "Pontiacs, Nashes, and cellar-dwelling LaSalles" in his finely grained, fictional Summer League.
Meet Stephen Strasburg. He throws 103 miles per hour. He has a devastating slider, curve, and change-up. He is the sure first #1 draft pick going to the Washington Nationals. Why is this soooooo significant? Scouts peg him as joining the rotation immediately and thus completely skipping the minors. Unreal. [more inside]
At least one of these things is true, and possibly both: (a) This was the most tense game of baseball ever played; or (b) relations between Jews and the Klan have deteriorated dramatically since 1926. Bill Francis, a research librarian at the Baseball Hall of Fame, unearths a tantalizing newspaper clipping. [more inside]
Chris "Disco" Hayes is a relief pitcher at the AA level in the Kansas City Royals organization. As a submarine pitcher, his unorthodox delivery is easy to spot. He's developed quite the following-as much for his blogging as his pitching. It all started when he was selected as a blogger in the Arizona Fall League, and blogged an 'interview' with Uber-Prospect Matt Wieters.
Sunday at Big Rec Field in Golden Gate Park, the hometown San Francisco Pacifics trounced the Aces 15-5.
Demetri Martin cast in Steven Soderbergh's Moneyball. An adaptation of Michael Lewis' controversial and influential 2003 book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the film will begin shooting in June and will star Brad Pitt as Oakland Athletics' General Manager Billy Beane, Martin as Beane's then-assistant GM Paul DePodesta, and former major leaguers Scott Hatteberg and David Justice as themselves. [more inside]
A little over two weeks into the season, Major League Baseball has already seen four near no-hitters. Meanwhile, Mitchell High School senior Patrick Schuster has thrown four in a row.
Mark "The Bird" Fidrych RIP. They really do come in threes. In '76, Bird was the word. Fidrych captivated baseball fans with his antics, talking to the ball, patting the mound, running off to talk to everyone. The Bird 1954-2009.
Hall of Fame member, Phillies broadcaster, and NFL Films announcer Harry Kalas passed away today. At least he got to make his World Series victory call.
Four hours after his start against Oakland, his first time beginning the year with a major league team, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a hit and run by a van speeding through a red light.
New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana has an individual handshake ritual for every player on his team.
Mariano's Gonna Cut You, and other stat-and-graph filled baseball analysis from Beyond the Boxscore. [more inside]
People die and different folk celebrate and mourn in various ways. However, while it does seem as if everyone is blogging about baseball and boxing or UFC during these times that try men's souls'... not everyone can write about it for the CTV network. John will be missed by both Blue Jay and Expo fans and perhaps fight fans as well. Please take a moment of your time to click on some links, thank you.
John C. Odom, the minor league baseball player made famous last year for being traded for ten bats, has met a tragic end.
He predicted a losing season for the White Sox in 2007 and foresaw that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the best team in the American League in 2008, although he wrongly predicted that the Rays would win the World Series. He also predicted Obama's 6-point victory over McCain. Now the stats guru Nate Silver is picking the Oscar winners and predicting an upset win for Taraji P. Henson in the Best Supporting Actress category.
In 2003, Major League Baseball ran a testing survey to see if they had a steroid problem. They did, but the names of the 104 players testing positive were kept secret. Today, one of the names was revealed: Alex Rodriguez.
The Guardian is knocked for six by American sport references in British media Creeping cultural imperialism? The effect of internet media from foreign news outlets? Or just Guardian handwringing about something no one else notices? Is British media alone in this trend?
You have probably heard of Roy Hobbs, the fictional baseball player in The Natural. The book and movie were loosely base on the life of Eddie Waitkus. Eddie was having a fine pro baseball career, when on the night of June 14, 1949 an obsessed girl, Ruth Ann Steinhagen, lured him into a hotel room and shot him.
Dock Ellis, an American baseball pitcherprev, won more games for the champion 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates than anyone else that year. Of course, he was under the influence of the performance-enhancing drug known as LSD on at least one no-hit occasion. Ellis died yesterday at the age of 63. [more inside]
So you're a minor-league pitcher in the Blue Jays system, not an exceptionally good one - a non prospect. So what do you do? You blog about a great prank you played on a teammate.
The Kobe 9 Cruise, a Japanese professional baseball team, has drafted Eri Yoshida as a pitcher. She's sixteen years old, a high school student, and will be the first female professional player. [more inside]
Flash Halloween Friday Fun: Zombie Baseball. John and Sam are the only remaining humans left on Earth due to a horrible virus gone wrong. Sam drops baseballs and you (playing John) hit them into zombies...Rinse and Repeat! The obligatory upgrades and special bats as you increase levels.
Diamond Artistry. With the baseball postseason about to begin, some folks won't just be looking at the ball, they'll be checking out the backdrop. Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellor gets most of the credit for kicking off a revolution in creating patterned fields for Major League ballparks, with designs including the Sox logo, intricate plaids, and an American flag mowed into the field. Want to do this to your own lawn? He's got a book to tell you how. (Previously.)
One hundred years ago today, September 23, 1908, the Chicago Cubs played the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. In one of the best seasons in baseball history, the two teams were in a hot pennant race - separated by one game with two weeks left in the season. What happened next is one of the most famous blunders (if it even was a blunder) in baseball history. [more inside]
Starting Thursday, Major League Baseball umpires will use instant replay to review disputed home run calls.
Jericho Scott throws a 40mph fastball. Okay, not that fast. But too fast for a nine-year old, apparently. That's why he's been banned from playing little league.
Torre's Stories. As part of their ever-expanding blog empire, Major League Baseball has invited Joe Torre to take up the noble habit of blogging. He joins the likes of Kevin Slowey, Bengie Molina, and Mark DeRosa as guys who apparently have time to blog between games. [more inside]
Baseball behind barbed wire. Japanese-Americans brought baseball with them when they emigrated to America. The game had been introduced to Japan, so the story goes, by American Professor Horace Wilson in the 1870s. When Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps during World War II, playing baseball was one of the few freedoms allowed them by camp directors. [more inside]
The Olympics buys a one-way ticket to bizarro world with its new "11th inning rule." Critics are fuming. [more inside]
Josh Hamilton was destined to be an all-star baseball player, selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the #1 draft pick in the 1999 MLB draft. By 2002, though, he was a bust, beset by injuries, spending his days downing an entire bottle of Crown Royal and snorting cocaine. [more inside]
In May 2006, we discussed switch pitcher Pat Venditte on MetaFilter. Many wondered: what kind of bizarre game-theoretic catastrophe would occur when the switch pitcher faced a switch hitter? Two years later, it has come to pass. (video)
"The pervasive narcissism and cartoon chest-thumping of young black culture no longer jibes with what's essentially a sacrificial game. Basketball hawks the individual star. Football offers glamour jobs like quarterback, running back, receiver. For baseball, meanwhile, sacrifice is an actual statistic: The best fail in 70 percent of their at-bats. 'The thing about baseball is that it's such a team sport,' Philadelphia's Rollins told Sports Illustrated. 'And when you're in the inner city, it's all about being the man, about establishing your strength as an individual. So how can you be the man? You want that ball in your hands with three seconds on the clock to take the shot, or you want the football under your arm. That's how.'
Race, class, families, fathers, and baseball: Where Have All the Black Guys Gone?
Race, class, families, fathers, and baseball: Where Have All the Black Guys Gone?
ESPN's Paul Jackson tells the tale of 10-Cent Beer Night and the ensuing riot in Cleveland on June 4, 1974.
Twenty-five years ago today, after a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers, Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia held a press conference. (SLYT/NSFW)
22 years after letting a ball roll through his legs in extra innings to lose game six of the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner returned to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Here's a post on the Curse of the Bambino and the 2004 World Series [more inside]
Improv Everywhere turned a little league baseball game into a major league event. Jumbotron & all. [more inside]
When snow threatened the Cleveland Indians 2007 opening game, the stadium grounds crew was there to save the day. Watch them battle the forces of nature in this time-lapse video. Think you can handle this monumental task yourself? Play the game and find out.
The Library of Congress has unveiled a baseball history section on their website. You can see old baesball cards, panoramic shots, a section for teachers and, coolest of all, a video of a baseball game shot by Thomas Edison in 1898.
From the diamond to the street (literally) to your mailbox, one thing is absolutely certain: Nails never fails.
John Rawls gives six reasons why baseball is the best of all games. Marianne Moore's "Baseball & Writing." John Updike's "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu." [more inside]
Steroids, "Other Drugs," and Baseball: a Voice of Scepticism on the Impact of Steroids on Major League Baseball. Eric Walker suggests a "juiced" ball made much more of an effect than PEDs.