Saturday, October 25, 2014

So, How's My Book Doing? 10/25/14

Hey baseball fans,

As a lot of you know, I've written an A-Z baseball history introduction book called Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers, which is being published by Summer Game Books, and for which Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer, wrote the foreword. I'm donating all of my book proceeds to four baseball-related foundations: ALS, Turn 2, Jackie Robinson and the Hall of Fame. Anyway, right now the book is available to buy on Amazon Kindle, the Nook and iTunes. A lot of people have asked me how the book is doing?

Well, first of all, the book is selling very well. Second, I got the official word from my publisher that a paperback version will be coming out around spring training, and I actually got some printer proof copies already which look awesome (see the picture below).

Finally, the book has gotten some really good reviews, for which I'm very excited, including from More Than a Fan, and just recently, from Cuban baseball magazine, Universo Beisbol. The coolest part about the UB review is that it's all in Spanish and is seen all over Cuba, which means that maybe Fidel Castro (a very big baseball fan and former player) will see it and buy a copy of my book! You never know. Here's the screenshot below of the UB review.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Lots of big things in the works, including a super-surprise interview to be published right after the World Series.  So keep on reading, and check back again soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The All-Royants Team: The Best Players Who Played for the Royals and Giants 10/23/14

Hey baseball fans!

When I was looking up players who played for both the Royals and the Giants for my Vida Blue post, I didn't realize how many good players played for both teams. So, here is All-Royants team, featuring the best of the best who played for both the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants.

Catcher: Benito Santiago
Year(s) with KC: 2004
Year(s) with SF: 2001-2003
Why? A great offensive catcher, the Puerto Rican All Star was one of the big reasons for the Giants' trip to the World Series in 2002.

First Baseman: Orlando Cepeda
Year(s) with KC: 1974
Year(s) with SF: 1958-1966
Why? Cha Cha and Willie Mays teared up Candlestick Park in San Fran for the first part of the sixties and Cepeda made six of his seven All Star Games with the Giants.

Second Baseman: Rey Sanchez
Year(s) with KC: 1999-2001
Year(s) with SF: 1998
Why? Although he wasn't the most powerful hitter, Sanchez was a very good fielder and always made the tough plays that very few fielders can make.

Third Baseman: Jeff Keppinger
Year(s) with KC: 2006
Year(s) with SF: 2011
Why? Keppinger is just a solid ballplayer. His batting average is very good (.282) and he has scored a lot of runs for the amount of games he has appeared in (324 runs in 818 games).

Shortstop: Miguel Tejada
Year(s) with KC: 2013
Year(s) with SF: 2011
Why? This slugger from the Dominican Republic had a knack for home runs, hitting 307 of them in 16 seasons. The six-time All Star won the 2002 AL MVP with Oakland, hitting 34 home runs, driving in 131 runs, and batting .308.

Outfielder: Melky Cabrera
Year(s) with KC: 2011
Year(s) with SF: 2012
Why? The Melk Man delivers! As a Yankee fan, I loved Melky because he would constantly get walk-off hits. He was a big help for New York in their 2009 championship season and also aided the Giants in their trek to the Fall Classic in 2012.

Outfielder: Carlos Beltran
Year(s) with KC: 1998-2004
Year(s) with SF: 2011
Why? Beltran was a star with the Royals in the early stage of his career, but he got even better when he was brought over to the Mets. With the Amazins, Carlos hit 149 homers and collected 559 RBIs in 839 games.

Outfielder: Reggie Sanders
Year(s) with KC: 2006-2007
Year(s) with SF: 2002
Why? Sanders hit 307 home runs in 17 years, which is a great accomplishment on its own. But what's even cooler about him is that he went to three World Series in four years...with three different teams! He went to the Fall Classic in 2001 with the Diamondbacks (and got a ring), went to the 2002 World Series with Benito Santiago and the Giants, and then helped the Cardinals win the 2004 National League pennant! How lucky was Reggie Sanders!

Starting Pitcher: Gaylord Perry
Year(s) with KC: 1983
Year(s) with SF: 1962-1971
Why? Perhaps the best player on this team, Perry was an outstanding pitcher during his time, winning 314 games, 17th on the all-time list! The Hall of Famer and five-time All Star led the league in wins three times and had a career ERA of 3.11.

Relief Pitcher: Dan Quisenberry
Year(s) with KC: 1979-1988
Year(s) with SF: 1990
Why? Quiz was one of the best relievers of the 1980s and helped the Royals to three AL West division titles and a World Series win in 1985 versus the Cardinals. Q led the league in saves five times, four of them consecutive, and had a great career ERA: 2.76.

Well, there's my All-Royants team. Who else do you think belongs on this list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks for reading it, make sure you watch the World Series featuring the Royals and Giants, and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Who Will Win the 2014 World Series? 10/19/14

Hey baseball fans!

The World Series is upon us! But who will win the 2014 Fall Classic, the Kansas City Royals or the San Francisco Giants? Only time will tell, but for now, click here to watch the video in which I predict who will be the champions of baseball for the 2014 campaign.

Thanks for watching the post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Vida Blue? But He Had No Reason to be Sad 10/17/14

Hey baseball fans!

The Royals and Giants will be playing in the 2014 World Series! In honor of this, I'm going to talk about a very famous pitcher who pitched for both Kansas City and San Francisco: Vida Blue!

Vida Blue pitched for the A's, Giants, and Royals from 1969-1983, 1985-1986. In his 17 years in the MLB, he recorded 209 wins and 161 losses, along with an ERA of 3.27. Vida is known for his constant attacking of the strike zone. He had a great curveball and change up, but his best pitch was his blazing fastball, which regularly reached speeds of 100 miles an hour. With the help of these pitches, Blue recorded a lifetime 1.23 WHIP and 37 career shutouts. The six-time All Star's best year came in 1971 with the Athletics, when he went 24-8 with a league-leading 1.82 earned run average. That year, he was the starter for the American League in the All Star Game and won the AL Cy Young Award and MVP, but Oakland failed to win the pennant. However, over the next three years, '72-'74, the A's didn't just win the pennant, they won the World Series and Blue played a big role on those championship teams.

In 1978, his first year with the Giants, Blue again started in the All Star Game, this time in the NL, thus becoming the first pitcher ever to start the All Star Game with the American and National League. His Giant career was very good: a record of 72-58 over six years with an ERA of 3.52. In the midst of his time with the Giants, however, Vida played with KC for two years, winning 13 games and losing 17, while posting an ERA of 4.49. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Vida pitched a no-hitter with the A's on September 21st, 1970 against the Twins, striking out nine in only his second year in the MLB. What an accomplishment!

One of the most charitable athletes you will ever meet, Vida was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and still does charity work for the Bay Area. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

And if you're looking to read up on more baseball history, please check out my newly published e-book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers, now available on the Kindle, Nook and iTunes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The History of the New York Mets 10/14/14

Hey baseball fans!

As many of you already know, I am a Yankees fan, but that does't mean that I can't root for the Mets if they just happen to be on TV. Yes, I do feel sorry for Mets fans (and Yankees fans alike), but the Mets have a pretty good history.

The New York Mets were created in 1962 in order to replace the former New York National League teams, the Giants and Dodgers, who moved to California a few years before. The Mets played their first games in the Polo Grounds, but then moved to Shea Stadium in 1964. Like most expansion teams, the Mets didn't start off well. In fact, they finished either last or second to last in their first seven years of existence. But then came the magical year of 1969. With the help of future Hall of Fame pitchers Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan along with All Star Jerry Koosman and manager Gil Hodges, the Mets barely beat the Chicago Cubs to win the NL East, then were victorious over the Braves in the NLCS, then destroyed the heavily favored Orioles in the World Series in five games. It was the first World Series won by a New York team in seven years and it would not be the last time the Mets won it all.

New York, after acquiring Willie Mays, went to its second World Series in franchise history in 1973, this time under the wing of the legendary Yogi Berra as manager. That Mets team was one of the worst teams to get to the Fall Classic, having gone 82-79 in the regular season. Despite this seemingly dismal record, the Mets gave the defending champion A's a run for their money, but Oakland won the Series in seven. Entering the 1980s, the Mets had not won a World Series since '69. Then came another magical year in Mets history: 1986.

The '86 Mets were full of stars, like Gary Carter, Lee Mazzilli, Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez on offense and Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Bob Ojeda, and Jesse Orosco on the pitching staff. The team won an astounding 108 games and the NL pennant and faced the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. The Red Sox went up in the Series three games to two and were leading after ten innings in Game Six at Shea, 5-3. The Mets proceeded to come from behind and win in walk-off fashion with the help of an untimely error by Red Sox first baseman, Bill Buckner, on a Mookie Wilson grounder with two outs in the bottom of the tenth. The Amazins then won Game Seven and were crowned champions of the baseball world for only the second time in the team's history. But it would be a year that no Mets fan would forget, as the fans in Queens, New York never stop talking about Buckner's blunder.

New York has gone to only one more World Series since 1986 and it was against the Yankees in 2000. In the first Subway Series since 1956, the Yanks whipped the Mets in five games. Sorry Mets fans, but the Bronx Bombers were in the midst of a dynasty. Actually the Mets almost got to another World Series in 2006, but lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS.

The Amazins moved to Citi Field prior to the 2009 season, but have yet to make the playoffs in the new stadium. Hopefully, they can accomplish this task in the coming years. Anyway, thanks so much for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Human Tanglefoot Flypaper 10/9/14

Hey baseball fans!

The division series are over and now the MLB postseason moves to the championship series. The state of Missouri is represented in both leagues' series, actually, in the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. Speaking of Missouri, did you know that there are ten baseball Hall of Famers from the Show Me State? Some of them you know, like Yogi Berra, Casey Stengel, Earl Weaver, and even Carl Hubbell. But do you know who Dodgers Hall of Famer Zack Wheat is?

Wheat, a native of Hamilton, Missouri, played in the MLB for 19 years with the Brooklyn Dodgers (for 18 years) and the A's from 1909-1927. Buck, as he was nicknamed, batted over .300 16 times in his career and won the batting title in 1918 with a .335 batting average. His career batting average of .317 ranks 47th out of all Hall of Fame hitters. Wheat collected 2,884 career base hits, 1,248 RBIs, and scored 1,289 runs, but was known more for his fielding than his hitting. As a left fielder, he was known as being very graceful, like Joe DiMaggio, but also had a cannon for an arm, like Roberto Clemente. Although he fielded and batted like the star he was, the Brooklyn teams he was on never did too spectacularly. Wheat made it to the World Series twice with the Dodgers, in 1916 and 1920, but lost in both Series. But it didn't matter,  as Zack was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1959 via the Veterans Committee.

Here's a fun fact about the Dodger Hall of Famer: In 1916, the outfield wall at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field had the following advertisement for Tanglefoot flypaper: "In 1915, Wheat, Brooklyn, caught 345 flies. Tanglefoot caught 50,000,000,000 flies." What a funny yet brilliant ad. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The 300th Post on Baseball with Matt!!!!!!!!!! 10/5/14

Hey baseball fans!

This is my 300th post on Baseball with Matt! I'm so happy that I've done so many fun things in my blogging career and it's all thanks to you: the viewers.

To celebrate number 300, I put up a vlog on YouTube in which I talk about the blog, my book that just came out (which is now available as an e-book on the Kindle, the Nook and iTunes) and the MLB playoffs. If you want to watch it, just click here.

Thanks so much for reading my posts over the last couple of years. I hope you enjoy the video and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."