Saturday, March 30, 2013

My First Trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame 3/30/13

Hey baseball fans!

I am off this week because of spring break, so naturally I took a baseball-related vacation... to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York! If you can believe this, it was actually my first time there and it was AWESOME!!!!!! I had a lot of fun and I wanted to tell you about the trip.

So, my family and I arrived in Cooperstown on Wednesday at about 1 p. m. and we went straight to the Hall. What a sight it was! When I walked in, I got the ticket to allow me to go into the Hall of Fame and explore and I went straight to the Plaque Room. I was in awe. It was so amazing! I saw all of my favorite players like Lou Gehrig (see pic below), Hank Greenberg, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Willie Stargell, and let's not forget Mike Schmidt (also see pic below). At the end of the room were the plaques of the first five people elected into the Hall: Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. That area made me feel like I was in the Vatican. It was literally baseball's cathedral (see pic at the end of this post).

After the plaques, I went upstairs and saw a bunch of great memorabilia including the bat Pete Rose used to get the base hit that broke the all time hits record (which was held by Cobb with 4,189), Rod Carew's ball that was his 3,000th hit, and all seven caps that Nolan Ryan wore for each of his seven no-hitters. It was really cool and I'm glad I got to see it.

After that, it was off to the records hall, where I saw all of the main records set in baseball history. Did you know that in 1871, a man named Levi Meyerle batted .492?! It's the highest single-season batting average in baseball history! There were a lot of other cool records, but that was the one that stood out the most to me. Also, on that floor, the Hall was showing "Who's on First" by Abbott & Costello, which gave me a kick.

Besides my touring, at the Hall of Fame, I met a lot of great people who work there. First, I met up with Jamilyn Cole, the head of education at the Hall, who reads my blog and wanted to meet me. She was a very nice lady who really seems to enjoy my blog. Also, she introduced me to Dan Wallis, an exhibit designer, and Nate Owens and Roger Lansing, multi-media producers at the Hall. They were all really great people and I'm glad I got to meet them. We talked about the Hall, baseball history, my blog, and other things.

Oh, I forgot another very important part about my trip to the Hall: the gift shop! They had so much cool stuff, I didn't know where to begin. They even had Abbott & Costello baseball jerseys for Who, What and I Don't Know. I stayed over in Cooperstown for a night so, on Thursday morning, I got to go on a baseball shopping spree in the Hall's gift shop! Here's what I got:

-Three throwback baseball caps - a "We Are Family" 1979 Pirates cap that looks like a conductor's hat (see pic),  a 1970s/1980s Phillies cap, and a Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves cap, and

-Two shirts - a Mike Schmidt Phillies jersey and a Yankees tee shirt with all of the Hall of Famers who played for the Yanks on the back.

All in all, the trip to the Hall was really excellent. I had a lot of fun and I'm glad that I got to meet such great people. And the best part is that I'm going back up again in May to cover the Hall of Fame Classic, thanks to press credentials that are being issued to me by Jeff Idelson (the HOF President) and Craig Muder (the HOF Director of Communications). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading it. Special shout-out to all my new friends at the HOF - see you in May!! Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Greatest Youngster Around 3/29/13

Hey baseball fans!

Let’s get something straight: not all Hall of Famers have a World Series ring. For example, Ernie Banks never got one because he played on the Cubs. Harmon Killebrew almost got a ring in ’65 with the Twins, but never got that close to a championship again in his career. Finally, even the great Ted Williams never got a ring, because he was playing in the midst of the Curse of the Bambino! Anyway, my point is that some Hall of Famers never got to win a World Series, but that never stopped them from being the great player that they were. Now, you probably think I’m going to blog about a guy in the Hall who never got a ring, but you would be wrong. Today, you will be reading about a player who recently retired, never got to a Fall Classic, is considered one of the best pure hitters in baseball history, and is a definite first-ballot Hall of Famer. Ladies and gentleman: Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken “The Kid” Griffey Jr. played for 22 years in the MLB from 1989-2010 for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox. The 13-time All Star was also a ten-time Gold Glove Award winner, dazzling fans with his amazing catches in center field. Griffey is also considered one of the most explosive home run hitters in baseball history. His 630 dingers are ranked sixth all time in career home runs. Don’t think he didn’t hit for average, though, hitting .284 lifetime with 2,781 hits. On a side note, he also drove in 1,836 runs during his career, ranking him 15th on the all time list for most career RBIs.

His career accolades are the following: he was a seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner, 1997 AL MVP, 1992 All Star Game MVP, 2005 Comeback Player of the Year, three-time Home Run Derby winner, four-time AL home run champion, 1997 AL RBI champion, and was selected to be part of the MLB All-Century Team. All I can say about that is wow. However, there’s more! In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, playing for Team USA and being coached by his dad, Ken Griffey Sr., The Kid hit .524 with three homers and ten RBIs. Sadly, the United States did not win the tournament, but Griffey Jr. did make his country proud.

Anyway, as you can clearly see, Ken Griffey Jr. deserves to be in the Hall. He was a great ballplayer for some not so great teams, but what matters is that he was great.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. It was a lot of fun to write about someone who I love. Thanks for reading, and check back next time for another edition of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Universo Béisbol - Chipper Jones 3/24/13

Hey baseball fans!

As you may know, I recently wrote a blog post about Chipper Jones. Well, anyway, the post was also contributed to Universo Béisbol, a baseball blog based in Cuba that is run by Reynaldo Cruz. My blog post was translated into Spanish by Reynaldo. If you want to check it out, here it is:

Gracias por leer (thanks for reading). Check back soon for another edition of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ML"what would"B: What if Tex was a Red Sox Part Two 3/23/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up another ML"what would"B post on More Than a Fan. In every ML"what would"B alternative history post, I discuss what would have happened if a famous event in baseball history had gone differently than it did in reality. For my latest post, I continued the discussion I started back in February when I wondered what would have happened if Mark Teixeira had gone to the Red Sox instead of the Yankees in 2009. If you want to know the answer, just click here.

Thanks for reading Baseball with Matt, where I'm bringing you "all the buzz on what wuzz".

Friday, March 22, 2013

An Interview with Another Kid Blogger Named Matt!!! 3/22/13

Hey baseball fans!

I have yet another interview for you today! This one is with one of my fellow blogger brethren, Matt Eisner, also known as Matt's Bats! He is a baseball blogger as well but, unlike me, he mainly focuses on his hometown team, the Washington Nationals. In case you don't know about this blogging master, let me give you a little bio.

Matt is an eight year old kid (THAT'S RIGHT, HE MAKES ME LOOK LIKE AN OLD MAN) from the suburbs of Washington D. C. He really loves baseball and the Nationals. (You can also find him on Twitter at @MattsBats.) He is the biggest Nationals fan at his school and he's only eight! Matt has been in love with baseball since 2009 (that was when he was just five!) and has a collection of 32 baseballs that he's received at baseball games. He likes playing sports video games (just like me!) like the MLB 2K series on the Wii and NFL Madden on the PS3 (funny, I prefer Madden over the MLB 2K series). Matt also loves to travel to different places and get souvenirs there. He has been to these five ballparks: Nationals Park (Washington Nationals), Citi Field (New York Mets), Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles), Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees), and AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants). Matt plays baseball on a little league team and with his brother all the time, which proves that he likes to play and watch the sport, a true fan. He was even on FOX 5 News, just like me (see picture)! Anyway, let's get to that interview I was talking about before.

Matt N: When did you start to get an interest in baseball?
Matt E: My dad got me tickets to a Nationals vs. Mets game in July 2009, but I never knew much about baseball because I was only five. We were sitting in the 300th level. Randomly, a man came up to us and we started talking to him and told him that it was my first baseball game. He said he was leaving soon and gave us his tickets in the front row behind first base next to the camera well in the dugout. After we got settled, a camera person told me to yell to the players and maybe they would give me a ball, and they did! I got so into the game I realized I would love baseball. The Nats won and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

Matt N: How long have you been writing your blog?
Matt E: That summer I was going to a lot of Nationals games and watching a lot of games on TV and watching the MLB Network, so I decided to write a paragraph every day to express my opinions on what was happening with the Nationals and the trades that were happening right before the trade deadline. I remember driving to summer camp in July 2012 with the idea of writing a website so that I could be like a real reporter and other people could read what I wrote. My very first Matt’s Bats post was about the Miami Marlins trading Hanley Ramirez, who was their face of the franchise, to L.A.

Matt N: What grade are you in?
Matt E: I am in 3rd grade. People think I’m older, but it’s true that I’m only eight!

Matt N: What are your hobbies besides blogging?
Matt E: Basically, it’s baseball, baseball cards, and computer/TV. I also play little league. Last year, my favorite position was third base, but they change positions every two innings. With my baseball cards, I play games, where I pretend the cards are real players and they play against my brother’s cards. I play with baseball cards very roughly, and I have to admit, after a while they get out of shape. I like to watch MLB Network on our mega-huge TV and play on Google Maps during computer time.

Matt N: I know you are a huge Nationals fan. Have you met any of the Nats?
Matt E: Of course! I’ve met players like Stephen Strasburg (in Viera for Spring training) and Bryce Harper (2 times, most recently at his baseball camp). And I met a bunch of players at NatsFest in DC in January, like Ryan Mattheus, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Denard Span, Chad Tracy, and Ross Detwiler. I have also met other players like Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard at other times. I am also friends with a few Nats players on Twitter.

Matt N: Who is your favorite player currently and all time?
Matt E: Well, obviously, my hero of today is OF Bryce Harper, because first of all, he’s a Nat, and second, I love his hustle. He tells the world no matter what age they are, they can still be whatever they want. He was so amazing last year as NL ROY, and he wasn’t even 20. I use his stance all the time when I play in games. My favorite historical player is Brooklyn Dodgers 2B Jackie Robinson because he overcame great racial prejudice to become a phenomenal baseball player. He had speed. He famously stole home in the ’55 World Series.

Matt N: Who do you think is going to win the 2013 World Series?
Matt E: West coast magic! Dodgers vs. Halos (Angels)! Although Josh Hamilton contends for WS MVP, the Dodgers pull off their magic and get the WS trophy, but after 7 games. As much as I’d love the Nats to win, I personally think that the Nats will lose to L.A. in the NLCS.

Matt N: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Matt E: I want to be a TV commentator like the Nationals’ F.P. Santangelo. The Nationals also have excellent radio announcers named Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler. Play by play is hard to do and you really are just the narrator, even if you are really good like Charlie and Dave. But the color commentator gets to give his opinion and also tell jokes. You are also on TV a lot and get famous. You also get to travel with the team. I think I would be good at that job because I am starting to give my opinion on my blog. I also know a lot of stats because I watch the MLB Network and I have lots of baseball cards that I play with. When my Twitter got popular, F.P. Santangelo followed me. When I went on TV for my first interview, he gave me pointers to get as good as him. If I couldn’t do anything related to baseball, I would be an inventor, because I like to come up with new ideas.

Matt N: Have you been keeping up with Spring training at all or are you just looking forward to Opening Day?
Matt E: Even though I haven’t kept up with a lot of Spring training, I have kept up with the 2013 World Baseball Classic. It’s so interesting seeing players like the Nationals’ Chien-Ming Wang play for Chinese Taipei and Roger Bernadina play for team Netherlands, and Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler playing for Team USA. I like seeing other familiar players like Yankee Robinson Cano (the MVP of the Classic) play for the Dominican team. And, of course, watching the USA team is like watching the All Star Game. I am going to Spring Training over spring break. We are seeing three games. We are seeing the Nationals on the road three times: once against the Mets, once against the Cardinals and once against the Marlins. I will be tweeting a lot on @MattsBats. I am looking forward to Opening Day and I’m actually going to be there at Nationals Park!

Matt N: What did your friends at school say when you were on TV on FOX News?
Matt E: They were happy for me and even wanted my autograph. They were swarming around me like gnats (not Nats!) and I had to explain to them that I was the same Matt I was before. I just happened to be on live television that morning!

What a great kid. Just a little fun fact about Matt's blog: his saying after every post is IGNITE YOUR MATTITUDE! That's a pretty cool slogan. Anyway, shout out to Matt for agreeing to be interviewed by me (if you want to see his interview of me by the way, click here). So, I hope you enjoyed this interview and thanks for reading this edition of "all the buzz on what wuzz".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wamby Pulls a Dandy 3/20/13

Hey baseball fans!

I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard of a triple play before, but have you also heard of an unassisted triple play? If you haven’t, let me explain: an unassisted triple play is when one player on the field makes all three outs of a triple play without any help, for example no throw to him from another player or a ball bobbled by another player that he happened to pick up. An unassisted triple play has occurred in baseball history just 15 times… and one of those times occurred in the World Series! The man who made the unassisted triple play was named Bill Wambsganss (the “B” in Wambsganss is silent) for the Cleveland Indians in the 1920 World Series against the Brooklyn Robins (today the Robins are the LA Dodgers). Let me tell you a little bit about Bill and then I’ll get to the triple play.

In a 13-year career from 1914-1926 with the Indians, Philadelphia Athletics, and Boston Red Sox, Wambsganss posted a .259 lifetime batting average with a measly seven homers and 519 RBIs in 1,492 games. “Wamby”, as he was called by writers who couldn’t pronounce his last name, was the starting second baseman of the Cleveland Indians for ten years from ’14-‘23, his longest stint with any of the teams he played with. He hit a career-high .295 in 1918 and .290 in 1923, his two best hitting years in his career. That’s about all there is to Wamby, except for that unassisted triple play I was telling you about before.

In Game Five of the 1920 World Series at League Park in Cleveland against the Brooklyn Robins with runners on first and second in the top of the fifth, Bill caught a screaming line drive by Clarence Mitchell, stepped on second base to retire Pete Kilduff and tagged Otto Miller coming from first base, to complete the first and only unassisted triple play in World Series history! The amazing thing about it was the fact that if Bill was standing in his assigned spot on the field, he would have never had a chance at catching the line drive! But because Michell was a lefty, Wambsganss expected the ball to be pulled more towards the first base line, so he took a couple steps to his left. Also, at that time, Cleveland was winning 8-0, so it would be just stupid if Clarence were to bunt the runners over. Thinking that in his mind, Wamby took a few steps back because of the certainty that Mitchell would not bunt. It made him look like a genius when he pulled off the impossible, and it made him look like a Cleveland hero when he received a medal of congratulations from the city of Cleveland for performing the great play.

Anyway, that’s the story of Bill Wambsganss. (Note that I originally posted this for Big Leagues Magazine, a really great online magazine that I write for. Hope you check it out.) Bet you didn’t know that story. So, I hope you enjoyed this article and thanks for reading this edition of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

Saturday, March 16, 2013

An Interview with Yankees Magazine Designer, Marc Miller 3/16/13

Hey baseball fans!

I have an interview for you today! This interview is with Yankees Magazine graphic designer, Marc Miller! He lives in my town, so I thought that it would be cool to interview him. Anyway, here's a short biography of Marc, just in case you don't know who he is.

Marc Miller is the founder of Grandstand Design, a firm that focuses on graphic design. Here's the link to Grandstand Design's website: Anyway, Miller started his career at Classic Games Inc. and Topps Company Inc., working on the design and production of trading cards, packaging, advertising, and special web-based projects. He then joined Goodspeed & Associates, where he supervised the design management for clients such as Major League Baseball, USA Home Entertainment and the New York Yankees, and eventually formed Grandstand Design in 2002. So on that note, let's get to the interview.

Matt: What does Grandstand Design do for the Yankees?
Marc: Grandstand Design is a graphic design firm, specializing in publications and packaging for sports and entertainment clientele. We design and layout the monthly Yankees Magazine, which is available at newsstands, as a print subscription, as a digital subscription for your smart phone or tablet, as well at Yankee Stadium. We also design the annual Yearbook. We create every non-advertisement page from cover to cover. We also do various other publications and graphics for the Yankees, including information guides, sales materials and promotions.

Matt: How long have you been working with Yankees Magazine?
Marc: Grandstand Design has been in business since 2002, working with the Yankees the entire time. Our first issue was the June, 2002 Yankees Magazine & Scorecard.

Matt: When did you start doing layout design?
Marc: I started way back in high school, laying out my high school’s newspaper on a Mac Classic.

Matt: Have you always been a Yankees fan?
Marc: Oh yes. My grandfather lived in the Bronx. My parents were born there, and I’ve been a Yankees fan for as long as I can remember. My first baseball memory was Chris Chambliss’ pennant-clinching home run in 1976.

Matt: Who is your favorite baseball player currently and historically?
Marc: It’s really the same guy. Mariano Rivera represents, for me, everything that is great about baseball. His on-field performance, and off-field personality are unmatched. He always seems to be the classiest guy in the room, and the most reliable player on the field.

Matt: How many baseball parks have you visited?
Marc: Let’s see…. Obviously both the old and new Yankee Stadium, plus I’ve seen the Mets, Phillies and Orioles at both their current and previous homes. Coors Field, Dodger Stadium, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (A note from Matt: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium is the old stadium for the Braves. They currently play in Turner Field.), Fenway Park. A bunch of minor league parks. That’s about it, I think.

Matt: What sports did you play and watch as a kid?
Marc: I’ve always been a baseball fan, and I played a bit of little league. I also love watching the New York Rangers play hockey. I played in a street hockey league as a school kid. In high school the only organized sport I participated in was wrestling, but there’s not much opportunity to do that recreationally after graduation. Now I watch my children play soccer and try to get to Yankee Stadium whenever time allows.

Matt: Do you think it’s important for the younger generation of fans to learn about baseball history?
Marc: I always enjoyed reading about Yankees of the past. I read the biographies of Mickey Mantle, Graig Nettles, Lou Piniella and others when I was younger, and it helped me learn about and appreciate the game as a whole. Getting a historical perspective shapes your opinion of the game and the players of today.

Matt: What was your favorite Yankees Magazine issue you worked on and why?
Marc: So many to choose from! Designing the postseason programs are always fun because it means another chance for the Yankees to play in October. In May 2010, we created an anniversary issue, where we printed an image of every cover in the 30-year history of Yankees Magazine. Derek Jeter was honored with a special commemorative issue after hitting his 3,000th hit. But that issue from June, 2002 will always be special, because it was the first one I worked on from cover to cover.

Matt: Do you have any big plans for Mariano Rivera’s retirement?
Marc: As far as Yankees Magazine’s plans, I’m sure the editors who supply the content have an appropriate honor in mind.

Well, that's the interview. Shoutout to Marc for letting me interview him. Thanks a lot, Marc! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed conducting it. Thanks for reading and check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz".

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

These Brothers Didn't Invent the Airplane 3/12/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up my latest post in the Kids' Hot Korner section of New Jersey Baseball Magazine.  This one is about two brothers who did not invent an airplane, but who are in the Hall of Fame. Can you guess who they are?  If you want to read more about this, just click here

And check in again real soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

NJBM Kids' Hot Korner: Ichiro Suzuki 3/9/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up my latest post in the Kids' Hot Korner section of New Jersey Baseball Magazine.  This one is in honor of my aunt Rie Suzuki's favorite player. Can you guess who it is?  If you want to read more about my aunt's favorite MLB player from Japan, just click here.

And check in again real soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, March 8, 2013

Steve Carlton 3/8/13

Hey baseball fans!

I recently thought to myself: “Who was the best pitcher ever on the worst team?” I didn’t want to write something about Walter Johnson, because his name regularly appears in my articles, so I decided to go with the next best person: Steve Carlton.

Steve Carlton was a very tough competitor, which is why he won 329 games (second only to Warren Spahn among lefties) in his 24-year career from 1965-1988 with the Cardinals, Phillies, Twins, Giants, Indians, and White Sox. His hard slider complemented a great fastball, getting him 4,136 career strikeouts, fourth on the all-time list and second on the list when he retired. “Lefty” (as he was nicknamed) had six 20-win seasons, was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards, and is in second place (behind Bob Gibson) in baseball history for the most starts in a row with at least six innings pitched (69). The Miamian ten-time All Star was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994, his first year of eligibility. Also, in 1972, Carlton won 27 games for the last-place Philadelphia Phillies, a team that only won 59 games all season! That’s almost 50% of the team’s wins, which is amazing! He definitely deserves a plaque in Cooperstown.

Well, that’s my article about the great Steve Carlton.  (Note that I originally posted this for Big Leagues Magazine, a really great online magazine that I write for. Hope you check it out.)
I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks, as always, for reading. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Interview with Marty Appel 3/5/13

Hey baseball fans!

Remember how I went to that event and interviewed Ron Blomberg and also met Len Berman, Ira Berkow and Marty Appel? Well, Marty Appel agreed to an interview! He gave some really great answers and I really want you to read them, but let me tell you a little bit about the author of one of my most favorite books ever.

Martin E. Appel is a public relations executive and author. Appel began his baseball legacy with the Yankees, handling fan mail for Mickey Mantle. He was eventually appointed to be PR Director of the team in 1973. While serving as Vice President for PR for the WPIX radio channel, he won an Emmy as the executive producer of Yankee telecasts.

Marty has written 18 books, including children's biographies of Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio. He also wrote a biography of Thurman Munson, which was published in 2009. His 2012 book, Pinstripe Empire (the book I was talking about when I said "the author of one of my most favorite books ever"), was the first narrative history of the team since 1943. Along with writing his own books, Appel has also contributed to many publications, including Sports Collectors Digest, Yankees Magazine and Encyclopedia Americana. He also served as Editor-at-Large for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's quarterly magazine, and helped write the text on the plaques of Hall of Fame inductees. He is the President of Marty Appel Public Relations, a New York based PR firm specializing mainly in sports (check out his list of sports clients - it's pretty amazing). Well, that's all I have to say about the great writer. Now, let's get to the interview.

Matt: Who was your favorite player in baseball growing up?
Marty: I had two - Mickey Mantle, a hero to everyone who loved the Yankees, and their second baseman Bobby Richardson, who was small like me, played second like me, and I sort of wanted my own hero, not someone everyone else liked.

Matt: What sports did you play as a kid? What sports did you watch?
Marty: I was baseball-baseball-baseball. First started playing in the Police Athletic League in Maspeth, Queens. Only watched baseball, but got interested in the NBA when Wilt Chamberlain came along, and in the New York Giants when Y.A. Tittle became their quarterback. Marty Glickman announcing the games was very important in that.

Matt: Did you know as a kid that you wanted to work in public relations?
Marty: I never dreamed of it. I went to college as a political science major, but had been sports editor of my school newspapers in junior high, high school and college. So one day, in the summer of ’67, I got the idea to write to the Yankees for a job. The day I wrote the letter was the first day I even thought of working in baseball.

Matt: Did you find any interesting pieces of mail for Mickey Mantle when you were handling his fan mail?
Marty: Most of Mick’s mail was exactly the same - “Dear Mickey, you are my favorite player, please send me an autographed baseball.” It wasn’t very interesting.

Matt: Why did you start writing books?
Marty: I was offered a chance to write a season preview paperback along with my counterpart on the Mets, Matt Winick. I did the American League teams, he did the National League. We did that for five years. Then I was asked to write 1,500 word biographies of all the Hall of Famers for a new book, and that was really my first “real book.”

Matt: Why did you want to write a book about the Yankees’ history? 
Marty: When I realized one day that there hadn’t been a Yankees history book that wasn’t photo-driven, in almost 70 years, I just felt, “well, I’m the perfect guy to write one,” and my agent and publisher agreed.  I’d been following the team for over 50 years and knew so many people and events first hand. It was an honor to do it.

Matt: How did you decide on what to write on the plaques of Hall of Fame inductees?
Marty: The Hall of Fame staff wasn’t very big in the ‘70s, and the President of the Hall, Ed Stack, asked if I could pitch in and help with the plaques. Now THAT was some honor. Willie Mays was the first one I did. That career lasted 21 years, but today they have a great in-house staff that handles it very well.

Matt: If you had done PR work for the Babe, what would you have advised him about his image?
Marty: I hope I would have been smart enough to not change a thing. He was the best thing that ever happened to baseball.

Matt: Is there any interesting George Steinbrenner story that not many people know, that you would be willing to share?
Marty: If we had a good road trip, like winning 6 of 9 or something, we’d get back to New York at like 3 in the morning, and he’d be there at baggage claim, all by himself, greeting the team and giving everyone $20 bills to take taxis home instead of first going to the stadium on the bus. It showed what a fan he really was.

Matt: If you could’ve met any non-Yankees player in history, who would it be and why?
Marty: Well, I met a lot of non-Yankees over the years who I admired a lot, including Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Brooks Robinson…..but of those I never met, going back in baseball history, I guess Christy Mathewson would have been a pleasure to know. He was said to be a really fine gentleman.

Well, that's the interview. I hope you all enjoyed it a lot and make sure to read Pinstripe Empire, because it's a great book!! Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

NJBM Kids' Hot Korner: Mike Schmidt 3/3/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up my latest post in the Kids' Hot Korner section of New Jersey Baseball Magazine.  This one is extra special, since it's about my all time favorite player, Mike Schmidt. If you'd like to read the article, just click here.

And tune in again real soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Top Five Baseball Families 3/2/13

Hey baseball fans!

Matt Nadel here with another dose of baseball history. In today’s post, I will be telling you all who I think are the top five families in baseball history. (Note that I originally posted this for Big Leagues Magazine, a really great online magazine that I write for. Hope you check it out.)

Number Five-The Ripkens: Why? Cal Ripken Sr. and  Cal Ripken Jr. basically represent the Orioles in the ‘80s. You may think that Cal Jr. was the only Ripken great, but Cal Sr. was involved in the O’s organization for 36 years and managed Baltimore in the 1987 season. In that season, Cal Jr. and Billy Ripken played in Baltimore. Billy Ripken wasn’t a superstar like is brother, but I think we can all agree that Cal Ripken Jr. deserves to be in the Hall.

Number Four-The DiMaggios: Why? Vince DiMaggio wasn’t really the best baseball player, but Dom DiMaggio and Joe DiMaggio both were consistently good ballplayers for the Red Sox and Yankees, respectively. Dom went to seven All Star games, while Joe went to 13. Joe is in the Baseball Hall of Fame but, sadly, Dom isn’t. However, he is in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. All in all, the DiMaggio parents should be proud of how successful their three sons were at playing the game they loved, baseball.

Number Three-The Bondses: Why? Bobby Bonds was a great ballplayer in the sixties and seventies, while his son, Barry Bonds, dominated the nineties and two thousands. They have a combined 1,094 homers, the most homers between a father and son. The only reason they aren’t number one is because Barry took steroids. Steroid use is not tolerated with me, and it is definitely not tolerated with the BBWAA.

Number Two-The Griffeys: Why? Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. were both big helpers in some teams’ successes. Griffey Sr. helped the Reds to two consecutive World Series titles, while his son helped the Mariners become an AL powerhouse in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Also, the Griffeys are the only father-son combo to hit back-to-back home runs. Now, that is what I call “like father, like son”.

NUMBER ONE-THE WANERS: Why? Little Poison and Big Poison, Lloyd Waner and Paul Waner, are both in the Hall of Fame. They both contributed to the Pirates of the ‘20s and ‘30s and they were both hitting machines. It’s funny how they played together on the Pirates and not the Phillies. Why do I say that? I say that because the Phillies play in the "City of Brotherly Love."

Well, that’s my top five families in baseball history. There are some honorable mentions, though. The Alous, Felipe, Jesus, and Matty, were once the family dynasty in San Francisco, while the Delahantys, Ed, Frank, Jim, Joe and Tom, were great ballplayers during the Dead Ball Era. Anyway, do you agree with my list? Leave me a comment and tell me your list of top five baseball families of all time. Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoyed this post about "all the buzz on what wuzz".