Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Actors are in, players are out 5/29/12

Hey Guys!

If you didn't read my last blog about Gil Hodges, go check it out! Anyway, the reason I bring my previous blog up is that I wanted to ask you guys a trivia question. My question is:

There are two actors who never played or broadcasted baseball, but are still in the Hall of Fame. Who are they?

The answer is ...... Abbott and Costello and their famous "Who's on first" comedy routine (click on this YouTube link to check this classic out)! Now how do you think that makes Gil Hodges feel; two actors get in the Hall before he does?

Shoutout to my grandpa who provided me with the question!

And while we are still on the subject of Gil Hodges, I received a great comment today about Gil Hodges not making the Hall of Fame from the famous sports songwriter, Joe Pickering Jr., who wrote the song Gil Hodges which was performed by Phil Coley and published by Joe's company, King of the Road Music (I added a link to his company on the right side of my blog -- really cool site, so check it out).  Anyway, here is my favorite verse:

The boys of summer look down from the sky
In disbelief they shake their heads and ponder why
The Hall of Fame vote for Gil Hodges fell one vote shy
Why make the baseball world and Gil's widow cry?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Military, Shmilitary, Hodges in the HOF 5/28/12

Hey Guys!
Happy Memorial Day! In honor of this American holiday, I want to talk about a certain player who probably did not make it into the Hall of Fame because of military service:

From 1943-1963, Gil Hodges had a very respectable career with the Dodgers and Mets. He hit 370 homers, 1,275 RBIs, and had an on-base percentage of .359. That's pretty good. The only problem was that he did not play in 1944 or '45 because of World War II, and then was retooled and missed more time. If he had played those seasons, he probably would have had 400+ homers and 1,400+ RBIs. And to top off this should-be Hall of Fame career, he led the Amazin' Mets to a World Series in 1969 and ended up winning the contest as the manager! If that doesn't spell "Hall of Fame" to the Veterans Committee (the committee that elects players into the Hall of Fame around 20 years after retirement), then I don't know what does.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Matt's Dream Team 5/26/12

Hey guys!
It's finally time. You've all been anticipating this very moment. You are about to read....My Dream Team! I will be listing my all time favorite baseball players by position for you guys! My only rule is that no one can be playing today. Here it is:

Catcher: Carlton Fisk (1969-1993, Red Sox, White Sox)
Why? He was a great power-hitting catcher, and his homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series makes him that much better.

First Base: Lou Gehrig (1923-1939, Yankees)
Why? The Iron Horse was a great all-around hitter and team leader, who helped jumpstart the Yanks to where they are now. Thanks Larrupin' Lou!

Second Base: Rogers Hornsby (1915-1937, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Braves, Browns)
Why? He was an awesome guy if you're talking about batting average. Great fielder and just terrific at baseball.

Third Base: Mike Schmidt (1972-1989, Phillies)
Why? He was a homer hitting machine and also a big time gold glove fielder who took a horrible team and made it a playoff contender for several years. (See "The Flounderin' Phils" for more info.)

Shortstop: Cal Ripken Jr. (1981-2001, Orioles)
Why? The Iron Man certainly earned his title. An excellent all-around baseball player who made the O's awesome.

Left Fielder: Stan Musial (1941-1963, Cardinals)
Why? The Man was amazing. Who else gets to 24 All-Star Games in his career? (Someone else on this list)

Center Fielder: Mickey Mantle (1951-1968, Yankees)
Why? The Mick is my favorite all-time Yankee, so he has to be on this list.

Right Fielder: Hank Aaron (1954-1976, Braves, Brewers)
Why? The true home run king didn't go to 25 All-Star Games for nothing.

Left handed Starting Pitcher: Warren Spahn (1942-1965, Braves, Mets, Giants)
Why else would Braves fans pray saying 'Spahn and Sain and hope for rain'?

Right handed Starting Pitcher: Nolan Ryan (1966-1993, Angels, Astros, Mets, Rangers)
Why? The man with the most career strikeouts and no-hitters pitched lights out. He mowed down everyone!

Relief Pitcher: Dennis Eckersley (1975-1998, Athletics, Red Sox, Cardinals, Indians, Cubs)
Why? One of the greatest relievers of all time. I do love him, but once Mo Rivera retires, then Eck is off the list.

Well, there you have it: My Dream Team. Do you think that there are some better players? Answer by posting a comment. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Blasting Buccaneers 5/23/12

Hey Guys!

Check out my survey that I put at the bottom of my blog homepage! Anyway, here's my next blog:

Most of the great teams in the first half of the 20th century were part of the Yankees' and A's history, so I want to talk about a team that was expected to get clobbered in their division, but actually won the World Series, the 1960 Pirates! Led by a young Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, and Dick Groat, the Buccos crushed NL pitching and ended the season with a 95-59 record(the league didn't play 162 games until 1961.) Groat won the MVP Award, as the Pirates took on the Yanks in the World Series. In the 7th game, the unfavored Pirates were tied 9-9 in the bottom of the ninth. Bill then crushes a game-winning shot to win the Series. It was the first of two homers to end a World Series (Joe Carter did it with the Jays in '93) and it gave the Pirates their first championship! It was even more impressive that they beat the Yankees in the World Series. Well, they may have had scurvy, but they still pulled out a Series win.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wrigley Field - they don't build'em that way now 5/20/12

Last year I went to Wrigley Field in Chicago with my dad. It was one of the coolest ballparks I've ever seen, even though it's pretty old. It was built in 1914 and the Chicago Cubs moved in in 1916. They even have stands on the roofs of the buildings across the street for people to watch the game. This summer I'm going to another really historic park, Fenway Park in Boston. I can't wait. Wish I could've seen Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, the Polo Grounds in New York and Comiskey Park in Chicago before they knocked them all down. Being a New Yorker, at least I went to the old Yankee Stadium (the house that Ruth built) a bunch of times. While doing research, I actually found a really great site that has e-guides about current ballparks.  Check it out!!  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Flounderin' Phils 5/19/12

Hey Guys!

In honor of interleague play, I'm going to blog about the worst team in baseball, located in the same place that the Philadelphia A's were ( check out my last blog for more info about the 1929 A's):

Philadelphia. The home of the Phillies. The team that has been awarded the last five NL East championships. In those years the Phils were a powerhouse. Go back several decades, and you've got the laughingstock of the National League! The Phillies are the only baseball team to lose more than 10,000 games, and have only won two World Series since 1903, the year the World Series started. They have had some good players, though. Steve Carlton won 27 of his team's 59 wins in the 1972 season. Horrible year for the Phillies, but great year for Steve. They didn't make it to their first World Series until 1950, but got smothered by the Yankees, who swept the Series in four games. Their next World Series appearance was in 1980, which they won 4 to 2 versus the Royals. At the end of the Series, Phillies fans were given a survey to vote on their most beloved Philly of all time. The winner was Mike Schmidt, who was playing for them at the time! That's how bad of a history the Philadelphia Phillies have. Fun fact about the Phils: they are the only sporting franchise in the history of sports to have the name of the team based off the nickname of the residents that live in the city of their stadium.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Powerful Pachyderms 5/16/12

Hey Guys!
Sorry that the length of time between my last couple of blogs has been a little stretched out. They will be unstretched in no time! Here's the next blog about one of the greatest rosters in baseball history:

Have you ever heard of the great manager Connie Mack? In case you haven't, Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1950! During that span, he led the A's to nine AL pennants and five World Series victories. When the clock struck 1929, a spark arose in the A's players, and enabled the team with an elephant as a mascot, to take it to a new level when they won the World Series that year. The 1929 A's were an excellent team, winning 106 games and losing just 46! Mickey Cochrane, the Hall of Fame catcher, batted .331 with 170 hits, along with 95 RBIs, and Jimmy Foxx (see "The other Babe Ruth" for more info on the Hall of Famer) batted .354 with 33 dinggers and 117 RBIs. Lefty Grove, the Hall of Fame pitcher, went 20-6 with a 2.81 ERA and a WHIP (walks+hits per inning) of 1.30. What an amazing team! Three Hall of Famers that helped the A's win a World Series against the Chicago Cubs! They won the next World Series too, but I'm talking about 1929, not 1930.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Start of a Dynasty 5/13/12

Hey Guys!

Happy Mother's Day! Today is the first blog that was suggested by one of you! So thank you to John Rogers, for suggesting to write about........

Picture this: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Earle Combs, and Mark Koenig. That's what every American League team had to face during the 1927 season. Those were the 1927 World Champion "Murderers' Row" Yankees. Now, you might think: "Well why were they so good?". That's where the stats come in. The combined batting average for the Yanks in '27 was .327, 142 homers, and 670 RBI, just between the six of them! The Babe hit 60 homers, the most in one season at that time, Larrupin' Lou had 175 runs batted in, the most in a season at the time, Earl Combs had 231 hits, and the team in total won 110 games and only lost 44! Some say that they won 114 games, including the World Series, which they easily swept against the Pirates. What, 110 isn't good enough?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why the Padres stink today 5/9/12

Hey Guys!

Make sure that you write suggestions for future blog topics. Anyway, because Mariano Rivera is basically  out for the season with a torn ACL, I would like to blog about the great closer. So, here's Trevor Hoffman.

Whoops, forgot to put the words "national league" in parentheses after the word "great". Well, mistakes happen. Anyhow, Hoffman's career is one of the best for a closer. (Notice how I wrote "one of the best"!) He had 601 career saves, second only to Mo. From 1993-2010, with the Padres and Brewers, Trevor baffled NL teams with his devastating change up, which earned him 7 All Star Game appearances. He held the all-time saves record from '06 to '11 and is only one of two pitchers to have 500+ and 600+ career saves. Funny, he played shortstop in college!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Other Powerful Albert 5/3/12

Hey Guys!

Starting now I will be taking suggestions from people for future baseball topics to blog about. It could be about anything interesting related to baseball history! The person who's topic I use will  get a shout out from me on that blog. Well, here's my next blog:

Have you ever heard of Albert Belle? It's funny because neither did I! I didn't know who to blog about so I looked up the players with the highest career slugging percentage and he is currently 15th on the all time list. He played his career with the Indians, White Sox, and Orioles from 1989 -2000. Although he only played for 12 years, he had 381 homers and 1239 RBIs. However, he was very mean to the media, so he will probably never make the Hall of Fame. He still was a great power hitter.