Saturday, April 27, 2013

An Interview with Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins 4/27/13

Hey baseball fans!

I have another interview for you today! It is with Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins! If you'd like to first learn some more about the only Canadian in the Hall of Fame, just click here for a prior blog post that I did about him. So, let's get to the interview.

Matt: If you could go back in time to any point in baseball history, which players would you like to face?
Fergie: Two guys in particular – Stan Musial and Ted Williams. I wish I’d had a chance to face them. They were both left-handed, .300 hitters with great power. They would have presented a great challenge to me as a pitcher.

Matt: Which player was the toughest to pitch against?
Fergie: Willie McCovey was the most dangerous hitter I ever faced. He could turn on a pitch really quickly and make you look bad. The other really tough guy to face was Pete Rose. The guy got more than 4,000 hits and he made a lot of pitchers’ lives pretty difficult. Pete had a knack for working the count and finding holes in the field.

Matt: What sports did you play as a kid? What sports did you watch as a kid?
Fergie: Growing up in Canada, I liked watching and playing hockey. My first love was the Montreal Canadians – I wanted to be a defenseman. I also played a lot of baseball – my dad played semi-pro and he was pretty good – and, since I was a pretty good athlete too, I ran track and field.

Matt: Why did you start getting into baseball, considering you grew up in Canada with no Expos or Blue Jays?
Fergie: Well, like I said, my dad played semi-pro in Chatham. He was a good player and taught me a lot about the game of baseball and its history. As I got into high school, I was playing more and more, and then Gene Dziadura and Tony Lucadello found me and got me signed to my first pro contract.

Matt: Can you tell me a little bit about your foundation? Also, why did you recently start a museum?
Fergie: I started my Foundation in 1999 with the intention of giving back to charities in Canada and the United States. Baseball afforded me a lot of opportunities and I feel blessed. Starting a charitable foundation is my way of saying thanks and trying to help out people who are less fortunate, especially youths. The new museum is happening as a result of everything that I’ve collected over my life – both during my career and after I stopped playing. I’ve kept a lot of things: uniforms, autographs, memorabilia, as well as some more personal items – and this museum will give the public a chance to view and experience some of these great moments in my life.

Matt: Have you ever considered taking a coaching job with the only team in your native Canada, the Blue Jays?
Fergie: At the end of my career, there was talk about the Blue Jays considering picking me up or trading for me, but that was as a player – some people thought I could come in and help their young pitching staff; plus, I was Canadian, so that seemed like a fit. Unfortunately it didn’t happen though. They haven’t reached out to me for any coaching positions, but I’m happy to do what I do now: playing golf, hunting, fishing and doing charity work.

Matt: You are the only Canadian in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Do you expect that number to increase in the future? If so, who do you think will get voted in in the future?
Fergie: The Hall of Fame is difficult to get into. It’s a very exclusive group and one that I’m proud to be a part of. Larry Walker had a great career and it’s nice that he got to spend time playing in Canada too. You’re talking about a guy who won three batting titles and an MVP. It’s really too bad that his career got cut short by injuries, because in his prime, there was no one better. He’ll get some Hall of Fame votes and it’ll be a close call. The other guy who has a chance to get in is Joey Votto. He’s young, already won an MVP and he’s a great left-handed hitter. If he continues to develop and has a long and productive career, he’ll get some Hall of Fame attention, for sure.

Matt: For your 68th birthday, Canada honored you with a postage stamp. That’s pretty cool. Were you involved in the design?
Fergie: Yes, I was. I helped develop the concept of the book of stamps looking like a baseball ticket, with some of my important stats, and then the stamp is meant to depict me not only as a ballplayer, but also as a proud Canadian and humanitarian.

Matt: The Cubs retired your jersey number 31 in honor of you and Greg Maddux. Did you ever give Greg advice during his career?
Fergie: Unfortunately, I never really got to talk pitching with Greg while he was still playing, but there’s no doubt, he was an incredible pitcher and it’s nice to be mentioned alongside a great player like him.

Matt: I read that you improved your pitching skills by throwing pieces of coal. Do you recommend that for pitchers today?
Fergie: Throwing coal between the rail cars was just a way for me to work on developing my stamina and accuracy. That’s what I would tell young pitchers today – work on throwing strikes, being a good athlete and working with what you’ve got. There are all kinds of different throwing programs out there and, to be honest, I never really got into weightlifting either. I was more interested in developing my stamina, flexibility, endurance and control.

Matt: You were a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team from 1967 to 1969. What was your best shot?
Fergie: I was a jump-shooter. The other guys like Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal ran the fast breaks, but I was more of a jump shooter, which goes back to my basketball playing days in high school. Also, the guys involved me in some baseball-related skits on the floor – all as part of the tricks and entertainment we did – which was pretty fun and successful, too.

Well, that's the interview. I hope you really enjoyed it and thanks for reading it. Thanks to Mike Treadgold and Jillian at the Foundation for helping to set it up, and a special shout-out to Fergie Jenkins for agreeing to do it and for giving such great answers. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My First Podcast Ever 4/25/13

Hey baseball fans!

Yesterday, I recorded my first ever podcast for my friends at thanks to the help of head Seamhead, Mike Lynch.  Anyway, for my inaugural podcast, I spoke about who I think are the greatest hitters ever in baseball history. It was a lot of fun. If you want to hear what I had to say, just go to and go down about a quarter of the page on the right column under where it says Baseball with Matt. Then click on the MP3 player and listen away. Hope you like what I had to say.

Thanks for reading (and listening) and check back again real soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

NJBM Kids' Hot Korner: Phil Niekro 4/25/13

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 Phil Niekro, the Hall of Fame pitcher with the famous knuckleball pitch. If you want to read more about Phil, just click here.

Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Kid in the HOF? 4/21/13

Hey baseball fans!

I realize I haven't blogged about actual baseball history in about a week and I apologize for that. Today, I will be blogging about one of my favorite catchers of all time. Yes, I am a Yankee fan, but I'm not talking about Yogi Berra or Bill Dickey. I'm also not talking about Mike Piazza, who should be in the Hall of Fame. I'm also not talking about Carlton Fisk or Johnny Bench, but I do like them both a lot. I am talking about the catcher who started the rally in the bottom of the tenth of Game Five of the 1986 World Series, the rally that included Buckner's Blunder. This catcher is a Hall of Famer and is probably the most prominent Expos Hall of Famer of all time (well, maybe someone else, but I'll save that for my next post). Ladies and gentleman: Gary Carter!

One of the most exciting and enthusiastic on-field generals in baseball history, Gary "The Kid" Carter excelled at playing the position of catcher both offensively and defensively. An 11-time All Star who played from 1974-1992 with mainly the Expos and Mets, Carter hit 324 home runs and drove in 1,225 runs in his heralded career. The three-time Gold Glove Award winner is considered one of the greatest clutch hitters of all time and eared the All Star Game MVP Award twice. As I mentioned before, his clutch tenth-inning single in Game Six of the 1986 World Series started a legendary Mets comeback, leading them to a Game Six and a World Series win in seven games over the Red Sox. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in his sixth year of eligibility, making him the 14th catcher to be inducted into Cooperstown.

Sadly, Carter died on February 16th, 2012 due to brain cancer at the age of 57, but his enthusiastic behavior and helping hand that helped his teams to victory will never be forgotten in the hearts of baseball fans.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and thanks for reading it. More posts will be coming soon, so check back in a couple of days (but stalk Baseball with Matt like a hawk) for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, April 19, 2013

42 Fun Facts About Jackie Robinson - a free Amazon Kindle book! 4/19/13

Hey baseball fans,

I was recently approached by the Sabra sisters, three girls who are all younger than me and run the Kid Bloggers Club, the biggest site for kid bloggers on the Internet. Anyway, they were writing a biography for kids about Jackie Robinson and they asked me to write the foreword to it, since they know all about my baseball history blog. Well, the book (including my foreword) is now out and it's really cool. It's even made it to the top of some of the Amazon bestseller lists!! If you have an Amazon Kindle, you can download it for FREE by clicking here.

Hope that you can check it out and I really hope that you like it.

And come back again real soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, April 15, 2013

ML"what would"B: What if Bo Jackson Had Stuck with Just Baseball? 4/15/13

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 wondered what would have happened if Bo Jackson had stuck with only baseball. 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".

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hitters Fail the Quiz 4/13/13

Hey baseball fans!

Sorry I haven't posted in about five days. Anyway, I have a one question "quiz" for you. Who has the best mustache in Royals relief history, other than Al Hrabosky? The answer is, of course, Dan Quisenberry!

Quisenberry played for the Royals, Cardinals, and Giants from 1979-1990. As a reliever, he was feared throughout the majors because of his scary submarine delivery, which saved him 244 games in his career. Along with being 33rd on the all-time saves list, "Q" also has a lifetime 2.76 ERA. That's better than Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage!

He played with the Royals from 1979-1988 and his great pitching made KC a powerhouse in the AL for most of his stay in Kauffman Stadium. Actually, he even won a World Series ring, which he got in 1985 with the Royals, as he went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 4.1 innings pitched against the Cardinals in seven games.

Ultimately, if he had played another five or six years, I think he would definitely be in the Hall of Fame. Sadly, he is not currently in the Hall, but he is still remembered fondly by Royals fans as a great pitcher during a time when baseball was great in Missouri.

Unfortunately, Dan died in 1998 at the age of 45 due to brain cancer, but he is still part of the MLB community in our hearts.

Well, that's Quiz for you. I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Kid From Santa Barbara 4/8/13

Hey baseball fans!

I’m sure you know who has the most career home runs (Barry Bonds with 762), who has the most career wins (Cy Young with 511), and who has the longest consecutive hitting streak in baseball history (Joe DiMaggio with 56). However, do you know who holds the record for most games played in as a pitcher in baseball history? I’m sure Mets fans of the 1980s know but, in case you don’t, let me tell you some things about Jesse Orosco.

Orosco, like I said before, has played in the most games as a pitcher in baseball history, totaling a whopping 1,252 games appeared in, from 1979-2003 with the Mets, Dodgers, Indians, Brewers, Orioles, Twins, Cardinals, Padres, and Yankees (funny, he played the same years as Rickey Henderson). Orosco is probably most famous for winning three games of the 1986 NLCS for the Mets to send them to the World Series. In that Series, Orosco finished off the Sox in the ninth of Game Seven to secure the second World Series win in team history. Other than those moments, his career is pretty average: a two-time All Star, 144 career saves, an ERA of 3.16 and a WHIP of 1.263. However, he is deeply loved by Mets fans, who received an elite reliever for most of the ‘80s.

All in all, Jesse is not in the Hall of Fame, but I don’t think anyone will come close to his record of most appearances as a pitcher in baseball history. He was a great closer and should be respected for his work on the mound.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, April 5, 2013

NJBM Kids' Hot Korner: Mordecai Brown 4/5/13

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 Mordecai Brown, the Hall of Fame pitcher with only three fingers on his pitching hand. If you want to read more about this, just click here.

Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Baseball with Matt Year in Review 4/2/13

Hey baseball fans!

Happy blog-iversary! Yup, that's right, folks; today is the one year anniversary of Baseball with Matt. I just want to thank all of my viewers, without whom I would have never gotten to this point.

Anyway, in honor of this special day, I am going to give you all a year in review of my blog. Hope you enjoy.

On 4/2/12, I posted my first post about the Dead Ball Era and how Babe Ruth changed the game of baseball. It was very meaningful because it was my first actual post. The next post that I really liked was the one on Harvey Haddix, the guy who lost a perfect game after 12 innings. On May 6th, I posted my Dream Team, which was very fun to write because a lot of people didn't exactly agree with my choices. June and July were dominated by the Nickname Survey, in which the ultimate winner was the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth (click here to see the post in which the winner was announced). Then again, maybe Babe is a nickname of its own. Anyway, the next post that really sticks out is my first ever interview with a former player -- it was with Red Sox All Star Fred Lynn. It was really fun writing and I really wanted to continue doing interviews. In fact, here's a list of all the interviews that I've done on the blog this past year:

A fun post that I wrote was the one about baseball injuries. That was really interesting to research about. I also wrote about baseball's weirdest superstitions, something I think we all enjoyed. Five days later, on October 15th, I wrote about who I think would be on Baseball's Mount Rushmore, a very controversial post, which made it so fun to write about. On February 3rd, I posted my top five World Series ever. I just love doing these countdown posts because I get to speak my opinion. February was also really great because I was on TV twice (first on the Fox 5 News and then on the greatest network ever, the MLB Network (on the MLB Hot Stove show with Greg Amsinger and Harold Reynolds)).

All in all, it's been a really great year and I can't wait for another year of baseball history. It's going to be a fun year and I hope you are all ready for it. So, thanks for reading this blog, hope you enjoyed it, and check back soon for another edition of "all the buzz on what wuzz."