Friday, June 28, 2013

Call to the Pen: The Great Lefty Gomez 6/28/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up my latest post for Fan Sided's Call to the Pen. This one is about one of the best Yankee pitchers ever, Lefty Gomez. If you want to read more about this, just click here.

I hope you enjoy the post and thanks for reading it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Baseball with Matt - Early Summer Update 6/24/13

Hey baseball fans!

I have some news to tell you about my blog posts coming out over the next four weeks. So, as you know, it's currently summer, which means that it's time for many kids to go to camp. Well, I am actually leaving for sleepaway camp tomorrow. It's called Cedar Lake Camp in Milford, Pennsylvania and I will be gone for about four weeks. Anyway, I'm not allowed any Internet connection, which means that I will not be able to write any new posts. However, I have already written a bunch of posts and my dad will be putting them up for me on Baseball with Matt every four days or so while I am away. After I get home from camp, posts will be going up on a more regular basis. The posts going up will include the actual video interviews with various players that I met at the Hall of Fame Classic, and links to some new posts that I have recently done for Call to the Pen and NJ Baseball Magazine.

Anyway, considering that each of my posts should have baseball history content, I would like to say an early happy birthday to Hall of Fame Negro Leaguer Willard Brown, who would be turning 98 on June 26th. Sadly, he died in 1996 at the age of 81. Brown's nickname was "Home Run" Brown because of the tremendous power he displayed. Interestingly, Josh Gibson, considered to be the greatest home run hitter in Negro Leagues history, gave Brown his nickname.

Well, I hope you all have a great July, and keep checking back for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, June 21, 2013

American Jews & America's Game: Book Review and Interview 6/21/13

Hey baseball fans!

A while back, my friend Marty Appel, the renowned author of my favorite New York Yankees book, Pinstripe Empire, asked me to read a book called American Jews & America's Game by Larry Ruttman and to review it. So first, here is my review of the book and then continue reading for the interview I conducted with Ruttman.

The book American Jews & America's Game by Larry Ruttman is a book of over 500 pages filled with biographies and interviews of Jews in baseball since the time of Hank Greenberg. The book is not just with players, however. It also includes former owners, general managers, and even some other Jewish authors. Each interview is jam packed with great information that was not only inspirational at times, but also very interesting to read. Ruttman conducted all the interviews himself, traveling across the states and to as far away as Israel. Overall, I think the book is really excellent!! You will learn so much and Larry has a great writing style. I would highly suggest buying it, for anyone who is interested. Well, that's the book review. Now it's on to the interview with Larry Ruttman. However, before that, let me tell you a little bit about him first.

Larry grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts as a very big Red Sox fan. His first book, which he wrote at the age of 74, Voices of Brookline, was a national finalist for the 2005 American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit. The Korean War veteran and lawyer for over fifty years has been writing books since he was 72 and is currently 82 years old. Well, now it's on to the interview.

Matt: Why did you decide to write this book?
Larry: I've always been a fan of baseball. I thought that it was a good topic to pursue and that it was very important for people to know how the Jews in baseball got to where they are today.

Matt: Have you always been interested in writing about baseball?
Larry: Not really. I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I was about 72, but because I love baseball so much, writing about it almost seemed natural.

Matt: Who is your favorite person in the book?
Larry: I think it would have to be Marvin Miller. He is the sole reason why baseball has free agency. He was also a wonderful guy to talk to, considering we didn't stop talking for three hours. We actually got to be good friends until he passed away. However, everyone was very nice and I'm glad I got the chance to talk to them.

Matt: Who is your favorite baseball player in history?
Larry: Probably Ted Williams. He was active during the important years of my life and I would go see him a lot, because I lived right near Fenway Park. I never saw a player hit like him. His swing was so smooth and put so much power on the ball. Also, not only was he a good player, but he was also a great guy.

Well, that's the interview. Shout out to Marty Appel for setting me up with this interview. Anyway, thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Guest Appearance on Win the Web 6/18/13

Hey baseball fans!

I was just on a podcast on Win the Web. Basically, Win the Web is an Internet marketing podcast with a lot of guest stars who use the Internet as a part of their business. So, they called me on to talk about my social media strategy and also to talk about baseball. If you want to hear it, just click here (I come on at 22:37 of the podcast).

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

Friday, June 14, 2013

ML"what would"B: What if the Dodgers Never Moved? 6/14/13

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 wrote what would have happened if the Dodgers had never moved from Brooklyn to LA. If you want to know the answer, just click here.

Hope you enjoy the post and thanks for reading it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Favorite Hall of Fame Duos 6/10/13

Hey baseball fans!

I'm sure you all know the dynamic duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. If you don't, let me just tell you that they are a great Hall of Fame duo. Do you think they made my list of my top favorite Hall of Fame duos in baseball history? Read on and find out.

Number Five: Paul Molitor and Robin Yount
Why? Besides playing together on the Brewers from 1978-1992, these two Hall of Famers are the only two to be teammates and get at least 3,000 hits in their career (except for another pair of HoFers on this list). Also, they helped my favorite NL team win the AL pennant in 1982. (Note: the Brewers switched to the NL in '98.)

Number Four: Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr.
Why? The other Hall of Fame pair in which each person hit over 3,000 hits, Cal and Eddie played together on the Orioles from 1977-1988 and 1996 and helped the O's win the 1983 World Series. Overall, with Ripken owning the record for most consecutive games played in and Murray being one of the only players ever with 3,000+ hits and 500+ homers, the two were a force to be reckoned with for over a decade of pain for AL pitchers not in Baltimore.

Number Three: Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew
Why? A literal "Twin Killing" from 1967-1974, the powerful Killebrew and the contact hitter Carew terrorized pitching wherever they played. Their two different styles resulted in many Twins runs, as Carew (with 3,000+ hits) would get on base often, which provided Killebrew the ability of knocking him in on an RBI double or a homer (Killebrew hit 500+ homers in his career). Here's a fun fact about these two: they are the only AL Hall of Fame teammates to have their last names rhyme.

Number Two: Willie Mays and Willie McCovey
Why? The Say Hey Kid and Stretch were basically the best power hitters of their generation. From 1959-1972, these two San Fran teammates were one of the best duos in baseball. There is a simple science to how these two batted: most of the time, Mays would get on base (3,000+ hits in his career) and McCovey would hit a homer (500+ homers in his career), or Mays would just crack a homer of his own (600+ homers in his career). Either way, these two Hall of Famers make up one of the best power-hitting duos in baseball history.

Number One: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
Why? They are simply the greatest. From 1923-1934 in the Bronx, they completely roughed up pitching everywhere. They both batted over .340 in their careers and led their team to four Fall Classic victories. I think this story best sums up the best one-two punch in baseball history. In Game Three of the 1932 World Series against the Cubs, Ruth hit a homer at Wrigley Field that he supposedly predicted, commonly referred to as "the Called Shot". What most people don't know is that Gehrig hit a homer in the next at-bat, meaning back-to-back homers in the World Series! Personally, I think that is pretty cool, because those two homers were hit by two of the best players in baseball history.

Well, that's my list. I know it may be controversial, but it's my top favorite duos, not a list of the top five HoF duos who I think are the best. If you don't agree with the list, send me a comment. Anyway, thanks for reading this post and I hoped you enjoyed it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Call to the Pen: My All Time Foreign Dream Team 6/6/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up my latest post for Fan Sided's Call to the Pen. This one is a position by position analysis of who I think are the greatest MLB players ever who weren't born in the United States. If you want to read more about this, just click here.

I hope you enjoy the post and thanks for reading it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, June 3, 2013

NJBM Kids' Hot Korner: “Mr. What’s a Strikeout?” 6/3/13

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up my latest post in the Kids' Hot Korner section of New Jersey Baseball Magazine. This one is about Joe Sewell, the Hall of Famer who hardly ever struck out. If you want to read more about Joe, just click here

I hope you enjoy that article and thanks for reading it. Check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

An Interview with Phil Niekro 6/1/13

Hey baseball fans!

As you may know, I just went to the Hall of Fame Classic and got to interview some of the greatest players and managers in baseball history. One of the pitchers I briefly interviewed was Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. Because the interview was not filmed (just like the ones with Cito Gaston and Bobby Cox), I will tell you his answers to the two questions that I asked him with a short bio about the great pitcher.

During a 24-year career from 1964-1987 with the Braves (Milwaukee and Atlanta), Yankees, Indians, and Blue Jays, Niekro's career record was 318-274. That winning percentage was significantly better than the teams he played with, which would explain his 274 losses with an ERA of just 3.35. Niekro's nickname, Knucksie, was given to him because of his baffling knuckleball, which helped him collect 3,342 career strikeouts. Niekro said that he learned how to throw a knuckleball from his father when Phil attended Bridgeport High School in Ohio. The five-time All-Star recorded one no-hitter in his career, when he no-hit the Padres on August 5, 1973 with the Braves. He later managed the all-women Colorado Silver Bullets baseball team. Many people had no idea how Niekro was still able to pitch in the Bigs until he was 48 years old, but when I asked him how he managed to keep the tank rolling for so long, he simply said that he was lucky. He never had any major arm injuries during his career, which made his right arm have the ability to endure 24 years of pitching on the mound. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Well, I hope you liked this style of interview. Thanks for reading it and I hope you enjoyed it. Also, if you want to read another post about Niekro that I posted on the New Jersey Baseball Magazine, click here. Anyway, check back in a couple of days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."