Sunday, May 31, 2015

An Interview with Softball Legend, Jennie Finch! 5/31/15

Hey baseball fans!

Who's ready for the first ever Baseball with Matt interview with a former softball player? I hope you are, because today I have an interview with Jennie Finch, the best softball player ever according to many people! But in case you aren't familiar with Finch's credentials, here's a quick biography on the Olympian.

Finch started playing softball at a young age and hasn't given up the drive since. She played the sport at  La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California and was the captain of the team in her senior season. Finch then went to play ball at the University of Arizona. As a sophomore and junior, she was named an All-American and totaled 119 wins and just 16 losses in her entire pitching college career! Did I mention that her college ERA was 1.08 and her WHIP was a minuscule 0.84?? She also led Arizona to a Women's College World Series championship in 2001.

After college, Finch went on to play with the Nation Pro Fastpitch's Chicago Bandits. She had a great career in Chicago from 2005-2010, posting a career record was 36-8 with a 1.08 ERA! She also helped the Bandits win the 2008 NPF championship.

Most importantly, Finch also participated in two Olympic Games on the Women's Softball team, winning the gold medal in 2004 and the silver  medal in 2008. She didn't allow a single earned run during her Olympic career! in fact, her overall U.S. national team record was 36-2, with 19 shutouts,  397 strikeouts in 239 innings pitched,  a 0.42 ERA and a 0.44 WHIP!! How insane is that?!

By the way, as you will hear in the interview, Jennie has also written a bestselling, very inspirational book called Throw Like a Girl: How to Dream Big & Believe in Yourself.  The book is a bestseller on many lists and I expect it to be so for a long time, so check it out.

So now that you know a little bit about Jennie Finch, click here to listen to the interview. Thanks so much for listening to it and I hope you enjoyed it. And special thanks to Jennie for the interview and for Erin Kane's help in arranging it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Hall of Fame Classic Interview with Tom Glavine 5/28/15

Hey baseball fans!

It's time for another Hall of Fame Classic interview!! This one is with one of my favorite baseball pitchers ever and this specific pitcher was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014: Tom Glavine! Click here if you want to learn a little bit more about Glavine and click here to watch the interview.

Thanks so much for watching the video and I hope you enjoyed it. More Hall of Fame Classic interviews are coming shortly, so check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

By the way, if you want to read about other Hall of Famers or just learn more about baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers - An Introduction to Baseball History.  All of my proceeds go to the following four charitable foundations: the Hall of Fame, ALS, Turn 2 and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. My book was even written up recently in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as one of four new baseball books for younger readers, and it was "very highly recommended for baseball enthusiasts of all ages" in The Sports Shelf of the Midwest Book Review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Hall of Fame Classic Interview with Robin Yount!! 5/25/15

Hey baseball fans!

The Hall of Fame Classic has finished and I have so many interviews for you (nine in total)! They will all be posted on YouTube in the next several days. Today's interview is with a Hall of Famer, the first of four HOF interviews I have. This specific inductee played his entire career with the Milwaukee Brewers and totaled over 3,000 career hits: Robin Yount! If you want to learn more about Yount, click here. Most importantly, click here to see the interview.

Hope you enjoy my Hall of Fame Classic interview with Robin Yount. Thanks for watching it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

And if you want to learn more about baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers - An Introduction to Baseball History.  All of my proceeds go to the following four charitable foundations: the Hall of Fame, ALS, Turn 2 and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Hall of Fame Classic Interview with Alan Trammell !!! 5/23/15

Hey baseball fans!

I am currently in Cooperstown for the 2015 Hall of Fame Classic! In case you don't know, the Classic is a baseball game held annually at the Hall on Memorial Day weekend that features former players playing against each other, including All Stars and Hall of Famers. I received press credentials for the event, so I got to interview some of the players participating in the weekend's festivities. The first interview that I will show you is an interview with Alan Trammell, my birthday buddy!! If you want to learn more about Trammell, click here, and make sure to click here to watch the interview.

Thanks so much for watching my interview with Alan Trammell and I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more HoF Classic interviews and make sure to check back here soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Teen Kids News -- Baseball Facts with Matt 5/15/15

Hey baseball fans!

As some of you may know, I've been doing a baseball segment for Teen Kids News, a Fox 5 tv show that airs on Saturday mornings at 9:30am in NJ, and at other times around the country.

My segment is called Baseball Facts with Matt.  So far, I've done twelve segments, each lasting around 30 - 45 seconds long.  The segments cover some of the more interesting facts in baseball history, including the Curse of the Bambino, the seventh inning stretch, the All Star Game, Yogi Berra, Ty Cobb and much more. If you want to watch any of these segments, just click here for the entire selection.

I hope you enjoyed this. If you did, guess what? I'm going to be recording more segments soon!! Thanks for watching and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Perfect Mother's Day 5/10/15

Hey baseball fans!

Happy Mother's Day! In honor of this special day, I'm going to talk about a very special perfect game that was pitched on, you guessed it, Mother's Day!

Dallas Braden's mom, Jodie Atwood, never watched her son play in the MLB, but after she passed away from cancer during Braden's senior year of high school, Braden lived with his maternal grandmother. His grandma was basically his mom, and a loving one at that, which is why Dallas's pitching performance on May 9, 2010, a start where his grandmother was in attendance, was so special. Mother's Day 2010 happened to fall on May 9, a day when Braden was scheduled to start for the Oakland Athletics at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. The opposing pitcher was All Star pitcher, James Shields, and the Rays lineup featured All Stars like Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. Those Rays would go on to win the AL East division in 2010, but lose in the playoffs to the Texas Rangers. The A's would finish the 2010 season at an even 81-81.

Dallas pitched excellently the entire game. He struck out six Rays and after 109 pitches, threw a complete game shutout. Oh, did I forget to mention that he also didn't allow anyone to reach base? Yeah, that's right; Dallas Braden threw a perfect game on Mother's Day with his grandmother in attendance! The perfecto was the 19th in baseball history and the second one in history thrown by an Athletic (the first A's perfect game belongs to Catfish Hunter). The A's won the game by a final score of 4-0 on the back of Braden's pitching and four RBI singles.

Braden would only pitch one more year in the MLB and retired in 2011 with a career record of 26-36. Sure, he didn't have the best career, but Mother's Day 2010 couldn't have been better for him. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz." And if you'd  like to read about the other perfect games in MLB history, check out the Pitch Perfect chapter in my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The 1973 MLB Draft Class 5/7/15

Hey baseball fans!

The NFL Draft was about a week ago, so in honor of that I'm going to talk about one of the best MLB draft classes of all time: the 1973 MLB draft class. The 1973 MLB Draft was only highlighted by a few players, but those players ended up being very great, some of them even Hall of Famers.

Robin Yount
The first notable ballplayer drafted in '73 was a shortstop named Robin Yount, who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the third overall pick in the draft. No one knew it at the time, but Yount would become one of the best hitters of his generation, batting .285 lifetime and amassing over 3,000 hits. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Dave Winfield
Just one pick after the Kid, fourth overall, the San Diego Padres took outfielder Dave Winfield, who was playing for the University of Minnesota. Dave was actually a three-sport star, having also been drafted in the NBA and NFL by the Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Vikings, respectively. However, Winny elected to play baseball and boy did he make the right decision. After not spending a day in the minors, Dave had an amazing MLB career for the Pads, Yankees, Blue Jays, Angels, Indians, and Twins. Like Yount, the 12-time All Star amassed over 3,000 hits and batted .283 for his Hall of Fame career.

Lee Mazzilli and Steve Swisher
Although not Hall of Famers, both are prominent figures in the MLB. Mazzilli was a fan favorite with the New York Mets and was an important contributor to their 1986 World Series win. Steve Swisher, after being drafted 21st overall by the White Sox, made the All Star Game in 1976 with the Chicago Cubs and is the father of current MLB star and All Star, Nick Swisher.

Fred Lynn
Fred Lynn was drafted in the second round of the 1973 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox and became the first rookie to win the MVP Award in 1975. Lynn made nine straight All Star Games to start his career and on the 50th anniversary of the All Star Game, 1983, Lynn hit the first and only All Star Game grand slam.

Eddie Murray
The last MLB star taken in the '73 Draft was Eddie Murray, who was drafted by the Orioles in the third round. Steady Eddie, even though he is super underrated, was probably the best player taken in this draft. With mainly the Orioles in a 21-year career, the eight-time All Star batted .287, collected 3,255 hits and 504 home runs, and drove in 1,917 runs. Those are monster stats for someone who was drafted in the third round of any draft of any sport. Obviously, Murray was inducted into Cooperstown in 2003.

Is this the best draft class ever? Are there ones that are better? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Jackie Robinson of the American League 5/2/15

Hey baseball fans!

Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, but he broke the barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, a National League team. So who was the first African American on an AL team? Well, this Hall of Famer played for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues, missed time due to World War II, and then made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1947: Larry Doby!

Larry Doby got his baseball career started in 1942 with the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues. His career stats aren't known for certain, but he definitely batted over .300, even though he missed two years of ball due to military service. Doby was a feared hitter across the Negro Leagues and helped his Eagles win the 1946 Negro World Series. Because of Doby's success, the MLB's Cleveland Indians took notice of him and Indians owner, Bill Veeck, had wanted to integrate baseball for quite some time. After Dodgers co-owner Branch Rickey bough Jackie Robinson's contract at the beginning of the 1947 season, Veeck saw the opportunity to do the same with Doby and on the fifth of July of that same year, Larry Doby made his debut for the Cleveland Indians.

Lawrence Eugene Doby played in the MLB from 1947-1959 with the Indians, White Sox, and Tigers. In his 13-year Major League career, the first American League African American put up solid numbers: 1,515 hits, a .283 batting average, 970 RBIs, and 253 home runs. The seven-time All Star (all of his ASG appearances were consecutive, from 1949-1955) also had great stats in the postseason. His performance in the 1948 Fall Classic against the Braves was very respectable; his seven hits, homer, and two runs batted in helped the Indians win their second World Series and first since 1920. Doby had some great seasons that were MVP-worthy, but his best season came in 1954, when he led the league in home runs (32) and RBIs (126)! Not even Jackie Robinson did that!

Doby was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 via the Veteran's Committee and rightfully so. He made the African American community proud by being one of the best players of his generation. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."