Sunday, November 30, 2003

Southern New England SABR Meeting 

I went to the regional www.sabr.org meeting yesterday. David Pinto has a good writeup of the event at Baseball Musings. In addition to scarfing up some media guides, I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Thompson, the world's foremost authority on Wes Ferrell. I enjoyed the event and may write more about it later this week.

Black Bears won't be back 

A report from the Berkshire Eagle last week about the Black Bears. "Fleisig once again denied that he was leaving Pittsfield to move the Black Bears to New Haven, despite published reports in the New Haven Register to the contrary."

Hamming It Down in Japan 

The Nippon-Ham Fighters are on the move from Tokyo to Sapporo and are revamping their entire image. This piece is an interesting look at sports logos. I wish that the people that run the Montgomery Biscuits had read this article.

Doubleday boosters remembers war exploits, not baseball 

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- Bars, highways and, yes, baseball fields here and in Cooperstown get named for Abner Doubleday, and it's because of something he didn't do.

The village native almost certainly didn't invent baseball. But he certainly fired a cannon ball or two as a career Army artillery officer who rose to a division commander for the Union during the Civil War...

Unfortunately, the Abner Doubleday Society is disbanding. I've been reading Baseball Fever: Early Baseball in Michigan and the author, Peter Morris, has an interesting take on the Doubleday Myth. He contends that it was another Abner Doubleday, younger than than the general, who introduced baseball to the Cooperstown area. This may have led a young and impressionable Abner Graves to believe that this other Doubleday invented the game.

Abner must have been a popular name in those days. The only Abners of recent times that I can think of are Abner Louima and Abner Kravitz.

Amherst crushes Williams, in baseball and chess ... in 1859, Newspaper from historic event to be auctioned 

Anyone have a spare $6,000?

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Two of the Three Rs 

Reading and 'Riting:

I've been doing a little of both lately. First off, another one of my reviews was posted at Baseball Primer today. That's how I like to contribute. I'm not as good at 'rithmetic as some of their other authors. One of these days, I'd like to write something that's booklength. So I try to read the writings of others and hopefully glean what works and what doesn't.

One of the topics that I've been reading about lately is the 1975 World Series. 1975 was my introduction to baseball and there were two books that came out about that series and season this year. "The Long Ball" by Tom Adelman and "The Boys of October" by Doug Hornig were both released this spring and were reviewed in the New York Times (registration required.) The NYT even excerpted the first chapter of "The Long Ball." So far, I prefer "The Boys of October." "The Long Ball" just seems too lyrical at the expense of accuracy and a good narrative. Hornig's book was interesting in that it was partly based on watching tapes of the World Series. He gives an almost play-by-play description of all seven games. Also, like "The Boys of Summer," "The Boys of October" catches up with some of the 1975 Bosox many years after their salad days in the big leagues.

Hopefully, I plan to write an article about the two books in the near future. I've read a couple of other baseball books recently and I'll tell you about them when I get a chance. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Democracy in Action 

Team Releases 5 Finalists For Baseball Name

It looks like the New Hampshire Primaries is back in the running. Why don't they just call them the Blue Jays or use some name with historical significance to Manchester baseball? Here's a partial list of names used when Manchester was in the New England League:

Manchester Amskoegs, 1891
Manchester Blue Sox, 1926-1930
Manchester Colts, 1905
Manchester Farmers, 1887
Manchester Giants, 1946-1947
Manchester Indians, 1934
Manchester Maroons, 1888
Manchester Manchesters, 1899
Manchester Reds, 1893
Manchester Textiles, 1906, 1914, 1915
Manchester Yankees, 1948-1949

Personally, I like the Amskoegs. But I forget if that is a politically correct or incorrect choice.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Nobody Will Ever Play Baseball 

"Nobody Will Ever Play Baseball" is an old Bob Newhart routine. I was reading Diamond : Baseball Writings of Mark Harris last night and he mentioned the routine. I was able to find it at Plum Crazy, a blog by a beautiful Yankees fan who seems to be infatuated by Tino Martinez

This blog also includes a link to the Grady Little e-bay auction. Enjoy.

Elm City baseball deal moves into 9th inning  

An update on the Pittsfield-New Haven situation.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

"Darkness In The Middle Of Afternoon" 

I don't normally care for Jeff Jacobs's work, but I enjoyed today's column about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It mentions where Hartford sports heroes Lindy Remigino and Willie Pep where when they heard about the assassination. Sadly, Willie doesn't remember.

Incidentally, the column mentions Ted Kennedy's exploits on the football gridiron. I never thought of Ted as a football player, but he was apparently highly regarded. Could you imagine Ted being coached by Vince Lombardi? Or teaming up with Paul Hornung? The alternative historian in me salivates at the thought.

Billings Gazette: Helena woman's brief trip in pro baseball leads to Hall of Fame  

Story here

Donna Roberts was in "a league of her own;" the A-AGPL.

Out of Africa 

"A Tema-based organisation, KPM Africa Baseball Limited, has initiated a programme to popularise baseball as an alternate game with mass following among the youth of Tema (Ghana)... "more follows

This is a follow up to another story yesterday. Ghana didn't participate in baseball during last month's All-Africa Games. South Africa won the baseball competition and will play Guam or Australia for a chance to make the 2004 Olympics in Athens. They also represented Africa in the 2000 Olympics.

Major league baseball has signed some African players in the past; including Paul Bell from South Africa, Nigerian Augustine Ozorede who died in a car crash earlier this year, and Ntema "Papy" Ndungidi of Zaire.

My spellchecker is working overtime with this entry :).

Baseball Anthropology 

George Gmelch is an anthropology professor at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Prior to his academic career, he played first base in the Detroit Tigers system. Among the books that he has published are "Inside Pitch: Life in Professional Baseball" and the e-book "In the Ballpark: The Working Lives of Baseball People". He has also written several scholarly articles on baseball. King Kaufman did a review a couple of years ago on "Inside Pitch." Does anyone have the book? It sounds interesting.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Hartford Wits 

Someone at Baseball Primer linked the home page of Rutgers professor William C. Dowling. Dowling wrote a book entitled Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut . I was unaware of my home state's place in the history of poetry. Well, I've heard of Wallace Stevens, but that's about it. Thanks, Antigonos!

What is the greatest baseball book ever written?  

That's an unanswerable question, but John Shiffert takes a stab at it in his latest edition of Baseball 19 to 21. I'm partial to The Pitch That Killed myself, but that's like my own opinion, man.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

New Haven columnist calls Black Bears deal "air tight" 

More of the continuing saga of the Berkshire Black Bears. If you go back to January, ballparkwatch.com (a valuable resource, in my opinion) describes one of the events that got this whole process rolling; the New Haven Ravens leaving Yale Field. It's too bad that the newspaper stories usually disappear after two weeks or so. I'd like to read some of these stories about these franchise moves in the minors.

Rock Cats target area for increased support  

There's a reference about my friend, author David Arcidiacono, towards the end.

Yogi Berra relives baseball history with Turley, Blyleven 

Catching the earlybird with Yogi Berra.

Nashville City Paper:Downtown baseball deal may not be a home run 

Just ask Milwaukee.

Major League Baseball hires BofA to sell notes 

It looks like Barry won't be the only Bonds in baseball. Public debt requires SEC filings. Does this mean that MLB will have to open it's books?

ESPN: Brett, 55, suffered from brain cancer 

A sad update to one of yesterday's posts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Degree awarded to ailing coach 

"Whitworth handed out an honorary bachelor of arts degree — its second-ever in the college’s 113-year history — to former Major League Baseball pitcher and former Whitworth baseball coach Ken Brett last month..." more follows

Sad news about Ken Brett

From college or pro baseball to life or death 

"Ex-Armwood star Brandon McArthur, who chose UF, now only hopes to play again after an unprovoked attack..." more follows

Good luck, Brandon!

Where are they now? 

Eric Enders posted this list of Toronto Blue Jays and what they're doing today on Baseball Primer. Inspired by this, I decided to add some original content tonight and catch you up on some random former ballplayers.

Mark McGwire is beating golfers at their own game. Take that Phil Mickelson!

John Stuper, who won Game 6 of the 1982 World Series, has been the head coach at Yale for over a decade. He follows in the footsteps of Ethan Allen and Smokey Joe Wood in this role.

Bernie Carbo's life has taken a long and twisting path since his major league days. He battled alcohol and drugs before getting religion. This year, he won the Southeastern Leagues Manager of the Year award.

From the department of superfluous letters, Dann Howitt was the player who got the last hit off of Nolan Ryan. It was a grand slam, to boot. He now works for a high-tech company and considers himself a computer geek.

Former pitcher John Curtis has been an indy league pitching coach with the Long Beach Breakers and, more recently, with the California League's High Desert Mavericks. He is also a freelance writer. Is it just me, or is it the pitchers that always seem to become writers?

Jeffrey Maier, winner of the 10th man award for the 1996 New York Yankees, plays centerfield down the road from me at Wesleyan University. Incidentally, and in keeping with my recent death and baseball theme, a teammate of Maier's may have committed suicide a couple of weeks ago.

Well, that was fun. Maybe I'll do another "Where are they now?" segment again.

Monday, November 17, 2003

In Praise of Microfilm 

Boyd Nation runs an excellent website devoted to college baseball. He has written a couple of pieces in his (mostly) weekly "Breadcrumbs" column about a passion of mine; microfilm research. The link in the title takes you to an article he did about looking through old microfilms while gathering info on old SEC baseball players. He also dug up an article about the 1929 Morris Brown baseball team. Morris Brown is a small, traditionally-black private college in Atlanta. Good stuff!

Incidentally, there is an ongoing project called Paper Of Record that is building the world's largest searchable archive of historical newspapers. So far, they have quite a few years archives of The Sporting News and are adding more. This is a boon to baseball researchers.

Basic Baseball Documents  

Don Malcolm, who used to work on the late Big Bad Baseball Annual, gives his ringing endorsement of Dean Sullivan's trilogy of baseball books: Early Innings, Middle Innings, and Late Innings. The three books tell the "documentary history" of baseball from 1825 to 1972. They use primary and secondary documents to bring us back to monumental or just plain interesting moments in the national pastimes history.

I echo Malcolm's recommendation. I own the latter two volumes and have borrowed Early Innings from the library. They are great for just picking up and reading one of the brief articles. I used an article found in Early Innings as one of the sources for The Night the Lights Went On , my article on a night game that transpired in Hartford.

SteepleCats name roster of officials 

"NORTH ADAMS--After the North Adams SteepleCats team was bought Thursday by a group of local investors, key management staff and its board of directors were announced at a press conference Monday." more follows

The SteepleCats are a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The NECBL is a wooden-bat league similar to the Cape Cod League. I have attended a couple of Manchester Silkworms games myself. It's not the best level of baseball around, but the games can be enjoyable and are inexpensive to attend. According to the article, "The SteepleCats' past two years have been very successful, drawing out more spectators than Pittsfield's Black Bears baseball team, Barrett said."

Speaking of Manchester, the 67th running of the Manchester Road Race takes place Thanksgiving morning. It is one of the premier middle-distance races run in the world and a great excuse to hang out and part in the morning.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Origin of the Name "World Series" 

I linked Doug Pappas's blog yesterday. Doug has been chairman of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee since its founding in 1994. While he mainly writes about the business of baseball, I found this article about the origin of the term World Series. Doug debunks the myth that it was named after The New York World. I wish that the piece caught my astigmatic eye a month ago, but still felt it was worth putting it up here. Correcting myths is one of the tasks of history in this writer's opinion.

The Name Game: Bids to rename Tacoma Dome are on the table 

This is an article from the Puget Sound Business Journal on the mechanics of facility naming rights. As the article shows, the corporatization of stadium and arena names is not limited to the big leagues.

In ohter minor league news, according to the Jefferson City News Tribune, the Frontier League plans on adding six games to their schedule in 2004.

NetShrine: A Celebration of Baseball 

Last week I told you about the Hall of Merit. New Jersey's Steve Lombardi has his own vision of a web-based baseball shrine. Unlike the Hall of Merit, which has a ways to go before it is completed, NetShrine is up-to-date and includes wings for " APICALS: Players who were among baseball's absolute best, SUPERNALS: Players who performed with greater excellence than that of most others, ICONS : Players who were the object of reverence during their time, and CONTRIBUTORS: Non-players who were a significant part of baseball history."

Check it out! Steve is one of the nicer guys on the web. In addition to info on great players, the site includes ruminations and interviews from Lombardi. It also has guest contributions including this one from David Arcidiacono that turned me on to 19th Century Connecticut baseball history.

Fanfare For The Uncommon Fan 

Doris from Rego Park passed away this week. For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about, she was a diehard (pardon the pun) Mets fan who was a regular caller to WFAN in New York. Bob Raissman of the Daily News wrote about her today, but I like this piece from the Greenwich Times better. It shows more about the woman behind the phone.

RIP, Doris. You deserve it.

Nashua Pride a little late with stadium rent 

Some New England minor league baseball news from the Nashua Telegraph. The baseball team still owes $55,000 in rent from a $100,000 bill that was due June 15, Johnson said. The team pays the city twice a year to play at Holman Stadium...Pride general manager Todd Marlin said Friday he has been in communication with City Hall about the bills. He said the team plans on making the upcoming payment with income from luxury suite rentals at the ballpark.

The Nashua Pride are a team in the independent Atlantic League. It remains to be seen how the Pride will compete against the new franchise up the road in Manchester, New Hampshire. There is already a team in nearby Lowell, Massachusetts, home of the Jack Kerouac bobblehead doll.

He Traded His Catchers Mitt For Two Gloves - Baseball and Boxing Part VIII 

In addition to writing about death lately, I've been writing a bunch about pugilism. Up until today (whoops! make that yesterday,) I was unaware that Rocky Marciano wanted to be a baseball player. Unfortunately his dreams were dashed when he failed a tryout with the Cubs. He only took to the ring to avoid KP duty while he was serving in the Army. I think it would have been cool if he made it to the Show with them. Pitchers would know doubt be leery of brushing back any of his teammates. It would definitely behoove one of you alternative history writers out there to write a story about Marciano in the bigs.

Baseball and Death Part XXI 

I've been writing about baseball and death lately. Perhaps it's because we are in November now and all the leaves are brown, if not fallen.

Anyways, from the pages of Chin Music, a baseball-punk rock fanzine, comes the story of Cesar Cedeno. I can't vouch for the article, but it makes Ty Cobb look like a piker compared to Cedeno. There's a cool New Britain reference in the article, too. It's always good to see the Greater Hartford area mentioned on the web.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Baseball To Return To The Elm City? 

Sometimes this blogging gets addictive, man! One more entry for tonight.

I know this blog is supposed to be about baseball history, but I figure that I can comment on current events; especially ones that fly under the radar of most of the baseball blogosphere. And, when the events are local. It appears that a Northeast League franchise may be moving to New Haven . As I said yesterday at Baseball Primer, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it's sad to see Wahconah Park being abandoned. But it's good to see another team come to Yale Field.

New Haven was home of the New Haven Ravens until Toronto relocated their Double A affiliate to Manchester, New Hampshire. (The team was going to be nicknamed the New Hampshire Primaries, but there was backlash against the proposed name.) It appears that the Berkshire Black Bears may be moving to New Haven to fill the void left by the Ravens. That's the good news.

The bad news is New Haven's gain is Pittsfield's loss. In a sense, this was all foretold by Jim Bouton in his book Foul Ball. Time does not permit me time to do this subject justice, but check out the site and/or book. I'll try to update this story in future editions of this blog. Now, I am finally done for the night!

Alex Belth interview with Ken Burns 

It's interesting how things are interconnected. Connectivity (of baseball players) was the subject of my first web article. While updating the links on the right side of this page, I added Jay Jaffe's Futility Infielder. Jay, as far as I can tell, was the first person to link my article on a blog. Bear with me, this will come full circle.

After reading an essay on Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson in The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture by Gerald Early, I was searching for him on the web. That's how I came across John Rosengren, who I posted about earlier this afternoon. I also found a blog entry by Jaffe that led me to this interview between Alex Belth and Ken Burns. Thursday's birthday boy, Buck O'Neil, was featured prominently in Burns's documentary. So everything comes full circle, in a sense.

By the by, check out Alex's site if you get a chance. You gotta like a guy who worked on The Big Lebowski (one of the greatest achievements of Western culture, IMO.) Besides, he has some excellent interviews with Pat Jordan, Jim Bouton, and Jane Leavy among others.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Opening Day, 1946 

I stumbled upon this article by John Rosengren this afternoon. He nicely places the Opening Day Senators-Red Sox contest in the context of its time. Rosengren has also written an article about Tori Hunter. There's a little Pat Boonish quality about his writings, but I think that's okay sometimes.

Better Surfin Thru Chemistry 

From the Scorebard (our generations answer to Ernest Lawrence Thayer?) comes his Periodic Table of blogs. If you ever get a chance, do visit his site. It's mainly baseball poetry, but the Random Diamond Note Generator is my favorite part.

Machinist crafting a baseball diamond in the rough  

Machinist crafting a baseball diamond in the rough

Nothing earth-shattering here. It's just a behind the scenes story about the making of a high school baseball stadium.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Former baseball player/prankster: Jay Johnstone 

A Jay Johnstone sighting. Too bad he didn't have the Brockabella.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Musings Of A Rookie Mailman 

I found this nugget today. No, it's not about Karl Malone's 1985-86 season with the Utah Jazz. It's about the experiences of Don Malcolm, who was once called "The Hunter S Thompson" of sabremetrics by one poster. This blog entry contains more information than you ever wanted to know about the inner workings of the postal system.

As Newman once said. "When you control the mail, you control ... information."

Speaking of Newman, check out this battle that he once had with Cliff Clavin in my hometown. It's a "must see webpage!"

Vintage baseball coming to Trenton 

This story comes from Trenton, Illinois, not the capital of New Jersey. If you've never seen it, vintage base ball (yes, it was two words up until the early 20th century) is pretty interesting. I've attended the annual tournament in Hartford a couple of times. If this is the sort of thing that yanks your crank (old-timey word for fan,) then check it out!

Negro Leagues Museum Honors Buck O'Neil On Birthday 

I saw this story tonight while Googling. The Kansas City Star also has a story, but it requires registration. From the first paragraph: In a special effort to honor baseball legend Buck O'Neil, the Kansas City's Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is offering a special on membership.

For those of you who don't know, O'Neil was featured prominently in Baseball by Ken Burns.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Will O' The Wisp 

Writing about "Wildcat" Kim got me thinking about the Sweet Science last night. Here's a slideshow of Hartford's own Willie Pep. Here's another pic of the world's greatest featherweight that I like. More on Pep will follow in future editions of this blog. Yeah, it's not baseball, but it's a slice of sports history from days gone by.

The Hall Of Merit 

From what I understand the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York is a wonderful place. (I've never been there myself, although I do intend to go after the current renovation is complete.)

However, some fans, especially since sabremetrics have become popular, are not always happy with who has been selected to be enshrined. Joe Dimino is one of them.

This blog entry is the first of (hopefully) a series of looks at alternative Hall of Fames. Joe, along with Robert Dudek, has created The Hall of Merit. This Hall's Statement of Purpose reads partly: The Hall of Merit is an internet group of baseball enthusiasts who will create its own Hall of Merit to rival the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Many believe that the National Baseball Hall of Fame has done a less than perfect job of selecting the game's greatest players to honor. We will attempt to rectify mistakes made by Hall of Fame selections by conducting our own series of elections.

As of this writing, the Hall of Merit is in the process of discussing their 1914 Ballot. It's an ongoing project that will take a while but definitely looks worth it.

I'll be profiling some other alterna-halls as time permits.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Wildcat Goes Down For The Count, But His Son Prevailed 

Eric Enders turned me on to this mini-biography about Wendell Kim. Kim, a "baseball lifer," is best known in New England as the former thirdbase coach for the Red Sox. He is often known as "Wave 'Em In Wendell" for his propensity to wave baserunners home with an exaggerated windmill motion. I believe he is still in organized baseball, but I forget where. (Note: Kim was the thirdbase coach for the Chicago Cubs in 2003.)

What I found interesting was that his father, Philip "Wildcat" Kim, was a prizefighter. I couldn't find much info on the web about Wildcat, other than the fact that he defeated Robert "Ripper" Takeshita twice. The elder Kim was murdered when Wendell was a young boy. Apparently it was a professional hit, and the case was unsolved. It all sounds like something out of a James Ellroy book, and might make a good book someday.

An even better book subject might be Wendell Kim himself. Kim somehow managed to overcome the odds and succeeded despite losing a his father, but it wasn't easy. I found the Eagle Tribune piece fascinating and inspirational. How come I didn't know this stuff before?

According to Kim's homepage, he is also a magician. Here's a review that someone did of Wendell's website. I also found an interview that The Diamond Angle did with Kim in 2001.

Almost Amazin', But Not Quite Like He Remembered It 

From today's Miami's Herald comes the story of Bill Graham. Although he was from the 60's, he wasn't the icon that this Bill Graham was. Instead, this righty was a pitcher for the Tigers and the Mets. It looks like he had some pretty good stats, in his brief major league career, but he left the game at the age of 30.

It appers that Graham is an intelligent man, by all accounts. However, he seems to have got the details of his career mixed up. The article mentions that he barely missed playing for the 1969 World Champion Mets, but he last played in 1967. This just goes to show that you shouldn't just rely on the recollections of old players if your doing baseball research; there are also records that can be checked. Otherwise, I did enjoy the article.

Even though his career was less than 40 years ago, it was a wholly different era in baseball. Check out the article for a trip back to those days. Just read it with a grain of NaCl.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Bottom of The Ninth For Meyer Tober 

The recent murder of Dernell Stenson brought to mind another baseball related murder that I was researching. This summer my mother told me of some sort of scandal involving the Tober baseball factory in her hometown of Rockville, Connecticut. According to her, it involved either murder or some Enronesque accounting scandal. After digging around some at local libraries, I was able to piece together some of the story.

Meyer Tober was a Russian immigrant who started a baseball manufacturing company in 1913. Originally located in Hartford, it moved its operations to Manchester and, later on, Rockville. The company also had plants in Puerto Rico and Haiti. As far as I know, they didn’t make baseballs for major or minor league teams. Spalding had that gig. Tober made baseballs and softballs for semi-pro teams and youth leagues. Meyer was a hands-on president of the company. He continued working even at age 82.

On June 16th, 1964, an employee named Carmelo Reyes shot Tober and another employee. Reyes, who had worked for the company for a number of years, was an immigrant from Puerto Rico. He was considered the boss’s pet by some of the other employees. According to newspaper accounts, he met with Tober on Monday afternoon to discuss a personal problem. What the problem was, I am not sure. He was separated from his wife and was also on probation for a breach of peace charge.

Tuesday, the next day, he came to work and shot Meyer Tober and Arlene Rose, a 21 year old inspector at the factory. Rose only received a superficial wound and was treated at the hospital and released the same day. Tober received wounds to the abdomen and chest and died two days later.

I haven’t found out much else about the incident. Reyes was arraigned for murder, but I haven’t been able to track down what happened after that. Next June will mark the 40th anniversary of the murder and I would like to find out before then. Perhaps I’ll write an article about it for a local paper. As for the baseball company, it survived for a while under the leadership of Tober’s son, Richard. It wasn’t officially dissolved until May of 1972.

Hopefully, I’ll have some updates to this sordid story soon.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Roe knows Dodgers baseball 

I'm in kind of a lazy mood this weekend. I decided to link a couple of articles pertaining to baseball history like this one on former Dodger Preacher Roe.

Baseball mementos show eerie optimism of 1920s 

From the Richmond Times Dispatch comes an article about an old World Series program.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Where Have You Gone, Cap Anson? 

If you folks thought I posted about a controversial figure yesterday, wait 'til you get a load of Cap Anson. Read about his adventures in 2002. Or, you can read about Anson in Spanish, if you wish.

Like Walter O'Malley, Anson has his own official website. This proves, once again, that "the internet is littered with dead web sites" as Yahoo! News said last week. Sign up for your FREE CapAnson.com e-mail account today!

The Hartford Whalers 

Hey there, sports fans! As Jonah might have said, I found the blowhole. It's a site devoted to the history of the Hartford Whalers. Sure, it's not baseball, but it is about Connecticut sports history. It looks pretty good, as far as sites like these go.

I was never a huge fan of the Whale, but I always dug their theme song Brass Bonanza. I am starting to miss them now. It's only been recently that I've started to get into hockey. Maybe I'll do some research on the team at a later date.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Walter O'Malley 

O'Malley isn't the most beloved figure in baseball. (What owner is?) However, "The Sporting News recognized him as the 11th Most Powerful Person in Sports over the last century, while ABC Sports ranked him in its Top 10 Most Influential People "off the field" in sports history as voted by the Sports Century panel."

From the grave, close to a quarter century after his death, comes his official website. I guess this means the Information Superhighway stretches to points beyond the physical realms. It appears that this site could be interesting (it's supposed to have some historical documents,) but I had trouble viewing the pages.

I'll try to visit it again sometime soon.

Monday, November 03, 2003

The Birth of Professional Baseball 

After a few posts of a non-historical nature, I figure it's time to go back to basics. Over at the Dickie Thon Fan Club Site, there are ten historical articles by sportswriter, educator, David Letterman wannabe (see previous post), and Primate John Brattain. John tackles the Federal League, the Negro Leagues, and early professional baseball in a light-hearted manner.

Let's start with The Birth of Professional Baseball. That link was for Part One. Parts Two, Three, Four, and Five follow.


Baseball and Football 

Writing about "Who's On First?" yesterday reminded me of another comedy routine about baseball. I'm talking about "Baseball And Football" by George Carlin. Once again, Baseball Almanac provides both a text and audio version of it. Carlin happens to be one of my favorite comics.

By the way, if you are a David Letterman fan, Baseball Almanac has close to 70 Top Ten Lists of his devoted to the American Pastime.

Go ahead and exercise your funnybone!

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Memo from Budig 

Thanks to Sean Forman, I was able to find some interesting correspondence between former AL President Gene Budig and pitcher C. J. Nitkowski.

CJBaseball.com is Nitkoski's website. There really isn't much baseball info on the main site. It is mainly devoted to religuous topics. But he has archived hi old site. It includes a list of teammates. The nicknames were interesting. I never knew that Karim Garcia was called the "Latino Bambino." He also created pages on two subjects near and dear to many player's hearts: restaurants and golf.

Fenway Franks and the American Dream  

Fenway Franks and the American Dream by Pat Sheridan is an interesting story that I felt I'd share. In case you were wondering this Pat Sheridan isn't the ex-Royal and Tiger. He was a student at Boston University. Enjoy!

Who's On First 

Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" is probably one of the most famous comedy routines in the world. Baseball Almanac has both a text version of it and an audio version.

Since then, there have been many parodies. Here's an apocryphal conversation between President Bush and Condi Rice. There was a similar bit during the Regan Years. I also recall a bit from the early 70's by some comedy troupe (Firesign Theatre?)that riffed on Abbott and Costello's routine and featured The Who, The Guess Who, and Yes. Or was that something that I imagined?

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