Don’t call us (ballplayers) heroes. Firemen are heroes.
~George Lee “Sparky” Anderson
On November 25, 1981, Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers became the first relief pitcher ever to win the American League MVP award. He narrowly beat Rickey Henderson by 11 points for the honor, taking 15 first place votes to Henderson’s 12. That year, Rollie Fingers also won the Cy Young Award for the American League.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974, Mickey Mantle had an eighteen-year career with the New York Yankees. As a switch hitter during my high school softball years, I can’t help but hold a spot in my heart for Mantle. His speech is cut off in the video, but from what I can see in the bit that is there, his personality is about what I had envisioned (even if a bit subdued, given the atmosphere of the event).
The first game between an American and a Japanese professional baseball team was played on November 22, 1908. In the game, the Reach All-Americans defeated Waseda University in Tokyo, 5-0.
Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published everyday, like those of a baseball player.
It hasn’t even been a month yet, and I find myself counting down to Spring Training. Stephen Jones captures this feeling quite aptly through this haiku, recently published on Bardball.
My season . . . now done
My ballpark empty of life
My heart waits for Spring
On November 19, 2001, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) determined in a landslide vote to award the NL Most Valuable Player Award to Giants slugger Barry Bonds. Bonds won 30 of 32 first place votes, winning his fourth career MVP award — the most by any single player to that point. Bonds went on to accumulate a total of seven MVP awards in his career, which remains the most for any given player.