Quote of the day

A large part of the hold that organized baseball has on the American imagination derives from the concept of loyalty to the franchise rather than to individuals. In a world reeling from the rural to the urban, in a country where one does not live where he grew up, in the ever changing megalopolis, loyalty to a baseball franchise offers the same assurance and stability that ‘home from the holidays’ does.

~Tristram Potter Coffin

Tristram_P_Coffin

University of Pennsylvania


2016 Spring Training countdown

I’m sure there are several ballparks around the MLB that look similar to this right now, especially in the Northeast.  Fortunately, pre-season ball is played in much warmer climes than this.  Three weeks to Spring Training!

snowy Kauffman

Kansas City Royals


Ted Williams hitting graph

I stumbled across this graph this morning depicting Ted Williams’s batting average in various parts of the strike zone.  I wish the numbers were bigger, but if you can make them out, it is pretty mind-blowing.  No pitch was safe anywhere near the plate.  This is how you hit .400 for a season.

tedwilliams

Old Time Family Baseball


This day in baseball: Braves changes

On January 26, 1957, Joe Cairnes became president of the Braves, replacing Lou Perini.  Perini would best be remembered as the man who moved the Braves from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953, citing financial losses and poor attendance.

PeriniLou.large thumbnail

Lou Perini (SABR.org)


Texting signals

This may be a reality sooner than we realize.

'No, I'm not tweeting... although he is texting me his signals.'

cartoonstock.com


Quote of the day

I’ve always approached spring training as I have something to prove.

~Jamie Moyer

 

Canadian astronaut Hadfield waits in his spacesuit before an exam at Star City outside Moscow

Salon.com


“The Night Game,” by Robert Pinsky

I like the bald honesty of this piece.  As much as many folks don’t like to think about it, race and ethnicity have played a role in the history of baseball.  Fans sometimes, albeit unfairly, have preconceived notions about what a baseball hero ought to look like.  This poem is also beautifully written; full of imagery, evoking feelings of nostalgia.

*

Some of us believe
We would have conceived romantic
Love out of our own passions
With no precedents,
Without songs and poetry—
Or have invented poetry and music
As a comb of cells for the honey.

Shaped by ignorance,
A succession of new worlds,
Congruities improvised by
Immigrants or children.

I once thought most people were Italian,
Jewish or Colored.
To be white and called
Something like Ed Ford
Seemed aristocratic,
A rare distinction.

Possibly I believed only gentiles
And blonds could be left-handed.

Already famous
After one year in the majors,
Whitey Ford was drafted by the Army
To play ball in the flannels
Of the Signal Corps, stationed
In Long Branch, New Jersey.

A night game, the silver potion
Of the lights, his pink skin
Shining like a burn.

Never a player
I liked or hated: a Yankee,
A mere success.

But white the chalked-off lines
In the grass, white and green
The immaculate uniform,
And white the unpigmented
Halo of his hair
When he shifted his cap:

So ordinary and distinct,
So close up, that I felt
As if I could have made him up,
Imagined him as I imagined

The ball, a scintilla
High in the black backdrop
Of the sky. Tight red stitches.
Rawlings. The bleached

Horsehide white: the color
Of nothing. Color of the past
And of the future, of the movie screen
At rest and of blank paper.

“I could have.” The mind. The black
Backdrop, the white
Fly picked out by the towering
Lights. A few years later

On a blanket in the grass
By the same river
A girl and I came into
Being together
To the faint muttering
Of unthinkable
Troubadours and radios.

The emerald
Theater, the night.
Another time,
I devised a left-hander
Even more gifted
Than Whitey Ford: A Dodger.
People were amazed by him.
Once, when he was young,
He refused to pitch on Yom Kippur.