Results tagged ‘ Baseball history ’

Lineup and Game Notes – April 15, 2013

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.” – Jackie Robinson


I love this photograph.

This is Jackie Robinson stealing home in Game One of the 1955 World Series.

This is Jackie Robinson stealing home in Game One of the 1955 World Series.

Yogi Berra would argue – and is probably still arguing – that Robinson is out on that play. You be the judge:

I am working on this post at a little before 4pm.  The tarp is on the field in Cedar Rapids, but I am told that the rain will let up in about an hour or so and there will be a game tonight.

With that in mind:

You may tune in for todays’s broadcast a few different ways:

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

Tyrone Taylor – CF
Orlando Arcia – SS
Mitch Haniger – RF
Parker Berberet – C
Clint Coulter – DH
Jose Sermo – 3B
Mike Garza – 1B
Chris McFarland – 2B
Michael Reed – LF

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Damien Magnifico
Cedar Rapids Starting Pitcher: David Hurlbut

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesApril152013

How many times?

The Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 8-1 in Game Four of the American League Division Series.  That victory gave the Tigers a four game sweep of the Yankees.

The sweep got me thinking about how many times the Yankees have been swept in the post season.

A quick question in Google led to the following list:

1922 World Series
1963 World Series
1976 World Series
1980 ALCS
2012 ALCS

That would be FIVE times they were swept in their 51 postseason appearances. 

The 1922 World Series was a loss to John McGraw’s Giants.  You’ll see five games in the 1922 World Series because Game Two ended in a 3-3 tie after ten innings.

Why they were swept:  The Yankees hit .203 as a team and scored just eleven runs in five games.

Slumping Superstar: Babe Ruth was 2-for-17 with a double and an RBI in the series.

The Final Game:  The Giants trailed 3-2 heading to the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Five.  There were two outs and the bases were loaded.  George ‘High Pockets’ Kelly drove in two runs with a single.  Lee King followed with an RBI single and the Giants went up 5-3.  Art Nehf retired the Yankees in order in the top of the ninth inning for a complete game and the Yankees lost their second straight World Series appearance.

The 1963 World Series was a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  A sweep is probably going to happen when you have to face Sandy Koufax(twice) and Don Drysdale (once) in a four game series.

Why they were swept:  Did I mention Koufax and Drysdale?  The Yankees hit .171 (?!?!?!) and scored four (!!!!) runs in the series.

Slumping Superstar: Mickey Mantle was 2-for-15 with one home run.

The Final Game: Koufax, who pitched a complete game in Game One on October 2, 1963, came back in Game Four on October 6.  He had a 1-0 lead until Mantle hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning.  Junior Gilliam grounded to third to start the bottom of the seventh, but Joe Pepitone, the Yankees first baseman, missed the ball and Gilliam wound up at third base.  Willie Davis followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 Dodgers lead.

Koufax allowed a one out single in the eighth, but got Tony Kubek to ground into a double play.  In the ninth, the Yankees got a leadoff single off Koufax.  He would strike out Tom Tresh and Mantle looking for the first two outs.  Then, an error on a force play at second kept the inning alive for the Yankees.  But, Hector Lopez grounded out to short to end the series.

The 1976 World Series was a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Why they were swept: For the love of Ernie Lombardi, they were playing The Big Red Machine.  Johnny Bench hit more homers in Game Four (2) than the Yankees hit in the series (1).  New York’s only lead in the series was a 1-0 lead from the bottom of the first through the bottom of the third in Game Four.

Slumping Superstar: Willie Randolph was 1-for-14.

The Final Game: An RBI double by Chris Chambliss sent in the run in the bottom of the first inning of Game Four.  In the top of the fourth George Foster drove in Joe Morgan with a two out single.  Bench followed with a homer for a 3-1 lead.  Thurman Munson, who was 9-for-17 in the series, knocked in a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 3-2.

The score stayed that way until the top of the ninth.  That was when Bench struck again with a three run homer to secure years of being a spokesman for Krylon.  Cesar Geronimo and Dave Concepcion finished the scoring with consecutive ground rule doubles.

Will McEnaeny pitched a 1-2-3 ninth at Yankee Stadium.  Roy White flew out to left for the final out.

The 1980 American League Championship Series was a loss to the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals lost to the Yankees in the ALCS in 1976, 1977, and 1978.  They got revenge in 1980.

Why they were swept: The Yankees scored six runs in three games.

Slumping Superstar: Ron Guidry gave up four runs in three innings in Game One.

The Final Game:  New York had a 2-1 lead after scoring two runs on consecutive RBI singles by Oscar Gamble and Rick Cerone in the bottom of the sixth inning against Dan ‘Freaking’ Quisenberry* in Game Three

Tommy John got the first two outs of the seventh inning, but allowed a double to Willie Wilson.  Goose Gossage relieved John and gave up a single to UL Washington.

That set up a battle between Gossage and George Brett.  The Royals third baseman hit a three run homer and took out three years of ALCS frustrations to put the Royals up 4-2.

Quisenberry worked a 1-2-3 seventh, pitched out of a no outs, bases loaded jam in the eighth, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth – getting Randolph looking at strike three for the final out – to send the Yankees home and the Royals on to their first world series.

*-DFQ was one of the best closers in baseball and Kansas City manager Jim Frey brought him in during the sixth inning.  Frey left him in to finish out the game.  Amazing.

The Duke

Sad news in the baseball world over the weekend.

In the 1950s, three future Hall of Famers played center field for New York ball clubs: Willie Mays for the Giants, Mickey Mantle for the Yankees and Duke Snider for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Never has there been more talent at one position in one city. And never was a player more a part of a town than the powerful Snider was for Brooklyn.
Snider passed away Sunday at the age of 84. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
Snider was named to eight All-Star Games and was named the Major League Player of the Year in 1955 by the Sporting News. He finished first in the National League in hits, runs, on-base percentage, RBIs, extra base hits, home runs, total bases and intentional walks in at least one season his career.

He was also an outstanding outfielder.

“The greatest catch I ever saw was one made by Snider in 1954, when he climbed the wall of Connie Mack Stadium like a mountain goat to take an extra base hit away from Willie Jones of the Phillies,” teammate Pee Wee Reese once said.

Snider hit 40 or more home runs in each of the last five seasons the Dodgers played at Ebbets Field before spending five more years with the team in Los Angeles. He collected the first hit in Dodger Stadium and was named captain in 1962, his last season as a Dodger.

Snider finished his career with a .295 batting average, 2,116 hits, 407 home runs and 1,333 RBI, playing for the Dodgers (1947-62), Mets (1963) and Giants (1964). He also totaled 11 home runs and 26 RBI in World Series play.

Here is the link to Edwin Donal Snider’s page at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Go there.  Then, read Boys of Summer.  You will probably understand that The Duke was more than just a word to give Terry Cashman a rhyme for Dubuque.

Speaking of which…

I missed this

There was a lot going on over the last couple of weeks, so apologies to “Hammerin’ Hank”for missing his 77th birthday back on February 5.  I saw a link to his Hall of Fame video on Adam McCalvy’s twitter feed. does not allow embedding of its video so here is a link to home run #715.

Want to know why so many announcers look up to and try to emulate Vin Scully? Here is his call of #715. It’s just a still shot of Aaron with the audio of Scully, but time how long the pause is after the home run is hit to when he speaks again.

A great announcer for a great moment.

Highly recommended

I had a lot to do yesterday and did not have time to put anything up about watching the rebroadcast of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series.

You have got to see it.  The Pirates beating the Yankees 10-9 on a Bill Mazerowski homer in the bottom of the ninth, Bob Prince and Mel Allen as the announcers, Bob Prince doing some very interesting post-game interviews with the Pirates, and so much more.

Additionally, many old Pirates – and the widow of the great Roberto Clemente – were in attendance as the game was shown to a packed theater in Pittsburgh.

As my friend and colleague Nathan Baliva of the Peoria Chiefs said on twitter after the show: every championship team should get a 50 yr event/party & tribute in all sports like the 1960 Pirates just got on #MLB Network.

If you have MLB Network, you really need to see it.  If you have a netflix account, you may want to put it in your cue…If you are a Pirates fan, you probably already have this for Christmas.

To learn more about the 1960 Pirates, head over to this special 50-year Tribute section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here is the home run (as put together by newsreel footage) that beat the Yankees.

So what if hes a Cardinal

He is THE Cardinal.

Stan Musial turned 90 on Sunday.  This column at STLToday counts off: 90 things to love about The Man

Here are a few.

17 ? While Ted Williams and other esteemed hitters of the day pontificated about their approach to hitting, Musial kept it refreshingly simple. “You wait for a strike, then you knock the tar out of it,” Musial said

42 ? Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine was once so frustrated by his inability to get The Man out that he wrote a song called “The Stan Musial Blues.” Erskine was asked how to pitch to Musial: “I’ve had pretty good success with Stan by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third,” he said.

48 ? Pitcher Don Newcombe: “I could have rolled the ball up there to Musial, and he would have pulled out a golf club and hit it out.”

52 ? In 1999, Musial was given the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit, the highest honor that the Polish government bestows upon a civilian. Musial is immensely proud of that honor. Accordingly, Musial is worthy of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that a civilian can receive from the President of the United States. Congratulations on your latest, and most prestigious, award, Stan.

57 ? The Man is so cool, that Pope John Paul II had Stan and Lil travel to the Vatican in Rome to be his guests at dinner. And Musial was among the primary reasons why John Paul II visited St. Louis in January 1999.

62 ? Musial played in 2,907 regular-season and 23 postseason major-league games and was never ejected from a game by an umpire.

68 ? Ty Cobb on Musial: “No man has ever been a perfect ballplayer. Stan Musial, however, is the closest to being perfect in the game today. I’ve seen greater hitters and greater runners and greater fielders, but he puts them all together like no one else … in my book, he’s a better player than Joe DiMaggio was in his prime.”

74 ? Musial played a positive role in baseball’s integration. He’s never been given enough credit for that. Musial was openly supportive of African American players at a time when they encountered imposing ugliness and hostility from other players, coaches, managers and fans. The immortal Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color line said that “Musial always treated me with courtesy.” This was nothing new to Musial. As a young player in Donora, he’d had African-American teammates and friends, including Buddy Griffey (Ken Griffey Jr.’s grandfather) and always backed them.

75 ? African American pitcher Joe Black told a story of being racially taunted by players in the St. Louis dugout during a Cardinals-Dodgers game. Musial, batting at the time, kicked the dirt as if to convey his disappointment. After the game, Musial sought out the young Joe Black and told him, “I’m sorry that happened. But don’t you worry about it. You’re a great pitcher. You will win a lot of games.” Black never forgot that.

76 ? Willie Mays has praised Musial through the years for extending his friendship to African American players during those tense days. Here’s a story from Mays, who told it to Kansas City Royals broadcaster Denny Matthews: “All-Star Game, late Fifties. There were seven black players on the National League All-Stars. We were in the back of the clubhouse playing poker and none of the white guys had come back or said, ‘Hi,’ or ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘How you guys doing?’ or ‘Welcome to the All-Star Game.’ Nothing. We’re playing poker and all of a sudden I look up and here comes Stan toward us. He grabs a chair, sits down and starts playing poker with us. And Stan didn’t know how to play poker! But that was his way of welcoming us, of feeling a part of it, making us feel a part of it. I never forgot that. We never forgot that.”

You are going to want to go read it all.

Veterans Day

Here is a (slightly edited) repost of a Mehring Monday Veterans Day column that I wrote last year.

Here is a picture of Joe Tipton, an Appleton Papermaker, in 1941:


In Flanders Fields
the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

The above poem is by Lieutenant Colonel
John McCrae, a doctor in the Canadian Army during World War I.  You can
read the rest of it here.

Baseball has many veterans, most from World War
II.  Bob
was in the Navy.  Ted
was a Marine fighter pilot. Yogi
was a gunner’s mate on a landing craft for D-Day.

Click here to see the excellent Gary
Bedingfield’s Baseball in Wartime
website.  All
of the bios for WWII veterans are here

To share a few of the stories, we just picked out
a few from Gary’s site.

was in the drafted into the Army in December of 1940.  He was
discharged along with all men age 28 or older on December 5, 1941.  He
re-enlisted in February of 1942.

“We are in
trouble,” he told The Sporting News, “and there is only one thing for me to
do – return to the service. This doubtless means I am finished with baseball
and it would be silly for me to say I do not leave it without a pang. But all of
us are confronted with a terrible task – the defense of our country and the
fight for our lives.”

‘s story has been told before — and
in greater detail
, but it is worth revisiting again.

August 2, 1943, Berg accepted a position with the Office of Strategic Services.
In September, he was assigned to the Secret Intelligence branch of the OSS and
given a place at the OSS Balkans desk. In this role, he parachuted into
Yugoslavia to evaluate the various resistance groups operating against the Nazis
to determine which was the strongest. His evaluations were used to help
determine the amount of support and aid to give each group.

late 1943, Berg was assigned to Project Larson, an OSS operation set up by OSS
Chief of Special Projects John Shaheen. The stated purpose of the project was to
kidnap Italian rocket and missile specialists out of Italy and bring them to the
United States. However, there was another project hidden within Larson called
Project AZUSA with the goal of interviewing Italian physicists to see what they
knew about Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizscker. It was similar
in scope and mission to the Alsos project. On May 4, 1944 Berg left for London
and the start of his mission

May to mid-December, Berg hopped around Europe interviewing physicists and
trying to convince several to leave Europe and work in America.
Berg’s wartime vocation calling for anonymity, he did betray himself on one
occasion. While at a field hospital in France, Berg could not resist the
temptation to join in a game of catch with a couple of GIs. After the former
major leaguer had made a couple of throws one of the soldiers remarked,
“You’re a pro.” Soon afterwards the soldier added, “You’re a
catcher,” another throw and his cover was blown, “and your name is Moe

the beginning of December,
attended a lecture by prominent German physicist Werner Heisenberg. His orders
were to kill the scientist if there was any indication that the Germans were
close to building an atomic bomb. Fortunately, Berg was not required to fulfill
his orders as the Germans were far behind in the race to build an atomic weapon.

returned to the United States on April 25, 1945, and resigned from the Strategic
Services Unit – the successor to the OSS – in August. He was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom on October 10, 1945 but he rejected the award.
Some years after his death, the award was accepted on his behalf by his sister.

was a member of the Appleton Papermakers in
1941.  In 1942, he was with the Charleston Senators.  In 1943, he was
in the military…

with the Navy aboard the escort carrier USS Kadashan Bay (CVE-76) in the
Pacific. He was at Leyte, Okinawa and
Iwo Jima
, and survived a kamikaze attack on January 8, 1945, when the
Bay was hit amidships directly below the bridge. After an hour and a half of
feverish damage control effort, fires and flooding were checked.

would not join the Papermakers until 1947. 
That was after his tour with the Navy.

From 1944 to February 6,
1946, he served with the Navy and was on a destroyer in the Pacific. Clark –
assigned to a landing craft – saw action at Iwo Jima, the

New Guinea


was a Papermaker for two games in 1941 and entered the military.

served with the Army Air Force and was based in England where he
a Bomb GroupIn
August 1943 he was selected to play with the Eighth Air Force All-Stars – a
team of professionals who were led by former Senators’ pitcher, Montie Weaver.
The Eighth Air Force defeated a hand-selected team of Army professionals, 1-0,
thanks to Bill Brech’s outstanding no-hitter. The team then toured military
bases throughout Britain playing a total of 29 exhibition games.


was a Papermaker in 1940 and went on to pitch for the Sheboygan Indians in
1941.  He went into the Army in 1942 and didn’t come home.

entered military service with the Army on
July 25, 1942

at Kalamazoo
Michigan. He served with the
82nd Field Artillery Battalion of 1st Cavalry Division in
the Pacific

and was killed in action during the battle for the Philippines on February 21,

Fifth Grade Williams was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and is buried at
the Manila


Cemetery at


Bonifacio in



something to think about this today or any day really.


you, Veterans.

Another reason to watch MLB Network

I’m sure that you already have December 15 marked on your calendar to watch MLB Network to catch the complete rebroadcast of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series.

You know? The broadcast that was thought to be lost forever.  Only to be found in the wine cellar of the Bing Crosby estate.  That one?

As if you needed another reason to watch MLB Network, catch it on Saturday, November 13 at 8pm CST for the premier of Triumph and Tragedy: The 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Aside from touching on topics that are always of interest to me, there is also the fact that is was shot at Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Iowa.  From the L-Kings website.

“Triumph and Tragedy: The 1919 Chicago White Sox” was filmed by MLB Productions Senior Producer Jeff Spaulding in conjunction with Joe Scherrman and the “Ghost Players” of Dyersville, IA.

Alliant Energy Field was chosen as the backdrop for all action shots based on its historic dugouts, grandstand and playing surface, all perfect as a stand-in for old Comiskey Park. Ghost Players Ron (Hank) Lucas, Nic Hunt, Ted Kruse, Mike Schuster and Dubuque, IA native Nic Ungs all participated in the shoot back on September 26.

Here is a behind the scenes video.  A chance for you to see Alliant Energy Field, too.

I doubt if the victory jump at 1:34 is historically accurate. But, I’m getting into the modern day interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, so I can go with it.

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