Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thanks so much.

A special Thank You! to all of you baseball fans who read this blog, it's very much appreciated.

This weekend my blog crossed  200,000 page views. 

I write the blog as something to do, I'm not professional writer, that's for sure.

I love baseball, our country's greatest game.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Memorial Day tomorrow, and take time out of your day to remember those service men and women who gave their lives so that we could be a free nation.

Play Ball! ⚾

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Baseball Card of the Day... Julio Urias

Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers made his big league debut last night vs. the New York Mets at Citi Field in New York.

Urias's 2014 Bowman Prospects #BP6 is today's Baseball Card of the Day.

The young pitcher has been tough to beat in the minor leagues, and because of an injury to the pitcher Alex Wood, Urias was caled up to the big league to help the starting rotation.

At Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League Urias was 4-1, with an era of 1.10.

Friday night didn't go as well, as the 19 year old pitcher from Mexico ended his debut allowing 3 runs, 5 hits, and walking 4 batters in just 2 2/3 innings pitched.

As usual, I didn't even know I had the young man's rookie card.

I found it going through a box of cards looking for today's selection.

I don't get to buy many cards, and if I do, it's the Walmart cards...the Retail version w/o any autographed cards or memorabilia cards.

None the less, finding this rookie pitchers card was kinda cool, like when, as a kid, I'd open up packs of Topps cards looking for Bill Freehan cards and cards to build a complete am set of Tigers cards.

Urias, the first teeanger in 11 years to start a big league game, was optioned back to the Oklahoma City Dodgers today.

I'm sure we'll see the young pitcher again, continuing rotation injuries to the Dodgers staff, or maybe in the September call-ups.

Good Luck to Julio Urias, and congratulations on making it to big league baseball. 

Play Ball! 

A Hot Dog is...

The fine folks over at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary has somehow come to the ridiculous conclusion that a Hot Dog is a sandwich.

Now, I have been hearing this argument since last year, and it makes little sense.

A hot dog isn't a sandwich.

In my 56 years I've never answered "hot dog" when asked what kind of sandwich I wanted to eat.

In all the ballparks... Tiger Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, or Yankee Stadium...never have I heard a fan say the words "sandwich" and "hot dog" in unison with each other.

Have you ever heard a hot dog vendor yell out "...peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks, sandwiches..." at a ball game?

Absolutely not.

I doubt this young fan asked his Dad for a sandwich at Fenway Park.

The dictionary folks are saying because you "split" the bun to place the dog inside, that makes it a sandwich.


The hot dog is not a sandwich, it is a entity all itself, and delicious mixture of meats on a casing that snaps when you bite into it.

The only time a slice of bread for a sandwich snaps is if the bread is stale.

Hot Dog buns at the ballpark are steamed, soft buns, with a delicious frankfurter inside, ready to be dressed with mustard, ketchup, relish...some fans even put the evil onion of their dog...yuk!

The hot dog is a food eaten by baseball fans at ballparks all across the country, and American staple handed down by 100 plus years of baseball don't hand down ham and cheese sandwich recipes for 100 years.

I will never call a hot dog by any other's a name earned since before the American League started playing baseball in 1901.

This is the 100th Anniversary of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs on Coney Island, New York, and I betcha that not once in all the millions of customers that ordered a hot dog ever called out... " give me 2 hot dog sandwiches all the way."

So, remember,  a grilled cheese a sandwich, and a juicy, fresh made hot dog is... a hot dog. 

Play Ball!  

Happy Baseball Birthday...John Fogerty

"...put me in coach, I'm ready to play today....put me in coach, I'm ready to play today, I can be Centerfield. " ...John Fogerty, Centerfield 

John Fogerty sang those lyrics on his song, Centerfield, on the album by the same day, in 1985, and a baseball anthem was born.

John Fogerty  was born in Berkley, California on May 28, 1945, and that makes him today's Happy Baseball Birthday!

John and brother Jim were surrounded by baseball growing up in the mid-late 1950s, and Jim was a bat boy for the Oakland Oaks team that played in the Pacific Coast League.

The New York Giants relocation to San Francisco in 1958 allowed the boys to watch the great Willie Mays play centerfield with the Giants, but before they got to the West Coast young John was already a fan of the New York Yankees after hearing stories about the Yankees, the great Babe Ruth, and two centerfielders, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Some three decades later Fogerty, now a solo musician after playing in the rock band Credence Clearwater Revival, penned the song Centerfield, which shot to #1 on the charts.

In 2010 Fogerty agreed to play Centerfield at the summer inductions into the Baseball Hall of Fame for the songs 25th anniversary.

Fogerty, of course, made that day in Cooperstown extra special by using his baseball bat guitar, which he named slugger.

John Fogerty turns 71 today, but when I saw him on The Dan Patrick Show last October 8th in New York City Fogerty looked pretty darn good.

Fogerty may be 71, but there's no retired for the musician, who continues to tour throughout the summer and fall.

Happy Baseball Birthday! ⚾🎂 to legendary musician John Fogerty. 

Play Ball! ⚾

Friday, May 27, 2016

Baseball Cards of the Day... Jackie Bradley, Jr.

Today's Baseball Card of the Day is 2013 Topps #382, Jackie Bradley, Jr. 

                                               ⚾2013 Topps Jackie Bradley Jr. Rookie Card.⚾

Jackie Bradley, Jr. gave us baseball fans a reason to check the Red Sox games every day as he collected a base hits in 29 straight games, a streak with ended yesterday vs the Colorado Rockies.

Bradley, Jr. fell just short of joining fellow Red Sox players Nomar Garciaparra and Hall of Famer Tris Speaker at 30 games.

Dominick DiMaggio has the BoSox club record with a hitting streak of 34 games, in 1949.

I had to search for this card in several boxes of cards I've got all over the apartment, but I knew I had seen the card before, so I made the search until I found the card...I didn't know it was his rookie card, so that was cool when I saw that RC logo on the card.

Congratulations!  to Jackie Bradley Jr. on his 29 game hitting streak.

I hope this young players continues to have a terrific 2016 season...well, except against my Detroit Tigers...sorry Jackie.

Play Ball!  ⚾

Monday, May 23, 2016

Miguel Cabrera collects career double #500

Tonight in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Tigers 1st Baseman Miguel Cabrera smacked his 500th career double against the Philadelphia Phillies at Comerica Park.

The Tigers tweeted out a picture of the historic base that Cabrera stopped at after hitting his 500th double.

                                       ⚾⚾ Photo from @DETROITTIGERSPR via Twitter ⚾⚾

Cabrera hit his 8th double of the year off of Philly reliever Colton Murray in the 7th inning, putting him in a tie for 67th place all-time in big league baseball history, joining Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners player Jon Olerud and Hall of Famer Goose Goslin, who played for the Tigers in the 1930s.

The career doubles leader of all-time is the great Tris Speaker.

The HOF outfielder crushed an amazing 792 doubles in his 22 year big league career with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, and Philadelphia Athletics. 

Cincinnati Reds/Phillies/Montreal Expos INF/OF Pete Rose is 2nd, with 746 doubles, followed by HOF Cardinals 1st Baseman Stan Musial, 725, Tigers HOF Outfielder Ty Cobb, w/ 724 , and Houston Astros HOF catcher/2nd Baseman /Outfielder Craig Biggio, w/ 668 career two baggers.

Oh, by the way, Cabrera tonight went 3-3, 2 runs scored, a walk, and career home runs number 417 and 418, and is now hitting .327 on the season.

Cabrera is coming off a week where he was named Co-American League Player of the Week with Tigers teammate Cameron Maybin,.

The Tigers will continue the series with the Phillies tomorrow night.

Play Ball!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Baseball Birthday... Hal Newhouser

Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday! of Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame pitcher Hal Newhouser.

Harold Newhouser  was born on May 20, 1921, in Detroit, Michigan, joining a list of outstanding Tigers ballplayers like Willie Horton and Bill Freehan, that were born in the Motor City.

I've always felt that "Prince Hal" has gotten somewhat overlooked when it comes to naming terrific left handed pitchers in baseball history, especially when you factor in that Newhouser is the only pitcher in big league history to win back to back American League MVP Awards, in 1944-45.

Because he won the awards during the "World War II era" Newhouser isn't fully respected for his achievements during the 1940s, where he led the A.L. in wins with 29 in '44, 25 in '45, 26 in '46, and 21 wins in 1948.

Hal won exactly 200 games pitching for Detroit, the 4th most in franchise history, behind Hooks Dauss (223), George Mullin (209), and Mickey Lolich (207).

Hal also struck out 1770 batters, also 4th most in Tigers history... Lolich (2,679), Justin Verlander (2,003), and Jack Morris (1980).

Hal also tossed 212 complete games for the Tigers, and pitched 33 shutouts in Detroit.

Another thing about Newhouser...his #16 wasn't retired by the Tigers until July 27, 1997...44 years after he played in Detroit...and 5 years after he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Many players wore #16 for the Tigers, including fan friendly Tom Brookens, the 3rd Baseman on the 1984 Tigers World Series Champions.

The Tigers were very slow to retire player numbers, and only started with Al Kaline in 1980, the year Kaline was inducted into the HOF.

Hal became a big league scout after his retirement, and he was a darn good one.

As a scout for the Baltimore Orioles Hal signed 209 game winner Milt Pappas, and Detroit high school pitcher.

In 1992, as a scout for the Houston Astros, Hal discovered a kid named Derek Jeter playing baseball at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was adamant the Astros draft Jeter.

The Astros took Phil Nevin with the #1 overall pick in '92, and their refusal to listen to Hal caused him to quit scouting for Houston.

Prinice Hal Newhouser passed away at age 77 on November 10, 1998, in Southfield, Michigan.

Today we celebrate the life of Hal Newhouser, and give him a loud and proud Happy Baseball Birthday! salute....Play Ball! ⚾

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Justin Verlander strikes out 2,000th big league batter

Congratulations go out to Detroit Tigers RHP Justin Verlander on his 2,00th big league strikeout today vs the Minnesota Twins.

                                         Photo from Detroit Free Press
Here's how social media celebrated Verlander's milestone strikeout.

                                                      ESPN Baseball Tonight
Detroit Tigers

Verlander struck out the Twins Eddie Rosario in the 4th inning at Comerica Park today in the Tigers 6-3 win over Minnesota.

Verlander is the 76th big league pitcher to reach 2,000 punchouts.

Verlander is just the second Tigers pitcher to record 2,000 K's in a career, joining LHP Mickey Lolich,  who struck out a club record 2, 679 batters while pitching in the Motor City.

The 2,000 strikeouts is another milestone in the magnificent 12 year career of Verlander,  who also recorded his 160th career WIN today.

It's not out of the question that Verlander, who struck out 10 Twins batters today, will one day break the Tigers record.

Congratulations Justin!

Play Ball!

Happy Baseball Birthday...Reggie Jackson

Today we send out Happy Baseball Birthday! wishes to one Reginald Martinez Jackson, who turns 70 years young today. 

I wanted to write a quick post to Reggie today on his 70th Birthday because to this day, some 45 years later, I still haven't seen a harder hit baseball than the home run Reggie crushed off Doc Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1971 All-Star Game in Detroit.

Only the light tower/transformer high atop the right center field roof at old Tiger Stadium kept the baseball from leaving the ballpark completely.

Curtis Gowdey's call of the blast is a All-Star Game classic.

The homer led the American League to a 6-4 win over the National League, the only win the Junior Circuit had between 1962 and 1982 over theiron nemesis.

1971 All-Star Game in Detroit.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Reggie!!!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sporacle Baseball Hall of Fame Quiz

How many Hall of Fame Baseball Players can you name?




How about in just 20 minutes, the clock ticking.

246 ballplayers are in the HOF, and I've been taking a quiz the past few months, trying to name as many players as I can remember, typing their names on my tablet as fast as my fingers can type...and trying to remember the easy ones, like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Stan Musial, and the players who's names... Dizzy Vance, Rube Waddell, and Stan Hack don't pop into my mind that easily.

Tonight, not being able to sleep,  I gave the quiz another shot.

Sporacle HALL of FAME Baseball Quiz.

No matter how many times I take the quiz I know that I'll never get all 246 names, just not gonna happen, but I'm hoping to get to the 200 name plateau before I call it quits.

Tonight...well, early in the morning on Sunday, I got 160 HOF Ballplayers... thats a new All-Time record number for me...remembering men like Rabbit Maranville, Wee Willie Keeler, Addie Joss, and Cool Papa Bell.

I always start with Cobb, then proceed to type in all the Detroit Tigers players in the HOF before moving on to the Original HOF players and then going to the players from 2015 going backward.

Then I just try and remember as many names as I can...the 1970s players, the old Brooklyn Dodgers...the HOME RUN guys...Aaron, Ruth, Mays.

Give the HOF quiz a try, and let me know how you did.

Play Ball!