Sunday, April 19, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Southpaw

Today we send out a big Happy Baseball Birthday to the top dawg himself, Southpaw, the Official Mascot of the Jacksonville Suns.







Last night at the ballpark I ran into the K-9 pooch himself.





There's a big birthday bash at Bragan Field today as the Suns take on the Montgomery Biscuits at 3:05 pm.




Special guest Billy the Marlin from the big club Miami Marlins will be on hand to celebrate Southpaws birthday.


For schedule and ticket information for Southpaw's big day go to jaxsuns.com



Happy Baseball Birthday Southpaw!


PLAY BALL!







Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mike Trout youngest to 100/100

Baseball history was made on Friday night as Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim centerfielder Mike Trout became the youngest big leaguer to reach 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases in a career.


                             


So far in the young year Trout us batting .444, with 3 HRs and 9 RBI.



Trout, the reigning American League MVP, is a marvelous ballplayer, a harkening back to the great five tool ballplayers of the past like Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Henry Aaron.


Mike Trout looks like a big league ballplayer.








I ordered cable TV, and the MLB Extra Innings package this baseball season so I could see guys like Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Altuve, and Yasiel Puig play baseball.



Less than 2 weeks into the 2015 big league year I think I made a good choice.




Play Ball!

Happy Baseball Birthday... Miguel Cabrera

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday to slugging first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.







Miguel Cabrera turns 32 today, and early on in the baseball season he has already put the American League on notice by winning the first American League Player of the Week Award of 2015.




Miguel has hit 2 home runs so far, giving him 392 for his big league career, and he just missed #393 on Friday as his blast off ChiSox right hander Jeff Samardziga smashed off the top of the fence in left field, bouncing back into play for a double.








Miguel Cabrera's Baseball Reference Page



Through the Tigers first 10 games Miguel has a American League leading 16 hits in 37 at bats, for a .432 batting average.



The Tigers hope to celebrate Cabrera's birthday with a win against Chris Sale and the ChiSox today.



Happy Baseball Birthday Miguel!!




Play Ball!







Friday, April 17, 2015

Congratulations to Cardinals Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst

There's quite a lot going on today in big league baseball.



MLB is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Hall of Fame right fielder  Roberto Clemente's debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates, on April 15, 1955, and the debuts the next year of Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Luis Aparicio, and Don Drysdale on April 15, 1956.












As I posted earlier today it's also the day that Detroit Tigers HOFer Al Kaline hit 3 home runs at Briggs Stadium against the Kansas City Athletics.








Probably the biggest news in baseball today is the big league debut of Chicago Cubs rookie phenom Kris Bryant.










As I'm writing this Bryant's big league debut isn't going so well as the young slugging third sacker has struck out all three times at bat today.




There's something else...quite a big deal...going on in baseball tonight in St. Louis, as the Cardinals host the Reds.





I saw earlier that today is the 70th Anniversary of the big league debut of Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst.







The Cardinals will be wearing these special patches tonight on their classic uniform sleeves.










Albert Fred Schoendienst was born in Germantown, Illinois, on February 2, 1923.


In 1942 Red signed a amateur free agent contract with the Cardinals, and at the age of 22 made his big league debut on April 17, 1945.



Red played second base for the Cardinals 1946 World Series Champions, and played with the Redbirds until 1955.



After playing with the New York Giants in '55-'56, Red was traded to the Milwaukee Braves, and was a key member of the '57-'58 National League Champions and 1957 World Series Champion Braves.




Red returned to the Cardinals in 1961, and played his final game as a player on July 7, 1963.



In his 19 years as a Hall of Fame player, Red collected 2,449 base hits, 427 doubles, 84 home runs, and had 773 RBI in 2,216 games.



A terrific fielder, Red finished with a .983 lifetime fielding percentage.



Red was a 10 time National League All-Star, and won 5 World Series Trophies as a player, manager, and coach, spanning 5 decades, 1946/1957/1964/1967/1982.



Red's umiform #2 has, fittingly, been retired by the Cardinals, and Red is a member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.



Red Schoendienst is revered in St. Louis,  and rightfully so.


If you have a way to watch the game tonight, try and see the pre-game ceremonies the Cardinals have for Red.

It should be a fun night in baseball in the Gateway to the West.


On Twitter, use the hashtag #lovered2 to celebrate Red's life in baseball.




We love Red Schoendienst, a true and proud man and big league ballplayer.



Congratulations Red on 70 years in baseball.



PLAY BALL!













April 17, 1955...Mr. Tiger belts three dingers

We baseball fans, well, we Detroit Tigers fans, know that Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline is the youngest batting champion in big league history.



In 1955 the young Kaline batted .340, winning the American League Batting Championship as a 20 year old, one day younger than fellow Tigers HOFer Ty Cobb. 



On April 17, 1955, at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, the Tigers clobbered the Kansas City Athletics, 16-0, as Kaline smacked three home runs, including two in the 6th inning.




Kaline went 4-5, with 3 runs scored, 6 RBIs, and 13 total bases.







Kaline smacked 200 base hits in 1955, leading the A.L., hit 27 home runs, with 102 RBI, 121 runs scored, had a .421 on base percentage, and a .546 slugging percentage.



Kaline also led the A.L. in total bases in '55, with 321.


Play Ball!



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy Jackie Robinson Day 2015

Today we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day across our great nation.









Jackie Robinson broke into the big leagues 68 years ago today, April 15, 1947, at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn.






Big League and Minor League baseball clubs all around baseball will be honoring Jackie Robinson today and tonight, including our local team, the Jacksonville Suns.




The first 1,000 fans in attendance tonight at Bragan Field will receive a special "42" pin.











Here's how the Sporting News covered that historical day, not only in baseball history, but in American History as well.









Before that day in 1947, there had been a "gentelman's agreement" between all big league baseball clubs that no man of color would be allowed to play baseball for any of their clubs.





That all changed when Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey signed Robinson to a professional contract on August 28, 1945.






Robinson played for the Dodgers AAA affiliate Montreal Royals in 1946.






Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, grew up in California, went to college at UCLA, playing baseball and football, and served in the US Army in World War II.




Jackie played Negro League Baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs before joining the Dodgers organization.







Jackie Robinson played big league baseball for the Dodgers his entire big league career, 1947-56, was the '47 Rookie of theYear, the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player, and played on the 1955 World Series Championship Dodgers.



Jackie was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.







Jackie passed away in 1972, shortly after making an appearance at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati for the '72 World Series.





In 1997, 50 years after he broke the color barrier, Major League Baseball retired Jackie's #42 uniform number.





The last player to wear #42 in the big leagues was Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, during the 2013 baseball season. 






I hope you get to a ball game tonight in your city, or get to watch a game on TV.




The Dodgers, now in Los Angeles,  always play at home on this day, and their game vs. the Seattle Mariners will be on ESPN tonight.




Have a great #JackieRJackieRobinsonDay everyone. 




PLAY BALL!!!



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jackie Robinson Night Pin Giveaway for Jacksonville Suns 4/15/15


The Jacksonville Suns will observe Jackie Robinson Night on Wednesday Night at Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.



The Suns, defending Southern League Champions, are the AA affiliate of the Miami Marlins.



For tickets and game info go to  JaxSuns.com.



The first 1,000 fans through the turnstiles will receive a special "42" pin to honor the late Dodger Hall of Fame player who, 68 years ago on Opening Day at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn, became the first African-American ballplayer in the modern era of big league baseball. 






I'll be at the ballgame, and look forward to celebrating the life of baseball's greatest pioneer, Jack Roosevelt Robinson.









I'll be on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all day Wednesday, and I look forward to talking baseball, Jackie, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and our hometown Jacksonville Suns.



Play Ball!



Today in Baseball History, April 14, 1910

105 years ago today, on Opening Day of the big league baseball season between the Philadelphia Athletics and Washington Senators, baseball's very first ceremonial first pitch ever thrown out by a United States President was tossed by President William Howard Taft.










Walter Johnson, the star pitcher of the Senators, caught the ceremonial first pitch, and had President Taft sign the ball.










Here's a list of  Presidential first-time Baseball stuff.




Play Ball!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Wally Moon

Today we say a 85th Happy Baseball Birthday to former big league ballplayer Wally Moon.








Wallace Wade Moon was born on April 3, 1930, in Bay, Arkansas.




Wally played college baseball at Texas A&M, and was signed as an amateur free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1950.




Wally made his big league debut on April 13, 1954, going 1-3, smacking a home run for the Cardinals.




Wally played for the Cardinals through the 1958 season, and was traded to the Dodgers on December 4, 1958.




In his first season as a Dodger Wally led the N.L. in triples in 1959, collected 164 hits, 19 homers, and 74 RBI.







Wally helped the Dodgers to the 1959 N.L. Pennant, and in only their second year in L.A., the former bums from Brooklyn won the World Series.




Wally collected 6 hits in the Series vs. the Chicago White Sox, including a HR in Game 6.




Playing in cavernous L.A. Coliseum, the left handed slugger learned to hit the ball up and over the two 42 ft. screens hovering just a short 251 feet from home plate.




Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully named the arching homers "Moon Shots," and a legend in Dodger Blue was born.





In three years playing at the L.A. Coliseum for the Dodgers Wally hit 49 "Moon Shots."









In his 12 year big league career Wally Moon played in 1,457 ball games, collected 1,399 hits, 212 doubles, 142 home runs, batting .289 in 4,843 big league at bats.




After his playing career Wally Moon became a coach at John Brown University between 1966-77, with one year off to become the hitting coach with the 1969 expansion San Diego Padres.




Wally owned the Dodgers AA franchise in San Antonio from 1976-1980, and was a minor league manager for the Yankees and Orioles between 1988-1991.




By my count that's around 45 years between high school baseball and and his last stint in the minors in 1991.




That's a lifetime of service to the game of baseball for Wally, and I bet he'd do it all over again.



For more information on Wally Moon go to wallymoon.com.




Happy 85th Baseball Birthday Wally Moon!




PLAY BALL!




















Riccardo Ingram (1966-2015)

Former Georgia Tech baseball and football player Riccardo Ingram has passed away at the age of 48.




Riccardo Benay Ingram was born on September 10, 1966, in Douglas, Georgia.







Riccardo attended Coffee High School in Douglas before playing baseball and football for the Yellow Jackets were in became the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1986.





Riccardo was selected  by the Detroit Tigers in the 4th round of the 1987 amatuer draft,  making his big league debut on June 26, 1994.




In 12 games in '94 Ingram had 5 base hits in 23 at bats, with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored for the Tigers.






In 1995 with the Minnesota Twins Riccardo appeated in 4 games, playing his final game in the big leagues on July 30.




Ingram became a long serving minor league coach in the Twins organization, mentoring young Twins players like Torri Hunter and Denard Span.



I'd like to say I remember Riccardo, that I could tell you that I saw him play college football in a ACC game, or that I remember him in his brief career with the Tigers, my baseball team, but, sadly, for myself, I cannot.



I learned of Riccardo's passing on Twitter this morning, and I wish to send my deepest of condolences to his friends and family on their loss.




May God Bless Riccardo and his family.