Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Baseball Dwier Brown

Today we send Happy Baseball Birthday wishes to Field of Dreams star  Dwier Brown.

Dwier Brown was born on January 30, 1959, in Ohio, and attended Ashland University.

Dwier has appeared in 58 movies and TV shows, from the  1982 movie "The Member of the Wedding, " 1983's "Thorn Birds," TV shows such as "ER," "Murder She Wrote," and "Criminal Minds."

It's the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams" that we all know and remember Dwier from.

Dwier plays John Kinsella, father of Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, and the ending of the movie still brings me to cry every time I see the movie.

"...hey, Dad...wanna have a catch?"

Field Of Dreams is in my top 5 baseball movies, and I watch it every time I come across it on TV.

Dwier has written a book, "If You build It,"  available at

The book is definitely on my 2015 baseball book reafing list.

If you're on social media, I follow on Twitter,  @DwierBrown and on Facebook...
Dwier Brown on Facebook

Be sure to go to Dwier's Facebook page and wish him a great big #HappyBaseballBirthday

Happy Baseball Birthday Dwier!

Play Ball!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This Week's Sports Illustrated Regional Cover...Ernie Banks

Sports Illustrated honors the late Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, on one of their regional covers this week.

                                    Sports Illustrated 2/5/2015

Banks, the legendary Hall of Fame Chicago Cubs shortstop, passed away from a heart attack last Friday at the age of 83.

The regional Banks cover is available to all subscribers and newsstands throughout the Midwest.

As a baseball fan, I need to get this SI, in fact, I'm gonna buy two!

Play Ball!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...The State of Michigan

Today we celebrate Happy Baseball Birthday #178 to the great State of Michigan.

Michigan gained Statehood on January 26, 1837, the 26th State in the Union.

I was born in Kalamazoo,  and lived in East Lansing, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Portage, graduating from Portage Northern High School. 

In both Muskegon,  and in Portage,  my brothers and I played a lot of baseball, both on the local sandlots, and in Little League Baseball.

My brother Robert and I even got to play together on the same Little League team, Robert at 2nd Base,  Me at 1st Base.

Michigan has a tremendous baseball history.

Kalamazoo baseball dates back to at least 1858, when the city's first "official" Village team was organized by early town residents,  including Oscar Coleman, playing many games in Bronson Park.

Bronson Park is the place where my Grandmother Sharp and Uncle Bob took us boys to play on the weekends and during the summertime in Kalamazoo.

The simple thought that as a young boy I played around in the  grass and water fountains of the same park young boys played base ball over 100 years previous,  is what makes baseball special.

Base Ball  was being played by kids in Michigan since at least the 1830s, and the State's first professional ball club, The Franklin Club,  formed in 1857.

The Detroit Base Ball Club  was formed in the Motor City on May 25, 1859.

Professional big league baseball in Michigan produced many great ball clubs, including the 1887 World Champion Detroit Wolverines,  the famed House of David, the American League Detroit Tigers, and the Negro Leagues Detroit Stars.

Tiger Stadium was always the place all us kids wanted to go to, to  go watch our heroes, Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Mickey Lolich, and Bill Freehan,  play baseball.

It was the same field that saw Ty Cobb, "Wahoo" Sam Crawford, Charlie Gehringer,  Hank Greenberg,  Schoolboy Rowe, and Dizzy Trout wear the Olde English D. 

 Jim Abbott, Kiki Cuyler, Bobby Grinch, Jim Kaat, Milt Pappas, J.J. Putz, Ted Simmons, and John Smoltz are all big league ballplayers born in the State of Michigan

Big League Ballplayers born in Michigan

The University of Michigan Wolverines  started a baseball team in 1866, Michigan State University Spartans in 1884, and my hometown Western Michigan University Broncos in 1911.

The very first College World Series was played in my hometown of Kalamazoo, at Hyames Field, Western's Home Ballpark.

The Yale University 1st Baseman that day was a young man named George Herbert Walker Bush.

1947 and 1948 College World Series

There's so much more baseball history I could write about, and the future I need to do that.

Many thanks for help in my research for this #HappyBaseballBirthday blog post go out to  Michigan's Past on Tumblr, and (@MichiganHist) on Twitter.

They sent me these links....

Hey Batter Batter

Baseball Fever: Early Baseball in Michigan

Thanks so much to that site for their help.

Follow them on their Social Media sites, it's worth getting tjosr great tweets every day.

#HappyBaseballBirthday to my home, my place of birth, the Great State of Michigan!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy Baseball...Ernie Harwell

Just realized today is #HappyBaseballBirthday of former big league announcer Ernie Harwell.

William Earnest "Ernie" Harwell was born on January 25, 1918, in Washington, Georgia.

Ernie Harwell called big league baseball games for 55 years, 42 of those calling games of my beloved Detroit Tigers.

Ernie passed away almost 5 years ago now, on May 4, 2010, at the age of 92.

It's late, almost midnight here in Jacksonville, and I wanted to make sure I got Ernie's #HappyBaseballBirthday posted.

"...there's a pop foul out of play down the 3rd Base line...and a fine catch by a young fan from Kalamazoo. "

Happy Birthday Ernie!

Play Ball!

Changing of the Guard

Today baseball starts a new chapter in it's 146 year history  as Rob Manfred becomes the tenth Commissioner of Major League Baseball

Commissioner Manfred succeeds Bud Selig, who had been baseball's leader since September,  1992.

As a baseball fan I'm excited to see what the game will become under Commissioner Manfred, a life long baseball who seems to be humbled by his new position.

                                From MLB.COM home page.

The new Robert D. Manfred Jr. baseball's are all ready to go for the 2015 season.

I need to get a Alan "Bud" Selig baseball.

Here's the entire list of big league baseball's Commissioners, from  Baseball Alamanac

onerStart of TermEnd of TermSeasons
November 12, 1921
November 25, 1944
April 24, 1945
July 15, 1951
September 20, 1951
November 16, 1965
November 17, 1965
November 20, 1968
February 4, 1969
September 30, 1984
October 1, 1984
September 30, 1988
April 1, 1989
September 1, 1989
September 13, 1989
September 7, 1992
Bud SeligSeptember 7, 1992Today22
Rob Manfred
January x, 2015

Ten men...thats it.

Commissioner Manfred has a tough job ahead,  and I wish him the best.

Good Luck Mr. Commissioner!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mr. Cub

Ernest Banks

January 31, 1931-January 23, 2015

"Let's Play Two"

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday. ..Kurt Bevacqua

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday is former big leaguer Kurt Bevacqua.

Kurt Anthony Bevacqua 
was born on January 23, 1947, in Miami Beach, Florida, attended North MiamI-Dade High School,  and Miami-Dade College.

Kurt was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 4th round of the 1967 Amateur Baseball Draft.

Kurt played big league baseball for 15 years, making his big league debut on June 22, 1971, for the Cleveland Indians.

Kurt collected 490 hits, including 90 doubles,  27 home runs,  and 275 RBI playing for the Tribe, Royals, Rangers, Pirates, Brewers, and Padres, between 1971-1985.

Kurt was an important part of the 1984 San Diego Padres National League Championship team.

Kurt homered of Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry in Game 2 of the '84 World Series, helping the Padres to their only win of the Series.

Besides that Fall Classic home run, I'll always remember Kurt Bevacqua as the one, and only winner of the  Joe Garagiola Bazooka Bubble Gum Blowing Championship.

The event was so awesome that Bevacqua appeared on Topps Baseball Card #564 in the 1976 set, showing Kurt, then playing for the Brewers, blowing the winning bubble.

Its one of my favorite baseball cards ever.

Kurt played his final big league ballgame on October 6, 1985, at the age of 38.

Happy Baseball Birthday Kurt Bevacqua!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

National Cheese Day

OK, I've been sick the past few days, and apparently I missed National Cheese Day.

Yes, I love cheese, mostly American cheese, although I do like a mild cheddar as well.

On honor of my love of cheese, and the game of baseball, I thought I'd post a picture of my favorite big league pitcher.

Detroit Tigers hurler Justin Verlander

Happy Hard Cheese Day!

Play Ball!

Happy National Hug Day

Happy National Hug Day, 1968 style. 

Monday, January 19, 2015