Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This Week's Sports Illustrated Regional Covers

We love Sport's Illustrated when they put baseball on the cover,  and this week SI has given us two regional covers,  featuring the Kansas City Royals and Little League World Series sensation Mo'Ne Davis.

Covers courtesy Of Sports Illustrated 

Happy Baseball Birthday...Bobby Richardson

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday to former New York Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson.

Robert Clinton Richardson was born on August 19, 1935, in Sumter, South Carolina.

Bobby attended Edmunds High School in Sumter before signing with the New York Yankees on June 12, 1953.

Bobby made his big league debut with the Yankees on August 5, 1955, at the age of 19.

Bobby  was a stellar second sacker for the Yankees from 1955-66, a five time Gold Glove Winner and three time World Series Champion,  in 1958, 61, 62.

In 1960 Bobby became the only player on a losing team to win the World Series MVP Award, batting .367, with 11 base hits,  12 RBI, scoring 8 runs.

The Yankees lost in Game 7 of the '60 WS to the Pittsburgh Pirates,  on a Game Winning Home Run by fellow second baseman Bill Mazeroski.

Bobby is also known for his 1962 World Series saving catch of a line drive off the bat of the San Francisco Giants slugging First Baseman Willie Mc Covey with two outs in the ninth inning of Game 7.

In 12 big league seasons,  Bobby collected 1,432 hits, 196 doubles,  37 triples, 34 home runs, and 390 RBI in 5,386 at bats.

In those 1,412 games and 5,586 at bats Bobby struck out just 243 times, finishing with a .266 lifetime batting average.

Bobby led the American League in base hits in 1962 with 209, and led the Junior Circuit in at bats in '62 (692), '63 (630), and '64 (679).

After Bobby retired he became the Head Baseball Coach at South Carolina, from 1970-76, taking the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Baseball Tournament in 1974, and the College Baseball World Series in 1975.

Bobby was also the Head Baseball Coach at Liberty University and at Coastal Carolina University. 

Bobby Richardson published his memoir,  "Impact Player," in 2012, and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Happy 79th Baseball Birthday Bobby!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Roberto Clemente

80 years ago today, August 18th, 1934, the great Roberto Clemente was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Clemente left us much, much, to early,  passing away at the age of 38 in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972, while sending aid to earthquake ravaged Nicaragua. 

If you haven't read a book on the Pirates Hall of Fame right fielder,  I suggest Clemente, by David Maraniss.

I simply loved the book,  couldn't put it down, just tremendous

I also chose Clemente's 1971 Topps card, my favorite of all his baseball cards,  to post for his 80th Birthday. 

Today we send out a special Happy Baseball Birthday to the great Roberto Clemente!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Colorado Rockies retire Todd Helton's #17

Today the Colorado Rockies retired uniform #17, worn for 17 years by All-Star First Baseman Todd Helton.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday... Sports Illustrated

Happy Baseball Birthday #60 to Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated was first published on August 16, 1954, with a picture of Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews gracing the cover.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Charles Comiskey

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday to former big league ballplayer,  manager, Chicago White Sox owner and Hall of Famer Charles Comiskey.

Charles Comiskey was born on August 15, 1859, in Chicago,  Illinois. 

After attending St. Louis University Comiskey signed with the St. Louis Browns of the American Association, in 1882.

Charles Comiskey made his big league debut for the Browns on May 5, 1882.

Comiskey played first base and was player/manager with the Browns, winning 4 consecutive American Association Pennants, 1885-86-87-88, winning the World Series in 1886.

Comiskey was also player/manager of the Chicago Pirates of the Players League in 1890, and managed the National League Cincinnati Reds in 1892-93-94.

Comiskey played in 1,390 big league games, collecting 1,529 hits, 207 doubles,  68 triples, with 28 home runs and 883 RBI in 5,796 at bats.

Comiskey played his final big league game as a player on September 12, 1894, at the age of 35.

After his playing days Comiskey became a baseball owner, and after owning a team in St. Paul, Minnesota,  Comiskey became the owner of the Chicago White Stockings of the new American League in 1901.

Comiskey's ChiSox won American League Pennants in 1906, 1917, and 1919, winning World Series Championships in 1906 and 1917.

"The Old Roman" was a very frugal owner, and that led to the infamous "Black Sox" scandal, where eight White Sox players were found to have thrown the 1919 World Series againat the Cincinnati Reds. 

The players were suspended by Comiskey during the players trials, and even thought each player was found not guilty by a jury, newly elected Baseball Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis permanently suspended all 8 ball players from ever playing in the big leagues again.

The White Sox, one of baseball's best teams, never recovered from the scandal, and the team would go 40 years before winning another pennant. 

Charles Comiskey, know simply as "Commy" to his friends, passed away on October 26, 1931, in Eagle River,  Wisconsin,  at the age of 72,

Comiskey Park, built in 1910, and the White Sox hosted the very first Major League All-Star Game, in 1933.

Charles Comiskey was Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1939.

Today we send out a Happy Baseball Birthday to the Old Roman,  Charles Comiskey. 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Mark "The Bird" Fidrych

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday is former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.

Mark Steven Fidrych was born on August 14, 1954, in Worcester,  Massachusetts, and  attended  Worcester Academy High School.

The Detroit Tigers drafted Mark in the 10th round if the 1974 amatuer baseball draft.

After a couple of years in the Tigers farm systen, Fidrych made his big league debut for the Tigers on April 20, 1976.

All Tigers fans around in '76, myself included, can rattle off Fidrych's 1976 season... 19 wins, 9 losses, an American League leading 2.34 ERA and 24 compete games. 

Fidrych was a baseball rock star who talked to the baseball, manicured the dirt around the pitching mound on his hands and knees, had a big, infectious smile,  ran on and off the field, and thanked his Tigers teammates after they made plays like it was a Little League game.

Injuries, starting in the spring of 1977, would allow Mark Fidrych to start only 27 games between '77-'80, and his final big league game was in Toronto,  on October 1, 1980, vs the Blue Jays.

Nearly five years later, in 1985, famed baseball doctor James Andrews diagnosed Fidrych with a torn rotator cuff injury, and although it was repaired, the damage was done,  and Fidrych never pitched again.

Mark Fidrych passed away at the age of 54 on April 13, 2009, of a accident on his farm in Northboro. 

No player, not  Alan Trammell,  Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris,  Cecil Fielder, Justin Verlander, or Miguel Cabrera ment more or was more beloved by Tigers fans like Mark Fidrych was in 1976.

Happy Baseball Birthday Mark!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Ricky Colovito

Today is Happy Baseball Birthday #81 for former big league slugger Rocky Colovito.

Rocco Domenico Colovito was born on August 10, 1933 in New York, New York.

Rocky attended Roosevelt High School in NYC, and signed as a amateur free agent with the Cleveland Indians in 1951.

Rocky made his big league debut with Cleveland on September 10, 1955, and came up to stay in 1956, hitting .276 in 101 games, scoring 55 runs,  slugging 21 home runs, with 65 RBI,  in 322 at bats. 

Those 21 home runs started a streak of 11 consecutive 20+ home run seasons, 1956-66,  including three 40+ HR years, '58, '59, '61.

With the Tribe in '58 Rocky smashed 41 home runs, with 113 RBI, batting .303, and leading the American League in slugging percentage at .620.

In '59 the Indians slugger smacked a American League leading 42 HR, driving in 111 Tribe runners, making his first American League All-Star team.

Just before the start of the 1960 season the Cleveland Indians shocked the baseball world by trading Colovito to the Detroit Tigers for 1959 American League batting champion Harvey Kuenn.

Indians fans loved the slugging Colovito,  and Tigers fans loved Kuenn, and neither set of fans were very happy.

Colivito and the Tigers would prove to be the winners of the trade.

In 4 years alongside future Hall of Fame RF Al Kaline, Colivito smashed 139 home runs, 45 of them coming in 1961, along with 140 RBI, a .296 average and his first All Star Game as a Tigers player.

Following the 1963 season the Tigers traded Rocky to the Kansas City Athletics,  after a 22 HR, 91 RBI season.

Rocky hit 34 HR, with 102 RBI for the '64 A's, who then traded Colovito back to his original team, the Indians. 

Colovito promptly smacked 26 homers and drove in an American League leading 108 base runners in 1965.

In '66 Rocky slugged 30 homers and had 72 RBI, making his final All-Star Game.

In the middle of the '67 season, on July 29th, the Tribe sent Colovito to the Chicago White Sox, who  then sold Rocky to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On July 7, 1968, the Dodgers released Rocky, who signed with the New York Yankees on July 15th.

The Yankees then released Rocky at the end of the 1968 season,  Rocky's final year in the big leagues. 

In his 14 years in the big leagues,  Rocky Colivito played in 1,841 ball games, collecting 1,730 base hits, 282 doubles,  21 triples, 374 home runs, 1.159 RBI, and 971 runs scored. 

In the field Rocky made just 70 errors in 3, 516 chances, finishing with a .980 fielding percentage.

Colovito coached in the big leagues after his playing days, with the Indians in the 1970s and the Kansas City Royals in the 1980s.

Rocky Colovito was named to the Indians All Century Team in 2001, and was Inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame in 2006.

Today we send out our warmest Happy Baseball Birthday wishes to the Rock, Rocky Colovito!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Ralph Houk

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday to former big league catcher and manager Ralph Houk.

Houk was the Detroit Tigers manager from 1974-78, and oversaw the rebuilding of the Tigers after the great teams of the late '60s and before the Tigers terrific run into the 1980s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Houk!

Play Ball!