Sunday, August 28, 2011

My latest post for the Detroit Tigers Scorecard

As some of you know I do on occasion write articles about my favorite team, the Detroit Tigers, over at the Detroit Tigers

At times I write about things on my mind regarding the Tigers, or write historical pieces about the team.

Here's a link to my latest article for the DTS, on big league baseball's first 20 game winner, Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.

I'm 51 now, still relatively new at being a blogger, and sometimes I wonder what it would have been like in the 1970's writing my own articles on baseball and the Tigers.

I think Tigers fans these days expect way to much, expecting the team to compete for the World Series every year.

I just loved to watch the Tigers play, win, or lose.

That's just the way it was back then.

The DTS blog site was founded by Austin Drake, who does everything else for the site, including writing series previews, game re-caps, and giving Tigers fans up do date information about the Tigers, and the teams in the Tigers Minor League farm system. 

If your a Tigers fan, or just a baseball fan, check out the blog when you have a chance, hopefully you'll go to the story link above to read my article, and find a new home for your Tigers news.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Little League Honors fallen players

Today is the United States Championship of the Little League World Series, in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Today's championship game is between California, representing the West, and Montana, representing the North West.

The winner of the California-Montana game today will face the winner of Japan, the International Champion, on Sunday for the World Series Championship at 12 NOON.

I love Little League baseball.
My brother Robert and I played Little League baseball in Portage, Michigan in the early 1970's.

It was the greatest time of my life.

I couldn't play baseball enough, weather it was a game of catch with our friends, a pick-up game on the Portage sandlots, with my brothers and my Uncle Bob, or playing in the Little Leagues.

Today in South Williamsport,  Little League Baseball honored two of it's players, as the country prepares for the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.

That day, September 11, 2001, Michael Cammarata, a former Little League baseball player from Staten Island New York, was a New York City firefighter, and like so many other NYC fireman did that day, Michael charged into the burning World Trade Center.

He was there do do his job, to help save lives.

And, as so many others did that day, Michael made the ultimate sacrifice, becoming one of the thousands of victims of a horrific act of cowardice terrorism. 

Michael Cammarata was the youngest victim of 9-11.

That same day, amongst all the honor and grief, many new lives were born, including Christina Taylor Green.

Christina was born into a baseball family that included her father, John Green, now a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and her grandfather, Dallas Green, a former big league pitcher and manager of the 1980 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Christina fell in love with baseball, and played Little league baseball in her home town of Tuscon, Arizona.

She loved proving all the boys in town, and on her team, that she could play baseball as well, if not better, than they could.

On January 9th of this year she attended a gathering in Tuscon held by Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords was holding a meet and greet for her constituents that day when a gunman open fired, severely injuring Giffords, killing 6 people, including 9 year old Christina Taylor Green.

The Canyon Del Oro Little League field, Field #1, where she played in Tuscon, was re named in her honor during a ceremony earlier this year.

Both Michael and Christina were special people,  together forever on a single day a decade ago that no American will ever forget.

Today, and for the remainder of the weekend, all players uniforms will have a special patch on the left side of the uniform, honoring both Michale Cammarata and Christina Taylor Green.

As we pause to remember both these young people today, isn't it great that both of them enjoyed playing the great game of our youth, America's National Pastime, the grand game that is baseball.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Watching history in the making.

Baseball has been part of my life longer than I can remember, going back to the mid 1960's.

I remember some things, like playing catch and sandlot games, but as far as baseball on TV, I just don't remember watching games on TV until 1970, when I was in the hospital with a bad case of bronchitis.

I got to watch every single games...of the series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Reds.

I never saw Sandy Koufax, or Bob Gibson, or Juan Marichal pitch.

I always felt like I missed out on something special.

Yes, I grew up watching some terrific pitchers like Mickey Lolich, Ferguson Jenkins, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, and Phi Niekro pitch in the 70's, but most of them were already well on their way by the time I started watching them pitch.

Every fifth day I make sure not to miss the best power pitcher in baseball, the best pitcher in the American League, Justin Verlander, take the mound for the Tigers, and watching history being made.

Justin Verlander first came to the Tigers as the club's #1 draft pick in 2005, the 2nd overall pick in the draft that year.

Justin pitched in college at Old Dominion University, and the Tigers made sure not to miss on the chance at the power arm that would one day bring their franchise back to respectability.

Verlander made two starts in 2005, and they were anything but memorable.

In those 2 starts, Verlander pitched 11.1 innings, giving up 15 hits, 9 runs, all earned, losing both games.

In 2006 Verlander started the season with the Tigers, pitching in 30 games as a rookie, tossing 186 innings, striking out 124 batters, ending the season with a record of 17-9, with a 3.36 ERA, winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

Those 17 wins were the start of something special in the Motor City.

Since 2006 Verlander has won at least 17 games in 5 of his 6 seasons, with a career high of 19 wins coming in 2009.

In 2007 Verlander tossed a no hitter at Comerica Park against the Milwaukee Brewers, and earlier this season he added to that no hitter with another one, this time in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

Following that no hitter against the Jays, five days later Verlander took a no-no into the 6th inning, and also took a no-no into the KC Royals in July.

Yesterday in Cleveland another milestone achievement.

The 4-3 win over the Tribe was anything but vintage Verlander, but the staff ace retired 13 of the final 15 Indians batters, struck out 10 batters, winning his 17th game of the season...there's that number again...and that win was also Verlander's 100th career win, in just his 190th career start.

Verlander is 17-5 this year, with a 2.35 ERA, 196 K's( leads MLB) in 195 innings, 4 complete games, 2 shutout's, he's walked just 41 batters, and his WHIP is a MLB best 0.87.

Verlander is the only active pitcher in baseball under the age of 30 with 100 wins.

I wrote earlier this summer about Verlander, and that we were watching something special, over at the Detroit Tigers Scorecard.

At age 51 I've seen many very good pitchers play for the Tigers, Denny McLain, Mark Fidrych, Joe Coleman, Dan Petry, Justin Thompson, to name a few.

I've also seen to pitcher wear the Olde English "D" that should be in the Hall of Fame, Mickey Lolich, and Jack Morris.

They are the standard bearers the past 40+ years for Tigers pitchers.

Justin Verlander is well on his way to moving past all of them.

Card collecting contest

As some of you may know, I have been collecting baseball cards since I was a little kid in Michigan, when I would collect every Detroit Tigers card I could, especially those of Tigers catcher Bill Freehan, my boyhood hero.

I do have a baseball card blog, My Detroit Tigers Baseball Cards, and I recently, through my Twitter page, found a cool card contest over at Cheap Card Collecting.

Head on over there and enter, you never know, you might win something cool.

p.s remember me and this post if you win a Brennan Boesch jersey or autographed card, OK?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Detroit Tigers Scorecard Monthly Podcast

As some of you may now I write an occasional post for the Detroit Tigers Scorecard, a fantastic blog founded by my friend Austin Drake that focuses on our favorite baseball team, the Detroit Tigers.

Austin has added a monthly podcast to the blog, a half hour of talk dedicated to the Detroit Tigers.

In the first podcast Austin and I discuss the Tigers moves around the trade deadline, the teams standing as they battle in the American League Central Division, and a look around the prominent big league baseball trades through the July 31st trade deadline.

The Tigers are currently in first place in the American League Central Division, with a record of 59-52, 3 games ahead of the second place Cleveland Indians.