Friday, June 29, 2012

My American League All-Star starters.

It's time for another big league baseball mid summers classic, the All-Star Game, to be played at Kaufman Stadium, Home of the Kansas City Royals.

The annual clash between the American and National leagues wii take place on Tuesday, July 10th, and will be broadcast on FOX.

The game is, to say the least, the best All-Star game of any of the four major sports, with an actual baseball game, with the same rules as usual, being played by the big league players.

One part of the annual get together is the usual arguments of weather or not the players selected are true stars, who deserve to be there, or just the result of bad fan balloting and managerial selections.

Fans, myself included, always have their own selections, right, or wrong, which leads to debate, which, I guess, is part of what makes the middle of July so interesting to us baseball fans.

This is also my yearly post as a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

I decided this year to just post my picks for the starters of each league, starting with the American League.

To sit and go through the entire squad for me, is just, well, to much for me anymore, so I hope you'll understand.

So, here's a list of my selections for starters....and check out the cool All-Star Baseball...I'd like one of those. 

American League

First Base...Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers

Second Base...Robinson Cano, New York Yankees

Third Base...Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Shortstop...Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Outfielders...Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers...Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays...Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

DH...Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

Catcher...Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles.

Staring Pitcher(selected by manager)...Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

First off, yes, I'm a Tigers fan, and yes, I have three of them on the starting A.L. team's why...

...If any of you think the defending American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable player of the year from 2011, Justin Verlander, doesn't deserve to be the starter, I'm sorry for your troubles, but he's the choice, because he deserves it, period.

Fielder and Cabrera have carried the Tigers offense in 2012, without much help at all, from any of the batters in the lineup who hit after Fielder, who bats cleanup.

Those batters, positions, 5-9, have been hurt, sent to the minors, called up from the minors, or have just plain not gotten it done.

Even the Tigers lead-off hitter, Austin Jackson, spent time on the DL, and Andy Dirks, who was playing, and hitting well, is on the DL, and may not return until after the break.

The rest of the team, I believe, speak for themselves, including rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who since being called up to the big leagues, and re-energized the Angels by hitting a A.L. best .354.

The DH, Billy Butler?

OK, yes, I primarily chose Butler because he's from Jacksonville, Florida, my home the past 31+ years, but Billy has continued to be a terrific player, batting .296, with 15 HRs and 46 RBI.

Cano, Jeter(..who continues to play shortstop like he was 25, is, at 38, is hitting .304)...Wieters, Hamilton, and A.L. HR leader Bautista(26), are as good as it gets at their respective positions.

OK, I know what you're saying...where's Paul Konerko at 1B, or his ChiSox teammate, Adam Dunn? 

Where's Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, or Mike Aviles of the BoSox?

Hey, I get it, they're playing well, especially Dunn, who's gonna make the squad, I assure you, and as I've said, there is always gonna be an argument, no matter what.

I think the reserves should include Dunn, Konerko, Aviles, Kinsler, Mark Trombo of the Angels, Mike Moustakas of the Royals, and Austin Jackson, just to name a few.

Please fell free to comment in the section below, or you can find me on

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hall of Very article on Bill Freehan.

A few months ago I was asked to write about my baseball hero, Bill Freehan, the former Gold Glove and 11 time All-Star catcher of the Detroit Tigers, for the guys over at The Hall of Very Good, for their HEROES series.

The series has baseball fans writing about their favorite ballplayers, the guys who aren't in the big league Hall of Fame, but are in our HOF as fans.

For those of you who've read this blog enough now my love of the Tigers, and of the best catcher to ever play for the Tigers.

Please follow the link below to the HOVG and my article, and be sure to check out the series of articles, the other writers have done a fantastic job.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Who will lead the American League in HRs this season?

With just over three weeks until the annual All-Star break, the race for the American League leader in home runs is a close competition, with six players currently at 20, or more, HRs.

Who's going to end up the league leader?

Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays?

Adam Dunn of the ChiSox?

Curtis Granderson of the Yankkes?

Or will it be someone else, someone like Prince Fielder of the Tigers, or Adam Jones of the Orioles?

If you would, please VOTE in the poll to the right on this page, and feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for your time.

Play Ball!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Comerica Park, Fenway, or Wrigley...the Best Ballpark is...

One of the best baseball arguments is which big league team plays in the best ballpark.

Over at ESPN fans have the chance to vote for their favorite among all 30 big league parks, bracket style.

Of the current parks, I've been to Comerica Park in Detroit, Camden Yards in Baltimore, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Fenway Park in Boston, Turner Field in Atlanta, and Tropicana Field in Tampa.

Of the ballparks that no longer grace us with their beauty and grace, I've been to Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Shea Stadium in Queens, NY,  Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Joe Robbie Stadium on Miami, and old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.

One of the things on my baseball bucket list is to visit every big league ballpark at least once. so that leaves me with quite a list to finish.

Head over to and VOTE for your favorite ballparks.

Oh, and let's have an agreement that you'll VOTE for Comerica Park, Home of my Detroit Tigers.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

AMAZING Wiffleball pitch!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Fathers Day

Today baseball fans celebrate the grand game, and the fathers who introduced them to our National Past Time.

Baseball and the father-son relationship is really what fueled the love of the game for generations of big league...and minor league baseball fans, handing down the memories of Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, and the Original Yankee Stadium.

Dad's have passed down the exploits of the Big Train, Three Finger Brown, Big, and Little Poison, the Waner Brothers, and of a skinny kid for San Diego, the Splendid Splinter.

It starts with the gift of a brand new glove, and a shiny new baseball, a catch in the back yard with your Dad.

From there it grows...sandlot games with your buddies in the neighborhood, picking teams and playing in any lot of land that has enough grass to play on...and sometimes playing where there is no grass.

Then it's on to Little League Baseball, playing organized baseball for the very first time.

Fathers passing down their love of baseball, generation after generation.

My Dad wasn't a baseball fan, he preferred basketball.

He would always tell me that when he did play baseball with his two brothers growing up, that he liked playing catcher, because he had a strong arm and could throw runners out trying to steal second base.

In the 1950's my Uncle Bob, my Dad, and other family members liked the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees.

My Grandmother Sharp and my Uncle Paul, the youngest son, would root for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

My Grandmother especially didn't like Yogi Berra, and would scream at the tiny TV set when Yogi would get a hit.

My Dad was happy that I liked baseball, always supported me and my brothers playing.

My Mom was our Team Mother one year.

My parents were great about my love of baseball, but it was my Uncle Bob, who loved baseball, and taught me, and my brothers, the games history, and how to play baseball..

My Dad passed away on Christmas Eve, 1991, at the age of 54, a young man ravaged by Rheumatoid Arthritis, his body broken down from working since the age of 7, working at any job he could to help his Mom, and his two brothers survive.

My Uncle Paul and my Uncle Bob love college baseball these days more than big league baseball, but we still have talks about baseball.

My Uncle Bob enjoys going to AA Bowie Baysox games, an following the Baltimore Orioles.

My Uncle Paul doesn't get to ball games anymore, but he watches on TV, and we have good talks about the game.

If your Dad is still with you, I hope you have a great relationship, even if he's a Cubs fan, and you're a ChiSox fan.

Happy Fathers Day...Play Ball!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Look for John's Big League Baseball Blog

I've been contemplating for a while now about making some changes to this blog.

I'm not very good at change, and so it took a while for me to start the process, but here we are.

Not all the changes will come today, or tomorrow, but they will start, have started, today.

First, I've changed the design, and the look, of the blog.

The cosmetic changes are intended to be a good thing, hopefully, for both you, the reader, and myself.

I also am going to be adding more content than usual, although, as in the past, my health is what it is, and it will get in the way at times.

Let me say that the format, my love of baseball, and the history of the grand game, will not change.

I will still focus most of my writing on baseball's glorious history, back all the way to the 1869 Redlegs, and beyond.

I will also be doing something that I should have done long ago.

I am a collector of baseball cards, mostly those of the Detroit Tigers, and I will be blogging on my card collection, and the hobby of card collecting, in the blog.

That's a 1969 Topps All-Star Bill Freehan card.

I collect as many different Freehan cards as possible, and I have every base Topps card of Freehan since 1963, his rookie season, card #466.
 I've been collecting baseball cards since the late 1960's, and even though I haven't been as active as I'd like to, I still love opening packs of baseball cards.

Oh, by the way, if you have any of the Justin Verlander card shown on the right, from 2012 Topps Series 2, please let me know, I'd like to trade for it, or buy it from you, if the price is in my budget.

Lastly, I'll be posting articles. posts, and other interesting things, about the Detroit Tigers.

I've been, as you well know, I life long fan of the Tigers, and will write about the current Tigers team, and about the teams, coaches, and players, of the past.

So, I once again would like to say thanks to all of you who take part of your day to read the ramblings of a baseball fan who still thinks baseball is America's Past Time.

Play Ball!!




Monday, June 11, 2012

Cool Baseball on Pinterest

A few months back came across the website Pinterest.

It's a pretty cool site that allows people to "pin" stuff they like, such as clothing, movies, books, etc.

Today I came across this neat pin from Alyssa Milano's Pinterest page, who's a big baseball fan.

If you're on Pinterest, check out some of the cool baseball stuff. 

If you're not on Pinterest, as a baseball fan, go ahead and check it out.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Baseball history...the Mets Santana throw's teams first no-hitter

In the 50th year of the New York Mets, in Game #8,020, the New York Mets are officially members of the no-hitter club of big league baseball.

Using a career high 134 pitches, Johan Santana threw the first ever no-hitter by a New York Met's pitcher, as the Mets hammered the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-0.

Three times in Mets history, all by Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, Mets pitchers entered the ninth inning having allowed no hits.

Tonight was the first time the 9th inning ended up with a Mets pitcher celebrating baseball history.

What's always been hard for Mets fans, is that Seaver, the teams greatest pitcher, threw a no-hitter as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, against the Cardinals, on June 16, 1978.

Also , Doc Gooden, the fireballing right hander of the Mets glory teams of the mid 1980's, threw a no-hitter as a member of the hated cross town Yankees, on May 14, 1996.

Mets fans, like Dan Hicken, a local TV sports guy here in Jacksonville, can now chime in when no-hitters come up in baseball conversation.

If you're a Mets fan, and live here in NE Florida, you should follow Dan Hicken on Twitter.

Heck, you should follow him anyway.

So, with the no-hitter by Santana tonight, that leaves the San Diego Padres, who've been playing baseball in the National League since 1969, as the only current big league team without a pitcher throwing a no-hitter.