The greatest ball cap.
Olde English "D" size 7 3/8.
It's 11 days until the Detroit Tigers open the 2014 big league season at Comerica Park vs. the Kansas City Royals.
Bill Freehan is #11.
Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday of Puerto Rico's own Hiram Bithorn.
Hiram Bithorn was born on March 18th, 1916, in Santruce, Puerto Rico.
Bithorn, the first Puerto Rican born big league ball player, made it to the New York Yankees Class B Norfolk Tars in 1936, posting a 16-9 record in the Piedmont League.
The Yankees traded Bithorn to the New York Giants, who thd sent Hiram to the Chicago Cubs, and made his big league debut, on April 15th, 1942.
Bithorn pitched two season with the Cubs, 1942-43, the went off to serve in the US Navy in Word War II.
In '42 Bithorn, a right handed pitcher, had a record of 9-14, with a 3.68 ERA in 171.1 innings pitched.
In '43 Bithorn's best year, the Cubs righty compiled a 18-12 record, incluging 19 complete games, in 249 2/3 innings, with a terrific 2.60 ERA.
After the war was over Bithorn played for the Cubs in 1946, going 6-5, with a 3.84 ERA in just 86 2/3 IP.
Bithorn's final game came on May 4, 1947, as a member of the Chicago White Sox.
In just two games with the ChiSox, Hiram went 1-0, in only 2 innings pitched.
Injuries forced him to end his pitching, but Hiram became the first dver Puerto Rican umpire in organized American baseball, umpiring in tne Piedmont League in 1951.
Hiram Bithorn was murdered in 1951, just after the Mexican League season, at the age of 35, by a corrupt Mexican policeman.
Here's a terrific read on Hiram...
Hiram Bithorn is a legendary figure in his native Puerto Rico, and in 1962 , the largest ball park in the country was re-named "Estadio Hiram Bithorn. "
Happy Baseball Birthday Hiram!
This is pretty much the extent of the color Green in my wardrobe.
My wife got this St. Paddy's Day Detroit Tigers t-shirt a few years back and had the #11 put on the back for my baseball hero, Bill Freehan.
One day it would be fun to go to a Tigers Spring Training game on March 17th some year.
Enjoy the day...and be safe celebrating today.
Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday to the "Toy Cannon," Jimmy Wynn.
Jimmy Wynn was born on March 12, 1942, in Hamilton, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati.
Wynn was signed by the Reds as a free agent in 1962, and made his big league debut on July 10th, 1963, with the Houston Colt 45s.
Jimmy Wynn would slam massive home runs...tape measures...even though he was just 5 foot, 8 inches tall, and being so small he, became known as the "Toy Cannon" because of the sound the ball made coming off Wynn's bat.
In 15 years of big league baseball, Wynn smashed 291 home runs, with 964 RBI, 1,665 hits, 1,105 runs scored, and 1,224 bases on balls in 6,653 at bats in 1,920 games played.
Happy Birthday Jimmy!
Another terrific post from the great baseball fans at When we wore Fedora's.
Notice the schedule dates, February 22nd-April 6th.
Today's teams start much earlier, and ball clubs never get out of March before starting the regular season.
This year the Diamondbacks and Dodgers "start" the regular season in Australia next weekend.
Also, the pocket schedule has the Stars and Stripes waving proudly, showing support for the United States Wartime cause during World War II.
Baseball makes the cover of SI this week, and that's always a good thing.
Peter Edward Rose was a great ballplayer on the field, but his off the field gambling, even on his own beloved home town Cincinnati Reds, has banned him for life from big league baseball, and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Steroid abuse has caused much more harm to baseball than Pete Rose, and that's plain sad.
Pete Rose may not get in the HOF, but he sure belongs their over any steroids/HGH user..period.
I will definitely have to pick up a copy of this issue.
Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday of former big league catcher Moe Berg.
Moe Berg was born on March 2nd, 1902, in New York, NY, played college baseball at Princeton, and made his big league debut on June 27th, 1921, with the Brooklyn Robins.
Moe played in 663 big league games in 15 years, with the Robins, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, and Boston Red Sox.
Moe's 441 career base hits and .243 lifetime batting average aren't stats of legend, but the legend that is Moe Berg is, of course, more than the stats in a box score.
Years after he played his final game, it was revealed that Moe was more than just a ballplayer.
Moe Berg, along with hundreds other big league players, played exhibition games in Japan to make extra money in the off season.
As he traveled and played baseball overseas in the Far East, Moe Berg took a lot of snapshots of his fellow ballplayers, ballparks, and Japanese culture.
He took thousands of photos, many non baseball pictures as well.
His teammates never really knew why Moe was so interested in snapping so many shots of the Japanese landacape, instead of hanging out with the other players.
Moe Berg, who played in Ebbets Field, Shibe Park, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Navin Field, Comiskey Park, was secretly a spy for America, the good old USA.
Japan and America were having not so good relations in the 1930's, and many feared war was coming.
Moe Berg was enlisted secretly to use his ball playing trips to Japan to snap pictures anywhere, and everywhere he could, to help the US in case of aggression by the Japanese.
It took a special person to do what Moe Berg did, to play baseball, have a family, travel overseas, be a baseball playing ambassador, smile, make friends, take lots of pictures, all while knowing he may be caught spying.
Moe Berg passed away on May 5th, 1972, in Bellville, New Jersey, at the age of 70.
Today we salute a true American hero, and say Happy Baseball Birthday to Moe Berg.
Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday to former Jacksonville Suns catcher Kyle Skipworth.
Kyle Trent Skipworth was born on March 1st, 1990, in Riverside, California.
Kyle was the Florida Marlins 1st round pick, the 6th overall choice, in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.
After playing in a brief two games for the Suns in 2010, Skipworth was a mainstay behind the plate for the Suns in 2011 and 2012.
In 2011 Kyle appeared in 106 games for Jacksonville, collecting 82 base hits, smacking 11 home runs with 49 RBI in 396 at bats.
In 2012, Kyle appeared in 116 games for the Suns, smashing 91 base hits, with 21 home runs and 63 RBI, in 420 at bats.
Kyle moved up in the Marilns chain in 2013, making his big league debut at age 23, on April 10, 2013.
After appearing in 4 games for the Marlins, Kyle played for New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League.
In 73 games played in 2013, Skipworth collected 45 hits, 11 home runs, and 30 RBI I. 239 at bats.
Happy Baseball Birthday Kyle!