Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One more year

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced  on Tuesday night that legendary baseball play by play broadcaster Vin Scully will return for his 66th year behing the microphone calling ball games.

The announcement was made on Vin Scully Microphone Night at Chavez Ravine, honoring Vin's 65th year broadcasting baseball games.

I'll need to get one of those microphones for sure.

Way to go Vin!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday... Ken Burns

A special Happy Baseball Birthday to documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

Kenneth Lauren Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 29, 1953.

Ken Burns 1994 documentary film Baseball stands... in my the ultimate historical baseball film ever made about our National Pastime.

Every time Baseball comes back to PBS, or the MLB Network, I pretty much stop whatever I'm doing and watch.

In 2010 Burns updated Baseball with The Tenth Inning, two, 2 hour shows on PBS that updated the original Baseball film through the years 1994-2009.

I'm also a huge fan of The Civil WarBurns 1990 film that became the first documentary to make $100 Million dollars.

Burns family moved quite a bit in his younger years growing up, and Ken graduated from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School while his father, Robert Burns, taught at the University of Michigan.

Ken attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Burn's newest film for PBS is The Roosevelt's, to air in the fall.

There's also a planned 2015 release of a Burns documentary on Brooklyn Dodgers great Jackie Robinson.

It would be awesome if I could ever get a chance to meet Ken Burns. and would love to get a signed baseball from him one day.

Happy Baseball Birthday Ken.

Play Ball!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday... Vida Blue

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday #65 to former big league hurler Vida Blue.

Vida Rochelle Blue was born on July 28, 1949, in Mansfield, Louisiana.

Blue attended De Soto High School in Mansfield and went to college to play baseball for the Jaguars of Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge.

The Kansas City Athletics drafted Blue in the 2nd round of the 1967 amatuer draft.

Vida made his big league debut for the Athletics, now the Oakland A's, on July 20, 1969, at the age of 19.

On September 21, 1970 Blue tossed a no hitter against the Minnesota Twins.

Blue's only mistake that day was a 4th inning walk to future HOFer Harmon Killebrew.

1971 was Vida Blue's best year in the big leagues, and one of the best pitching performances in big league history.

Blue compiled a amazing 24-8 record, and a ERA of just 1.82.

Blue logged an impressive 312 innings pitched, striking out 301 American League batters.

Blue led the A. L. In hits allowed per nine innings, 6.029, shutouts, 8, and the 1.82 ERA.

Blue was the American League starting pitcher for the '71 All-Star Game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit.

Vida Blue's fantastic '71 season was completed with the A.L. Cy Young Award and A.L. Most Valuable Player Award.

From his 1969 debut, through the 1977 season, Vida Blue won 124 games for the A's, had a ERA of 2.95, struck out 1,315 hitters, pitched 28 shutouts, and completed 105 of his 262 starts.

With Vida Blue in the starting rotation the Oaklan A's won five consecutive A.L. West Division Titles, 1971-72-73-74-75, and three straight World Series Championships in '72-'73-'74.

Vida Blue was sold by the A's to the New York Yankees in June of 1976, and three days later the sale was voided by Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.

Commissioner Kuhn also voided the A's trade of Blue to the Cincinnati Reds on 1977.

Both transactions involving Vida Blue were denied by Bowie Kuhn in "the BEST interests of baseball."

Two years later, on March 15, 1978, Blue was traded by Oakland across the bay to the San Francisco Giants.

Vida won 18 games for the Giants in '78, his fourth 20 win season.

In 1978 Vida Blue became the first pitcher in baseball to start for both the A.L. and the N.L. in an All-Star Game.

The Giants traded Blue to the Kansas City Royals on March 30, 1982, and after two seasons with the Royals Blue became a free agent, and returned to San Francisco in 1985.

Vida Blue finished his big league career with the Giants on October 2, 1986.

In his 17 year big league career Vida Blue compiled a 209-161 record, a 3.27 ERA, 2,175 strikeouts, pitching 37 shutouts, 143 complete games, a no hitter, Cy Young Award, and MVP Award. in 3,343 1/3 innings pitched.

Vida Blue has given back to baseball, giving his time and effort to improve inner city baseball in the San Francisco Bay area.

Happy Baseball Birthday Vida!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Fred Scherman

Happy Baseball Birthday to former big league pitcher Fred Scherman, who turns 70 today.

The former Tigers, Astros, and Expos pitcher was born on July 25, I 944, in Dayton, Ohio.

Fred played high school baseball for Fairview HS, then for the Ohio State  Buckeyes of the Big Ten before signing with the Minnesota Twins as a amateur free agent in 1964.

Later in '64 Scherman was drafted from the Twins system by the Tigers in the 1st Year MLB Player Draft.

Fred made his big league debut for Detroit on April 26, 1969, at the age of 24.

Fred pitched for the Tigers until 1973, including the American League Eastern Division Championship team of '72.

Fred's best season in the big leagues was 1971 with the Tigers. 

In 69 games Scherman compiled a 11-6 record,  2.71 ERA, 20 saves, in 113 innings pitched. 

Scherman forever put his name in baseball history, albeit fir a bad thing, when  on September 13, 1971 he surrendered future Hall of Famer  Frank Robinson's 500th home run.

Scherman was traded by the Tigers after the '73 season to the Astros, and was then purchased from Houston by the Montreal Expos on June 8, 1975.

Fred's final big league game came as an Expos pitcher on July 6, 1976, at the age of 31.

His 1972 Topps baseball card below us a photo I took of one if my Fred Sherman cards I have.

Happy Baseball Birthday Fred.

PLAY Ball!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...City of Detroit

A special Happy Baseball Birthday today to the Motor City.

Today the City of Detroit  celebrates its 313th birthday, founded by the  French on April 24, 1701, as Fort Pontchartrain du D`etroit.

Baseball in Motown dates back well into the 1800s, and the city has been represented by several professional baseball clubs including the 1887 National Campionship Detroit Wolverines, the Nego Leagues Detroit Stars, and the 4 time World Series Champion Detroit Tigers of the American League.

The Wolverines played in Recreation Park, built in the late 1770s.

The Stars played in old Mack Park until a fire destroyed the park in 1929, and then In Hamtramck Park,  built by the Stars owner in 1930.

The cross streets of  Michigan and Trumbull , in the Corktown area of Detroit was the home of proffessional baseball since the building if Bennett Park in the 1880s, and continued with Navin Field, built in 1920, and remaned Briggs Stadium in 1937, and then Tiger Stadium, in 1961.

The Tigers have played in Comerica Park, about a mile from The Cornersince the 2000 baseball season.

Navin Field has be ressurected by the Navin Field Ground Crew, a group of Tigers fans who volunteer their time and money to  maintain to historic ground that was once THE CORNER of Michigan and Trumbull. 

Happy Baseball Birthday Motown!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...75 years of Batman

Today is Batman Day around the D. C. Universe.

Batman first appeared in comics in 1939...the same year Little League Baseball was establushed in Williamsport, Pennsylvania,  and the year the National Baseball Hall of Fane and Museum was opened in Cooperstown,  New York.

I must admit, I'm a Amazing Spiderman guy, but loved watching the 1960s TV show starring Adam West, who's always been my favorite Caped crusader...although I also pick Michael Keaton as the best movie Batman.

Until today I had no idea the great game of baseball was a favorite of Batman.

Living in Gotham City at the time, Bruce Wayne, er, Batman, probably swung by Yankee Stadium to watch a young Joe DiMaggio smashing line drives,  checked out a guy named Willie Mays making basket catches in center field at the Polo Grounds, and dropped by Ebbetts Field to watch 'Dem Bums, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

My guess is that the #1 crime fighter in Gotham was a Dodgers fan...always rootingand cheering for the underdog. 

Thanks to D C Cimucs for the cool #Batman75 logo and awesone comics. 

Thanks to @baseballminutia for tweeting the World's Finest Comics #3 today.

Happy Baseball Birthday Batman!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Hall of Very Good adds three new members.

Today the Hall of Very Good announced the addition of three new members to the HOVG.

Former Indians and Red sox hurler Luis Tiant, Twins great Tony Oliva, and the Famous San Diego Chicken are this years inductees.

Yes, the Famous Chicken.., what a wonderful selection.

The three new members join former White Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers pitcher Tommy John, the original HOVG selection in 2012, and former Braves slugger Dale Murphy, and Pirates Workd Series MVP Steve Blass in 2013.

I enjoy the HOVG, a terrific blog that honors great...VERY GOOD...players of the past.

If you're on Twitter and are a baseball fan, @HOVG is a must follow.

On a personal note, its going to be a great day for myself, this blog, when my baseball hero, Bill Freehan, is honored and enshrined by the HOVG.

Congratulations to Tiant, Oliva, and Ted Gianollus, a k a, The San Diego Chicken, on their selections.

Please head to to find out more about this years members and a special announcement coming on Wednesday.

Play Ball!

Happy Baseball Birthday..John Bateman

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday! is former big league catcher John Bateman.

John Alvin Bateman was born on July 21, 1940 in Ft. Sill (Lawton), Oklahoma.

John was signed by the Houston Colt '45s as a amateur free agent in 1962.

Bateman made his big league debut for Houston on April 19, 1963, at the age of 22.

In 128 games as a rookie, Bateman collected 85 base hits, 8 doubles,  6 triples, 10 home runs, and 59 RBI in 404 at bats.
John also made Houston baseball history by catching the clubs first ever no hitter, pitched by the Colt .45s Don Nottebart  on May 17, 1963, a 4-1 win over the Phillies.

John had his best year in Houston in 1966, batting .279, with 121 hits, 17 home runs, 70 RBI, and 24 doubles in 433 at bats.

In 1969 the expansion Montreal Expos drafted John off the Astros roster with the 6th pick.

In just the teams 7th game of 1969 Bateman caught his second no hitter, this time by the Expos Bill Stoneman, against, ironically, the Phillies, on April 17, 1969.

John led all National League catchers in double plays turned in 1966 (14), 1970 (19), and 1971 (12).

John was traded by Montreal om June 14 of the 1972 season to the Phillies for catcher and future Hall of Fame broadcaster Tim McCarver.

John's final big league game was on October 3, 1972, at the age of 32.

In his ten year big league baseball career, John Bateman started 923 games behind the plate, catching a total of 7, 941 innings, with a fielding percentage of .982.

At the plate John collected 765 base hits, 123 doubles, 18 triples, swatted 81 home runs, drove in 375 base runners, and scored 250 runs, in 3,330 at bats.

One reason that I selected John Bateman today is the Twitter feed @1969Expos

This Twitter page is a great honor to the late Expos catcher, who pased away much to young on December 3, 1996, at the age of 56,  In Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

I had the pleasure of talking about John Bateman, the old Astros and Expos, with the man behing @1969Expos , Mr. Ken Webster.

Ken is a terrific baseball fan, and his knowledge of the game, and his tweets are a true honor of the former big league catcher.

If you're a baseball fan on Twitter, follow @1969Expos, youll enjoy the info very much.

In addition to Mr. Webster, information for this blog was obtained by some good baseball sites, , The Baseball Alamanac, , and Wikipedia. 

Happy Baseball Birthday! John Bateman!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

45 years ago today... " giant leap."

" small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."  --Niel Armstrong, on the moon, July 20, 1969.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday... Ben Geraghty

Ben Geraghty is a special person in Jacksonville baseball history.

The former big league ballplayer is today's Happy Baseball Birthday!

Benjamin Raymond Geraghty was born on July 19, 1912, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Ben Geraghty Baseball Reference page.

Ben Geraghty SABR page.

Ben went to Villanova University, and signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

On April 17, 1936, Ben made his big league debut with the Dodgers,  and played in 51 games for Brooklyn, collecting 25 hits in129 at bats.

Ben played in the minors from 1937-42, making it back to the big leagues with the Boston Braves in 1943.

Ben played in just 8 games with the Braves in '43, and 11 games in 1944.

His big league career lasted parts of three years and 70 games, with Ben collecting 29 base hits, 4 doubles, 9 RBI, in 146 at bats, batting .199.

In 1946, while playing for the Class B Spokane Indians of the Western League, Geraghty survived a horrific team bus crash that sent him flying out a window, and down a hill.

Nine fellow players and the teams manager were killed, and Geraghty's injuries ended his playing career.

He took over as the Indians coach in '46, and in '47 led the Indians to a 87 win season and second place finish.

1946 began a 17 year minor league managerial career, including eight years here in Jacksonville, as the manager of the JAX Tars, Braves, and Suns.

He won five pennants managing in Jacksonville between 1953 through 1959, including managing a skinny second baseman for the JAX Braves named Hank Aaron.

In 1951 Geraghty's JAX Tars beat the big league Boston Red Sox in an exhibition game.

Geraghty helped integrate proffessional baseball in the "Jim Crow" south, and fought for his players of color throughout his managerial career.

Aaron said  Geraghty was "...the kindest and best manager I've ever played for."

This Jacksonville Braves ballcap is the same design that Geraghty and Hank Aaron wore while with the Braves.

I'm going to have to add this cap to my collection of Suns baseball caps.

Geraghty won 1, 317 games as a minor league manager in Class A Sally League and the AAA American Association,   and his 610-457 record as a Jacksonville manager (including games managed), are all franchise records.

Geraghty led the 1962 JAX Suns to the 1962 International League pennant.

Ben Geraghty had a heart attack and passed away at the age of 50 on June 18, 1963, here in Jacksonville.

Ben Geraghty is enshrined in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.

This year the Jacksonville Suns franchise started the LEGENDS of JACKSONVILLE BASEBALL, and Geraghty was part of the inaugural class that included Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Hoyt Wilhelm, Peter Bragan, Sr., Sam Wolfson, and Dom Mullaney.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Ben!

Play Ball!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Roger Hoover

                                   Happy Baseball Birthday! 

                                            🎙UPDATE! 🎙

Today I thought I'd do an update HBB post to wish my friend Roger Hoover a very Happy Baseball Birthday! 

Roger, the voice of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, became an internet sensation when his laptop was destroyed by a foul ball.

I had the pleasure of meeting Roger and getting to see him around Bragan Field during the 2015 season in Jacksonville, and I  an honestly say there's not a better, nicer person in baseball than the 30 year old Tennessee native.

If you'd like to know more about Roger, head over go his site, Hoover Broadcasting.

                   Happy Baseball Birthday! out for those foul balls! 


Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday! to Jacksonville Suns play by play guy Roger Hoover.

Roger Hoover was born in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Roger is in his third year as the Suns Director of Broadcasting and lead play by play announcer and has broadcast Southern League Baseball for five years, including three SL All Star Games.

All 140 Suns games are broadcast on the teams flagship station, Classic Rock 94.1, WSOS-FM and streamed live at
This season the Suns are broadcasting 11 home games on local TV, on CW 17.

Roger Hoover graduated from the University of Tennessee, and he served as color analyst for the Vols baseball games in 2012.
You can follow Roger on Twitter... @Roger_Hoover and the Suns on Twitter at @sunsbaseball

Give Roger a big Happy Baseball Birthday shoutout today, or at the the ballpark this weekend.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Roger! 

Go Suns! Never Been Hotter! 

Play Ball!

Thanks to the Jacksonville Suns for the info provided in this years game program,, and Tales from Bragan Field on