Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Bugs Bunny

                   Today is a very special Happy Baseball Birthday! 

75 years ago, July 27, 1940,  our favorite hare, Bugs Bunny, was born.

Bugs loved the game of baseball, and, as youll see, was pretty darn good at it.

Of course, as a baseball fan, the best Bugs is always going to be Baseball Bugs.

My favorite All-Time Bugs Bunny quote..."one, two, three strikes yer', two, three strikes yer', two, three strikes yer' out!"

Happy Baseball Birthday! Bugs Bunny!

Play Ball!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Baseball Hall of Fame 2015...Pedro Martinez

Congratulations to former big league pitcher Pedro Martinez on being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball Hall of Fame 2015...Randy Johnson

Congratulations to former big league pitcher Randy Johnson, "The Big Unit," on his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Baseball Hall of Fame 2015... John Smoltz

Congratulations to former big league pitcher, John Smoltz  now a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Badeball Hall of Fame 2015... Craig Biggio

Congratulations to former big league ballplayer Craig Biggio, now a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hall of Fame 2015

It's that time of year on the baseball calendar, the time for baseball's greatest players to be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, and Craig Biggio will be inducted on Sunday afternoon in the small New York village of Cooperstown.

I've  been to Cooperstown twice, both times while I was in the Navy, stationed in Newport,  Rhode Island.

If you've never been, and you're a baseball  fan, go, believe me, its worth tgtthe trip.

I'd love to go to a HOFWeekend once in my lifetime.

Maybe when Miguel Cabrera goes into the HOF wearing the Olde English D.

Enjoy your baseball weekend everyone.

Play Ball!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Happy National Hot Dog Day 2015!

Nothing goes together quite like baseball and a hot dog an the ballpark.

Happy National Hot Dog Day! baseball fans!

Play Ball!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Mike Illitch

A quick Happy Baseball Birthday! to one time minor league ballplayer and the current owner of the Detroit Tigers, Mike Illitch. 

Mike and the Illitch family purchased the Tigers in 1992, and has spent a ton of money on the franchise, and investing in the Motor City, including building Comerica Park, the home of the Tigers since 2000.

Many fans, myself included, were upset by the Tigers abandonment of historic Tiger Stadium, but Comerica Park is a beautiful ballpark, and a terrific place to watch baseball.

Mr.Illitch grew up in Motown loving the game of baseball and his beloved Tigers, dreaming, like we all did, of wearing the Olde English D and playing for the Tigers.

The Tigers had a rough go of it for a long time after Mr. Illitch purchased the Tigers, posting a losing season every year for 13 straight years, including a American League record 119 losses in 2003, before shocking baseball fans in 2006 with an A.L. Championship.

The Tigers have won 4 consecutive A.L. Central Division Titles,  2011-12-13-14, have been to three straight A.L. Championship Series, 2011-12-13, and made another trip to the World Series in 2012.

Mr. Illitch is also the owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesars Pizza.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Mr. Illitch!

Go Tigers! 


July 20, 1976... The Final Home Run Has Landed.

On July 20th, 1976, at old County Stadium in Milwaukee, Henry Louis Aaron, playing in his final big league season for the Brewers, hit career home run number 755.

That home run, off California Angels pitcher Dick Drago, would be the last home run ever hit by the Hall of Fame slugger who began his big league career in the City of Milwaukee 22 years earlier.

As a kid learing about baseball's history, the numbers 755, 714, and 660 were sacred... Hank Aaron, 755... Babe Ruth,  714...and Willie Mays, 660... every kid new those three hallowed baseball numbers.

Many baseball fans, myself included, still think of Hank Aaron as the Home Run King of baseball. 

Hank Aaron smacked 13 homers as a rookie for the Braves in 1954, and 10 his final year in 1976.

In 23 big league seasons, '54-'76, Hank Aaron never hit fewer than those 10 homers in a single season.

Congratulations  Hank on the anniversary of your 755th big league home run, and on  your 23 year Hall of Fame career.

Play Ball!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday... Jason Stark

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday! to one of the best baseball writers in America, Jason Stark of ESPN.

Jason Stark is one of the most knowledgeable and funniest baseball writers I've ever read and listened to.

When I was working in the restaurant business one of my favorite things was listening to Jason talk baseball on Sunday mornings as I prepared to open up the store.

If you love baseball,  and baseball trivia, then Jason Stark is your guy.

He routinely goes on the Mike & Mike show every week to do the best, most unusual baseball trivia around.

Jason is a talented writer, and the author of several books on our National Pastime.

Here's Jason's blog...

Jason even has his own Baseball Reference page...

If you're on Twitter, follow Jason at @jaysonst

Happy Baseball Birthday! Jason Stark!

Play Ball!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday....Charlie Steiner

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday! to longtine ESPN broadcaster and current Los Angeles Dodgers play by play announcer Charlie Steiner.

Charles Harris Steiner was born on July 17, 1949, in Malverne, New York.

Charlie graduated from Bradley University in 1971, and earlier this year Bradley dedicated the Charlie Steiner School of Sports Communications in honor of their famous graduate.

Steiner is a terrific baseball announcer, and at times when the Dodgers are on the road on the West Coast I enjoy listening to him call ballgames as I relax before going to sleep.

Charlie was on ESPN for 14 years, and was an awesome Sports Center host.

Charlie was also the #1 boxing guy at ESPN, and covered almost anything that ESPN put on television or broadcast on the radio, including baseball.

The Y2K Sports Center commercial is still the funniest thing ever.

After ESPN Charlie went to New York to broadcast games for the Yankees before moving on to Los Angeles and Dodgers baseball.

Charlie's partners on Dodgers games are Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciapara and Rick Monday.

In 2013 Charlie Steiner became the 17th sportscaster in the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Charlie! 

Play Ball!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

American League or National League fan?

The 86th Major League Baseball All-Star Game takes place at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati Tuesday night.

Growing up as a kid loving the Detroit Tigers I also learned to support the American League in the annual All-Star Game and World Series...although I refused to root for the Yankees in the Series.

Growing up cheering on the Junior Circuit wasn't easy in the 1970s, as the A.L. lost in every game except the 1971 game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. 

The A.L. wouldn't win another All-Star Game between '72-'82, breaking the streak at Comiskey Park in Chicago behind the only All-Star Game Grand Slam Home Run, off the bat of the Angels Fred Lynn.

Are you a fan of the Senior Circuit guys in the National League or are you, like myself, a Junior Circuit fan that roots for the American League guys?

Take the poll on the top right hand corner of this blog, and, if youd like, leave a comment on why you root for your team and league. 

Thanks for reading my blog and participating in the poll.

Play Ball!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday... Eliot Asinof

A special Happy Baseball Birthday! to the author of the baseball book Eight Men Out,  Eliot Asinof .

A gifted young man who was also an amatuer pianist and sculptor, Asimof actualy played minor league baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

Asinof was born in Manhattan,  New York on July 13, 1919.

Yes, the man who wrote the famous book about the 1919 Chicago White Sox  and the "Black Sox" World Series gambling fix was born just a few months before the most infamous Series in baseball history.

The book, written by Asinof in 1963 after 3 years of research, including interviewing surviving members of the 1919 ChiSox, is considered one of the finest baseball books ever written.

In 1988 Eight Men Out was made into a terrific baseball movie, starring famous actors like Charlie Sheen, David Strathiarn, John Mahoney, Christopher Lloyd, and John Cusak, who plays White Sox 3rd Baseman Buck Weaver.

I have to admit I've never read the book, but I've watched the movie several tines, and have read many articles about the 1919 Black Sox.

It continues to be a fascinating baseball discussion on who exactly knew what actually happened in the fall of 1919.

Asimof also wrote two other, less famous books, on baseball.

I need to get a copy of Eight Men Out and read it, as well as Asinof's other baseball books.

Eliot Asimof passed away from complications from pneumonia in 2008, at the age of 88.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Eliot Asinof!

Play Ball!

Happy Baseball Birthday... Harrison Ford

Today we say a big Happy Baseball Birthday! to award winning actor Harrison Ford.

Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois.

Ford, who famously played reluctant hero Hans Solo in Star Wars, and the swashbuckling hero in the Indiana Jones movies, is one of my favorite movie actors.

My favorite Ford movie roles are Jack Ryan in Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger, as President James Marshall in Air Force One, as Dr. Richard Kimble in the Fugitive, and as former big league ballplayer, scout, manager, and General Manager Branch Rickey in the baseball movie 42.

Although Ford isnt a baseball fan, and didn't know about Rickey and Robinson, he researched his role and was terrific as the Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager, as I always stop what I'm doing to watch the movie when it comes on.

Ford was in Comic Con in San Diego this past weekend promoting the new Star Wars movie coming out on December 12th.

It's going to be an awesome movie and I can't wait until it comes out.

Harrison is married to actress Calista Flockhart of Ally McBeal fame.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Harrison Ford!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Sliders...Tigers bullpen meltdown

I'm wide awake at 5:30 in the morning, so, why not write a few thoughts down about Detroit Tigers baseball.

Just a few short hours ago I went to bed after a horrendous implosion by the bullpen of my Tigrrs, who were cruising along with a 6-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th inning in Minnesota, only to have relievers Bruce Rondon and Joquin Soria give up 7 runs to the Twins, and the Tigers lost, 8-6.

Justin Verlander cannot be happy this morning.

Even though he will never publicly say it, he has to be devastated after he pitched 7 2/3 innings of marvelous baseball that reminded all of us Tigers fans of the pre injury Verlander, only to have his first win of the year ripped away by a pathetic big league bullpen.

I'm not a negative driven baseball fan, but this loss hurt, and it put sone not so good thoughts about my team in my heaf, and I don't like it.

I always believe in my teams.

I always think the Tigers will start to get out of their funk, start playing good, solid baseball...and then Friday night happened, and I'm not so sure I'll have those thoughts again in 2015.

Justin Verlander had done his job, and he had also given Tigers fans like myself thoughts of what could be in the second half of the baseball season in the Motor City.

Tigers fans want that feeling again, that feeling that Verlander will once again take the mound every fifth day and pitch his team to victory. 

For 7 2/3 innings last night, that feeling was back.

Before last nights start that marvelous feeling we get when JV pitvhes in a ballgame wasn't there, but after his dominant start over Minnesota, fans had to believe that Verlander was himself again...maybe not the 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award Winner, but still the awesome Must See JV we all love to root for.

Fans are cruel at times, and after last nights meltdown social media is going to let the team have it on Saturday.

The fand have probably already given it to the teams manager Brad Ausmus, even though it's hardly his fault.

General Manager Dave Dombrowski, however, is another thing entirely.

The Tigers bullpen hasbeen a mess for years, and Dombrowski must fix the problem immediately.

The Kansas City Royals are the best teamin the A.L., and if the Tigers have any chance of getting back into the Central Division race the bullpen must br revamped, and soon.

Miguel Cabrera, baseball's best hitter, is out 5 more weeks with a injured calf muscle, and the team's offense, behind All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez, is scoring runs after moving Ian Kinsler into the leadoff spot and Yoenis Cespedes into the 2nd spot in the Tigers lineup.

Martinez hit his 25th home run of the year Friday night, and Victor Martinez, who missed about 2 months himself this year, hit a 2 run blast that gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.

All the pieces are there offensively for Detroit to make a serious run at the Royals and the playoffs, but that cannit, will not, happen until the Tigers bullpen is repaired.

I'm not a fan who likes to focus on the negative, there are plenty of those fans to go around, but last night the implosion by Rondon and Soria have made me upset.

I'm upset, not because the Tigers bullpen blew a lead, heck, thats happened many, many times the past few years.

I'm upset that the bullpen cost my favorite big league pitcher, Justin Verlander, his first win of the baseball season, a win that would not just add to the teams win column, but a win that would boost the confidence of Verlander after a terrific start against the Twins.

Verlander has to be, at least, the Verlander of last night if the Tigers are to be winners in the second half of the baseball season.

Verlander is a proffessional, and he'll prepare for his next start like he's done the past decade, but the team is close to falling out of contention if they continue to give away wins like they did last night.

Here's hoping that stops soon, and that my Tigers play exciting baseball the rest of the season.

Go get 'em Tigers!

Play Ball!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Larry Doby Day...July 5, 1947

Larry Doby made baseball  history 68 years ago today, July 5, 1947, becoming the first African-American ballplayer in the American League.

Lawrence Eugene Doby made his big league debut for the A.L. Cleveland Indians 2 1/2 months after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15th with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Doby, like Robinson, played in the Negro Leagues, starring for the Newark Eagles.

Doby was born in Camden, South Carolina, and grew up in Patterson, New Jersey, were he attended East Side High School.

Larry attended college at Long Island University(Brookly), and after starting his professional career with the Eagles, Doby joined the United States Navy during World War II.

Larry won a Negro League Championship with the Eagles in 1946, and in 1948, his second season with the Indians, won the World Series with Cleveland.

Larry played with the Indians through 1955, making seven consecutive All-Star teams, '49-'55, leading the A.L in home runs in both '52 and '54, smacking 32 dingers both years and in RBI in 1954 with 126.

Larry would go on to play for the Chicago White Sox qnd the Detroit Tigers, and have return trips to play for both the Tribe and ChiSox begore playing in his final big league game for the ChiSox on July 26, 1959.

In 1533 big league ball games Larry Doby collected 1,515 base hits, 253 home runs and 970 RBIs.

In 1998 Larry Doby was elected to the BaseballHall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee.

Larry Doby made big league history with his debut in 1948 with Cleveland, and yet we baseball fans outside of Cleveland seem to forget Doby and his accomplishments.

Many baseball fans believe MLB shouls honor Doby with his own day every year as well,  and I think that would be a good thing for baseball to do.

Larry Doby's uniform #14 was retired by the Indians in 1994.

Happy Larry Doby Day!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Baseball 4th of July

                       Here's to a great baseball filled Happy 4th of July ! 

                                                   PLAY BALL!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cecil Fielder goes up on the roof

22 years ago today Detroit Tigers first baseman Cecil Fielder hit a baseball onto the left field roof at old Tiger Stadium.