Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This Week's Sports Illustrated... "Wrigleyville"

The red hot Chicago Cubs are one of this weeks Sports Illustrated regional cover stories, "Wrigleyville is Winnerville."

Through Monday's ballgames the Cubs are 72-51, third place in the National League Central Division, but also a solid 2nd in the N.L. Wild Card standings, 6.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants.

The Cubs begin a West Coast road trip with a three game series in San Francisco.

This is a second consecutive week with baseball on the S.I. cover,  following the Jason Heyward and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals, with baseball's best record at 79-45, lead the Pittsburgh Pirates (75-48), by 3.5 games in the N.L. Central, followed bt the Cubbies.

The way the N.L. Central teams are playing we could see a baseball three-peat next week if the Pirates stay hot as well.

We always like it when our National Pastime gracesmagazine covers.

Play Ball!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Today in Baseball.. Bill Freehan's 200th Home Run

Thirty-Nine years ago today, August 24, 1976, Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan hit his 200th, and final, big league home run.

The home run was, fittingly I suppose, Freehan's 100th at Tiger Stadium, to go with his 100 on the road.

It's hard to imagine that my hero on the baseball diamond played his final season in the big leagues 39 years ago.

I know those Bill Freehan stats upon request... 200 HRs, .262 lifetime batting average, 5 consecutive gold gloves, .993 lifetime fielding percentage, 11 All-Star games, 1968 World Series Champion, and, of course... his uniform #11.

Play Ball!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Time for the 2015 Little League World Series

 It's time for the 76th Annual Little League World Series.

16 teams from the United States and around the World meet once again in the beautiful Pennsylvania town of Williamsport to crown a Little League champion.

Day one was washed out by bad weather, and so every team was in action on Friday.

The highlight of the day was the team from the Southeast beating the team from New England, 7-1, behing a no hitter from Alex Edmondson.

All your LLWS information can be found at Little League Baseball World Series.org

I never had a chance to play in the LLWS, but I did enjoy playing Little League Baseball growing up in Michigan.

The LLWS is being broadcast over the ABC/ESPN family of networks.

Happy Baseball Birthday...Randy Wolf

Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday! of veteran big league pitcher Randy Wolf. 

Randall Christopher Wolf   is spending his 39th Birthday today in Detroit, Michigan, were, around 7pm tonight, he'll step onto the mound at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers and face the Texas Rangers.

It will be the first time in a year that Wolf, a second round draft pick in 1997 by the Philadelphia Phillies, has pitched in the big leagues.

Last season Wolf pitched for the Miami Marlins, going 1-3 in 6 appearances for the Fish.

Wolf was pitching for Triple -A Buffalo for the Blue Jays, and the Tigers went back to Toronto for pitching help after Daniel Norris, traded by the Blue Jays to Detroit in the David Price deal, went on the 15 day disabled list.

The Tigers also put RHP Anibal Sanchez on the DL, so the team looked around for someone to take Saturday's start, and Wolf was called on to help by his former teammate, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

Wolf and Ausmus played together in Houston in 2008, and for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009.

Wolf told Mathew B. Mowrey of the Oakland Press "...I didn't want to look back with any regrets.." when asked why he was still hanging on in baseball, pitching and riding buses in the minors, after 15 years and Tommy John surgery.

Randy Wolf was born on August 22, 1976, in Canoga Park, California, grew up in Woodland Hills, attended El Camino Real High School, and then played college baseball at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

On June 11, 1999 Wolf made his big league debut with the Phillies against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tonight will be Wolf's 373rd big league start, now in his 16th big league season.

Wolf will also be reunited with his fellow Buffalo Bisons teammates Norris and Matt Boyd in Detroit.

Wolf has a career record of  133-120, with a 4.31 ERA in 382 big league apperances.

Wolf has won at least 11 games eight times in the big leagues, with a career high 16 wins in his only All-Star season of 2003, with the Phillies.

As a Tigers fan I hope Randy Wolf has a outstanding Happy Baseball Birthday!

Welcome to Motown Randy!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Week's Sports Illustrated cover...Jason Heyward and the Cardinals

The great game of baseball is back on the cover of  Sports Illustrated this week, featuring Jason Heyward and the St. Louis Cardinals. 

The Cardinals have the best record in baseball at 76-43, and have a 5 game lead over the oncoming Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central Division. 

Jason Heyward is in hitting .287 this year with 11 home runs and 47 RBI, however, in his last 30 ball games Heyward is hitting .330, with a. 391 on base percentage. 

The Cardinals are at home tonight vs. the San Francisco Giants before heading on a West Coast trip to San Diego,  Arizona, and San Francisco for a rematch with the Giants. 

Have a great week and enjoy our National Pastime!

Play Ball!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Milt Bolling

Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday! of former big league infielder Milt Bolling.

Milton Joseph Bolling was born on August 9, 1930, in Mississippi City, Mississippi.

Milt attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, where he played baseball with his brother Frank.

Milt signed as an amateur free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 1948 and made his big league debut at the age of 22 on September 10, 1952.

As in high school, Milt gets the chance to play with brother Frank, with the Detroit Tigers when he's sent to the Tigers in 1958.

For 24 games he and Frank were the double play combo at second base and shortstop.

In his big league career Milt Bolling played in exactly 400 ballgames, batting .241, with 19 home runs, 50 doubles, 7 triples, 280 hits, in 1,181 games.

Milt played his final game in the big leagues on July 28, 1958 with the Detroit Tigers.

Milt passed away at the age of 82 on January 19, 2013, in Mobile, Alabama.

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday ballplayers...

59 baseball related people have birthdays today, beginning with Jake Wells, a 5' 11" 167 lb catcher who was born on August 9, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jake played two big league seasons, in 1888 with the defending World Series Champion Detroit Wolverines, and in 1890 with the American Association St. Louis Browns.

Other notable big league ballplayers born on August 9 include Ralph Houk, Claude Osteen, Tommie Agee, Ted Simmons, Steve Swisher, Troy Percival, and Steven Moya, born August 9, 1991.

A big Happy Baseball Birthday! to Milt Bolling and all the big league ballplayers born today!


Friday, August 7, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Steve Kemp

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday! to former big league ballplayer Steve Kemp.

Steve Kemp was born on August 7, 1954, in San Angelo, Texas.

The Detroit Tigers selected Steve with the #1 pick in the 1976 amateur baseball draft, and on April 7, 1977, made his big league debut for the Tigers.

When you hit left handed, hit for power, Tiger Stadium was made for a slugger like Steve Kemp.

Steve Kemp played in 684 games  for the Tigers during yhe 1977-1981 seasons, including his only All-Star season of '79, when he hit 27 home runs and had 105 RBI.

Steve Kemp was traded to the White Sox after the 1981 baseball year for Chet Lemon.

Steve played just one year of the South Side of Chicago before signing with the Yankees in 1982.

Steve was traded to the Pirates after the 1984 season, and played with the Buccos until 1986.

Steve finished up his big league career after 16 gamed in 1988 with the Texas Rangers.

In 11 big league seasons Steve Kemp played in 1168 ballgames, batting .278, with 130 home runs and 634 RBI.

Steve was also a good outfielder, finishing with a .982 fielding percentage.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Steve Kemp!

Play Ball!