Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday... Gateway Arch

Today we celebrate the 50th  Happy Baseball Birthday! of the St. Louis Arch.

The Arch, "The Gateway to the West," was completed 50 years ago today, October 28, 1965.

As baseball fans watching St. Louis Cardinals baseball games on TV, the famous Arch has always been a part of the games televised from Busch Stadium.

The Arch has watched over 9 Cardinals World Series appearances, including Championships in 1967, 1982, 2006, and 2011.

The City of St. Louis was once the western most outpost for big league baseball, with the National League Cardinals and from 1902 through 1953, the A. L. St. Louis Browns. 

The Browns, sharing old Sportsman's Park with the Cardinals, won  their only American League Pennant in 1944, only to lose the World Series to the Cardinals.

We salute the St. Louis Arch, and wish them a very Happy Baseball Birthday! 

Play Ball!  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This Week's Sports Illustrated cover... The World Series

Tonight the World Series begins in Kansas City, as the hometown Royals take on the New York Mets in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. 

This week baseball takes center stage with two regional covers.

The defending American League Champion Royals have Lorenzo Cain on the cover.

"Yes We Cain," by Senior SI writer Tom Verducci.

The National League Champion Mets are represented on their regional cover by NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy. 

"The Amazin' MURPH," by SI writer Ben Reiter.

I love the fact that SI is featuring baseball on its regional covers  as the World Series starts.

The playoffs, er, postseason,  has produced terrific baseball games, starting with the Wild Card victories by the Cubs and Astros.

My pick for the final best of 7 games of the World Series is the Mets in 5...yes, mostly a pick for former Detroit Tigers Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes.

Enjoy the World Series baseball matter who you root, have a great time... PLAY BALL!

New Southern League Logo

On Monday the Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs revealed a brand new logo for the ten member league.

The new logo is the first change in 21 years for the league, and I have to say, it's one of the best baseball logo's I've ever seen.

The league, established in 1885, also created a brand new secondary logo, for use on things like stationary.

Since 1994 the Southern League had been using this logo.

You can see how the "S L" is slightly different, but the letters are arranged the same in the new logo.

Here's the official statement on the redesign of the logo.

The new logo was created by graphic designer Todd Radom in collaboration with the Southern League, it's teams, and Minor League Baseball. 

Todd Radom Twitter page... 

The ten member Southern League clubs are...

I've lived in Jacksonville, Florida for 35 years, and have been a Jacksonville Suns fan since day one.

The Suns have been members of the Southern League since the early 1960s, and have won six league championships, in 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

National League Wild Card Game...Cubs at Pirates

It's day two of the big league playoffs, National League Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh between the Chicago Cubs and the Pirates.

Yesterday I picked the Astros to win, although my 7-3 score wasn't even close to the final score of 3-0 in favor of Houston.

In the case of the Cubs, I've been a long time observer of the Cubbies since growing up in the Kalamazoo/Portage area of Southwest Michigan in the 1960s.

My favorite shortstop was Don Kessinger of the Cubs, and I can here Jack Brickhouse "Hey Hey!" as Ernie Banks 500th home run cleared the famous Ivy covered left field wall at Wrigley Field.

That Cubs '70s infield of Ron Santo, Kessinger, Glen Beckert, and Jim Hickman was as good as any infield in the National League.

As for the Pirates, the 1971 World Series was as great an individual performance as you'll ever see,  by a great ballplayer named Roberto Clemente.

I was rooting for the American League Baltimore Orioles in the Series, but fell in love with the man wearing #21 on his Pirates uniform, wheeling around and firing a laser beam from right field to 3rd Base on the fly to throw out an unsuspecting Orioles base runner.

In 1979, in a Birds-Buccos rematch, I once again rooted for Baltimore, but was mesmerized by Willie "Pops" Stargell , the heir to the Clemente legend in Pittsburgh.

Not a lot has gone right for either team in my lifetime.

Playoff misery for the Cubs in 1984, 1989, and the unforgettable meltdown against the Marlins in 2003.

The Pirates lost N.L. Championship Series against the Reds in 1990, and to the Braves in 1991 and 1992, and have lost the Wild Card Game each of the last 2 years.

Who to pick?

Clemente and Stargell's Pirates, now led by another young outfielder in MVP Andrew McCutchen and hard throwing pitcher Gerrit Cole... or Mr. Cubs kids,  led by first year manager Joe Maddon's group of rookie superstars Kris Bryant and Addison Russell, and Cy YoungAward front runner Jake Arrieta...?

Everyone seems to be picking the Pirates, even though Arrieta has been unhittable for months...the team over the best pitcher theory.

Give me the young Cubs, 6-1.

Simply, in my best guess, the Pirates are under tremendous pressure not to lose their 2nd straight WC game, and the players from Chicago are in a no lose situation...who thought these kids would be here?

Just like the Astros last night at Yankee Stadium, I see the Cubs under little, or no, pressure to win.

So... "... Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go, what do you say Chicago, the Cubs are gonna WIN today..."

Play Ball! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Baseball playoffs...American League Wild Card Game

The New York Yankees host the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card Game tonight at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Im not particularly good at picking games, but here goes...

I hate the Yankees... Steroid abuser Alex Rodriguez plays for the Yankees...

How can any non-Yankees fans root for the guys in Pinstripes?

I'll root for the Astros, with a young, exciting group of players like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Dallas Kuechel.

It's terrific baseball when the Yankees lose in New York.

Houston 7 Yankees 3.


This Week's Sports Illustrated Cover...The Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have slugged their way onto this week's cover of Sport's Illustrated.

The Blue Jays won their first American League Eastern Division championship since their World Series title in 1993, led by a powerful lineup of home run bashers in Josh Donaldson (my A.L. MVP), Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion.

In addition to the offensive barrage, the Blue Jays made the trade with the Detroit Tigers for LHP David Price, who, in my opinion, should win the American League Cy Young Award this year.

Price was 18-5 this year, with a A. L. leading 2.45 ERA...the ace of both staffs in Detroit and Toronto.

The Blue Jays will host the A.L. West Champion Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series later this week.

Another baseball season has come down to October playoffs... where have the last 6 months gone?

Good Luck to your teams in this years playoffs.... PLAY BALL!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As the baseball season heads into it's final days, we are reminded that the month of October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Make sure to take the time out of your busy life to get yourself checked, hug a Breast Cancer Survivor, and remember all those who lost their battle to this horrible disease.