Monthly Archives: May 2013

Baseball, Blessings, and Beautiful Things

GFBB Note: I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to write about anything and everything baseball. But with all that’s going on in the world, I was touched and inspired by this young lady’s blog and took it to heart. See what you think ~

Healthy, Unwealthy, and Becoming Wise

braves_give_275If you’ve read this little corner of the web for the last little while, you may remember when I discovered a love for baseball. 

Since that post nearly one year ago, I’ve discovered so many things about the game of baseball. The major discovery, and arguably the most important one, is that baseball is full of players who are giving of themselves and of their time and talents when it comes to charitable events and causes. In April of this year, I came across the Miracle League, an organization that establishes baseball leagues for children with disabilities to be able to enjoy the game of baseball at their own pace and in an environment that is wholly accessible to them in every way, shape, and form that could be imaginable. More on that soon. There’s a good story.

I’ve seen that players, young and old, have hearts for those…

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A Baker’s Dozen Things You Should Know About Lefty O’Doul

The title of this blog caught my eye – I’m a fan of anything Giants and Lefty definitely qualifies. I’ve been to Lefty O’Doul’s restaurant in San Francisco many times. I’d liken it to a great little Jewish Deli as far as the great corned beef and pastrami goes, and the photographs on the wall are probably comparable in numbers and value to Mickey Mantle’s restaurant in New York. This baker’s dozen was fun to read but wish it were longer. I wanted it to go on and on. Thanks for writing it ~ Good read!

Verdun2's Blog

1. He was born Francis Joseph O’Doul in 1897 in San Francisco.

2. In 1912 he played for his school team, whose coach was female. O’Doul credited her with teaching him fundamentals of the game. The next year he dropped out of school to work with his father as a butcher.

3. Playing semipro ball on Sundays brought him to the attention of the San Francisco Seals minor league team. He signed as a pitcher in 1917.

4. After a stint in the Navy in World War I, O’Doul was picked up by the Yankees in 1919. He played for them in 1919 and 1920, did little, and was sent back to San Francisco for 1921.

5. In 1922 he was back with the Yankees, Again he didn’t do much and was sent to Boston. With the Red Sox he did pick up his only pitching win in 1923 (He was…

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Happy Mother’s Day – Pink Bats and all!

This is a copy of a BLOG I posted last year on Mother’s Day ~ it’s still relevant.  Hope you enjoy it!

‘PINK BATS A PERFORMANCE ENHANCER?  YOU DECIDE!

Occasionally I’ll find an article so unique I’m tempted to “plagiarise”!   This is one of those articles, but reprinted with permission from a really hard-working blogger who went to an amazing amount of work to produce this delightful piece for all of us!   Thanks to Mike Clair at  Old Time Family Baseball  for sharing this. 

 “There’s something wonderful about seeing a group of men finally stop the macho act and swing pink bats in honor of their mothers and to help the fight against breast cancer. (Plus, baseball players can finally realize how well pink complements their skin tones.) In lieu of a full game recap for the Mother’s Day games, I thought I would collect a master list of the players who did or did not use pink bats and finally see if ones love for their mother is a performance enhancer.A few ground rules:

  • This does not take into account players wearing pink accessories, only their bats.
  • I counted the starting nine on each team, so any pink-bat-swinging pinch-hitters or late-game substitutions have been left out.
  • I used MLB.tv footage as my guide, so if I couldn’t tell the color of a players bat, I considered it a non-pink bat. Some players like Brian Roberts appeared to have a a little bit of pink of around the handle of the bat, but because it was so pale and hard to identify, they were left out.
  • Due to a lack of a variety of things, time being among them, I have only used hits, at-bats, home runs, RBI, and runs scored as my guide. Sorry, my sabermetric brethren, maybe next year. 
  • I’m only one man, so any updates or corrections can be sent here or left in the comments.

Without further adieu:   Pink Bats: 685 AB, 193H, .285 BA, 15 HR, 85 RBI, 84 R

Non-Pink: 287 AB, 42 H,  .216 BA, 6 HR,  27 RBI, 31 R

Is this just a small sample size, do better hitters choose pink bats more often, or is there a Mother’s Day boost? That will have to wait for next year to see if the numbers are straightened out, but here are some notes:

  • Pink batters clearly did better, hitting nearly 70 points higher than their non-pink counterparts.
  • Pink batters also homered once ever 45.67 AB compared to 47.83 for people who don’t love their mothers. 
  • 187 of the 270 starters used pink bats, good for 69% of the Major League population.
  • Neither Hairston brother swung a pink bat.
  • Derek Jeter and A-Rod didn’t use pink bats. Alex Rodriguez clearly hates mothers while Derek Jeter didn’t want to detract attention from breast cancer survivors. 
  • Yorvit Torrealba used a bat with a black handle and pink barrel, the only player I noticed with such a combination.
  • Rockies starters who didn’t swing pink sticks? They went 0-17. Love your mothers, fellas.

Click here for individual team and player info.

 Final note, only players who used pink bats are listed. Consider this to be the master list of 2011 pink bat users as it will be updated if new information becomes available.”

Thank you Guillermo Quiroz ….. It’s Why We Love the Game.

Guillermo Guiroz.  Click for MLB Video

Guillermo Guiroz. Click for MLB Video

Baseball’s unlike any other sport.  It’s the only one I know that’s not given time restraints.  A one-half inning lasts as long as it takes to get three outs.  It could last for only three pitches, or it could go on for hours, or seem like it.  Take the fifth inning in last night’s game between the Dodgers and Giants.   The Giants lead 5-0 at the beginning of the 5th, and then it all fell apart as the Dodgers scored seven runs, one after the other, on and on and on.  I thought it would never end, but finally it did and by the end of the 9th inning the score  was tied 9-9, and we were in overtime ~ extra innings.

It’s a fluke that third string back-up catcher Guillermo Quiroz was even on the roster last night.  Hector Sanchez is the regular back-up catcher for Buster Posey and had been sent back to the Minors only the day before.   So when Quiroz steps up to the plate I’m thinking what the heck’s going on.  I mean doesn’t Bochy know it’s the 10th inning?  I was already a little perturbed with Boche after leaving Vogey in to get really hammered in the fifth ~ he should have taken him out earlier.  So when  Guillermo steps up to the plate I turned up the volume and went to the kitchen to do the dishes. 

What happened next happens all the time in baseball.  In fact, it happened the night before with Buster Posey and was no big deal.   Well, it was a big deal, but we’ve gotten a little spoiled with Buster so you rather expect this sort of thing from him. 

And it isn’t even that Guillermo Quiroz really smacked the hell out of that first pitch for the game-winning home run.  It was what happened after, as he looked out at that ball flying towards infinity, and you knew that he knew it was gone.  No doubt in his mind.  And when his arms went up in the air and he started towards first base he had a huge smile on his face, yelling something that made you realize that “spirit of victory” that we’ve all heard about so often is more than just a saying …..it’s why we love the game.   And we really loved the game tonight.

And to be honest, I was smiling and yelling right along with him.  The dishes could wait.