Tag Archives: dave winfield

MLB Draft Begins Today ….. What Does it Mean?

Bobby Crocker, Cal Poly, 2011 Draft hopeful

Here’s an article plucked from the maze of blogs this morning I found interesting.  Just being picked first in the draft, or even in the first round for that matter, doesn’t really mean a lot when it comes to measuring the  future success of a major league ball player.  Take a look at this article published this morning by Shawn Anderson,  Hall of Very Good, a favorite blogger we’ve fancied before:

A year ago, the Washington Nationals made Bryce Harper one rich fella by taking the teenager number one overall in the MLB Draft.

Just a year prior…they did the same for Stephen Strasburg.

This year, however, the Nationals don’t have the first pick and, frankly, as deep as you’ve heard the draft is…there is not a clear-cut number one pick.  But let’s not kid each other, being drafted number one doesn’t necessarily mean success.

Consider this. Since the draft started in 1965, it has produced only 23 Hall of Famers.

That said…here are ten other things you might not have known about the Hall of Fame and the MLB Draft. 

510
Hall of Famer second baseman Ryne Sandberg (then, Spokane, Washington third baseman Ryne Sandberg) was taken in the 20th round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Of the 510 players taken before him…fellow Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., World Series hero and Arizona Diamondbacks skipper Kirk Gibson and one of my all-time favorites, Kent Hrbek.

381
In 1966, Reggie Jackson was taken second overall by the Kansas City Athletics. With the first pick, the New York Mets opted to take Steven Chilcott. The catcher from Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, California bounced around for seven seasons, playing in 331 minor league games, managing a career .248 batting average and 39 home runs. 

19
As previous stated, being drafted first overall might not always guarantee success, but for Cal Ripken Jr., being selected 48th overall was just what the doctor ordered. The “Iron Man” went on to appear in 19 All-Star Games…the most by any Hall of Famer drafted since 1965.

18 years, 6 months and 19 days
After a brief 64 game stint in the minors, 1973’s number three overall pick Robin Yount was six months shy of 19 when he made his debut as the Milwaukee Brewers starting shortstop on April 5, 1974

12
The pride of Alvin, Texas, Nolan Ryan, was selected by the New York Mets in the inaugural draft in 1965. He’d end up compiling more strikeouts than anyone else who ever took the bump (5714) and pitching well past his 46th birthday. 

7
Of the 23 Hall of Famers selected in the MLB Draft, only seven (Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, Jim Rice, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount) were taken in the first round. And of those seven selected in the first round all but one was taken in the top ten. Who didn’t go top ten? Rice was taken 15th overall in 1971.

6’6”
At 6’6”, Dave Winfield (selected fourth overall in 1973) is built more like a basketball or football player than a Major Leaguer. Well…following college, Winfield was drafted by four teams in three different sports. Not only did the San Diego Padres select him, but both the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and the Utah Stars (ABA) selected him. And even though he never played college football, the Minnesota Vikings (NFL) selected the future baseball Hall of Famer.

3
Sure, the MLB Draft has produced 23 Hall of Famers, but, since the draft was implemented in 1965, 26 players have been enshrined. Of those 26…three (Tom Seaver in 1966, Bruce Sutter in 1971 and Roberto Alomar in 1985) were left undrafted. Thankfully, they did find themselves on the receiving end of a free agent contract just after the draft.

3
Since its not a guarantee that winning multiple MVP or Cy Young Awards (I’m looking your way Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) can ensure you a ticket to Cooperstown, Mike Schmidt and Tom Seaver know that three is enough. Schmidt has more MVP Awards than anyone else drafted since 1965 and Seaver, well, drafted or not, he has more Cy Young Awards.

0
So, yeah, 23 Hall of Famers were taken in the MLB Draft since it began in 1965, but of those 23…did you know that not one was taken number one overall? Reggie Jackson was selected the highest (second overall in 1966) and Ryne Sandberg was selected the lowest (in the 20th round in 1978). So the big question…when will this drought end? It’s pretty safe to say that when Ken Griffey Jr. takes the stage in July of 2016, he’ll be the first number one overall pick to do so. Following in his footsteps will be Chipper Jones. 

College Summer Leagues ….. Who Knew?

‘TOUCHING THE GAME ALASKA”

"Palm Springs Power"

I was in southern California a few years ago and watched my first “summer league” baseball game.   I was familiar with American Legion and Babe Ruth ball, but never heard of this level baseball and wanted to see what the hubbub was all about.  And so the Palm Springs Power (be sure and watch the video on their website, played to the tune “Boys of Summer“)was my introduction to College Summer Leagues.   Continue reading

This day in Baseball History………Hazard at the Ballpark!

August 4, 1983.

  • 1983 – While warming up before the fifth inning of the Yankees 3-1 win over the  

    Dave Winfield

     

    Blue Jays game at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, New York outfielder Dave Winfield accidentally kills a seagull with a thrown ball. After the game, Winfield is brought to the Ontario Provincial Police station on charges of cruelty to animals and is forced to post a $500 bond before being released. The charges will be dropped the following day.

  • Imagine.   You’ve played 4 innings of an otherwise uneventful ballgame and are warming up for the 5th.    After throwing the ball around the field, you lob it into the catcher to start the next inning, and BAM!!!   A seagull flies right into the darn thing, falls dead to the ground, and you’re hauled off to the police department to face charges.  That’s one you won’t forget!   And this is kinda sorta before the nutcases surface that are trying to protect the tutsigz ant from forever being extinct.   I thought this little ditty was so intriguing it sent me to the baseball archives to see what other oddities and potential hazards might be lurking out there

    A few years ago a fan was cheering for her local baseball team, sitting close to the dugout.   She took a look at the score board and “boom” it hit her!   A foul ball slammed into her face, ripping her lip, shattering her teeth and fracturing her palate.   This type of thing doesn’t happen very often, but more often than you’d think.  Usually it says on your ticket that liability is very limited.   Recently we had seats right behind left field.  I spent an entire week-end trying to dig up an old mitt, knowing we’d be sitting in “home run territory”.  As it was, the guy next to us spent most of the game at the beer stand and asked me to take care of his mitt.   No home runs our way this time but you just never know.

    On March 25,2001, during the 7th inning of a Diamondback/Giants game, Randy Johnson sent a

    Randy Johnson

     

    lethal pitch towards the catcher’s mitt, only to hit and kill a dove who flew in front of home plate at exactly the wrong time!  The pitch sent the bird over the catcher’s, Rod Barajas’, head and landed a few feet from the plate amid a sea of feathers.  He explained later he was waiting for the ball, expecting to catch it, and all he saw was an explosion, feathers flying everywhere.   The bird literally disintegrated.  Pundits mused because it was a bird it was a “fowl” ball.  Others commented the bird obviously wasn’t a baseball fan or he wouldn’t have flown within 5 feet of home plate – in any direction – when Johnson was pitching!   The official ruling from the umpire was “No Pitch” and play resumed.

    On a lighter note, The San Diego Chicken mascot appeared at a Chicago Bulls game (wrong sport!) back in January, 1991, and in his enthusiasm tackled a cheerleader (must have run out of pickup lines) and injured her.  She sued the chicken and was awarded $300,000 for her injuries.

    In July, 2000, the Florida mascot, Billy the Marlin, fired his trusty air-pressurized T-shirt Gun into the stands, accidentally hit an elderly male fan in the head, hitting him unconscious.  He recovered and, naturally, filed a lawsuit.

    On August 24, 1919, Cleveland pitcher Ray Caldwell is flattened by a bolt of lightning in his debut with the team. He recovers to get the final out of the game, and defeats Philadelphia, 2-1

    Going way back, August 24, 1886 – Just as he reaches the ball on a long hit by Jimmy Wolf, Reds center fielder Abner Powell’s pants are grabbed by a stray dog.  Wolf circles the bases with the homer that wins the game for Louisville 5-3 in eleven innings

     In 1998, the infamous Phillie Phanatic cost his team $2.5 million after he aggressively hugged a store employee at a grand opening.  Phillie is the most sued mascot in baseball history, known especially for flipping trays out of concession workers’ hands and causing grief  just about everywhere he appears in the stands.  

    Just remember, if you’re going to the ballpark, take a mitt, wear a motorcycle helmet or some other protective device,  stay alert and watch out for those dogs and birds!