In 100 years of major league’ baseball, there have been nearly 117,000 home runs hit in regulation games. Less than 2 percent of these, or 2150, have been hit in extra innings. Yet, these overtime homers have been very important. About 90-95% of the time they provide the winning margin. In 1975, for example, there […]
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As the American League’s pecking order of the 1950s was established, the Washington Senators (or Nationals) suffered greatly from the lack of a strong beak. Even with the 1960 season—the final campaign of the original franchise—tossed in for good measure, teams from the nation’s capital consistently played in a manner that inspired ridicule in an enduring […]
While considerable attention has been paid to the home run feats of outstanding players such as Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, comparatively little consideration has been given to outstanding team home run achievements, particularly those occurring in a single game. On 28 occasions, a major league team has nit at least 7 home […]
Babe Ruth calling his shot . . . Gabby Hartnett’s home run in the gloamin’… Ernie Banks’ No. 500. . . These are some of the 6,905 major league home runs hit at Wrigley Field. The first home run was hit by Art Wilson of the Chicago Whales in a Federal League game on April […]
Early 1950s Japanese publication featuring Jackie Robinson. (Author’s collection) There was a saying in Japan during the late 1950s: Kamisama, Hotokesama, Inaosama (God, Buddha, Inao). The 19-year-old Kazuhisa Inao was out there on the mound. The kid wasn’t that big, at least not by American standards – about 5-foot-9, 185 pounds. But he was […]
In 1935 the City of Detroit forged a bond to its sporting teams that is an integral part of the psychology of the city, even today.In 1935 the City of Detroit forged a bond to its sporting teams that is an integral part of the psychology of the city, even today. What makes Detroit a […]
After a World Series appearance in 1965 and finishing second to the Balitmore Orioles in 1966, there were many reasons to believe the Minnesota Twins had a good shot at the American League pennant in 1967. Decades later, this remains one of baseball greatest and most historic pennant races.
The 1964 Phillies enjoyed a six-and-a-half game lead in the National League with 12 games left in the season, proceeded to lose 10 in a row, and surrendered the pennant to the St. Louis Cardinals. The closing two weeks of the 1964 regular season inflicted psychic baseball wounds which began to heal after the Phillies’ […]
When the Senators moved from Washington to Minnesota in 1961 the roster that became the Twins included an incredible combination of young, established stars and MLB-ready prospects. Remarkably, the Twins have continued to consistently stock the roster with star players ever since.
A look at 10 great Chicago White Sox games from a memorable and successful decade. May 1, 1951 Minnie Minoso debuts for Sox and homers in first at-bat On April 30, 1951, the Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Athletics, and Chicago White Sox orchestrated a trade. Philadelphia sent Lou Brissie to Cleveland, which in turn shipped […]
Once upon a time, A.J. Liebling, consummate Manhattanite and writer for The New Yorker, dubbed Chicago America’s Second City.1 But in relation to New York-centric baseball movies, this AAA-league rating is extremely generous. Across the decades, baseball films with Chicago references have been relatively scarce. For every on-screen image of Wrigley Field, there are scores […]
In 1878 a triple play by Providence’s Paul Hines didn’t attract any extraordinary attention other than the excitement of a triple play that saved the day for Providence. The Hines play gained notoriety in baseball folklore when it was labeled by some as the first unassisted triple play in National League history. The rules of […]
On June 30, 1909 a new era in baseball began with the opening of Forbes Field, Pittsburgh. It was the first decade after the peace agreement between the American and National Leagues. The owners of the ball clubs were in a period of prosperity. They might have simply deposited their profits in their bank vaults, […]
This article was originally published in the 1984 SABR convention journal (Providence, Rhode Island). The semi-pro baseball season of 1875 at Adelaide Park was so successful that Gen. Dennis and his associates placed a much faster team on the ﬁeld in 1876, one that would hold its own with any independent team in New […]
The odds on the Boston Red Sox winning the 1967 American League pennant were 100-1 at the beginning of the season. But when they completed the Impossible Dream, it was “Pandemonium on the field!”The Boston Red Sox embarked on their 1967 season with a five-man rotation that had collectively won only 25 major league games […]
A young boy does “the Wave” as a digital spectator to a baseball game, from his own couch at home. (ANDRIY DOVZHYKOV / DREAMSTIME.COM) There is no denying that baseball is getting more expensive, with fans being priced out of watching games in person.1 The result is fans struggling to recreate an in-person experience […]
On May 8, 1878, the National League club of Providence hosted their counterparts from Boston. In the eighth inning Providence turned a triple play, initiated by center fielder Paul Hines. Was it the first unassisted triple play, or was the play completed by Providence second baseman Charlie Sweasy? This has long been a subject of […]
It was a summer day in Brooklyn when the spectacular winning streak finally came to an end. On June 14, 1870, the Brooklyn Atlantics defeated the mighty Cincinnati Red Stockings, 8-7, thus halting the most remarkable string of victories in baseball history. Over the past 100 years different accounts have given the 1869-1870 Cincinnati skein […]
Starting Jim Bunning and Chris Short on short rest wasn’t the only critical decision manager Gene Mauch during the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies’ monumental collapse.
The intentional base on balls was a part of professional baseball long before it became a part of baseball’s official statistics. The Sporting News’s Baseball Record Book lists Napoleon Lajoie of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League as the first player to receive an intentional walk with the bases full, in the ninth inning […]
In the midst of the Deadball Era, a jewel box ballpark rose a few miles west of the center of Boston’s downtown, accessible by excellent streetcar service. The park was universally acclaimed upon its opening. Serendipitously, it hosted a World Series in its inaugural year. But this story is about Braves Field, not Fenway Park. […]
As a franchise that began 130 years ago, the Philadelphia Phillies have made an indelible mark not only on the city where they play but also on the whole sport of baseball.
While the winter chill still held Chicago in its grip, longtime White Sox fan and season ticket holder Dan Ferone informed Chicago White Sox management that he had decided to cancel his season tickets. Soon afterward, Mike Veeck, promotions director of the Chicago White Sox and son of club owner Bill Veeck, wrote to Ferone […]
New York Giants stalwarts Christy Mathewson and John McGraw. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS) They open the door. They’re opening thirty doors at once, but I can only talk about mine. Air from 2040 goes out, and air from 1905 comes in. The first thing I do is cough. It smells like horseshit and coal smoke […]
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