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Monday, March.18, 2013
MLB Reports: We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports. Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.
An American Hobby
Just as Joe DiMaggio was winding down his career in 1951, a nineteen-year-old wunderkind burst upon the MLB scene. His name was Mickey Mantle, he hailed from Commerce, Oklahoma, and he was the walking, talking personification of the All-American boy. The Mick was boyishly handsome, strong, sleek, and fast as the wind.
And he could hit Home Runs further than anyone in the game. When he won the Triple Crown in 1956 he captured the hearts and souls of an entire generation of youngsters who would go on to be known as the Baby Boomers. But just like Roy Hobbs, The Natural, in Bernard Malamud’s 1952 story, his personality flaws along with injuries, would keep Mantle from realizing his full potential.
The Yankees seemed to be blessed with sterling talent that showed up at just the right time. As Babe Ruth’s career with the Bronx Bombers wound down, Lou Gehrig was there to carry the team forward. When Gehrig’s career came to an abrupt and tragic end, Joe DiMaggio was just establishing himself as the preeminent Center Fielder of his day.
Mickey Mantle’s 500th HR(3rd one in) is amongst these 7 Mantle videos :
Friday November 23th, 2012
Note from Alex Mednick: I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace. For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams). Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc). Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU. Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball. I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive. Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry
Sunday November 11th, 2012
“THE 50 GREATEST PLAYERS IN NEW YORK YANKEES HISTORY” – BY ROBERT W. COHEN
The Scarecrow Press, Inc.: 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: I’m going to start off this review with a little disclaimer. Despite the similarities of our last names, there is no relation between myself and author Robert W. Cohen. He is a Cohen, I am Ha-Cohen. Fortunately, our surnames is not the only thing that links myself to Robert. After reading his prized book “The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History” (or as I shall call the “50 Greatest Yankees” for the rest of this review), we have a common admiration for the team in pinstripes. Truth be known, for a person loves baseball- they can’t help but respect and follow the Yankees. The history, traditions and of course, the superstars that have played in the Bronx over the years. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t stop talking about the Yankees when a baseball history conversation is in play.
With the final pitch of the 2012 World Series having recently been thrown (and watched for a called third strike to end the game…and season), I found myself with the opportunity to complete the 50 Greatest Yankees. We were fortunate to have Robert W. Cohen appear on MLB reports back in July with a Guest MLB Blog to discuss the book. Now it was time for me to complete the book and discuss it with you, the readers. The timing couldn’t be better, considering that the Christmas holiday shopping season is around the corner. If you want to really impress the baseball fan in your life with a great gift, the 50 Greatest Yankees will certainly be a home run for you. A detailed history of the 50 greatest players to ever put on a Yankees uniform? This is a subject that every baseball fan will want to cover in great detail. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday November 3rd, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer): Both B.J. Upton and his younger brother Justin will be available this offseason. Bossman Junior (B.J.) will be a top centerfield free agent option, and Justin signed a lucrative 6-year deal just two years ago, is widely known to be on the trading block from Arizona. The Upton brothers are the two highest drafted brothers in sports history. B.J. was a second overall pick in 2002 and Justin, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft. They have both had ups and downs in their young careers, but both have performed extremely well and shown glimpses of brilliance. Justin has already cashed in on his first big major league contract, and B.J. is looking to so this offseason. Where B.J. will sign, we will find out over the next months. But one thing that is clear…he makes since for just about any team out there.
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of those teams that could envision B.J. Upton gracefully patrolling centerfield for 162 games. As a premier center fielder facing free agency, B.J. as become far too expensive a commodity for the Rays to retain going forward. He plays top-notch defense in centerfield and has a cannon for an arm. All he did in 2012 as 27-year-old (in his 8th year in the MLB) was hit 29 doubles, 28 home runs and steal 31 bags. Yes, with this amazing tool set that combines defense with speed and power comes a lifetime .255 batting average and about 150 strikeouts a year. There are weaknesses in every player’s game, but B.J. Upton’s strengths make him a very attractive target for any team that doesn’t have Joe DiMaggio manning centerfield.
There is no doubt that B.J.’s speed and power will fit very nicely into the Phillies lineup along with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard. We have to also consider what it is going to take to get B.J. signed to a contract. Right now, we know that the Tampa Bay Rays have offered B.J. a qualifying offer. While the chances of B.J. agreeing to this are virtually ‘zero’, it does mean that whoever signs B.J. is going to have to sacrifice their first round draft pick next year to Tampa. For a team like Philadelphia that can afford to sign top free agents, giving up a top prospect is an acceptable part of doing business. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I am 36 years old. In no way would I consider myself 100% a traditionalist when it comes to Major League Baseball. I like the 2 Wild Card Slots, I like the Designated Hitter, as for Interleague play, I wish they had more of it so I could see every team waddle through Seattle every so often. This doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with some ‘old school’ philosophies and certain underwritten rules about the game. One thing that has really set me off in watching the end of the season and the playoffs is the excessive Champagne Celebrations of the clubs once they win any series or clinch any playoff spot? I mean come on fellas, you are celebrating like you have won everything in the game and we are not even into the League Championships Series.
I am out of line in thinking that this isn’t a new trend? I don’t remember this many corks being popped off in previous years. I have no problem with a team celebrating divisional and the World Series crowns with a party. This has been a time-long tradition in the Major Leagues back to the start of the games existence. Where I first starting seeing this epidemic fly was when the Braves clinched a playoff spot and then went hog-wild in their dressing room after the game. I was surprised at their actions but almost dismissed it. I understood that after last years collapse, plus the added pressure of trying to make the playoffs for Chipper’s last chance, that maybe they were just blowing off some steam. If I were a player, I would be happy to be in the playoffs, however If I made it in via Wild Card, I would not carry on with an alcohol bender! I would be made I still lost the division. Read the rest of this entry
Friday August 24th, 2012
Did you know Santo was elected on his 20th attempt via the Golden Era committee (Veterans) some 31 years after he first became eligible for the Hall of Fame?
Since 1936, only 207 former major league players have ever been elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. That’s about 1.17 percent of more than 17,000 players who have worn a major league uniform.
Of the 207 players elected to date, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) has elected 112 candidates, or 54 percent. Conversely, 95 major leaguers, or 46 percent, have been elected through other means (in all of its forms) such as the Veterans Committee, Old-Timers Committee, Centennial Commission and other special election of committees, to name a few.
For those not familiar, qualified members of the BBWAA vote annually by submitting a maximum of 10 eligible pre-screened players whom they would consider worthy of induction. In order to be elected, a player must be named on 75 percent of the voters’ ballots. Read the rest of this entry
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name. It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike. Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering the league and turning the fortunes of the city. From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals.
One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season. I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009. But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise. We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter. The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks. Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.
Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.
For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.
For Part 3 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Pitchers- click here
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here
Monday August 6th, 2012
Robert Whitmer: Have you ever loved something so much that the only way to see if it loved you back was to set it free and see if it came back to you? Most people apply this concept to human relationships. The strongest emotions possible by a human are between family members. Husband and wife, parent and child, even sibling to sibling; the emotion of love runs the entire world. Wars have been fought and countries destroyed because of an emotion. If I could, for a moment, steal a set of lines from The Matrix: Revolutions about love. “It’s a… human emotion. Rama-Kandra: No, it is a word. What matters is the connection the word implies. I see that you are in love. Can you tell me what you would give to hold on to that connection?” What would you give? This word is often times tossed around with reckless abandon. We often say it without considering the aforementioned connection that the word implies. When someone or something that we have connected this word to leaves us, or is no longer available to us, we go through a withdrawal. We yearn for it, strive for it, and in the most extreme of circumstances, kill for it. You are reading this right now because you have a love for a sport. Don’t deny it, because you know that it’s true. You watch it, study it, and put aside mere mundane tasks to be near it. Isn’t that what you do for things that you love? You… no we are here because we love the sport of baseball but has it always loved us back?
We are about a week into the 30th Olympiad. We have our usual events that grab out attention for three weeks out of every four years. If you try to sit there and tell me that you follow USA handball team then I will sit here and call you a liar. I can probably count on one hand the number of sports that are in the Olympics that are even on TV in those four years. Only because of national pride do the Olympics get the ratings that it does. There has been talk of including new sports and events into the Olympics but then they continue to take events out. One of the more recent sports to get the axe was baseball. During a 2005 IOC meeting, it was decided that baseball and softball would no longer (starting in 2012) be included in the Olympic Games. This is not going to be a bash the Olympics read, but more represent a discussion as to why I feel that baseball is not an Olympic event. To understand this, we must start at the beginning. Let us hop in our time machine and travel back to a time when baseball was king. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday July 12th, 2012
“THE 50 GREATEST PLAYERS IN NEW YORK YANKEES HISTORY” – BY ROBERT W. COHEN
A sneak peek, courtesy of Amazon.com:
The New York Yankees are Major League Baseball’s most renowned and successful franchise. Baseball greats such as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter have all worn the famous navy blue and white pinstripes. The Yankees have won 27 World Series championships, and 29 players who spent at least a year with the team have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. With so many Hall of Famers to choose from, selecting the best players in the history of the franchise might seem impossible; yet that is exactly what Robert W. Cohen has done in The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History.
This book carefully examines the careers of the players who made the greatest impact on the most successful franchise in the history of professional sports. The ranking was determined based on such factors as the extent to which each player added to the Yankees legacy, the degree to which he impacted the fortunes of his team, and the level of dominance he attained while wearing the Yankee uniform. Features of The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History include
- Each player’s notable achievements
- Recaps of the player’s most memorable performances
- Summaries of each player’s best season
- Quotes from opposing players and former teammates
Yankees fans and baseball fans in general will find The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History a fascinating collection of bios, stats, recaps, quotes, and more. And with such iconic figures as Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Alex Rodriguez, and Andy Pettitte, this book is sure to inspire debate and controversy among true Yankees fans.
Robert Cohen: Although I have been interviewed on numerous occasions to discuss my previously published works, I have never before been presented with an opportunity to speak directly to baseball fans – a group with which I closely identify. Therefore, I would first like to thank MLB Reports for giving me this chance to address those fans of the game that frequent their website.
Considering the fact that I first began writing professionally some 10 years ago, it probably came as a surprise to those people who know me best that it took me this long to write my latest book, The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History. A huge fan of the Yankees since my childhood days, my earliest memories of the sport center around the team’s fall from grace during the mid-1960s. While I have vague memories of watching the 1964 World Series on my family’s old black and white television, I recall far more vividly the dark period that followed, when the Yankees typically finished in the American League’s second division with a roster littered with mediocre players.
Nevertheless, even those Yankee teams featured a few standout performers, with players such as Mel Stottlemyre, Bobby Murcer, Roy White, and Thurman Munson helping to keep them respectable. And some of the great players from New York’s glory years still remained on the team at the beginning of that period, including Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, and Elston Howard. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday May 30th, 2012
Robert Whitmer: Baseball is the only sport where everything is tracked and recorded. How many times did Nomar Garciaparra tap his feet in the batters box before he finally got settled and took a pitch? I don’t know but I’m sure some guy with a clipboard has counted that on every pitch and even broken it down by situation. Maybe he does it more on a 2-2 count than he does on a 1-2 count. Does it really matter? IT’S A FREAKING TOE TAP! I don’t see how it does matter but deep down there could be some relation of number of toe taps to how his approach at the plate varies. I remember reading an article the winter after McGwire finished his 70 home run season and he said something about people counting the number of cups of coffee that he drank in the clubhouse before each game. I’m telling you; baseball tracks EVERYTHING! There are single season records and career records. I will rank, starting at the most likely to be broken to least likely, my 10 coolest hitting records that I can find. With of course, a little bit of commentary on the side.
So…. Without further ado (I feel like David Letterman here), I have in my hand the Top-ten list for today!
10. Career Cycles, 3, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman
I think that this record will fall. To complete it a player must be well-rounded. Speed to leg out the triple, and power to knock one over the fence. Plus we are talking career here not single season. If this was single season it would be high up on the list. Matt Kemp would be the one to break this one.
9. Career Grounding Into Double Play, 350, Cal Ripken Jr.
This I put in here mostly because I was shocked when I saw this. I had no clue that Cal, as good of hitter as he was, grounded into that many double plays. This one will be broken. Vlad has done it 277 times so far. He is a tad older but Pujols is at 237 and he has a lot of playing left in him. Read the rest of this entry