"Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it's beginning to seem that way. We're reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick."
-- Thomas Boswell
Modern Milestones (Part I)
So much happens each day in baseball, so many statistical milestones are approached or reached, that it becomes an impossible task to properly log everything. For example, when Hank Aaron retired after the 1976 season, did anyone note that he was the last player to arrive in the majors from the old Negro Leagues? .... Has anyone noted that Tug McGraw is the last major leaguer still active to have played for Casey Stengel? ....
Some of the achievements in baseball's modern, or post-World War II era, have been in the appearance of the game, such as tight uniforms, instant replays, or batting helmets, while others have been individual achievements.
Ron Blomberg was baseball's first designated hitter, stepping up to the plate for the New York Yankees in Fenway Park on April 6, 1973. But in 1978 Blomberg became the first player with a guaranteed, multiyear contract to be released and paid in full when the White Sox made such a decision ....
The game-winning RBI became an official baseball statistic in 1980, and the very first one was recorded by Cincinnati's George Foster on April 9. He was an appropriate choice for the distinction, having led the National League in RBIs three times.
The "save rule" for relief pitchers became an official baseball statistic in 1969, and the first save was recorded by Los Angeles's Bill Singer on April 7 against the Reds.
....The last Brooklyn Dodger to remain active in the majors was Don Drysdale, who retired in 1969 twelve years after the club's final year in Brooklyn. The last New York Giant was Willie Mays, who concluded his career with the 1973 New York Mets.
The World Series itself has of course been full of subtle "firsts" and milestones in modern times, many unnoticed or underappreciated at the time .... The Dodgers pennant in 1959 brought about the first World Series games on the West Coast, but it wasn't until 1974 (Los Angeles vs. Oakland) that the entire series was played in the Pacific Time Zone.
The first World Series game to be played on artificial turf was in 1970 in Cincinnati; the first all-artificial turf Series was [the 1980] Kansas City-Philadelphia one. The Royals-Phillies matchup also produced the first Series in which both managers were rookies and the first in modern times in which both teams were seeking a first World Championship.
The Royals were the first American League expansion team to make it to the World Series, but the New York Mets of the National League got there first -- in 1969, and again in 1973, winning it all in '69 against Baltimore.
....Did you know that it wasn't until 1947 that anyone hit a pinch-hit homer in a World Series game? It was the Yankees' Yogi Berra, hitting for Sherm Lollar[,] who accomplished it. And a year later, 1948, marked the last appearance to date of a playing manager in a World Series, when Lou Boudreau led the Cleveland Indians against the Braves.
The first World Series in which six umpires were used came in 1947 and gave the National League's George Magerkurth and the American League's Jim Boyer the distinction of being the first "foul line" umpires in history.
....Ballparks have certainly undergone changes over the years, most dramatically with the introduction of indoor baseball through the construction of the Astrodome in Houston, which opened in 1965. That brought about the need for the first artificial turg, and a year later it was installed in the Astrodome following lengthy tests. Chem Strand, a division of Monsanto, designed the product, and it lasted twelve seasons before a new carpet was necessary.
....Dodger Stadium, opened in 1962, was the first to have different-colored seats in each section and the first to have an organist excite the crowd with a call of "CHARGE!" .... Shea Stadium in New York was the first to do away with light towers in favor of rows of lights along the roof of the upper deck. The year was 1964.
The Giants, at Candlestick Park, were the first to have a so-called dugout at field level rather than dug out below the ground. It was Riverfront Stadium that first measured fence distances in meters and the Kingdome in Seattle that took it one better, measuring the distances in fathoms, in keeping with its nautical theme.
The first message board in a stadium was built by the Yankees in 1959 in the old Yankee Stadium, a simple board eight lines high, eight spaces wide. A year later, Bill Veeck introduced his exploding scoreboard in Comiskey Park, Chicago.
The Astrodome, in 1965, brought animation in lights to scoreboard art, opening the gates for complex message boards. The first instant-replay boards in baseball came along in 1976, in the new Yankee Stadium and in ol' Fenway Park....
-- Marty Appel
"Noting the Milestones"
in The Armchair Book of Baseball II (Jim Thorn, ed.)
IMAGE: The historic Astrodome scoreboard.
The Greatest Game
[The] 1975 World Series Game 6: Boston Red Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds. They call it the greatest game ever played -- not just baseball game, but any game.
The Red Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1918 -- when Babe Ruth was a star pitcher, Boston had won four titles in seven years, Yankee Stadium didn't exist, and New York never won. Now, 57 years later, the Red Sox were in only their third World Series since selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees, after dropping the 1946 and 1967 Series in seven games. They were up against the Big Red Machine, which ... had been regulars in the postseason who always seemed to come up short -- a loss in the 1970 and 1972 series, and an upset at the hands of the 83-79 Mets in the 1973 NLCS.
Boston trailed 3-2 after seeing Cincinnati win Game 2 in their final at-bat and steal Game 3 on a very controversial call in the bottom of the 10th. Now the series was back in Fenway Park, and the Red Sox needed a win to force ... [a] Game 7. Boston went up 3-0 on Gary Nolan in the first when rookie phenom Fred Lynn hit a three-run homer. It looked like the Sox would put the game away in the third when they loaded the bases, but Cincinnati brought in Jack Billingham and he struck out Rico Petrocelli to end the threat. Red Sox ageless pitching ace Luis Tiant worked in and out of trouble and kept the Reds baffled until the fifth with his whirling dervish pitching motion and variety of arm angles. Ken Griffey Sr. hit a two-run triple to center, and all of New England held its breath as Lynn crashed into the wall and fell to the ground in a daze. He shook it off, but Johnny Bench delivered a clutch two-out game-tying single.
The Reds threatened in the seventh, and it looked as if Tiant would wriggle out of this one as well. After Griffey and Joe Morgan singled to open the inning, Bench pushed Carl Yastrzemski to the base of the Green Monster in left, and Tony Perez flied to right. This time it was George Foster who delivered the big two-out hit, a two-run double off the center-field wall. Defensive specialist Cesar Geronimo chased Tiant in the top of the eighth with a home run to make it 6-3.
Boston rallied in the bottom of the eighth as Fred Lynn singled off the leg of pitcher Pedro Borbon. Borbon then walked Petrocelli and was replaced by rookie closer Rawly Eastwick, who led the NL with 22 saves. Eastwick struck out Dwight Evans and got Rick Burleson to line out to Foster in left. Former Red Bernie Carbo, chafing at the bit to get more playing time in the Series, came on to pinch hit and hit a 3-2 bomb into the center-field bleachers to tie the game -- his second pinch-hit home run of the series.
The Red Sox nearly won it in regulation in the bottom of the ninth when Denny Doyle walked to lead off the inning and Yastrzemski singled him to third. Sparky Anderson called on his other young relief ace, Will McEnaney, to try to put out this fire. He walked Carlton Fisk intentionally to load the bases and set up the force at home, but it brought Boston's best hitter, Fred Lynn, to the plate. McEnaney couldn't coax a ground ball out of Lynn. Instead, Lynn hit a fly ball down the left-field line. George Foster, known more for his hitting than his fielding, set up his throw perfectly and fired a strike to home plate to nail Denny Doyle. Petrocelli left his fifth and sixth men on base for the game when he grounded out to send the game to extra innings.
The heroics continued in the top of the 11th when Dwight Evans robbed Joe Morgan of a two-run homer with a miraculous grab in right field, then threw to second base to double-up Griffey and end the inning. Rick Wise worked out of trouble in the top of the 12th, stranding two more Reds -- the 10th and 11th of the game. But Boston had shown no indication of being able to solve Cincinnati's eighth pitcher, Pat Darcy, going down 1-2-3 in the 10th and 11th and getting only one ball out of the infield. But Carlton Fisk ended the four-hour marathon by drilling Darcy's first pitch in the 12th inning off the left-field foul pole. Television cameras caught Fisk hopping down the first-base line, waving his arms to will the ball to stay fair, then leaping about four feet into the air when the ball ricocheted off the pole to end the game.
The game ended early in the morning of October 22, and the two teams got together later that day to decide things. Unfortunately for Boston, their dramatic victory was not followed with an anticlimactic blowout. The Reds didn't fold up as many teams do coming so close and falling short. Boston moved ahead 3-0, but couldn't hold off the clutch hitting of Tony Perez, Pete Rose, and Joe Morgan. The Reds won the game 4-3 on a two-out single to center by Joe Morgan in the top of the ninth, their third victory in their final at-bat in the series. Game 7 ended with Carlton Fisk on deck watching Carl Yastrzemski fly to center.
-- Doug Myers & Bryan Dodd
BOS: Cecil Cooper 1b, Denny Doyle 2b, Carl Yastrzemski lf, Carlton Fisk c, Fred Lynn cf, Rico Petrocelli 3b, Dwight Evans rf, Rick Burleson ss, Luis Tiant sp.
CIN: Pete Rose 3b, Ken Griffey Sr rf, Joe Morgan 2b, Johnny Bench c, Tony Perez 1b, George Foster lf, Dave Concepcion ss, Cesar Geronimo cf, Gary Nolan sp.
IMAGE: Carlton Fisk (left) willing the fly ball he just hit to go fair as Johnny Bench and Pat Darcy look on.
The Bronx Bombers
[T]he domineering period of the lengthy New York dynasty was from 1936 to 1939, when the Yankees won four straight pennants. Baseball purists will leap to point out that Casey Stengel's Yankees won five straight pennants and five straight World Series from 1949 through 1953. That was an astonishing, unparalleled accomplishment, but Casey's Yankee pennants came hard: In the first four of those five pennant races they fought off persistent rivals all season long and won by margins of one game in 1949, three in 1950, five in 1951, two in 1952 ....
What about 1955-1964 when the Yankees, managed first by Stengel and then by Ralph Houk, won nine pennants in ten years? But those latter-day Yankees lost five of the nine World Series they engaged in.
What about the earlier Yankees, the Babe Ruth Yankees, the 1927 Yankees? The Babe Ruth Yankees won six pennants in eight years in the 1920s but lost three of the first four World Series they were in. Ruth's 1927 Yankees, who won 110 games and swept the Pittsburgh Pirates four straight in the Series, are often called the greatest baseball team of all time, and that may well be true, but the same club a year earlier lost the World Series and a year later had to scramble late in the season to win the flag by a bare two and a half games. The challenging Philadelphia Athletics then usurped the Yankee throne by winning three straight pennants in 1929-30-31 .... From 1929 through 1935, although they finished second five times and third once, the Yankees won only one pennant.
That diffidence ended in 1936. The aging Ruth was gone and the vibrant young DiMaggio had arrived. Gehrig was still at his peak, and the Yankees moved into high gear. The 1936 club won the pennant by nineteen and a half games ... and set a new major league record of 182 home runs .... In 1937 they won by thirteen games and hit 174 home runs, the second highest team total to that time. In 1938, Gehrig's last season, when the effects of his fatal condition began to show, they still won by nine and a half games and again hit 174 home runs. In 1939, with Gehrig gone, they regrouped, won by seventeen games and hit 166 home runs.
Never before or since had a baseball team been so overwhelmingly dominant. The pitching was deep and excellent -- the staff had the lowest earned-run average in the league for four straight years -- but it was the Yankees' powerful, unrelenting hitting that awed rival teams and earned them the nickname the Bronx Bombers. In 1941, in a list of the leading home-run hitting teams of all time, the 1936-37-38 Yankees were one-two--three .... The 1936-39 Yankees led the league by wide margins each year in scoring runs, and they led by wide margins in keeping opponents from scoring ....
They were just as impressive in World Series play. No team had ever won more than two straight World Series titles before, but the Yankees won the Series four straight times, and they won smashingly: by four games to two in 1936, 4-1 in 1937, 4-0 in 1938 and 4-0 in 1939. In the second game of the 1936 Series they humiliated the New York Giants 18-4, an unheard-of score in the World Series; half a century later it was still the record for most runs scored by one team in a Series game, and their fourteen-run superiority was still the biggest margin of victory.
-- Robert W. Creamer
Baseball in '41
IMAGE: The Yankees at the 1937 World Series.
Baseball, Ted Turner-Style
Declaring he was an owner who "cared," [Ted] Turner, a cable television millionaire, purchased the [Atlanta Braves] franchise from [William] Bartholomay and his partners in January 1976 for an estimated $12 million. His first surprise move was to keep Bartholomay as the team's chairman of the board. Then, with the baseball establishment still smarting over the successful challenge to the reserve rule mounted that winter by pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally, the new Braves owner went out and signed Messersmith to a long-term deal; part of the deal called for the hurler to wear uniform number 17 as a living billboard advertising Turner's cable superstation. While none of the other owners were about to admit in public that Turner had undermined a move to blackball Messersmith, some of them had plenty to say when he (and White Sox president Bill Veeck) skirted that season's lockout of spring training camps by inviting minor leaguers down to Florida on schedule. Although technically not a break with the ownership lockout because no big leaguers were involved, Turner's action was interpreted as a disturbing sign of his tendency to do things his own way and would be remembered down the road. On the other hand, he went along with the other owners on a contractual prerogative that allowed teams to cut by 20 percent the salary of any player who announced he intended playing out his option year. In the case of the Braves for 1976, this amounted to 24 players.
The 1976 season was little more than an interlude between Turner's spring and fall clashes with other owners and the league office. In what was to be the second of four straight cellar finishes, Atlanta led the league in nothing but injuries .... On the other hand, Turner personally jacked up the gate appeal of the team by such stunts as jumping onto the field to welcome a Braves home-run hitter at home plate and joining the grounds crew in sweeping the field. Antics of [that] kind added almost 300,000 more customers for the year.
Some of the laughter died after the season. No sooner had Turner announced that he had signed outfielder Gary Matthews as a free agent for 1977 than [Commissioner Bowie] Kuhn smacked him with a tampering charge, levied a fine of $10,000, and stripped the Braves of their first-round amateur draft pick in January. The Giants, the team that had lost Matthews, were not satisfied and went to Kuhn with further tampering accusations. Following a review of the new evidence, the commissioner increased his penalties to a one-year suspension of Turner and Atlanta's loss of its June draft selection. Turner's response was threefold: the firing of general manager John Alevizos for having illegally approached Matthews before the end of the 1976 season, the raising of a giant billboard advertisement welcoming the outfielder to Atlanta, and the suing of Kuhn over the suspension.
Turner's case wasn't heard until April 28-29, 1977, by which time he had rattled the NL again by telling Braves skipper Dave Bristol to take a few days off while he himself stepped in as "acting manager." Once again the stunt was primarily aimed at getting the Atlanta faithful to forget about the wretched play of the Braves; in fact, on the day Turner decided to take over for Bristol, the team lost its 16th straight game. With coach Vern Benson actually calling the shots in the dugout, the owner presided over the 17th consecutive loss but expressed himself as thrilled by the experience. NL President Chub Feeney was less so. Drawing upon an old regulation that prohibited players and managers from owning stock in the club that employed them, Feeney prevented Turner from doing a repeat performance, and Bristol was reinstated to guide the team to the most losses (101) it has ever suffered.
In court, Turner fared only slightly better. After hearing the evidence about the alleged tampering and reviewing Kuhn's right to impose the penalties he had, a judge upheld the fine and the year's suspension but returned the draft picks to the Braves. Turner, who at one point during the proceedings threatened to give the commissioner's attorney "a knuckle sandwich" for his cross-examination tactics, accepted the verdict and, to help himself forget the Braves for a year, went off to win the America's Cup.
-- Donald Dewey & Nicholas Acocella
Rod Kanehl: Playing for Casey
They called him "Hot Rod," and he became an early fan favorite of the expansion New York Mets. But Kanehl's road to the Mets was a long and winding one. A Missouri-born track and field star, Kanehl might have been Olympic-bound had he finished college. Instead, he tried to make a profession of baseball. New York Yankee scout Tom Greenwade kept an eye on Kanehl while he played in the independents, and in 1954 the Yankees signed him.... (ed.)
"When you signed your contract, it provided 'first class' transportation, and first class transportation in 1954 was the Pullman car....
"The train line started in Kansas City, and it was like a tributary. All the baseball players heading to spring training from every team who came from Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Kansas would go to Kansas City, and they'd get on this train. It would go through Springfield, and we had a lot of ballplayers from Springfield, and it would then go to Memphis, and all the players from up around St. Louis or Chicago would come down to Memphis and get on this train. Then the train would go to Birmingham, and all the players from the Ohio Valley would get on, and then on to Atlanta. It was like a river. It just started filling up. And by the time it left Atlanta it held practically all ballplayers going to Florida.
"Even players from California hit this train. They would come in from San Diego....
"I met a bunch of the Yankee players: Ralph Terry, Jerry Lumpe, Jack Urban from up in Nebraska, and Fritzie Brickell, the little shortstop from Wichita. The guys played cards and craps....
"Today they fly. You don't get the same camaraderie."
...."Casey was developing the Yankee system. He wanted everybody to learn how to take signs one way, how to lead off first base, how to lead off second, and how to round the bases, how to make throws from the outfield, how to pivot to make the throw to second. He wanted the corps of players they expected to finally make the big leagues to be able to advance from D ball -- to C, B, A, Double A, and Triple A -- with everybody doing the same thing.
"Casey had a lot of the minor league managers at this advance camp so they would know what he was teaching so that if you ever got a shot at the big leagues, everybody would be on the same page. That was the Yankee system. And Casey had a routine he would start the first day of spring training....
"Casey noticed me that first camp .... [W]e were playing at Miller Huggins Field in St. Petersburg .... They didn't have chain link in those days. The fence was made of barbed wire. Balls would roll under and through the gence, and the kids would chase the balls down and run off with them.
"I was out in the outfield, and a ball rolled under the fence, and being a high jumper, I hopped this five-foot fence. No big deal for me. I beat a kid to the ball, then hopped back over and threw the ball in. I didn't hear that Casey had noticed until the next winter at the Hot Stove League dinner in Springfield....
"Phil Rizzuto was retiring soon, and so when I arrived Casey took all the centerfielders -- me, Tony Kubek, and Woody Held, and he started making shortstops out of us. That's how Kubek ended up a shortstop, and Woody played shortstop for Cleveland for years.
"Stengel was always filling the Yankee roster with young blood. That was a great attribute of his. Bob Grim was a pitcher at that first rookie camp in '54, and he came to the team and went on to be the Rookie of the Year in the American League ....
"Gil McDougald once told me, 'Casey's greatest attribute was that he loved to sit a proven veteran on the bench and play a kid.' And that's why Casey had so many great rookies year after year after year. And he always had young pitchers coming up to his staff.
"A lot of people said, 'Stengel won because he had all those great players.' Well, Casey developed those great players through the organization, and he kept young blood coming all the time. And it's not easy to sit there and deal with a player who can't speak English or a temperamental center fielder in the twilight of his career [Joe DiMaggio], bringing in young blood and platooning Hank Bauer and Gene Woodling and dealing with all those personalities, and dealing with Whitey [Ford] and the carousing of Mickey [Mantle] and Billy [Martin] without ruining the team. It took some talent for him to deal with all that."
But Kanehl was sent down to the minors and played in the Cotton States League, the Three-I League, the Mexican League, the American Association. By 1961 he was playing for a Double-A club in Nashville.... (ed.)
"....I arrived in Nashville for opening day. Lyndon B. Johnson, the vice president, threw out the first ball. He needed a glove, and I lent him mine. We played in Sulphur Dell, the oldest ballpark in baseball, and I was one of only two players [in the Southern Association] to play every game ... that season. It was a tough bus league in those days. You'd drive from Little Rock to Atlanta to play the next day, then drive all night.
"I hit '304, played every game, and with expansion coming, I figured [you] never know, and that winter I was drafted by the Mets. The Yankees had left me on their Double A roster, and I was drafted by Syracuse, which had a partial working agreement with the Mets and also with Minnesota. When Syracuse drafted me, Minnesota figured it was for them, but it was actually for the Mets, and the commissioner had to make a ruling. So ... I went to spring training with the Mets in '62."
in Amazin': The Miraculous History of New York's
Most Beloved Baseball Team (Peter Golenbock)
IMAGE: Casey Stengel, Manager, New York Mets
Stats: 3000 Hits
Pete Rose (1963-86) 4,256
Ty Cobb (1905-28) 4,191
Hank Aaron (1954-76) 3,771
Stan Musial (1941-63) 3,630
Tris Speaker (1907-28) 3,515
Honus Wagner (1897-1917) 3,430
Carl Yastrzemski (1961-83) 3,419
Paul Molitor (1978-98) 3,319
Eddie Collins (1906-30) 3,313
Willie Mays (1951-73) 3,283
Eddie Murray (1977-97) 3,255
Nap Lajoie (1896-1916) 3,251
Cal Ripken Jr. (1981-2001) 3,184
George Brett (1973-93) 3,154
Paul Waner (1926-45) 3,152
Robin Yount (1974-93) 3,142
Tony Gwynn (1982-2001) 3,141
Daved Winfield (1973-95) 3,110
Rickey Henderson (1979- ) 3,055
Rod Carew (1967-85) 3,053
Lou Brock (1961-79) 3,023
Rafael Palmeiro (1986- ) 3,020
Wade Boggs (1982-99) 3,010
Al Kaline (1953-74) 3,007
Roberto Clemente (1955-72) 3,000
Year in Review: 1907
The city of Detroit got its start in professional baseball in 1881 as tenants of the National League. The franchise lasted until 1888, a year after the club captured its only pennant. It was not until 1901 that Detroit got another team -- this time, as members of the newly established American League. The best the Tigers could do in those six years were two third-place berths. Previously, the championship had been confined to the cities of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. Yet, before the season would be officially closed, the territorial pennant map would see expansion into the future motor city of the world.
One of the key figures in Detroit's new destiny was long-time National Leaguer Hughie Jennings, who took over the reins of the Tigers in the spring and guided them into the hallowed turf of the championship in his first try as manager. Under Jennings' hand, the league watched in surprise as the 1906 sixth-place Tigers rose to the top like cream -- a major reason being the maturing of young outfielder Ty Cobb into a star of commanding presence on the field. The 20-year-old Georgia Peach, in his third year with the Tigers, blossomed into a batting terror by socking the ball at a .350 clip to win his first batting championship. The pugnacious right-fielder rang fear into the hearts of infielders just as much as pitchers with his league-leading 49 stolen bases, achieved mostly via a style of sliding in high with razor-honed spikes.
With Cobb batting cleanup, Sam Crawford saw enough good pitches in the third slot to bat a rousing .323 -- enough to place him second in the league behind Cobb. The duo helped make the Tigers' attack the best in the league, even though the entire team belted only 11 home runs -- a credible amount considering it was the era of the dead ball. Veteran Wild Bill Donovan and lefty Ed Killian each won 25 games for the Tigers, while George Mullin chalked up 20 wins but only broke even, as he lost 20 games in a workhorse season of 357 innings.
In reaching for the first American League pennant, Detroit did not have an easy time of it. As of late September, the Tigers were fighting for the flag with Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cleveland, with the issue finally coming down to a crucial series with Philadelphia. On September 27 they knocked off the A's to take over the lead. In the second game of the set, the two nines battled to a 17-inning draw, enabling Detroit to leave with a slim edge which they never relinquished. The late season slump of Rube Waddell, and Chief Bender's sore arm, severely hurt the chances of Philadelphia in the final decisive weeks. Chicago held the best hand of hurlers, aced by 27-game winner Doc White and 24-game winner Ed Walsh but, this time, could not overcome the lack of batting punch in the lineup, while Cleveland could not quite make up for Nap Lajoie's .299 batting average, the worst in his 12-year career.
The Cubs and Tigers meet before the 1907 World Series
The National League witnessed the "collapse" of the Cubs to 107 wins, nine less than the previous year but still enough for a 17-game margin over the runner-up Pirates. While four teams threatened in the junior loop, all hands conceded the senior circuit crown to Chicago early in the summer. The heart of the Cubs could be found in the infield in playing-manager Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker, and forgotten-man Harry Steinfeldt, who covered the diamond with an airtight blanket which smothered many an opponents' rally. In addition to their defensive play, Chance and Steinfeldt also supplied the team's offensive power.
The Cubs' pitching department was headed by Orvie Overall, who proved the winningest of five solid starters in a complement which included Three Finger Brown, Carl Lundgren, Jack Pfiester, and Ed Reulbach.
....A tragic footnote to the season occurred in spring training when Chick Stahl, the playing manager of the American League Boston club, violently ended his life on March 28 by drinking carbolic acid. Although it was known that Stahl, only 34, was despondent, the reason for his suicide was never learned.
--David S. Neft, Richard M. Cohen, Michael L. Neft
The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball (22nd ed.)
The 1907 World Series
Chicago Cubs (4) v Detroit Tigers (0)
West Side Grounds (Chicago), Bennett Park (Detroit)
For the second year in a row, the Cubs were favored to win the Series. This time they did not fail, taking four straight from Detroit after an opening game tie called because of darkness. Pfiester, Reulbach, Overall, and Brown all turned in complete game victories in holding the Tigers to only six runs in the five-game set -- a pitching success summed up in Crawford's .238 batting average and Cobb's weak .200 mark. Coupled with the pitching corps' spectacular .075 ERA was Chicago's superb running game. Led by Jimmy Slagle's six thefts, the Cubs racked up a Series record 18 steals. Slagle, who only managed 28 steals during the regular season, also knocked in four runs -- the most RBI's in the Series -- and provided the go-ahead run in the Cub's first victory. Steinfeldt's .471 and Evers' .350 hitting, which led the Cubs' offense, also aided in bringing Chicago its first world's title. (The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, Neft, et al.)
Game 1: Chicago 3, Detroit 3
Game 2: Chicago 3, Detroit 1
Game 3: Chicago 5, Detroit 1
Game 4: Chicago 6, Detroit 1
Game 5: Chicago 2, Detroit 0
CHICAGO: Mordecai Brown (p), Frank Chance (1b), Johnny Evers (2b, ss), Del Howard (1b), Johnny Kling (c), Pat Moran (ph), Orval Overall (p), Jack Pfiester (p), Ed Reulbach (p), Frank Schulte (of), Jimmy Sheckard (of), Jimmy Slagle (of), Harry Steinfeldt (3b), Joe Tinker (ss), Heinie Zimmerman (2b). Mgr: Frank Chance
DETROIT: Jimmy Archer (c), Ty Cobb (of), Bill Coughlin (3b), Sam Crawford (of), Bill Donovan (p), Davy Jones (of), Ed Killian (p), George Mullin (p), Charley O'Leary (ss), Fred Payne (c), Claude Rossman (1b), Germany Schaefer (2b), Boss Schmidt (c), Ed Siever (p). Mgr: Hughie Jennings
Twenty-year-old Ty Cobb led the AL in hits, RBI, batting average and stolen bases. Game 2 was called due to darkness.
IMAGE: The 1907 World Series at Detroit's Bennett Park (the future site of Tiger Stadium)
Player Profile: Chuck Connors
Born: April 10, 1921 (Brooklyn, NY)
ML Debut: May 1, 1949
Final Game: September 30, 1951
Bats Left Throws Left
Played for: Brooklyn Dodgers (1949), Chicago Cubs (1951)
Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors was drafted as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1940. In 1942 he joined the Army and attended West Point. Following his discharge in 1946, Connors joined the Boston Celtics, but left the team for spring training with the Dodgers. It took him nine years to reach the Big Leagues -- and had one at-bat in one game for the Dodgers during the 1949 season. (He grounded into a double play.) In October 1950 he was traded with Dee Fondy to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Hank Edwards, and in 1951 played first base and had 201 at-bats in 66 games, finishing the season with a .239 average, hitting two home runs and collecting 18 RBIs. (He also stole four bases.) Sent down to the minors, he played for the Cubs' top farm team, the Los Angeles Angels, and was spotted by a MGM Studios casting director. His appearance in the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn film Pat and Mike launched a successful Hollywood career. Connors is most remembered for the television series The Rifleman (1958-63).
-- J. Manning
To take part in a baseball game.
A clause in a pitcher's contract that awards him a bonus if he appears in a certain number of games.
A procedure in place since 1974, in which a player can request the intervention of an independent labor arbitrator if he and his team cannot reach agreement on a new contract. The arbitrator determines whether that player is being fairly paid and, if not, can set a salary based on comparability to other players. The judgment is binding and final. The player making the request must have less than six years seniority and more than two years (as of 1986). Free agents are ineligible for arbitration.
Arby's RBI Award
An award given every year since 1986 to the hitter in each league with the most RBIs. For each run batted in, $1000 is donated to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America. The award given to the player is called the Hank Aaron Trophy. The prize is coproduced by the Arby's fast-food chain and MLB.
Arizona Fall League
An instructional league that plays during the autumn months.
(1) A player's throwing or pitching ability. (2) A term used for a pitcher, or for a fielder who has the ability to throw long and accurately. First used: New York Sunday Mercury, 1963.
A team's pitching staff.
around the horn
(1) A double play that goes from third base to second to first. (2) Throwing the ball around the infield for practice or show before a game or between innings. According to Casey Stengel, infielders were throwing 'round the horn as early as 1912.
A bullpen notorious for routinely allowing the opposition to score. In contrast to a bullpen of "firemen" who can be counted on to put out the other team's offensive "fire."
Baseball bat. Most bats used in the MLB are made of northern white ask (Fraxinus americana), which is found in Pennsylvania, Canada, and New York's Adirondack Mountains. First used: Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, July 17, 1872.
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