Sunday, November 26, 2006

Early Era Baseball Photos

2004 World Series "The Final Out" Red Sox Champions!

If you are looking for Early Era Baseball Photos, this site specializes in classic and rare baseball photos of historical interest. They offer one of the most stellar selection of baseball photographs anywhere, with over 200 different outstanding baseball photos.

From as far back as the 1800's to the present, these photos represent a time when baseball was still a game. They have an extensive list of historic baseball photos, including Hall of Famers, stars, team photos, group photos, and 19th century player and team photos. They also have 1919 Black Sox photos, negro league photos, and a large selection of baseball stadium photos.

They also have ORIGINAL, vintage baseball programs and scorecards.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Anniversary Mia and Nomar

2003 - Boston SS Nomar Garciaparra
marries US soccer star Mia Hamm
on November 22, 2003 in Santa Barbara‚ California.
Nomar Garciaparra
1973 -
SS 1996- Red Sox
AL Rookie of the Year 1997
All-Star in 1997, 99

Crowning the crop of hot young shortstops that emerged in the late 1990s, Garciaparra's amazing debut in 1997 (.306, 30 HR, 98 RBI, 209 hits, 22 steals) made him the second consecutive shortstop (following Derek Jeter) and just the sixth player ever to be unanimously voted American League Rookie of the Year.

The first Red Sox player to receive the honor since Fred Lynn in 1975, Garciaparra's team-high RBI total set a major-league season mark for RBI by a leadoff hitter and his 30 homers established a new major league rookie record for shortstops. His 30-game hitting streak from July 26 to August 29 broke Guy Curtright's 1943 AL rookie record by four games and also tied Tris Speaker for the second-longest hitting streak in Red Sox history.

Garciaparra also broke a couple of longstanding Boston records. His AL-leading 209 hits broke Johnny Pesky's 1942 rookie record of 205 (during the season, Pesky pronounced him the best shortstop in Red Sox history) and his 365 total bases smashed Ted Williams' rookie record of 344 in 1939. Garciaparra's 11 triples also led the American League. While pacing the Sox in at-bats (684) and finishing second in HR and doubles (44), Nomar became the first Red Sox player to reach double figures in doubles, triples, homers and steals since Jackie Jensen did it in 1956.
"Numbers swirled around him like a disco ball," wrote Baseball America, and by the end of the season, Garciaparra was so tired of listening to reporters enumerate his achievements that he pleaded before every interview, "no more questions about stats, OK?"

Known as "Glass" in high school due to his brittle appearance and slender physique, Nomar almost didn't make it to Boston. After he tore up his knee at Pawtucket in early 1996 it was thought that he was gone for the season. But he was back by June, hit .343 with 16 homers and 46 RBI in 43 games and was quickly pegged as Red Sox shortstop of the future. He added four homers and 14 RBI in 24 games during a brief call-up in late 1996, when he became Red Sox' starting shortstop.

In spring training 1997, a minor controversy erupted over this appointment when new Red Sox manager Jimy Williams moved the incumbent shortstop, John Valentin, to second base, and Wil Cordero, who'd already accepted a move to second from short, was shifted again to DH. But the controversy blew over when it became clear that Garciaparra's talent became evident. Garciaparra's fine season also partially salved Boston fans' anger at losing Roger Clemens after the star hurler signed with the Toronto Blue Jays before the 1997 season.

A slave to routine at the plate (he has a habitual pattern of adjusting his wristbands, kicking the dirt, and genuflecting before every pitch) and superstition on the field (he refuses to wash his hat during the season) Garciaparra continued his torrid pace in 1998, batting .323 with 35 homers and 122 RBIs. When slugging first baseman Mo Vaughn left Boston for Anaheim as a free agent after the season, the quiet Garciaparra inherited the role of team leader at the tender age of 25.

Garciaparra was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first round (12th pick overall) of the 1994 June draft following three years at Georgia Tech and a stint with the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. Garciaparra's first name is actually Anthony; Nomar is his middle name, and is Ramon, his father's name, spelled backwards. (SW/JGR) (Stewart Wolpin) (James G. Robinson)

Editor's note: Boston traded Nomar to the Chicago Cubs mid-year in 2004 and then he left Chicago after the 2005 season for a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nomar was voted Comeback Player of the Year for 2006 and then re-signed for another two years with the Dodgers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Leaders Who Make You Rich" - A Baseball Story

From The Motley Fool; at

Read the complete article here

By David Gardner
November 7, 2006
A nice thing happened yesterday. It had absolutely nothing to do with business or stocks, but I had to write about it. Hold on there, maybe it does have a single powerful thing to teach us about business, and stocks ... and life. Maybe it's the best lesson of all. It's a baseball story.
Remembering vernal sojourn
- As a youth, I had the great good fortune of being able to serve as batboy for the Minnesota Twins over bits and pieces of a few seasons. I got to go down for spring training at old Tinker Field in Orlando, Fla., where the then-hapless Twins did their vernal sojourns.
Back in those days (1982-1983), the Twins had a bunch of exciting upcoming players -- but were losing 100 games a year. Twins youngsters such as Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, and Frank Viola would wind up winning the World Series just five years later (1987, and again in 1991). But my own batboy days were their salad days, as Shakespeare puts it, when they were green. And so was I.
Salad-green batboys don't exactly command respect among major-league baseball players. (Maybe I benefited because my grandfather owned a piece of the team, but, actually, I don't think that mattered at all.) But there was one player who stood out to me, different from all the rest. In contrast to his peers -- who were young, strong, likeably cocky, and loved to joke around -- he was older, sadder, and wiser. He was low-key to their high-key. He was actually a rookie, but he was 30 years old and had worked his way up long and hard through the minor leagues. And he just exuded humility. My locker was right next to his -- I can still see the masking tape affixed there, "Wash" (his simple nickname) scrawled in black letters.
What made "Wash" matter -
The thing about Wash was that he actually got to know my name, rather than call me "kid" or "bucko" or whatever friendly but patronizing nickname the other players used. As a 15-year-old, I could relate to him on a special level: He was only 5'11", and weighed 163 pounds -- and doggone it, I was 5'11", and weighed 163 pounds. Admittedly, I was a bit smaller back then, but you can see how he was "my guy." Indeed, to the only kid in the Twins clubhouse, he was like an uncle -- someone I could talk to, in contrast to the plucky, obnoxious older brothers the rest of the players represented. Maybe my locker was put there for a reason.
So I remember Ron Washington, a.k.a. Wash, well. The Baseball Encyclopedia will show Ron as a dependable but unspectacular weak-hitting middle infielder who batted 451 times for the Twins in 1982 -- and never got that much playing time again. He was released by the Twins during spring training of 1987 -- the year they would win it all. He left the game some years later. I didn't really follow where he went after that. To me, he had been a standout in the clubhouse. But, like most fans, I admittedly wind up spending more of my time following the standouts on the field.
Fast forward
Well, as of Nov. 6, 2006, Ron's now a standout on the field, too. Yesterday, Ron was named a major-league baseball manager. Following his increasingly visible presence in the third-base coaching box for the Oakland A's these past few years, the Texas Rangers tapped him to lead them back to the winner's circle. We'll see whether that happens. (I'm a big believer that general managers mean about four times as much to baseball success as team managers, so, in many ways, the Rangers' success is not completely in Ron's hands.) Before I get to my investing lesson, here's an Associated Press story quote from Ron, and from my own distant memories, boy, does it ring true:
"I'm going to be a players' manager. My job is solely to make sure that every player on the Texas Rangers feels like they are part of everything going on here," Washington said Monday night, when he was introduced at a news conference. "As a manager, I'm no good if the players don't get it done. If the players get it done, I'm great."
No bluster. No "we're going to win the championship." No "I came from such humble beginnings and I have earned this." Very little focus on the self.
See the rest of the article here

Sunday, November 12, 2006

John Roseboro Talks About Don Drysdale

Excerpt from
"Glory Days with the Dodgers"
by John Roseboro with Bill Libby
Chapter 17, Page 166
Our other pitching star of that time, Don Drysdale, was a different type. He didn't mind the spotlight. He didn't look for it, but it didn't bother him. He's still in it, as one of the better broadcasters......

Driz, as I called him, was, however, a very volatile guy. He had a hair-trigger temper. He was a good guy, but he could be as mean as Sandy was clean. Drize could drink like no man I've ever known. My wife and I used to go out to dinner with Driz and Perranoski and their wives and long after the rest of us were done drinking, Driz was still going strong. He could hold it, too. He could drink most men under the table.

I do remember him drunk one time coming home from a winning World Series. We were playing cards on the plane and he wanted into the game. We let him in figuring he was so drunk he was easy money. It turned out he took us for everything we had. His legs might have been wobbly, but his head was still straight......

There are screened box seats behind home plate and between the dugouts at Dodger Stadium that are built at field level. The people that sit in them actually sit below field level, with the upper part of their bodies above. A lot of stars sit in these seats. One time Liz Taylor was sitting in one in an especially low-cut dress. Driz didn't miss much. He was pitching and his first pitch went way wide, wild, and right up to the screen in front of her box. I went back to pick it up and when I looked down there was Liz, both of them. It took me a long time to pick up the ball. When I did, I didn't throw it, but took it back to the mound. When I handed it to Driz, I asked him what kind of pitch that was supposed to be. He smiled and said, "I just like to take care of my catcher."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Glory Days with the Dodgers by John Roseboro

Except from
"Glory Days with the Dodgers"
by John Roseboro with Bill Libby
Chapter 3, page 34:
We got to see the Indians play at Municipal Stadium once or twice a year. That was in the late 1940s when they had Bob Lemon, Bob Feller, Mike Garcia, and Early Winn, but they usually lost the pennant to the Yankees. They had one of the first black big leaguers, Larry Doby, a great player and a hero of mine. And they gave
Satchel Page a chance to pitch in the big leagues even though he was long past his prime. That gave me a chance to see the greatest of the black pitchers, maybe the greatest of all pitchers, period. They had a white catcher, Jim Hegan, who was a hero of mine. He did things smooth, effortlessly. He was a real pro and when I became a catcher I copied him, remembering him.

They also had a black outfielder named Harry “Suitcase” Simpson. I will always remember him because he stole a foul ball from me. It’s always a kid’s dream to catch a foul ball at a big-league ball game. One time during practice I was standing near the right-field foul pole, watching, when a ball came right to me. Just as I went to catch it, a big glove jumped in front of my face and took it away from me. It turned out Simpson had stolen it. Usually a big-league ballplayer lets a ked catch a foul ball when it’s hit into the stands in practice. Sometimes they even threw you one they caught near the stands. But Simpson just threw this ball back to the infield, and it steamed me.

Years later, barnstorming with the big leaguers, I landed in Mexico with Simpson and I chewed his ass out. I told him he wouldn’t remember me but I remembered him because he wouldn’t let me have the big-league baseball that I came closest to catching when I was a kid. He laughed and we became friends, but I never really forgave him.