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Friday, September 19, 2014

John Thorn: Fame & Fandom

Baseball Fan Hall Of Fame debates? (cough) (cough) (cough) (cough) Thorn offers lists for celebrity and non-celebrity wings of the BBFHOF.

Dedicated in 1939, baseball’s shrine was not the nation’s first Hall of Fame, despite the nearly universal impression that it was: Its inspiration was the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, created on a New York University campus in 1901 to honor men and women who had achieved greatness in any of 16 categories. Yet in the media age ushered in by radio and the talkies, missionaries and explorers were no longer our idols. Athletes were, but they couldn’t enter the Hall of Fame unless they bought a ticket. While Hilda Chester’s cowbell, which assaulted tender ears and sensibilities at Ebbets Field, or Freddy Schuman’s frying pan, which has had a similar effect at Yankee Stadium in recent years, might make it into a Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit, neither Hilda nor Freddy would ever be inducted. They have been denied the 21st century’s inalienable right to immortality, just as athletes once were. If in the metastasizing spread of celebrity there are halls of fame for policemen (Miami Beach), businessmen (Chicago), and clowns (Delavan, Wisc.), why not a shrine for fans?

Greg Franklin Posted: September 19, 2014 at 06:41 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: celebrities, fans, hall of fame, history, mets

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Baseball Caught Looking as Fouls Injure 1,750 Fans a Year

“...It was just a little kid, man,” Johnson said. “It happens every game—somebody gets hit. Whether it’s a bad one or not, somebody gets hit in the stands every single game.”

Johnson isn’t far off. About 1,750 spectators get hurt each year by batted balls, mostly fouls, at major-league games, or at least twice every three games, a first-of-its-kind analysis by Bloomberg News has found. That’s more often than a batter is hit by a pitch, which happened 1,536 times last season, according to Elias Sports Bureau Inc. The 8-year-old boy was one of four fans injured at the May 20 game, according to a “foul-ball log” and other first-aid records at the Braves’ Turner Field…”

NattyBoh Posted: September 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM | 154 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, injuries, lawsuits

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sun News Network: Old dude at Cubs game makes off-balance catch, sneakily tosses other ball back

Actually, the “old coot” is 65-year old Mike Pullin, a retired professional bowler. In any event, he’s no Bartman.

The aged dude is apparently as quick with his mind as he is with his glove.

Immediately following the snag, he grabbed a ball resting on his seat and tossed it back into play.

The broadcast team was even fooled by the subtle trick: ”He throws the ball back into play, but the Brewers will take that home run…”

JE (Jason) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fans, old coot, wrigley field

Monday, August 11, 2014

To Sung Woo, Thanks For Everything! Rany Jazayerli

Hey, I’m a Korean Royals fan too!

This summer, Sung Woo finally decided to take the plunge. Taking advantage of a job change, he was able to carve out ten days from his schedule to come to Kansas City, watch the Royals play, and maybe do a little sight-seeing and barbecue-eating while he was in town. He emailed Kamler and fellow Royals fan Dave Darby that he was buying his plane ticket and reserving his hotel room; they told him not to worry about transportation, that they’d pick him up and drive him to the ballpark and introduce him to Arthur Bryant’s and maybe the Negro League Museum while he was in town.

If the story had ended there, that would have been enough: three people who have never met, and can barely communicate with each other, bonding together like long-lost friends over a shared mutual interest in a crappy baseball team. A couple of guys were going to take a day or two off of work to show a complete stranger around town. Movies have been made with flimsier plots…..

For posterity’s sake, I’m going to do my best to summarize what has happened since, though to save time I won’t be able to link to everything. To get the full flavor, check out Sung Woo’s Twitter feed, or Kamler’s.

- Greeted by camera crews Tuesday afternoon, was on four local TV broadcasts that night.

- Was featured in the Star Wednesday morning.

- Took a tour of the Negro League Museum later that morning, featuring tour guide Bob Kendrick and an entourage of two dozen people.

- Gets featured at Deadspin and USA Today.

- Has lunch at Arthur Bryant’s.

- Is interviewed on 610 Sports that afternoon.

- Trolls the Best Fans In Baseball.

- Tours Boulevard Brewing Company that evening.

- With the Royals still playing in Arizona, he gets a shoutout from Danny Duffy – who, behind the scenes, also had a lot to do with Sung Woo’s story becoming as big as it has – on the Royals pre-game show.

- Got an email from Mike Sweeney.

- This is all still Wednesday, by the way.

- Appeared on 96.5 The Buzz Thursday morning. Was given a helmet signed by Billy Butler and a hat signed by Bruce Chen from the station.

- Is featured in the English-language Korea Times.

- Received a personal tour of Kauffman Stadium from the Royals, led by Jennifer Splittorff, who presented him with a SPLITT patch and one of her dad’s bobbleheads afterwards. Goes out on the field, touches the grass, picks up a bullpen phone, basically does everything short of hitting a double in the gap.

- Gets a personalized “SungWoo Lee” #23 Royals jersey, presented by Curt Nelson, the Director of the Royals’ Hall of Fame.

- Walks across the Truman Sports Complex to tailgate before the Chiefs’ preseason opener.

- Is presented with his own personalized #1 jersey by the Chiefs, gets tickets near the 50-yard line. Meets former players and current team president Mark Donovan.

- Friday was a pre-scheduled trip to see the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, so much of it was spent in the car. However, once there he managed to:

- Watch batting practice from next to the cage;

- Get invited into the clubhouse by manager Vance Wilson, who had heard about his story;

- Shake hands with every player one by one, and give Mitch Maier – back mentoring the baby Royals – a bear hug.

- Rode the Naturals’ pickup onto the field with their mascots.

- Got on the field as a human bowling ball during a mid-inning promotion. He managed to knock over six pins.

- Got Maier’s autographed jersey after the game.

Saturday, he was back in Kansas City for his first chance to watch the Royals play live.

- Prior to the game he was the star of a massive tailgate party in the parking lot, where he met his adoring masses.

- Appeared on the Jumbotron in the middle of the fifth inning.

- Was a story on Sportscenter – SPORTSCENTER – after the game Saturday night.

- Appeared in studio with Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery on today’s pre-game show. Montgomery gave him an autographed glove as a gift.

- Took part in the dance-off competition against Jimmy Faseler – whose spot as Everyone’s Favorite Royals Fan he usurped. Sung Woo won, of course. (Sorry, Jimmy.)

- Was featured at MLB.com.

Somewhere along the way he appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered. He’s gotten tweets sent to him from Jeremy Guthrie, Eric Hosmer, and Billy Butler (at least – there may be more.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, korea, rany jazayerli, royals

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Townsend: Kate Upton says Yankees wouldn’t let her wear Tigers’ gear at Yankee Stadium

Life imitates Seinfeld yet again.

As you’ve probably seen or heard by now, Upton was seated directly behind the Tigers’ dugout to watch Verlander’s Tigers play against the Yankees on Tuesday night. At one point, they even had a fun exchange where Upton finally convinced Verlander to toss her a souvenir baseball. It was a light-hearted and fun moment, but apparently that’s as far as the Yankees were willing to let her go to show her support for Detroit.

While filling in for Kelly Ripa on Friday’s Live! with Kelly and Michael, Upton revealed to co-host Michael Strahan that the Yankees specifically told her she couldn’t wear any Tigers’ gear while sitting in the Legends seats at Yankee Stadium.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 10, 2014 at 04:48 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, justin verlander, seinfeld, tigers, yankees

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nats Fan in Colorado Shows Support with Curly W BEARD

You can’t make up stuff like this. Google “curly w beard”, be entertained.

I just saw him on TV, it’s for realz.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:23 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: beards, fans, nationals

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kalaf: No One Can Find Raul Ibanez’s Foul Ball

This ain’t like finding a batted ball in a haystack.

aul Ibanez hit a foul ball in today’s Angels-Indians game. That’s not odd. The odd part is that no one found it.

Ibanez’s foul ball went into the empty upper deck of Progressive Field. One fan ran up to try and get it. He did not. More people walked up to comb the sections. Their efforts were fruitless. There is no happy ending to this video. No one found Raul Ibanez’s foul ball.

JE (Jason) Posted: June 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, fans, indians, raul ibanez, souvenirs

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Young fan struck by ground rule double, loves it - SBNation.com

He got the ball!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

Thursday, April 24, 2014

NJ.com: WATCH: An adult steals a ball from young Yankees fan at Wednesday’s game vs. Red Sox

He should have the other guy’s kid taken from him.

There was a controversy from Wednesday night’s Yankees-Red Sox tilt that probably infuriated fans everywhere.

No, not that whole Michael Pineda pine tar flap. We’re talking about what was captured on video, as you see above (via Big League Stew): Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts tossed a ball to a young fan in a Yankees hat…when an adult came in and snatched it away.

 

JE (Jason) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 10:40 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, maturity, red sox, yankees

NY Times: The Upshot: Up Close on Baseball’s Borders

Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated has called the line running through Connecticut that separates Yankee fans and Red Sox fans the Munson-Nixon line. Mr. Rushin came up with the name — in honor of the late Yankee catcher Thurman Munson and the retired Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon — in 2003, and he had to guess where the line ran: “north of New Haven but south of Hartford, running the breadth of central Connecticut.”

We don’t have to guess anymore.

Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook. Using aggregated data provided by the company, we were able to create an unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes. We can now clearly see that both Hartford and New Haven are in fact Yankee outposts. We can also determine the precise Chicago neighborhoods where White Sox jerseys stop being welcome and the central California town where the Dodgers cede fan favorite status to the Giants.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, general

Friday, April 04, 2014

Facebook Fandom Map

This map displays Facebook fans of all of the MLB teams across the U.S.  Each county is color-coded based on which official Facebook team page has the most likes …

Apologies to Canada, first off :)  There are some obvious patterns here and some surprises.  And some awkward and counterintuitive color choices: the Delaware Valley, for instance, seems to have slud into the ocean.

BDC Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fans, history, social media

 

 

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