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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2018

New York Sun, September 18, 1918:

Baseball, under the splendid management of the Anglo-American League, has taken such firm hold on the British public that plans already have been made for the operation of an eight club major league in Great Britain just as soon as the war is over. The new organization will take in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Not only the English but the Scotch as well have become great baseball fans.

Well, good luck with that.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, international baseball

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5746336)
Today's Birthday Team features a couple of star infielders and a handful of strong pitchers. I'm not 100% sure, but it may also lead the league in catchers who can mash and can't play defense.

C: Mitch Meluskey (1.87 WAR)
1B: Dick Dietz (12.57 WAR)
2B/Manager: Ryne Sandberg (67.95 WAR)
3B: Heinie Groh (48.21 WAR)
SS: Brent Lillibridge (-0.88 WAR)
LF: Max Marshall (0.28 WAR)
CF: Tony Scott (4.35 WAR)
RF: Jody Gerut (7.21 WAR)

SP: George Uhle (54.77 WAR)
SP: Harvey Haddix (33.17 WAR)
SP: Ken Brett (16.15 WAR)
SP: Chris Holt (3.5 WAR)
SP: Tommy de la Cruz (2.11 WAR)
RP: Scott Holman (1.61 WAR)

Owner: Steve O'Neill
Umpires: Lord Byron, Lenny Roberts
Broadcaster: Lorn Brown
Greatest Afghan-born baseball player: Jeff Bronkey (0.44 WAR)
Him?: Donnie Veal (-0.1 WAR)
   2. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5746340)
I'm curious to hear about how you folks have changed as fanboys as you've aged. My father grew up a NY Giants fan, and after they left became a sort of fair weather Mets & Yankees fan, happy to ignore either team when playing poorly. My father-in-law grew up a Mets fan, moved to New England, and at some point totally abandoned the Mets for the Red Sox. I grew up bleeding Mets blue & orange, and used to consider switches like this totally unthinkable, unholy really.

But as my life has become more complicated, and I've had less time to watch the team, my interest in the team has waned. But my interest in baseball itself hasn't waned at all. Part of this is that the Mets are the Mets, and the several public disasters and collapses about a decade ago really took something out of me. At this point I'd rather watch two interesting teams, or a competitive game, than my team. I'd even rather watch the Braves, having overcome a lifetime of nauseated reactions to them as a principal rival, because they have a young and talented team and are certainly more worth watching than the Mets are.

It's tough to tell how much of the severed connection is due to my life circumstances and how much is due to team fortunes.

   3. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5746351)
Today's box-score-line records are for weird 0-for-5 games, several of them unique. Most times with the exact ab/r/h/bi line, regular season since 1908, trivia in bold:

5 1 0 1 : Two players did this four times each. One played in the early 20th century, one in the late. Both LHB. Neither in any Hall, but both were stars; the earlier one would have made several All-Star teams had they played an All-Star Game in his day, and the latter was a 3-time All-Star. The earlier won four WS rings and the latter won two. Each won a WS with a team from Ohio

5 2 0 1 : One player did this twice. He was known for scoring lots and lots of runs while not making many base hits. Contemporary with neither of the 5101 guys. RHB, two-time All-Star, six WS rings

5 3 0 1 : Only been done once. The batter did it in 2004. He turns 40 next month, and played till a few years ago in Mexico and Puerto Rico; now manages in PR, his home. Hit .255 in parts of seven seasons in the majors, without many HR or walks, but put together one 4-WAR season for a pretty weak ballclub in 2003

5 1 0 2 : Three men have done this twice: Beau Bell, Jeff Heath, and Stan Musial

5 1 0 3 ; 5 1 0 4 : each done once, by a (different) stellar defensive non-HOF catcher, in 1936 and 1923 respectively

5 2 0 2 : Five different players did this once

5 2 0 3 : done once in 1949, also by a catcher, considerably better-known than the 5103/5104 guys
   4. Tom T Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5746356)
Today's birthday team looks like a good candidate (under HS rules) to opt to use the DH for someone OTHER than the pitcher. Maybe worth seeing if Ken or George can handle some OF? Maybe try George at 3B and have Heine slide over to SS?
   5. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5746359)
I'm curious to hear about how you folks have changed as fanboys as you've aged


I've been completely won over by my new local club wherever I've moved. I am from the north side of Chicago, and my father was a Cub fan his whole life. So I was a Cub fan in the days of Banks, Williams, and Santo; but we moved to South Jersey when I was a kid and I became a fan of the Phillies (Bowa, Carlton, Schmidt). When I moved to New York in the late 1980s and couldn't get Philly broadcasts any more, I started to follow the Yankees (Henderson, Mattingly, Winfield). But shortly after that, I got a job in Texas, and even though for a while in the 2000s I lived in NY again and commuted here, I have followed the Rangers for what's now half my life (and 2/3 of the Rangers' existence).

I guess I was always lucky to live near a MLB ballpark and be able to see games in person, and I was much influenced by local media back in pre-internet days. I found it hard to follow a team when I got so little news of them. My father would memorize Cub box scores and even call those old-fashioned sports hotlines first thing in the morning to check on the Cubs before he got the paper, but if I couldn't hear or read about a club constantly, I lost interest. But it may also have been a factor that Ernie Banks retired just after we left Illinois, and Schmidt and Carlton just as I left South Jersey, and the Yankees even traded Henderson back to Oakland the year after I moved to Texas. So everywhere I went, it was easier to discard the team I'd been a fan of before.

I am sure that if I retired to St. Petersburg tomorrow I would become a big Rays fan, and of course vote for a new air-conditioned dome there too :)
   6. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5746360)
5101: Ken Griffey Sr
   7. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5746363)
Griffey Sr is correct!

I corrected the 5103/5104 hint to clarify that there are two different guys. It would have been pretty amazing if the same guy had done each, 13 years apart …
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5746366)
3B: Heinie Groh (48.21 WAR)

Heinie Groh seems like exactly the kind of player who'd be in the HoF if he had played with Frankie Frisch.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5746373)
I'm curious to hear about how you folks have changed as fanboys as you've aged.

I've always been a Yankee fan, but I have always been a NYer. I only ever lived elsewhere for school.

My interest waxes and wanes depending on how I like the team. Not always success related; I hated the mid-2000s Sheffield/Randy Johnson/ Kevin Brown Yankees, and barely watched a game, but followed the early 90's horror show pretty closely.

I don't watch live games much anymore, the pace kills me, but follow the sport closely in the press, and through various forms of fantasy baseball.


   10. Sweatpants Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5746375)
Groh and Frisch were teammates on the Giants' back-to-back World Series champions, I think.
   11. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5746385)
SP: George Uhle (54.77 WAR)

His 1923 season is pretty remarkable: 26-16, 3.77 ERA in 358 innings (44 starts and 30 complete games!)... AND he hit .361/.391/.472 in 158 PAs!

He was one of the better hitting pitchers in history: in his career he hit .289/.339/.384, good for an 86 OPS+. A full 11 of his 57 WAR was courtesy of his skill as a hitter.
   12. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5746396)
The Indians have always been my team, but a few other teams have moved around in my top 2-3.

When I was a kid in the early 80s, the Yankees were probably #2 because I grew up in Thurman Munson's hometown. (His gravesite was a short walk from my house.) By the mid-80s, the Giants were #2. I liked the San Francisco 49ers and it seemed reasonable to cheer for San Francisco's baseball team too. As the closest NL team to me, I always liked the Pirates. They're probably a semi-permanent #2 for me now. The Expos were always around the top three because they were the Expos. I mean, c'mon, what else do you need?

My top three now, in order, is probably Cleveland-Pittsburgh-San Francisco and my bottom four is some combination of Yankees-Red Sox-Nationals-Reds. The Yankees and Red Sox because they're the Yankees and Red Sox, the Nats because je me souviens, and the Reds because Marty Brennaman.
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5746406)
George Uhle and Earl Wilson are the two pitchers I mostly know because they were great hitters. Glad to see his name.
   14. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5746423)
My dad was born a Brooklyn Dodger fan but they moved when he was like 9. He had no trouble adopting the Mets in 62. I was born right across the river from NYC in Hudson County NJ in 1979 and naturally became a Mets fan like him. We moved to the Jersey Shore when I was like 8 and I stayed a Met fan as we watched all the games together. My interest waned a bit in the early 90's as I grew into other sports like football and hockey plus the Mets were bad. I got back into the team in like 96 and was fully on board living and dying with the team in the Bobby V era. I died a little when Roberto Alomar came to NY and sucked. I died a little more when the Mets lost the 2006 NLCS. I died A LOT in 07 and 08.

I moved to Chicago in 2010 and tried really hard to watch the Cubs and care about them but I found that I couldn't really root for them. I stayed interested in the sport the whole time but would get the MLB package and just watch my fantasy players/good games. In 2015 when the Nats didn't run away with it early on, I started getting interested. It ended up being my favorite season of Mets' baseball. Since then I have been mostly frustrated with their personnel decisions but I had very high hopes for this season which obviously has been a massive disappointment.

I moved to Iowa the night the Cubs won the World Series to be with my now wife and child. I was happy for the Cubs when they won (my brother is a Cubs fan) but I don't really like them. I am hoping next year is different for the Mets. I think having a wife and 3.5 year old child has made it difficult to watch baseball all the time. I sometimes think that if my wife picked a team she wanted to root for I would have no problem watching them with her and rooting them on (provided it wasn't the Yankees Cardinals or Cubs). But I also know that if the Mets were run like a MLB organization and weren't so damn frustrating I would live and die with them more readily.

Interesting topic PF! Thank you for indulging my long-ass boring story.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5746424)
Groh and Frisch were teammates on the Giants' back-to-back World Series champions, I think.

Huh, Frisch must have hated him.
   16. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5746433)
I think these stories are anything but boring. It's how pro baseball exists and has a hold on people. It could be birth, family, proximity, specific players, media, random associations: many and sometimes overdetermined influences. Very different from college sports, and in some ways different from supporting soccer clubs or even NFL teams (where there's a more intense fan culture, I think, just because of the Sunday and its tailgating and everything).
   17. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5746445)
I lived in Oakland for a long time and the A's were long my second team, in childhood because of Rickey and the Bash Brothers, and a decade later because of Billy Beane, and then finally because they were right next to me and on the radio. But although I attended a lot of games, exciting ones too, the truth is that I never mustered much authentic enthusiasm for them. When they lost that one game playoff to the Royals, by the end of the game I had become a Royals fan, overturning all of that history, just because the Royals' style of play tickled my fancy. I don't think I'll ever be able to cultivate a deep love of any team other than the Mets, and with my true love of them fading badly, I'm looking at a future of emotional detachment from the game.

My father used to tell me "I'm just rooting for a good game," and I didn't understand that at all, but now I almost always find myself in the same position, rooting for a good game.
   18. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5746453)
Broadcaster: Lorn Brown


HA!

One of my favorite jokes from when Lorn Brown was the TV voice of the Mets (1981? '82?):

"The answer is 'ball 3!' What's the question?"

"What, according to Lorn Brown, is a pitch in the dirt on an 0-1 count?"
   19. Batman Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5746457)
My dad grew up in Wisconsin in the 1950's and 60's, so he was a huge Packer fan. He was vaguely a Milwaukee Braves fan, but I don't think he cared much about baseball until I came along. He moved to the Chicago area the first chance he got. I became a White Sox fan because they used to give out free tickets to kids in the area. I inherited his Packer fandom and he inherited my Sox fandom. Poor guy.

I moved to Los Angeles the first chance I got. The kids in my Chicago area schools were about 90% Bears fans and about half Cubs fans, so there were a lot more people to tell you how much you suck when your teams lost. In LA, they don't notice if your team loses, so they tell you how much you suck on a more personal basis. I guess that realization that my suckiness has nothing to do with Dan Pasqua or Lynn Dickey, along with having seen both teams winning championships and, in theory, my maturity, have made me identify less with my teams and hate the Cubs and Bears less. I've started just rooting for a good game more than either team.
   20. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5746459)
I don't think I'll ever be able to cultivate a deep love of any team other than the Mets, and with my true love of them fading badly, I'm looking at a future of emotional detachment from the game.


What if the Mets did a 180 and actually became one of the smart teams that competed every season? Do you still think you would be detached emotionally?
   21. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5746469)
I'm curious to hear about how you folks have changed as fanboys as you've aged.

My dad was a Yankees fan until they dumped Casey Stengel. "That G-D Topping! Casey got a raw deal!" He followed Stengel to the Mets and imbued me with Mets-mania (I was 4 in 1969.) I have never wavered since, even when I lived in south-central Ohio. I would get my ass to at least one Reds game whenever the Mets visited. I adopted the Red Sox as my 2nd favorite team -- as an early-teen (1977-80), I loved that they went toe-to-toe with the Yankees every year and hated that they came up juuuuuust short every time. They were my own personal little Light Brigade, wading into the valley of death every year.

Of course, I wasn't particularly fond of them in October of '86, but whaddayagonnado?



   22. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5746472)
What if the Mets did a 180 and actually became one of the smart teams that competed every season? Do you still think you would be detached emotionally?

Somewhat, yes. I was very excited when they were in the World Series recently but after the choke jobs and the Castillo drop something inside me died and I'll never be able to regain my full love for them. At least I don't think I will.
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5746479)
I've been a not-quite-so-much-anymore long-suffering Red Sox fan since I was 9 years old in 1977. Never lived in the NEC, but I had the good fortune to play for the Little League Red Sox outside of Cleveland at the time, and the allegiance stuck. Also a fan of the nearest teams of places I've lived since then (Indians, Astros, Rangers), but no team will evah top the Sox for me.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5746481)
My dad was a Yankees fan until they dumped Casey Stengel. "That G-D Topping! Casey got a raw deal!"

In Topping's defense, the team was livid at Casey. Pretty much to a man they thought Casey cost them the series by using Ditmar in G1 and G5 (Ditmar was awful) rather than starting Ford in games 1, 4, and 7. Ford threw two shutouts in the series, and was in the midst of his record streak of scoreless WS innings.
   25. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5746487)
Pretty much to a man they thought Casey cost them the series by using Ditmar in G1 and G5 (Ditmar was awful) rather than starting Ford in games 1, 4, and 7.


Must've rubbed off on Yogi 13 years later... George Stone should've pitched game 6...sigh...
   26. Ziggy's screen name Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5746490)
I really don't care who wins or loses anymore. Wherever I am I'll sort of casually follow the local team, but I'm really not a "fan" of anything besides the sport as a whole. The team that I watch the most (which admittedly is still not very much) is the Angels, because I live on the East coast and by 10pm the kiddo is in bed and I'm too tired to keep working. 10pm start times are perfect. (And no, I usually don't watch the whole game.)
   27. Ziggy's screen name Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5746491)
Oh, and Yogi for 5 2 0 3.
   28. stevegamer Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5746498)
I'm curious to hear about how you folks have changed as fanboys as you've aged.


I know this is primarily about baseball, but I'm going to generalize. My fandom changed most when I was a kid, but not do to moving or any normal reason. I'm from Philly and root for the local teams, but we had some weirdness going on in the 70's. So I of course rooted for the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, 76ers, and Atoms. The Atoms won the NASL in their first season, and somewhere I still have some Atoms stuff, including a holey old championship t-shirt I had as a kid. The team folded, so no soccer team for a while.


The second weird thing was that baseball & football expanded. I ended up picking up a second team to root for in each sport. Since baseball was expanding only into the AL, there was no conflict, I picked up the Toronto Blue Jays. I'm not sure why, but I think I liked the logo, and they were from another country! With football, I picked up the Seattle Seahawks. Those turned out to be pretty decent choices.

The era I grew up in was really good for Philly sports. The Phillies & Flyers were always good, and both teams won titles. The 76ers were also really good much of the time, and won a title. The Eagles weremn't good for a lot of the time, but improved, and reached the Super Bowl. Pretty much the best it has ever been, and likely will ever be.

Things continued normally, until the mid 1980's, when Philadelphia got a new football team - the Stars. One thing is that I tend to end up checking out odd leagues. I've seen World Team Tennis, Major Indoor Soccer, and the USFL just fit. I was in high school, playing football, the Eagles owner wanted to move to Arizona, and the Stars were good - really good. There were real questions about which team would win if the Eagles & Stars played, and that was not normally the case with upstart leagues. Spring football was fun, and enjoyable. I have seen more Stars games in person than Eagles games (3-2). I was very angry when the USFL went to the fall to go head-to-head with the NFL, the Stars moved to Baltimore and then folded. I felt that the owner could take the Eagles to Arizona, and we'd get the Stars, and get a better team. As a result, I picked up the New Orleans Saints as a 3rd NFL team for a bit when the coach & many players went to the NFL.

Throughout college & my 20's not much changed, but then I started noticing that my unhappiness with the Eagles management & the stupidity of Philly fans - particularly related to the greatness of the Eagles was starting to bother me. Gradually I became more of a Seahawks fan versus an Eagles fan, and that continues to this day. The Phillies and Blue Jays NL-AL split was fine, as they only played in spring training. Then 1993 happened, I wanted to go to a World Series game, as you can't predict if you can ever watch the 2 teams you root for play for a title. Wasn't really rooting for either team, just for a good series, and I got one. I ended up going to that game alone, as my wife refused to go, I should've realized that was a big red flag waving at me, but we stayed together for a while longer.

As MLB has gotten more expensive, and I've been more mobile - specifically having a car and traveling more - I've gone to more minor league baseball & hockey, especially baseball. I try and catch a few games year in new minor league parks, and enjoy the various local options: Reading, Wilmington, Lehigh Valley, Trenton, and Lancaster of the Atlantic League. My goal for next year is to finish off the minor league parks in PA & NJ, including the Atlantic League. My fiancee & I now make sure to include baseball in our trip plans, but sometimes things don't work out. We were in Pittsburgh for one night over the summer for her work, but there was really bad rain.

I've picked up the Union, tried the Soul, but Arena Football isn't that fun to me. I root for them, but care little. I am a fan of the Philly City 6 (Big 5 + Drexel) college basketball teams, and lukewarmly root for Temple Football as an alum.

I've realized by typing this that my disgust with the 76ers recent awful product and gleeful money-making Process while ignoring fans is pushing them down the charts.



   29. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5746499)
My baseball story:

I grew up in North Dakota, so I never had a home team to root for. Sure, the Twins, but when you’re 11 Minneapolis might as well be the Moon. Also, I first became an MLB fan in 1996, when the Twins were at their least relevant (the Matt Lawton/Ron Coomer days).

The team i first started following was the Cubs, and this was due to the meat confluence of WGN airing all their games, and also so many of their games taking place in the afternoon. (We only had one television, and night time was “family time” and no one else liked baseball; the afternoons were my time!) 1998 was the year I turned 13, and it was the summer of Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood and the Cubs’ improbable playoff run—one of the best years on my life as a fan.

Anyway, I became an obsessive. Watching the games when I could, but getting hooked on all the stats and history and trivia, mainly. Read obsessively, played various baseball simulators on my computer, Strat-a-matic, etc—all of it. Watching the games themselves kinda fell by the wayside. I didn’t watch the 2002-03 playoffs. (Some of this was real life—I was 16 and was becoming more interested in girls than I was in Ryan Dempster.)

Then college started and it was s real low period in baseball fandom. I barely remember any baseball from 2005-2011 or so. I would still follow the stats when I could but I barely watched the games. And this despite the fact that by this time I had moved to Minneapolis and the Twins were very good! Even though it was my home town I couldn’t muster up much interest. A factor was that I was very poor for most of this time and never lived in a home with cable TV; when I wanted to watch the games I’d have to go to a sports bar or a friend’s house.

The Internet actually changed things. I started making real money and got an MLBTV subscription. And I was hooked again! All these players who’d basically just been names in a spreadsheet—I could watch them play every night! I verry quickly got back on board into super-fandom....but, as I’m sure you know, the one team that I could NEVER watch was the one that made the most sense to root for: my hometown Twins, whose games were never available on MLBTV due to the league’s blackout policy.

So I thought. “Well baseball is more interesting when you have a favorite team. I can’t watch the Twins. I should pick a new one!” And I thought and I thought.....I tried the Indians for a bit but their home crowds always seemed so unenthusiastic, it killed me. And then I tried the Royals and....it was love at first sight! I don’t know what it was! I loved their ballpark, I loved their announcers, I loved how much joy their players brought to the field...I even loved that they were pretty bad at baseball, a “lovable losers” vibe, yet knew there was some hope that their prospects would develop and they’d be good someday.

And that’s how I became a Royals fan! A super fan—I’d watch 2-3 games a week. And sure enough they got better and the 2014-2015 run gave me joy I never thought was possible.

But....after that 2 things happened: I became a Dad and began having less and less time to spend watching baseball. And....the Royals started getting worse.

I canceled my MLBTV subscription this year and haven’t really missed it. The few times I tune in to watch a game I am blown away by how SLOW it all is. (When you have no rooting interest it’s hard to get past “just throw the damn ball already!”) I don’t see this habit changing anytime soon. The Royals suck and the sport is staring to suck and I have less and less time available every day (Kid #2 is on the way). It’s still my favorite sport, and I still follow the stats and the standings closely, but these days the thought of sitting in my chair to watch a full game—even like a Dodgers-Cardinals game (something with stakes) sounds torturous.

So there we are.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5746506)
I've picked up the Union, tried the Soul, but Arena Football isn't that fun to me. I root for them, but care little.
As if one could possibly enjoy a professional league in which multiple teams have names that are not plural.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5746507)
(Some of this was real life—I was 16 and was becoming more interested in girls than I was in Ryan Dempster.)
Probably right around the time that Dempster started losing his hair, right?
   32. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5746510)
Yogi Berra is correct!
   33. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5746512)
I barely remember any baseball from 2005-2011 or so.


I was like that from about '93, through the strike until about '98 or so.


EDIT:

And that’s how I became a Royals fan! A super fan—I’d watch 2-3 games a week. And sure enough they got better and the 2014-2015 run gave me joy I never thought was possible.


Oh, shut up...
   34. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5746518)
I'm from Philly and root for the local teams, but we had some weirdness going on in the 70's. So I of course rooted for the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, 76ers, and Atoms


I was hoping for a Philadelphia Bell sighting. I was fond of the Bell because they practiced across the street from my high school. They rented their practice field from the local college, which had basically no facilities and still used the old-fashioned two-post goalposts. This should have been my first clue about the viability of the World Football League :)
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5746550)
One interesting aspect of my fandom is that I've evolved on the Mets. I used to hate them as the cross-town rival. I found the 1980's teams particularly obnoxious.

Since the Madoff thing, I've started empathizing with Met fans, and now root for the Mets to win. I was rooting for them against KC. I almost always root for the AL team, unless it's the Red Sox. The one time I rooted for the Red Sox was against the Mets in 1986, and look what that got me.
   36. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 18, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5746590)
I have always rooted for the Phillies and Eagles. The current 76ers corporate ownership has made an enemy of me, I have given them up and don't really know what I'm watching when watching basketball anyway. Hockey, never cared. And I don't follow the Philly soccer team either because I never lived there when the team existed. I root for DC United.

Other baseball teams: Hate the Braves. Hate the Nationals and Marlins. Can't get mad at the Mets, I have lots of Mets fan friends and how can you hate the Mets anyway? Hate the Yankees and Cardinals. Soft spot for the Brewers, White Sox and Mariners.
   37. SandyRiver Posted: September 18, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5746591)
Growing up in the Jersey Highlands about 30 miles west of OYS, I became interested in MLB about 1955-56, and was a Mantle fan first, Yankee fan second. Kids in our neighborhood rooted for either the Yanks or Dodgers and argued the teams' respective merits loudly and continuously, but there was no Giants love. When the Yankees cratered in 1965 I began to take interest in the Mets, and after Mickey retired it was all Metsies. During the 1969 WS the carpenters for whom I was working had the radio on for the games, and when the last out was made, we danced on the roof of the house we were building. I was also a NY Giants football fan, agonizing through their 3 straight losses in the NFL title game, then moving allegiance to the Jets in the run-up to SB 3 - got to attend the wild Jets-Raiders contest that sent Joe Namath to the big game. (What a NYC>>Baltimore year that was - Jets/Colts, Knicks/Bullets, Mets/Orioles.)

With wife and 7-month-old, we moved to Maine in January 1973, but my Mets fandom was strong enough to bring deep disappointment in that year's WS outcome. The 1975 season, and especially the WS, brought me into Red Sox Nation, where I've lived ever since. A note on the 2004 Reverse of the Curse: We were in northern Maine for a forestry research field trip and I could watch WS game 4 on the motel TV. Our staff biologist was looking at deeryards and staying at our crew camp near the Allagash River. He drove out onto Henderson Brook Bridge to get good radio reception (it was clear and strong), and listened to both the game and the coyotes howling downriver as he watched the full lunar eclipse. An enviable trifecta!
   38. Perry Posted: September 18, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5746654)
I'm curious to hear about how you folks have changed as fanboys as you've aged.


Like a few of you, my fandom has changed as I’ve lived my life and moved around the country several times.

I grew up in a small town near Columbus in the late 60s, as a die-hard Reds fan like my whole family and all my friends. Even though we weren't much closer to Cincinnati than Cleveland, I only ever knew one Indians fan through my whole childhood. (My younger brother didn’t seem to care much about baseball, finally got into it in his early 30s living in Columbus, but went with the Indians, probably because they were good then.)

Anyway, I went to college in St. Louis in the mid-70s, the first time I’d actually lived in a big-league city, and immediately fell completely in love with the city and adopted all their sports teams, including the baseball Cardinals. Still loved that the Reds won championships in ’75-’76 but definitely favored the Cardinals as my #1 team by then, even though they weren’t very good.

Then I moved to Austin for grad school in 1978 and ended up staying 10 years there. KMOX radio came in pretty clearly most nights after sundown so I was still able to follow the Cardinals, and of course they won 3 pennants in the 80s, so that cemented my fandom. I still followed the Reds through the box scores and still mildly liked them, mostly because they were still my parents’ team, but I was Cardinals all the way by then.

I’d never cared a whit about the AL, but while I was in Austin I thought I’d give a shot at adopting the Rangers as my AL team, since they were sort of local (although 3.5 hours away). I’d listen pretty regularly to their games but could never generate the slightest iota of real caring about them, never wore a cap or shirt or anything, and when I left Texas I dropped them entirely. I’ve still never had an AL team, and although I mildly root for the Indians for my brother’s sake I don’t really care.

Moved to Utah in 1988 and when the Rockies came into existence in 1993 I thought it would be fun to get on the ground floor bandwagon of the only team in the mountain west, but that didn’t really take either since the games were seldom on local TV and on radio would often be bumped for the Jazz from April into June. Plus nobody there seemed to give a #### – Denver is, after all, 500 miles from SLC. My young son and I did travel to Tucson for Rockies spring training 3-4 times, but I didn’t really become a Rockies fan until I actually moved to the Denver area in 1998. Now I’m very much a fan, and if the Cardinals are still my #1 team, the Rockies are a close #2 and maybe even 1A.
   39. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: September 18, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5746688)
5 1 0 1 - Larry Gardner?
   40. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5746707)
Gardner is correct!
   41. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: September 18, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5746744)
I was always fascinated by his SB/CS line in 1920; 3 stolen bases, 20 times caught stealing
   42. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5746787)
5 2 0 1 : One player did this twice. He was known for scoring lots and lots of runs while not making many base hits. Contemporary with neither of the 5101 guys. RHB, two-time All-Star, six WS rings


Frankie Crosetti.
   43. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 18, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5746795)
I was always fascinated by his SB/CS line in 1920; 3 stolen bases, 20 times caught stealing.


The team as a whole had 73 SB, 93 CS. I don't know much about the specifics of Tris Speaker's management style, but maybe he used a lot of hit and runs that ended up as caught stealings when the batter failed to execute?
   44. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 18, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5746805)
Groh and Frisch were teammates on the Giants' back-to-back World Series champions, I think.

Huh, Frisch must have hated him.


I know, right? Groh was a better player than most of the Friends of Frisch HOFers. though, by the time he joined the Giants, his best days were behind him.
   45. eric Posted: September 18, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5746814)
I grew up a huge Red Sox fan. I wasn't from the New England area, but my mom was and we visited often. Boggs, Clemens, Evans, Rice, Greenwell, Burks, Gedman...heck, Jody Reed, Marty Barrett--if you were on that '88 team I still know who you are.

Player retirements, and the mid-90's drama that led to Boggs and Clemens leaving under rather poor relations, to be replaced with anonymous Coopers and Naehrings and Hatchers, all caused my Bosox fandom to cool while my overall baseball fandom stayed the same. Ripken's streak, McGwire's and Sosa's chase, Pedro's emergence, Roger's continued dominance...I really became a fan of the game and individual players more than specific teams.

I moved around the country and "my team" became whichever one was closest that I could go see their games. Most recently, that was (and still is) the Angels. I've since moved from out west but to nowhere particularly close to an MLB team so the Angels remain by default my team, helped in large part by the amazing play of one Mr. Trout.
   46. Batman Posted: September 18, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5746832)
The team as a whole had 73 SB, 93 CS. I don't know much about the specifics of Tris Speaker's management style, but maybe he used a lot of hit and runs that ended up as caught stealings when the batter failed to execute?
Looks like the Indians weren't too unusual for the AL that year. The league overall stole 751 and was caught 701 times and four of the eight teams were under 50%.
   47. caspian88 Posted: September 18, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5746851)
I figured that Groh having joined the Giants when he was over the hill might have something to do with not being included as one of the Frankie Frisch Superfriends. To Frisch he was just a faded star, while guys like George Kelly and Ross Youngs were young stars for years.
   48. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 18, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5746863)
Maybe Frisch was mad at Groh stealing the spotlight in the 1922 World Series. Frisch hit .471, but Groh hit .474. There's a story, repeated many times (so it must be true), that Groh had 474 on his car's license plate for the rest of his life.
   49. BDC Posted: September 18, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5746878)
Crosetti is correct!
   50. QLE Posted: September 18, 2018 at 08:37 PM (#5746974)
I figured that Groh having joined the Giants when he was over the hill might have something to do with not being included as one of the Frankie Frisch Superfriends. To Frisch he was just a faded star, while guys like George Kelly and Ross Youngs were young stars for years.


This logic might also explain why Art Fletcher also received no respect from Frisch- he was clearly better than every one of the Friends of Frisch (the only one who was close was Dave Bancroft), but he was on his way out around the time Frisch was making his way in.
   51. AndrewJ Posted: September 18, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5746979)
Heinie Groh seems like exactly the kind of player who'd be in the HoF if he had played with Frankie Frisch.

Growing up I always assumed Groh was in the HOF because of the much-discussed bottle bat. And I thought Jack Coombs and Pepper Martin were also enshrined, being part of dynasties and having famous individual World Series performances.
   52. RMc's Daps of the Dope Artists Posted: September 19, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5747187)
My father grew up in Toronto in the 1940s. It wasn't until fairly recently that he admitted to me that he grew up a Yankees fan. Ouch. (It's like hearing your Dad tell you, "Yep, knocked over a few liquor stores, back before I met your mother.") He moved to Michigan in the 50s and became a Tigers fan.

I remain a Tigers fan (no mean feat these days), even though I've lived in upstate NY for 20+ years. My "National League team" (remember, you're allowed to root for one team in each league) has migrated from the Reds (as a kid) to the Expos (in high school; I was crushed on Blue Monday in '81) to the Cubs (post-college) to the Mets (since the mid-90s), with occasional flirtations toward the Nationals and the Marlins, of all people.
   53. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 19, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5747290)
Groh's problem is that his peak occurred in the NL in the 1914-1919 period, when the NL really didn't have any good teams and very few potential HoF-quality players. During these years the Braves, Phillies, Dodgers, and Reds all won their first pennants of the modern era, and most of those teams were one-hit wonders.

Edd Roush (a teammate of Groh's in Cincinnati) is the only HoF hitter whose career was mostly in the NL and whose peak was in this period, and Roush was a better hitter with a longer career.

If Groh had come along five years later, so that his career paralleled Pie Traynor's and he got the benefit of playing throughout the 1920s, he'd likely be in the HoF.

-- MWE
   54. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 19, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5747643)
I grew up a Cubs fan, probably from about age 5, in upstate New York. Loved Ernie Banks. At that time, the only TV baseball was the Saturday game of the week and the World Series. When the Mets came along in '62, one of the local stations joined their TV network, so there was another game or 2 to see every week, and the Mets became my #2 team. Guess you could say 1969 was a difficult year for me.

Moved to NYC in 1980, which increased my exposure to the Mets and I became much more invested in their fortunes, so when the Cubs lost to the Padres in '84 I said, forget it, I'm a Mets fan now. [Though I was and am very glad for the Cubs and their fans now; in fact, I was quite upset when they threw it away to the Marlins back in...was it 03? A lifetime ago.]

   55. AndrewJ Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:35 PM (#5747788)
Groh's problem is that his peak occurred in the NL in the 1914-1919 period, when the NL really didn't have any good teams and very few potential HoF-quality players.

Looking again at the famous 1939 HOF induction photo, Honus Wagner was the only non-pitcher who played predominantly in the National League. From his decline to Rogers Hornsby's development, all the superstar position players in the big leagues were in the AL.

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