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Monday, March 09, 2020

8th? BBTF Central Park Softball Game: July 25

Let’s start planning for this year’s game. First questions:

1. Who is submitting the permit request? (Answer: Hysterical & Useless)

2. What dates should we aim for? (Answer: July 25)

3. Where is the post-game destination?


Thursday, May 28, 2020

ESTEBAN LOAIZA’S WRONG TURN

Loaiza pleaded guilty to felony cocaine possession with the intent to distribute and was sentenced to three years in prison. Because he was a resident but not a citizen of the United States, the judge also ruled that upon his release, he would be deported to Mexico. At Loaiza’s sentencing, the prosecutor said the former pitcher claimed he was broke after making $44 million in his baseball career. Loaiza told the court he had four cars and zero properties.

Across the game, ex-teammates, rivals, executives and fans were stunned: How does a man’s path take him from the top of the baseball world one summer evening to a deserted stash house and the wrong side of the law almost 15 years later?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 12:15 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: esteban loaiza

: Eugene Freedman, baseball scribe and labor lawyer, on unionizing the minor leagues

So why would this pose an impediment to organizing the minor leagues? “By the time you have an NLRB petition for an election, and then the election takes place, the majority of that legally created bargaining unit would no longer be the same people,” Freedman explained. That’s because the process of unionizing takes time - a long time. “The signing of cards to request an election, challenging individual voters, and then the election, that usually takes six months to a year,” Freedman said. Six months is an entire baseball season - so by the time the NLRB has said the minors can hold an election, players could have been promoted out of the minors, or dropped from affiliated baseball completely. “In that time, there could be 100% ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 12:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: labor, minor league

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-28-2020

New York Tribune, May 28, 1920:

Bob Shawkey In Fist Fight With Umpire

Shawkey and Umpire Hildebrand got into an altercation after the end of the fourth inning. Shawkey finally made a pass or two at the arbiter, who retaliated in kind with his mask, opening a nasty scalp wound.

This scrap was the climax of general protest on the part of the New York players over Hildebrand’s rulings on balls pitched to Wallie Schang. The catcher, up with the bases filled and two out, was finally given his base on balls, forcing in Boston’s only run and taking a chance for a shutout from Shawkey. Two of these pitches, the New York players insisted, were perfect strikes.

As Shawkey passed Hildebrand, on his way to the bench after he had fanned Harper for ...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Former Braves catcher Biff Pocoroba dies at 66

Former Atlanta Braves catcher Biff Pocoroba, an All-Star selection in 1978, has died at the age of 66, the team announced Wednesday.

No cause of death has been announced.

Pocoroba joined the Braves in 1975 and played all 10 of his major league seasons with the team, hitting 21 home runs with 172 RBIs and a .257 batting average in his career.

In addition to handling the pitching staff, Pocoroba was successful at nabbing runners on the basepaths—catching 34% of attempted base stealers in both 1976 (16-of-47) and 1977 (52-of-155) and 23% in 1978 (25-of-107).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:20 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: biff pocoroba

Inside Roy Halladay’s struggle with pain, addiction

But by 2000, the Blue Jays’ first-round pick looked like a bust. Hitters were teeing off on his fastball, in large part because of the over-the-top delivery he’d learned as a young pitcher, which allowed them to pick up the ball early in his release. His 10.64 ERA during that year remains the highest for any MLB pitcher with at least 50 innings in a season. The next spring, the Blue Jays sent Halladay down to Class A ball—essentially one rung removed from being completely out of professional baseball.

“Personally and mentally, it crushed ‘Doc,’” Chris Carpenter, Halladay’s former Blue Jays teammate, recalls.

Brandy says the team had sent Halladay to counseling to help him cope with failure, and because of his heavy alcohol use. A ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:19 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: roy halladay

Griffey a Pirate? Chipper a Tiger? The MLB draft rule that changed history

What if I told you that, if not for a now-defunct MLB draft rule, Ken Griffey Jr. would be wearing a Pirates cap on his Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown?

And that Alex Rodriguez never would have been a Mariner, either?

And that Chipper Jones would’ve gone to Detroit, not Atlanta?...

All of that is due in part to a small yet significant draft rule retired 15 years ago. It stipulated that the No. 1 pick alternate each year between leagues. The NL drafted first in even years; the AL was first in odd years. Take Griffey’s draft, for example. The NL had drafted first in 1986 — Pittsburgh took Jeff King — and the top pick ping-ponged back to the AL in 1987. The lucky losers? The Mariners, despite having a better record than the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

A’s Tell Minor Leaguers They Won’t Be Paid for the Remainder of the Season

The A’s informed their minor league players on Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them after May 31, according to an email obtained by Sports Illustrated. This means the next paycheck these players receive will come next April.

Under the terms of their contracts, major and minor league players only get paid during the season. The coronavirus pandemic suspended baseball during spring training, a period during which players receive only their daily meal money. (Minor leaguers are poorly compensated at the best of times: Minimum salary ranges from $290 per week for rookie leaguers—$3,480 for a three-month season—to $500 per week for players at Triple A—$10,000 for a five-month season.) On March 31, the 30 teams decided to pay ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:39 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, coronavirus, minor league

Baseball Reliquary: 2020 Hilda Award Recipient: Jeff Boujoukos

Jeff began by collecting the players he knew and, after finding those, he decided to set a goal of collecting a game-used bat of each Red Sox non-pitcher who had an at-bat for the Sox from 1960 to the present. Why 1960? Because that was the last year for Ted Williams, and 1961 would be the first year for Carl Yastrzemski, his favorite player. “It was an undertaking that I frankly never thought I would complete and as of today amounts to over 525 different players,” Jeff remarked. “With the advent of eBay and networking with a number of fantastic collectors, and with the support of players, I have been able to collect a bat from every player except one, Ken Poulsen.” The bats can be viewed on Jeff’s Boston Game Used Web site.

...Read More...
Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: collecting, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-27-2020

Toledo News-Bee, May 27, 1920:

Pat Duncan pulled a prize stunt Wednesday. As a result the Reds lost to the Cards 10 to 8.

Cincinnati tied the score in the first of the eighth. The Cards came in in their half, and Stock tripled. Hornsby singled to left and the ball got away from Duncan. Instead of chasing it, Pat must have thought it was the last of the ninth, and dashed for the club house, thinking the game over.

They had to chase after Pat and call him back to finish the game.

I couldn’t believe this actually happened, but it sure seems like it did. From the BBRef play-by-play:STL Rogers Hornsby Hod Eller Single to LF; Stock Scores; Hornsby Scores/Adv on E7/No RBI

Single and a three-base error, presumably. As far as I know, there’s no ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:37 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, duh, dumbass, history, why

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

MLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players

The plan, three persons with knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports, does not include the same 50-50 revenue-sharing split the owners agreed on two weeks ago that was never submitted to the union. The three people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak publicly due to ongoing negotiations.

The proposal instead includes a sliding scale of compensation, with players earning the most taking the biggest cuts and those earning the least receiving most of their guaranteed salaries.

It remains uncertain how much money the players will be yielding in this proposal, based on no fans in attendance for an 82-game season, after already agreeing to be paid on a pro-rated basis, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

“Is MLB Going to Be Able to Pull This Back?” Health Experts Break Down Baseball’s Plan

One thing baseball has going for it compared to other major team sports—football, basketball, and so on—is that the actual gameplay isn’t particularly conducive to COVID-19 transmission. “An outdoor sport like baseball where [players are] not breathing heavily in each other’s faces seems like a good candidate for a sport that can return,” says Laura Albert, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin whose research includes the optimization of emergency and public health systems.

While Albert isn’t worried as much about the in-game component of MLB’s plan to return in July, though, she has other concerns. Namely, even if the league prohibits sunflower seeds, tobacco, and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

How Johnson, Pedro could have starred in same rotation

So it was well known that Langston was a trade candidate, with Seattle yet to enjoy a .500 season. At multiple points, it appeared the Mets would land Langston, only for Argyros to veto the deal, which supposedly would also have sent Jay Buhner to New York, and Howard Johnson, Sid Fernandez and Kevin Tapani to Seattle.

“We were about as close as you can come to making the deal on a number of occasions,” Mets vice president Joe McIlvaine said.

According to Gammons’ reporting, Argyros later killed a three-way trade that would have included Langston going to Toronto, George Bell to Atlanta and Al Leiter to Seattle. There was talk of other trade discussions as well, involving the Dodgers, Red Sox and Royals.

But in the end, it came ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, randy johnson

Ex-Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang suspended one year by KBO for past DUIs

Former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was suspended for one year by the Korea Baseball Organization on Monday for multiple drunken driving offenses.

Kang, 33, also was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service during Monday’s hearing, which he did not attend because he is in the United States. Attorney Kim Sun-woong represented Kang, telling the Yonhap News Agency that his client is “extremely sorry to have caused trouble and that he would keep giving back to the community.”

His suspension will begin once he signs with a KBO team. The Kiwoom Heroes, for whom he played during his last season in the league in 2014 when they were the Nexen Heroes, still own his rights. A team official told the Yonhap News Agency that it ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jung-ho kang

Batting .400? A sub-1.00 ERA? Here are the MLB records that could be threatened in an 82-game season

Breaking any of these records is going to be difficult, but we’ve actually seen a few players flirt with .400 over a half season in recent years. Seattle Mariners great Ichiro Suzuki hit .429 in 76 games after the All-Star break in 2004. Joey Votto hit .408 in 72 games in the second half in 2016. If you pretended Suzuki and Votto’s final 82 games those years were “full seasons” then both players would have posted batting averages over .400. Votto would have barely made it at .401. Suzuki hit .423 in the back half of 2004.

Those are the only two players to hit over .400 in a half season since 2000. Many others have come close, though. Chris Coghlan, Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee and Joe Mauer have all hit .370 or higher during a half ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: .400

NPB can play ball in Japan from June 19, but minus fans

The Nippon Professional Baseball season, which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, will begin June 19, the league announced on Monday.

The decision comes after the government’s advisory panel approved the plan to end Japan’s nationwide state of emergency for the five prefectures still under the order, including Tokyo and Hokkaido, earlier in the day.

The 2020 campaign will begin without fans in attendance, though the league will continue to monitor the situation in hopes of allowing spectators into ballparks later in the summer.

Opening day was originally scheduled for March 20 before being postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japan baseball, japanese baseball, npb

Monday, May 25, 2020

Noah Syndergaard offers fiery response to landlord’s lawsuit: ‘See you in court pal’

Noah Syndergaard has responded a lawsuit filed by a New York City landlord claiming the Mets pitcher owes him unpaid rent.

The lawsuit, according to the New York Daily News, claims Syndergaard signed a lease in February covering March through November for a total of $225,000, plus a $17,000 broker’s commission. In the lawsuit, Syndergaard is accused of treating “the binding lease like an option.” The lawsuit also claims the apartment remains vacant and the company who owns the building is seeking damages in excess of $250,000.

“So let me get this straight. I fairly, and in good faith offered to pay 2 months rent (over 50K) to a landlord for a place I was never going to step foot in due to a global pandemic that took a severe toll upon ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2020 at 09:05 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: noah syndergaard

Gregg Jefferies complicated Mets’ failure looks different now

If the term did not exist, then Jefferies could pioneer the concept of “wrong place, wrong time.”

Wrong place? In 1988 where would be the worst location to send a 19-year-old who was lacking in self-awareness, who was bathed in self-interest, who was insular yet familial and a bit aw-shucks and was hailed as the next great player at a time when the sport did not love the concept of who is next as much as it was threatened by it?

Sending Gregg Jefferies to the 1988 New York Mets was like sending a choirboy to Sing Sing. The team had mainly been together for five years, played hard, lived harder, fought among each other but fought outsiders with more ferocity. The infighting, if anything, strangely strengthened the internal loyalty….

...
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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2020 at 09:05 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: gregg jefferies

Pensacola Blue Wahoos list stadium for Airbnb rentals

The team, the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, has listed Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Florida, on Airbnb. The Blue Wahoos say it is the first time that a baseball stadium is available on the rental service.

For $1,500 per night (plus fees), up to 10 guests are granted access to the stadium, which includes use of the team’s clubhouse, batting cage and field, along with a batting practice setup.

“Guests are welcome to hit from home plate, play catch in the outfield, run the bases, enjoy a picnic in the outfield, or find other creative uses for the field!” the listing reads.

The bedroom next to the clubhouse sleeps 10, and a staff member will stay on site for security and to answer questions.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2020 at 09:05 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Angels will furlough non-playing employees on June 1

The Los Angeles Angels have informed non-playing employees of furloughs that will be implemented at the start of June and will affect nearly every department of the organization. Members of the front office, analytics department, scouting staff, and the vast majority of those involved with their minor league system—including coaches, coordinators and player-development support staff—will be impacted.

The Angels say they have not instituted any layoffs and will be paying for employees’ health care through either the end of the year or the end of their contracts, the latter situation applying to Uniform Employee Contracts that were set to expire this October. The team also set up an assistance fund, which is currently at $1 million, in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2020 at 08:11 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Saturday, May 23, 2020

MLB, players’ union are working to salvage season, and the next two weeks are critical

“ A two-tiered negotiation unlike any in the roughly 150-year history of Major League Baseball or the 54-year history of the MLB Players Association proceeds this weekend on parallel tracks, with nothing less than the fate of the 2020 season at stake. The issues: how to play baseball during a global pandemic and how to divvy up a shrinking pile of money.
Both carry immense challenges — in the case of the former, how to maintain the spirit of the game and some semblance of personal freedoms while keeping everyone healthy; in the case of the latter, how to overcome deep philosophical differences and distrust built up over half a century of contentious coexistence.
And time is running out.
On the other side of Memorial Day, baseball will ...

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majorflaw Posted: May 23, 2020 at 07:30 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: covid-19,

Friday, May 22, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2020

[Indianapolis] Indiana Daily Times, May 22, 1920:

Announcement that the New York Yankees will be permitted to continue playing at the Polo grounds next season and probably for some seasons to come, was received with satisfaction by New York today.

In a recent statement issued by the owners of the New York Giants, it was said that the Yankees would have to seek a new playing field after this season.

[National Commission Chairman] Garry Herrmann, [American League President] Ban Johnson and others then conferred and evidently were able to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Giants which will permit the Yankees to remain.

...until the next time the Giants try to boot them, which if the pattern holds, should be right around mid-July.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 22, 2020 at 10:26 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Where have all the top lefty pitchers gone?

Last year, there were nine 3-WAR southpaws in baseball (Matthew Boyd, Patrick Corbin, Marco Gonzales, Cole Hamels, Kershaw, John Means, Mike Minor, Eduardo Rodríguez, and Ryu; there were 28 from righties). Dating back to the start of divisional play in 1969, so spanning 51 seasons, that’s the third-fewest in a season—with one enormous caveat.

Fewest 3-WAR lefties in a season, 1969-2019

7—1994
8—1981
9—2019
9—1992
10—five seasons tied
11—five seasons tied, including 2018

You see the issue there, right? 1994 was a strike year, where teams averaged 115 games. 1981 was also a strike year, where teams averaged 107 games. WAR is a counting stat, so fewer games played means less time to pile up stats. (Only one hitter in 1981, for example, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2020 at 06:09 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: left-handed pitchers

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

‘The Wild West:’ MiLB Teams On Chopping Block Scramble To Find MLB Partner

When the two sides meet again, there is an expectation that MLB will have a term sheet, laying out which 120 teams will be part of full season baseball in 2021, and which leagues they will play in. They also will spell out the details of the license agreements that they are proposing to replace the current player development contract (PDC) process by which MLB teams and MiLB teams currently form affiliations.

MiLB teams are jockeying for safe landing spots in advance of the expected changes. While no agreement has been reached between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, both MLB clubs and MiLB owners are nearly universally operating under the expectation that there will be 120 full-season affiliated teams in 2021 whenever an ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league

Oakland A’s haven’t made rent payment, Coliseum exec says

The Oakland Athletics have balked at paying the $1.2 million required under contract to use the Coliseum, the head of the stadium authority confirmed Tuesday.

Henry Gardner, the interim head of the Coliseum Authority, said the A’s informed him they had “no ability to pay” the annual rent due April 1.

“They said because they haven’t used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay,” said Gardner, who stepped in as Coliseum Authority Executive Director after Scott McKibben’s resignation in August.

“We recognize that we’ve all been upended in a number of ways,” Gardner said. “Maybe there are some things we are willing to negotiate and waive, but we can’t just say no rent.”

The A’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2020 at 09:55 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Inside Major League Baseball’s toughest game yet

On separate occasions in late March, representatives of sports unions, including the Major League Baseball Players Association, were told by administration officials that the threat of the virus was exaggerated and testing “was not the end-all, be-all,” as one union official put it, contradicting the advice of the White House’s own task force.

“We’re having to work to separate fact from fiction to make sure our guys are protected. It’s a very delicate dance,” a union source said….

“I wouldn’t want to put players in Atlanta’s ballpark,” said Beth Blauer, the executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civic Impact, which specializes in the use of data to advise governments and nonprofits on best practices. “You have to determine ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2020 at 06:20 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Bartolo Colon, 46, yearns for one more season in the majors

Even though Bartolo Colon hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since September 2018, the 46-year-old is not thinking about retirement.

Colon hopes to pitch one more big league season, and if given the choice, it would be with the New York Mets.

“I thought that last year maybe I would have the opportunity,” Colon said on a video call with ESPN. “I know that if it didn’t happen last year, this year would be less likely. I’m getting older and the game is all about the young pitchers coming up. When you get older, teams no longer need your services.”

Colon, who has pitched 21 seasons and won 247 games, said his time with the Mets from 2014 to ‘16 held some of his fondest memories. He highlighted the clubhouse environment and the Mets’ young ...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Minor League Baseball Is in Crisis

While MLB has yet to announce whether minor league games will be played this year, the specter of a canceled season looms large within front offices across the country. Season tickets were sold in the offseason, as were sponsorships, and those companies’ names now dot walls in empty ballparks and are stamped on boxed-up bobbleheads.

“All the deposits have come in, and we’ve spent them,” says one owner, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the situation facing minor league teams. He adds that he worries about a Great Depression–like rush among sponsors if the season is canceled. The local auto dealer that paid for a promotional night that never happened, for instance, may well want its cash returned. “They might need ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2020 at 01:16 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: minors

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-19-2020

Prescott [Arizona] Weekly Journal-Miner, May 19, 1920:

Good Kids to See Ball Game Two Days Each Month

The [Sacramento] board of education today accepted an offer of the Sacramento baseball club owners and agreed to dismiss the elementary schools early twice a month during the baseball season. On those days all “good children” will be admitted free to the games.

If I recall correctly, they did a similar thing in Cleveland in the 1980s, but it was actually a punishment for children who misbehaved.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 19, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, May 18, 2020

Leitch/MLB: The best moment in each ballpark’s history

Indians (Progressive Field): Rajai Davis homers ... but the Cubs win the 2016 World Series - Nov. 1, 2016 (World Series Game 7)

Indians fans will always have a soft spot in their heart for Davis, whose game-tying homer off Aroldis Chapman was the stuff of fairy tales. But for the purposes of baseball history, the most significant moment at Progressive Field is the Cubs winning that game and their first World Series in more than a century.

Royals (Kauffman Stadium): Don Denkinger’s call - Oct. 26, 1985 (World Series Game 6)

If they had clinched the 2015 World Series at home—or if Alex Gordon had been sent home and scored at the end of the 2014 Series—maybe that would be the moment here, but Denkinger’s call remains immortal.

...Read More...
villageidiom Posted: May 18, 2020 at 02:55 PM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: history, lists, nothing better to do, stadiums, will leitch

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