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Baseball Digest

July/August 2019

The Oldest and Longest-Running Baseball Magazine in the United States

United States
Grandstand Publishing
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6 Issues


access_time9 min.
the story of one fan’s lifetime love affair with the game can be told with a single baseball

The treasured autograph collection of the late Richard McKelvey was liquidated by his family nearly a decade ago. Hundreds of signed items were scattered throughout the country via an auction that he could never have envisioned when he began what would be a lifetime labor of love in the 1940s. Long before he became an Episcopal minister and even before he established the University of Delaware’s record for single-season ERA at 0.71 in 1956 (it still stands, by the way), McKelvey took a unique, perhaps original approach to collecting autographs. As a 12-year-old in Wilmington, Del.—whose grandmother once described as “just silly on baseball”—McKelvey began mailing baseballs as well as pictures, postcards and even bats to bigleague stars, past and present, across the country. But here’s the twist. With blind faith in…

access_time8 min.
the fans speak out

QUICKEST TO 1,500 STRIKEOUTS A few years ago when Chris Sale recorded his 1,500th strikeout, it was reported that no pitcher had ever reached 1,500 strikeouts in fewer innings. Earlier this season the same was written about Stephen Strasburg when he reached 1,500. Records were meant to be broken, but it seems odd that this one would be broken twice in such a short time. Whose record did they break? Jim Sherman Red Wing, MN Yes, Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg needed the fewest innings to reach the 1,500 milestone when he fanned St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson on May 2. Strasburg bumped Sale as the record-holder less than two years after Sale displaced Kerry Wood atop the leaderboard on Aug. 29, 2017. Strikeouts, which have spiked markedly in recent seasons, have been…

access_time5 min.
all-star game

SCORING 10 of 10 • Hall of Famer 8 or 9 • MVP 6 or 7 • All-Star 5 or less • Rookie 1 New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden became the youngest player to appear in an All-Star Game when he took the mound for the National League in 1984 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Who is the oldest player to appear in an All-Star Game? 2 Name the only player in the history of the All-Star Game to have two at-bats in one inning. 3 On July 6, 1933, Babe Ruth hit the first home run in the inaugural All-Star Game at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Which future Hall of Famer had the first hit in an All-Star Game? 4 A total of 20 Hall of Famers played in the 1971 All-Star Game at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium.…

access_time11 min.
q&a with mariano rivera

BASEBALL DIGEST: Let’s start your journey to the Hall of Fame with that ride to the airport in Panama City in 1990 in your father’s old pickup truck—“Turbo” you called it—for the flight to Tampa. What do you remember about that? Mariano Rivera: My parents were there, of course. And my girlfriend, Clara, who became my wife. And a cousin of mine. I just remember thinking about how it was going to be. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know the language. I’m going to a foreign country that I don’t know anything about and I don’t know the language. BD: You also didn’t really know anything about Major League Baseball. There’s a story that when someone in the minor leagues mentioned Hank Aaron, you told him that you had…

access_time4 min.
rv and cross-country journey aside, jeff idelson is not your typical retiree

That the induction of Mariano Rivera would close out his 25-year career at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was not lost on Jeff Idelson when he announced his retirement as the Hall’s president in May. “There’s some great symmetry in that you have two closers, Mariano and Lee Smith, as I close out my career at the Hall of Fame,” said the 55-year-old Idelson, who joined the Hall of Fame as its Director of Public Relations and Promotions in 1994 and was named President on April 15, 2008. A native of West Newton, Mass., Idelson’s career in baseball actually began as a vendor at Boston’s Fenway Park for five summers in the early 1980s. From there, he had stints with the Red Sox as an assistant in the public…

access_time8 min.
cooperstown bound

Once a year, every December, some 500 veteran members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America deliberate over their ballots for the Hall of Fame election, trying earnestly to make the case for their particular favorites beyond the first-time no-brainers such as Mariano Rivera, Tom Seaver, Cal Ripken Jr., Ken Griffey Jr. or, for 2020, Derek Jeter. There are, however, three basic criteria that, if used, could make this process far less taxing and would help restore the exclusivity to the Hall. The “See” Factor: If you’re at a ballgame and you’re watching a certain player and can say to yourself, “I’m watching a Hall of Famer,” then it’s case closed. This would apply to the above-mentioned no-brainers whose stats you don’t need to even look at. The “Boldface” Factor: The most commonly…