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Baseball Digest

Baseball Digest

January/February 2020

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

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Grandstand Publishing
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In this issue

6 min.
with a full plate of issues facing mlb, the lively ball of 2019 must be fixed

Editor in Chief Quick, what numbers sit atop the all-time MLB lists for home runs in a single season and in a career? If you needed no time to come up with 73 and 762 (both by Barry Bonds), you are more than a casual baseball fan. While the numbers once associated with these records—60…61…714… 715—were iconic and known by even those who didn’t follow the game closely, the current records have been tainted by the steroid era. Now, the game faces yet another assault on the validity of its records. The home-run numbers put up last season in MLB as well as at the Triple-A level are both staggering and alarming. In 2019, a total of 6,776 home runs were hit in the regular season by the 30 MLB clubs—an increase of 21 percent over…

9 min.
the fans speak out

RICHARDSON IS WORLD SERIES IRON MAN We know that Cal Ripken holds the record for consecutive game played with 2,632, but who holds it for consecutive World Series games played? Darrell Berger Dingmans Ferry, PA That record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, belongs to second baseman Bobby Richardson, who played in all 30 World Series games from 1960 through 1964 for the New York Yankees. Tied for second at 28 straight games played are Yankees Yogi Berra (1955-56-57-58), Gil McDougald (1955-56-57-58) and Phil Rizzuto (1949-50-51-52-53). BLACK OR WHITE, SOX WERE BETTER After reading the article “Baseball’s Forgotten Champion” and Rick Cerrone’s “First Pitch” in the September-October 2019 issue, I would like to bring up Eliot Asinof’s well-researched book, Eight Men Out. It includes a game-by-game account that leaves little doubt that the 1919 White Sox…

5 min.
iconic home runs

SCORING 10 of 10 • Hall of Famer 8 or 9 • MVP 6 or 7 • All-Star 5 or less • Rookie 1 Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays are the only players to end a World Series with a walk-off home run. In Game 6 of the 1993 World Series vs. the Philadelphia Phillies, Carter’s game-winning blow was a three-run shot off the Phillies’ Mitch Williams. Name the two future Hall of Famers who scored on his historic blast? 2 In the deciding sixth game of the 1977 World Series, New York Yankees right fielder Reggie Jackson tied Babe Ruth’s single-game record with three home runs to win the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. Jackson homered off three different Dodgers pitchers. Can you name them? 3…

10 min.
q&a with bob kendrick

On February 13, 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster led an important meeting of eight black baseball team owners at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo. That get-together resulted in the formation of the Negro National League. That was 27 years before Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers became Major League Baseball’s first African-American player. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum—located just around the corner from the old Paseo YMCA in Kansas City’s historic 18th & Vine District—will launch a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues on February 13. The former Paseo YMCA is set to become the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center, and that’s where the first official centennial event will take place. Bob Kendrick was appointed to his current post in 2011 after serving…

4 min.
bringing a negro leagues ballpark back to life

On a late-September afternoon in 1930 at Hamtramck Stadium, the Detroit Stars led the Negro National League Championship Series, three games to two, when longtime Stars slugger Norman “Turkey” Stearnes stepped into the batter’s box against the St. Louis Stars’ Logan Hensley. The 175-pound, left-handed-hitting Stearnes had carried the Stars on his back with two homers and 11 hits in the Series, but Detroit trailed, 3-2, in the fourth inning of Game 6. A five-tool center fielder and the winner of multiple NNL home-run crowns, Stearnes drilled a Hensley pitch far beyond the right-field wall, which stood at least 407 feet away to straightaway right. No one had ever cleared that wall at Hamtramck (pronounced ham-TRAM-ack), a cavernous park that had opened that year in the predominantly Polish city of Hamtramck…

9 min.
what is it and what is it good for?

In 1970, during the midst of the Vietnam War, Edwin Starr asked the musical question: War: What Is It Good For? A half-century later, the same question is asked by baseball fans. Not that the subject matter is nearly as consequential, of course, but baseball’s WAR has gained traction beyond just the sabermetric community. So, what is WAR—the acronym for wins above replacement—good for? Well, it depends who you ask. Those inclined toward analytics believe WAR neatly sums up a player’s performance both on a yearly and career basis in one single number. Jay Jaffe, a senior writer at Fangraphs, the popular statistically oriented baseball website, is in that camp. “WAR has gained favor because it allows us to more easily compare players who are on different footings, whether it's two players in different…