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Baseball's History and little known facts

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Posted

This part of MVPMODS was started to post news about baseball's history. Do you know something about the game that you've read that you thought was interesting and you wanted to pass it on? Anything like that you can post in here.

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I like it. Very nice idea for a forum.

I would like to mention the Negro Leagues, simply because very few baseball fans know much about it, and to be honest, I don't know a great deal myself.

Until further notice (Or until I have more time), the only things I would like to pass on are:

Satchel Paige: Greatest pitcher of all time.

Josh Gibson: Greatest power hitter of all time. He isn't the black Babe Ruth, Babe Ruth is the white Josh Gibson!

Bow down.

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well how she goes

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Mark, then post some history of those Negro Leagues! There's such a wealth of information out there and it's all interesting.

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Not sure if this belongs here or not but I have a little history with a personal touch.

My cousin Ed Farmer actually pitched in the 1980 allstar game in LA. He pitched for the White Sox among many other teams throughout his 11 years in the bigs. Obviosly, that was his best year where he was their closer and ended up with 30 saves and a 3.34 ERA. He's now the color guy on radio for the White Sox and has been for many years. Just thought I'd share, and wondered if any of you guys remember him.

His nephew Tom Farmer now pitches for the Dodgers AAA team in Las Vagas.

It's kind of cool following his success and hopefully he'll make it to the big leagues soon.

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Not sure if this belongs here or not but I have a little history with a personal touch.

My cousin Ed Farmer actually pitched in the 1980 allstar game in LA. He pitched for the White Sox among many other teams throughout his 11 years in the bigs. Obviosly, that was his best year where he was their closer and ended up with 30 saves and a 3.34 ERA. He's now the color guy on radio for the White Sox and has been for many years. Just thought I'd share, and wondered if any of you guys remember him.

His nephew Tom Farmer now pitches for the Dodgers AAA team in Las Vagas.

It's kind of cool following his success and hopefully he'll make it to the big leagues soon.

That's part of the game too Trues. And, I saw Ed Farmer play in Triple A years ago. He had a good arm.

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Ill be partr of the big leagues some day. Then when I make it....ill get tickets for all u guyz to any home game of mine......cheer me on as i move up....next year HS College MINORS AND MAJORS!!!! then ill be posted.

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Mark, then post some history of those Negro Leagues! There's such a wealth of information out there and it's all interesting.

Ask and ye shall receive!

For MLB.com, they have a pretty good section on the Negro Leagues. Quite detailed.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/history/...gro_leagues.jsp

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Ill be partr of the big leagues some day. Then when I make it....ill get tickets for all u guyz to any home game of mine......cheer me on as i move up....next year HS College MINORS AND MAJORS!!!! then ill be posted.

Um, that's fine but you are off topic. Stick to the topic, if at any way possible.

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For any baseball fan that hasn't seen it, rent and/or buy Ken Burns' 'Baseball'. It's truly amazing.

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well how she goes

What does that mean??

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Seattle baseball:

On the surface, most people associate the Mariners as the team in Seattle. As it turns out, you'd only be partly right. Baseball has a long history in the great Northwest. One of the most successful minor league teams was called the Seattle Rainers, members of the Pacific coast league. A local brewer, a man named Emil Sick, bought the team in the 1930's and built a stadium called Sick's Seattle Stadium. That stadium housed the Rainers and the 1969 Seattle Pilots.

A slideshow of Seattle's Rainers can be found here:

http://www.historylink.org/Slide_show/index.cfm?file_id=7123

Seattle Pilots information page. (Has photos and rare game audio there. You will need Real Audio to listen to that.)

http://www.brandx.net/pilots/

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For any baseball fan that hasn't seen it, rent and/or buy Ken Burns' 'Baseball'. It's truly amazing.

I agree, that documentary is wonderful, I especially enjoyed the episodes on the early 20th century.

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Ebbets Field. Home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 to 1957.

Of all the places I have read about in baseball history, with the obvious exception of old Yankee Stadium, this is the place I would have wanted to see the most. The Brooklyn Dodgers were not just a baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers were Brooklyn. People from Brooklyn identified with their Dodgers. They defended "Dem Bums" and if anyone that wasn't a Dodger fan put down a member of the team, they'd have something to answer to. Brooklyn fans were loyal, passionate and loud. Walter O' Malley took the Dodgers out of Brooklyn after the 1957 season and Brooklyn has not been the same since.

History

Cramped, yet always colorful, Ebbetts Field was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. They struggled here in the 1920s and 1930s, brought Jackie Robinson to major league baseball here in 1947, and won the World Series here in 1955. It was originally built without a press box (one was finally added in 1929) and no one brought the key to the bleachers for the first game.

It was built by Dodgers owner Charlie Ebbetts in 1913, who had risen through the organization from ticket seller to business manager. He became the owner in 1902, buying the team from Harry von der Horst, who wanted the team to stay in Brooklyn and so passed over higher bidders who would have moved the team; Ebbetts had no money, and instead of solidifying the team's finances by selling his star ballplayers he concentrated on building the team a new, modern ballpark. The only location he could afford was a garbage dump 3 miles south by southwest of the Manhattan Bridge, down Flatbush Avenue, known as Pigstown - so called because pigs would feast on the waste each morning - which smelled of sulfur and rotten fish.

The park opened in 1913, and the city of Brooklyn began to grow around it. The parcel of land was tiny, meaning that the spacious field allowed a capacity of just 18,000. As the grandstand was expanded, the field shrunk - as the grandstand was extended to left and center in the early 1930s, the distance to left was reduced to 353 feet, and the distance to center fell to 400 feet. By 1948, the power alleys were just 352 feet, and center field stood a very reasonable 384 feet away - these distances were made even shorter by the upper deck, which hung over the playing field. The distance to the 38-foot right field wall was just 297 feet at the foul pole.

Right Field Wall:

The right field wall was a gem. The wall towered 38 feet high and abutted Bedford Avenue; the top half was a black screen, and the bottom half was a patchwork collection of local ads. The wall was would deflect line drives at unpredictable angles, and the quirky, angled centerpiece added to the mayhem. The large black scoreboard featured the famous Abe Stark "Hit sign, win suit" advertisement on the bottom, and a Schaefer beer ad on top which gave the official scorer's ruling on hits and errors by lighting up the appropriate letter (H or E).

The Fans:

As colorful as the ballpark itself was, the boisterous fans here really made it the jewel in the firmament of classic ballparks. They would hoot and holler incessantly, and carried on a long-running love affair with their team. There was the Dodger Sym-Phony, a group of musically inclined fans who would play songs that ranged from mildly irritating to a nails-on-the-chalkboard cacophony, depending on the amount of alcohol imbibed. There was Jack Pierce, who would buy an extra seat for his bartender whenever he attended. The bartender's job was to blow up balloons, which Jack would let go during the game.

There was Hilda Chester, who cheered so loud she suffered a heart attack; after that, she would still attend every game and bang a frying pan with a spoon to urge her team on. The Dodgers gave her her trademark brass cowbell in the late 1930s so she wouldn't get food all over her fellow fans. There is a story about Chester slipping a note to giving a note to Pete Reiser, Brooklyn's center fielder, and asking him to give it to manager Leo Durocher. The note said, "Get Casey hot. Wyatt's losing it." Leo the Lip (who visited Hilda in the hospital after her second heart attack) thought the note came from team president Larry McPhail because he had seen Reiser conversing with the GM moments before; so upon reading the note, he began warming up reliever Hugh Casey. Eventually, starter Whit Wyatt - who had pitched brilliantly - gave up a hit, and Durocher pulled him in favor of Casey, who made a close game out of it before barely saving the win for Wyatt.

Exasperated, Durocher ordered Reiser not to hand him notes from McPhail anymore during the game. When Reiser told him who the note was from, Durocher flew into an unintelligible, apoplectic rage.

By 1957, Ebbets Field had grown too old to satisfy Dodger owner Walter O'Malley, and in 1958 Brooklyn's beloved Dodgers were in Los Angeles. Only 6,673 fans attended the final game, and the park was demolished in 1960.

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^^^^ man they should have kept that stadium a hostoric monument. I have a brick from that stadium hung up on a plaque with a picture of ebbets field........they should have kept the brooklyn dodgers.

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^^^^ man they should have kept that stadium a hostoric monument. I have a brick from that stadium hung up on a plaque with a picture of ebbets field........they should have kept the brooklyn dodgers.

Well, you can blame O'Malley for that. There were other franchise shifts before this in baseball, but the Dodgers were the first team to move that was not losing money. Many older people in Brooklyn, to this day have not forgiven O'Malley for what he did and they have sworn off baseball forever. O'Malley died in 1979, a rich but hated man.

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How many people in here know of the link between the notorious Ty Cobb of the Tigers and Coca-Cola? Yes, the very same drink you've been downing all these years now. Here's an interesting article from the Hall of Fame explaining this relationship

Ty Cobb Sold Me a Soda Pop

Hall of Fame Outfielder Ty Cobb and Coca-Cola

by Dan Holmes

This newspaper advertisement from 1907 was the first Coca-Cola ad featuring Cobb.

The year 1886 proved to be a productive one for the state of Georgia. In the "Peach State" on May 8, one of the most popular beverages in history was first concocted, and on December 18, a legendary ballplayer was born. As a result, Coca-Cola became a household name and one of the most profitable companies in the world, and Tyrus Raymond Cobb became a batting champion and eventually one of the first members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The paths of these two American giants were linked, not only in their birth, but also in the first decades of the 20th century. Cobb, who was born in Narrows, Georgia, made his major league debut for the Detroit Tigers on August 30, 1905. By that time, Coca-Cola was one of the most popular fountain drinks in the South. In September 1907, with Cobb's Tigers on their way to their first American League flag, Coca-Cola began running an advertising campaign featuring the 20-year old ballplayer, who was on his way to the first of his record 12 batting titles. The ad showed the Georgian at the plate and claimed that Coca-Cola "will put you back into the game - relieve the thirst and cool you off."

It was the first of many campaigns in which Cobb endorsed the soft drink. In part it read, "Ty Cobb says: I drink Coca-Cola regularly throughout all seasons of the year. On days when we are playing a double-header I always find that a drink of Coca-Cola between the games refreshes me to such an extent that I can start the second game feeling as if I had not been exercising at all, in spite of my exertions in the first." Other ads in the Coca-Cola campaign featured future Hall of Fame members Nap Lajoie and Rube Waddell, among others.

Cobb not only lent his image and name to Coca-Cola, he also invested his money. A shrewd businessman, Cobb bought his first stock in the Atlanta-based soft drink company in 1918 at the suggestion of friend Robert Woodruff, the son of the president of Coca-Cola and later himself the leader of the company for more than six decades. Cobb took out a loan against his future baseball earnings to buy his first 1,000 shares and continued to invest in Coca-Cola throughout his lifetime. Quickly, Cobb and Woodruff developed a close relationship, harbored by their common Georgian heritage — Woodruff a native of Atlanta. Like Cobb, Woodruff was a sportsman and an intense competitor, and he would often invite Cobb to go quail hunting on his 30,000 acre hunting plantation in Ichauway, Georgia.

Cobb's Coca-Cola investments paid off handsomely, helping to make him one of the first athletes to become independently wealthy. In sharp contrast to other athletes who squandered their money and retired broke, Cobb built an enormous fortune over the course of his playing career and beyond. Confident in Coca-Cola, Cobb encouraged his friends and family to invest in the "Pause that Refreshes," as well. Future Hall of Fame second baseman Charlie Gehringer, who debuted as a rookie with Detroit under Cobb's leadership in 1924, recalled that Cobb would give the younger players financial advice. "He told us about Coca-Cola and egged us on to buy the stock, but we weren't making enough money to buy shares," Gehringer recalled years later.

Bottle issued in 1986 celebrating Cobb and Coca-Cola's 100th birthdays. The bottle reads "Royston, Georgia Proudly Salutes the Immortal Ty Cobb, The Georgia Peach."

One of baseball's highest paid players, Cobb continued to put money into the company, later purchasing three Coca-Cola bottling plants, in Santa Maria, California, Twin Falls, Idaho and Bend, Oregon. Eventually he would own more than 20,000 shares of Coca-Cola stock, making him one of the major stockholders in the company and earning him a place on the board of directors. As the company grew, Cobb's fortune swelled. At the time of his death in 1961, Cobb's estimated worth was between $10 and $12 million, "a large volume of it generated by Coca-Cola stock," according to Coca-Cola spokesman Phil Mooney. Due, in large part, to these investments, Cobb was able to establish the Cobb Educational Foundation of Atlanta, which paid college tuition for thousands of young people, and to build the Cobb Memorial Hospital of Royston, Georgia, just a few miles from his home town.

Cobb's personality was a valuable commodity for Coca-Cola, even after his playing days ended. In 1947, the company released a set of cardboard posters, "All-Time Winners," one of which featured Cobb, which introduced him to a new generation of baseball fans and soda drinkers. Other sports legends included in that series were boxer Gene Tunney, golfer Bobby Jones and football great Red Grange. In 1986, a special limited edition commemorative bottle with a photo of Cobb on the side was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cobb's birth and the birth of Coca-Cola. The Hall of Fame has one of those bottles in its collections.

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The St. Louis Browns

Team spotlight:

The old expression about the St. Louis Browns was, "First in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American League." In their 52-year history, the Browns finished in the cellar 14 times, and seventh 12 times. They made only a dozen appearances in the first division. Once, in 1944, they treated their fans to a pennant.

After the 1901 season, the Milwaukee Brewers, charter members of the American League, moved to St. Louis and became the Browns - a name that recalled the glorious history of Chris von der Ahe's Brown Stockings. In their first St. Louis season, the Browns finished second. After years of prosperity at the gate, in 1916 owner Robert Hedges sold the team to Philip Ball, who had owned the St. Louis Terriers of the defunct Federal League. Ball's tenure, lasting until 1933, was one of failure.

Ball's first major blunder was allowing Branch Rickey, the resident genius in the Browns' front office, to jump to the Cardinals because of a conflict of egos. In 1920 Sam Breadon, who had just purchased the Cardinals, beseeched Ball to allow his team to cohabit the Browns' home, Sportsman's Park. Breadon put the money from the sale of the Cardinals' Robison Field into the minor league system, which eventually produced a host of star players that brought the Cardinals far more drawing power than the Browns.

The 1922 Browns excited their owner by almost beating the Yankees to a pennant. The club was boasting the best players in franchise history, including future Hall of Famer George Sisler, and an outfield trio - Ken Williams, Baby Doll Jacobson, and Jack Tobin - that batted .300 or better in 1919-23 and in 1925. Ball confidently predicted that there would be a World Series in Sportsman's Park by 1926. In anticipation, he increased the capacity of his ballpark from 18,000 to 30,000. There was a World Series in Sportsman's Park in 1926 - with the Cardinals upsetting the Yankees. St. Louis had been considered a "Browns' town" until then.

The Browns drew only 80,922 fans for the entire 1936 season - the first year of Donald Barnes' ownership. The downward spiral reached its nadir in 1939; from 1937 to 1939, the Browns compiled a 144-316 record. The franchise was developing a hard-luck aura; in 1941 Barnes tried to move his team to Los Angeles. The league meeting for approval was held in Chicago one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Understandably, Barnes was denied.

With the arrival of manager Luke Sewell in 1941, the Browns began a rebuilding program that culminated in their only World Series appearance, in 1944. It took two home runs by outfielder Chet Laabs against the Yankees on the final day of the season to clinch the pennant. After leading the Cardinals two games to one in the Trolley Series, the Browns lost the final three contests, and the World Championship. Due primarily to WWII, the 1940s have been described as a time when "even the Browns" won a pennant, demeaning their only legitimate success. One-armed Pete Gray was employed in their 1945 outfield, further enhancing their negative legacy.

The owners that followed the 1944 pennant, Richard Muckerman (1945-49), and Bill and Charlie DeWitt, were caught in a spiral of rising inflation and sagging expectation. The Browns had to sell off players to pay their bills; when attendance dropped as a result, they were forced to sell more talent.

In 1951 Bill Veeck bought the noncontending Browns with the expressed purpose of driving the Cardinals out of town. Cardinals owner Fred Saight had income tax troubles that resulted in a prison term, but August Busch restored order by purchasing the team. To draw fans, Veeck gave them "fun 'n' games," including midget Eddie Gaedel. The stunts so angered the other owners that Veeck was forced to sell the club to Baltimore interests in 1953, putting an end to the St. Louis Browns.

Artwork of some All-Time Browns players:

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The Boston Braves

That's right, the Braves that you know that play in Atlanta started out in Boston. Here's a brief history of that team

The franchise that is now the Atlanta Braves, after a 13-year stopover in Milwaukee, is the longest continuously active club in baseball history. A charter member of the National Association, the first professional league, the team called itself the Boston Red Stockings because manager Harry Wright and three other members of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first pro team, were on the original club in 1871. They finished first four straight years (1872-75) and continued in the National League when that organization supplanted the NA in 1876.

Boston won eight NL pennants before the end of the 19th century, becoming known as the Beaneaters in the process. The 20th century wasn't as kind to the team, which finally assumed the familiar Braves name. Boston did make history in 1914 when the "Miracle Braves" took less than two months to go from last to first in the second half of the season and proceeded to stun the Athletics in the World Series, becoming in the process the first team to successfully utilize platooning. Financial difficulties took their toll over the next thirty years, as the Braves finished over .500 only five times from 1917 through 1945, but contractor Lou Perini bought the franchise for 1946. With a turnover of personnel on the field and in the front office, the team won the NL pennant in 1948, but declining attendance resulted in the move to Milwaukee only five years later. Babe Ruth hit his final home runs in a Boston Braves uniform in 1935, and Casey Stengel managed the club during the lean years of the late 1930s and early 1940s

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I love baseball history, and Ken Burns epic is great. Only two complaints about it: A. It's so New York biased that it even die-hard Yankee fans have said that it's too much.

B. It stops before 1994, thus we miss out on the strike, Cal Ripken's streak, the 98 HR race, the 2000 Olympic team (AKA Ben Sheets slays the Cubans!), the 2001 World Series (AKA Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson slay the Yankees!), the 2002 "west-coast" series, the 2003 playoffs and the 2004 "Breaking of the curse". Somebody needs to make a sequel.

But anyway, you should really try Baseball-almanac's articles, there great!

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Take a look at this picture of Joe Dimaggio at bat. What do you see?

Do you see Dimaggio swinging and the catcher behind him? Now, how about the people that seem to be right in the middle of them? Actually they are off to the side of them. Do you know who they are? Well, they are photographers. Back then, photographers were allowed on the field during game play to take pictures. In a sense, they were like umpires but they had to stay in foul territory. If you ran into one, it was the fielder's fault. Eventually, this practice ceased to exist. One more bit of trivia: the last team to allow photographers on the field during the game was the Cleveland Indians, in old Municipal Stadium. They were allowed on the field until the late 1970's.

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MORRIS "MOE" BERG

Country: United States

Born: March 2, 1902, in New York City

Died: May 29, 1972

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Major League Baseball catcher and shortstop with five teams between 1923 and 1939, Moe Berg was a solid journeyman player with a lifetime batting average of .243. He also had a Princeton University law degree and the ability to speak 12 languages, among them Japanese, Spanish, Latin,

German, and Portuguese.

It was the language credentials, combined with his baseball persona, that motivated the U.S. government in 1942 to persuade Berg to leave his coaching job with the Boston Red Sox and undertake a secret intelligence mission in South America. Following a successful trip, he accepted a position

in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS—the U.S. World War II

covert spy organization) and was assigned to the European Theater, specializing in scientific intelligence. The complete range of his activities may never be known, but his success was so important to the war effort that Berg was awarded the United States Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, in October, 1945. Two months after receiving the medal

from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he returned it, explaining that he was “uncomfortable†with it.

Berg’s first known taste of the cloak-and-dagger occurred long before World War II. In 1934, on a Major League Baseball goodwill trip to Japan with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and teammates, he was recruited by the American government to acquire some seemingly harmless information. Using his non-playing time and sightseeing tours, Berg photographed the industrial skyline and other landmarks of Tokyo. Eight years later, his V.I.P. tourist photographs served as the foundation for General Jimmy Doolittle’s renowned “thirty seconds over Tokyo†1942 raid. After the sneak attack bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanesespeaking Berg, who enjoyed considerable popularity with Japan’s sporting public, having made several baseball-themed visits to the Far East, offered to speak to the Japanese people in an effort to inspire the populace to demand that its warlords cease further outrages of war. The offer was accepted and broadcasting arrangements were handled by the U.S. government.

In early 1942, he resigned as a coach with the Boston Red Sox, having been induced by Nelson A. Rockefeller, then chief of the Office of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, to become a “goodwill ambassador†to Latin America. Berg’s assignment was to be a morale builder for American troops stationed in South America and teach baseball to the locals— and get a firsthand feel for Germany’s influence among America’s Latin neighbors. The six-month excursion by plane, train, jeep, and on foot took

him through 20 countries.

Upon his return to the United States, Berg was recruited by the OSS as a civilian operative. He was assigned to infiltrate European scientific circles in concert with Allied troop liberation of cities and hamlets from German occupation. Experiencing extraordinary success, Berg was given the top-secret task of learning whether or not Germany had developed an atomic bomb. Through his cunning work, which brought him within seconds of assassinating Germany’s top nuclear fission physicist, the Allies learned that Germany did not have the devastating A-bomb. Following World War II, Berg countered Soviet Union intelligence operatives, scouring Europe for prominent scientists to offer a scientific haven in America.

Although the war had ended, the very private Moe Berg adhered to the no-longer-binding wartime code of secrecy regarding recollections of his spying assignments. Only in recent years have accounts of his intelligence activities become public. Without commenting on the specifics of the former Major Leaguer’s clandestine assignments, government officials have referred to Berg as a hero and described the results of his efforts as“ invaluable to our country.â€

It was Berg the athlete who inspired a baseball scout in 1922 to coin the classic remark “Good field, no hit.†He began as a shortstop but enjoyed most of his career behind the plate. Berg played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1923, the Chicago White Sox from 1926 to 1930, the Cleveland Indians in 1931 and 1934, the Washington Senators in 1932 and 1934, the Boston

Red Sox from 1935 to 1939, and was a Red Sox coach until 1942.

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This describes how good of a hitter Rogers Hornsby was:

In the early 30's (poss. late 20's), a young pitcher was making his MLB debut and he was facing Rogers. The ump called the first pitch a ball and the pitcher did not agree. He didn't argue but was visibly unhappy. He delivered the next pitch and it was called ball 2. This time the pitcher smacked his glove against his leg in anger, but still kept his mouth closed. Ball 3! The young pitcher couldn't take it anymore and he yelled at the ump "That was a strike!" The ump calmly looked at the young pitcher and said: "Son, when you throw a strike, Mr. Hornsby will let you know." The next ball was right down the middle and was nailed for a double!

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they should have kept that stadium a hostoric monument. I have a brick from that stadium hung up on a plaque with a picture of ebbets field........they should have kept the brooklyn dodgers

I agree with you about the stadium, but the idea of the lovely Brooklyn fans loving the Dodgers so much and so forth was kind of a myth by the end of the 50s. Attendance was down and O'Malley tried repeatedly to secure land, etc for a new ballpark in Brooklyn. The myth that as soon as he took control of the Dodgers he couldn't wait to move them is just that...a myth. The O'Malley family's roots were in Brooklyn. They wanted to stay there. But at that point, as wonderful as the story of Ebbetts Field was, it was time for a new ballpark. L.A. came in and made O'Malley an offer he couldn't refuse and the city of Brooklyn did not seem all that interested in keeping the Dodgers. So they made the move and it was the best thing the franchise ever did. I don't think Brooklyn could support a major league team now.

But I think they should have kept the stadium and repaired it. It could have been a museum of some kind and maybe the L.A. Dodgers could have put one of their farm teams in Brooklyn. Anyway, if you read "True Blue: An Oral History of the Los Angeles Dodgers" the first few chapters talk in depth of the lengths that O'Malley tried to stay in Brooklyn. He's been villified on the east coast since then, but Brooklyn pretty much pushed the Dodgers to the west coast. :mrgreen:

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Well, you can blame O'Malley for that. There were other franchise shifts before this in baseball, but the Dodgers were the first team to move that was not losing money. Many older people in Brooklyn, to this day have not forgiven O'Malley for what he did and they have sworn off baseball forever. O'Malley died in 1979, a rich but hated man.

I respectfully disagree. See my previous post.

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Yankee4Life you've been a busy one now haven't you? Damn nice presentation about Ebbetts Field, learned quite a bit from that. What a cryin' shame she no longer stands. The Ty Cobb info I was already pretty much 10-4 on, (truthfully most of which I learned from the fantastic movie about his life. Entitled 'Cobb', starring Tommy Lee Jones) but must say you posted some damn interesting stuff just the same. Ty Cobb was as shrewd and fiery off the field as he was on and trust me, did not die a poor man.

Thanx again,

Duke

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How about this one:

The current New York Yankees were not originally a New York team. For the first two seasons of their existence, they were the Baltimore Orioles. They then moved to New York and were known as the New York Highlanders. The name Yankees was a second nickname that was given to them by reporters that they eventually adopted.

The current Baltimore Orioles were the original Milwakee Brewers.

The current Milwakee Brewers were the aforementioned Seattle Pilots.

Just a little team history.

Also, since the Dodgers seem to be a hot topic...

The Dodgers and Braves have each had eight different names that their franchises have gone by (which discounting pre-modern era baseball are the most name changes for a MLB team):

Dodgers (one relocation):

Los Angeles Dodgers, Brooklyn Dodgers, Brooklyn Robins, Brooklyn Superbas, Brooklyn Bridegrooms, Brooklyn Grooms, Brooklyn Grays, and Brooklyn Atlantics

Braves (two relocations):

Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Boston Braves, Boston Bees, Boston Rustlers, Boston Doves, Boston Beaneaters, and Boston Red Caps

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I'm actually taking a history of baseball class in college right now. It is a 300 level course too, making it even better that it counts as one of my upper level humanity courses. One of the most interesting things I learned in the class was this story:

In 1934, the US sent an All-Star team, including Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, to Japan to play against a team of Japanese baseball stars. Even though the US team dominated the Japanese team, there was one pitcher for Japan, Eiji Sawamura, who struck out both Gehrig and Ruth. They even made a comment on how good this kid was. But, when Japan and the US went to war during World War II, Eiji Sawamura was drafted in to the Japanese army and died during battle.

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Most if not all baseball fans have heard about Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941, but did you know he had a longer hitting streak in the minors? In 1933 as a San Francisco Seal, DiMaggio hit in 61 straight games and ended up hitting .340 with 169RBI.

You can read more about DiMaggio in the minors here:

http://www.tdl.com/~thawley/dimag.html

One other fact about DiMaggio's 56-game streak is that after the streak ended, he hit in 16 straight games, giving him a hit in 72 out of 73 games.

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A couple of snippets from This Day in Baseball History (http://www.nationalpastime.com)

1904 After 23-innings of pitching no-hit baseball, Cy Young's streak ends. The stretch includes six innings today, two innings April 25, six on April 30, and the perfect game against the A's on May 5.

1932 Eighth-grader Joe Schultz, Jr. singles, swipes two bases and scores as a pinch-hitter in a Texas League game. The fourteen-year old is the son of the manager and will become a second string catcher in the major leagues.

1949 Scoring in every inning, the White Sox beat the Red Sox, 12-8. A team tallying in every inning has only occurred five times in American League history.

1971 Indian Steve Dunning's homer off A's hurler Diego Segui makes him the last American League pitcher to hit a grand slam.

2000 Beating the Cubs, 14-8, it takes the Brewers four hours and twenty-two minutes to play a regulation nine-inning game. The time breaks the National League record and ties the mark set by the Orioles and Yankees on September 5, 1997 for the longest non-extra inning game ever played.

2003 In his last at-bat on the current home stand, 38-year-old first baseman Rafel Palmeiro drives a 3-2 fastball thrown by Indian hurler David Elder to become the second player this season and 19th overall to hit his 500th career home run. The 370-foot shot over the right field wall at The Ballpark in Arlington makes Raffy the first native of Cuba to reach the coveted milestone.

And not one, not two, but THREE no-hitters were thrown on this day.

1919 Reds' hurler Hod Eller throws a no-hitter defeating the Cardinals, 6-0.

1963 Sandy Koufax no-hits the Giants, 8-0. It will the Dodgers' southpaw second of four career no-hitters.

1996 Al Leiter pitches the first no-hitter in the Marlin's brief existence beating the Rockies, 11-0.

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Mickey Owen died last week. He was the Dodger catcher who was in involved in a famous play in the 1941 World Series. Read on for more information

Ball passed, memory stays

Owen lives on in Dodger lore

Mickey Owen leaps into action like the surehanded catcher he was. However, it was the one that got away, a passed ball that should have been the final out of fourth game of the 1941 World Series, that made the legend of the Brooklyn Dodger backstop who died last week.

If the name Mickey Owen rings a bell, this is the sound it makes: Buckner.

Owen, who spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, 1,175 games behind the plate, died last Wednesday at 89. He wasn't much of a hitter. Didn't have a single home run in six of those seasons. A lifetime average of .255. He could catch the ball, though. For 56 years, he held the record for most consecutive chances without a error.

Owen is one of those players - like Bill Buckner, like a pair of Freds, Merkle and Snodgrass, like Ralph Branca - who is best remembered for one pitch, one play. The wrong one.

Owen's moment in history came on Oct. 4, 1941, in the first of the seven World Series between the Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers hadn't been in a World Series since 1920. They lost it. Four years earlier than that, their only other October, they were beaten by the Red Sox.

Wait till next year was invented for the Dodgers, and the Dodgers, it seemed, were created to drive their fans batty. So a World Series in Brooklyn, as you can imagine, was a very special thing.

The fourth game of the '41 series, for instance. The Yankees led two games to one, but the Dodgers were about to tie it, right there at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers were ahead in the ninth inning, 4-3. Hugh Casey was pitching, Owen was the catcher, and the count on Tommy Henrich was three balls, two strikes. The next pitch was a curveball - big curve, sharp break - that Henrich swung at and missed. Strike three. Game over, series tied.

But Owen missed it, too.

The ball hit off his glove and bounced toward the Dodgers' dugout. At the same time - the game was over, wasn't it? - police officers ran out on the field to make sure the local fans didn't celebrate too hard. Owen needed some broken field running to get around the cops while Henrich lit out for first base. By the time Owen grabbed the ball and looked to first to make a throw, Henrich was standing on the base.

"It was all my fault," Owen said that day. "It was a great breaking curve that I should have had. But it got away from me ..."

As the years went by, he filled out his confession. Casey, he explained, had two kinds of curves. There was his sharp-breaking curve, similar to a slider, and that was the one that was working most of the day for the pitcher. The other curve had the big break.

At 3-2 on Henrich, Owen called for a curveball, expecting the same sort-of slider. But Casey threw the other one and it fooled Henrich completely. Owen, too.

With Henrich, on first base, Owen would later admit to a second mistake. "The big mistake I made," he once told The New York Times, "was not going to the mound to tell Casey that I blew it and to settle him down. But all of us were in shock from what happened."

Not the Yankees. The next batter, a chap named Joe DiMaggio, lined a single and Charlie Keller followed with a double that scored two runs and put the Yankees up, 5-4. Bill Dickey walked and Joe Gordon's double scored two more runs, 7-4. The Dodgers had nothing to offer in their last at-bat.

Henrich recalled DiMaggio saying, "'They'll never come back from this one.'"

The next day, the Yankees won, 3-1, and the Series was over.

And Owen joined a group of goats that would later include, most famously, Bill Buckner and the ball that went through his legs in the 1986 World Series against the Mets.

"I really felt sorry for Buckner," Owen once said. "The way he was hobbling on his bad ankle, he was a cripple. He shouldn't have been out there. But if I'd seen somebody miss one like I did, I'd have kicked him in the backside."

Owen stayed with the Dodgers through the 1945 season and finished his career with the Cubs and Red Sox. He went back home to Missouri, where he was a county sheriff for 16 years. He ran for lieutenant governor in 1960 and missed again.

He was 72, a great-grandfather, when he came back to Brooklyn to be inducted into the Dodgers Hall of Fame. All they wanted to ask him about was that pitch, that passed ball, and Owen answered, as he usually did, with something close to a smile, "I would've been completely forgotten if I hadn't missed that pitch."

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So how does a rainout occur in a domed stadium?

Well, on June 15, 1976, torrential rains caused the entire area around the Astrodome to be flooded, so no one could get to the dome for the game. Despite the field being perfectly playable, the game was officially deemed a rain-out by the umpires since fans, players, staff and officials were unable to attend.

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also happened to the black/purple/light grey jays when they couldnt close the roof in time.

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Did you know? The Astrodome originally had a see-through glass roof because there was REAL GRASS inside. Obviously, it was not a good environment for real grass so the glass was painted white and "Astroturf" would be installed and plague the game of baseball for years to come...

Also, Mickey Mantle was the first player to homer in the Astrodome, during an exhibition game. (After ST I presume...)

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A rainout. :lmao:

And like you said Soriano, domes and astro turf should be illegal. Just get a retractable roof.

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Did you know? The Astrodome originally had a see-through glass roof because there was REAL GRASS inside. Obviously, it was not a good environment for real grass so the glass was painted white and "Astroturf" would be installed and plague the game of baseball for years to come...

Actually, the problem was that the see-through roof created so much glare that outfielders could not track the ball. They originally painted over only a few of the tiles to help with this, but the grass died anyway. They finished the rest of that season with dirt painted green...

DID YOU KNOW...

...that Connie Mack first proposed the designated hitter in the 1900's?

...that in 1974/75, the New York Yankees played their home games at Shea Stadium, while Yankee Stadium was being renovated? Thus, with the New York Jets and New York Giants of the NFL still playing in Shea Stadium, it was the only stadium to be the home field for two baseball teams and two football teams.

...that Olympic Stadium is known as Le Stade Olympique in French?

...that RFK Stadium was originally known as DC Stadium?

...that only three ballparks in 'modern' times have been completely funded by the team : Dodger Stadium in the 1960's, San Francisco's new, annually-name-changing stadium in the late 1990's, and the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis?

...that St. Louis' old Sportsmans Park was known as Busch Stadium for a few years at the end of its life? Thus, the 'New' Busch Stadium is actually the old Busch Stadium, and the stadium being completed now is Busch Stadium III.

...that TV's Home Run Derby was filmed at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field?

...that the Montreal Expos were the first team to move in major league baseball since the Washington Senators in 1971?

...that I really, really miss Tiger Stadium?

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A stuntman once planned a pre-game attraction at the Astrodome in which he would drop in a special barrel from the Gondola into a small tank of water near second base. He didn't make it. A bad release, wind currents, quantum effects, or simple bad luck pushed the barrel slightly off line. The barrel hit the edge of the tank and the stuntman died. That must have put quite a damper on that night's game. I'm glad I wasn't there.

Also, when the dome first opened up, the grounds crew came out before and during the game to drag the infield, they were dressed in orange jump suits and white space helmets. Some genius probably got a raise for thinking this up.

~edit~

the suits are hot! :lmao:

spacecrew5jt.jpg

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My only random fact... Nomar Garciaparra's .372 average in 2000 was the highest by a right handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio's streak year.

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A guy on my dads baseball team said he was drafted in the first MLB draft by the Cardinals. I haven't found anything on him, but his name is Cy (nickname) Bonem.

I Just realized the thread was BUMPED with an extra-capital B. lol

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I know that batting helmets became mandatory in the 1970s but does anyone know of the exact year? Was it 1972?

EDIT: And sorry about the 15-month bump of this thread. :smile:

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Thread still going strong.

I know that batting helmets became mandatory in the 1970s but does anyone know of the exact year? Was it 1972?

EDIT: And sorry about the 15-month bump of this thread. :smile:

It was 1971 but were used as far back as the '40's.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Upon searching for something else yesterday, I came across a few things that may be interesting. To add to Redosox's post:

BILL BYRD

On July 4, 1942 - In the eighth inning of an 8-4 Negro League victory over the Newark Eagles at Yankee Stadium, Baltimore Elite Giants spitball ace Bill Byrd beans Eagles manager Willie Wells. Wells was carried from the field, and the incident causes him to design a batting helmet. When he steps into the batter's box Thursday he will be wearing a modified construction worker's hardhat.

Bill was an excellent pitcher during his career.

He played for the Columbus Blue Birds, Nashville Elite Giants, Cleveland Red Sox, Homestead Grays, Columbus Elite Giants, Washington Elite Giants and Baltimore Elite Giants from 1933 to 1950.

His appearances in five East-West All-Star games are exceeded only by Leon Day and Hilton Smith, both Hall of Famer’s.

More information:

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Bill_Byrd_1907&page=summary

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And to answer Redsox's quetion in more detail:

Helmets were made mandatory in 1971 but were in use by many players as far back as the 1940s.

Roger Bresnahan Started it in 1905

Hall of Fame Catcher Roger Bresnahan played between 1897 - 1915. Bresnahan most notable contributions to the game were in protective equipment. In 1905 after getting "beaned" in the head with a baseball began experimenting with head gear similar to the leather football helmet of the period that were made by A.J. Reach. Sliced vertically: one half for covering the left side of a right handed batter's head, the other for the lefty hitter. Two years later in 1907 he devised catcher's shin guards.

He was the only catcher using them. Ignoring the ridicule, it was not thought to be gentlemanly to use them. By 1909 the design was refined, and became accepted, and more wildly used. I will leave a link below for more information. -Steven KeyMan

Taken from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_did_people_start_using_baseball_helmets

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Spaceman" Bill Lee

"Spaceman" Bill Lee pitched 14 years in the big leagues, all for the Boston Red Sox and the Montreal Expos. The winner of 119 games, he won 17 three times in a row in 1973-75. In 1973, his ERA was third-best in the league and he made the All-Star team.

In his time, Lee was famous as a character, but many of his funny sayings had a big grain of truth in them. Here's some:

"Baseball is the belly button of society. Straighten out baseball and you'll straighten out the rest of the world." - Bill Lee

"The lefthander's first good look at the leftfield wall, the Green Monster in Fenway, is an automatic reason for massive depression. And that's when it's viewed from the dugout." - Bill Lee, when he pitched for the Red Sox

[ol]- Lee was at USC from 1966-68 (Tom Seaver had been there in 1965). By June 1969 Lee was already up in the majors. [/ol]

[ol]- Bill Lee's aunt Annabelle Lee pitched in the AAGPBL and a perfect game in '44.. [i'm assuming League of Their Own is based on Lee and the AAGPBL][/ol]

[ol]- In 1989, Lee played for and managed the Winter Haven Super Sox of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He was fired as manager after losing six of seven games and was replaced by Ed Nottle. He remained on the team's pitching staff and went 3-9 with a 4.96 ERA as well as playing 1st base at times. Lee batted .262 in 42 at-bats.[/ol]

[ol]- In 1990 he played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He pitched in 7 Games and was 2-1 with 2 saves with a 3.79 ERA when the league folded. [/ol]

[ol]- Lee estimates he still throws 200 innings a year playing in over-40 leagues in New England. [/ol]

[ol]- At one time, Lee wanted to change his number to 337 since it would spell Lee upside down. [/ol]

[ol]- He was known to throw a "Space Ball" or "Leephus" pitch. A version of the eephus pitch. [/ol]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I would love to see how the "Space Ball" was pitched. He was born in 1946 and if he was still pitching 200 innings a year (as of a few years ago), that means he was almost 60 years old. G*d bless him.

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Glad this thread got new life in it. I am sure a lot of people either forgot about it or didn't know about it.

Reading meteamo's post about the creation of the batting helmet got me to recalling the first time the warning track was put into baseball outfields.

It was because of a play that happened back in 1942 to a little known (in today's standards) Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder named Pete Reiser. This guy was a player who had it all. A complete five tool player. Leo Durocher once said of Reiser that he had everything you could want from a ballplayer except luck.

Well, in a 1942 game, Reiser went full speed into a concrete wall. He was an all out player and unfortunately for him he ran into walls on more than one occasion. He once fractured his skull by doing this. You see, when Reiser was playing, the walls were not padded and there was no indication of getting close to the wall when going back for a fly ball that the warning track gives you.

After Reiser got hurt, the warning track was put in to give the outfielders the notification they needed that the wall is coming up in a hurry.

If you have ever watched the movie "Eight Men Out" you will see a warning track in the outfield in that movie. It's an inaccuracy as that movie is based in 1919, twenty-three years before Reiser got hurt.

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He was an all out player and unfortunately for him he ran into walls on more than one occasion.

Two thoughts ...

1) I thought you said he had a tendancy for running into walls. LOL

2) I was thinking "thank G*D he didn't play at Wrigley" but then you said the wall he ran into was Concrete. Ouch.

Imagine if they didn't have warning tracks now. Or even helmets.

:wall:

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Sometimes it's still hard to imagine the Expos are not around anymore. They many have never won a pennant but they developed some of the best players this game has seen.

BASEBALL; One Last Goodbye In Montreal for Expos

On a wall of the Pie-IX Metro station beneath Olympic Stadium is a blue, white and red sign advertising Expos Baseball, which is presented at the top of the escalator, usually before small audiences.

But the colors of the logo are smudged and faded, and the word baseball has been partly obliterated. Chances are good that the sign will not be repainted. Its remnants may remain, however, as an archeological artifact, like a drawing on the wall of a prehistoric cave.

For unless there is a sudden and unexpected shift in the boardroom momentum of Major League Baseball, the Montreal Expos' game Wednesday night against the Florida Marlins will be the final home game in the 36-year history of Canada's first major league team.

Although no announcement has been made, major league executives are trying to transfer the franchise to Washington for next season. Though a move has long been expected, the reality of an imminent departure is hitting home with local loyalists.

''It's like you have a family member that's really sick, and you anticipate the death,'' said Pierre Arsenault, a Quebec native and Montreal resident, who used to be the bullpen coach for the Expos and now serves in the same role for the Marlins.

''It's sad. It really feels like this might be it. It might be the last time we ever set foot in Olympic Stadium to play a major league ballgame. My son is 5 years old. This is all about kids in the province that love baseball who won't have idols to come and watch. It's deeper than having a team leaving.''

He spoke Monday night after 3,923 fans watched Florida beat Montreal, 4-1. A crowd of more than 25,000 is expected for Wednesday night's finale in baseball's most peculiar place, where the announcements are made in French, then English; where the foul lines are marked large in meters and smaller in feet; where the retractable roof does not retract; and where bilingual shouts bounce around empty sections, off the ceiling and across the artificial turf.

The Expos were born amid optimism in 1969 and named after the world's fair called Expo '67, when the city was flush and ascendant. Montreal and Canada were avant-garde. Pierre Elliott Trudeau was a dashing prime minister, Joni Mitchell sang poetic songs and American draft dodgers headed for the border during the Vietnam War.

Even the Canadian dollar then was sometimes worth more than its Yankee counterpart. Now, just as the currency has declined, the team has regressed into a low-budget orphan of the sport, an ownerless ward of the baseball court, having spent the last three seasons on financial life support.

For the players, a change of scenery might mean stability and a fresh start. For the past two seasons, the Expos have scheduled 22 ''home'' games in Puerto Rico. At Monday's game, pitcher Joey Eischen said it was disappointing that so few people came to say goodbye when some tickets, at $10, cost about the same as a pack of Canadian cigarettes.

Brian Schneider, the Expos' catcher and player representative, said that the resolution of the team's status ''is going to be a relief for a lot of people,'' but that major questions were still unanswered.

''Now, hopefully, they can come up with an owner,'' Schneider said. And he added: ''You can't forget about the city of Montreal. They're losing a lot.'' He said Tim Raines, a former Expos star and now a coach, said it best when he observed that many fans had grown up with the team and would find it hard to say goodbye.

''The crowd will be loud and rowdy, but at the same time, there will be a lot of sad thoughts and a lot of good memories leaving a lot of people's heads,'' Schneider said. ''It's going to mean a lot for me. This is the team that drafted me. It's going to be tough.''

This franchise and this city have always provided baseball with oddity, variety and diversity. The Expos played their first eight seasons at Jarry Park, a minor league stadium in a public recreation center. It had a swimming pool behind the right-field fence.

Dave Van Horne, the Marlins' current radio announcer, was the original broadcaster for Expos. He recalled the April morning of the first home game, when the general manager rented folding chairs from a funeral supplier and placed them along the left-field line for customers.

''The frost had not come out of the ground, and running on the dirt portion of the infield was like running on sponge,'' Van Horne said. ''So the Cardinals and Expos would run on the grass portion because it was a little firmer. They beat the Cardinals that day and the town went bonkers.''

The new team represented a city that had embraced black stars like Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella on its minor league team, the Royals, before those men of summer integrated the major leagues.

Long before Hispanic players were common on some rosters, the Expos aggressively recruited talent from Latin America. A former Expos manager, Felipe Alou, was one of the first Latinos in that position on a major league team.

The current general manager, Omar Minaya, is the first Hispanic at that position. ''Montreal welcomed minorities in baseball,'' said Minaya, who was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in Queens. ''That's why I love the franchise and the city. It bothers me when people say this is a hockey town only. It was such a good baseball town. You kind of ask yourself: 'What happened? What went wrong?'''

Montreal's ethnic and cultural attitudes are also part of the reason the franchise failed, according to Tony Tavares, the team president, who cited what he called ''the French-English thing.''

He said the threat of Quebec separatism in recent decades drove some corporate headquarters from Montreal to Toronto, where English speakers, and their wealth, were more welcome.

''They basically crowned Toronto the business capital of Canada,'' said Tavares, who has also worked in the hockey business. ''It hurt not only this business, but all business. We're a different market today. The fan base is very loyal. There's just not enough of them.''

But even at the peak of the separatist movement, the franchise drew more than two million fans in four of five seasons between 1979 and 1983. The only year below that was the strike-shortened 1981, when the Expos made their only playoff appearance, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers one game short of the World Series.

Their last brush with glory came in 1994, when they had the best record in baseball before the season was halted by a strike that canceled the World Series. After that came a downward spiral in which they shed young stars like Pedro Martínez in what people here call ''the fire sales.''

The quest for new ownership brought Jeffrey Loria, who used the team as leverage to barter for ownership of the Marlins in 2002. Some of Loria's former partners have accused him of racketeering, alleging that he purposely devalued the Montreal franchise, which went a full season without English broadcasts on radio or television.

The case is pending. Efforts to build a new stadium downtown fizzled and the current edifice, built for the 1976 Olympics and filled with blue and yellow chairs, is a grotesque example of the ''What were they thinking?'' architecture that once blighted the sports landscape.

''A grandiose idea,'' Tavares called the stadium. ''It was designed by a French architect who had never designed a stadium before. The roof was a reverse umbrella that had never been done before. The first time they opened it, they couldn't get it closed again. They have spent somewhere in the magnitude of $250 million on repairs of this roof over the years. That almost would have got you a new stadium.''

Although Washington is now set to get a third chance at major league baseball, there is little hope among the diehards that Montreal will ever get another team. Two of them, Frederic Leduc, and his wife, Martine, sat along the third-base line on Monday and discussed their romance with baseball and with each other. He is a machinist; she works in the music business.

Friends introduced them five years ago, and their first conversation included baseball. She told him that Alou, then managing the Expos, should learn French. He said it was not so important. Their courtship involved baseball dates, they were married this spring and they spent their honeymoon traveling to five cities to watch baseball games.

Frederic said he had a picture of himself from his first Expos game, in 1978, when his parents took him to ''sit in the nosebleed seats.'' Now, he and his wife attend 50 Expos games at home each year, they said, and spoke of why they love the game.

Frederic: ''I like the sound of the bat. Even when they are warming up, it's fun to watch them throw the ball. It is very relaxing. It's so empty, there is no noise in here. Sometimes you can hear the ball hit the glove of the catcher in the bullpen.''

Martine: ''I love the home-plate relays, the double plays, the exciting plays. And there is no time factor. It's the complete opposite of hockey and other games. No clock. We could be here until midnight.''

Frederic, wearing his red Expos hat, said they would follow the sport after the Expos leave, but he said he was not sure how closely. ''I guess I will still be a baseball fan,'' he said, ''but they are stealing our team.''

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Funny fact, don't know if this would happen today, but one fact i don't think many of you here know is that the Mets traded for Harry Chiti in exchange for a player to be named later. That player ended up being Harry Chiti. Thus, Chiti was, in a sense, traded for himself.

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Some pitchers have had standout years that most of us can recall because it has gone down in baseball lore. Bob Gibson in 1968. Ron Guidry in 1978. Greg Maddux in 1995 for example. But one that does not get a lot of attention is what Steve Carlton did in 1972 for a last place Philadelphia team. Read on.

In 1972, the Phillies had a record of 59-97 for a .378 winning percentage and they finished 37 1/2 games behind the pennant winning Pirates. It was a bad team no matter how you looked at it. But the Phillies did one thing right that year and it happened in the off season. Rick Wise was having contract troubles with the Phillies and by a stroke of luck, Steve Carlton was having the same for the St. Louis Cardinals. So on February 25th of that year the two ballclubs decided to get rid of their problem players and Wise was traded to St. Louis and Carlton to Philadelphia.

Bad move as it turned out. But hold it. Not so fast yet.

Carlton started his first year in Philadelphia strong as he began 1972 with a 5 - 1 record and then proceeded to lose five games in a row as his record dropped to 5 - 6. This proved to be Carlton's only lowpoint of that season. After he lost his fifth consecutive game he then won 15 games in a row before losing again. In his final eleven decisions of that year, he went 7 - 4 to finish with a 27-10 record with a 1.97 ERA. He completed 30 of his 41 starts that year and had eight shutouts and struck out 346. All for a team that came within an eyelash of losing one hundred games.

What did Rick Wise do for the Cardinals? He went 16-16 with a 3.11 ERA. He only spent two years in St. Louis before being traded to the Red Sox after the 1973 season.

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Funny fact, don't know if this would happen today, but one fact i don't think many of you here know is that the Mets traded for Harry Chiti in exchange for a player to be named later. That player ended up being Harry Chiti. Thus, Chiti was, in a sense, traded for himself.

John MacDonald was traded from the Jays to the Tigers for a player to be named later. It also turned out to be him! :) Cool.

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John MacDonald was traded from the Jays to the Tigers for a player to be named later. It also turned out to be him! :) Cool.

Really? When did this happen?

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Not sure if this belongs here or not but I have a little history with a personal touch.

My cousin Ed Farmer actually pitched in the 1980 allstar game in LA. He pitched for the White Sox among many other teams throughout his 11 years in the bigs. Obviosly, that was his best year where he was their closer and ended up with 30 saves and a 3.34 ERA. He's now the color guy on radio for the White Sox and has been for many years. Just thought I'd share, and wondered if any of you guys remember him.

His nephew Tom Farmer now pitches for the Dodgers AAA team in Las Vagas.

It's kind of cool following his success and hopefully he'll make it to the big leagues soon.

Your cousin is one of my favorite radio broadcasters. I lik ehow he calls the game, adds first person insights, knows when to be quiet and let the action/crowd come through the radio, and doesn't feel the need to sound lik an "NFL announcer" or spew signature or cliche phrases all the time. He's a throwback to Harwell, Karas, etc ... and that's a BIG compliment.

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I like it. Very nice idea for a forum.

I would like to mention the Negro Leagues, simply because very few baseball fans know much about it, and to be honest, I don't know a great deal myself.

Until further notice (Or until I have more time), the only things I would like to pass on are:

Satchel Paige: Greatest pitcher of all time.

Josh Gibson: Greatest power hitter of all time. He isn't the black Babe Ruth, Babe Ruth is the white Josh Gibson!

Bow down.

I love Negro League history, and living in KC for 6 years (home of the Negro League Hal of Fame) as well as being a big reader of Bill James (also a KC native) has allowed me to obtain a lot of negro league history.

THe Negro Leagues are always difficult to analyse, because of the confusion about the stats (sometimes they kept great stats, sometimes they didn't) and well, it's two different associations (Negro League and MLB).

What we KNOW is that there were some VERY good players in the Negro Leagues. What we don't know, and what we don;t even need to address is who was better [1] <specific negro league star> or [2] <specific MLB star>. Engaging in that type of debate only sets up the framework for one to denigrate another star to make a point ... a point in which we likely can never know because very few of us were around, or saw both leagues, and have the knowledge/talent to evaluate players of seperate leagues.

We can appreciate that Josh Gibson and Babe Ruth were the best power hitters of day, along with Gehrig and others, without drawing some arbitrary line (especially when race is involved).

I do like that Bill James gives so much respect to the Negro Leagues in his all-time lists, and does so because he (more than others) is willing to learn about the Negro Leagues, rather than omitting them from such lists because he "doesn;t know about them". But, a lot of the commentary on Negro League stars is akin to someone on the HoF verterans committee commenting on a former teammate ... ther eis almost always some leeway and embellishment taking place.

What we do know for a fact is that a league that is inclusive to all players, has a much greater talent pool than one without. Thankfully, in our modern era, we are able to see great white, black, hispanic/latin, and Asian players, side by side, and head to head.

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