Friday, December 11, 2020

New Roads to the Show

On Wednesday, the 30 Major League Baseball teams "invited" four teams each to form their respective minor league systems beginning in 2021. (Whether or not there will be a minor league baseball season next year has yet to be determined.)

The next day, as it so happened, I wore my Kansas City Royals "The Road to the Show" t-shirt. This wasn't a statement. It simply reflected a need to do laundry and the casual dress code that goes along my staff working remotely due to COVID-19, leaving me the only one in the office.

When I undressed that night, I noticed that my shirt has become a record from another time.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Out at Home

Well, today is the day when, theoretically, we would have been able to say, with all the usual fine print, that we had seen every affiliated baseball team, in both the major and minor leagues. We’d be in Las Vegas, watching the 51s and the Salt Lake Bees. We’d also be melting, as it is currently 427 degrees Fahrenheit in Nevada. Just imagine what it would be like if climate change was real! (Note: it is real.)

We had four trips planned: a short one that I was calling the Piedmont trip; yet another Appalachian trip; a Great Plains route; and then the oft-plotted northern California–Nevada finale. I had visions of inviting everyone we’d ever seen a game with to the big closing day, today. Of course, that’s not how things turned out. More reflections over the jump.


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Baseball In the Time of Coronavirus

At the end of July, into early-August, I took a trip that included a couple of baseball games and destinations in-between. It was a weak substitute for the four or five trips Melvin and I once planned for the 2020 season.

dinosaurs everywhere, not just in Florida

For one, Melvin wasn't there. And this wasn't professional baseball but a collegiate summer league. Finally, almost every stop I made that weekend was by necessity outdoors and isolated from other people.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Jon Meacham on Jackie Robinson

In yesterday's book review section, the New York Times published an essay by biographer Jon Meacham on Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson, the Dodger first baseman who broke the color barrier in modern-era major league baseball.

Jackie Robinson, 1952. Carl T. Gossett Jr./The New York Times

Meacham contrasts the "redemptive and transporting" tale of Robinson as "secular saint" with the "vastly more complicated" truth told in the player's 1972 memoir “I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography” and his earlier book, “Jackie Robinson: My Own Story,” published in 1948.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Glory Days

On this day in 1952, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported,

“Few sandlot hurlers can boast more than one no-hitter, but Fred Wilpon of the unbeaten Blue Jays turned in the rare feat of tossing two Hall of Famer performances in a row in the Senior National Division of the Kiwanis Baseball League. Wilpon, a right-hander who hurled at Abraham Lincoln High, twirled his second no-hitter at the expense of the Bengals, 11-0.”

Do players from the Kiwanis Baseball League go to the Hall of Fame?

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"What follows contains no opinion. It is merely a catalog of media reports from publicly available sources, many of which cite sources of their own...."

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Its like a season-long rain delay.

When MiLB President and CEO Pat O'Connor announced on Tuesday that the 2020 season is canceled, he was only making official what has been long anticipated.

What is especially disappointing for Melvin and me is we hoped this would be the year when we could say, however briefly, "We have seen every stadium and team in affiliated baseball."

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dinosaurs and More Along Interstate 4

Before the Coronavirus put major and minor league baseball on hold (at best), Melvin planned to return to Florida on his own this weekend to see the Dunedin Blue Jays and Florida Fire Frogs at, respectively, their renovated and new stadiums.

When Melvin told me about his planned jaunt, I thought that might be a timely occasion for me to revisit my 2013 solo trip to the Sunshine State. The fact that he ultimately stayed home seemed insufficient reason for me to abandon the concept. After all, everyone else is broadcasting games of yesteryear.

Happy they were; April 17-21, 2013

It was a compact trip; seven games in five days and four nights. It was also a very enjoyable itinerary, which made me hesitant to write about it at the time. Questioning if there was anything in Florida worth seeing, Melvin opted out. How awkward, then, to report that those five days were pretty awesome.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Jackie Robinson Day 2020

Today is Jackie Robinson Day. Like so many events right now that are usually celebrated in person, we will need to go online to collectively observe the date when Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke into the major leagues in 1947.

Like Jackie in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series, lots of you are safe at home, preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. And if you are an "essential worker," thank you for your service. You don't need to wear a hospital gown or a uniform (or 42 on your jersey) to be a hero.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Joe Henry is not dead

Or, the Baseball Byways winter meeting.


Melvin, Watson and I met in Chicago to see singer-songwriter-producer Joe Henry at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Joe performed half of his new album, The Gospel According to Water. From memory (and not in this order) we recall hearing "Famine Walk," the title track, "Mule," "Orson Welles," "In Time For Tomorrow," "The Fact Of Love" and "Bloom."

He also played the title track from Trampoline (1996), "Odetta" from Reverie (2011) and for his encore, "Gentle on My Mind," the 1967 Grammy award winner made popular by Glen Campbell, and "Don't Let Your Baby Down" (John Prine, 1980). Of course, what mattered is not what Joe played but that he did.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Moving the Goal Posts at the Jackie Robinson Museum

Originally announced to open in 2010, the anticipated debut of the Jackie Robinson Museum was revised a year ago to December 2019. I recently went to the Jackie Robinson Foundation's website and the museum is now—