July 24, 2010
Nearing the 600-homer club Torii Hunter was 16 in the summer of 1992 when he first met Alex Rodriguez , then a star high school shortstop from Miami, at a Junior Olympics tournament in Boise, Idaho. "He was 6-foot-3, he was the only one using a wood bat — a taped-up wood bat, I'll never forget it — and he hit one 430 feet," the Angels center fielder said last week at Yankee Stadium. "I went back to Arkansas and told everybody, 'Hey, there's a guy named Alex Rodriguez who is going to be the best player ever.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 21, 2010 |
Clint Hartung, a pitcher and outfielder with the New York Giants who became a bit player in one of the most dramatic moments in baseball history, has died. He was 87. Hartung was on third base when the Giants' Bobby Thomson hit a home run off the Brooklyn Dodgers' Ralph Branca in the third game of a 1951 playoff to win the National League pennant. Hartung died July 8 in Sinton, Tex., a spokeswoman for the Ritchea-Gonzales Funeral Home confirmed. No cause was given. Stardom had been predicted for Hartung when the Hondo, Tex., native came to the Giants in 1947.
July 10, 2010 |
Bo Jackson led off the 1989 All-Star game at Anaheim Stadium with a 448-foot home run, a majestic moment in the history of the Midsummer Classic. A look at some others: 1933: It's the first All-Star game, and Babe Ruth hits the first home run. 1934: Carl Hubbell strikes out Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in order. 1949: Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe, Roy Campanella and Larry Doby break the All-Star game color barrier. 1955: Stan Musial hits a walk-off home run — not that the term had been invented yet — as the NL erases a 5-0 deficit and wins, 6-5. 1970: Pete Rose knocks over Ray Fosse to score the winning run, separating Fosse's shoulder.
June 3, 2010 |
Please, Bud Selig , for the love of Armando Galarraga , Jim Joyce and justice-seeking baseball fans: Expand the use of instant replay before the sport is embarrassed anew. … Galarraga, Joyce and Detroit Tigers fans all exhibited remarkable sportsmanship considering the circumstances. … Galarraga, believe it or not, was the 10th pitcher to lose a perfect game with two out in the ninth inning. … If you were born after March 31, 1975, when John Wooden coached his last game, UCLA has won one NCAA basketball championship in your lifetime.
April 4, 2010 |
In 1970, a journeyman pitcher published a memoir with an innocuous subtitle: "My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues." Written by Jim Bouton (with help from sportswriter Leonard Shecter), "Ball Four" took readers to a heretofore verboten place, offering a controversial, inside-the-bullpen glimpse of drinking, womanizing and drug use in the major leagues. Bouton was just one of a murderer's row of authors who were simultaneously establishing a brand new territory of contemporary baseball lit. Consider: Robert Coover's "The Universal Baseball Association, Inc."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2010 |
When you think of Babe Ruth, you might picture a newsreel shot of him bashing a home run in Yankee Stadium and then trotting around the bases on those surprisingly skinny legs of his. But one Southern California city also "had a part" in the Babe's colorful career, author Tim Grobaty points out. Long Beach arrested the Sultan of Swat on Jan. 22, 1927 -- for the crime of autographing baseballs for kids. There was more to it than that, of course. But not much more. As Grobaty tells the story in his book "Long Beach Almanac," Ruth was in town to perform three shows at the old State Theater near the Pike amusement park.
January 31, 2010 |
The reviews of Don DeLillo's last few novels put me in mind of the sports journalist who, after a certain Yankee game, wrote, " Babe Ruth was not able to make any home runs." Critics of "The Body Artist," "Cosmopolis" and especially "Falling Man" seem to want DeLillo to be the Babe Ruth of novelists, to keep writing "Underworld" and "Libra," those long, magisterial books about big American events. Such people will probably not regard his new novel, "Point Omega," which weighs in at not much more than 100 pages, as a literary home run. Yet "Point Omega" is a splendid, fierce novel by a deep practitioner of the form.
September 6, 2009 |
Jim Thome took his baseball and went home. He didn't want to. He had no choice. He was snowed in. He and his father would have to visit the Hall of Fame some other time, in better weather, for a special delivery. Baseball players are not responsible for historic preservation. Hit a milestone home run, sign the bat or ball, let the Hall of Fame worry about getting the artifact in hand. That would not do for Thome, not for a baseball that meant so very much to his family.
September 4, 2009 |
The records may say otherwise, but the Dodgers haven't been the best team in the National League for quite awhile. . . . Oddsmakers have noticed. . . . According to odds posted at bodog.com, Andre Ethier & Co. are the No. 3 pick to win the National League pennant behind the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals. . . . In the American League, the Angels are the third pick behind the World Series favorites -- Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees -- and their October nemeses, the Boston Red Sox. . . . Scott Kazmir won't help the Angels if they don't help him. . . . A Sports Illustrated poll of 380 major league players determined that Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson is the game's chattiest on-field conversationalist.
May 10, 2009
All-time home run leaders. Through Thursday: -- Rank Player (age if active) HRs 1. Barry Bonds 762 2. Hank Aaron 755 3. Babe Ruth 714 4. Willie Mays 660 5. Ken Griffey (39) 613 6. Sammy Sosa 609 7. Frank Robinson 586 8. Mark McGwire 583 9. Harmon Killebrew 573 10. Rafael Palmeiro 569 -- -- Rank Player (age) HRs 11. Reggie Jackson 563 12. Alex Rodriguez (33) 553 13. Mike Schmidt 548 14. Jim Thome (38) 545 15. Mickey Mantle 536 16. Jimmie Foxx 534 17. Manny Ramirez (36) 533 18. Willie McCovey 521 Frank Thomas 521 Ted Williams 521 --