Friday, July 13, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
IBWAA NAMES BASEBALL PROSPECTUS’ STACEY GOTSULIAS HONORARY CHAIRPERSON
Los Angeles – In celebration of its ninth anniversary Wednesday, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) is proud to announce the naming of Stacey Gotsulias, baseball writer for Baseball Prospectus, as Honorary Chairperson of the organization.
Gotsulias has written for many New York Yankees blogs over the years, and her work has been featured at FanRag Sports, ESPN.com, USA Today Online and The Hardball Times. She serves as the Editor-In-Chief at BP Bronx, a local Baseball Prospectus site, and she recently took over as the new managing editor of Locked On Yankees. She has been a weekly columnist for Baseball Prospectus’ main site since 2017, and she provided the Yankees player comments for the 2018 edition of the Baseball Prospectus Annual. A New York native, she lives in the New York City suburbs with her family and a clowder of felines.
Gotsulias, who succeeds Dayn Perry of CBS Sports as the organization’s fifth honorary chair, will announce the results of each IBWAA election via social media and generally champion the group’s efforts during a one-year term. Her successor will be named . Previous honorary chairs include ESPN.com’s Jim Caple and David Schoenfield, and Tom Hoffarth, of the Los Angeles Daily News.
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Pedro Moura, Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris, The Athletic; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck, Billy-Ball.com; Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times; Jon Heyman, FRSSports.com; Tyler Kepner, New York Times; Danny Knobler, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Brian Kenny, MLBN; Will Leitch, New York Magazine; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com; Tom Hoffarth and J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.com; David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; and Bill Arnold.
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a $75 lifetime fee. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.
For more information please visit ibwaa.com.
For more information please visit ibwaa.com.
Founding Director, IBWAA
Founding Director, IBWAA
13 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Jackie Robinson
By Harvey Frommer
With hype and hullabaloo in the air over the 2018 All Star Game and all of its sidebars, my thoughts somehow turn to Jackie Robinson, a six-time all star and my all-star of all stars. Much is known about him, but there are quite a few things that are not. For your Number 42 consciousness raising:
1 BACK OF THE BUS
July 6, 1944, Texas –Lieutenant Jack Robinson boarded a Southwestern Bus Company bus and sat next to a fellow officer’s fair-skinned wife. The bus driver thought she was white but she was an African- American. He ordered Robinson to the back of the bus. The lieutenant, whose military career had been spotless until then, refused to move. He suggested the driver concentrate on his driving.
The two men snapped at each other all the way to the next bus stop. An angry crowd of racist civilians and military police officers crowded around the bus. Robinson knew about lynching in Texas but showed no fear. One of the military policemen urged him to go to the police station with him. When they got there, another white officer ran up to the car and asked if they had “the nigger lieutenant.” Robinson told the men that he would “break in two” the next person to use that word.
Thirteen depositions were recorded stating that Robinson had behaved badly. He was court-martialed. Enlisting the support of boxing champion Joe Louis, a friend, and also contacting the Secretary of War’s Office asking for advice and help, Robinson was put on trial. He was finally acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury of officers but was banned deployment overseas to the World War II battlefronts. He never saw combat during the war.
2 FIVE PRIME YEARS LOST
Jackie Robinson did not play baseball for five prime years. From his last game for UCLA game in 1940 to his first game for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945, Robinson’s time was spent playing pro football and serving in the military.
3 BASEBALL WAS NOT HIS BEST SPORT
A tremendous all-around athlete, baseball was arguably Robinson’s fourth best sport. It was his worst one at UCLA where in his only season playing baseball, he batted .097. His throwing arm was not that strong or that accurate.
4 OLD FOR A ROOKIE
When Number 42 broke baseball’s color barrier, he was a 28-year-old rookie.
5 SHATTERING THE COLOR LINE
On April 15, 1947 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, 26,623 fans—an estimated 14,000 of whom were black — came out for Opening Day. Attendance was 5,000 lower than the year before home opener. The Brooklyn Eagle story claimed lowered attendance was due to a smallpox scare and the suspension of manager Leo Durocher.
JONATHAN EIG: (Author of Opening Day) But everyone knew the real reason. White Brooklynites were not accustomed to being surrounded by black Brooklynites, and they were not eager to discover how it felt.
6 LARGEST SATURDAY AFTERNOON CROWD IN NL HISTORY
On April 19, Dodgers vs.Giants, Polo Grounds, boosted by a huge turnout from Harlem, 52,355 fans—the largest Saturday afternoon crowd in NL history—came to see and cheer on Jackie Robinson. He had a big day hitting, fielding, running. After the game, Jackie and Rachel had dinner near the Polo Grounds at Bowman's Café and Grill in Harlem’s . Autograph seekers, picture takers and the restaurant owner picking up the bill highlighted Jackie’s entering his age of celebrity.
7 THE LONELY MAN
After the two-games at the Polo Grounds, the Dodgers traveled to Boston. Both games with the Braves were snowed out. Robinson spent most of his time in the Kenmore Hotel room. A local baseball writer found the black pioneer sitting alone on his bed in a darkened room, “A lonely guy... it’s no fun to see a man fighting against odds that seem almost insurmountable,” the writer wrote describing the enormity of what Robinson was up against and giving insight into his life.
8 STRONG FRIENDSHIP WITH LARRY DOBY
Robinson and Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians, the first African-American baseball player in the American League, were close friends.July 5, 1947 broke the league's color barrier less than three months after Robinson so he was “the second.” They spoke on the phone frequently to each other, sharing their experiences about racism during the season.
9 HELP FROM HANK GREENBERG
The Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg’s final season was Jackie Robinson’s first. A Jew, a great star, he experienced much anti-Semitism. He almost immediately befriended Robinson who benefitted from his counsel and friendship. Robinson reported that Greenberg treated him with respect and said words of support to him.
10 APOCHRYPHAL PEE WEE REESE MOMENT
There is a statue of Reese and Robinson outside the playing field of the Brooklyn Cyclones in Coney Island to commemorate a moment that probably never happened. At a game in Cincinnati after hearing racial slurs hurled at Robinson, the Southern born Reese allegedly put his arm around Robinson in a show of support.
There is no mention in newspapers, and according to Newsweek no mention of it can be unearthed. Ken Burns, creator of the documentary on Robinson, calls the moment “mythology. Rachel Robinson was opposed to that statue and suggested that another moment be found.
11 ONE OF FIRST BLACK LEADING MEN IN THE MOVIES
Playing himself in the 1950 film, The Jackie Robinson Story, Number 42 became one of the big screen’s first black leading men. A low-budget effort, the movie was a good performer at the box office. Robinson garnered positive reviews for his acting and gained even more national exposure.
12 USING A PUBLIC OCCASION TO PUSH PRIVATE AGENDA,
Invited to attend the second game of the 1972 World Series and throw out the ceremonial first pitch, the 53-year-old Robinson at first rejected then accepted provided he would be able to speak.
He was not happy with MLB’s efforts to back hiring of black managers.
“As long as they keep digging down and hiring guys who have already failed in one city, I’m not encouraged,” Robinson told the Baltimore Afro-American
Told he would be able to speak, Robinson relented and used the opportunity and wide forum to push his agenda to see one day “see a black face managing in baseball.”
13 STRONG FREINDSHIP WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING
The extraordinary duo were fast friends, communicated with each other often and had great respect for each other. The same was not true for Malcom X who Robinson did not respect.
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan,Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer, a professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.
His Ultimate Yankee Book has been called by critics “the Ultimate Baseball Book.” http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Yankees by the Number - Part II
The 2018 Yankees are putting up all kinds of fabulous numbers in their bid to get into the World Series, For those of you who enjoyed Part I – here are more fabulous Yankee numbers. Enjoy
Number worn by Bernie Williams for sixteen Yankee seasons. He is one of 13 players to wear No. 51. His tenure was the longest, 1991-2006. Two future Hall of Famers who wore that number on other teams — Ichiro Suzuki and Randy Johnson — were given other numbers as Yankees. Williams was given No. 51 because an equipment manager thought he played like Willie McGee, the Cardinal great outfielder at the time who wore the number.
The first Yankee to wear this number was Johnny Lucadello in 1947. C.C. Sabathia has worn the number since 2009.
Doyle Alexander in 1976 played his only season with the Yankees and wore Number 52.
Don Mattingly, most doubles in a season by a Yankee, 1986
Mariano Rivera saves in 2004, new team record, third-highest total in AL history.
Most road wins in a season, 1939
Mickey Mantle, most home runs by switch hitter, 54 in 1961
“Goose” Gossage and Aroldis Chapman, shared this number many years apart.
Number worn by Hideki Matsui in tribute to Japan’s legend Sadaharu Oh’s record 55 home runs in a season.
Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak included 56 singles and runs scored.
Number assigned to Jim Bouton in spring training 1962. When it was obvious that the rookie was going to make the team, he was given #27. But Bouton wanted to keep #56 to "remind me of how close I was to not making the team."
"You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." - Jim Bouton
Dave Righetti's rookie number.
The 1927 Yankees won 57 games at Yankee Stadium tying an American League record.
Joe DiMaggio allegedly lost out on $10,000 when his streak ended at 56 games; Heinz 57 ended pending endorsement deal.
Mariano Rivera's original number.
Stolen base percentage of the 1927 Yankees, fifth in the league. With their power, base stealing was not a priority.
Juan Rivera was the last Yankee to wear this number, 2002-2003
Babe Ruth’s record setting home run total produced 100 RBI’s.
The film 61* was shot in Detroit, not Yankee Stadium. Filmmaker Billy Crystal explained that the look of the ballpark there resembled the 1961Yankee Stadium more closely than the current Yankee Stadium at the time of the film’s shooting in 2000.
Number of strikeouts Allie Reynolds recorded in 15 World Series games.
During his 56 game hitting streak, Joe DiMaggio hit safely against 63 right-handed pitchers.
On August 13, 1995, Mickey Mantle died of complications from liver cancer at the age of 63.
Original number given to Bernade Figueroa “Bernie” Williams, 1991
Original number given to Bernade Figueroa “Bernie” Williams, 1991
The number of games Mickey Mantle played in 12 World Series.
Highest salary reportedly paid to Phil Rizzuto, 1951. That is $600,000 in today’s dollars.
Yankee players who wore number 66: Steve Baboni, Jim DeShales, Juan Miranda, and Andrew Brackman, J.R. Murphy
Dione Navarro and Dellin Batances wore this number for Yankees.
Alan Mills in 1990 wore this number for the Yankees.
Yogi Berra, most career hits in World Series
Games won by Highlanders in their first season.
Babe Ruth set a major league record by homering twice in a game seventy-two times.
Mariano Rivera earned his first save on May 17, 1996 against the Angels at the Stadium. Andy Pettitte got the win. Rivera saved 72 of Pettitte’s wins, a record for any starter/closer combination.
Gary Sanchez wore this number in 2015.
Franchise record for stolen bases set by Fritz Maisel in 1914, broken by Rickey Henderson in 1985.
Derek Jeter wore No. 74 in his first spring training in 1994. The next year Yankees equipment manager Rob Cucuzza gave Jeter No. 2.
"Give him 2; he's going to be special." – Buck Showalter
Yogi Berra appeared in seventy-five World Series games, most in baseball history.
Humberto Sanchez wore this number in 2008.
A 10-5 triumph over Oakland on August 4, 1998 in the second game of a doubleheader gave the Yankees 80 wins in their 108th game, earliest in franchise history.
No one ever wore this Yankee uniform number
Most times caught stealing in a season, 1920, a franchise record.
Of 158 home runs hit by the 1927 Yankees, 83 were hit at Yankee Stadium
Number of pitches David Cone tossed in perfect game, July 19, 1999 - 68 strikes and 20 balls.
The Yankees and the Orioles played to a 1-1 tie September 30, 2001, in 15 innings, the 89th tie in franchise history. It was Cal Ripken's last game at Yankee Stadium.
The fewest errors in a season – 1996 Yankees
Number worn by Alfredo Aceves
Most stolen bases by a Yankee in a season, Rickey Henderson, 1988
Yankee World Series strikeout leader in 22 games, 146 innings
Dave Righetti’s no-hitter on July 4th, was pitched on a day temperature at the Stadium reached 95 degrees.
Although part of the first Hall of Fame inductee class, Babe Ruth was strangely not voted in unanimously. He received 95.1% of the votes
Dan Topping, Larry MacPhail and Del Web Topping purchased this percentage of Yankees from Jacob Ruppert estate in January of 1945.
Don Larsen used this number of pitches to hurl his perfect game against the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium in the 1956 World Series.
The highest uniform number ever issued by the New York Yankees went to Charlie Keller (1952) and Brian Bruney (2009).
Only two Yankee clubs have lost more than 100 games in a season: 1912, 50-102, 1908, 51-103
Babe Ruth on September 24, 1920 hit his 100th home run. It was off Washington's Jim Shaw.
Derek Jeter became along with Earl Combs and Ted Williams, the only one to score a hundred runs in each their first seven seasons.
About Harvey Frommer
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone.
A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com.
He is the author of the acclaimed The Ultimate Yankee Book http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html
FENWAY PARK FLASHBACK
The joy and passion and full houses and winning ways now on parade at Fenway Park all are a sharp contrast to the way things once were at the little ballpark in most of the 1960s.
There are still those around who recall that time, some with mixed emotions.
Sam Mele: I came into Fenway a lot when I managed from 1961 to 1967. My home was still in Quincy, Mass., so I slept in my own bed. It was funny. I was managing against the team that I loved.
In 1965, we beat Boston 17 out of 18 times, eight out of the nine at Fenway. It actually hurt me, to beat them. I felt sorry because in my heart I was a Red Sox fan. I had played for them, I had scouted for them. Tom Yawkey would come in my office. And we would talk a lot. Oh yeah, geez, he had me in his will."
The losing, the miserable attendance, the doom and gloom that pervaded Fenway was on parade big time on the 16th of September, 1965. The tiniest crowd of the season made its way into Fenway Park—just 1,247 paid and 1,123 in on passes. Dave Morehead opposed Luis Tiant of the Cand Indians.
Fenway was a ghost town of a ball park in 1965, when the team drew but 652,201—an average of 8,052 a game.
The worst came late in the season. On Sept. 28 against California, only 461 fans showed to watch the sad Sox. The next day was even worse against the same team—just 409 in the house. Finishing ninth in the 10-team American League, the Sox lost 100 games and won 62. The nadir had been breached.
Managers kept coming and going. Top prospects somehow never made it for one reason or another. Billy Herman was in place as the 1966 season started. Early on Dave Morehead, just 24 years old, regarded as a brilliant future star, suffered an injury to his arm and was never the same. Posting a 1-2 record in a dozen appearances, he symbolized the Red Sox of that era—promise but pathos.
In 1966, the Sox lost 90 games and finished ninth. Attendance at Fenway Park was 811,172, an average attendance per game of 10,095. It was pitiful.
Jim Lonborg: The 1967 season started off as a typical Red Sox season. There were 8,324 fans on a cold and dreary April 12th Opening Day. We won, 5-4. Petrocelli hit a three-run homer. And I got the win.
The next day there were only 3,607 at the ballpark. And then we went on a road trip. We came back having won 10 straight games. And when our plane landed there were thousands of fans waiting at the airport. That moment was the start of the great relationship between the fans and the players.
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field.
A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com
Adapted from Frommer Archives