Do cameras still use hot-shoe flash attachments?

Anyway, this was going around Facebook yesterday so I thought I’d pass it along.

For only $3,995, you can be the first kid on the block to own this (the link brings you to the page where each of the 134 cards are identified):

http://siarchives.si.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/AnselAdams1-300x209.jpgFirst edition, first and only printing. 134 photo-offset lithographic reproductions of photographic portraits printed on individual “trading cards,” with an additional card including a complete checklist of participating photographers. Photographs by Mike Mandel. Texts, statistics and quotes by the respective artists printed on verso (e.g., Ed Ruscha: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is right in your own backyard;” Bobby Heinecken: “…Critics often misspell his last name, hence he is often mistaken for the European beer player.”). Each card 3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches. Lithographic reproductions printed by Mike Roberts, Berkeley, California. The cards were originally packaged with sticks of chewing gum by Topps Chewing Gum, Brooklyn, New York. In 1975, Mike Mandel traveled around the U.S. with baseball equipment and uniforms to produce a series of portraits of important and influential photographers, curators, art historians and critics. (Note: My emphasis) The resulting cards were, and still are, traded by those in the field. Out of print.

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Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message.

On with the show…

Here are the top ten baseball books as per Amazon.com, as of this posting.

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way”, which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main. For the sake of brevity, I will be omitting the subtitles, which have become ridiculously long in in some cases in recent years, also at my discretion.

  1. Jeter Unfiltered, by Derek Jeter.
  2. Glory Days in Tribe Town: The Cleveland Indians and Jacobs Field 1994-1997 , by Terry Pluto and Tom Hamilton
  3. Hardball Times Annual 2015, by Dave Studenmund
  4. The Closer, by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey (Bookreporter.com review)
  5. Derek Jeter: Excellence and Elegance, by The New York Times
  6. Triple Crowned: The San Francisco Giants’ Incredible 2014 Championship Season, by Bay Area News Group
  7. 2014 World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants, by Major League Baseball
  8. Derek Jeter #2: Thanks for the Memories, by David Fischer
  9. The Bill James Handbook 2015
  10. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis

A book about the Cleveland Indians at number two? The Cleveland Indians? All it would have taken was one more Jeter book to knock Moneyball out of the top ten for the first time probably since I’ve been doing these Friday updates.

Not on this list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die, although it is doing a bit better of late. Still, ya’ll are gonna do something about that, right? Amazon just got a new shipment and the holidays are just around the corner.

If you have read it, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page. Doesn’t have to be long (or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it), but anything would be appreciated. And thanks to those who have :) .

 

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Sad that more and more of the ballplayers I grew up with, and whose cards I collected, are passing away.

http://www.1960sbaseballprofilesnl2.info/attachments/Image/ray_sadecki.jpgThe latest, Ray Sadecki, died Monday at the age of 73.

Sadecki was a reliable lefty with a lifetime record of 135-131 and a 3.78 ERA for six teams in his 18-year career. He made making his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals as a 19-year-old in 1960, pitching to a 9-9 record. His best season came with the Cardinals in 1964 when he led the World Champions with 20 wins but received no votes for the Cy Young Award (in those days only one trophy was handed out for both leagues.)

He also pitched for the San Francisco Giants, NY Mets, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers.

Sadecki wasn’t a bad hitter, either, with five home runs, 56 RBI, and a .191 batting average.

Kind of surprised the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn’t have anything on this, at least not yet.

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It’s only money

November 18, 2014 · 0 comments

But so much of it.

http://www.buckeyestatesports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Stanton.jpgGiancarlo Stanton, the slugging sensation for the Miami Marlins, just signed a 13-year contract for $325 million.

Let me repeat: 13 years, $325 million.

That’s an average of $25 million per year.

That’s about $154,000 per game.

Until he’s 38.

Let’s say each ball game equals a single work-day (no double headers) and that Stanton plays every game (he has never played in more than 150 games in a season in his five-year career). So that means he gets about $154,000 per work day.

Let’s see, over the course of a calendar year, Joe Sixpack works roughly 244 days — 365 minus weekends and holidays and assuming a two-week paid vacation (which is really 10 days). According to the American Community Survey, “The ACS 2011 U.S. median household income was $51,324 and the ACS 2012 U.S. median household income was $51,371.” Lets round that off to $52,000, just for convenience. So that works out to $213 a game, I mean day.

Just an observation.

By the way, I’m sure there have been studies about the inefficacy of long-term contracts, but I’ll leave them for you to find. Oh, all right, just this one then (warning: that link downloads as a PDF file, so don’t click unless you’re willing to go through all that).

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Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message.

On with the show…

Here are the top ten baseball books as per Amazon.com, as of this posting.

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way”, which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main. For the sake of brevity, I will be omitting the subtitles, which have become ridiculously long in in some cases in recent years, also at my discretion.

  1. Jeter Unfiltered, by Derek Jeter.
  2. Triple Crowned: The San Francisco Giants’ Incredible 2014 Championship Season , by Bay Area News Group
  3. 2014 World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants, by Major League Baseball
  4. The Closer, by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey (Bookreporter.com review)
  5. The Bill James Handbook 2015
  6. Derek Jeter #2: Thanks for the Memories, by David Fischer
  7. Glory Days in Tribe Town: The Cleveland Indians and Jacobs Field 1994-1997 , by Terry Pluto and Tom Hamilton
  8. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  9. Derek Jeter: Excellence and Elegance, by The New York Times
  10. Giants of October – San Francisco 2014 World Series Champions

Giants-Giants-Giants. Jeter-Jeter-Jeter. It’s  like the friggin’ Brady Bunch.

Another publisher jumps on the Giants bandwagon.  And the long-awaited Jeter Unfiltered is upon us. I wonder if it will be “full-strength” or watered-down. Does anyone really expect any revelations or dishing the dirt now that he’s retired?

And a book about the Cleveland Indians? As much as I like Pluto’s work (I guess he has more time now that he’s been declassified), what’s the market for that one, given its time-frame of just four years?

Not on this list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die, although it is doing a bit better of late. Still, ya’ll are gonna do something about that, right? Amazon just got a new shipment and the holidays are just around the corner.

If you have read it, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page. Doesn’t have to be long (or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it), but anything would be appreciated. And thanks to those who have :) .

 

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The pepperpot player and manager died today at the age of 92. I’m guessing this was expected, considering how quickly his obituary appeared on Robinson Funeral Home site.

http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mHJvwRFc8A_kjOpNMD6WRDA.jpgDark had a 14-year career in the Majors, beginning with the Boston Braves in 1946. After a two-year stint in the military, he returned to the Braves, winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. He subsequently played for NY Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies before returning to the Braves, who had since moved to Milwaukee. A three-time All-Star, Dark retired with a .289 batting average, 126 home runs, and 757 RBI

He led the San Francisco Giants to a pennant in 1962, although he famously had troubled with many of his Spanish-speaking players. He also skippered the Kansas City Athletics and Cleveland Indians before taking the job with the As again, this time in Oakland, where he won the World Series in 1974. He won the AL West again the following year, but the As lost to the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs and Dark was gone. He had one more managerial shot– 113 games with the San Diego Padres in 1977.

Dark published his memoir, When in Doubt, Fire the Manager, with John Underwood, in 1980.

UPDATE: The New York Timesobituary by Richard Goldstein.

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Every spring I get a press release from the New Jersey Institute of Technology announcing the latest predictions about the upcoming baseball season, the work of Bruce Bukiet, associate professor of mathematical sciences.

From the 2014 release:

Bukiet, who developed a mathematical model for calculating expected MLB win totals that was published in Operations Research, forecasts a mere 68 wins and a last-place finish for the Metropolitans.

Bukiet’s model can be used to project the number of games a team should be expected to win, the optimal batting order for a set of 9 batters, and how trading players will likely influence a team’s number of wins. “This all began when I, because I am not very big or powerful, set out to prove that a singles hitter who gets on base frequently would contribute more to winning than a slugger who strikes out a lot,” Bukiet recalls. “What I found was the opposite—the slugger will generate more wins.”

Unlike sports pundits who ostensibly use, you know, knowledge about the game to pull their win expectations out of the air, Bukiet relies on math! Let’s see how he did.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

East

Team Bukiet Expected Wins Actual wins/Finish
Nationals 94 96 / First
Braves 90 79 / T2
Phillies 79 73 / Fifth
Marlins 69 77 / Fourth
Mets 68 79 /T2

 

Central

Team Bukiet Expected Wins Actual wins/Finish
Cardinals 95 90 / First
Brewers 86 82 / Third
Reds 82 76 / Fourth
Pirates 76 88 / Second*
Cubs 57 73 / Fifth

 

West

Team Bukiet Expected Wins Actual wins/Finish
Dodgers 95 94 / First
Giants 88 88 / Second*
Diamondbacks 83 64 / Fifth
 Padres 82 77 / Third
Rockies 67 66 / Fourth

AMERICAN LEAGUE

East

Team Bukiet Expected Wins Actual wins/Finish
Red Sox 96 71 / Fifth
Rays 86 77 / Fourth
Yankees 86 74 / Second
Blue Jays 82 83 / Third
Orioles 73 96 / First

 

Central

Team Bukiet Expected Wins Actual wins/Finish
Tigers 99 90 / First
Royals 82 89 / Second*
Indians 80 85 / Third
White Sox 65 73 / Fourth
Twins 63 70 / Fifth

 

West

Team Bukiet Expected Wins Actual wins/Finish
As 93 88 / Second*
Angels 87 98 / First
Mariners 87 87 / Third
Rangers 85 67 / Fifth
Astros 55 70 / Fourth

* Wild Card

With a handful of exceptions, Bukiet was wrong on most of the win totals, but how can you predict exact outcomes, so we’ll give a pass on that? On the other hand, he was correct with the order of finish for just one division.

“There are some unknowns that the model can’t incorporate in projecting team win totals before the season, such as rookie performance and trades that have not yet occurred, but, sadly for my Mets, the forecasts have been very accurate,” Bukiet noted. In fact, Bukiet’s preseason expectations for the Mets have been within 3 games of the win total attained by the team in 9 of the last 10 seasons.

As Bukeit said, there are things for which you cannot account,including injuries, off-seasons by those players who had traditionally been solid, etc. But how do you explain the Boston Red Sox, predicted not just by Bukiet but many others, to be a powerful presence? The AL East was one topsy-turvy division.

(And sorry to disappoint yo0u with the Mets winning 11 games more than predicted, Bruce.)

Of his annual projections, Bukiet said, “I publish these to promote the power and relevance of math. Applying mathematical models to things that people care about or enjoy, like baseball, shows that math can be fun as well as very useful.”

Bukiet also puts out a press release once the playoff-bound teams are set, but, really, if he couldn’t predict some of them to even be in the post-season, how can he be trusted to call it now? For me, I often find math the opposite fun fun and quite frustrating.

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian is the only media person I’ve ever heard to admit with great self-deprecation how wrong he had been in season predictions. Otherwise the hubris wafts through the air like fertilizer.

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He’s got a little list.

November 12, 2014 · 0 comments

I participated in this seemingly futile exercise to determine “The 25 most important people in baseball,” as posted by the Baseball Past and Present blog.

Not players. Not executives. Not men. People. This opens the door for the consideration of personalities like Effa Manley, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Eleanor Engle, Hilda Chester, Ila Borders, Jackie Mitchell, etc. I may have missed a few and I’m not counting the write-in votes.

Among the authors and writers on the list:

  • Kearns Goodwin
  • Bill James
  • Jerome Holtzman
  • Roger Angell
  • Daniel Okrent
  • David Halberstam
  • Red Smith
  • Dick Young
  • Harold Seymour and Dorothy Seymour Mills
  • Ersnhaw Cook
  • Gary Gillette
  • J.G. Taylor Spink
  • Jim Bouton
  • John Thorn
  • Jules Tygiel
  • Roger Kahn
  • Sam Lacy
  • Susan Fornoff
  • Wendell Smith

Some of these like Fornoff (first women reporter in locker room) and Cook (wrote a very complicated book on baseball stats), the average fan would have to look up. And if you have to do that, how important can the person be?

But maybe I’m way off base. How many can name the person who invented the mircowave oven of the personal computer?

Thoughts?

With all due respect to the gentleman who came up with this idea, his list is ridiculous. Some of these writers have turned out excellent books, but even I wouldn’t say that makes them among the most important baseball personalities.

On the other hand, who’s to say? It does engender conversation, even if that conversation is “artificial,’ Born out of frustration.

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Because you can certainly put trophies on your bookshelf.

Ian Kinsler lost to Boston Red Sox Dustin Pedroia for the American League Gold Glove Award for second basemen. He did, however, pick up the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award. The Gold Gloves are award by Rawlings, a sporting goods company and one of Wilson’s rivals.

Not for nothing, but I’m getting a bit tired of every little thing being sponsored by an advertiser. I know that’s how teams make money but it’s getting kind of obnoxious and breaks the flow of the conversation. There’s actually a scholarly paper on the topic I recently downloaded (warning: the process is a bit arduous).

But none of this should take away from Kinsler’s happy news. Mazel tov!

http://nbchardballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/screen-shot-2014-04-02-at-5-02-49-pm.png?w=320

 

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Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message.

On with the show…

Here are the top ten baseball books as per Amazon.com, as of this posting.

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way”, which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main. For the sake of brevity, I will be omitting the subtitles, which have become ridiculously long in in some cases in recent years, also at my discretion.

  1. The Bill James Handbook 2015
  2. 2014 World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants, by Major League Baseball
  3. Triple Crowned: The San Francisco Giants’ Incredible 2014 Championship Season , by Bay Area News Group
  4. Derek Jeter #2: Thanks for the Memories, by David Fischer
  5. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  6. Baseball Prospectus 2015 (February publishing date)
  7. Derek Jeter: Excellence and Elegance, by The New York Times
  8. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams
  9. 2015 Baseball Forecaster: An Encyclopedia of Fanalytics, by Ron Shandler (January 1 publishing date)
  10. The Closer, by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey (Bookreporter.com review)

Surprise, surprise. Quickie-productions celebrating the Giants’ latest championship. And now that the season is over, it’s time for fantasy heads to start planning for the 2015 campaign, hence the popularity of two titles that won’t even be available for at least a couple of months.

Not on this list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die, although it is doing a bit better of late. Still, ya’ll are gonna do something about that, right? Only eight (!) copies left on Amazon — and the holidays are coming up.

And if you have read it, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page. Doesn’t have to be long (or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it), but anything would be appreciated. And thanks to those who have :) .

 

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The former Diamondback, Yankee, and As pitcher died last Friday as the result of fall in a climbing accident. The exact circumstances surrounding his demise remain unclear after an autopsy.

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From the editors of Spitball Magazine, here are the finalists for the 2014 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year:

  • Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson, by Doug Wilson
  • The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title that Became a National Obsession, by Rick Huhn
  • The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball’s Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption, by John Rosengren
  • Jackie and Campy: The Untold Story of Their Rocky Relationship and the Breaking of Baseball’s Color Line, by William C. Kashatus
  • Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life, by Dennis Snelling
  • Mover and Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball’s Westward Expansion , by Andy McCue
  • A Nice Little Place on the North Side , by George F. Will
  • Nolan Ryan: The Making of a Pitcher, by Rob Goldman
  • Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876-1950, by Scott Simkus
  • Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, by Kostya Kennedy
  • Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball, by Roger Kahn
  • 1954: The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever, by Bill Madden

Congrats to all the worthy authors for their contributions to baseball lit.

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Wonder of wonders

"Oddballs"

Not a hard-core comic book guy, so I don’t quite get why there are two new books about the breakthrough DC character — the 75th anniversary doesn’t come for another couple of years –  but in thumbing through Jill Leopre’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, I discovered there was baseball content in the second […]

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Baseball best-sellers, Oct. 31

2013 title

Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message. On with the show… Here are the top ten baseball books as […]

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Because you can put a finger on your bookshelf

"Ripped from today's headlines..."

What is this, Sons of Anarchy? Former major leaguer-turned-writer Jose Canseco accidentally blew off his middle finger while cleaning a handgun. Naturally, there’s all sorts of early speculation on the severity of the injury. Some source are saying only that he shot himself in the hand, without the particulars. Another book in the future?   […]

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Guest column: Keeping your eyes on the ball.

Equipment

Glasses and goggles have always played an important role in the lives of athletes, especially throughout the history of baseball. Over the years, countless baseball players have increased both skill and sportsmanship with the use of glasses, eventually transitioning into sports goggles. These glasses and goggles changed the way athletes saw the ball and reacted […]

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Class is in session: Marty Appel to teach NYU course on Yankees

2012 title

When 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die came out last year, I had the hopes than in addition to being read just for the sake of reading, it might be incorporated into colleges and high school classes about literature, sports, humanities, etc. I still do and maybe someone out there reading this […]

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You ask, we answer

baseball and religion

In yesterday’s post about “Baseball and books — What’s the connection?”, a reader asked about the painting I used as a graphic element. Here’s what I found out thanks to the good people at lds.org, the website for the Latter Day Saints. Their response to my on-line query: “Young Joseph Fielding Smith Studying the Book […]

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Baseball Game of Thrones

"Oddballs"

Proving that you can connect any two things. Also an older link, which might have been more topical had I posted a month ago, but right now it’s down to Jaime Lanister vs. Bran Stark. This worked out pretty well: GoT has a lot of royalty in it and also a couple of giants. I […]

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If you have to ask…

Uncategorized

Still trying to catch up on some older links, but this one in particular caught my attention. Nick Taylor, who blogs about books on the Palo Alto online site, asks “Baseball and books — What’s the connection?” [W]hy do readers prefer baseball? It’s not a rhetorical question. I really don’t understand. It might have to […]

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