From the category archives:

“Ripped from today’s headlines…”

(Note: I published this piece on one of my other blogs, The Worried Journalist. Just call me Double-Duty Kaplan.) When I was a kid I once got in in trouble for spending twice my allowance because I bought the latest issues of Baseball Digest and The Sporting News on the way back from running errands. […]

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One of the last “Boys of Summer,” Branca probably knew how his obituary would begin immediately after he gave up “the shot heard round the world” to Bobby Thomson. This was the topic of Joshua Prager’s The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World. Here’s […]

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Tyler Kepner published this story in today’s NY Times about the new batch of players eligible for Hall of Fame consideration. I totally agree with his assessment that most of these fellows will not meet the five-percent of votes needed to remain on next year’s ballot. The only names that jumps out as a possible/probable […]

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Goodness knows they deserve it given their long history of going without a championship, but how many new Cubs books are too many? Actually, even their failures have done well for them in terms of literature. There have been almost as many titles — if not more — lamenting their shortcomings as there have been […]

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NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on […]

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Stick it, Chief Wahoo

November 9, 2016 · 0 comments

I wonder what our president-elect things about politically-questionable team mascots, characters, and logos? Where do you think he comes down on the Cleveland Indians’ famous Chief Wahoo? The timing is a bit off; the time to bring this up was during the season. But it reminded me and those of my fellow boomers might also […]

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NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on […]

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What is it, two days after the Cubs won the series and while compiling the (usually) weekly list of baseball best-sellers, there are publications about the team that weren’t even listed when I did my search for items coming down the pike (although, to be strictly accurate, I was basically looking at 2017 items). So […]

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To have such an impact on such high-caliber players all these years later, that’s a great legacy. The New York Times‘ Bill Witz published “Cubs’ Win Comes With an Assist From Another Era,” which is basically a tribute to The Science of Hitting, originally published in 1971 by Ted Williams and John Underwood (who also […]

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Back in 2005, Bill Simmons published Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN’s Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help From Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox. (He issued a revised edition when they won again a few years later). Now that the Chicago Cubs have battled their way to the […]

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Life imitates art?

June 30, 2016 · 0 comments

Several weeks ago, I posted about Pitch, a new TV show coming to FOX this fall. It’s the story about the first woman player in the Major Leagues. Well the Sonoma Stompers aren’t exactly the Show, but they are a pro outfit. They recently signed two women to their roster. Tomorrow night, Kelsie Whitmore (below, […]

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The actor Alan Young passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday. Baseball connection? Several of the Dodgers, including Sandy Koufax, John Roseboro, Willie Davis, and Moose Skowron appeared as themselves, as well as the voice of Vin Scully.  

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Overlooked this from a couple of months ago. From “Sports Money” on Forbes.com, dated March 3, 2016: Major League Baseball has discontinued publishing the Green and Red Books, two media guides that provided scores of data on teams for a given season, plus historical information. According to the article by Maury Brown, the powers that […]

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It strikes me that Baseball Is a Funny Game, originally published in 1960, was that generation’s Moneyball. It was reissued several times and was a perennial favorite, so look for it to kick up a notch on the sales charts along with It’s Anybody’s Ballgame and Just Play Ball, published in 1988 and 2007 respectively. […]

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Poor relations

March 3, 2016 · 0 comments

Guess I wasn’t born into the right family. You know, the kind that squirrels things away in the attic, totally oblivious to their importance. Case in point: “Family finds not one but 7(!) 100-year-old Ty Cobb baseball cards” “Fortune” indeed.

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One of the last great nicknames, Walt “No Neck” Williams died Jan. 23 at the age of 72. Williams debuted with the Houston Astros in 1964. He returned after another couple of years in the minors, spending six of his 10 big league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. He also played for the Cleveland […]

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One of the great ambassadors of the game, Monte Irvin passed away last night at the age of 96. Irvin was member of that generation of African-American ballplayers who suffered greatly as they integrated the game. Jackie Robinson was the first and most famous, and sometimes men like Irvin and Larry Doby don’t get the […]

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I was surprised when I saw the invitation from the Baseball Hall of Fame to attend their press conference introducing Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. as their newest members-elect. By my way of thinking, the ranking goes something like this: The MLB Network ESPN Sports Illustrated New York Times Wire services TV Networks Local […]

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Piazza published a memoir, Long Shot (with Lonnie Wheeler), in 2013, but I wonder if there will be something rushed out to commemorate the honor. Same for Junior, although there really hasn’t been an “adult” book on him.

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As I was preparing for my appearance last week on the MLB Network, a macabre though kept going through my head: Just my luck, Pete Rose would decide, given the recent decision by Commissioner Rob Manfred to keep the lifetime ban in place, that he had nothing left to love for and would commit suicide […]

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