Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A swat of the "Larry" variety

The reports from Philadelphia, Pa. state in part:
A printing trades baseball league, composed mostly of the book and job offices in our city, is under way. If the contemplated league is as successful as the one of ten years ago, the boys will get all the outdoor exercise they need. One of the main factors in the success of the morning newspaper league was "Curley," and every one knows how enthusiastic he is at a baseball game. It is said that at one time he was short a regular player, and he had to recruit from the spectators. The "recruit" was put into left field, and not having the good fortune to play on enclosed grounds, they were not of the billiard table order, for scattered here and there were small ponds. Well, the game had not progressed very far before a swat of the "Larry" variety came sailing into the "recruit's" territory and landed in the middle of one of the aforesaid ponds. The new player, who had on his street clothes, and his best, did not jump into the stagnant pool for the ball, and the manager all the while kept yelling excitedly: "Get the ball; never mind your $9 pants."
-- from the Typographical Journal, July, 1902.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fierce Foreheads

The girls from New Mexico have awoken from their mid-summer slumber and have offered up a challenge to all bloggers.
send us a picture of your fiercest forehead baseball card--preferably one in your collection.
Well, being a rule breaker (and they like rule breakers) I'm offering up three of them from my personal collection. And one of them plays football. Gasp.

Dennis, doffing his cap, showing his noggin at the 1991 All-Star Game.

1992 Upper Deck, Dennis Martinez (card #365)

Darryl, dressed sharply for a power lunch. Always good to have the cap riding high for a power lunch. That, and rumor has it that the girls admire Strawberry cards.

1991 Score, Darryl Strawberry (card #864)

Is he or isn't he? He's back in uniform, but for Minnesota. He went 1 for 1 for 13 yards this evening. Remember, it isn't the hat, but the forehead underneath the cheese.

1996 Pinnacle, Brett Favre (card #200)

So, I'm not going to make it easy. Patricia and Lucy can select any one of these (or all of them) to add to their voting scheme.

Oh, Patricia, a small horde of smashed pennies are collecting dust on my dresser. Look for them soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Minors Moniker Madness - A Winner

Rowdy Hardy is your 2010 winner. He joins previous winners Dusty Napoleon (2009), Will Startup (2008), and Houston Summers (2007).

Rowdy plays for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA), where he has a 4-1 pitching record.

His actual name is Lenny Franklin Hardy. So, let's give it up to the new champion, Rowdy Hardy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

E. T. Phone Home

Google Books has a nice copy of Successful Farming, from 1916. The cover from the February issue shows a pilgrim wannabe defending the hen house, probably from some wily fox.

The magazine is filled with such interesting articles as, "On the Trail of the Eggs", "Beauty and Utility in Silos", and the ever gripping, "Sanitary Hog Quarters". They also have wonderful advertisements for such useful items as automobiles, boots, tires, seed, and baseball cards. Yep, on page 145, right below an ad for ACME Quality Paints is the following:

They were promotional cards, with advertising on the back. They were akin to the 1916 M101-5 series from The Sporting News.

I've copied the entry from the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. From the info on the back of the card shown, it would appear that to get the complete set, a child would have to coerce his father into subscribing to Successful Farming for seven years, at the whopping cost of $1.00.

Successful Farming started out in 1902. It is still in publication.

And who was the man behind this magazine?

None other than Edwin Thomas Meredith. Mr. Meredith was born in 1876 and died in 1928 at the age of 51. For 13 months (Feb. 1920 to Mar. 1921) he was the US Secretary of Agriculture, serving under President Woodrow Wilson. After his time as Ag Secretary his publishing company also produced Fruit, Garden, and Home. That later became Better Homes and Gardens.

Here's an image I snagged from eBay a while back, when I was doing some research for this post.

Thanks, E.T. Meredith, for having the savvy to promote your magazine with baseball cards. Collectors the world over thank you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Minors Moniker Madness - The Finals

That's right, the finals are upon us.

It is Rowdy Hardy, a number 2 seed from the Farmer Works Bracket, against Seth Schwindenhammer, a number 15 seed from the Natty Nattress Bracket.

Go vote. What are you waiting for?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Century of Ballparks

98-026 Ponce de León Park - Atlanta, Georgia

I was visiting the Book Eddy this morning, purchasing books for Edison who is a sophomore this year. You know the kind of books... Great Expectations, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm. At the checkout counter they have a few boxes of postcards. Being frugal, I gravitated towards the "10 for a dollar" box.

98-005 Cleveland (Municipal) Stadium - Cleveland, Ohio

I found 22 unused postcards of ballparks. According to the back of the cards, they were published by Vic Pallos of Glendale, California. The photos on the cards are from a variety of collectors and libraries. The cards I purchased have a number ranging from "98-001" to "98-030". The cards are standard size, 5-1/2" x 3-1/2".

98-025 Wrigley Field - Los Angeles, California

I've assembled a partial checklist:

98-001 League Park I - Cleveland, Ohio
98-002 League Park I - Cleveland, Ohio
98-003 League Park II - Cleveland, Ohio
98-004 League Park II - Cleveland, Ohio
98-005 Cleveland (Municipal) Stadium - Cleveland, Ohio
98-006 Braves Field - Boston, Massachusetts
98-007 Braves Field - Boston, Massachusetts
98-008 Braves Field - Boston, Massachusetts
98-009 Fenway Park - Boston, Massachusetts *
98-010 Fenway Park - Boston, Massachusetts *
98-011 Fenway Park - Boston, Massachusetts
98-012 Ebbets Field - Brooklyn, New York
98-013 Griffith Stadium - Washington, D.C.
98-014 Busch Stadium - St. Louis, Missouri *
98-015 Busch Stadium - St. Louis, Missouri
98-016 Nicollet Park - Minneapolis, Minnesota
98-017 *
98-018 Nicollet Park - Minneapolis, Minnesota
98-019 Nicollet Park - Minneapolis, Minnesota *
98-020 Lexington Park - St. Paul, Minnesota
98-021 Lexington Park - St. Paul, Minnesota
98-022 Midway Stadium - St. Paul, Minnesota *
98-023 Polo Grounds - New York City, New York *
98-024 Polo Grounds - New York City, New York
98-025 Wrigley Field - Los Angeles, California
98-026 Ponce de León Park - Atlanta, Georgia
98-027 Parkway Field - Louisville, Kentucky
98-028 All Sports Stadium - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
98-029 *
98-030 Dudley Field - El Paso, Texas

A * indicates that I don't own it. I was able to use eBay listings to find some info on the missing cards. I assume that card number 98-017 is of Nicollet Park, but I haven't seen it yet.

There is no copyright date on the cards, but based on the numbering system, I'd toss out a guess that they were issued in 1998.

98-006 Braves Field - Boston, Massachusetts

For a nice selection of postcards about sports venues, visit StadiumPostcards.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gint-A-Cuffs update

Ban B. Johnson says:
Saunter on over to the official Gint-A-Cuffs site for an update on some scoring rules and an extension of the contest.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blogging at Smokies Park - Ninth Inning

Okay, I totally messed up my posting times. I am not blogging in the future. It is still in the bottom of the eighth. Sorry.

Several of the men in the press box are starting to take down their computers.

Trivia Time: Did you know that in 1978 Tony LaRussa lead the Smokies to a 88-56 record? They were 32 games over .500 and went on to be the Champs that year. Now look where he is.

Blake Parker is now pitching for the Smokies.

Between innings they crowned a new Rock, Paper, Scissors champion.

Game over. 13-3.

I'd like to thank the entire Smokies organization for all of their assistance.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Eighth Inning

I should have mentioned this before, but you can listen to the game via the radio or the web. Hop on over to the Smokies Radio Network.

Gary Gillette and Rod Nelson watching the game, taking cryptic notes.

Aaron Shafer has entered the game as the pitcher for the Smokies. The score is 7-3, Smokies still leading.

I've just been informed that the official attendance for tonight's game is 2,283.

Robert Hinton has come in to pitch for the Stars.

Tony Campana is batting. Full count. 1 out. And he took the fourth ball. And he just stole second. Wild throw. He looked to third, but didn't try.

Since the Smokies are the AA team for the Cubs, the TV in the press box was tuned to WGN. There was a game on. I assume that it was the Cubs. But after the game was over, WGN went into the usual Sunday evening lineup. I got to watch some of the Smokies game with Becker in the background.

Tony scores on a Blake Lalli hit to left. Score is now 8-3.

Wild Pitch brings in another run. 9-3.

E-5 scores another run. 10-3.

Tony Thomas hits a long ball to left field, clearing the bases. 13-3. Will this inning never end? Core Contrarian might have nailed the final score.

A 6 run inning by the Smokies might have clinched this one.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Seventh Inning

Middle of the seventh. The baritone sang "God Bless America". As before, the whole press box stood and gave their attention to the flag. When "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" started, everyone set down.

Score is still 7-2.

Tony Campana practicing his timing.

At the end of 7, Huntsville has 9 hits, 2 runs and are errorless. Tennessee has 7 hits, 7 runs and 2 errors. See kids, you can make mistakes and still win.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Sixth Inning

Middle of the sixth already. But I'm eating a nice slice of ham, mashed potatoes and some green beans, courtesy of the Smokies.

The score hasn't changed. Still 7-2 in favor of the Smokies.

Pitching change for the Stars. Jeremy Jeffress. A right hander. The first batter he'll face is Brett Jackson.

Kyle Smit is warming up in the Smokies' bullpen. Last year Smit was in A ball.

Strange to be eating hot food with the windows open and the temperature on the scoreboard is showing 88. Some of the pitchers might hit that for speed. Actually, Jeffress just threw a 94 mph pitch. And then a 95 mph.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Fifth Inning

Yet more talks with Rod Nelson. Middle of the fifth. The SD card is now in the laptop. Score is still 7-2.

Steve Clevenger (38) crossing the plate.

Tonight is Rock Paper Scissors Night at the old ballpark. The lucky winner gets the belt.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Fourth Inning

I took some photos and have had a nice chat with Rod Nelson. I also met Gary Gillette. He's the co-editor of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia.

Score is 7-2 at the end of the 4th. Pictures up soon.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Third Inning

Retaliation time. Rusin hits Brett Lawrie. The top of the inning is over. I haven't gotten any photos. But more talk with Rod Nelson.

Blogging at Smokies Park - Second Inning

I just met Rod Nelson. Rod is a fellow SABR member. He is the editor of the fabulous Emerald Baseball Guide.

And the top of the second inning is over. A double play ended it.

Then, as most minor league teams do between team changes, they have wacky games to involve the fans. Tee Shirts are being shot at a high velocity into the crowd.

Chris Rusin, the pitcher is up to the plate. Chris hails from Detroit, but lives in Canton. Foul tip and he's out. Tony Campana is up. He just put a nice bloop down the third base line, but got thrown out at first. Brett Jackson. Again. They've gone around the lineup. And Brett just hit a homerun, so he's around again, as well.

Score is now 6-2. Mark Rogers either lost control on his next pitch or was a bit frustrated and put Russ Canzler on first with a HBP. The ump had a few words with him. We'll see what happens. Not much. End of the second. I think I'll wander around and get some photos.

Blogging at Smokies Park - First Inning


The first pitches are just starting. Luke Sommer caught it, a bit outside. I didn't hear who the young gentleman was that threw it, but he had a good arm.

The sky has that nice blue. The press box is a bit warm, what with the windows open looking down on the field. There are big fluffy clouds in the sky. About eight minutes until the game starts. The Smokies are playing host to the Huntsville Stars.

Mark Rogers, a rightie, will be starting for the Stars. Chris Rusin, a leftie will go for the Smokies. This will be the first time these pitchers have started against each other. There's a reason for that. Rogers will be starting his 21st start of the season, Rusin, his second.

In the series (going back to 1985), the Stars have the lead, 195-180 (.520). Last night the Smokies downed the Stars 9-2. This is an important series for both teams as the Smokies lead the Stars by 2 games in the Southern League North standings.

Seeing as how I've never blogged about a game live, we'll see how this goes.

I'd like to thank Rennie Leon, Director of Communications for the Smokies, for his assistance.

The National Anthem has been sung, rather competently by a baritone/tenor, without accompaniment.

Rusin has warmed up to the tune of Rocky Top. Love to be in Tennessee.

First batter, Caleb Gindl, first hit of the game. Then Brett Lawrie tried to bunt him to second. Foul. Last evening there were 6,949 fans here. Tonight? Not so much. Lawrie punches one to short left field. Runners on first and second.

Zealous Wheeler pops out. First and Third. For more info on the Smokies, visit their official website, SmokiesBaseball.com.

I'm seeing that this is much more difficult than I imagined. I've lost track of the batters. But the score is 1-0, Stars. Taylor Green almost hit into a double play. Almost. Now the score is 2-0, Huntsville.

Tony Campana is the first up to bat for the Smokies. Tony and I are related by marriage a few times. My wife is related to his step-grandmother. I spoke with Joyce (his grandmother) earlier this week. She's very proud of his accomplishments. And he just got some contact, but was thrown out at first.

Brett Jackson, RF, is up. No, that was quick. Russ Canzler, 3B is now up. And he walked. Blake Lalli is up. 1B. Count is 2-2. Full Count. Okay, now some of the bases are loaded. I missed something.

I guess I was over at the spread of food that they have for the press. For real up to date info, look at the Game Day link from the Smokies' site. Steve Clevenger just took 4 balls and a run was pushed in. Score is 1-1.

Brandon Guyer was up. The Core Contrarian just commented and I missed the play because I was finding out that he likes Rocky Top. Next thing I know, Brandon takes the ball long and the Smokies are up, 5-2, with 1 out in the bottom of the first.

And now the first inning is over.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Upcoming Event

Due to a bit of moxie on my part and generous cooperation on their part, I will be blogging the Tennessee Smokies game on Sunday, August 8th. I'm not sure of the exact format that I'll be using, but I'll have a go at it. The game starts at 5pm, Eastern. The Huntsville Stars will be there. I hope that you'll drop by for an inning or two.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Big Six Game

I've become somewhat fascinated with the Big Six game that finally sold for $300 at the latest Huggins & Scott auction.

So I did some research. The invention of the game was reported in the New London, CT, newspaper, The Evening News on April 19, 1922.

Piroxloid Products manufactured and distributed the game. In the May 25th, 1922 issue of Printer's Ink (A Journal for Advertisers) had this account...

According to the New York Times on August 6, 1922, there was a Merchandise Fair in New York City. Piroxloid Products Corp., 200 5th Av., had a booth (#372). They made ivory novelties and games.

The 1923 issue of the Catalogue of Copyright Entries lists the Piroxloid Products Corp.

I also wondered about Christy Mathewson's nickname, Big Six. I've heard and read that he got it from a prize fighter, from a fire truck, from a fire station, from his height, from a race horse, from a powerful union. The man himself clears it up in the December 24, 1922 issue of the New York Times.

Now, if I just had about $400 extra last month...