Leap Year Baseball

PepperMartinGoudeycardAccording to the website Today in Baseball History, 11 major league players were born on February 29, including Al Autry who played just one game in 1976 to Pepper Martin who played for the Cardinals for more than a decade. Here’s the complete list of Leap Year Baseball Babies:

  • Dickey Pearce, born in 1836, SS for the New York Mutuals, Brooklyn Atlantics, at St. Louis Brown Stockings (1871-77)
  • Ed Appleton, born in 1892, P for the Brooklyn Robins (1915-16)
  • Ralph Miller, born in 1896, 3B and SS for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Senators (1921-22, 1924)
  • Roy Parker, born in 1896, P for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1919
  • Pepper Martin, born in 1904, 3B and OF for the St. Louis Cardinals (1928-44)
  • Al Rosen, born in 1924, IF for the Cleveland Indians (1947-56)
  • Steve Mingori, born in 1944, P for the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals (1970-79)
  • Al Autry, born in 1952, P for the Atlanta Braves in 1976
  • Jerry Fry, born in 1956, C for the Montreal Expos in 1978
  • Bill Long, born in 1960, P for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Montreal Expos (1985-1991)
  • Terrence Long, born in 1976, OF for the Oakland A’s, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, and New York Mets (1999-2006)

Happy Leap Day!

~ baseballrebecca

Week of February 21-27, 2016

This just might be the best article of the week, based on cuteness alone… from Wednesday’s Baltimore Sun:

Meet Dexter Fowler’s daughter, Naya, baseball’s answer to Riley Curry


Which, naturally, I had to add to a Tweet, again, for the cuteness of it:


Spring Training Games on TV

df56bbe2d01211da5fa2b621a29f3a19Baseball is almost here!!! Spring Training games begin on Tuesday! For those of us who have cable TV, MLB Network will broadcast several games each day, subject to local blackouts, of course. Some games listed will be re-broadcasts (such as those that will be televised at 1 am) and others may only be in local markets. The full list is available online, and I’ll post a reminder each week.

Happy Spring Training!

~ baseballrebecca

Televised Spring Training Games, Week 1:

Date Time (ET) Games
Tue, Mar 1 1:00 PM Toronto Blue Jays @ Philadelphia Phillies
Tue, Mar 1 4:00 PM Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Indians
Tue, Mar 1 9:00 PM Toronto Blue Jays @ Philadelphia Phillies
Wed, Mar 2 1:00 AM Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Indians
Wed, Mar 2 1:00 PM Detroit Tigers (SS) @ New York Yankees
Wed, Mar 2 4:00 PM Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ San Francisco Giants
Wed, Mar 2 9:00 PM Cleveland Indians @ Cincinnati Reds
Thu, Mar 3 1:00 AM Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ San Francisco Giants
Thu, Mar 3 1:00 PM Houston Astros @ Philadelphia Phillies (SS)
Thu, Mar 3 7:00 PM Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins
Thu, Mar 3 10:00 PM Chicago White Sox @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Fri, Mar 4 2:00 AM Oakland A’s @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Fri, Mar 4 6:00 AM Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Indians
Fri, Mar 4 1:00 PM Minnesota Twins @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Fri, Mar 4 4:00 PM Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Chicago Cubs
Fri, Mar 4 9:00 PM Kansas City Royals @ San Diego Padres
Sat, Mar 5 12:00 AM St. Louis Cardinals @ Houston Astros
Sat, Mar 5 3:00 AM Miami Marlins (SS) @ New York Mets
Sat, Mar 5 6:00 AM Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies
Sat, Mar 5 9:00 AM Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays
Sat, Mar 5 1:00 PM Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Sat, Mar 5 4:00 PM Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Sat, Mar 5 8:00 PM New York Mets @ Houston Astros
Sat, Mar 5 11:00 PM Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Seattle Mariners
Sun, Mar 6 2:00 AM Philadelphia Phillies @ Toronto Blue Jays
Sun, Mar 6 6:00 AM St. Louis Cardinals @ Miami Marlins
Sun, Mar 6 9:00 AM San Francisco Giants (SS) @ Cleveland Indians
Sun, Mar 6 1:00 PM Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals
Sun, Mar 6 4:00 PM Chicago Cubs @ Arizona Diamondbacks
Sun, Mar 6 8:00 PM New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies
Sun, Mar 6 11:00 PM Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox


From the Academy: Satchel Paige

In light of the current controversy regarding the Oscars, which will be awarded this weekend, I found this piece of film on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ YouTube page particularly fascinating…


According to the blog, Royal Heritage, the footage is from an exhibition game that took place at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles in November 1948:

“Satchel had for years taken part in post-season tours pitching against Dizzy Dean and then Bob Feller, but in 1948 his foils were Indians teammates Gene Bearden and Bob Lemon (who managed the MLB KC Royals between 1970-72). Bearden is not a well known player these days, but was a sensation in ’48 after going 20-7 with an AL best 2.43 ERA and helping the Indians to the World Series crown. The lefty #30 seen starting around the 23 second mark is Bearden. … some of the people in the crowd shots are MGM bigwigs, which matches up with another article in the same issue of The Sporting News about Bearden having been cast in the Jimmy Stewart movie The Stratton Story. The article even mentions that Bearden sat in the MGM box for the second half of the twin bill that day. Satchel and Bearden both appeared as themselves in another movie, The Kid From Cleveland, around the same time.”

Happy Weekend!

~ baseballrebecca


The Anti-Trust Exemption

United States Supreme Court Building

On February 25, 1957, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that football, unlike baseball, was not exempt from antitrust laws. The decision was based, in part, on the fact that baseball’s anti-trust exemption had recently been upheld in other decisions, such as Toolson v. New York Yankees in 1952.

In 1922, the Supreme Court had ruled that baseball was not interstate commerce and, thus, not subject to the Sherman Act. The unanimous decision, written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., concluded:

“The business is giving exhibitions of baseball, which are purely state affairs. It is true that, in order to attain for these exhibitions the great popularity that they have achieved, competitions must be arranged between clubs from different cities and states. But the fact that, in order to give the exhibitions, the Leagues must induce free persons to cross state lines and must arrange and pay for their doing so is not enough to change the character of the business. … the transport is a mere incident, not the essential thing. That to which it is incident, the exhibition, although made for money, would not be called trade of commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words. As it is put by defendant, personal effort not related to production is not a subject of commerce. That which in its consummation is not commerce does not become commerce among the states because the transportation that we have mentioned takes place.”

The issue was brought before the Supreme Court again in the case Flood v. Kuhn and, more recently, in City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. In October 2015, the Supreme decided not to heart the San Jose case, meaning the January 2015 appeals court decision stating that the city of San Jose could not seek a court order allowing the Athletics to move to their city remained in place.

I wonder what the next challenge will be.

~ baseballrebecca



According to Hank

haaronPortrait“I never doubted my ability, but when you hear all your life you’re inferior, it makes you wonder if the other guys have something you’ve never seen before. If they do, I’m still looking for it.” – Hank Aaron

As I’ve noted before that Hank Aaron is one of my favorite baseball players for a variety of reason. In honor of Black History Month, here’s a one of my favorite songs about him…

~ baseballrebecca

A List of Firsts

featured-dodgersIf Willard Brown was the fourth black player in MLB history, who else was in the top 10? Naturally, that depends on how and who you count. Thus, my latest baseball list is woefully incomplete and somewhat of a mash-up, combining the first black player for each MLB team, with the first ten black baseball players. With a few other notable firsts. But at least it’s a cool list!

~ baseballrebecca

Player MLB Debut Debuted With
Jackie Robinson April 15, 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers
Larry Doby July 5, 1947 Cleveland Indians
Hank Thompson and Willard Brown – first black teammates July 17, 1947 and July 19, 1947 St. Louis Browns
Dan Bankhead – first black pitcher August 26, 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers
Roy Campanella – first black catcher April 20, 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers
Satchel Paige – first AL black pitcher July 9, 1948
Monte Irvin July 8, 1949 New York Giants
Sam Jethroe April 18, 1950 Boston Braves
Minnie Minoso May 1, 1951 Chicago White Sox
Willie Mays May 24, 1951 New York Giants
Bob Trice September 13, 1953 Philadelphia Athletics
Ernie Banks September 17, 1953 Chicago Cubs
Curt Roberts April 13, 1954 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tom Alston April 13, 1954 St. Louis Cardinals
Chuck Harmon and Nino Escalera April 17, 1954 Cincinnati Reds
Carlos Paula September 6, 1954 Washington Senators
Elston Howard April 14, 1955 New York Yankees
John Kennedy April 22, 1957 Philadelphia Phillies
Ozzie Virgil June 6, 1958 Detroit Tigers
Pumpsie Green July 21, 1959 Boston Red Sox






The Donaldson Project

DonaldsonJohn01A baseball historian in Minnesota heard stories of baseball legend. After visiting the local historical society in Bertha, MN, that historian, Pete Groton, found proof of the player’s popularity in an advertisement from around the 1920s that read: “John Donaldson; Greatest Colored Pitcher in the World.” In order to find more information on Donaldson, Groton founded the Donaldson Network of researchers. By 2008, there was a network of about 500 research across the country digging through newspapers, archives, and old photos to recreate Donaldson’s career. According to the Network’s website:

“Our wish is that Mr. Donaldson will someday be properly inducted (and not “allowed”) into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that can’t be our final goal. The real goal must be to unearth as much information about Donaldson, and then try to tell the story from there. Each box score and article turn over a new page, and often open up another missing day (or, as we’ve found, dozens of missing days). It would be impossible for any one person to finish this task, alone, in one lifetime.”

The Donaldson Network received the John Coates Next Generation Award for exemplary research from SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee in 2008. In 2011, Pete Groton was honored in 2011 by the Society of American Baseball Research Negro Leagues Committee with the Tweed Webb Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts. They also have a pretty cool store on Zazzle.

~ baseballrebecca

John Donaldson, LHP

DonaldsonJohn01John Wesley Donaldson was born on February 20, 1891, in Glasgow, Missouri. Between 1908 and 1940, The left-handed pitcher amassed a won-loss record of at least 360 and 141, with about 4,500 strikeouts. He has been credited with 11 no-hitters, one perfect game, dozens of one-hitters, and at least 86 shutouts. And he batted around .334.

Donaldson began his playing career with his hometown Hannaca Blues and the nearby Missouri Black Tigers in Higbee, MO. In 1911, he joined the Tennessee Rats of Holden, MO. He reportedly had a record of 44-3 that year. Next, Donaldson went to Des Moines, IA, to pitch for the All Nations team for a salary of $150 per month. This barnstorming played teams throughout the Midwest.

Between 1915 and 1919, Donaldson played with teams from Iowa to Florida, including the Indianapolis ABCs, the Brooklyn Royal Giants, the Detroit Stars, and the Chicago American Giants. In 1920, with the creation of the Negro National League, Donaldson joined the Kansas City Monarchs. He was with the Monarchs from 1920 to 1923, while continuing to pitch for All Nations part-time. Donaldson continued to play semi-pro ball throughout the 1920s and 1930s, perhaps into the 1940s. Researchers have uncovered records of him playing in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, and Saskatchewan.

Donaldson is the greatest pitcher you never heard of. In 1913, he pitched three consecutive no-hitters. Let that sink in for a little bit: Three. Consecutive. No-hitters. Over the course of his career, he had two 30 strikeout games, 11 games with more than 25 strikeouts, 30 games with more than 20 strikeouts, 109 games with more than 15 strikeouts, and a total of 203 double digit strikeout games. And counting.

Why “and counting”? Because researchers haven’t uncovered everything there is to know about Mr. Donaldson. Donaldson is from that unique period in time which baseball historians haven’t completely recorded and Donaldson was black, so the barnstorming teams he played for in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, weren’t always well organized, nor do complete records exist.

That’s where the Donaldson Network comes in – tune in for Monday’s post on this group of researchers keeping the memory of John Donaldson alive. In the meantime, enjoy the footage below of John Donaldson in action in 1925 in Fergus Falls, MN.

~ baseballrebecca