Films on Friday: Charley Pride with the Rangers


After his baseball career had ended and he was already a country music star, Charley Pride joined the Texas Rangers for a few Spring Training games. Check out the footage from 1974 that I recently stumbled upon:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

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National Women in Baseball Day


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1943 South Bend Blue Sox (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Today is National Women in Baseball Day (not to be confused with National Girls and Women in Sports Day, February 6, or Women’s Baseball Day, September 11). The day marks the day – May 30, 1943 – that the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League played their first game. The first games were played in Rockford and Racine, with the South Bend Blue Sox playing the Rockford Peaches and the Kenosha Comets facing the Racine Belles.

~ baseballrebecca

 

June Heritage Celebrations


Image result for asian american heritage month site:.govEven though Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is coming to a close, we can still celebrate Asians, Pacific Islanders, and individuals of other backgrounds and nationalities. June is right around the corner, so here’s a reminder of the Heritage Celebrations coming up next month:

 

Date Team Event
1-Jun Pirates Heritage Night/Negro Leagues Uniforms
1-Jun D’backs Native American Recognition Day
7-Jun Brewers Negro Leagues Tribute Game
8-Jun Padres Irish Heritage Night
11-Jun Giants Portuguese Heritage Night
11-Jun White Sox Greek Heritage Night
12-Jun Phillies Irish Heritage Night
13-Jun Red Sox Jewish Pride Night
13-Jun White Sox Polish Heritage Night
14-Jun Marlins Italian Heritage Celebration
15-Jun Marlins Nicaraguan Heritage Celebration
18-Jun Padres Scottish Heritage Night
19-Jun Cardinals African American Heritage Night
19-Jun Dodgers African American Heritage Night
20-Jun A’s African American Heritage Night
20-Jun Mariners Italian Heritage Night
21-Jun Dodgers Filipino Night
21-Jun Royals Viva Los Reales
23-Jun Mariners Japanese Heritage Day
23-Jun Royals Salute to the Negro Leagues Day
24-Jun Red Sox Catholic Night
28-Jun Reds African American Community Night
30-Jun Marlins Venezuelan Heritage Celebration

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month


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Chan Ho Park with the New York Yankees in

As we near the close of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I thought I’d do some quick research on the first player to make it to the Major Leagues from Asian countries (see table below). While players from some countries – like Japan and China – made it to the majors decades ago, other nations have been represented only recently.

In the 1990s, we welcomed players from South Korea (Chan Ho Park, left, was the first), Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines. Today, however, Asian-born players make up a small proportion of all major leaguers. Currently, MLB has only one player born in Hong Kong (Austin Brice), nine from Japan, six from South Korea, and five from Taiwan).

This is obvious a topic deserving of in-depth research, so, stay tuned!

~ baseballrebecca

Country First MLB Player Debut Year Team Years Played Notes
 China Harry Kingman 1914 New York Yankees 1914
 Indonesia Tom Mastny 2006 Cleveland Indians 2006-08 Grew up in Indiana; played for the Yokohama BayStars in 2009
 Japan Masanori Murakami 1964 San Franciscon Giants 1954-65 Also played for Nankai Hawks (1963, 1966-74); Hanshin Tigers (1975); Nippon-Ham Fighters (1976-82)
 Philippines Bobby Chouinard 1996 Oakland Athletics 1998-2001 Played high school baseball in Oregon
 Singapore Robin Jennings 1996 Chicago Cubs 1996-97, 1999, 2001
South Korea Chan Ho Park 1994 Los Angeles Dodgers 1994-2010 Also played for the Orix Bufaloes and Hanwha Eagles in the Korean Baseball League
 Taiwan Chin-Feng Chen 2002 Los Angeles Dodgers 2002-2005 Also played for the Lamigo Monkeys in the Chinese Baseball League (2006-16)
 Vietnam Danny Graves 1996 Cleveland Indians 1996-2006 His father is American and his mother Vietnamese
Kingdom of Hawaii Johnnie Williams 1914 Detroit Tigers 1914

Dell Chambers, PFC, U.S. Army


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Udell Chambers (photo courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund)

Over the past several years, my annual Memorial Day post has sought to remind us that Memorial Day is a holiday to honor and remember those who died while serving in the Armed Forces. While baseball fans have the day off, players don special uniforms, MLB tries to sell us those special uniforms, and Justin Verlander continues to educate us about Memorial Day poppies, its also important to take time to think about what Memorial Day really means. Last year we honored Elmer Gedeon, baseball player and Army Captain, who died during World War II. This year, we remember Dell Chambers, who died while serving in Vietnam.

Udell Chambers was born on February 2, 1948, in Clayton, Missouri, and attended Kirkwood High School in nearby Kirkwood, MO. According to the website, Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice, developed by Gary Bedingfield, “Dell was perfectly suited as a shortstop or centerfielder, and he was the prototype leadoff hitter. He possessed such remarkable baseball talent during his prep years that he was recruited by the Atlanta Braves during his senior year in 1966. He reported to Sarasota (Florida) of the Gulf Coast League and was playing professional baseball just weeks after receiving his cap and gown.”

At the age of 18, Chambers signed with the Atlanta Braves and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Braves. The next season he was promoted to the Class A Lexington Braves of the Western Carolinas League. In 1967, he batted .325 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI. He received his draft notice in September 1967, just after the end of the season. He was assigned to the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division and did basic training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. His unit was sent to Vietnam in February 1968, two weeks after the beginning of the Tet Offensive. On the night of June 21, 1968, Chambers was stationed just outside the city of Da Nang in the Binh Duong Province when the North Vietnamese attacked. Chambers and two fellow soldiers from his unit, Sgt. William Law and PFC James Zyboyovski, died in the attack. Chambers was just 20 years old.

Chambers was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. As the Baseball Greatest Sacrifice website notes, “[Chambers] was very well liked by those who knew him; he had tremendous potential as a baseball athlete; and he served his country during a most unpopular war and paid for it with his life. We all owe him our indebted gratitude.”  Thank you for your sacrifice, PFC Chambers.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day, everyone!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Week, 5/19/2019 – 5/25/2019


That time when the Obama dropped by the Washington Nationals Nationals Youth Baseball Academy:

 

The Washington Post posted a video of his visit.

~ baseballrebecca

 

Stat-urday, 5/25/2019


Harvey Haddix (photo courtesy of the Society of American Baseball Research)

This weekend, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Harvey Haddix’ perfect 12 innings (only to lose the game in the 13th) on May 26, 1959. How many perfect games have there been? As it always is with statistics, it depends on how you count.

MLB’s definition of a perfect game is as follows: “An official perfect game occurs when a pitcher (or pitchers) retires each batter on the opposing team during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game.”

This has been done 23 times in Major League Baseball. But those aren’t the only ones:

League No. of Perfect Games First Perfect Game Most Recent Perfect Game
Major League Baseball 23 June 12, 1880, by Lee Richmond for the Worcester Ruby Legs August 15, 2012, by Felix Hernandez for the Seattle Mariners
Minor League Baseball 187 August 23, 1887, by Charles Bohn for Mansfield of the Ohio State League September 1, 2017, by Connor Grey of the Kane County Cougars (Midwest League)
Nippon Professional Baseball League 16 June 28, 1950, by Hideo Fujimoto for the Yomiuri Giants November 1, 2007, by Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase for the Chunichi Dragons
Mexican League 9 August 14, 1953, by Ramiro Cuevas for the Nuevo Laredo Owls August 7, 2005, by Oscar Rivera for the Yucatan Lions
Mexican Pacific League 3 January 5, 1971, by Vicente Romo for the Ciudad Obregón Yaquis August 7, 2005, by Joakim Soria for the Ciudad Obregón Yaquis
Cuban Serie Nacional 1 December 22, 1999, by Maels Rodriguez for Sancti Spiritus (same)
Chinese Professional Baseball League 1 October 7, 2018, by Ryan Verdugo for the Uni-President Lions (same)
Hoofdklasse Honkbal (Major League Baseball in the Netherlands) 3 1989 by Craig McGinnis for Haarlem Nicols April 14, 2019, by Misja Harcksen for Curacao Neptunus
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League 5 1944 by Annabelle Lee for the Minneapolis Millerettes September 3, 1953, by Jean Faut for the South Bend Blue Sox
TOTAL: 248    

As the Baseball Project says, “Why don’t we add old Harvey to that list?”

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca