Best of the Week: 6/23/2019 – 6/29/2019


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When Manny was ours, 2012 (photo by Keith Alison via Wikipedia)

My favorite player, Manny Machado, returned to Baltimore this week with his (and my) new team, the San Diego Padres. The fans warmly welcomed him, some of us nearly in tears.

I’m still mad at the Orioles for trading him away. Naturally, I was at the game on Tuesday, wearing my Manny-Padres shirt and my Lake Elsinore Storm cap. (I’m still working through my feelings on this, but will post more pics later this week.)

We miss you Manny!

~ baseballrebecca

This one made me tear up a little (ok, a lot):

 

 

 

 

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Stat-urday, 6/29/2019


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Scooter Gennett with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

I stumbled upon some interesting stats on Baseball-Reference.com: Players’ average age, by league. They’ve calculated the leagues’ average player age, weighted by number of at-bats and games played. At first I was surprised to see that the league with the highest average batters’ average age is the Class A-Advanced Florida State League, with an average batters’ age of 31.1. Upon further research however, its rehabbing Major Leaguers that  driving up that average age, such as: Scooter Gennett, age 29, with the Daytona Tortugas; Josh Harrison, 31, and Jordy Mercer, 32, with the Lakeland Flying Tigers; Nelson Cruz, 38, with the Fort Myers Miracle; and a bunch of rehabbing Yankees with the Tampa Tarpons. Check out the stats below.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball
League Level Teams Batters’ Avg. Age Batting Average
American League Major League 15 28.0 0.251
National League Major League 15 28.4 0.250
International League AAA 14 27.1 0.265
Mexican League AAA 16 29.5 0.304
Pacific Coast League AAA 16 26.3 0.273
Eastern League AA 12 24.2 0.237
Southern League AA 10 23.7 0.241
Texas League AA 8 29.2 0.254
California League Adv A 8 22.5 0.245
Carolina League Adv A 10 22.6 0.244
Florida State League Adv A 12 31.1 0.241
Midwest League A 16 21.2 0.239
South Atlantic League A 14 21.5 0.238
New York-Pennsylvania League Short-Season A 14 20.9 0.224
Northwest League Short-Season A 8 20.8 0.228
Appalachian League Rookie 10 20.4 0.238
Arizona League Rookie 21 19.6 0.269
Gulf Coast League Rookie 18 19.4 0.237
Pioneer League Rookie 8 20.5 0.255
Japanese and Korean Leagues
League Level Teams Batters’ Avg. Age BA
Japan Central League Foreign 6 28.6 0.250
Japan Eastern League Foreign 7 24.3
Japan Pacific League Foreign 6 28.0 0.250
Japan Western League Foreign 5 24.6
Korean Baseball Organization Foreign 10 29.0 0.268
Independent Leagues
League Level Teams Batters’ Avg. Age BA
American Association Independent 12 26.7 0.262
Atlantic League Independent 8 29.6 0.262
Canadian-American Association Independent 9 26.1 0.266
Frontier League Independent 10 24.2 0.244

Films on Friday: Alone in the Game


I haven’t seen this 2018 documentary, but the trailer is pretty compelling. The website for the film provides this synopsis:

“Despite the growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, sports continues to be an unsettling environment for many LGBTQ people on and off the field. Homophobia, transphobia, and a culture of secrecy strongly persist in American sports, often seen as the final frontier for LGBTQ equality. In the five major North American professional leagues – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS – where statistically we would expect hundreds of openly gay athletes, there are no openly gay male professional athletes currently competing. Alone in the Game is a powerful documentary that enters into the old boys’ club world of sport and examines this major dilemma at the professional, Olympic, collegiate, and high school levels – capturing rarely seen stories of struggle, perseverance, and triumph.”

The curious thing about the trailer is that there is there is only one brief scene referencing MLB. Did they interview Billy Bean? What about Sean Conroy, the first openly gay player who played for the Sonoma Stompers? I’ll have to figure out how to watch the documentary, and I’ll let you know.

 

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

NASA Day at the Ballpark


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Parker Bobblehead giveaway from the Fresno Grizzlies, June 1, 2019

The country is gearing up for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, which will occur in a little less than one month, and baseball teams are definitely joining the party. The first team to celebrate NASA and Apollo 11 this year was the Fresno Grizzlies, who earlier this month gave fans a bobblehead of their mascot, Parker.

Baseball and the space program are a natural combo, as both reflect the history and values of society. Over the next month, I’ll share more space-related baseball info and events.

~ baseballrebecca

Detail on Parker’s box, which is modeled after the NASA logo:

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Who Did Baseball Pride Better?


IMG_3222Now that I’ve been to Pride Night for both a Major League team (the Washington Nationals) and a Minor League team (the Bowie Baysox), I gotta say the minors did it better. Here’s how they compared:

  1. Giveaways:  While both the Nats and the Baysox required a special ticket purchase to obtain the giveaway, the Baysox at least let us pick up our item inside the park. The Nats made us walk away from the main entrance and down the street to a mostly unlabeled blue tent. Sure there was a tiny little sign, but who hangs out outside the street down there in the first place? Also, several, though not all, minor league teams gave Pride-related giveaways to fans when they entered the stadium. No secret entrances, no having to pick up your giveaway outside the stadium far away from other fans.
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  3. In-game advertising: Sure, the Nats would occasionally put up the rainbow-colored “Curly W” up on the scoreboard and had one Pride flag hanging next to the U.S. flag, but that was about it. The Baysox not only kept putting up a sign saying “Welcome to Pride Night” up on the scoreboard, they had Pride flags on display throughout the stadium and staff wore rainbow-colored jerseys (ok, so they were really more like tie-dyed shirts, but they tried!)
  4. In-game programming: Other than the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus singing the National Anthem, the one Pride flag, and the occasional rainbow Curly W, you never would have known it was Pride Night at the Nats. The Baysox, on the other hand, created a truly welcoming atmosphere. They had LGBTQ-related trivia in between a few innings (like, how many LGBTQ individuals live in Maryland?) (of course, I was too busy trying to take a picture of the question up on the scoreboard – which I missed anyway – to pay attention to the answer), as well as LGBTQ community groups set-up on the concourse to provide information. Yes, the DC Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs was at the Nats game, but not only were they tucked away in a corner where you wouldn’t see them (unless you bought those special LGBTQ tickets and happened to cut through the picnic tables on the way to those special seats) and they wouldn’t give you any information (or one of their cute flag pens) unless you lived in the city and gave them your phone number.

 

Minor League Baseball put forth a concerted effort with their Strike Out Hate Campaign and joint advertising for the nearly 70 teams hosting Pride Nights. Major League Baseball may have had a greater percentage of their teams celebrating Pride, but it was still only 28 of them. Maybe its time MLB learned something from MiLB.

~ baseballrebecca

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Pride flag on display above the entrance of Prince George’s County Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox

#MiLBPride, Part 3: The Bowie Baysox


DSCN9011The Bowie Baysox held their first-ever Pride event on June 13, 2019, partnering with a local LGBTQ+ organization, Annapolis Pride. The Baysox were just one of nearly 70 teams hosting Pride Nights and participating in Minor League Baseball’s “Strike Out Hate” Campaign.

Check out the scenes below from the game, and check out my post tomorrow in which I’ll compare the Washington Nationals Pride Night to the Baysox event! Who did Pride better?

~ baseballrebecca

 

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#MiLBPride, Part 2


As I reported last week, a record number of minor league teams are celebrating Pride Month. I posted the remaining schedule last week, but its also interesting to know what the other teams did for Pride Month. Below are the events that were held prior to last week. Plus, check out the video below from the Hartford Yard Goats.

~ baseballrebecca

 

Past dates:

Date Team Details
4/13 Lynchburg Hillcats
5/9 Hagerstown Suns
5/22 Lansing Lugnuts
5/31 Birmingham Barons “Action Network’s 5th Annual “Out at the Field” night kicked off Central Alabama Pride Week.
6/1 Biloxi Shuckers 1st ever Pride Night; first 1,500 guests through gate received aluminum water bottle; special ticket package included Shuckers Pride Hat; pre-game drag show;
6/1 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers LGBT-themed Timber Rattlers t-shirt and a ticket for a box seat at the game for $25. Promo code: pride
6/1 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers LGBT-themed Timber Rattlers t-shirt with special ticket (promo code: pride)
6/3 Greensboro Grasshoppers
6/4 Hartford Yard Goats The first of 2 Pride Nights. Fans received Yard Goats Pride-themed cap; the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus sang the National Anthem and had a booth on the concourse with other community organizations
6/5 Durham Bulls 1st ever Pride Night; special Pride Night ticket incl. a Bulls Pride pennant for the first 1,000 purchased
6/6 Omaha Storm Chasers
6/6 West Virginia Power
6/6 Wilmington Blue Rocks
6/7 Gwinnett Stripers
6/7 New Orleans Baby Cakes
6/7 Palm Beach Cardinals
6/8 Lake Elsinore Storm
6/8 Lakewood BlueClaws 1st ever Pride Night; BlueClaws Pride Night Hat Giveaway for the first 1,500 fans
6/8 Portland Sea Dogs
6/10 Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
6/10 Trenton Thunder 1st ever Pride Night; Pride Hat Giveaway to the 1st 1,000 fans 14+, presented by NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce; special pre-game event; appearance from Billy Bean, MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion
6/11 Norfolk Tides
6/12 Lehigh Valley IronPigs 1st ever Pride Night; cap giveaway to the first 3,000 adults 18 and older; appearance by Billy Bean
6/12 Nashville Sounds
6/13 Bowie Baysox 1st ever Pride Night; Baysox Pride Hat with special ticket purchase
6/13 El Paso Chihuahuas first 1500 attendees received a free pride flag
6/13 Salem Red Sox
6/13 South Bend Cubs
6/13 Springfield Cardinals
6/14 Great Lakes Loons 3rd Annual Pride Night; special ticket package included a Loons Pride Night shirt
6/14 Sacramento River Cats