Films on Friday: Remembering President George H.W. Bush’s Love of Baseball

MLB put together this tribute to former president George H.W. Bush, who passed away last week at the age of 94: also put together a video honoring the late President:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca


George H.W. Bush and Baseball

George H.W. Bush played baseball while at the Phillips Academy in Andover,

Much has been said this past week about President George H.W. Bush and his love of baseball. Several organizations, including Little League Baseball, paid their respects with fitting tributes. Here is a run down of just a few of his baseball-related honors and accomplishments:


  • 1946-48 – Played baseball at Yale University.
  • 1984 – While Vice President, participated in an old-timers game with the Denver Bears at Mile High Stadium.
  • 1989 – Using his own glove, threw out the first pitch at the Orioles season opener on April 3.
  • 1989 – Threw out the first pitch in Anaheim on April 25.
  • 1989 – Little League Baseball renamed the “Little League Parents of the Year Award” the “George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award.”
  • 1989 – Celebrated Little League’s 50th anniversary with a reception on the South Lawn of the White House; later, later traveled with the Little League President to Warsaw, Poland, to deliver the first Little League charter to leagues that were established after the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • 1989 – Threw out the first pitch in Baltimore on June 28
  • 1989 – Attended baseball game in Baltimore on August 4.
  • 1990 – Threw out the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game on April 10; became the first President to attend a baseball game in Canada.
  • 1990 – Threw out the first pitch in Baltimore on July 16.
  • 1991 – Threw out the first pitch at the Rangers game on April 8.
  • 1991 – Attended an Orioles game with Queen Elizabeth on May 15.
  • 1991 – Attended Frederick Keys game at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, MD, on June 8.
  • 1992 – Threw out the first pitch for the opening of Camden Yards on April 6.
  • 1991 – Awarded the “President’s Award” to Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio and attended the 1991 All-Star Game with them.
  • 1995 – Attended Ted Williams’ spring event at the Hitters Hall of Fame.
  • 2000 – Threw out the Opening Day first pitch for the Texas Rangers.
  • 2005 – Met Red Sox Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr at his home in Kennebunkport.
  • 2007 – At the Little League International Congress, President and Mrs. Bush were honored as Little League’s “First Family.
  • 2015 – Threw out the first pitch of the American League Championship Series in Houston, TX.
  • 2014 – The National College Baseball Hall of Fame facility in Lubbock, TX, was named the George H.W. Bush National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 2017 – Threw the first pitch before the 5th game of the World Series in Houston, TX.


~ baseballrebecca



Thanksgiving Baseball Reading

Happy Thanksgiving, from the Baseball Sociologist! While most of us love Thanksgiving, it can be a tough time for baseball fans: no baseball and football is everywhere. Thus, I’ve compiled a few links for baseball-related Thanksgiving articles:


~ baseballrebecca

Films on Friday: AFL’s First Pride Night

On Wednesday, the Arizona Fall League held its first-ever Pride Night. The Salt River Rafter hosted the Peoria Javelinas and MLB VP and special assistant to the Commissioner, Billy Bean, for a celebration of baseball, diversity, and inclusion. Check out the video below:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series

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Tetsuto Yamada, infielder for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, 2016 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

A group of MLB all-stars is on its way to Japan for the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series. The series will feature major leaguers and the Japanese national team, Samurai Japan. Their first stop, however, was Hawaii, where the team worked out in Les Murakami Stadium (where fans could watch for $15 or $25, depending on seat location), worked on a community service project at Kahauiki Village (a community providing housing for homeless families), and held a Play Ball clinic for local kids.

Today in Tokyo, Samurai Japan will play (already played? are currently playing?) an exhibition game against the Chinese Taipei national baseball team; tomorrow the MLB All-Stars will take on the Yomiuri Giants in an exhibition game (airing at 4 am and 8 pm on MLB Network). These games also will be televised live on MLB Network – starting around 4 am:

  • November 9-11: Tokyo
  • November 13: Hiroshima
  • November 14-15: Nagoya

The games will be played at the Tokyo Dome, Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima, and the Nagoya Dome. The rosters appear below.

[On a sociological note, the roster for the MLB All-Stars was super easy to find and include below – basically, I just needed to cut, paste, and format. For Samurai Japan… not so much. I found what appears to be a recently updated list of players by position on Wikipedia. However, to include their team names (like the list of MLB players), required research. What does that say about us?]

~ baseballrebecca



MLB All-Stars Samurai Japan
· Matt Andriese, D-backs

· Scott Barlow, Royals

· John Brebbia, Cardinals

· Junior Guerra, Brewers

· Brian Johnson, Red Sox

· Kenta Maeda, Dodgers

· Chris Martin, Rangers

· Collin McHugh, Astros

· Daniel Norris, Tigers

· Vidal Nuno, Rays

· Dan Otero, Indians

· Yusmeiro Petit, A’s

· Erasmo Ramirez, Mariners

· Hector Velazquez, Red Sox

· Kirby Yates, Padres

· Takayuki Kishi, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

· Daichi Osera, Hiroshima Toyo Carp

· Naoyuki Uwasawa, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters

· Nao Higashihama, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

· Takahiro Matsunaga, Chiba Lotte Marines

· Shinsaburō Tawata, Saitama Seibu Lions

· Yasuaki Yamasaki, Yokohama DeNA BayStars

· Yuta Iwasada, Hanshin Tigers

· Yuki Matsui, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

· Yu Sato, Chunichi Dragons

· Haruhiro Hamaguchi, Yokohama DeNA BayStars

· Rei Takahashi, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

· Shuta Ishikawa, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

· Shotaro Kasahara. Chunichi Dragons

· Yūhei Takanashi, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

· Robinson Chirinos, Rangers

· Yadier Molina, Cardinals

· J.T. Realmuto, Marlins

· Tomoya Mori, Saitama Seibu Lions

· Tsubasa Aizawa, Hiroshima Toyo Carp

· Takuya Kai, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

· Whit Merrifield, Royals

· Amed Rosario, Mets

· Carlos Santana Phillies

· Eugenio Suarez, Reds

· Chris Taylor, Dodgers

· Tetsuto Yamada, Tokyo Yakult Swallows

· Kosuke Tanaka, Hiroshima Toyo Carp

· Ryosuke Kikuchi, Hiroshima Toyo Carp

· Shuta Tonosaki, Saitama Seibu Lions

· Sōsuke Genda, Saitama Seibu Lions

· Kazuma Okamoto, Yomiuri Giants

· Hotaka Yamakawa, Saitama Seibu Lions

· Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves

· Mitch Haniger, Mariners

· Kike Hernandez, Dodgers

· Rhys Hoskins, Phillies

· Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays

· Juan Soto, Nationals

· Kazuki Tanaka, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

· Yuki Yanagita, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

· Seiji Uebayashi, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

· Shogo Akiyama, Saitama Seibu Lions

· Don Mattingly

· Edgar Martinez

· Hideki Matsui

· Fredi Gonzalez

· Hensley Meulens

· Brent Strom

· Henry Blanco

· Atsunori Inaba

· Masaji Shimizu

· Yoshinori Murata

· Hirokazu Ibata

· Makoto Kaneko

· Yoshinori Tateyama



Remembering Willie McCovey

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Willie McCovey at the 2012 World Series parade (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

There is a statue of Willie McCovey across from AT&T Park at McCovey Point in China Basin Park, San Francisco. It is now adorned with flowers and other memorabilia in honor of the man who passed away on October 31, 2018. Willie McCovey will never be forgotten in San Francisco or the hearts of baseball fans every where. I never saw McCovey play. After all, all but 11 games in his 19-year MLB career were with National League teams. Growing up in an AL town, there weren’t many opportunities to see him play. But his reputation preceded him.

According to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, McCovey was nicknamed “Stretch” due to his ability to catch throws that were wide and high. The 6’4″ player also was known for his hard hit line drives, prompting Bob Gibson to call him “the scariest hitter in baseball.” The first baseman was signed by the Giants as an amateur free agent in March 1955 at the age of 17. After four years in the minors with the Sandersville Giants, Danville Leafs, Dallas Eagles, and Phoenix Giants, McCovey made his major league debut with the San Francisco Giants on July 30, 1959. He played with the Giants through the 1973 season and then was traded to the San Diego Padres. In August 1976, his contract was purchased by the Oakland A’s. He again signed with the Giants as a free agent in 1977, where he played until his retirement in 1980. In his 22 years in the majors, McCovey amassed 2,211 hits in 2,588 games. He hit 521 home runs and had a batting average of .270. After his playing days, McCovey served as a senior advisor to the Giants for 18 more years, until his death last week.

On Wednesday, the Giants’ President and CEO, Laurence M. Baer, stated: “San Francisco and the entire baseball community lost a true gentleman and legend, and our collective hearts are broken. Willie was a beloved figure throughout his playing days and in retirement. He will be deeply missed by the many people he touched. For more than six decades, he gave his heart and soul to the Giants – as one of the greatest players of all time, as a quiet leader in the clubhouse, as a mentor to the Giants who followed in his footsteps, as an inspiration to our Junior Giants, and as a fan cheering on the team from his booth.”

Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that, unlike Willie Mays and the players that had moved with the team from New York in 1957, McCovey was the first Giants superstar for the San Francisco fans: “McCovey was a San Francisco Giant through and through, arriving in 1959.” In a series of heart-wrenching tweets, Barry Bonds said goodbye to McCovey, adding: “thank you for your mentorship and unconditional love for me and my family. You will be dearly missed.”

On Thursday, beginning at 11:30 am, the Giants will hold a public celebration of life for McCovey at AT&T Park. Those wishing to offer their condolences to the family may send letters to the team at the following address: San Francisco Giants, Attention: Forever 44, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107. Condolences may also be sent via email to


~ baseballrebecca