Films on Friday: The American Samoa National Baseball Team

Since I updated my list of Samoan ballplayers yesterday, I thought it appropriate to post this video of the American Samoa National Baseball Team hanging out with some local school kids this past January:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca



A Revised All-Samoan Lineup

File:Kiner-Falefa, Mayfield (35493146632) (cropped).jpg

Isiah Kiner-Falefa with the Frisco RoughRiders in 2017. Photo by Th3TruthPhotos via Wikipedia.

Recently, a kind reader identified another player of Samoan descent for my “All-Samoan Lineup” that I put together a little over a year ago. The latest member of the lineup: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, infielder and catcher with the Texas Rangers.

Kiner-Falefa was born on March 23, 1995, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 2013 draft and started his professional career that year with the Arizona League Rangers. In 2014, he played for the Arizona Rangers, the Spokane Indians, and the Hickory Crawdads. He started the following year with the Crawdads before being promoted to the High Desert Mavericks. He was promoted again in 2016 to the Frisco RoughRiders, where he also played in 2017. In 2018, he was assigned to the triple-A Round Rock Express and made his MLB debut on April 10, 2018. In 2019, Kiner-Falefa spent time with the Rangers, the Nashville Sounds, and the Frisco Rough Riders.

The other Samoan players are/were:

  • Tony Solaita – (1/15/1947 – 2/10/1990), 1B; the first (and only) baseball player from American Samoa
  • Benny Agbayani, LF
  • Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B, OF, and 1B
  • Chris Aguila, OF
  • Mike Fetters, Pitcher
  • Wes Littleton, Pitcher
  • Sean Manaea, Pitcher

Hopefully, there will be more players to add in the future! Let me know if you know of any more!

~ baseballrebecca



Hispanic Heritage Month 2019

Image result for mlb ponle acento shirtWe can’t let Hispanic Heritage Month end without acknowledging the contributions of Hispanics and Latinos to our favorite game. MLB did a good job with their Hispanic Heritage Month video this year – though I still want to know where I can get a “Ponle Acento” t-shirt. They really should sell them – they like making money.

Check out the “Ponle Acento 2019” video below – in both Spanish and English:


~ baseballrebecca






September Heritage Celebrations

One month of baseball still left to play! And a lot more Heritage Celebrations coming up in September. Here is a list of the events:

Date Team Event
6-Sep White Sox Hispanic Heritage Night
7-Sep Padres Pacific Islander Heritage Night
7-Sep Marlins Mexican Heritage Celebration
8-Sep A’s Latinx Heritage Day
12-Sep Mariners Salute to Native American Night
12-Sep Phillies German Heritage Celebration
13-Sep Giants Fiesta Gigantes Night
14-Sep Nationals Oktoberfest
14-Sep Nationals Taste of the World International Food Festival
14-Sep D’backs Hispanic Heritage Day
15-Sep Nationals Jewish Community Day
15-Sep Cardinals Fiesta Cardenales
15-Sep Cubs Hispanic Heritage Night
15-Sep Mariners Salute to Latin American Beisbol Day
16-Sep A’s Mexican Heritage Night
16-Sep Brewers Hispanic Heritage Night
17-Sep A’s Irish Heritage Night
20-Sep A’s Filipino Heritage Night
20-Sep Orioles O’stoberfest
20-Sep Tigers Jewish Heritage Night
20-Sep Dodgers Dia de Los Dodgers
20-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
21-Sep Reds German Community Night
21-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Festival
21-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Festival
21-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
22-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
24-Sep Giants Oktoberfest
25-Sep Giants Filipino Heritage Night 2
26-Sep Nationals Roberto Clemente and Hispanic Heritage Day
27-Sep Giants Greek Heritage Night
28-Sep Mariners Oktoberfest



Women’s Equality Day


Women’s baseball team from Palisade, Colorado, ca. 1910

Today marks the 99th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Women’s Equality Day was first celebrated in 1973, and has been noted with a presidential proclamation each year since them.

So, how are women faring in other social realms… including baseball?

Most of us are familiar with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was established in 1943 and ended in 1954. Many of us might remember the Colorado Silver Bullets, a women’s professional baseball team that played from 1994 to 1997.  Fewer of us might remember that time (1984) Bob Hope founded an all-women’s minor league team (that was not allowed to enter the Florida State League). Other attempts have been made to create women’s baseball leagues and some women have even made progress in the independent leagues or as umpires or broadcasters, but these women have been the exception rather than the rule.

What about elsewhere in baseball? In 2018, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports noted that women occupied nearly 32% of MLB front office jobs, which was a increase from 29% in 2016. Women accounted for 24% of senior executive level positions, up from 21% in 2016.

Women in MLB include the following:

  • Melanie LeGrande, Vice President, Social Responsibility, Office of the Commissioner
  • Alicia Mullin, Vice President, Social Media, Office of the Commissioner
  • Renée Tirado, Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Office of the Commissioner
  • Rachel Balkovec, Latin American Strength and Conditional Coordinator, Houston Astros
  • Cecilia Clark, Performance Coach, Cleveland Indians
  • Sabrina Gomez, Mental Skills Coach, New York Mets
  • Jacqueline Coleman, Vice President, Broadcasting and Game Presentation, Washington Nationals
  • Elaine Hendrix, Vice President Community and Public Affairs, Detroit Tigers
  • Sabrina Jenkins, Vice President, Special Events, Atlanta Braves
  • Naomi Rodriguez, Vice President, External Affairs, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Susan Jaison, Senior Vice President, Finance, Miami Marlins
  • Jean Afterman, Senior Vice President, Assistant General Manager, New York Yankees
  • Raquel Ferreira, Vice President, Baseball Administration, Boston Red Sox
  • Mary Giesler, Vice President, General Counsel, Minnesota Twins
  • Amanda Hopkins, Area Scouting Supervisor, Seattle Mariners
  • Nikki Huffman, Head Physical Therapist, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Nicole Sherry, Head Groundskeeper, Baltimore Orioles

Women are making progress in baseball and opening doors for others. Hopefully, their success will continue.

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

~ baseballrebecca






August Heritage Celebrations

Not that we ever need an excuse to go to the ballpark, but listed below are the Heritage Nights happening in August – and it might not count as a “heritage celebration,” but don’t forget Walter Johnson Day on Friday!

Date Team Event
1-Aug Dodgers Korea Night
2-Aug Dodgers Hawaiian Night
3-Aug A’s Italian Heritage Night
6-Aug Mariners Korean Heritage Night
6-Aug Tigers Arab American Night
9-Aug Padres Italian Heritage Night
10-Aug Padres Filipino Heritage Night
10-Aug Tigers 100th Anniversary Detroit Stars Replica Jersey
10-Aug Tigers Armenian Tigers Fan Night
15-Aug Rangers Hawaiian Heritage Night
15-Aug Reds Irish Community Night
15-Aug A’s Indian Heritage Night
16-Aug A’s Korean Heritage Night
20-Aug A’s Chinese Heritage Night
21-Aug A’s Jewish Heritage Night
23-Aug Mariners Filipino Heritage Night
24-Aug Marlins Dominican Heritage Celebration
26-Aug Phillies Jewish Heritage Celebration
27-Aug Padres Portuguese Heritage Night
27-Aug Tigers Italian Heritage Night
27-Aug Giants Jewish Heritage Night
30-Aug Rangers Korean Heritage Night
30-Aug Giants Italian Heritage Night



Best of the Week: 7/21/2019 – 7/27/2019

When the little girl who was told she shouldn’t play baseball gets to meet her favorite MLB player:

When Ashlynn’s story went viral earlier this month, social media went crazy in support of her:

View this post on Instagram

Legend status 😱 • Last year, Ashlynn, a 7-year old from Toronto, was awarded the MVP award from the opposing team during Regional Finals. “After the game,” said her dad, Dan, “[a parent on our team] told me that girls shouldn’t be playing baseball and that they should stick to softball. Then, at tryouts, the coach cut her from the team.” • Our response? Their loss. • In just 10 days, this 8-year old is headed to #BFANationals to join hundreds of girls from North America and abroad to do what they do best: play baseball. • “I don’t think it has ever occurred to Ashlynn that some people think that girls can’t do things that boys can do,” says Dan. • We’re right there with you, Ashlynn—and we’ve got your back 💪 • #baseballforall #borntoplay #unstoppable #girlscandoanything #girlsplaybaseballtoo #baseballplayers #girlsinbaseball #naturalathelete #divingcatch #baseballseason #travebaseball #empoweredgirls #strongfemale #supporther #sheplayswewin #girlsinthegame #letherplay #baseballtournament #thefutureisfemale #futureofbaseball 📹 @danbaseballdadof6 @jbclac

A post shared by Baseball For All (@baseballforall) on

MLB’s Cut4, the Today Show, and I’m sure countless others picked up her story. Congrats, Ashlynn, I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of you!

~ baseballrebecca