Films on Friday: David Ortiz


As the world prays for a full and speedy recovery for Big Papi, here’s video of that time he played in the Caribbean Series:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

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Scenes from a Nats Game: Victor Robles


DSCN8897Last week, I sat in a different location than I usually do at Nationals Park. This gave me the opportunity to get some great pictures of my favorite Nat, Victor Robles.

I was attending the Nats Night OUT event with a group of coworkers. At the beginning of the game, I told them that Victor would hit a home run. They pretty much ignored me –  since they have no idea who Victor is (even though I have a picture of him hanging on my office door) and aren’t all that in to baseball. (I know – right?) But sure enough Victor hit a home run in the 5th inning. Of course, that was after my “beloved” coworkers had all given up on the Nats and left. (Insert eye roll here.)

There was a brief, umpire-related delay at one point, so our two young players, Robles (age 22) and Juan Soto (age 20) hung out int he outfield discussing whatever it is that 20-something major leaguers discuss.

Later they were joined by veteran, Adam Eaton. (We were sitting under the big scoreboard screen, which is why they kept looking right at my camera!)

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~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

Best of the Week: 5/26/2019 – 6/1/2019


Former Bowie Baysox player Mike Yastrzemski hit his first Major League home run Friday night at Oriole Park for the team that wears orange and black – and against the Baltimore Orioles.

Back in March, the Orioles traded Yaz to San Francisco for LHP Tyler Herb (who is currently with triple-A Norfolk). After more than seven seasons in the minors, Yaz made his MLB debut on May 25 and is batting .280 – which is higher than pretty much all of the current Orioles.

The O’s should have kept him. And they should have promoted him long ago.

~ baseballrebecca

Stat-urday, 6/1/2019


In anticipation of the MLB draft, which will be held this week, June 3-5, I’m posting Baseball America’s tweet showing the percentage of draftees that actually make it to the majors. Pretty interesting stats!

 

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Films on Friday: Harvey Haddix


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Harvey Haddix with the Cardinals in 1953 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Sunday marks the 60th anniversary of the game in which Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Milwaukee Braves. He’d retired 13 consecutive Braves in 12 innings, but the Braves pitcher Lew Burdette also had allowed no runs. Unfortunately, a fielding error by the third baseman in the bottom of the 13th allowed the first Braves batter to reach base. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk (to none other than Hank Aaron), Haddix allowed a hit that resulted in the Braves winning 2-0. Despite the loss, the game has been called “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched.”

Haddix was signed by the Cardinals in 1947 and made his Major League debut in 1952. He also  played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1956-57), Cincinnati Redlegs (1958), Pittsburgh Pirates (1959-63), and Baltimore Orioles (1964-65).

Haddix’ feat was immortalized by the Baseball Project in what is one of the greatest songs ever written. Check out the song out below from Soundcloud and a video of the Baseball Project performing it a few years ago.

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

The First Hawaiian Major Leaguer


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Johnnie Williams in 1914 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The first Hawaiian Major Leaguer was Johnnie Williams.  Williams was born in 1889 in Honolulu; his father was British and his mother was Hawaiian.

Williams began his professional baseball career pitching for Sacramento Sacts in the Pacific Coast League in 1911. He made his Major League debut on April 20, 1914. Between April and August that year, Williams appeared in four games, pitching 11.1 innings with a 6.35 ERA. According to the Society of American Baseball Research, the main reason Williams played so few games with Detroit is that he had contracted Malaria during Spring Training in Gulfport, Mississippi.

In 1915, Williams returned to the PCL playing for the Los Angeles Angels and the Salt Lake City Bees. In 1916, he played for the St. Joseph Drummers of the Western League.

Williams joined the Hawaiian Infantry in 1917. Upon his return to Hawaii in 1919, he lead team of Hawaiian all-stars that traveled to Japan. Williams later played in the Hawaiian Baseball League.

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Month!

~ baseballrebecca