The other day I was watching “MacGyver” on H&I and was surprised to see Hank Aaron make a guest appearance. I had no idea my favorite player had been on my favorite show!
The episode, “Back from the Dead,” originally aired on October 5, 1987. The episode featured Joe Santos as Jimmy Kendal, a former mob informant now in the witness protection program with a new identity as a minor league baseball manager. With the team getting ready for the playoffs, Santos’ character brings in a professional ballplayer to help the team prepare for the competition. Hank Aaron trots out to the field to face the young pitcher, who, after a pep talk from Santos, strikes him out.
Check out the promo below:
Bob Feller on the USS Alabama during World War II
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.” – Bob Feller
Bob Feller made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians on July 19, 1936, at the age of 17. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Feller enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served as Chief Petty Officer aboard the USS Alabama during World War II. He resumed his baseball career with the Indians in 1945, and would go on to throw two more no-hitters (the first was in 1940, the others were in 1946 and 1951), was the MLB strikeouts leader from 1946 to 1948 (as well as 1938-41), and was part of the Cleveland Indians 1948 World Series championship team.
Happy Veterans Day!
Congrats to the new World Series champions, the Washington Nationals! So much to process here, so more on that later. For now, we’ll just celebrate Halloween, MLB-style.
And no one ever said baseball players weren’t just big kids… check out some of their past Halloween costumes:
Washington Nationals’ pitcher Sean Doolittle and his wife Eireann Dolan as Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love:
Hunter Pence as Lurch:
Bryce Harper, when he was still a National, as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle:
Todd Frazier and family:
And… whatever this is that Max and Erica Scherzer as posing as:
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!
On Wednesday, former Baltimore Oriole Brian Roberts celebrated his 42nd birthday. In his career he suffered not one but two concussions. Below is a video he did for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s “Rethink Concussions” program:
Yoenis Cespedes in 2015. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (via Wikipedia)
Yesterday was Brian Roberts’ birthday and today is the birthday of several former and current major leaguers. I generally peruse the list of players born on various days, but it seems like October 10 is a popular birthday for many players. Here are just a few players who are celebrating today (you can see the full list at Baseball-Reference.com):
- Brad Ziegler (1979)
- Troy Tulowitzki (1984)
- Yoenis Cespedes (1985)
- Andrew McCutchen (1986)
- Jeurys Familia (1989)
- Kolten Wong (1990)
Happy birthday, guys, you should all get together and have one big party!
Brian Roberts in 2006. Photo by Keith Allison, via Wikipedia
Happy 42nd birthday to former Baltimore Oriole, Brian Roberts! B-Rob played for the Orioles from 2001 to 2013 and for the New York Yankees in 2014. He was an All-Star twice (2005 and 2007) and the AL stolen base leader in 2007. Currently, he is an Orioles broadcaster.
What I remember most about Roberts’ career with the Orioles is his stints on the DL with concussions. What I didn’t know was that ate the age of 5, he had open heart surgery to repair the congenital heart defect, atrial septal defect. This did not seem to affect his playing career, however, as he played baseball for the University of North Carolina, where his father, Mike Roberts, was head coach. (After Mike was fired in 1998, Brian transferred to the University of South Carolina.) Roberts was drafted by the Orioles in the first round of the 1999 MLB draft and made his MLB debut in 2001.
Interestingly, Wikipedia spends a lot of time cataloging Roberts’ various injuries and time spent on the DL:
- Dislocated his shoulder on September 20 in a collision with Yankees’ player Bubba Crosby at first base. Out the remainder of the season.
- Spent the early part of May on the 15-day DL
- Missed much of Spring Training with a herniated disc in his lower back
- On the 15-day DL effective April 10 after suffering an abdominal strain stealing second base. Missed 84 games.
- Suffered a concussion on September 27 “after he hit himself in the head with his baseball bat out of frustration”
- Suffered another concussion on May 16 after sliding headfirst into first base, hitting the back of his head; out for the rest of the 2011 season and did not return to the Orioles until June 12, 2012.
- Suffered a groin strain on July 3
- Underwent season-ending hip surgery on July 29
- In Spring Training, announced he was free of post-concussion syndrome caused by his 2011 concussion
- On April 4 (the third game of the season), ruptured a tendon behind his right knee was stealing second base. Placed on the 15-day DL.
At least he was healthy 2001 through most of 2006, and again until 2010.
Happy Birthday, B-Rob. Stay well.