When two once-in-a-generation talents appear in the SAME generation.
Whose side are you on? pic.twitter.com/p1JjLip4Gb
— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2017
Venezuela was back in the U.S. public consciousness recently, if only for a brief moment. Earlier in the week, Miguel Cabrera posted several videos on social media speaking out against the violence and unrest in Venezuela. On Monday he stated, “I am tired of hearing that they are going to kidnap my mother, and I don’t know whether it is a policeman or a bad guy, I don’t know who they are. All I know is if I don’t pay, those people disappear.”
Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio declined to participate in the All Star festivities celebrating Latino players in MLB, noting: “Unfortunately, conditions in my country prevent me from traveling.”
“No puedo celebrar mientras los jóvenes de mi país mueren luchando por ideales de libertad [I can’t celebrate when young people of my country are dying for their freedom].” – Luis Aparicio
So what’s going on in Venezuela, and why do we know so little about it? For these Venezuelan players and those who support them, it’s a matter of freedom. For those of us who pay little attention to Venezuela, we need to be educated on the issues. Next week, I’ll post more of the background of the political and economic issues in Venezuela, as well as the role MLB has played in that country.
In case you didn’t know it, Steve Garvey will be making an appearance tonight at the Rochester Red Wings’ game. He is one of many former MLB and NFL players making appearances this summer at minor league ballparks. Garvey played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1969 to 1982 before finish his career with the San Diego Padres (1983 to 1987).
Other players making appearances this summer include Mike Timlin, Carlos Baerga, and David Justice. Earlier this season, both Tony Oliva and Luis Tiant were in Charlotte, Jose Canseco made an appearance in Altoona, and Dale Murphy was at the Hickory Crawdads.
Below are the upcoming player appearances, plus a few other appearances, as well some events held previously this season:
|22-Jun||NFL Player Appearance||Syracuse||International|
|23-Jun||Andre Dawson||Myrtle Beach||Carolina|
|24-Jun||Bill Buckner and Bob Dernier||Myrtle Beach||Carolina|
|13-Jul||Wally the Green Monster||New Hampshire||Eastern|
|17-Jul||Don Beebe (Buffalo Bills)||Rochester||International|
|30-Jul||The Oriole Bird||Norfolk||International|
|17-Apr||Chipper Jones Book signing ($40 includes copy of book and ticket to 4/18 game – tickets limited)||Charlotte||International|
|19-Apr||Luis Tiant Appearance||Charlotte||International|
|29-Apr||Elmo and Big Bird||Binghamton||Eastern|
|30-May||Former Mets Player||Trenton||Eastern|
|10-Jun||Dale Murphy||Hickory||South Atlantic|
|11-Jun||Dwier Brown, who played John Kinsella in the movie Field of Dreams||Rochester||International|
|15-Jun||Bobby Valentine||Lakewood||South Atlantic|
|17-Jun||Washington Nationals Racing Presidents||Harrisburg||Eastern|
MiLB shared this today, so I thought I’d pass it along…
Whether you want to or not, you do serve as a role model. People will always put more faith in baseball players than anyone else. ~ Brooks Robinson
“Robinson’s warm personality wins him as much respect as his competitiveness and courage. He does nothing for effect. Bill Tanton, columnist for the Evening Sun, recalls the time he was on hand when Brooks went on a bowling party with some multiple sclerosis patients. ‘I’ve seen athletes in such situations before,’ Tanton says, ‘and the atmosphere is usually strained or even maudlin. But this time, everyone was at ease. You could tell Brooks was genuinely enjoying himself and, of course, they all adored him. He kidded them, and they kidded him right back—especially about his getting bald.'”
Robinson was an All-Star 18 times, won 16 gold gloves, won numerous other awards, and was even memorialized in a Norman Rockwell painting and highlighted in the Catholic Review. Not bad for a kid from Little Rock, AR.
A few years ago, I went on a pilgrimage to Little Rock to walk in the steps of the great Brooks Robinson. There were no big plaques or signs to let us know he’d grown up there. But what else would you expect from our quiet, unassuming here.
Happy Birthday, Brooks!
PS Check out the footage of Brooks at work:
And there’s this great comparison between Brooks and Manny:
On May 12, 1955, Sam Jones became the first African American player to pitch a no-hitter, striking out Roberto Clemente and Frank Thomas to end the game. He also happened to be one-half of the first all-black battery (pitcher and catcher) along with Quincy Trouppe in 1952. (By the way, May 10 marked the anniversary of the first – and only – no hitter thrown by a French-born player: on May 10, 1981, Charlie Lea threw a no hitter for the Montreal Expos.)
Jones was born on December 14, 1925, in Stewartsville, OH. After three years in the Negro Leagues (Oakland Larks and Cleveland Buckeyes) and two in the minor leagues, he made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians in September 1952. He returned to the minors for the 1953 and 1954 seasons and then was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He was with the Cubs when he pitched his famous no-hitter in 1955.
Known as “Toothpick Sam” because he nearly always had a toothpick in his mouth, Jones would go on to play for St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Baltimore. He was an all-star in 1955 and 1959, as well as the NL wins leader and ERA leader in 1959 and the NL strikeout leader in 1955, 1956, and 1958. Jones retired after the 1964 season with a career win-loss record of 102-101, an ERA of 3.59, and 1,376 strikeouts. Sadly, Toothpick Sam passed away at the age of 45 on November 5, 1971.
Thanks for making history, Sam!
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