Ten . . .

10 - Jones 2
Adam Jones, Spring Training 2018

This year, Opening Day is on March 29 – just 10 days away!! As always, the Baseball Sociologist counts down the days. This year, with start with #10, Adam Jones, center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles.

Wanna know one of the many cool things about Adam Jones? He is passionate about the city of Baltimore and wants to give back. One of Jones’ favorite charities is the Boys and Girls Club. Jones, a product of the Boys and Girls Club in San Diego, and the Orioles Charitable Foundation have donated thousands of dollars to the Boys and Girls Club in Baltimore. Last November, Jones held his 5th #StayHungry #PurpleTailgate event before a Baltimore Ravens game. The event collected over $100,000 for the Boys and Girls Club. Earlier in 2017, Jones donated $20,000 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and provided free admission to children from a local youth program.

Among his many baseball honors, Adam Jones is 2-time Orioles Way Award recipient (2008, 2013), the O’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee for several years (2011, 2013, 2016), and a 5-time Orioles recipient of the Heart & Hustle Award by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (2012, 2014-17), and the 2015 winner of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.

In just 10 days we’ll be rooting for the work of #10, Adam Jones, both on and off the field! Thanks, Adam!

~ baseballrebecca



Stat-urday, 3/17/2018

thumbVB9HXL39How many Major Leaguers were born in Ireland? Over the years there have been 43, although there are no current MLB players from Ireland. The first person from Ireland to play Major League Baseball was John Curran, from Dublin, Ireland. Curran played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1876, appearing in only 3 games.

The most recent player born in Ireland was Joe Cleary, who was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1918. Cleary played 1 game with the Washington Senators in 1945, amassing an ERA of 189.19! According to Wikipedia, on August 4, 1945, Cleary came in as a reliever in the 4th inning of game 2 of a double header with the Red Sox. He gave up 5 hits, 3 walks, and 7 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning. One of the batters he faced, Tom McBride, batted in 6 of those runs.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

~ baseballrebecca

The Annual Pilgrimage

IMG_0135And so the journey begins – Spring Training here we come! We successfully navigated the parking lot, security, and the line at Starbucks and are waiting impatiently at our gate. We got super cheap flights to Ft. Lauderdale and we have our tickets in hand. The only drawback so far is the swarms of spring breakers at the airport. But even that can’t keep us from our four top teams.

On deck tonight: Mets and the Nats. Tomorrow: Yankees at Orioles. My BBFF (best baseball friend forever) was born in New York. He can’t help it. I, on the other hand, have better taste.

img_0116I’ve alluded before to the tension between an Orioles fan and all things New York Yankees. But, I must admit, I’m softening in my old age. I mean, after watching some of the current Yankees grow up in the minors playing against my beloved Baysox, I’ve grown somewhat fond of the Baby Yankees. We’ve seen Austin Romine, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez. And now they have Giancarlo. And I do love Tanaka. They are no longer the despised Yankees of my youth. Of course, they did just let go of Danny Espinosa, so they’ll have to make up for that.

So, this week I’ll be sharing some pictures of my adventures in Spring Training.

~ baseballrebecca


Stat-urday, 3/10/2018

North Pole High School

Last week we looked at the stats for Major Leaguers who went to college. This week, we turn our attention to high school baseball. Baseball Reference has a state-by-state  list of high schools with which you can find a high school and see who went there. You can also look at each school’s rankings and determine the school with the highest number of players or even Hall of Famers. For example, who attended North Pole High School in Alaska and went on to play professional baseball? (Hint: its not Santa Claus.) Christopher Aure went to NPHS and was drafted by the Pirates in 2008. He spent two seasons playing of the Gulf Coast League Pirates. LHP Aure had a 3-2 record with a 3.90 ERA in 2008 and went 0-0 in 3 games in 2009 with a 1.69 ERA.


So, who went to your high school?

~ baseballrebecca


Women in the Locker Room

Melissa Ludtke, March 2013. Photo courtesy of Whoisjohngalt via Wikipedia.com

On March 9, 1979, then-Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn instructed MLB teams to give access to locker rooms to female reporters. Kuhn’s edict was in response to a 1978 court ruling that found MLB guilty of discriminating against female reporters. The case stemmed from an incident during the 1977 World Series in which Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludtke was denied access to the New York Yankees clubhouse for post-game interviews because she was a woman.  In 1978, the district court decided that Ludtke’s fourteenth amendment right was violated as well as “her fundamental right to pursue her profession.”

The court did not specify how MLB was to provide equal access to reporters for locker room interviews. The Yankees’ solution was to declare that all reporters would be given 10 minutes to interview players after a game, but then would have to leave for 30 minutes to allow the players to shower. MLB soon realized such a solution was not optimal.

Bowie Kuhn, 1982. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In March 1979, Kuhn announced that each club could set their own policy for locker room access. Later, Ludtke pointed out that such a policy did not provide equal, consistent access, making it difficult for women as they reported on different clubs. She was quoted as saying, “Baseball has succeeded brilliantly in making equal access appear as a moral and not a political problem, and as sexy, but not the sexist issue that it is. I, and others like me, were presented as women who wanted nothing more than to wander aimlessly around a locker room, to stare endlessly at naked athletes and to invade the privacy of individuals whose privacy had already been disrupted for years by our male colleagues.”

While the issue was decided in the courts, there is evidence that the struggle for equal access continues.

~ baseballrebecca


Rockford Peaches v. Peoria Redwings

Recently, the Louise Pettus Archives at Winthrop University uploaded videos from their collection to their YouTube channel, including the one I’ve posted below. The Pettus Archives maintains several resources related to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, including videos, photos, and the papers of several AAGPBL players. If I’m ever in Rock Hill, South Carolina, I’ll have to stop by and check out their collection!

~ baseballrebecca


Suzyn Waldman Makes History

Suzyn Waldman at Camden Yards, 2011 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

On March 6, 2005, Suzyn Waldman became the first female full-time baseball color commentator when she made her debut with John Sterling on WCBS-AM (880), the flagship radio station for the New York Yankees. Prior to that, Waldman had worked for the YES Network as a reporter as well as for WFAN in New York.

In the mid-1990s, Waldman became the second woman to work as a play-by-play announcer for a local television station; Gayle Gardner was the first in 1993 when she did play-by-play on local television for the Colorado Rockies. Few other women had significant broadcasting roles prior the 1990s. In September 1964, Betty Caywood served as a color commentator for some late-season Kansas City Athletics games. In the 1970s, Mary Shane was a play-by-play announcer for part of the  Chicago White Sox’ 1977 season.

~ baseballrebecca