Ten . . .

10-jones-2.jpgFinally, Opening Day is only 10 days away! (Or, two days away, if you’re following the Mariners and Athletics in Japan). This year, instead of watching Adam Jones in Spring Training for the Orioles, though, we didn’t get to see him at all. It was only a few days ago that he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This is going to be a really strange year, especially for O’s and Nats fans.

~ baseballrebecca


Best of the Week: 3/10/2019 – 3/16/2019

Someone finally got smart and signed Adam Jones. The outfielder, All-star, and all-around good guy has found a new job with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In an interview with 98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station, Jones noted the impact these late signings has on veteran players and the game itself:

“The thing about baseball, is that they’re taking the game away from guys who want to play. I want to play more than just this year. … We want to play. We love to play. When you take that away from us, some players get bitter about it and … that’s not good for the game, that’s not good for the next generation of the game.”

We’ll miss Adam Jones in Baltimore, but I’m sure that’s not that last we’ll hear from him.

~ baseballrebecca

Stat-urday, 3/16/2019: Vlad, Jr.

File:Vladimir Guerrero Jr (29228110127) (cropped).jpg

 Vladimir Guerrero, Jr, in 2018. Photo by Tricia Hall, via Wikipedia.

Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., turns 20 today. The Blue Jays top prospect signed with Toronto in July 2015, and received a signing bonus of $3.9 million. He made his professional debut with the rookie league Bluefield Blue Jays on June 23 that same year. He spent 2016 with Bluefield before being promoted to the class A Lansing Lugnuts in 2017. After appearing in the 2017 All-Star Futures Game, he was promoted to the high-A Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League.

Guerrero spent the 2017-18 off season the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League and then started 2018 with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, was promoted to the AAA Buffalo Bisons in July, and played for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League. Unfortunately he recently suffered an injury, ending his time in spring training with the major leaguers

Check out his stats below to see why he’s considered a top prospect.

Year Age Tm Lev G AB R H HR RBI Avg.
2016 17 Bluefield Rk 62 236 32 64 8 46 0.271
2017 18 Dunedin A+ 48 168 31 56 6 31 0.333
2017 18 Lansing A 71 269 53 85 7 45 0.316
2017-18 18 Escogido Winter 26 90 7 19 0 6 0.211
2018 19 New Hampshire AA 61 234 48 94 14 60 0.402
2018 19 Blue Jays Rk 3 9 3 3 0 0 0.333
2018 19 Dunedin A+ 1 4 1 2 0 2 0.500
2018 19 Buffalo AAA 30 110 15 37 6 16 0.336
2018 19 Surprise Fall 19 77 8 27 0 17 0.351
All Levels (3 Seasons)   321 1197 198 387 41 223 0.323

Happy Stat-urday! And happy birthday, Vlad, Jr.!

~ baseballrebecca

Stan Musial and the Civil Rights Movement

img_2902.jpgDuring a recent visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, I found two baseball references. The first was to Jackie Robinson, as one might expect. An exhibit outlining the timeline of civil rights events noted that against the backdrop of segregation and the Cold War, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, “enduring racial tension in the clubhouse and jeers from fans.”

The other reference was on a display about speakers and performers refusing to go to segregated events in Mississippi. One such speaker: Stan Musial. Naturally, I needed to learn more.

img_2909.jpgOn February 26, 1963, after his retirement from baseball, Musial was appointed the director of President’s Committee on Physical Fitness by President Lyndon B. Johnson. A year later, as part of his new duties, Musial was scheduled to speak at the Touchdown Club of Jackson, MS, on February 24, 1964. However, around the same time civil rights groups, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had been writing to artists asking them to cancel Mississippi performances scheduled for segregated audiences. In 1964, SNCC’s Chairman at the time (and current U.S. Congressman), John Lewis, asked Musial not to make his scheduled appearance at the all-white Touchdown Club’s Hall of Fame dinner. Musial subsequently canceled the appearance, though made no mention of SNCC or Lewis’ request when he contacted the club.

~ baseballrebecca

SNCC Musial

Women Who Announce Baseball Games

black headset hanging on black and gray microphone

Photo by Barthy Bonhomme on Pexels.com

On March 10, 1993, Sherry Davis became the first full-time female major league public address announcer. The San Francisco Giants hired her after an open audition of 500 applicants. Davis, a Virginia native, had graduated from the College of Notre Dame in Maryland, earning her B.A. in Theater. She performed at the Norfolk Theater Center in Virginia from 1968 to 1976. Prior to working for the Giants, Davis was a legal secretary in Walnut Creek, California. She earned $75 per game.

Prior to Davis’ debut, Kelly Saunders was a substitute PA announcer for the Baltimore Orioles in June 1992 when regular announcer, Rex Barney, was recuperating from an illness. Saunders was the second female fill-in announcer after Joy Hawkins McCabe had announced one game for the Washington Senators in 1966.

The second full-time female PA announcer for an MLB team – and first African American PA announcer – was Leslie Sterling, who worked for the Boston Red Sox from 1994 to 1996. Sterling, a Harvard graduate, grew up in Washington, DC, as a Senators Fan. After leaving the Red Sox in 1996, Serling went to She entered Harvard’s Divinity School and is became the rector at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Cambridge.

When the Giants moved out of Candlestick Park in 2000, they did not renew Sherry Davis’ contract. Instead, they hired Renel Brooks-Moon. Brooks-Moon was born in Oakland, California, in 1958. She attended Mills College, where she earned her B.A. in English in 1981. In addition to being the Giants PA announcer, she also worked for radio station KISQ. She became the first female announcer of a championship game in a professional sport during the 2002 World Series.

In 2018, Marysol Castro became the first female PA announcer for the New York Mets, as well as the first Latina PA announcer and third female PA announcer in MLB. She began her career as an English teacher before attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to the Mets, she worked for ABC, CBS, and ESPN.

In addition to these stadium announcers, there only one female baseball broadcaster on national television. Jessica Mendoza became the first female commentator for a MLB game in 2015, and in 2016 she joined the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball team full-time as a color analyst. Just last week it was announced that the Mets had hired Mendoza as a baseball operations advisor; she will also continue broadcasting Sunday night games for ESPN.

Few women have done play-by-play announcing for baseball. In 1993, Gayle Gardner became the first woman to do so when she called a Reds-Rockies game. Las year, Jenny Cavnar became the second woman play-by-play announcer when she did the play-by-play for the Rockies on AT&T SportsNet.

In the 1990s in the minors, Lisa Fielding, was the PA announcer for the Rockford Cubbies of the Midwest League and Lisa Morris was the announcer for the New York-Penn League’s Hudson Valley Renegades. In 2013, the Lansing Lugnuts hired Michigan State sophomore Jennifer Swanchara as their PA announcer in 2013. Currently, the Beloit Snappers have PA announcer Chrissy Scaffidi and the Bowie Baysox have Adrienne Roberson. Roberson gets the occasional “call up” to the Orioles, such as for the Mother’s Day game.

Later this month, we’ll take a look at women announcing baseball on radio.

~ baseballrebecca