Hank Aaron Stadium


dscn7572.jpgA little over week ago, I began writing about my recent trip to Alabama, where I visited the Negro Southern League Museum and the Mobile BayBears. But that was before the trade deadline, before they traded Jonathan Schoop, another of my favorite Orioles and the other half of the Machado-Schoop bromance. (Obviously, I’m still not over it.)

Today and tomorrow, I’ll finally finish my tale of baseball in Alabama and my visit to the Mobile BayBears, who will be relocating to Madison, AL, in 2020. They’ve done a phenomenal job of preserving baseball history at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile. Not only did they move Hank Aaron’s childhood home from Toulminville, AL, to the stadium grounds, but they have several historical exhibits around the stadium.

For starters, check out the pictures of Hank Aaron’s childhood home:

Throughout the stadium concourse, there are actual stadium seats from current and former baseball stadiums around the country. First, there’s Fulton County Stadium, where Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record:

Next, we stumbled upon seats from Wrigley Field, although it’s unclear exactly why they were there:

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Finally, there are seats from Milwaukee County Stadium, where Hank Aaron started his career with the Milwaukee Braves and ended it with the Milwaukee Brewers:

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Stay tuned for more about the Mobile BayBears tomorrow!

~ baseballrebecca

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According to Hank


haaronPortrait“I never doubted my ability, but when you hear all your life you’re inferior, it makes you wonder if the other guys have something you’ve never seen before. If they do, I’m still looking for it.” – Hank Aaron

As I’ve noted before that Hank Aaron is one of my favorite baseball players for a variety of reason. In honor of Black History Month, here’s a one of my favorite songs about him…

~ baseballrebecca

(Hot) Spring(s) Training


Brooklyn Dodgers, Hot Springs, Spring Training 1912Ever been to Hot Springs, Arkansas?  Me neither.  But Brooks Robinson has – as well as Babe Ruth, Cool Papa Bell, Walter Johnson, Hank Aaron, Monte Irvin, Jackie Robinson, and other baseball greats.  But why Hot Springs?  And why Arkansas?  A few weeks ago I promised to get back to you on that question.  But I had to do more research. You see, I have to admit I used to confuse Hot Springs with Warm Springs (though, in my defense, FDR did visit Hot Springs at least once).  But once I heard about the Hot Springs Baseball Trail, I knew I needed to learn more.

Hot Springs, AR, was a Spring Training spot for Major League Baseball, Negro League Baseball, and Minor League Baseball teams in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The Chicago White Stockings’ owner Albert Spalding and player/manager Cap Anson decided their players could benefit from the therapeutic springs in the area.  Thus, the White Stockings became the first team to conduct Spring Training in Hot Springs in 1886. Between then and 1938, Major League teams from Chicago to Boston trained there.  Negro League teams held Spring Training intermittently in Hot Springs from 1928 to 1955, including the 1928 Kansas City Monarchs, the 1930-1931 Homestead Grays, and the 1944 Baltimore Elite Giants.  Other Spring Training sites in Arkansas included Little Rock, Hope, and Pine Bluff.

Who knew there was so much baseball history in Arkansas? Obviously not me. I will definitely put these places on my “Baseball To Do” list.

~ baseballrebecca

This Week in Baseball History


All facts are from http://www.todayinbaseballhistory.com.

July 17:  Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak is ended by the Cleveland Indians (1941); Bob Gibson became the second pitcher in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts (1974).

 July 18:  Ambidextrous Louisville pitcher Tony Mullane begins a game against Baltimore pitching right-handed, then switches to his left hand in the fourth inning (1882). 

Juan MarichalJuly 19: Cleveland SS Neal Ball makes the first unassisted triple lay in MLB history (1909); Rookie Juan Marichal  pitches his first game, a one-hit, 2-0 victory over Philadelphia (1960). 

July 20: Brooklyn’s Dazzy Vance strikes out 17 in a 10-inning Dodgers win against Chicago (1925). 

July 21:  A 24-inning game between the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Athletics ends in a 1-1 tie (1945); Hank Aaron hits his 700th home run (1973). 

July 22:  The Braves set a MLB record by using five pitchers in the ninth inning in a 5-4 win against St. Louis (1967). 

July 23:  Harry Stovey of Boston’s Players League team becomes the first player to reach 100 home runs (1890). 

 

This Week in Baseball History


Seems like there were a lot of firsts this week in baseball history.  (All facts are from http://www.canadianbaseballnews.com/.)

May 15, 1941:  Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak begins.

May 16, 1962:  Gil Hodges hits the first inside the park home run in New York Mets history. 

May 17, 1970:  Hank Aaron becomes the ninth major leaguer to reach 3,000 hits.

May 18, 1968:  The Washington Senators’ first baseman, Frank Howard, hits his 10th home run of the week.

May 19, 1961:  Dan Dobbek hits the first grand slam for the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium.  

May 20, 1970:  Rod Carew becomes the first batter in Minnesota Twins history to hit for the cycle. 

May 21, 1966:  Hank Aaron hits the first pinch-hit home run in Atlanta Braves franchise history.

Let’s make some more baseball history this week!

~ baseballrebecca

The Civil Rights Game


“Baseball has played a unique role in advancing the civil rights struggle in that Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color line in 1947 challenged and changed the American climate.” ~ Jesse Jackson

The 5th annual Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game will be played today in Atlanta.  It honors “the social contributions made on and off the field by key figures in America’s history, and [shows] respect for those who paved the way for current African-American stars.”   It highlights the accomplishments of MLB and civil rights leaders, such as Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron. 

Baseball has made significant strides in diversity since the Boston Red Sox were the last team to desegregate in 1959, yet there is still room for improvement.  According to the Institute for Ethics and Diversity in Sport, persons of color make up 38 percent of the players and 33 percent of the front office staff in Major League Baseball.  However, between 2010 and 2011, the percentage of African American players decreased from 10 to 8.5 percent and the percentage of Latino players decreased from 28.4 to 27 percent.  The percentage of Asian players increased slightly from 1.9 to 2.1 percent.  How does that compare to the rest of the country?  I’ve put together a handy-dandy table culled from U.S. Census Bureau data and the most recent report from the Institute for Ethics and Diversity in Sport:

Race/Ethnicity USA MLB
White

65%

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16%

27.0%

Black

13%

8.5%

Asian

5%

2.1%

American Indian and Alaska Native

1%

0.4%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

0.2%

0.3%

The Institute has tons more data on their website.  Of course, in sociology we can analyze the data in many ways.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide where Major League Baseball stands in the civil rights game.

~baseballrebecca