Yesterday, I posted a link to Adam Jones talking about Jackie Robinson and blacks in baseball in 2015. Here’s Marlins’ players Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton said last year:
Yesterday, MLB.com shared this letter from Don Mattingly to the Miami Marlins. I was hoping it would be a little more loving and inspirational, but, you know, not bad for a baseball guy…
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am so sad, I have no words…
“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Its a beautiful 68 degrees in Viera here at Space Coast Stadium. Sadly, this is our last Spring Training game before heading back home to the real world (although I did just get tickets to the pre-season Yankees at Nats game next weekend because I just don’t want this to end!)
Spring Training is one of the greatest events of the year. Nothing beats escaping reality for a few days and immersing yourself in baseball. Many have written of the cathartic, healing powers of Spring Training. I must concur.
Even if the Nats are currently losing to the Marlins 5-3 after 2 1/2 innings, despite beautiful home runs by Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper.
Oh well. After all, it’s only Spring …
PS Ramos just hit a homer bringing it to 5-4. Go Nats!
Happy National Bobblehead Day!
As far as I can tell, this is a day that was made-up by the folks who are putting together the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. They are actually pretty organized – they have a strong social media presence, are selling memberships, have a Kickstarter campaign, and have even gotten some bobblehead donations from the Miami Marlins.
Speaking of bobbleheads, I’ll be keeping an eye out for the 2015 promotional schedules. In fact, the Milwaukee Brewers have already announced that this year they will be giving out a whopping ten bobbleheads, as well as two gnomes. Of course, the guys at the National Bobblehead HoF and Museum already have a pretty good list on their website. But my annual list will focus solely on baseball.
[Note: National Bobblehead Day should not be confused with Britain’s Bobble Hat Day (you know – winter hats with balls of yarn on top or hats like Santa’s) that occurred on December 10, 2014, to raise awareness about child abuse, or National Bobble Day which occurred on February 7 last year. (It’s unclear if National Bobble Day will be replicated this year. It was all about raising funds to help older people keep warm during the winter. The idea was to wear or do something warm. According to the website, “This could be as simple as wearing a bobble hat to work or school, or hosting a warming morning selling tea, cakes or soup to raise funds.” They also recommend wearing wacky sweaters (“jumpers”), “sparkly legwarmers,” or other items of warm clothing to bring attention to the issue.) (And, in case you were wondering, January 7 is also National Tempura Day.)]
In honor of Opening Day yesterday, swimmingly.com posted a graphic of how much it costs to propose at each Major League Baseball stadium. The MLB average proposal cost is around $300, with prices ranging from $38.50 to $2,500, depending on where and how extravagant you want to your proposal to be.
For a rock-bottom price, propose in Pittsburgh. There it costs $38.50 to put your proposal up on the scoreboard. In Oakland, the same type of proposal will run you $85. The Yankees, of course, charge a little more – $100 for a scoreboard message. But they allow up to 10 proposals per game. The Twins limit the number of proposals per game to one (at $209).
Of course, some stadiums let you go bigger – in Miami for $500 you get a message on the scoreboard, a shot of you and your sweetie on the video screen, a PA announcement, and a dozen roses delivered by the team mascot, Billy the Marlin. (In 2012, a guy snuck onto the field and proposed to his girlfriend after she sang the National Anthem – I wonder if the Marlins sent him a bill.) For $450, the Phillies give you four tickets to the game, feature your proposal live on the video board, provide a champagne toast, and give you a commemorative DVD of the occasion.
The Dodgers offer two options. For a mere $75 you can have a message displayed on the scoreboard, or you can shell out $2,500 to have your proposal shown live on the video screen. Of course, only one such proposal per month is permitted. (Some teams limit proposals to zero per month – the Orioles, Angels, Blue Jays, Royals, and Mets just don’t bother with such non-baseball silliness.)
Interestingly, it costs less than $200 to propose at a San Francisco Giants game ($175 if you choose a weekend or “premium” game, $145 for other games). Unless you’re Kanye West, then you forget the game altogether and just rent out the whole stadium for $200,000.
Don’t get me wrong – its always an honor to take some one to their first ballgame and teach them the game (and I seem to do that a lot). Just this past week, I took my niece to a Bowie Baysox game. We’ve been to other games together in the past, including our family outing to see the Miami Marlins in June. I truly enjoyed answering her questions about the game and, of course, the sociological implications of baseball, but she said that two games in one summer was the most she’d ever been to.
Clearly I need to hang out with this girl more.
Or maybe we just need more baseball education. There are a few colleges and universities out there that teach baseball history. In fact, it was a discussion at this year’s Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) National Convention. Several folks have come up with baseball-themed lesson plans. Here are a few I found just by Googling “Baseball in the Classroom:”
- Playing Baseball in the Classroom – A Flexible, Adaptable Game to Motivate Your Students
- Educational exercises provided by the Lansing Lugnuts
- Baseball Activities and Lesson Plans
There are actually a lot of baseball-related educational materials out there – from elementary school to college levels. In fact, there’s a great book on the subject: Baseball in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the National Pastime, which has several examples of baseball-themed classroom materials for subjects from history to business.
Of course, I’m biased. But I think we can learn a lot about baseball – everything from statistics to race relations, art, and, naturally, sociology. So, take someone to a baseball game today and teach them about the national pastime, U.S. society, and maybe even statistics!