The First Hawaiian Major Leaguer


Johnnie Williams baseball.jpg

Johnnie Williams in 1914 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The first Hawaiian Major Leaguer was Johnnie Williams.  Williams was born in 1889 in Honolulu; his father was British and his mother was Hawaiian.

Williams began his professional baseball career pitching for Sacramento Sacts in the Pacific Coast League in 1911. He made his Major League debut on April 20, 1914. Between April and August that year, Williams appeared in four games, pitching 11.1 innings with a 6.35 ERA. According to the Society of American Baseball Research, the main reason Williams played so few games with Detroit is that he had contracted Malaria during Spring Training in Gulfport, Mississippi.

In 1915, Williams returned to the PCL playing for the Los Angeles Angels and the Salt Lake City Bees. In 1916, he played for the St. Joseph Drummers of the Western League.

Williams joined the Hawaiian Infantry in 1917. Upon his return to Hawaii in 1919, he lead team of Hawaiian all-stars that traveled to Japan. Williams later played in the Hawaiian Baseball League.

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Month!

~ baseballrebecca

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2019 Heritage Nights at the Ballpark, Part 2


17991985_10210450229270161_7373124005593779385_nLast week I posted the first half of the my annual celebrations of our many national, ethnic, and religious heritages. I’ve posted the second half below. So get out there and celebrate your heritage and the heritage of your friends and neighbors!

~ baseballrebecca

African American Heritage Celebrations and Negro Leagues Tributes

Date Team Details
16-Apr Nationals Jackie Robinson and Black Heritage Day
1-Jun Pirates Heritage Night/Negro Leagues Uniforms
7-Jun Brewers Negro Leagues Tribute Game
19-Jun Cardinals African American Heritage Night
19-Jun Dodgers African American Heritage Night
20-Jun A’s African American Heritage Night
23-Jun Royals Salute to the Negro Leagues Day
28-Jun Reds African American Community Night
23-Jul Giants African American Heritage Night
10-Aug Tigers 100th Anniversary Detroit Stars Replica Jersey

 

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebrations

8-Apr Giants Chinese Heritage Night
21-Apr Marlins Japanese Heritage Celebration
21-May Giants Filipino Heritage Night 1
24-May Giants Japanese Heritage Night
21-Jun Dodgers Filipino Night
23-Jun Mariners Japanese Heritage Day
19-Jul Giants Polynesian Heritage Night
Jul-19 Dodgers Japan Night
26-Jul A’s Pacific Islander Heritage Night
29-Jul Padres Japanese Community Night
1-Aug Dodgers Korea Night
2-Aug Dodgers Hawaiian Night
6-Aug Mariners Korean Heritage Night
10-Aug Padres Filipino Heritage Night
15-Aug Rangers Hawaiian Heritage Night
16-Aug A’s Korean Heritage Night
20-Aug A’s Chinese Heritage Night
23-Aug Mariners Filipino Heritage Night
7-Sep Padres Pacific Islander Heritage Night

 

Native American Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
14-May Giants Native American Heritage Night
1-Jun D’backs Native American Recognition Day
30-Jul A’s Native American Heritage Night
12-Sep Mariners Salute to Native American Night

 

Heritage Celebrations for Other Folks

Date Team Details
29-May Phillies Greek Heritage Night
31-May A’s Greek Heritage Night
11-Jun Giants Portuguese Heritage Night
18-Jun Padres Scottish Heritage Night
24-Jun Red Sox Catholic Night
26-Jul Padres Catholic Night
27-Jul A’s Portuguese Heritage Night
6-Aug Tigers Arab American Night
10-Aug Tigers Armenian Tigers Fan Night
15-Aug A’s Indian Heritage Night
27-Aug Padres Portuguese Heritage Night
14-Sep Nationals Taste of the World International Food Festival
27-Sep Giants Greek Heritage Night

 

 

 

Best of the Week: 5/12/2019 – 5/18/2019


Once again, the Best of the Week involves Adam Jones. The D-backs put together a nice video of his work:

And let’s not forget the night he pied himself this week:

View this post on Instagram

Seems like David Peralta and I love Pie!!!🥧🥧🥧🥧

A post shared by 10 (@simplyaj10) on

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

Stat-urday, 5/18/2019


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Dodger_Stadium_field_from_upper_deck_2015-10-04.jpgAfter two rain outs in a row in New York this week, I started wondering how the weather has affected games and attendance this year, and stumbled upon an interesting article about MLB attendance being down for the sixth straight year. Last year, they tried to blame it on the weather, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.

Below are the stats for this year’s attendance so far, courtesy of Baseball-reference.com. A whopping 18 teams have lower attendance this year than for the same time last year.

What do you think is causing the drop in attendance and what should MLB do about it?

Average Attendance per Game
Miami 9,516
Tampa Bay 14,540
Baltimore 14,972
Cleveland 15,285
Kansas City 15,525
Pittsburgh 15,717
Detroit 16,359
Cincinnati 17,124
Chicago White Sox 17,362
Minnesota 19,151
Oakland 19,541
Toronto 19,841
Seattle 23,066
Arizona 26,560
Washington 26,908
Texas 27,698
New York Mets 28,219
Atlanta 29,457
San Diego 30,454
Houston 31,941
San Francisco 32,669
Colorado 32,919
Milwaukee 33,079
Boston 33,902
Los Angeles Angels 34,866
Chicago Cubs 35,998
Philadelphia 36,130
New York Yankees 39,316
St. Louis 41,449
Los Angeles Dodgers 47,346

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

2019 Heritage Nights at the Ballpark, Part 1


Image result for internationalAs a Baseball Sociologist, some of my favorite ballpark promotions are heritage nights. Even if you aren’t from a particular community, you can still celebrate with your neighbors, learn something about their heritage, watch some cool dances or presentations, and eat food you don’t normally get to taste.

This year, the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants are doing the most heritage nights – 14 each.  The Padres and Marlins are right behind them with 11 and 10, respectively. In addition, the Marlins introduced “Comunidad 305” this year. They have a dedicated area in the ballpark where they “celebrate culture every game.” According to their website: “No matter where you are from, you are part of what makes Miami great. We are fusing our pride for our Heritage, our city, our diversity and our team to represent every night. Musical instruments, flags and more will be welcomed and encouraged.”

However, 19 teams – that’s NINETEEN teams – have two or fewer heritage days scheduled. At least from my count. Granted, sometimes it’s hard to find where they have the list on their websites. But then again, if it’s not advertised that well, does it really count?

Below are the first groupings I’m posting: Jewish Heritage Nights, Irish/Italian/German/ Polish Heritage Nights, and Latin American Heritage Nights. I decided to group Irish, Italian, German, and Polish heritage nights together because they are European heritage groups that are frequently celebrated at the ballpark. I chose these three groupings simply because they have celebration nights this coming up this weekend. Finally, I’ve included past dates just so you can see if you’re team or group were celebrated and when.

Keep in mind that several of these events include a giveaway item with a special ticket – so be sure to check the team websites for more information. Next week I’ll post additional heritage nights, so stay tuned!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 Jewish Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
19-May Tigers Jewish Heritage Day
19-May Marlins Jewish Heritage Celebration
28-May Reds Jewish Community Night
13-Jun Red Sox Jewish Pride Night
22-Jul Mariners Jewish Community Night
21-Aug A’s Jewish Heritage Night
26-Aug Phillies Jewish Heritage Celebration
27-Aug Giants Jewish Heritage Night
15-Sep Nationals Jewish Community Day
20-Sep Tigers Jewish Heritage Night

 

Irish/Italian/German/Polish Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
11-Apr Giants Irish Heritage Night
17-May Tigers Polish American Night
8-Jun Padres Irish Heritage Night
12-Jun Phillies Irish Heritage Night
13-Jun White Sox Polish Heritage Night
14-Jun Marlins Italian Heritage Celebration
20-Jun Mariners Italian Heritage Night
16-Jul Phillies Italian Heritage Night
25-Jul Mariners Irish Heritage Night
3-Aug A’s Italian Heritage Night
9-Aug Padres Italian Heritage Night
15-Aug Reds Irish Community Night
27-Aug Tigers Italian Heritage Night
30-Aug Giants Italian Heritage Night
14-Sep Nationals Oktoberfest
17-Sep A’s Irish Heritage Night
20-Sep Orioles O’stoberfest
21-Sep Reds German Community Night
24-Sep Giants Oktoberfest
28-Sep Mariners Oktoberfest

 

Latin American Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
20-Apr Marlins Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration
8-May Dodgers Mexican Heritage Night
17-May Marlins Cuban Heritage Celebration
11-Jun White Sox Greek Heritage Night
15-Jun Marlins Nicaraguan Heritage Celebration
21-Jun Royals Viva Los Reales
30-Jun Marlins Venezuelan Heritage Celebration
12-Jul Marlins Colombian Heritage Celebration
24-Aug Marlins Dominican Heritage Celebration
6-Sep White Sox Hispanic Heritage Night
7-Sep Marlins Mexican Heritage Celebration
8-Sep A’s Latinx Heritage Day
12-Sep Phillies German Heritage Celebration
13-Sep Giants Fiesta Gigantes Night
14-Sep D’backs Hispanic Heritage Day
15-Sep Cardinals Fiesta Cardenales
15-Sep Cubs Hispanic Heritage Night
15-Sep Mariners Salute to Latin American Beisbol Day
16-Sep A’s Mexican Heritage Night
16-Sep Brewers Hispanic Heritage Night
20-Sep Dodgers Dia de Los Dodgers
20-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
21-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Festival
21-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Festival
21-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
22-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
26-Sep Nationals Roberto Clemente and Hispanic Heritage Day

 

 

 

Who Will Be the Sixth Brazilian Player in MLB?


Eric Pardinho

Eric Pardinho (photo courtesy of milb.com)

Recently, the roster of the Brazilian National Baseball Team (such as for the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classic) included players on minor league teams, such as the Lexington Legends, Pulaski Mariners, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Jackson Generals, and Bluefield Blue Jays. There were also players on Venezuelan Summer League rosters as well as college rosters and Japanese Baseball League rosters. So, are any of them still in baseball and who will be the next to make it to the Major Leagues?

Two that might make it are Eric Pardinho and Rodrigo Hitoshi “Bo” Takahashi. Pardinho, a pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, is just 18 years old. He is currently ranked number 4 on the Blue Jays’ top prospects list and is the number 88 prospect in all of Major League Baseball. In 2017 at age 16, Pardinho signed with the Blue Jays for a $1.4 million bonus. He made his professional debut in 2018 with the Bluefield Blue Jays. Last season he had a 2.88 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 50 innings. Pardinho was sent to extended spring training in March after experiencing elbow soreness.

Bo Takahashi

Bo Takahashi (photo courtesy of milb.com)

Takahashi, another pitcher, currently plays for the Jackson Generals, the double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2018, between the Visalia Rawhide (A-advanced) and Jackson, Takahashi had a 4.03 ERA, 130 strikeouts, and a 6-6 record in 23 games. The 22-year old Takahashi signed with the Diamondbacks in 2013, when he was 16 years old.

Kudos to the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks for truly being international organizations!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

The Brazilian National Baseball Team


Pan American Games baseball qualifier in Brazil to open 2019 international calendar

Brazilian National Baseball Team. (Photo courtesy of the World Baseball Softball Confederation at wbsc.org.)

Last week I asked what the first five MLB players from Brazil had in common, other than being born in Brazil. The answer? They’ve all been members of the Brazilian National Baseball Team and all participated in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Well, sort of.

In 2013, the World Baseball Classic was played for the third time, with Brazil playing for the first time. Qualifying tournaments were held in 2012.  Yan Gomes was on the Brazilian team for the qualifier, but decided to skip the Classic in 2013 so he could focus on earning a roster spot with the Cleveland Indians (which he did). The remaining members of Brazil’s First Five – Andre Rienzo, Paulo Orlando, Thyago Vieira, and Luiz Gohara – were all on the roster for the 2013 Classic. Like Gomes, however, Gohara, who was only 16 at the time, opted to focus on his career in the Mariners’ farm system. (Gohara had signed with the Mariners in August 2012 and had been assigned to the Mariners Venezuelan Summer League team.)

Rienzo, Orlando, and Vieira stayed with the team for the 2013 tournament. Vieira was the saves leader of the tournament, saving 2 games. Rienzo lead the tournament in walks, with 5. Team Brazil was eliminated in the first round and ended up in 14th place (out of 16).

Rienzo and Vieira were also on the roster for Brazil for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifier (along with Dante Bichette, Jr., and his younger brother Bo), but the team did not qualify for the 2017 WBC.  Rienzo and Vieira also were on the roster for Brazil for the 2019 Pan American Games Qualifier held between January 29 and February 3. Unfortunately, they did not qualify for the 2019 Games (the contenders will be Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru, and Puerto Rico).

More on Brazilian baseball tomorrow – so stay tuned!

~ baseballrebecca