Ballplayer: , poet, musician, pitchman [youtube], quotable broadcaster, Phil Rizzuto passed today. He was the oldest living Hall of Famer whose Induction speech was unforgettable. He was also the baseball voice for generations of Yankees fans, and he will be sorely missed.
He's back.: Some are calling him "The Natural." Some are calling him the next Ruth. While the doubters were eating crow, all eyes were on Rick Ankiel's glorious return last night, and he did not disappoint.
60 Years Ago Today : Larry Doby integrated the American League. He was signed by Bill Veeck, whose desire to integrate was criticized by some. The sale of Doby by Negro Leagues owner Effa Manley set a precedent for compensation back to the ill-fated league's owners as they lost more and more stars, and illustrated her willingness to sacrifice her star players for the greater good.
David Price has anger management issues.: Or a substance abuse problem. Or, if he doesn't now, he will -- why else would the Tampa Devil Rays take him first in the Major League Baseball amateur draft? This link is updating as the draft progresses with info on all the first round picks.
John Smoltz makes history: Tonight, Smoltz got career win #200, becoming the first pitcher ever to add that figure to 150 career saves. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, to whom Smoltz is frequently compared, was just three wins shy of the same distinction when he retired. Smoltz also broke knuckleballer Charlie Hough's record for most saves by a pitcher with 200 or more wins.Is this enough to get Smoltz into the Hall?
Vote for Bob!: You have to keep your head on a swivel when you find yourself in a vicious... uh... doll fight. And putting a head on a swivel is just what the Portland Beavers are looking to do with their next promotion: making a bobblehead doll in the image of Bob L. Head. After a spring search nationwide for people named Bob L. Head, the Beavers have given the nod to three candidates. Shaking off the rest of the field appears to be, well, Bob L. Head from Maquoketa, Iowa, who is not only getting the most thorough campaign coverage, but he also has a daughter named Bob L. Head. Weird.Remember, your vote counts, but I'm telling you right now there is just no way the winner won't get a big head.
The Legend of Broadway Joe: "I'm no hypocrite," Joe said. "I don't hide anything." He paused to finish his drink before continuing. "I drink for the same reason I keep company with girls. It makes me feel good. It takes away the tension." A biography in booze: Modern Drunkard Magazine climbs inside Joe Namath's pads and sloshes around for a while.
Somebody's getting all up in Manny's grill.: Bidding for Manny Ramirez's JENN-AIR (retail value: $4,000) is up around $20K. The grill has been used once, but as Manny says in the ad, "I never have the time to use it because I am always on the road." Can we expect the "purchase-use once-sell at an inflated price" model one we can expect to be expanded upon in the near future? Is eBay on the verge of becoming an endorsement-compensation-alternative for high profile athletes? And what impact might these straight-from-source transactions have on the memorabilia trade, if any?
You mean we were supposed to elect people?: The Baseball Hall of Fame has a board meeting on Tuesday. On the agenda is a look at tweaking a Veterans Committee that has failed to elect a single person -- player, manager, exec or umpire -- in three tries over the last five years. This might be a good time to contact your favorite board member with suggestions.
Chairman of NFL's research committee on concussions resigns,: following strong criticism of his qualifications and the results of the committee's studies. Dr. Elliot Pellman's qualifications came under scrutiny after the release of the findings of a six year study (summary; full article requires subscription) that went against information from other studies. ESPN The Magazine called Pellman out in an October article. The committee's work has clear ramifications on not only the longterm health of NFL players, but those of college and high school players.
The Innovations of Lew Fonseca: Partially inspired by this thread, a look into the man whose fingerprints dot the blueprints for sports training films, highlight films, sports broadcasting... even the speed gun.
2007 is a good year for sheep: MLB's uniform technology people haven't been wool gathering. There's a new cap in town -- a synthetic polyester blend that aims to remove long standing traditions like sweat stains with less, well, au jus. Bud Selig has been a trend ender in many respects, but this one may be the longest running tradition he's tackled. You will still be able to acquire the legendary wool caps, but if you want to dress like the pros, you've gotta go polyester.
Are the '43 Homestead Grays the best baseball team ever?: To honor Black History Month, MLB is listing the top five Negro League teams of all time. Coming in at #5 is a Grays club that includes Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and Cool Papa Bell. Even in the fifth spot, the team compares favorably to the '27 Yankees. Ahead of the Grays, at #4 they list the 1916 Indianapolis ABC's, a club that heralded Oscar Charleston and Ben Taylor. #1 could be any one of Rube Foster's clubs, or the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords, which sported Gibson, Bell, Judy Johnson, Oscar Charleston and Satchel Paige. What's the best team you (probably) never saw?