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Bob Hertzel 

Bob Hertzel

Bob Hertzel has been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for more than four decades. He will occasionally reflect on some of the great players, great moments and unusual characters that he has covered as a baseball writer.

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01-12

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32

Another Look: The All-Non-Hall of Fame Team
by
Bob Hertzel

01-06

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2

Another Look: Bert Blyleven
by
Bob Hertzel

12-22

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8

Another Look: Bob Feller
by
Bob Hertzel

12-13

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36

Another Look: Marvin Miller
by
Bob Hertzel

12-06

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0

Another Look: Ron Santo
by
Bob Hertzel

11-29

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16

Another Look: Willie Mays
by
Bob Hertzel

11-23

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8

Another Look: Dick Allen
by
Bob Hertzel

11-15

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3

Another Look: The Yankee Princess
by
Bob Hertzel

11-09

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4

Another Look: The Joe Morgan Trade
by
Bob Hertzel

11-02

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5

Another Look: 1989 World Series Earthquake
by
Bob Hertzel

10-26

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32

Another Look: Chuck Tanner and the 1979 Pirates
by
Bob Hertzel

10-19

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10

Another Look: Kirk Gibson's Homer
by
Bob Hertzel

10-12

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15

Another Look: The 1972 World Series
by
Bob Hertzel

10-05

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5

Another Look: Joe Torre and Casey Stengel
by
Bob Hertzel

09-28

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9

Another Look: Baseball Digest
by
Bob Hertzel

09-21

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17

Another Look: Hall of Fame Pitchers Becoming an Extinct Species
by
Bob Hertzel

09-14

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74

Another Look: Reconsidering Pete Rose
by
Bob Hertzel

09-07

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27

Another Look: Unbreakable Records
by
Bob Hertzel

08-31

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15

Another Look: Hitting Pitchers and Some Who Couldn't
by
Bob Hertzel

08-24

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6

Another Look: Lefty's Remarkable Streak
by
Bob Hertzel

08-17

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0

Another Look: The Unknown Comics
by
Bob Hertzel

08-10

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4

Another Look: Willie, Mickey, and the Duke
by
Bob Hertzel

08-03

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6

Another Look: Do No More
by
Bob Hertzel

07-27

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5

Another Look: Andy Van Slyke
by
Bob Hertzel

07-20

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5

Another Look: George Steinbrenner
by
Bob Hertzel

07-13

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2

Another Look: The 1952 Pirates
by
Bob Hertzel

07-06

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2

Another Look: Mal Fichman
by
Bob Hertzel

06-29

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2

Another Look: Remembering Donald Davidson
by
Bob Hertzel

06-22

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6

Another Look: Mascot Mania
by
Bob Hertzel

06-15

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7

Another Look: Pitchers Who Fizzled
by
Bob Hertzel

06-08

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15

Another Look: Baseball Truly is a Funny Game
by
Bob Hertzel

06-01

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2

Another Look: A Six Pack of No-Hitters
by
Bob Hertzel

05-25

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6

Another Look: Growing Up with a Future Big Leaguer
by
Bob Hertzel

05-11

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3

Another Look: Sparky Anderson
by
Bob Hertzel

04-27

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4

Another Look: Clemente's Last Hit
by
Bob Hertzel

04-20

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8

Another Look: Remembering Chico Ruiz
by
Bob Hertzel

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July 20, 2010 8:00 am

Another Look: George Steinbrenner

5

Bob Hertzel

A look at the late Yankees owner by someone who saw the best and worst of the man from a close-up perspective.

This was supposed to be about “The Voice of God,” as Reggie Jackson once dubbed Bob Sheppard, the New York Yankees' eloquent public address announcer for more than 50 years, who died last week. But how can you write about the Voice of God when God himself has died.

George Steinbrenner is dead.

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July 13, 2010 8:00 am

Another Look: The 1952 Pirates

2

Bob Hertzel

The "Rickey Dinks" began the season with 12 rookies and ended it with a 42-112 record.

There are those who would argue, with one half of the National League season gone, that the Pirates are not only the worst team in the league but border upon being the worst in the 124-year history of the franchise.

There are some numbers to back that up. To begin with, no franchise has ever had more consecutive losing seasons than the Pirates, who are in the midst of No. 18. Then there was the stretch leading into the All-Star break when the Pirates went more than an entire month without hitting a home run with a runner on base. Truth is they didn’t hit many home runs at all, only 10 in the entire month.

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July 6, 2010 8:00 am

Another Look: Mal Fichman

2

Bob Hertzel

Few have pulled off more memorable stunts than the legendary scout and minor-league manager.

We have just celebrated the Fourth of July, which always has been a significant date in baseball, be it because it was the date that Lou Gehrig’s No. 4 became the first number retired in baseball or because it marked the major-league debut of Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, whose major-league career consisted without so much as an at-bat yet became immortalized by W.P. Kinsella in his book “Shoeless Joe,” which morphed into the movie Field of Dreams.

It also is a date that has led to quite a bit of zaniness in our national pastime. In 1913, only one baseball was used as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Chicago Cubs, 9-6, without so much as a home run or foul ball landing in the stands. Moreover, on July 4th, 1989, Mal Fichman etched his name into baseball lore.

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June 29, 2010 8:00 am

Another Look: Remembering Donald Davidson

2

Bob Hertzel

The long-time Braves traveling secretary was short of stature but long on personality.

It is difficult to know where to begin when you are about to write about Donald Davidson, for there never was anyone like him in baseball before he came along, unless you want to make a comparison to Eddie Gaedel, and there hasn’t been anyone like him since.

Let me first introduce you to this giant among men who stood only 4-foot-2, but who some exaggerated down to 3-foot-6, as if it matters. Deformed after a bout with sleeping sickness as a child, Davidson became a baseball legend as traveling secretary of the Boston-Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves. He was the link between Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron, having been a batboy with the Braves when Ruth spent his one season there, the gregarious Bambino taking what was then just a child on his lap and talking with him, and traveling secretary and publicity man for Aaron.

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June 22, 2010 9:00 am

Another Look: Mascot Mania

6

Bob Hertzel

The fired Pittsburgh pierogi is the latest of many costumed characters who have found themselves in the news.

The one thing about the Pittsburgh Pirates is that there's never a dull moment. Last week, the ballclub was caught up in the midst of what would become a 12-game losing streak. The club would not fire its manager or general manager, but it did fire one of the costumed pierogis who take part in its nightly Great Pittsburgh Pierogi Race. It just seems the Pirates can’t do anything right.

As for the manager, John Russell, and general manager, Neal Huntington, it turned out as the calls for their heads reached a deafening level, it was revealed the club—secretly, as if they were embarrassed to have done so—had extended both their contracts during the winter.

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June 15, 2010 9:00 am

Another Look: Pitchers Who Fizzled

7

Bob Hertzel

Before we get too carried away with Stephen Strasburg, remember there were other pitchers who started fast then fizzled.

It was a week ago that Stephen Strasburg, who is no relation to Steven Spielberg even though some say he has to be an extraterrestrial, made his major-league pitching debut. If a Hall of Fame vote had been held the morning after he zapped the Pirates with 14 strikeouts and nary a walk, the only real blemish coming when Delwyn Young hit a changeup for a home run, Strasburg would have been our first unanimous Hall of Famer.

But allow a warning to be issued here. As Lee Corso of football fame would say, “Not so fast, my friend." See, we’ve been there before.

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June 8, 2010 7:00 am

Another Look: Baseball Truly is a Funny Game

15

Bob Hertzel

Players have always been quick to come up with quips, dating back to the days of Babe Ruth.

It was Art Linkletter, one of the great personalities from the early days of television, who created quite a franchise through a show and book entitled Kids Say the Darndest Things. Linkletter would talk to grade school-aged kids and draw out some classic responses. Cover baseball for a while and you find out that isn’t only kids who say the darndest things.

Of all the athletes, baseball players have always been by far the best at coming up with classic lines. Maybe it’s all the time they have to think of things to say, but it was probably more as Roy Campanella, the great Brooklyn Dodgers catcher, pegged it when he noted, “you have to have a lot of little boy in you to play baseball.”

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June 1, 2010 8:30 am

Another Look: A Six Pack of No-Hitters

2

Bob Hertzel

Our resident veteran scribe has covered six no-nos in his career and all have had interesting back stories.

Sometimes, the wheel of fortune just seems to keep stopping on your number. Or not. For example, think of Marty Noble, the fine veteran baseball writer who covers the New York Mets these days for MLB.com and who spent years as that team’s beat writer at Newsday. The man has been covering baseball games since he weighed 180 pounds, and one look will tell you that was a long, long time ago. He's covered it all—except a no-hitter. It’s probably safe to say there are lot of veteran baseball writers who have not covered a no-hitter. That’s their loss, for there really is nothing quite like a no-hitter to cover. That was a lesson learned early in a baseball writing career. Real early.

In 1969, I took over the baseball beat at the Cincinnati Enquirer, not knowing what lay ahead, which was, of course, the birth of the Big Red Machine. But that was a year away and there was no way to know that I would cover six no-hitters or that they would come at me before I was ready for them.

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Richie Scheinblum made it to the major leagues but was outhomered by a certain writer in Little League.

Let me tell you about the best hitter I ever saw, and in 30 years of covering major-league baseball, I saw a few pretty good hitters. Guys named Aaron, Rose, and Bonds, to begin with. I was there when Pete Rose collected the hit that broke Ty Cobb’s record, and I was there when Barry Bonds hit his first home run and there when Hank Aaron hit his 714th to tie Babe Ruth.

But they couldn’t hit like Janet Murk. That’s right. Janet. A woman.

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May 11, 2010 8:01 am

Another Look: Sparky Anderson

3

Bob Hertzel

The congenial Hall of Fame manager was truly one of a kind.

It was one of those cold winter days that you get in Ohio, the wind blowing out from Cleveland, through Columbus and into Cincinnati, the memory on this day of a World Series lost to the Baltimore Orioles by the newly-christened Big Red Machine dimming with each passing day. It was one of those quiet days in the offices of the Cincinnati Enquirer, where everyone was waiting for 1970 to turn into 1971.

The mail arrived in the department in the morning, but the reporters didn’t start to tumble in until mid-afternoon. It was the time of year when the Christmas cards would come in, this being in the days before computers, where cards actually made of paper and were hand-signed. One that arrived that afternoon had us all stumped though, for it carried warm Christmas greetings from George Anderson.

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April 27, 2010 8:10 am

Another Look: Clemente's Last Hit

4

Bob Hertzel

The safety that came after what the record books reflect.

Because the record book lists Roberto Clemente with 3,000 career hits, people naturally assume that the 3,000th was his final hit, that double off the New York MetsJon Matlack on September 30, 1972.

You’ve all seen the photo, Clemente standing on second base, tipping his hat to the crowd. But it was not his last hit. Another left-hander served up the final hit of The Great One’s tragedy-shortened career, and he remembers it as well today as he did on that October day during the National League Championship Series almost 40 years ago.

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The flashy utilityman pulled off one of the most daring plays in baseball history in 1964.

Bob Hertzel has been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for more than four decades. He will occasionally reflect on some of the great players, great moments and unusual characters that he has covered as a baseball writer.

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