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04-26

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1

Wezen-Ball: Denver's Snowy Troubles
by
Larry Granillo

04-24

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2

Wezen-Ball: When Brewers and Beer Clash
by
Larry Granillo

04-19

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1

Wezen-Ball: A Few of Baseball's Best Moments
by
Larry Granillo

04-17

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3

Wezen-Ball: "Rise of the Robot Umpires"
by
Larry Granillo

04-15

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4

Wezen-Ball: Jackie Robinson Talks Sacrifices in "Boys' Life"
by
Larry Granillo

04-11

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1

Wezen-Ball: The Froot Loop Summer
by
Larry Granillo

04-09

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1

Wezen-Ball: Which Justin Upton Home Run was Longest?
by
Larry Granillo

04-08

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2

Wezen-Ball: The 2013 Interleague Schedule
by
Larry Granillo

04-04

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1

Wezen-Ball: Yu Darvish Reminds Us: Technology is Great
by
Larry Granillo

04-02

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1

Wezen-Ball: A Freak Injury for Paul Molitor
by
Larry Granillo

03-31

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2

Wezen-Ball: House Sigils for Major League Baseball
by
Larry Granillo

03-27

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1

Wezen-Ball: Connie Mack, the Wise-Cracking Catcher
by
Larry Granillo

03-26

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2

Wezen-Ball: Li'l Pete's Big Hit
by
Larry Granillo

03-25

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1

Wezen-Ball: News of the Weird
by
Larry Granillo

03-21

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4

Wezen-Ball: A Plane Crash in Indianapolis
by
Larry Granillo

03-14

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2

Wezen-Ball: Happy Pi (Pi) Day, 2013!
by
Larry Granillo

03-13

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4

Wezen-Ball: Globicide, or Murdering a Baseball
by
Larry Granillo

03-05

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5

Wezen-Ball: When Cuba Stomped the Orioles
by
Larry Granillo

02-28

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13

Wezen-Ball: Batting Third: Bryce Harper (and Derek Jeter)
by
Larry Granillo

02-26

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1

Wezen-Ball: The Astrodome's Futuristic Scoreboard
by
Larry Granillo

02-19

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3

Wezen-Ball: Century City
by
Larry Granillo

02-14

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4

Wezen-Ball: You Can't Help But Love It
by
Larry Granillo

02-12

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6

Wezen-Ball: The Night Pete Rose Broke the Record
by
Larry Granillo

02-06

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3

Wezen-Ball: Hank Aaron, TV Salesman
by
Larry Granillo

02-04

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7

Wezen-Ball: Clemens' 20 K's
by
Larry Granillo

02-01

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4

Wezen-Ball: Bolton's Bombers
by
Larry Granillo

01-30

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5

Wezen-Ball: The 1948 World Series, Game1: A Radio Diary
by
Larry Granillo

01-28

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4

Wezen-Ball: Ball Park's Classic Guide to Franks
by
Larry Granillo

01-24

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0

Wezen-Ball: Black and Blue
by
Larry Granillo

01-23

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1

Wezen-Ball: The Milwaukee Walk of Shame?
by
Larry Granillo

01-19

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4

Wezen-Ball: Earl Weaver & Stan Musial, Together
by
Larry Granillo

01-17

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4

Wezen-Ball: Casey at Bat in the Twilight Zone
by
Larry Granillo

01-16

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0

Wezen-Ball: An Ultimate Road Trip
by
Larry Granillo

01-09

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0

Wezen-Ball: Through the Years: Jack Morris
by
Larry Granillo

01-08

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0

Wezen-Ball: Through the Years: Craig Biggio
by
Larry Granillo

01-08

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4

Wezen-Ball: Through the Years: Jeff Bagwell
by
Larry Granillo

01-07

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Wezen-Ball: Through the Years: Curt Schilling
by
Larry Granillo

01-07

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3

Wezen-Ball: Through the Years: Mike Piazza
by
Larry Granillo

01-02

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1

Wezen-Ball: Breaking Down the White Sox Magazine Crossword
by
Larry Granillo

12-28

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1

Wezen-Ball: "White Christmas" at the Ballpark
by
Larry Granillo

12-21

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0

Wezen-Ball: Apocalyptic Fiction (Featuring the Chicago Cubs)
by
Larry Granillo

12-20

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Wezen-Ball: The Life of Babe Ruth, Illustrated
by
Larry Granillo

12-13

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3

Wezen-Ball: Electronic Baseball Equipment of the Future
by
Larry Granillo

12-10

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5

Wezen-Ball: The Ron LeFlore Story
by
Larry Granillo

12-04

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4

Wezen-Ball: 37 Candidates, 37 (non-PED) Excuses
by
Larry Granillo

11-28

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5

Wezen-Ball: The SPBA's Short Life
by
Larry Granillo

11-26

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0

Wezen-Ball: Indexing the Indexers
by
Larry Granillo

11-20

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1

Wezen-Ball: Joe Engel Trades for a Turkey
by
Larry Granillo

11-15

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1

Wezen-Ball: A Question of Value
by
Larry Granillo

11-12

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3

Wezen-Ball: "Skyfall" and Baseball's Golden Age
by
Larry Granillo

<< Previous Column Entries Next Column Entries >>

A look at all 20 punchouts in Roger Clemens' 20-strikeout game against Seattle in 1986.

There is a secret haven of MLB gems hidden in iTunes right now. Under the heading "Baseball's Best", you can find over 150 games ranging from the 1952 World Series to Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2009. The games feature no-hitters, record-breakers, classic postseason battles and more. Best of all, these games are available in their full, original broadcasts (including everything but the commercials) for only $1.99. Today we look at one of these gems: the Seattle at Boston matchup on April 29, 1986, when Roger Clemens set the major-league record for strikeouts in a game.

Heading into this Tuesday night game in front of 13,414 fans, the Mariners are 7-12 and batting .207 on the season. They have also not had two consecutive hits in 64 innings. The lineup looks like this:

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The superstar traveling softball team you never heard of.

In the mid-1990s, an unlikely hero stepped onto the softball field. His goal was an admirable one, to raise money for charities across the country. Traveling around the country, the long-haired crooner would lead his squad against a collection of local athletes. So who was this silver-voiced Clark Kent? None other than Michael Bolton, who led his team the "Bolton Bombers" to charity softball games around the country.

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A running diary of the two-hour radio broadcast of game 1 of the 1948 World Series, featuring Bob Feller and Johnny Sain.

Last week, Ben Lindbergh let us all in on the secret treasure trove of 50- and 60-year old radio broadcasts that Craig Robinson at Flip Flop Fly Ballin' recently uncovered. It's a pretty fantastic find, with games ranging from the 1948 World Series to a late summer game between the White Sox and Red Sox in the Impossible Dream season.

While Ben had a few things to say about Game 5 of the 1948 World Series, I recently listened to the full two-hour broadcast of Game 1 of the same series, a tight pitcher's duel between Bob Feller and Johnny Sain. Even for a game played when Jackie Robinson was the reigning Rookie of the Year, the game, at one-hour and forty-two minutes long, was a speedy affair. By contrast, Game 1 of the 2012 World Series between Justin Verlander and Barry Zito lasted three-hours and 26-minutes.

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"Baseball fans' guide to Ball Park Franks."

Discovered in the 1982 Detroit Tigers Yearbook:

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An imaginative pair of cards from the early 1980s.

The 1980s baseball card market was a time of competition and experimentation as the industry built itself up into the unsustainable bubble it would become. Early in the decade, the Fleer company tried to stand out with an exciting series of subsets: pairing the aging Pete Rose and Willie Stargell together and calling it "Fountain of Youth"; taking a quick snapshot of Gary Carter and Fernando Valenzuela meeting for the first time and labeling it "West Meets East" (which makes little sense, seeing as how Carter was from Los Angeles); celebrating the Pine Tar Incident with a photo of George Brett and Gaylord Perry enjoying a good tar together. You know, that kind of thing.

The best example of Fleer's flair for the imaginative came in the 1983 set with their "Black and Blue" cards. Notice the lack of a border between the two cards.

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Media members in Wisconsin take their voting rights very seriously.

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A quick look back at an early 1952 game.

March 8, 1952, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Spring training. The defending World Champion New York Yankees are facing 1951's third place St. Louis Cardinals in the first test of new player-manager Eddie Stanky. Stanky's main goal is to try and get a good feeling for his new squad—especially the young kids who have been toiling away in Omaha and the rest of the minor-league system—but there's little doubt that he wants to make a respectable showing in his new role.

With an eye towards the future, Stanky pencils in 21-year-old Earl Weaver at second base. Weaver has already played 540 games at various levels of the Cardinals' minor-league system over the last four years, but his time to make it to the big leagues may be running out. Not only has Red Schoendienst been holding down the keystone since 1946 (and will stay there for St. Louis until he's traded in 1956), but new manager Stanky is also on the depth chart up the middle. It's a cruel joke for the man called "the Eddie Stanky of the Cardinal organization". If Weaver can't make a big impression this spring, who knows what will happen to him.

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A review of a first season episode of "Twilight Zone".

The original run of Twilight Zone is filled with classic episodes dealing with substantial or clever topics. The truth of beauty. The loneliness of time. William Shatner's sanity. "The Mighty Casey", Rod Serling's only foray into the world of baseball, is not one of those episodes. In fact, some even call it one of the worst episodes in the show's history.

The story deals with Mouth McGarry, the manager of the Hoboken Zephyrs, the worst team in the major leagues ("If we win one game, we have to call it a streak!"). One day, a strapping, young pitcher with a record-setting fastball, a cartoonish curve, and a Bugs Bunny slowball named Casey joins his team. The catch? Casey is a robot. He's an odd man, never smiling, but on the mound he's the greatest there ever was. Suddenly, the Zephyrs are the best team in the league. That is, until the day Casey gets beaned and sent to the hospital.

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An early attempt at everyone's dream.

Chuck Laterza had a dream. In 1980, the Ohio man envisioned the ultimate baseball road trip. What could be better than a group of self-proclaimed baseball junkies road-tripping across the Ohio River Valley together and seeing ten games in ten different cities in ten days?

Laterza loved the idea so much that, with a small ad in the Sporting News that spring, he arranged for it to happen. For $849, participants would travel over 3,000 miles together in a bus, seeing games in cities from Chicago to Boston, and Detroit to Baltimore, and everything in-between. They would spend nights in motels along the way, except for two all-night bus rides, and even stop off at historic attractions such as the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Babe Ruth Shrine in Baltimore. There was even some early talk on visiting retired players in their homes.

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Looking at the controversial Hall of Fame candidate through contemporary accounts from his early career.

With the Hall of Fame announcement scheduled for this week, now is a good time to look back at the early careers of some of this year's most talked-about nominees. (And with the early exit polls looking as they do, it might be nice to remember just how great some of these players were.)

Jack Morris, longtime anchor of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff, winningest pitcher of the 1980s, and author of one of the most memorable World Series games of all-time, is now in his fourteenth year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Only three years ago, Morris was barely receiving 53% of the vote. Five years ago, it was merely 44%. Today, however, he sits on the verge of election, receiving 67% in the 2012 voting and returning to the ballot as the lead vote-getter. To be honest, the arguments over Morris's Hall worthiness have gone on so long now that it feels nearly impossible to even remember what he was like as a player. For both sides of the debate, "Jack Morris" has turned into a stone idol, representing all that is beautiful and romantic of old-school baseball on one side and all that is vile and oppressive of outdated thinking on the other. His year-to-year and day-to-day strengths and weaknesses have been mostly forgotten or ignored, except when useful in proving a point. Morris, more than any other candidate on the Hall of Fame ballot, may benefit most from a look back at contemporary accounts of his early career.

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A look at contemporary accounts for a man Bill James called "the best player in major league baseball."

With the Hall of Fame announcement scheduled for this week, now is a good time to look back at the early careers of some of this year's most talked-about nominees. (And with the early exit polls looking as they do, it might be nice to remember just how great some of these players were.) This post was originally written (mostly) in 2009.

Biggio's first appearance in any of the annual preview guides comes in the Minor Leagues section of the 1988 Street & Smith's. It is a rather underwhelming first mention and the (likely) typo in his first name is fitting for the most underrated star of his time:

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Contemporary accounts of the Houston first baseman's early career.

With the Hall of Fame announcement scheduled for this week, now is a good time to look back at the early careers of some of this year's most talked-about nominees. (And with the early exit polls looking as they do, it might be nice to remember just how great some of these players were.)

The way you hear people talk about it today, it'd seem as if Houston's superstar first baseman Jeff Bagwell came from as deep a pit of obscurity as Mike Piazza, the Los Angeles catcher drafted in a round so low that it doesn't even exist today. Bagwell, after all, came to the Astros in a trade for the less-than-thrilling Larry Andersen. But Bagwell was the Red Sox fourth-round draft pick in 1989 and the Boston Globe had this to say the day after the trade:

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