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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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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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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

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A peak back at contemporary accounts of Curt Schilling's rise to stardom.

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.

If this year's Hall of Fame ballot weren't explicitly designed by the baseball gods to ruffle a serious amount of feathers, one of the most intriguing new names would almost certainly be Curt Schilling. He's been in the news recently for many non-baseball reasons, but, as a player pitching for the World Champion Diamondbacks and Red Sox who struck out more than 300 batters three separate times, he was a great regular season pitcher whose postseason success may legitimately boost him into Cooperstown. With the hoopla at the top of the ballot, however, it might be a while before voters give him his fair due.

Read the full article...

A look at contemporary accounts from Mike Piazza'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.) Let's take a look back at some contemporary accounts of Mike Piazza's at-one-time obvious Hall of Fame career.

It's a famous story now that Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round and only as a favor to Los Angeles manager (and Piazza's godfather) Tommy Lasorda. It's a catchy story, after all. A man drafted that low isn't expected to amount to much of anything, let alone become a twelve-time All-Star or the career leader in home runs for a catcher. Today, for example, the draft doesn't even go to 62 rounds.

Read the full article...

What is the life of a back-of-the-magazine crossword puzzle editor really like?

Did you ever wonder what goes through the mind of an editor of one of those back-of-the-magazine crossword puzzles? You know, those puzzles filled with, like, 15 clues all based around the name of, say, your favorite television show? Where the words intersect on one letter at most and the most complicated clue is "the dominant color of Superman's uniform"?

Well, I can't promise to know exactly what one of these editors might be thinking, but I bet I can give you the next best thing. In the back of the 2008 "Official Chicago White Sox Magazine" is a baseball-themed puzzle of that caliber. By taking a look at each clue, we should be able to get a good sense of what this mind-numbing job might be like. Let's see what we find!

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The stars of the holiday staple were famous baseball fans.

It's Christmas week. The time of fruitcakes, Rickey Henderson, Ralphie shooting his eye out, and, of course, White Christmas. The classic holiday movie has been a staple of family Christmases for nearly sixty years, bringing Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye into living rooms since 1954. For a movie dealing with the return of World War II veterans, vaudeville music, and snow-covered celebrations, the baseball ties are bigger than you might expect.

The world was reminded recently that Bing Crosby, the man who most famously sang the film's title song, was a partial owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates at one time. In fact, it was a long-forgotten recording stored in Crosby's wine cellar that gave us the only known full-length recording of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series—the famous Bill Mazeroski series-clinching home run.

Read the full article...

It's the eve of armageddon and a major league manager controls the fate of the world.

It's the eve of armageddon and a major league manager controls the fate of the world.

The Cold War rages, tensions are high. The Soviets have positioned troops in Sri Lanka and the Americans are insisting that they be removed. Meanwhile, Al Tiller, manager of the Chicago Cubs, is positioning his club for their first pennant in over forty years. Armed with the checkbook of new Cubs owner Chester A. Rowdy, the billionaire discoverer of an Alabaman super worm, the northsiders have one of the most expensive and powerful offenses ever assembled. It doesn't matter if their shortstop and second baseman are both really third baseman when they're being paid obscene amounts of money to help the team.

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From "Babe Ruth's Sports Comics", a Golden Age comic book, a look at Babe Ruth's start in the big leagues.

Babe Ruth died in August 1948 at the age of 53. The following spring "Babe Ruth Sports Comics" was released to a nation full of comics-loving children. The magazine promised to to be "an all-sports magazine. ... You might get a little more baseball than other sports in the spring and summer, a little more football in the fall, and a little more basketball and ice hockey in the winter." Of course, with Babe Ruth's name plastered on the cover, the Great Bambino was featured throughout the comics. For the first few issues, for example, Ruth's life story was told and illustrated in a kid-friendly manner. There were also tips about how to swing a bat and throw a pitch and whatnot, mini-biographies of stars like Lou Boudreau and "The Clown Prince of Baseball", and other features kids of the 1940s might like.

But Ruth was the draw, even if kids reading the magazine were all plenty aware that he had died only the year before. So what did kids who read "Babe Ruth Sports Comics" see of their hero? From the magazine's second issue in June 1949, here's a look at "The Life of Babe Ruth: Chapter 2, Babe Enters Professional Baseball".

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The Mizuno sporting goods company had some interesting ideas for advanced baseball equipment in the early 1980s.

In the early 1980s, the Japanese sporting goods company Mizuno, who claimed to be the "biggest producer of sports equipment in the world", held an annual exhibition in New York to showcase their advances in sporting goods. It was a brash time: the Cold War was finally moving towards the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Jim Belushi buddy-cop movie era, Michael Jackson was starring in epic music videos, and computers were advancing at a terrific speed. Mizuno was taking full advantage of this exciting time by pumping millions of dollars per year into the research and development of more "safe and electronically-advanced baseball equipment". What exactly did this mean thirty years ago?

In 1981, George Sheldon, the exclusive distributor of Mizuno gear in the United States, claimed "Such innovations as electronic foul lines and strike-zone sensors will take much of the discretionary factor out of umpire rulings and insure more accurate calls." That wasn't the technology being showcased at these New York exhibitions, however. One basic advance that Mizuno showcased was a uniform "specially constructed of a 'perspiration-control' fabric with maximum ventilation and added padding in the shin area." Another was a "see-through fielder's glove" that gave the fielder a bit of a glare shield for balls high in the sky. They also showed "a six-finger glove ... an aerodynamically-designed one-piece uniform ... shoes with removable spikes, and a plexiglass catcher's mask".

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A made-for-tv movie from the 1970s told the interesting tale of Detroit Tigers center fielder Ron LeFlore.

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The 2013 Hall of Fame ballot is out and if you're looking for a non-PED reason to exclude any candidate, start here...

One reason not to vote for each of this year's Hall of Fame nominees that has nothing to do with steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.

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A new league was formed in the winter of 1989 that tried to capture the success of the Senior PGA. It didn't last very long.

In the winter of 1989, a new league played its inaugural games. Formed by Jim Morley, a 33-year-old real estate developer and a group of like-minded owners who "[would] spend in the neighborhood of $1 million the first year", the Senior Professional Baseball Association started play in eight Florida towns for a 72-game season between November and February. Players, who earned no more than $15,000 a month (with an average of $7,000), were required to be 35 years old or older (catchers could be as young as 32). Some famous names, including Vida Blue, Ferguson Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, Amos Otis, Luis Tiant, and Dave Kingman, suited up in the inaugural season. Curt Flood took on the role of commissioner, while Dock Ellis, Dick Williams, Bobby Bonds, and Earl Weaver all joined up as coaches or managers.

The league had a tough time gaining a foothold that winter. This was partly because the league began play in November, a "time of year when tourists are out of season in Florida." According to the November 20, 1989, issue of Sports Illustrated, the league needed to average 2,000 fans a game to break even. At that time, the average was barely half that at 1,113.

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As Kurt Vonnegut notes, an index can reveal a lot about the indexer.

Kurt Vonnegut revealed a hidden, but undeniable, truth in his masterpiece Cat's Cradle:

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Colorful owner and promoter Joe Engel once traded a shortstop for a 25-pound turkey for a nefarious reason...

Read the full article...

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