Category Archives: Authentic MLB Jerseys

Denny Galehouse Jersey

For a generation of Red Sox fans, Bill Buckner’s name was a curse. It was part of the long litany of men who were often invoked in moments of fury and agony—one that stretched as far back as Harry Frazee and included Denny Galehouse, Johnny Pesky, Bucky Dent and Mike Torrez, and that officially added Buckner in the early hours of Oct. 26, 1986, in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The groundball off Mookie Wilson’s bat that went through Buckner’s legs to finish a Mets rally and Boston’s title dreams neatly encapsulated all the frustrations and foibles of an entire franchise. It also sadly and understandably came to be the enduring image of Buckner.

I was born a few months after the ’86 World Series, and rooting for the Red Sox as a kid, I learned of Buckner primarily as the punch line to a cruel cosmic joke. You only ever saw him as an inevitable part of the interminable montages of October failure that accompanied any of Boston’s postseason games, with Vin Scully providing the excruciating play by play. “Little roller up along first … behind the bag! It gets through Buckner!”

The grounder turned him from player to ghost, forever condemned to haunt bloopers reels and lists of the worst sports mistakes of all-time. That one disastrous moment made Buckner, who died Monday at the age of 69 from Lewy Body Dementia, into a villain: the man who prolonged an agonizing championship drought.

It was also deeply unfair. Buckner’s error was the uppercut that left the Red Sox unconscious on the canvas, but it wasn’t the sole reason they lost. It took a village, as the expression goes: Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley and Rich Gedman and manager John McNamara were as much to blame for Boston’s loss as Buckner. He never should have been out there in the first place: Chronic ankle pain had left Buckner hobbling in the field, and McNamara had been using Dave Stapleton as a defensive replacement for him during the season (as well as in Games 1, 2 and 5 of the series). But he stayed out there in Game 6, because, as McNamara said in 2011, “Buckner was the best first baseman I had.”

But it was Buckner who became the scapegoat as the author of a play that overshadowed two decades in the majors, where all he did was hit. Across 22 seasons stretching from 1969 to ’90, Buckner posted a career .289 batting average and 2,715 hits. He was a contact hitter par excellence and the Platonic ideal of a 1980s ballplayer: He rarely walked or struck out, and his season high in home runs was a mere 18, set in that ’86 season at the age of 36. But from ‘71 through ’86, he averaged 153 hits per year and hit .300 or better seven times. He won the National League batting title with the Cubs in ’80 and was named to the All-Star team—his lone Midsummer Classic selection—the following year.

Boston never even would have reached the World Series in ’86 without his help. In a do-or-die ALCS Game 5 against the Angels, he sparked the game-winning rally with a leadoff single in the top of the ninth.

Game 6 practically erased all of that. “This whole city hates me,” he told his wife Jody after the Series, as Peter Gammons wrote for Sports Illustrated in November 1986. “Is this what I’m going to be remembered for?” And while he was cheered at the post-Series parade in Boston and in his final season in 1990, when he returned to Boston as a free agent and was given a standing ovation in the home opener, he never could escape the cruel taunts and lazy jokes. In 1993, Leigh Montville caught up with him for SI, still living in New England but seemingly desperate to leave. “At least once a week during the season, something is said,” he said. “Why put up with it? I’m tired of it.”

Buckner and his family eventually relocated to Idaho—about as far away as you could go while still keeping a foot in baseball. That’s what he did, spending his post-playing career working as a coach, instructor and manager. His final stop in the game was as the hitting coach for the minor league Boise Hawks before calling it quits in 2014. Over those years, he routinely confronted the error that had come to define his life. He signed autographs of the play with Wilson and starred alongside him in a commercial for MLB Network. He graciously made fun of himself, most memorably in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he catches a baby falling out of a window of a burning building and is carried off on the shoulders of a crowd.

Twenty-two years after the ball got through him, Buckner returned to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the 2008 home opener. The Red Sox were coming off a World Series title—their second in three seasons, after the ’04 victory that brought an end to 86 years of heartbreak and reduced Buckner to a footnote. “Let him know that he’s welcome always,” exhorted Joe Castiglione over the PA, and the sellout crowd did just that, giving him a two-minute-long ovation as he walked from the Green Monster in leftfield to the pitcher’s mound. “I really had to forgive,” Buckner said through tears after the game of his decision to attend; he had previously turned down an invite to join the members of the ’86 team for a 20th anniversary celebration two years earlier. “So I’ve done that. I’m over that.”

Scarborough Green Jersey

Bobby Dalbec isn’t the only one who has high expectations for himself in the 2020 Major League Baseball season. The Boston Red Sox prospect is among the rookies MLB executives expect to “contribute the most” next season, according to poll results MLB.com’s Jim Callis published Friday. Dalbec finished in seventh place, garnering 4 percent of the vote. “Dalbec offers well above-average raw power and arm strength, Scarborough Green and despite solid defense at the hot corner he won’t displace Rafael Devers and instead will compete for the Red Sox’s first-base job,” Callis wrote. Dalbec is among eight players the Red Sox invited to next week’s Rookie Development Camp and he’ll begin the season on Boston’s 40-man roster. The dedication he has shown in his offseason workouts and his stellar play for Team USA at the Premier12 Tournament have impressed Red Sox officials and manager Alex Cora, who said last month at the MLB winter meetings he expects Dalbec to make in impact “sooner than later for us.” Words and expectations won’t guarantee Dalbec either shines in Boston or even spends the entire season with the big-league club. However, offseason admiration from near and far likely will fuel hopes of both happening. Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page.

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/01/mlb-execs-predict-red-soxs-bobby-dalbec-to-be-among-mlbs-top-rookies-in-2020/
Scarborough Green

Bobby Vaughn Jersey

Bruce DuQuesnay shot a perfect hundred to top a massive field of 130 shooters on Sunday at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore. He is only the second gunner to shoot 100 in sporting clays in Jamaica.

DuQuesnay was very pleased with his performance. “I feel good. It was a great day. Targets were on the softer side but I enjoyed it. Today was a day that I kinda focus on my mental side of things to make sure that I was doing the right technique, reading the birds the right way and just focus on every bird one at a time.”

He said that it was not all easy though as there were some hard “true pairs” stations that challenged him.

DeQuesnay mentioned his mentor, uncle Peter McConnell, who was the last person to shoot 100 in sporting clays at the club about 15-20 years ago. That was the only other time that someone shot 100 in sporting clays in Jamaica.

“I am actually ecstatic about my performance today,” he added. Interestingly McConnell provided the prize that DuQuesnay selected during the award ceremony. DuQuesnay also had high praises for Khaleel Azan, who taught him the sport.

Top female shooter Wendy McMaster was in fine form as she posted her best score ever when she shot 90 to win the Ladies Class and claim second place in her class (C Class), where she competes among the men for top honours.

“It’s my highest score in sporting clay tournament and I feel very, very happy,” she said.

“I always feel exceptionally good when I am improving. It’s not an easy sport, it’s mostly men and I am competing against the men and I am happy that I placed second in my class today. The highest shot 94 and I was just a tap behind the winner of my class and I am happy.”

McMaster indicated that her goal for 2020 is be the first female to qualify for the Super Six at the nationals (the final event for the National Shotgun Championship).

President of the Jamaica Skeet Club Jordan Samuda commented on the year.

“I can’t say enough. This year has had some ups and downs, but it had more ups than downs, and it’s been a great year. We’ve had greater participation [and] greater membership. The Christmas Hamper this year is a testament to that. We’ve had more participants than we have ever had before, and I am looking forward to 2020 to even have a bigger turnout. Our membership is growing, junior membership is growing, our hot shots programme is growing. It’s going to be a great year.”

The top three in the various classes were: A Class — Chris Ziadie 96, Craig Simpson 96, and Danzell Knight 95. B Class — Jordan Samuda 95, Alex Cunningham 93, and Zachary Harris 93. C Class — Todd Lazarus 94, Wendy McMaster 90, and Adam Harris 89 and Dominic Simpson 89. D Class — Richard Todd 99, Toby McConnell 88, and Zaniel Knight 86. E Class — Andrew Simpson 84, Winston Quest 84, and Jason Watt 78. Ladies Class — Wendy McMaster 90, Renee Rickhi 76, and Marguerite Harris 70. Hunters or Beginners Class — Joshua Lyn 82, Bobby Vaughn 78, and Chris Fung Chung 77. Juniors — Danzell Knight 95, Todd Lazarus 94, and Peter MaFood 91. Sub Juniors Class — Ryan Lue 73, Aliana McMaster 70, and Noah Azan 70.

Art Hoelskoetter Jersey

Mookie Betts continues to do big things with the Boston Red Sox as the All-Star outfielder avoided arbitration with the club Friday by agreeing to a record $27 million deal for 2020, according to multiple reports.

The previous record to avoid arbitration was the $26 million than Nolan Arenado agreed to with the Colorado Rockies last year before he was locked up to an eight-year, $260 million extension during spring training.

Betts, 27, will move Art Hoelskoetter into his free-agency years following the 2020 season. The 2018 MVP batted .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs over 150 games in 2019, while leading the American League with 135 runs scored. That came one season after he led the Red Sox to a World Series title by batting .346 with 32 home runs and 80 RBIs.

Betts is a career .301 hitter over six seasons, all with the Red Sox. He has 139 home runs and 470 RBIs and his play in right field has earned him four consecutive Gold Glove Awards 2016-19). He also has been named to the AL All-Star team in each of the past four seasons.
Art Hoelskoetter
–The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration with Kris Bryant and agreed to a $18.6 million deal for the 2020 season with the All-Star third baseman, according to multiple reports.

Bryant still has another year in arbitration remaining for 2021, although that situation is pending a service-time grievance filed by the 28-year-old over the team’s decision to delay his arrival to the major leagues in 2015. That numbers game effectively delayed his first free-agent year by one season.

Bryant batted .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBIs in 147 games in 2019. He is a career .284 hitter with 138 home runs and 403 RBIs, making the National League All-Star team three times while winning the MVP in 2016 and the rookie of the year in 2015.

–The Oakland Athletics avoided arbitration with Marcus Semien and will pay $13 million in 2020 to the shortstop that finished third in American League MVP voting when he batted .285 with 33 home runs and 92 RBIs. The 29-year old’s 747 plate appearances led the American League.

The club also avoided arbitration with right-hander Liam Hendriks ($5.3 million), outfielder Mark Canha ($4.8 million), left-hander Sean Manaea ($3.75 million), outfielder Robbie Grossman ($3.7 million) and right-hander Chris Bassitt ($2.25 million).

–The Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration with Francisco Lindor and agreed to a $17.5 million deal with the shortstop, according to MLB Network. Lindor, 26, who has been mentioned in trade rumors with the Los Angeles Dodgers, batted .284 in 2019 with 32 home runs and 74 RBIs.

–The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a three-year, $22 million extension with outfielder David Peralta, taking the Gold Glove winner’s contract through the 2022 season, according to multiple reports.

Peralta was arbitration eligible for the final time this winter, with the new extension now taking his deal through his first two free-agent years. The 32-year-old batted .275 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs during a season that was limited to 99 games because of right shoulder issues.

Over six career seasons, all with the Diamondbacks, Peralta is a .290 career hitter with 85 home runs and 330 RBIs.

–The Cincinnati Reds avoided arbitration with right-hander Trevor Bauer and agreed to a $17.5 million after the deadline-deal acquisition went a combined 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 34 starts with the Cleveland Indians and Reds lasts season. Bauer, 28, was 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts with the Reds alone.

–The Chicago White Sox avoided arbitration with five players, including closer Alex Colome, who will earn $10.5 million in 2020 after he recorded 30 saves in 33 chances. Also agreeing to a deal at $5.6 million was outfielder Nomar Mazara, who was acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers.

Other players to agree were utility man Leury Garcia ($3.25 million), left-hander Carlos Rodon ($4.45 million) and right-hander Evan Marshall ($1.1 million).

–The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a deal with infielder Jedd Gyorko, who batted just .174 with two home runs and nine RBIs in just 62 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers last season, The Athletic reported. Terms of the deal were not announced.Art Hoelskoetter

Gyorko, 31, is a career .245 hitter with 112 home runs and 353 RBIs for the San Diego Padres, Cardinals and Dodgers in a seven-year major league career.

–The Seattle Mariners claimed infielder Sam Haggerty off waivers from the New York Mets. Haggerty, 25, was designated for assignment in December. He made his major league debut in 2019 for the Mets, seeing action in 11 games.

The Mariners also avoided arbitration with three players: outfielders Mitch Haniger and Mallex Smith, and right-hander Sam Tuivailala.

–Field Level Media

Bill Weir Jersey

CNN announced Tuesday who will be in attendance for its prime-time climate crisis town hall event.

On Wednesday night, Democratic presidential hopefuls will participate in back-to-back town halls, an event that will last seven hours in total and be broadcasted live. The event will allow the candidates the opportunity to discuss how they hope to tackle climate change.

The UN has warned that governments must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” The effects of global warming would be major, threatening many species of life as well as drowning coastal cities.

The hopefuls will take questions from audience members and global warming scientists, CNN reports.

The evening’s events will include questioning of Julián Castro, Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Cory Booker. Each questioning will last 40 minutes.

The presidential hopefuls will each be interviewed by either CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, or Erin Burnett. Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir will also be present for questioning throughout the evening.

The audience will be comprised of Democratic and independent voters as well as stakeholders with no public tickets available for the event.

According to a CNN poll conducted in April, 96% of Democrats plan to take aggressive action toward slowing down climate change and global warming.

The town hall will air on CNN and CNN affiliates exclusively beginning at 5 p.m. EST. Listen to coverage live on RADIO.COM.

Mike Koplove Jersey

The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

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More on the Phillies
At The Yard podcast: Phillies’ manager search could be quick

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Source: One of Harper’s former managers will also interview later in week

Takeaways from press conference with Middleton, Klentak and MacPhail

Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies’ scouting director job originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Bob O’Farrell Jersey

Mike Trout is squarely in the passing-Hall-of-Famers-in-career-WAR-every-few-days period of his career. He is still 27.

If I tell you that 27-year-old Mike Trout has more career WAR than, say, Barry Larkin, you could hear it as an incredible tribute to Trout, but you could also hear it as a diminishment of Larkin — and if we diminish Larkin, we diminish the power of the tribute. To really appreciate Trout, it helps to appreciate just how incredible the Hall of Famers he is passing were and to understand how it is plausible that Trout is already actually more valuable than they were.

Trout started July with 69.5 career WAR. With another fantastic month — he hit .286/.392/.821, ended July leading the American League in WAR and raised his career mark to 71.1 — he passed eight more Hall of Famers. In Trout’s honor, we will consider those eight.

Ed Delahanty, 69.7 career WAR (70th all time among position players)

How good Delahanty was:

1. Across the decade of the 1890s, these are the statistical categories in which Ed Delahanty led all of Major League Baseball: Hits, total bases, doubles, slugging percentage and OPS+. He was second in homers, RBIs, triples and WAR. He was third in runs scored. He was fourth in batting average. He was ninth in on-base percentage, 13th in stolen bases and 19th in walks. He had an excellent defensive reputation. Over the course of a decade, he was either the best or the second-best baseball player in the world, behind Billy Hamilton.

2. “Delahanty was a five-tool player long before the term came into use,” his SABR bio says, and there’s one way his Baseball-Reference page looks more like Trout’s than perhaps any other great player: The distribution of his black ink, which signifies when he led his league in something. Like Trout, Delahanty didn’t just lead the league in power stats, or speed stats, but in almost everything at some point or another. He led the league in average, and in OBP, and in slugging percentage — all in different years. He led the league in homers, doubles and triples, all in different years. He never led the league in walks, though he finished in the top six four times, and never in runs, though he finished third, fourth and fifth twice. He led in RBIs, in hits and over and over in OPS (not that he knew it at the time). In his final full season, he hit .376/.453/.590, all three leading the league, and then — just 42 games later — his career ends, and all the stats stop. And that’s probably what he’s most famous for.

3. In 1903, when he was 35 and coming off one of his best seasons, Delahanty died. It’s one of baseball’s most shocking deaths and enduring mysteries. He was on a train near Niagara Falls. He was drunk — his personal life had been falling apart — and then belligerent. He got kicked off the train. He walked out onto a bridge over the Niagara River. He got in a scuffle with a night watchman, escaped the watchman’s grasp and went over the edge of the bridge and died. It’s not really known what happened: Did he fall in his drunkenness or did he jump? Was he suicidal, as some circumstantial evidence suggests? What sort of tragedy was this? It’s never been known. “His naked body (except for tie, shoes and socks) was found 20 miles downstream at the base of Horseshoe Falls — the Canadian portion of Niagara Falls — seven days later,” the SABR bio concludes. He was, at the time, one of the five greatest baseball players who had ever lived.

How Trout is plausibly better, already: The playing time gap between Trout and Delahanty is considerably smaller than for most of these Hall of Famers. Delahanty only played about 50 percent more games than Trout has already, and his first four years were quite poor. Delahanty’s best year would be Trout’s sixth best.

Gary Carter, 70.1 WAR (69th)

How good Carter was:

1. It’s incredible what catchers used to be asked to do, and Carter even more than most. In 1982, he started 151 games at catcher. Only one catcher since World War II has ever started more, and only two catchers in this decade have started more than 137 (and none more than 143). He took 650 of his team’s 693 plate appearances at the position that year, and if you don’t think that all took a toll on his stats and his career, just look at the splits: He hit .313/.391/.588 in the first half, .271/.370/.429 in the second. “I’m on that burnout pace,” he admitted at the time, citing Johnny Bench as an example. “I feel it in the mornings. Sometimes, it takes me a half-hour to get out of bed. There are days when I can’t walk down the stairs without stretching and popping my legs back into shape.”

2. But the next year — 1983, when he was 29 — he had, arguably, the best defensive season in catching history, 27 runs better than average. Only seven catchers over the past century have even cracked 20. It marked the end of a remarkable run of eight years and more than 100 runs saved on defense.

From a Sports Illustrated profile at the time: “Backup Catcher Tim Blackwell says Carter ‘frames the ball,’ that is, catches it with such a smooth movement of the mitt that every close pitch appears to be a strike, a technique he learned from former Expo Coach Norm Sherry. He can glance at a scouting report and within five minutes conduct a team meeting on it. He’s not merely competitive; he’s aflame…. ‘I like being called the best catcher in baseball. Nobody remembers Number 2.’”

3. His positive attitude was legendary. He talked to everybody — batters, reporters, fans on the edges of the stands — constantly. He estimated that he signed as many as 100,000 autographs a year. “Carter may be that rarest of humans — a truly happy man,” that SI profile said.

How Trout is plausibly better, already:Very few catchers can stay at an All-Star level deep into their 30′s, and Carter was no exception. He had 11 seasons as an above-average player, while Trout already has eight. Carter ranks 107th all time in MVP shares, which is very good. Trout already ranks 11th, and when he wins it this year he’ll likely jump into the top five. Carter’s career-high OPS+ was 146. Trout’s career low is 168. Carter’s best season, by WAR, would be Trout’s sixth best.

Bobby Wallace, 70.3 WAR (67th)

How good Wallace was:

1. Wallace is the 21st Hall of Fame hitter Trout has passed this season, and it’s a strong bet he’s the least recognizable name of them all. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of him. Consider this: “There was one of the greatest ball players in the world, and the chances are that half the young fellows of today never heard of him.” That was written by Honus Wagner, just six years after Wallace retired.

It seems fairly damning to his greatness than the young fellows of the day held him in low regard. But Wagner was writing about Wallace because he was naming him to his all-time team, as the shortstop (with Wagner presumably excluding himself from consideration). Which is pretty supportive of his greatness.

2. “He was such a perfect machine I reckon they just sort of considered Wallace as belonging at short and never thought about giving him a boost,” Wagner reasoned about Wallace’s lack of publicity. “He was so generally good as not to be noticed. Wallace was as sure a fielder and pegger to first as ever lived. He was never regarded as a heavy hitter but he was one of the surest men in a pinch that I ever have seen. To my mind Bobby Wallace was the best shortstop we ever had on making double plays and on coming in for slow-hit grounders. He had studied every batter so that he knew where they would hit certain pitches and he would be right on top of the ball. He was so perfect in this that a lot of folks thought him born under a lucky star. It wasn’t luck at all. He had figured it out that way. Wallace could cover as much ground either to his right or left as anybody — and probably more. I used to wish that I could do some of the tricks that Bobby did. Yes, I have taken into consideration his lack of hitting, and still I select him as the grand All-American shortstop of all time.”

3. He wasn’t a terrible hitter or anything. It’s hard for us to know what to make of hitting stats from such a profoundly different era, but his OPS was better than league average and he was often in the top 10 in doubles or triples (and twice in slugging percentage). But his legacy is as a defender, not just a great one but an innovative one: He’s generally credited with inventing the now-standard continuous motion of fielding and throwing. As Wallace described: “As more speed afoot was constantly demanded for big league ball, I noticed the many infield bounders which the runner beat to first only by the thinnest fractions of a second. I also noted that the old-time three-phase movement, fielding a ball, coming erect for a toss and throwing to first wouldn’t do on certain hits with fast men … it was plain that the stop and toss had to be combined into a continuous movement.”

Fun detail: Wallace retired to become an umpire, but he didn’t like it and returned to playing.

How Trout is plausibly better, already: It’s hard to find any real way to put Mike Trout and Bobby Wallace on the same scale. Trout has eight times more home runs in his career than Wallace had. Wallace played in an era when making 60 errors qualified him as the league’s best shortstop. Wallace played for a team that, after he left, went 20-134 the next season. It’s all too different to truly compare. But his best season, by WAR, would be Mike Trout’s sixth best.

Frankie Frisch, 70.4 WAR (66th)

How good Frisch was:

1. Frankie Frisch played 19 seasons in the majors and collected 2,880 hits.Ronald Acuna Jr.will pass Frisch’s career strikeout total by the end of this season.

Obviously, it was a very different era. But even relative to his peers, by an index stat like strikeout-percentage-plus, Frisch is one of the 30 or so greatest contact hitters ever, and in an era when contact hitting was the skill people valued.

2. In 1927, as a second baseman, he was 37 runs better than average on defense, according to Baseball-Reference. We, of course, don’t have the range of metrics to assess defense then that we do now. It’s all very foggy. But by range factor — which measures how many chances a player had per game, presumably due in large part to his own range — Frisch reached nearly one more ground ball per game than the average second baseman. He set the all-time record for assists that year, a record that still stands today.

3. In “TheGlory Of Their Times,” an oral history of early-century baseball, the catcher and manager Bob O’Farrell says: “The greatest player I ever saw? Oh, I don’t know, there were so many great ones. Guys like Paul Waner, Hornsby, Alex, Terry, Hubbell, Ruth, Vance, Mel Ott, Rixey, Roush. There were too many great ones to say any one is the greatest. Although I’ll say this; the greatest player I ever saw in any one season was Frankie Frisch in 1927. That was his first year with the Cardinals, when I was managing him. He’d been traded to St. Louis for the man of the hour, Rogers Hornsby, and he was on the spot. Frank did everything that year. Really an amazing ballplayer.”

How Trout is plausibly better, already: For all of Frisch’s not striking out, he had very little power during an era when power was easy. Trout passed him in career homers by the time he was 23. He passed him in career walks this year. Frisch’s best season, by WAR, would be Trout’s fifth best.

Barry Larkin, 70.4 WAR (65th)

How good Larkin was:

1. Put him in New York, give him slightly better health, and he might be the most famous superstar of the era:

Larkin: .295/.371/.444, 116 OPS+

Derek Jeter: .310/.377/.440, 115 OPS+

Larkin was the better defender, the more effective baserunner, and even — in a much smaller pool of at-bats — the better postseason performer:

Larkin: .338/.397/.465 (78 plate appearances)

Jeter: .308/.374/.465 (734 PAs)

2. He ranks seventh all time in baserunning runs, with 80 more than average and not a single season in negative territory despite his playing until he was 40.

3. Larkin did everything right, nothing wrong. That was his thing. I once found that he’s probably the best player in history who never led the league in any major offense category. As he put it, in a profile in Sports Illustrated in 1995, the year he won the NL MVP: “I consider myself an amoeba man. I’ll assume any shape to help the team. If the team needs someone to lead by example, I do that. If it needs someone to steal, I do that. If it needs someone to bunt or move a runner from second to third, I do that.”

To really appreciate how strong the sense of Larkin as a do-no-wrong guy was, though, follow me to the insane continuation of that section in the SI profile. After Larkin says he’ll do anything the team needs him to do, his third-base coach, Ray Knight, chimes in with this anecdote:

“Knight recalls a recent game in which Larkin came to bat in the first inning with no outs and runners on first and second. As Gant waited on deck, Larkin glanced at Knight, who gave him the hit sign. Larkin bunted. Strike one. Knight put on the hit sign. Larkin bunted. Strike two. Knight flashed yet another hit sign. Larkin bunted. Strike three. On the dugout steps, Red manager Davey Johnson shook his head in disbelief. ‘Barry knew we were having trouble scoring, and he wanted to get runners in scoring position for Ron,’ says Knight. ‘The point is, Barry’s thoughts are pure.’”

Just think of how powerful the experience of watching Larkin, being on the same team as Larkin, must have been if that anecdote can be offered as a positive. Just total faith in Larkin. That’s what it was like watching him in the 1990s.

How Trout is plausibly better, already: During the decade Larkin was at his offensive peak — from 1989 to 1998 — he only averaged 123 games per season, thanks to some poorly timed injuries and the 1994 strike. All those missed games cost him a dozen or so WAR that would have held Trout off for another season. His best season, by WAR, would be Trout’s seventh best.

Ron Santo, 70.5 WAR (64th)

How good Santo was:

1. When he was a high school senior, Santo says, the Cubs’ head scout told him “there’s no way you’re ever going to be a third baseman in the major leagues, son.” They drafted him as a catcher. But Santo improved from not very good at the position, in his early 20′s, to extremely good. He won five Gold Gloves.

2. Here’s another story from when he was young: In 1959, when he went to rookie camp, Rogers Hornsby was the Cubs’ hitting instructor. “At the conclusion of the three-week camp, Hornsby assembled the prospects in the bleachers. He went down the line, critiquing each player: ‘You might as well go home’; ‘You won’t get by A ball’; ‘Forget A ball, you won’t get past C ball.’ He got to Santo and said, ‘You can hit in the big leagues right now.’”

A year later, Santo was a league-average hitter as a 20-year-old rookie. In the deadest era of offense of the past century, he would hit 30 homers four straight years, and lead the league in walks four times, winning Gold Gloves the whole time. From ages 24 to 27 he produced 35 WAR, the eighth-most ever across those ages, behind seven pantheon names.

3. For a couple of decades, Santo was arguably the best eligible player not in the Hall of Fame. Various reasons were posited for the snub: Third basemen have historically been overlooked by voters, a lot of his value came from walks, which were also historically overlooked, he played for mostly mediocre teams, and he had irritated too many writers and peers with his habit of celebrating victories with a leaping heel-click (which was popular in Chicago, less so elsewhere). “Santo was never quite sure where to direct his disappointment, but he knew that somebody had screwed him out of his spot in baseball’s Hall of Fame,” Phil Rogers eulogized in 2010. It was a shame, because it was never a given that Santo would live long enough for voters to get it right: He’d been battling Type 1 diabetes for most of his life, had already outlived his life expectancy by many decades, had lost both legs to the disease, and had helped raise tens of millions of dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He died in 2010, and was inducted in 2012.

How Trout is plausibly better, already:In 1964, Ron Santo was the National League’s second-best hitter. He played an important defensive position, and he was better than average at it. You put that together and it’s 8.9 WAR, a titanic season, an MVP season most years, better than any number of Hall of Famers have ever done. That is Trout’s average season so far: 8.8 WAR, an average that will go up as he adds to his total this year. Every year he’s the best hitter in his league, at an important defensive position, which he plays better than average (while also adding baserunning value). Which is just all to say the answer to this question isn’t about Santo — it’s that Trout more or less matches the typical Hall of Famer’s best year every year. Santo’s best season, by WAR, would be Trout’s fourth best.

Alan Trammell, 70.7 WAR (63rd)

How good Trammell was:

1. There are five components to Baseball Reference’s WAR model: Hitting runs, fielding runs, baserunning runs, double-play runs (the ability to avoid double plays) and positional runs (an adjustment for the difficulty of the position the player plays). Of the 50 Hall of Famers who have debuted since 1955, only four had positive values for all five of those categories: Larkin, Ryne Sandberg, Ken Griffey Jr. and Trammell.

2. Trammell’s Hall of Fame candidacy always seemed stronger than writers gave credit for — he was elected by the veterans committee — but he seems to be a victim of his particular peers. In the 1980s, he was the second-best offensive shortstop, slightly behind Cal Ripken and miles, miles ahead of No. 3. (But as Gary Carter once said: Nobody remembers No. 2.) He was arguably the second-best defensive shortstop too (or maybe third), but behind Ozzie Smith — the greatest defensive shortstop of all time. He did win three Silver Slugger awards and four Gold Gloves, but he never started an All-Star Game.

3. Trammell “does have one fault,” Steve Wulf wrote in 1983. “He’s a klutz. ‘He is the world’s worst eater,’ says First Baseman Enos Cabell. ‘You better sit on his left side or else he’ll spill on you.’ Says Third Baseman Tom Brookens, ‘Alan has to Scotchgard all his pants.’ Says Castillo, ‘His hands are like Mel Tillis’ speech: Mel stutters when he talks, but he sings perfectly. If it’s not a baseball, Alan drops it.’”

How Trout is plausibly better, already: Trout’s on-base percentage is higher than Trammell’s slugging percentage. Trammell’s best season, by WAR, would be Trout’s sixth best.

Johnny Mize, 70.9 WAR (62nd)

How good Mize was:

1. Mize was so good. Over a nine-year stretch, these are Mize’s MVP finishes: 10th, 12th, 2nd, 2nd, 9th, 5th, 16th, 3rd, 17th. Except, right in the middle of that run, he enlisted in the Navy and missed three seasons to serve during WWII. It’s no stretch at all to assume he lost three MVP-level seasons. What’s absolutely wild is that Hall of Fame voters didn’t seem to care; he never topped 50 percent of the vote and had to be inducted by the veterans committee almost 30 years after he retired, presumably because his career home run and RBI totals weren’t quite as high as other Hall of Fame first baseman. Wild.

2. Since 1901, Mize is 16th all time in OPS and 13th all time in OPS+. He was a better hitter than Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Hank Greenberg and Edgar Martinez. He had a masterful blend of power (he was large, for the time, and often swung a huge bat) and bat control. Adjusted for era, he’s seventh all time in isolated power, and of the six batters ahead of him, only Ted Williams had a lower strikeout rate. His defensive reputation at first base was enough to earn him the nickname “The Big Cat.”

3. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he also “took special pleasure in laying a perfect bunt down the third-base line.” Data aren’t complete for his career, but sure enough, he got at least seven down for hits.

How Trout is plausibly better, already: Because Mize missed those three years for the war, and spent the final four years of his career as a part-timer on great Yankees teams, he really only had 10 full seasons. They were incredible seasons, among the greatest offensive seasons ever. But Trout is still a better hitter: Mize is 13th all time in OPS+, but Trout is fifth. His best season, by WAR, would be Trout’s sixth best.

Who’s next: Harry Heilmann, though at Trout’s regular pace it could take a few weeks to get there.
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Bill Sampen Jersey

A product of Wright State who was taken in the 20th round of the 2018 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Caleb Sampen now comes to the Tampa Bay Rays organization following a roster clearing move.

Sampen, a 23 year old right handed pitcher, is the son of former major league pitcher Bill Sampen, who pitched across parts of 5 season with the Expos, Angels, and Royals. Sampen finished with a career 25-21 record and a 3.73 ERA over 299.1 innings.

As for his son, Caleb was named the 2016 Freshman of the Year in the Horizon League and was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman team. During the 2016 season, Sampen posted an impressive 2.76 earned run average across 14 starts.

He missed the entire 2017 season and returned to a lesser role in 2018. He was still effective though, making eleven appearances, throwing 47 innings and holding opposing batters to a .229 opponents average. He finished the year with a 3.26 ERA and struck out 33 while walking 14.

After agreeing to a 125,000 dollar signing bonus, the Dodgers sent Sampen to their Rookie League affiliate. There he would pitch in 13 games (11 starts).

0-2 // 30.1 IP // 5.04 ERA // 3.35 FIP // 43K/9BB // .248 opp. avg. // 12.76 K/9

The righty posted an impressive K/BB ratio and K/9 rate. A ground ball pitcher, Sampen induced ground balls at a rate of 49.4% This is largely due to his curveball that hitters drive into the ground.

Sampen relied on a two pitch mix in college that featured a low 90’s fastball and the aforementioned curveball. He uses a 3/4 arm slot and good arm action to create some added run. He is lanky coming in at 6’2″ and 185 pounds and has room to fill out as he continues to mature.

Scott Stratton Jersey

Independence was once home to Winfield Scott Stratton, the first Cripple Creek millionaire. There were a few residents well into the 1950s. (Kenneth Jessen)
At one time, there were thousands of buildings in the Colorado Mountains remnants of the mining era. Most were destroyed by fire while others were dismantled. Some were flattened by heavy snow while others rotted away over time.

Following a violent past, Independence was razed in 2003 by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Co. (Newmont Mining Corp.) to make way for the expansion of their open pit.

It was mining that built Independence and it was mining that destroyed the town.

Independence began as Hull City adjacent to the Hull City Placer. The homes were scattered across the hillside with some near the railroad and others near the mines.

The post office originally went under the name Macon and was opened in 1895. Its name was later changed to Independence for the nearby mine of the same name.

A handful of people remained in Independence well after the end of mining era, and the post office did not close until 1954.

To haul ore to smelters a number of railroads were constructed to the mines including the narrow gauge Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad, the standard gauge Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District line as well as the standard gauge Midland Terminal.

All of these railroads came through or near Independence, which stimulated its growth. The town population reached of over 1,000.

Winfield Scott Stratton was Cripple Creek’s first millionaire, and it was the Independence Mine that made him rich. He was blessed with extraordinary luck and good fortune.

On the Fourth of July, 1891, Stratton was prospecting on the side of Battle Mountain. It was an area free of other mining claims and had been overlooked by prospectors.

The geology of the mountain led Stratton to believe that rich gold ore could be discovered.

As Stratton searched the barren hillside, he could hear miners off in the distance firing their revolvers into the air to celebrate Independence Day. When he found an outcropping of promising gold ore, he called his claim the Independence.

He borrowed as much money as he could and sold his Colorado Springs home.

Stratton moved to the site of his discovery and lived in a tent. Eventually, Stratton was able to raise enough money to begin mining.

Once the mine began to produce, he limited his daily profit $2,000, about 11 times that in today’s currency.

For a man who had worked most of his life as a carpenter for $3 a day, this was quite a change. The Independence yielded as estimated quarter of a billion dollars during its life, and Stratton constructed a nice home near the mine in the town of Independence.

Violence overtook Independence during a deadly labor strike in 1903.

The Western Federation of Miners recruited the notorious Harry Orchard to stir up trouble. The local union held out for a daily wage of $3 based on an eight-hour shift instead of the 10-hour shift demanded by the mining company.

Area mines produced gold. During the 1890s, the price of silver was on a steady decline, and in 1893, the United States went off the silver standard. This put many silver miners out of work, and the mine owners simply replaced the striking gold miners with unemployed silver miners.

Only two of the 50 mines in the Altman-Independence area yielded to union demands.

Jeff McKnight Jersey

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Latest on MMO
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This Date in Mets History
On this date last year, the Mets signed free agent Jason Vargas.

Birthdays: Shawn Estes (46), John Valentin (52), Kevin Tapani (55), Jerry Morales (70), Bob Miller and Jeff McKnight.