1981: A Split Season

It seems that every year that has some kind of disruption to the schedule, also seems to be a marker in some way of baseball's slow inclusion of of the game for all. 1981 was the year of Fernandomania, when a rookie pitcher from a remote Mexican village took the league by storm. Fernando Valenzuela brought with him fandom from millions of Mexican and Mexican American fans to root for a team in Chavez Ravine, decades after the Dodgers had the city of Los Angeles evict a Mexican-American Community from the neighborhood in order to build Dodger Stadium. Valenzuela wasn't the first Mexican born player in the league, but he was the first great star from our southern neighbors. 1981 Highest Paid P

1972: First Strike

There wouldn't be an interruption in a Major League season for over fifty years. Despite several players going off to World War II and the Korean War, the game kept going. It wouldn't be until the players finally had some negotiating power with the owners that the game would halt again. The league would look a lot different from those early days, the league expanded teams and integration in 1947 made the game more talented and more competitive than ever before. The '70's were a time of big personalities in the game as the league was becoming more offensive based, yet again. 1972 Highest Paid Player: Carl Yastrzemski, $167,000 US President: Richard Nixon In the News: Nixon Goes to China 11 me

1968: Death of a Legend, Year of the Pitcher

This was not a season that was shortened although opening day was postponed and it was the first time every team played their first game of the season all on the same day. It was a pretty significant season for reasons other than the postponement, but the performances of Black and Latino players were a testament to the time in history. In this installment we skip completely over the live ball era to a return to the dominance of pitchers. However, it wouldn't be long before hitters took control of the game once again. 1968 Highest Paid Player: Willie Mays, $125,000 US President: Lyndon Johnson In The News: Tet Offensive in Vietnam Protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago Robe

1919: The Veterans Come Home

The 1919 season is not remembered for the winners. The Chicago White Sox were considered the best team in the league and they nearly won the World Series despite eight of players actively trying to lose the series. They were known “the Black Sox” well before there was any suspicion of gambling, the owner of the team, Charles Comiskey, was a cruel and cheap man who refused to pay to have the players’ uniforms laundered. The players protested by refusing to wash their own uniforms that grew dirty and smelly, the press reported that their white socks had turned black and the nickname stuck. The nickname stuck through the ages after eight players were banned for life (and beyond) from baseball f

1918: The MLB Goes to War

The league was already in spring training this year when quarantining started across the country in March. It became apparent that the season would at least have a late start and most likely be a bit shorter than the normal 162 game season. It turns out there would be no sports at all for about four months which, it turns out, would be a little bit shorter than I needed to finish this research project on the six times MLB seasons have been cut short and a few other times seasons have been interrupted in some capacity. I have been scouring the baseball biography encyclopedia, SABR biographies, baseballreference.com and other searches between kids' naps while typing away since the start of the

The Hall of Good Enough

Here is a collection of the MLB players who have proven themselves to be Good Enough! C Moe Berg Bill Freehan (2) Elston Howard Javy Lopez Thurman Munson Jorge Posada Jason Varitek 1B Dick Allen Tioga George Burns Dolph Camilli Jeff Conine Prince Fielder Andres Galarraga Chick Gandil Jason Giambi (2) (3) Mark Grace Scott Hatteberg Todd Helton Keith Hernandez Gil Hodges Joe Judge Eric Karros Tino Martinez Don Mattingly (2) Frank McCormick Fred McGriff (2) (3) Stuffy McInnis Fred Merkle Kevin Millar John Olerud (2) Carlos Pena George Scott Mo Vaughn 2B Danny Ainge Bret Boone Ray Durham Bobby Grich Mark Grudzielanek Jeff Kent Willie Randolph Lou Whitaker 3B Sal Bando Ken Caminiti Ron Cey Eric C

Hail, Caesar! and Torn Curtain.

Eight or Nine years ago I got a Box Set of Hitchcock movies Universal put together as a Christmas gift and one of the movie I never got around to seeing was Torn Curtain (1966). It's the story of an American nuclear scientist played by Paul Newman who, while on an expedition to the Arctic is tasked with defecting to East Berlin in order to learn a nuclear secret from behind the iron curtain. He tears right through that curtain, claiming he is bringing his own information on a nuclear defense system in order to trick a corresponding scientist of his own secrets. The big wrinkle is that his girlfriend played by Julie Andrews is not privy to the scheme, whether it is the defection or the spymcr

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