“Bill Veeck, considered the P.T. Barnum of baseball due to the imaginative innovations he put in place as the owner of the Indians (1946-50), Browns (1951-53), and White Sox (1959-61, 1975-80), is elected by the veterans committee into the Hall of Fame. In addition to the many promotions he employed to bring fans into the ballpark, ‘Sport Shirt Bill’ is best remembered for integrating the American League by signing Larry Doby to play for the Tribe, and the 1948 World Champion Indians, a team that drew more than 2.6 million fans, setting an attendance record that lasted for more than three decades.”
Wait, WHAT! Branch Rickey deservedly gets credit for breaking the barrier with Jackie Robinson, but Bill Veeck was the guy to do it in the AL? Why is this not a bigger deal?
“A group of eight midwestern team owners meets at the Kansas City YMCA to organize the Negro National League, which will become one of the most successful ventures of its kind. Rube Foster, the owner and manager of the American Giants, will become president of the new circuit, leading to accusations of favoritism, which appear especially true when the schedule had Chicago play a disproportionate number of games at home.”
Big day as this was the first Negro league to have sustainablity. Admittedly I didn’t realize much about the Negro Leagues history besides the fact they existed during the segregation era. But as far as the founding and also the multiple leagues that comprised this enterprise, looking into this piece of history taught me a thing or two. That’s never bad.
“After designing the device last season to protect his team’s promising, but skittish, catcher James Tyng, Fredrick Thayer receives a patent for his innovative invention, the catcher’s mask. The Harvard captain, who will never play in a major league game, designed an oblong wire frame modeled after a fencing mask with eyes holes that supports a series of strategically-placed pads made from animal skins.”
“General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, unveils three new Jackie Robinson cereal boxes to be sold in stores nationwide. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame infielder will be the first athlete to be honored on all three varieties of Wheaties: Original Wheaties, Honey Frosted Wheaties, and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins.”
The first of what I’m sure will be many appearances for Jackie Robinson in this corner of the blogosphere…
“The spitball, shineball, and emeryball are outlawed by the American and National League Joint Rules Committee. Seventeen pitchers, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch, are allowed to keep throwing the banned pitches until they retired.”
And things got a little bit less exciting that day.
This is a longish watch so buckle up, but in it Carol Bruggeman, Executive Director- National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), gives some great drills to work with for outfielders. I’ve incorporated several of these into practice sessions, and the players love them. The competitive and fast paced nature of the activities adds a pace and urgency to practice and allows participants to really focus on producing great results.
“Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League star to be selected to the Hall of Fame. The right-hander, the oldest player in the majors to make his big league debut, became a legend during his professional career, which lasted from the 1920s until 1965, playing in several different Negro Leagues and with the Indians, Browns, and A’s.”
Kind of speaks for itself I think. I’m going out on a limb I think when I say we won’t be seeing another 45-year playing career anytime soon.
“At the Folsom Correctional facility in California, the annual game between big leaguers and the prison inmates is halted as the guards search for two convicts who have tried to escaped. The escapees are caught, but the game does not resume, with the visiting team ahead 24-5 at the end of seven innings.”
File this under things that would never happen in this day and age….
“The Sports Illustrated website reports Alex Rodriguez is one of the 104 players who tested positive for steroids in 2003. The testing, which was intended only to determine the extent of steroid use by players at the time, revealed the Ranger shortstop was using Primobolan, an anabolic substance.”
A-Rod?!? At this point there’s probably not too many players I’d be surprised about getting popped for PED use, but this was a shock for me. I always think about how football basically looks at this sort of thing as a normal course of business, while baseball takes it seriously for the (always subjective) “integrity of the game.”
“The New York American League franchise announces the purchase of a ten-acre plot of land for $675,000, from the estate of William Waldorf Astor, to be used as the future site of Yankee Stadium. The club’s new ballpark, located on the west side of the Bronx, will sit directly across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, the team’s current home for the past ten years as tenants to the Giants.”