Today the Purdue Baseball team did something that it had not done in 103 years. It won the Big Ten Baseball title. Actually it clinched at least a tie, but with four games left it seems like this team has the outright title in the bag. I was at the game today and snapped a few pictures. I will have a little more on the game, and a link to more pictures later. For now let’s just enjoy the spoils of victory. Boiler Up!
Last year I attended both kids day games at the Steel Yard. This time of the year day games are the way to go as the temperature drops quickly at night. I actually attended the first kids day game a year to the date. The next day the Railcats played fourteen innings. Today they needed twelve, but took care of the Wichita Wingnuts. Continue reading
For someone born in my time it is just hard to fathom how segregated the country was just a few years ago. In fact 64 years ago today Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. I just have a lot of trouble believing how he was even treated. A couple of years ago I read a great book called Opening Day about how Jackie broke into the majors. It is unbelievable some of the things that he put was forced to contend with just to play baseball. We still aren’t where we need to be 64 years later, but the gap is closing. Every year Major League Baseball does a great job remembering Jackie. This year they started a site called iam42.com to have anyone who wants honor Jackie. This is just my little way of honoring what Jackie did for the country and baseball.
In 1997 Major League Baseball retired Jackie’s number 42 across the board. Nobody will every where that number again for the season after Mariano Rivera retires. I really wanted to go to the Sox game tonight to see the players honor Jackie, but the weather forced me to reconsider. Maybe next season. For now I put together some photos showing how I have seen Jackie honored across baseball.
Last night I saw the great game ending home run by Alexei Ramirez, and of course headed over to StubHub to see if I could find a cheap way into the stadium. Not only did I find a cheap way in I found a great seat for a great price. You have to love having the day off when nobody else does. I decided that I didn’t want to pay twice as much to park as I did on the tickets themselves so I took the South Shore to Chicago, and then the Red Line to the park. This was my first time trying this out. It actually worked out well even though it takes a lot longer to get to the park. You really can’t beat getting to the park for under $20 though. I got there a little early so I decided to check out the new Bacardi at the Park restaurant by the old stadium. At first I thought the prices were a little high, but in reality they were not bad. I had a beer, burger, and fries for $16. Like I said it was a little pricey, but I was pretty full when I was done. I would have had to spend a lot more money inside to get that full. Just as I was done eating I heard the magical announcement that the gates to the park were now open. Continue reading
Today while watching the Dodgers game on the MLB Network they announced that Duke Snider had died. “The Duke of Flatbush” was 84. He was the last big name player from the famous ‘Boys of Summer’ teams of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was also immoritlized in the now famous song “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke.” All three of those centerfielders played in New York in the 50’s. Could you imagine one city having three Hall of Fame outfielders now? It was something truly special that brings you back to the glory days of baseball. I am not old enough to remember them firsthand so all I can do is go by what I have read and heard. It had to be a great time to be a fan of the sport, and one more hero from that era is now gone. Willie Mays is now the lone surviving member of that great New York outfield.
Bob Feller was one of the true greats of the game of baseball. He started off in humble beginnings throwing a baseball at the side of his barn in Van Meter, Iowa. From that farm upbringing he came to have one of the best arms ever in baseball. He was clocked at over 100 mph several times with one unofficial reading of 107.6. I think the last one may be inflated, but he was fast. He had many nicknames, but ‘Rapid Robert’ may be the one that has persevered more than any other over the years. He was signed at 17 for one dollar and an autographed baseball. He never played a day in the minors, and played all eighteen of his Major League seasons with the Indians. He pitched an opening day no-hitter against the White Sox in 1940. I had him inscribe that feat on the ball in the above picture. He is still the only player ever to throw a no-hitter on opening day. That kind of sets the bar high for the rest of the season. That was one of three no-hitters that Bob threw in his career. Continue reading