Baseball Randomness

Hat Stealing Umpire – 1967 World Series

Last week I was watching one of the quarterfinals episodes of Baseball IQ that had aired on MLB Network.  (If you missed it, this show pitted a representative of each MLB team plus one from MLB.com and the Hall of Fame in a single elimination trivia tournament that raised money for each team’s charity.)  Rather than just a question/answer format, the show required that each of the two contestants populate lists based on a statistical prompt from the host, e.g. “name the all-time National League home run leaders with at least 300 home runs”.  The contestants then alternated giving an answer until one of them supplied an incorrect response.

During the matchup between representatives of the D-Backs and Rockies, one of the categories prompted the contestants to name the pitchers who had at least 8 postseason wins.  As an intro to the category, they played a video of Bob Gibson – who finished his career with 7 postseason wins – striking out George Scott of the Red Sox to end game 7 of the 1967 World Series.  Included in the video was the ensuing celebration of the newly world champion St. Louis Cardinals.  Check it out here.

Did you see what happened at about the 4:31 mark?  No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  That was the third base umpire running up to the Cardinals mob and taking the hat right off the head of one of the celebrating Cardinals players.  It also appears that he had a hat in his hand before nabbing the second.  According to the baseball-reference account of this game, the third base umpire for this game was Augie Donatelli.

Augie passed away in 1990 and is credited with starting the Major League Umpires Association and was known for his quick and dramatic trigger when it came to ejecting players and coaches.  Based on this video, it appears he should have also been known for confiscating portions of uniforms from players celebrating on the field.  What would an umpire do with two Cardinals hats?  How did he get the first one?  What did he do with them after the fact – sell them, eat dinner out of them?

Sadly, I am not writing to proclaim that I have solved this mystery.  Instead, I am hoping that some aspiring baseball historian will make it their life’s goal to figure out why Donatelli took the hats and what became of them.  This LA Times article from 1987 is the only info I could find – Donatelli claims the hats were “falling off”.  Sounds fishy to me.  This post is proof that the nwe baseball season cannot come fast enough.

 

Baseball Games · Baseball Randomness · Family Fun · The Majors

She’s Learning Her Colors

Yesterday my dad took Chiquita to the grocery store. Apparently, he asked her which “car cart” she wanted to drive/ride in. Her choices were red and blue. Now, let me point out that this is the girl that almost always responds with a confident “yellow!” when asked what color something is, regardless of what it really is. But not this time! without hesitation, she pointed to the blue cart and said, “Dodger Blue!” Atta, girl.

Now if only the Dodgers had a mascot she could love like she loves the Philly Phanatic (he’s one of the only green things she can correctly identify). At least one member of our household was glad to see the World Series played in Philly– she loves the Phanatic almost as much as she loves Manny (good thing for us, he’ll be back next year)!

This is how she looked every time she saw the Phanatic when we were in Philly:
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Speaking of Dodger Blue, we got to go to a playoff game this year to root on the Blue. Unfortunately, we all know how the season ended but the game we went to, NLDS Game 2, was pretty darn exciting! Going to a playoff game was all David wanted for his birthday (well, aside from attending a World Series game, but alas, that was not an option this year). Click over to view the slide show if you are in a reader or your email inbox).
http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

We’ll be thinking blue all off-season and are already looking forward to Spring Training ’10!

baseball culture · Baseball Randomness

The Culture of Baseball

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One of the things I love about the sport of baseball is the culture that goes along with it. The love of the game goes beyond the nine innings and the twenty-five man roster. It stretches towards books, movies, songs, and more. It is a culture that inspires road trips and pilgrimages and international camaraderie.

It is an almost romantic pastime, if we look at the Oxford definition of the word: inclined toward or suggestive of the feeling of the excitement and mystery of love. Doesn’t that describe the attitude of most serious baseball fans? There’s definitely an excitement and mystery in loving the game of baseball.

A simple search on Amazon for the word baseball brings up results in thirty categories, from DVDs to Jewelry to Gourmet Food– we’re talking thousands and thousands of results. In one sense the sport has possibly just become as commercialized as anything else in pop culture, but on the other hand, maybe this phenomenon is simply due to a sincere, widespread love of the game.

Stay tuned as we review and discuss our favorite items and aspects of Baseball Culture here on Round Ball, Round Bat.

Baseball Randomness

Tragedy in Orange County

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the news and are as saddened as we are at the death of young rookie Nick Adenhart.

We simply want to express our heartfelt condolences to Adenhart’s family, friends and teammates. It’s times like these that we can only trust in knowing that God must have some plan to bring good out of this tragedy.

Here’s an article from the Angels website in case you didn’t catch all the details.

Amidst all the press coverage, I was surprised to see a softer side of a man that I didn’t have a lot of respect for before, the infamous agent, Scott Boras. The following quote was taken from the article linked to above, and I love how it points out how Adenhart’s last night was one of success and accomplishment.

Of all the sad, thoughtful and poignant sentiments that ensued, nothing spoke louder of Adenhart’s effect than the eyes of agent Scott Boras, which weren’t vacant but wet.

Looking completely distraught when his turn to speak came, Boras took several deep breaths before saying, “Nick’s parents, Jim and Janet, wanted me to convey to the entire Angels organization … ”

Then the tough-as-steel agent broke down, audibly sobbing before again collecting himself to say through quivering lips, “He was a great kid. His life goal was to be a big league baseball player. He’d summoned his father [on Tuesday], telling him ‘You better come [to Wednesday’s game]. Something special’s going to happen.'”

Something special did: Adenhart blanked the Oakland A’s for six innings of what turned out to be an Angels loss.

“After the game,” Boras said, “he was so elated. It was tremendous fun. A great moment for all of us, seeing a young man take a huge step.”

For a beautifully touching tribute, read this blog post by the best friend of one of the other victims who was in the car with Adenhart, Henry Pearson. As someone who has also lost a best friend in a tragic accident, I was especially touched by reading Matt’s post.

Baseball Randomness · Round Ball Round Bat

Happy Opening Day!

I’ve had baseball on TV in the background all day and it brings a smile to my face as I type this knowing that today starts a new season. We’re off to watch the Dodgers square off with the Padres with on TV tonight and then in-person tomorrow night, for our first game of the year! It’s amazing how the sounds of baseball and a little warm weather can bring some summertime happiness in April.

We’re glad to have you along for the ride as we embark on Round Ball, Round Bat‘s innaugural year of blogging baseball.

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Baseball Randomness · Spring Training

Manny Link Love

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One of the biggest stories of the off-season has been the saga of Manny and the Dodgers. We know that they finally made a deal, but Manny is one of those guys that is always in the news.

Here are a few recent Manny-Related Links from around the blogosphere for ya.