Tuesday night I had my second radio gig with the Rec Room Show! I’m on around the 43 minute mark below. Please give it a listen and tell me what you think!
Currently, whoever wins the All-Star game gets home field advantage for the World Series. This is supposed to give players the incentive to play hard to win and make the game entertaining. Even if it does give the players something to play for, I don’t think it’s fair for the two teams that make it into the World Series. This year the AL won the All-Star game 6-3. Therefore, the AL team in the WS gets home field advantage. Let’s say that the Minnesota Twins and the St. Louis Cardinals play each other in the World Series this October. The Twins would get into the playoffs by being a Wild Card team, while the Cards own the best record in all of Major League baseball. Game Seven would be played at Target Field in Minnesota instead of in St. Louis. It just doesn’t make sense that a team that barely gets into the playoffs gets an advantage over the best team in baseball. Shouldn’t the team with the higher winning record have home field advantage? The problem with the All-Star game is that in my example the Cardinals wouldn’t be rightfully rewarded. So, a fun exhibition game, like the All Star Game, could effect the outcome of a team’s World Series hopes by possibly awarding an “unearned” home field advantage. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the All-Star game. I just don’t think the Cardinals should be playing Game Seven away from their electric home just because K-Rod pitched a bad inning at the All-Star Game. Each playoff team should use the regular season as a way to decide their World Series destiny so it’s fully in their control. The chances, of the Cardinals winning Game Seven at home is much greater than being away. Most importantly, (according to my theoretical example), I would much rather see the Cardinals lose Game Seven at home with the whole stadium crying…A beautiful site………:)
Tonight I will be on the Rec Room Show again to talk baseball and my blog. The show starts at 8, but I will be on at around 8:45. Hope you listen and enjoy!!
Invaluable reached out to me to help announce a pretty amazing auction during this All-Star week. Invaluable and Hunts Auctions are teaming up for this special event that has some truly extraordinary lots that any baseball fan would love. Here are their words below describing it:
This auction, 2015 Live Auction at T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, will be on tomorrow July 14, 2015, at 10:30am EST, and will feature a selection of noteworthy auction lots. The sale will feature more than 450 lots of rare baseball memorabilia, including a select grouping of items from the Johnny Bench Collection, which will headline the auction. Items being offered as part of the sale include:
Lot 286: Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award
Estimated Price: $175,000 – $200,000
Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award. A star player in both the Negro and Mexican Leagues, Campanella transitioned into the Brooklyn Dodgers Minor League system in 1946 and would ultimately join Jackie Robinson in the Major Leagues in 1948. A fixture in every All-Star Game played from 1949 to 1956, Campy was the National League’s Most Valuable Player (3) times in that same span of seasons. In 1953 he set then records for home runs (41) and RBIs by a catcher (142) hitting .312 in the Dodgers effort for a second consecutive National League Pennant. Important original award measuring 16″ across has octagonal Sterling Silver placard affixed at front. A gold colored bust of K.M. Landis sits below the second base position of a baseball diamond which also holds “Roy Campanella” engraved nameplate below “Most Valuable Player National League” titling, “Brooklyn Dodgers” team name, and a crossed bats/baseball applique which notes year, “1953.” Front is marked, “Sterling Dieges & Clust” and their tacked on metal tag remains on back below an eyelet for hanging. Very clean overall with a few minor scattered imperfections. One of the most high profile pieces of its’ type to have entered the marketplace. Includes letter of provenance from the Campanella Family: EX/MT
Lot 254: Important Ted Williams 1960 All-Star Game autographed professional model bat used for his final All-Star game appearance and base hit (Ted Williams Collection Provenance)
Estimated Price: $100,000 – $150,000
We were honored to conduct the Ted Williams Collection live auction event on behalf of the Williams family in 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston. Within that sale was included Ted’s other 1960 All-Star Game bat which also exhibited fine overall use indicative of regular season use after the All-Star Game similar to the offered specimen. The offered bat was only recently discovered within Ted Williams’s former personal residence in Florida along with an incredible handwritten note by William’s own hand. The note is written in pencil by Ted Williams on the back of a local safe company note paper and reads, “1960 Last Bat used single NY Kansas City”. Williams went 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance in the first 1960 All-Star Game played in Kansas City. In the second game played in New York, Ted collected a single in a pinch hit appearance which was also his final base hit in his All-Star Game career (14 total in his career).
Lot 253: 1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat
Estimated Price: $75,000 – $100,000
1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat (Direct Team Employee Provenance, PSA/DNA “GU 9″). Significant bat as issued to Mickey Mantle for use in his second All-Star Game appearance is one of the earliest dated examples, which can be definitively dated, to have surfaced. Louisville Slugger 125 model bat has Mantle facsimile signature burned into the barrel along with “All Star Game Cincinnati 1953″ in block letter. Model “K55″ is factory stamped in the knob and the bat measures 35″ long and weighs 33.2oz. An expected level of mild but well defined use is evident throughout with ball and stitch marks visible on the hitting surface along with some rack streaks. The offered bat was obtained directly from Mickey Mantle by the former equipment manager of the Washington Senators continuing with the Minnesota Twins. The young man had worked to earn Mantle’s trust by assisting the player while in town for visiting games. In return, the young man asked Mantle for his bat after he was done with it at the 1953 All-Star Game. Mantle obliged and the bat has remained in his personal collection until its current offering. Hitting for both average and power through all of his (18) seasons in baseball Mickey Mantle is firmly established as one of the games’ greatest sluggers. Named Most Valuable Player of the American League (3) times, he won the Triple Crown in 1956, and played on (7) Championship teams. In total Mantle enjoyed (20) All-Star Game appearances, a feat topped only by Aaron, Musial, and Mays. Statistics aside, there is a lore which surrounds his name that few others can conjure up. Mantle simply had intangibles, which cannot be charted in box scores or accounted for in comparison to the standard measure of pure athletic ability. Includes full LOA from PSA/DNA (graded “GU 9″),LOA from Hunt Auctions, and letter of provenance with related photo (see catalogue image) from the equipment manager: EX
Lot 156: Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for Outstanding Batting Achievement
Estimated Price: $50,000 – $75,000
Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for “Outstanding Batting Achievement.” Highly visual award piece done in the fashion of the “Sultan of Swat Award” which was an honor bestowed each year, starting in 1956, to the player with the highest slugging percentage. The roster of recipients read like a who’s who of great hitters to include Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, and even Joe DiMaggio whom was honored in 1956 for his 1939 season statistics. This later period piece, awarded by the same organization, offers similar display value with some subtle differences in text/design. Done in brass with affixed placard at front that reads, in both applied block letter and engraved text, “Babe Ruth Crown Presented to Pete Rose, For Outstanding Batting Achievement, Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association.” The (6) points are each done to resemble a baseball diamond with colored jewel fitted at center. Ringing the body are applied crossed bat/ball decor pieces alternating with engraved career related statistics/notations. In fine overall condition with hint of light tarnish/wear mentioned for accuracy. Includes signed letter of provenance from Pete Rose: EX/MT
On April 26, 1975, two protesters rushed onto the field with an American flag during a Dodgers – Cubs game. The two protesters stopped in center field and tried to light the flag on fire, which was soaked in lighter fluid. The right fielder for the Chicago Cubs, Rick Monday, saw this happening. He made a heroic move to charge toward the men. Luckily, the first match was blown out by the wind. This gave Rick time to courageously save the American flag from being burned as a second match was being lit. Even though this didn’t happen on the Fourth of July, this goes down as one of, if not, the most patriotic acts in sports history. Well done Rick, well done. . . Way to make America proud!
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Sorry Ham, you need to find a new rip because 16-year-old female phenom, Melissa Mayeux, playing 2 years up on the French U-18 junior national baseball team is giving, “You play ball like a girl,” a whole new meaning. The shortstop became the first woman on the MLB’s international registration list. This means that she is now eligible to be signed by an MLB team as an international prospect. It is unlikely that she would be signed just because of how young she is. If Melissa gets signed, it’s more probable it would come around when she’s 18. She can definitely play! According to MLB Director of International Game Development, Mike McClellan, she has the talent to stick with the boys. Just watch the video below!
Melissa’s dream is to play in the MLB, but mainly she just wants to play as long as she can at the highest possible level she can. Her love for baseball could have come to an end when she was 15 because there is a rule from the French federation not allowing girls to play with boys past the age of 15. She would then have to switch to softball, but Melissa loved baseball even more and wanted to keep playing baseball. She was able to convince the president of the French federation to let her keep playing ball with the boys by writing him letters. Look at where this is getting her now! Like I always say, persistence pays off!! As my sisters and mom often point out, women get the short end of the stick in sports in terms of support, funding, opportunities and salaries. This is such a cool story and I wish Melissa the best in her baseball career. Hopefully, one day we will see her out at short in front of a crowd of 40,ooo.
Here is a great interview conducted by SB Nation. Her true love of the game shines through.
How did you become interested in baseball? Through your family? How did your family pick up baseball?
I became interested in baseball because my older brother, Dylan, became passionate about the sport when he was five while passing by a field where a game was being played. I went to his practices with the club team for the city of Montigny-Le-Bretonneux (initials MLB!) and, at the age of three-and-a-half, fought with my mother to let me out of the stroller and let me practice with him. The game teaches great values, and my family quickly became passionate about it.
Do you also play typically “French” sports? Why baseball over those?
I don’t know if there is a typically “French” sport. Cycling? Maybe thèque, a distant ancestor to baseball. There is pretty much every sport imaginable in this country. But to have fun or at school, I don’t really play other sports other than baseball and softball. I manage pretty well at soccer, but baseball opened my eyes from the beginning. I didn’t really give much thought to other possibilities.
Is baseball viewed as a “boys” sports like it is in the United States?
In France, the rules are that between ages 12 and 15 girls must be steered towards softball. I think that separation goes back a long time, without any explanation or justification. I was lucky that the president of the Fédération Française de Baseball et Softball and my coaches noticed my potential, which gave me an exemption to play with the boys. Some were deeply opposed to those who just trying to let me pursue my dream. Little by little, the rules were eased back within our national federation, then at the European level. That said, baseball remains, essentially, a male sport.
Was it ever weird to be playing with boys, or has it always felt normal?
I have always liked and found it absolutely normal to play with and against boys. On the field, I’m no longer Melissa Mayeux: I become a baseball player like anyone else. Baseball runs in my veins. It’s the only thing that matters to me.
A lot of people here have already written how cool it is what you’re doing. Is the reaction similar in France? Are you aware that you’re generating attention overseas?
In France, baseball is still under-developed compared to football, rugby, judo, handball or cycling. Even reading newspapers, some still say, “Wait, we also play baseball in France?”, without knowing that the federation was created during the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris and even practiced in Paris since the end of the 19th century. That surprises many on this side of the Atlantic.
I know that it has generated a lot of debate in the United States, but I admit that it seems a little abstract. All I can say is that to be on the eligibility list is a step in the right direction. All the better if it can help this great sport and encourage people to play or help the federation or academy find sponsors for youth programs.
Do you think about being a symbol for women at all?
I’m hesitant to perceive myself as a symbol of anything. Not because of ego, but because I’m just a 16-year-old girl who is still going to high school and who is practicing a sport out of passion. I can easily understand some of the messages one might want to associate with my actions. I’m going forward because of my passion, and if I can help those who would like to take the same route, that would make me happy. I am aware that this could help change attitudes. And why not? I find that a lot of women are true warriors on the field, with minds of steel. Some women, like Eri Yoshida (the first female drafted by a Japanese professional team), who I met in Japan, or Justine Siegal (first woman to throw MLB batting practice and coach a men’s pro baseball team), who held a conference in Paris two years ago, are clearly symbols for me.
What are you goals? Simply play at a high level? Play in the World Baseball Classic?
Ultimately, my goal was that someone lets me play baseball for as long as possible. Today, when I achieve one goal, I create a new one. That’s how I function. I work hard each day at the baseball academy in Toulouse. I do the most that I can to keep getting better. It’s not easy to balance this daily discipline with my school work, especially while boarding very far from my parents. Fortunately, I have very attentive coaches and great friends. Baseball here is like a big family. To wear the colors of Team France during the next World Baseball Classic qualifier with Eric Gagné as manager, to play in MLB, to join a minor league team, all that seems so far … but it still makes me smile to think about it. If I could earn a scholarship at an American college or university after I finish high school, that would be awesome. When I stop playing, I would like it to be my personal decision and not because someone told me no.
Have you given thought to playing softball, or is it important to you to stick with baseball?
I am playing on the French softball team at the same time, and I enjoy that, too. We have a lot of fun. But all the same, I prefer the little ball.
You’re actually the second female baseball player to cause a lot of attention in the United States recently. Have you heard of Mo’ne Davis?
I heard about Mo’ne Davis’ performances through the news, and obviously I loved her story. I was really impressed, having been on the mound for so long. During that time, a lot of my friends told me “Look, you’re not alone!” and that idea was comforting. I can’t imagine one day getting that much media attention. I simply hope that a day will come that we no longer look at girls like extra-terrestrials.
Who is your favorite player? Favorite shortstop, past and present?
My favorite player is Derek Jeter. Well, it was. I’m having trouble with this answer since he retired. But if he has a little time now, I would love if he comes to France one day, to the Toulouse academy, to give us some advice. (Please, Captain!)
Who would you like to style your game after?
I’m not looking to imitate anyone. Each plays according to his style and his ability. I think the most important thing, is to be one’s self. What matters to me is to be confident on the diamond.
Do you follow MLB? How?
I follow a lot of the news on social networks and the site of MLB. When I was younger, I could pass hours on the Internet watching and breaking down videos on hitting and game techniques. I also watch TV when games are being retransmitted. It’s a real treat but it’s difficult with the time difference, especially when there is only one channel that broadcasts in France.
How do you feel about the designated hitter in the AL?
I have been a pitcher and I would never let someone hit in my place. I think that answers the question.
How do you feel about players who like to have fun on the field, like Yasiel Puig, against how many people think baseball should “traditionally” be played?
I’ve had the chance to meet and play with or against players from a lot of different places, to be trained by a lot of different coaches, and to go experience baseball in Japan or Cuba. I sincerely think there isn’t one right way to play baseball. Some make it a little more of a spectacle, add a little spice. Each culture appropriates the sport in its manner.
For now, we are sharing the influences of Americans, Canadians (a lot of Quebecois come to play in France), the Japanese (under the influence of Yoshio Yoshida — manager of the French national team from 1989-1995) and Latin Americans. It’s not simple but I’m convinced that if baseball continues to grow in France, we would be capable of developing our proper style of game, like we have, for example, with rugby.
I wrote this for my amazing BASEBALL MOM!!! Love you! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!
My Baseball Mom
She cleans out stains
AND fixes your pains
She cheers for a bomb
Everyone loves a baseball mom
She throws soft toss
Because She’s the boss
She can always find your cup
Because she knows what’s up
She can still even play
A baseball mom, YES WAY
You think your mom is better
But does she know a table setter
She’ll find your every lost sock
And knows the ump’s calls are a crock
She shows up all men
A baseball mom is a ten
When you’re in a horrid slump
They give you a perfect bump
A baseball mom knows the way
What else can you even say
She can calculate an average
While drinking her beverage
Have you ever seen her swing
A baseball mom is the king
Yes, a king, not a queen is what I say
Plays like one every day
She can mend a glove
What’s not to love
In the dugout she wants a kiss
This is someone you never diss
I love my baseball mom
He’s baaaacckkkkkk. Alex Rodriguez, one of the most hated and dirtiest players in all of baseball is making yet ANOTHER return from a suspension due to steroid usage. To try to steal our hearts he wrote us a little cliche apology/moving on letter-blah blah blah. (Actions, Alex, speak volumes!)
I had only one thought after reading this; his handwriting looks like my sister’s. I was definitely not the only one who thought it looks very feminine. An expert of handwriting, Paula Sassi, analyzed it. Here is what she said:
“He writes like a girl. Feminine writing is more rounded, with a lot of connections, which he has throughout this. And a right slant. Masculine writing tends to be more angled, straight up and down, maybe printed. The capital ‘I’s’—that’s where you see the personal ego. This is probably what gets him into trouble. He has a very strong-willed, independent ego. They’re so large, and printed. That’s the kind of capital ‘I’ where you say they’re very independent, and strong-willed. In the second line, when he writes ‘mistakes,’ it’s interesting what occurs in that word, it has a cover on the ‘a,’ and it also happens in the fourth line, when he writes the word ‘situation,’ and both have to do with what happened. Which is being very protective of personal information. In his signature itself, where he writes ‘Alex,’ the circle around it, we call that a ‘magic circle of protection.’ So he’s covering his tush. You see it a lot in signatures.”
The expert even declared he writes like a girl! You can even see his larger than life ego in his handwriting in the ‘I’s’ as she explains. Additionally, my personal personality expert and relative psychiatrist, Grandpa Ray, says A-Rod’s upward slant is all about confident, successful – moving up-literally. It’s all about him. Is that even a surprise? His ego is so large it jumps off the paper. Even when A-Roid is trying to be sincere in his “magic circle of protection,” his selfish cockiness shows. Showing his true colors without even knowing it. As much as I dislike A-Rod, I wish him the best to get control of his life.
Sorry to have not posted in a little while. I’ve been sooooooooo busy with the start of my high school freshman baseball preseason, strength and agility training, school, music lessons, and more.
In honor of Black History Month I found a great video I must share with you. A very motivated teenager, named Cam Perron has been researching the history of the Negro Leagues. This video is very interesting and inspiring as he has tracked down old ballplayers from the Negro Leagues and helped them receive some credit, notoriety, and in some cases, financial restitution that they deserved, but were denied. Many of these players were sadly forgotten. Learning more about the plight of these players has been eye opening. We should all be grateful for the contributions made by these brave athletes to the game of baseball. It’s amazing to see them finally get some long overdue accolades! Enjoy!