Today in baseball: Dodgers acquire Robinson’s contract

Today it is exactly 72 years ago that the Brooklyn Dodgers acquired the contract of Jackie Robinson. It would take five more days before Robinson would make his MLB debut. It was during an exhibition game against their AAA team, the Montreal Royals, where Robinson was playing after he signed a contract with the Dodgers …

Today in baseball: Ballpark openings

Today 107 and 106 years ago there were some ballpark christenings. In 1912 Fenway Park opened its doors. A year later another iconic ballpark would be opened: Ebbets Field. Even though the first MLB game at Fenway Park was played on April 20, the first game ever was played on April 9, 1912. The Red …

Minor League history: Middle Atlantic League (1925-1930)

In this edition of Minor League history we are talking about the Middle Atlantic League. The league a continuous run from  1925 - 1942 and later from 1946-1951. The league was mainly located in Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania but also had offshoots in New York, Maryland and West Virginia. The first edition of the Middle …

1962, the year Don Newcombe went to Japan

UDon Newcombe, the legendary pitcher of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who recently passed away, had a "secret" I did not know about. In the final year of his baseball career, Newcomb played in Japan. Not as a pitcher but as a position player. In 1962, the year the New York Yankees won their last World Series …

Baseball related songs: “There used to be a ballpark” by Frank Sinatra

In this edition of Baseball related songs, we pay attention to "There used to be a ballpark", performed by Ol' Blue Eyes, a.k.a. Frank Sinatra. In this song from his comeback album Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back, Sinatra took a sentimental journey to the Golden Age of baseball when the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York …

Baseball related songs: “We didn’t start the fire” by Billy Joel

In this episode of Baseball related songs, we pay attention to "We didn't start the fire" performed by Billy Joel. This song describes the cause of history from 1949 until the late eighties. You may wonder why the song starts in 1949. Well, that's quite simple. It is Billy Joel's year of birth. Next to …

Baseball related music: “Talkin’ baseball” by Terry Cashman

In today's edition of Baseball related music, we pay attention to "Talkin' baseball, sung by Terry Cashman. The song is describing the history of baseball from the 1950s to the beginning of the 80s. The song was released in 1981, the year the regular MLB season was shortened by a player strike. The song was …

Baseball related songs: “Subway” by Jim Nuzzo

In today's episode of Baseball related songs, we pay attention to Subway by Jim Nuzzo. To many Dutch baseball fans (including myself) this will be an unknown song. The song is about the New York Subway Series, a name for the World Series between New York teams, which happened a lot during the golden age of …

Sad news: Another Brooklyn Dodger passes away

Today former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca passed away at the age of ninety.  Branca played for three teams during his 12-year major league career. He will be best remembered as the pitcher who gave up the homerun to Bobby Thomson (the shot heard around the world) in a 1951 play off game vs the …

Ballparks around the World: Dodger Stadium

During my vacation in the US, earlier this year, my good friend Javier took me to Dodger Stadium for a tour. It is hard to believe that Dodger Stadium, erected in 1962, is the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. It is a ballpark without the modern bells and whistles in which baseball fans …

Do the Yankees need a new pitching coach?

This year the Yankees pitching isn't performing the way it should, which is quite an understatement. The new pitchers that were acquired last year, Luis Severino and Nathan Eovaldi, are performing worse than they did last year. Eovaldi's numbers are not much worse but still he declined from 4.20 to 4.76. Severino had a solid …

Rangers and Indians extend PDC

The Texas Rangers and the Spokane Indians (A Short Season, Northwest League) have extended their player development contract with two more years through the 2018 season. The cooperation between the two clubs started in 2003. Since the two clubs became partners the Indians have won three Northwest League titles. One in the inaugural year of …

Reds PDC news

In the ever moving world of player development contracts and affiliations there some news to tell. The Cincinnati Reds and their Pioneer League (Advanced Rookie) affiliate, the Billings Mustangs have extended their PDC with two more years through the 2018 season. When the new contract expires the cooperation between the two teams will have lasted …

Minor League history: Eastern Carolina League

There were two Eastern Carolina Leagues. Both operated in the Eastern part of North Carolina. The first run lasted from 1908 through 1910, the second lasted two years: 1928-1929. In both cases the league got a class D classification. 1908-1910 cities represented: Fayetteville, NC: Fayetteville Highlanders 1909-1910 Goldsboro, NC: Goldsboro Giants 1908-1910 Kinston, NC: Kinston …

Minor League history: Coastal Plain League

The Coastal Plain League was a class D league between 1937 and 1952. It grew out of a semi-pro league that ran from 1935 through 1936 and that carried the same name. Through the years it appeared to be a rather stable league as no team moved during a season. Only in 1951, the Tarboro …

First televised baseball games

When you ask the average baseball fan what the first televised baseball game was, they will probably answer the one in which the Brooklyn Dodgers hosted the Cincinnati Reds. Wrong!!! The first televised baseball game took place in the same year, 1939, but not on August 26 but on May 17. The college teams of …

Should Jackie Robinson’s statue be at Dodger Stadium?

Sixty years after Walter O'Malley traded Robinson to the arch rival of the Dodgers, the New York Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers will erect a statue to honor Jackie Robinson. California-based sculptor Branly Cadet will create the Robinson statue ,which will be ten feet tall, around the theme, “Leveling the Playing Field.” With the help …

Toronto and Boston to play exhibition in Montreal in 2016

After two previous years in which the Toronto Blue Jays played a couple of exhibition games in Montreal, it looks like it starts to become a tradition for the Blue Jays to there before the regular season starts. Next year the Blue Jays will take on the Boston Red Sox to conclude the 2016 Spring …