Showing posts from August, 2022

Wayback Wednesday: Collectibles

Did anyone hold on to any of the special Budweiser aluminum bottles that were sold primarily at ballparks around 15 years ago?  

If Your Birthday is August 26th...

Image share it a couple of players with distinctive first names.  Ranger Suarez  joins Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Kyle Gibson and Noah Syndergaard i n the Phillies rotation.  An outstanding fielder, he has a chance to become the first Philadelphia pitcher since Steve Carlton to win a gold glove. He's also the first major league player named Ranger...while Elvis Andrus   is the second to sport that first name. ( Elvis Peña , who played 25 games with Rockies and Brewers in 2000 and 2001, was the first.) This Elvis hasn't left the building, but he's changed homes twice in the past year and half... First, when his longtime team the Rangers traded him to the A's.  More recently, when he signed with the White Sox after being released by Oakland. David Price , the talented lefthander who's starred mainly for the Rays and Red Sox -- winning 15 or more games six times -- but until 2018, had struggled mightily in the post-season. Sent from Boston to the Dodgers as a salary

Wayback Wednesday: Back to the Bronx

Here's a souvenir moment worth sharing: page 6 of the 1966 Yankees scorecard and program. The starting outfield of Mickey Mantle, Tom Tresh and Roger Maris.  While not technically "together for the final time," this would be the final season when these three would man the outfield at the original Stadium.  The following winter, Maris would be traded to the Cardinals, while Mantle, plagued by a career-worth of knee injuries, would be moved to 1st base. (The full page is below.) While 1966 was a Yankee year to forget, thumbing through the scorecard also offers a chance to smile at better days to come -- with some faces who'd be part of the Yankees '70s turnaround: The 1966 back cover sponsor disappeared from New York area gas stations by the end of the decade after Sinclair merged with BP.  Recently, a few stations (including one on Main Street in Norwalk, CT) were rebranded with the previous name and logos.  Have you seen one?

Random Images: Mets Edition

Brett Baty completed his climb to the majors last Wednesday night by homering in his first at bat with the Mets. He connected against Jake Odorizzi in the 2nd inning of a 9-7 win over the Braves at Truist Park. This image is from August 10th, when Baty was lighting it up for the Syracuse Mets. While Baty's journey began as a highly touted 1st round draft pick, pitcher a virtual unknown till now was a big factor in Sunday's wild, come-from-behind win over the Phillies: Say hello to Nate Fisher .  The same night I watched Baty, I got my first look at the 26-year old lefty who made his MLB debut Sunday with three innings of shutout relief... After bouncing around the Mariners farm system during 2019 and '21, Fisher signed with the Mets last winter, he, like Baty, did well at Binghamton this spring before being promoted to Syracuse -- and summoned to Philadelphia for Sunday afternoon's game.  His quality work helped set the table for Mark Canha 's heroics. The former O

If Your Birthday is August 19th...

Image share it with  Bobby Richardson , the South Carolina native who made his mark in the Bronx during a dozen seasons with the Yankees.  The club's regular second baseman during its five consecutive pennant winners at the start of the '60s, Richardson's video highlight was snaring Willie McCovey's line drive with runners on 2nd and 3rd that ended the 1962 World Series.  A frequent visitor to Yankee Old Timers games, his baseball resume also includes two decades coaching at South Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Liberty Universities. Gary Gaetti , whose greatest Baseball thrill has to be a game winning homer in the opening game of the 1996 National League playoffs. Growing up a Cardinals fan in nearby Centralia, IL, the 3rd baseman played 14 big league seasons (notably with the Twins where he earned MVP Honors in the '87 ALCS) before returning home as a 1996 free agent. With 360 career homers, over 1300 RBI and three Gold Gloves, Gaetti also stands as the best pla

An Infusion of Youth

Having lost 11 of 13, the Yankees need some kind of spark.  Two weeks past the trade deadline, the search for fresh blood turns to Scranton-Wilkes Barre and two of the organization's best Triple A performers.  Various reports this morning, including Bob Klapisch of the Star Ledger, say that Oswaldo Cabrera   (above) and Estevan Florial are heading to the Bronx, where the Yankees hope to salvage tonight's final game with the Rays -- and play more like the club that dominated the first 90 games of the season. Florial hits for power, steals plenty of bases but strikes out a lot.  Cabrera, who missed nearly two months this season with a shoulder injury, can play all three infield positions and has also appeared in the outfield.  And he's playing his best ball right now, hitting .380 in August. Neither player is a sure thing; but with DJ LeMahieu hurt, Gleyber Torres again regressing, Marwin Gonzalez tapped out and Aaron Hicks looking lost, giving these kids a solid week or 10

Random Images

Jacob deGrom 's starts for the Mets were worth waiting for!  After taking the first half of the season to recover from the stress reaction in his shoulder blade, the two-time Cy Young winner picked up where he left off.  28 strikeouts in 16-2/3 innings; Saturday night, he shut down the Phillies in a Koufaxian manner -- 10 k's, two hits, no walks and no wiggle room, in a 1-0 victory. Don't overlook the big bat of  Pete Alonso  from the weekend success.  He drove in Saturday's only run; then on Sunday, after reaching on a 4th inning single, he scored the second run of the afternoon. Since my photo of deGrom was from a minor league game, I thought I'd share one of the Mets 1st baseman prior to his arrival in Flushing -- it's timestamped May 7th, 2018, when he was playing with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Then again, you might prefer this close-up from Citi Field. Finally, a bonus... some Mets nostalgia:   10 years ago this month, the signage promoting the 2013 All

If Your Birthday is August 12th...

Image share it with Julio Urias , the Dodgers Mexican-born lefty whose story has overtones of his countryman Fernando Valenzuela.  Just 19 when he debuted in 2016, he came into his own in COVID-shortened 2020; won 20 last season and has been just as impressive this year. Ian Happ has been a familiar face in the Cubs outfield since 2017.  This year, he's traded power for hits and isn't likely to match last season's career-high 25 homers. Jose Tabata  is a classic example of a "can't miss" prospect who missed.  Highly touted as he rose through the Yankees farm system, he went to the Pirates as the key piece in a 2008 deal for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady.  But after a promising 2010 Pittsburgh debut, he couldn't hold onto a regular job. After a 2015 mid-season trade to the Dodgers, he was sent to the minors, and never again made it back to the show.  Tabata wasn't thrilled when I zoomed in on him just before an at-bat for the Pirates' Indianapolis

Familiar Flushing Faces

Several players who've spent time this season with the major league Mets were on the field Wednesday as their top farm club Syracuse hosted Buffalo.  Above, it's David Peterson , who won six of his decisions filling out the rotation before the return of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.  Clearly, it was not his night, as the Bisons tagged him for four runs and five hits in the 1st inning en route to a 10 - 3 victory. Khalil Lee , who's appeared in 13 big league games the last two seasons, is the Syracuse lead-off man.  After hitting a career best .271 with 14 homers a year ago, the numbers for this onetime Royals 1st round draft pick have fallen off in 2022.  An 0 for 5 night Wednesday dropped his average under .200. The S-Mets DH is Dom Smith .  He also had an oh-fer... dropping his average to .259.  And with the big club fortified by trade deadline pickups Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf, steamrolling through August, it looks like Smith's time in upstate New York won'

8th Inning Lightning

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong entered the Friday night's game hitting an ugly .140.  But this weekend against the Yankees, he channeled his inner Musial to help St. Louis sweep the Yanks at Busch Stadium. Friday night, his two-RBI double off Clay Holmes with two out in the last of the 8th brought the Redbirds from behind in their 4-3 victory. Sunday, his three-run homer off Scott Effross put the game away in  the 8th inning after the Yanks had crept within a run. Earlier, his 5th inning double gave the Cardinals a 7-6 lead. Whatever was ailing DeJong's bat since mid-April when his average dropped under .200 was gone this weekend... as he helped St. Louis run its winning streak to seven and extend the Yankees longest skid of the season to five. Things don't get any easier for the AL East leaders; they're off to Seattle to visit a Mariners club that beat them two of three last week in the Bronx.

If Your Birthday is August 5th...

Image share it with  Carl Crawford , a terrific leadoff hitter with the Rays, where he stole 50 or more bases four seasons out of five.  But his career faded after leaving for the Red Sox as a 2011 free agent.  The L.A. native finished up with the Dodgers.  Baseball certainly runs in the family: his son Justin was the Phillies' first round choice in this year's MLB draft and his  cousin is Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford.   Andrew Ballatti has become an important member of the Phillies bullpen.  After brief stints with the 2015 Rays and 2021 Marlins, he's struck an average of three batters every two innings with an ERA in the mid-3's. Eric Hinske 's first season was his best. The 2002 AL Rookie of the Year smacked 24 homers and hit .279 for the Blue Jays, but never again posted such impressive numbers.  He holds an interesting distinction -- he appeared in three consecutive World Series (2007-'09) with three di fferent clubs, the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees.  A

Dealt at the Deadline

While there were bigger trades -- such as the Washington/San Diego Juan Soto blockbuster, there was none more surprising than the Yankees sending Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals for center fielder Harrison Bader .   While it's no surprise that the Yankees sought an upgrade in center field, with Aaron Hicks declining and Aaron Judge apparently overtaxing his body, Bader still seems a curious choice.  The Westchester County native checks the boxes as a speedy outfielder with some power.  But he's currently sidelined with plantar fasciitis, a serious foot condition some believe is chronic. Montgomery was a solid third-fourth starter, who may not have been on track to start a post-season game, but has been dependable since rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Let's get a quick look at some of the pitching prospects the Yankees moved this week : Hayden Wesneski went to the Cubs for reliever Scott Effross.  The Sam Houston State product went 9 - 5 in 22 starts last year betwee

Random Images

Back in 2018, when I snapped this image of Andrew Benintendi , could he have imagined that a few years later, Yankee Stadium would become his home field and he'd be playing with, not against Luis Severino? The onetime Red Sox outfielder was traded to the Bronx in the first of the deals leading up to baseball's trade deadline.  But what else is Brian Cashman working on?  With the Reds having sent Luis Castillo the Mariners -- the Yankees opponent in six of their next nine games -- will he focus on obtaining A's pitcher Frankie Montas?  Jose Quintana of the Pirates?  Or will he promote promising home-grown lefty Ken Waldichuk from Scranton-Wilkes Barre? The biggest buzz around baseball concerns the future of Juan Soto.  The Nationals budding superstar, looking for an unprecedented contract as well as a ticket out of an again-feeble club in Washington, is keeping my sports-talk radio colleagues busy.  Do you think he'll be calling the movers in the next 36 hours?  Is his f