Baseball: Past and Present

Archive forMarch, 2011

In February, New York University president John Sexton invited me to lecture his undergraduate class, “Baseball as a Road to God,” about the role the sport played in helping immigrants from the early 1900′s assimilate. The subject is one near and dear to my heart. My own Sicilian grandmother was an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan. As […]

Claim to fame: A seven-time All Star, 1972 American League MVP, and two-time home run champion, Allen may rank as one of the best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame. He’s certainly one of the best hitters of the 1960s not in Cooperstown, his 351 home runs and .292 batting average more a […]

In this space Saturday, Joe Guzzardi discussed the troubled life of his former prep school classmate and friend, Joe DiMaggio Jr. The only son of the Yankee legend never came close to his father’s success, bouncing through life, abusing drugs and alcohol, and dying a miserable death in Antioch, California in 1999. One of my […]

Welcome to part three. It seems likely that a part ad infinitem would be possible with Bud running the show but let’s continue with some more likely scenarios for the 2011 major league baseball season. If you’ve been able to follow thus far, congratulations. As with part two, I am continuing from the point I […]

Graham Womack’s review of Jermone Charyn’s new book Joe DiMaggio:The Long Vigil reminded me of a friendship I had with DiMaggio’s only child, his son Joe, Jr. During the 1960s, young Joe and I were classmates at a New Jersey all-boys preparatory school. Interestingly, DiMaggio never talked about his father. Not until long after we […]

What he did: Here’s a name I didn’t know. I began research for this post with an idea: Find a hurler buried on a great team in the Year of the Pitcher, 1968, with the idea that even a good pitcher might be out of options on a team like the Tigers, Cardinals, or Dodgers […]

I’m close to walking away from baseball. I’ve done it before and came away none the worse for wear. During the various work stoppages twenty years ago, the 1985 cocaine scandal and the more recent steroid ugliness, I turned my back on baseball completely. I didn’t miss it much. If I’m given the choice between […]

Claim to fame: Reynolds won 180 games and made five All Star teams in his 13-year career and helped pitch the New York Yankees to six World Series titles between 1947 and 1953. He’s one of the most prominent, eligible Yankees not in the Hall of Fame, and that might be enough for the Veterans […]

I was three years old the first time I got a pack of baseball cards, four when I went to my first game, five when I started Little League. I began to read about baseball history a few years later, and for most of my childhood, I idealized the game. I read its stories, saw […]

Last week we revealed six major league baseball events likely to occur sometime during the 2011 season. With the passing of another week, and the regular season that much closer, I give you part two beginning where I left off last week. 7. Carl Crawford refuses to play in Boston home games. He cites the […]

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  • Written by Graham Womack