Archive for February, 2012

Puerto Rico Goes to Cuba, Wins 1953 Caribbean World Series

Posted: 29th February 2012 by Joe Guzzardi in MLB

When Alva Lee “Bobo” Holloman began his major league career on May 6,1953 by pitching a no-hitter for the St. Louis Browns against the Philadelphia A’s,  the baseball world was shocked. But for those who followed Holloman the previous winter in the Puerto Rican League, his success was hardly surprising. Pitching for the Santurce Crabfishermen, […]

Vote: The BPP All-Time Dream Project

Posted: 27th February 2012 by Graham Womack in MLB

Edit 2.28.12, 10:40 a.m. PST: 25 responses and counting. If you haven’t voted, please email me at for a ballot or go here. __________________ They’re the greatest baseball debates in history, timeless arguments that continue unabated and still capture public imagination. It’s the age-old question of who’s better: Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle? Babe […]

Mike Krukow: The Polish Prince

Posted: 24th February 2012 by Albert Lang in MLB

Having a fiancé who is Polish must have led me to Mike Krukow’s 1987 Topps card. The backside of the card lists a nickname. I think it’s pretty cool. “The Polish Prince” sounds crafty and it’s nice to get one’s heritage in a nickname, complete with alliteration. Mike Krukow played catcher in high school and […]

Any player/Any era: Gary Carter

Posted: 23rd February 2012 by Graham Womack in Gary Carter

What he did: It took Gary Carter six tries to be voted into the Hall of Fame. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, given Carter’s stats or the history of the museum. Catchers rarely have an easy time getting into Cooperstown, and Carter would have had slim odds shilling for a plaque at any position with […]

Minnie Minoso: “What’s a Holdout?”

Posted: 22nd February 2012 by Joe Guzzardi in MLB

When Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane signed Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes to a $36 million, four year contract, I immediately thought back to a simpler time. During the 1952 Christmas season, the famous Chicago White Sox G.M. Frank “The Trader” Lane set off for Cuba with four blank contracts in his brief case. Lane […]

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Sammy Sosa

Posted: 21st February 2012 by Graham Womack in Sammy Sosa

Claim to fame: I seem to be repeating variations of the following phrase ad nauseam, but here goes again. In about nine months, the Baseball Writers Association of America will begin voting on the most controversial Hall of Fame ballot in recent memory. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will inspire volumes of copy as writers publicly rationalize […]

The Worst of the Best: High Pockets Kelly

Posted: 20th February 2012 by Alex Putterman in MLB

Editor’s note: Please welcome the latest from Alex Putterman. ________________ He hit fewer career home runs than Earl Torgeson, collected fewer hits than Jermaine Dye, and slugged worse than Jay Gibbons while reaching base less often than Ron LeFlore. He posted a lifetime OPS+ equal to that of Lee Mazzilli and Rob Deer and was […]

Any player/Any era: Mark Fidrych

Posted: 19th February 2012 by Graham Womack in Mark Fidrych

What he did: I’m a few days late on this column, so forgive me if seems passé. I’ve been wanting to write about Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, who recently came out of nowhere to lead New York on a seven-game winning streak. Athletes emerge from obscurity periodically to star, whether it’s sixth-round draft pick […]

Do the worst of the best players make the best leaders?

Posted: 17th February 2012 by Albert Lang in MLB

When you think Branch Rickey, you think innovator. He broke the color barrier and pretty much created the framework for the modern MiLB farm system. But, before all that, he signed a pro contract in 1903. He played 82 games in the minors that year, he hit .257. However he was a catcher and it […]

The A’s Gamble on Yoenis Cespedes

Posted: 15th February 2012 by Joe Guzzardi in MLB

The Oakland Athletics stunned the baseball world earlier this week when the team signed the untried Yoennis Cespedes to a 4-year, $36 million contract. Cespedes’ only experience against major league pitching came during the World Baseball Classic where he hit .428 in 24 at bats. In Cuba last year, Cespedes hit 33 home runs in […]