Baseball: Past and Present

Author Archive

Given my choice between watching the College or Major League World Series, I’d pick college without hesitation. Even in the opening rounds, the players are more fundamentally well-schooled in the basics: advancing the runner, hitting the cut off man and laying down a bunt. And, to be frank, if those same players put on a […]

On May 6, Willie Mays celebrated his 81st birthday. During those 1950s years the baseball world couldn’t resolve the debate about who was New York’s best center fielder, Mickey, Willie or the Duke. As sports writer Red Smith said: “Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. You could get a fat lip in any saloon […]

“Big Ed” Delahanty was the most successful of five siblings who played in the majors during the 1890s and into the early 20th Century. None of Delahanty’s brothers, Frank, Joe, Jim and Tom could match Ed’s prowess. But during the Deadball Era, no one else could either. From 1894 to 1896 Delahanty compiled astonishing batting […]

Here’s a little known chapter from the great Jackie Robinson’s baseball history. Robinson has a connection, albeit an indirect one, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1947, when Robinson was called up to Brooklyn, “Big Ed” Stevens held down first base. Remember that Branch Rickey ordered field manager Leo Durocher (before he was suspended) to play […]

Editor’s note: This originally ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on April 1. _____________________ Every spring, the ritual repeats itself. As major league baseball teams break camp, managers report that their athletes have never been in better condition, predict that rookies will shine, vow that last year’s underperforming veterans will bounce back and declare that the […]

keep looking »
  • Written by Graham Womack