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Umpire Bill Klem 'I never called one wrong!' Bill Klem once immodestly told a reporter. Klem is still widely regarded as baseball's greatest umpire nearly 70 years after he last worked a game. He was a National League arbiter from 1906 through 1941. The innovative Klem (pictured here in 1914) was the first umpire to wear an inside chest protector and the first to use hand signals to keep fans and players informed about his calls. (Klem said, 'The fan in the 25-cent bleacher seat has just as much right to know what I called as the fan in the box seat near home plate.') Klem was so skilled at calling balls and strikes that he only worked behind the plate for a number of years. He worked 18 World Series--a record that will never be broken because MLB now uses a rotation system rather than a merit system to assign umpires to post-season games. Klem was affectionately called 'The Old Arbitrator'--a nickname he adored. The jowly and thick-lipped Klem hated the nickname 'Catfish.' Any player who addressed him that way was quickly ejected. He had a strange relationship with New York Giants' manager John McGraw. Off the field the two were good friends; on the field they feuded bitterly. My favorite Bill Klem story: In 1941, while working the bases, he called a runner out on a tag play at second base. The runner angrily insisted the tag had missed him. Klem informed the irate player, 'I thought you were out.' Then the realization hit him: For the first time in his long career Klem only thought a player was out--he wasn't certain. Klem resigned the next day.
Tags: baseball  umpire  Bill  Klem 
Added: 1st September 2009
Views: 1393
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Posted By: Lava1964
ESPN Pete Rose Here Now This ESPN mini feature (from the network's excellent 30 for 30 series) is about Pete Rose--and how MLB's all-time hits leader makes his living today in Las Vegas.
Tags: Pete  Rose  baseball  ESPN 
Added: 16th January 2014
Views: 649
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Posted By: Lava1964
Funny MLB commercial Funny commercial advertising Major League Baseball. As a baseball nut, I totally understand the concept.
Tags: MLB  commercial 
Added: 1st December 2007
Views: 1357
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Posted By: Lava1964
Umpire John McSherry Dies During Game On April 1, 1996, the Cincinnati Reds opened the Major League Baseball season by hosting the Montreal Expos. Seven pitches into the game, 51-year-old umpire John McSherry staggered away from home plate on unsteady legs and collapsed face-first to the ground. He likely died immediately of a massive heart attack, but he was officially pronounced dead an hour later. Another umpire, Tom Hallion, accompanied McSherry to a Cincinnati hospital. The remaining two umpires, after consulting with the Reds and Expos, decided to postpone the game. The decision did not sit well with outspoken Reds' owner Marge Schott who was unhappy about having to issue rainchecks to the 50,000 spectators. (She later sent flowers to McSherry's funeral, but reports claimed they were second-hand flowers she herself had received on Opening Day from a local TV station.) McSherry, who tipped the scales at over 300 pounds, was a stereotypical out-of-shape MLB umpire. Beginning in 1997, MLB insisted on tough new physical fitness standards for its arbiters.
Tags: death  John  McSherry  baseball  umpire 
Added: 26th June 2008
Views: 23956
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Posted By: Lava1964
Wilbur Wood SI Cover A friend recently asked me a great baseball trivia question: Which MLB pitcher holds the post-1900 record for most games started over two consecutive seasons? My gut reaction was it had to be someone in the first decade of the twentieth century. When he said it was set after 1970, I correctly guessed Wilbur Wood of the Chicago White Sox. Wood, pictured here on a 1973 Sports Illustrated cover, was a steady knuckleball hurler who started 49 games in 1972 and 48 in 1973 to set the record of 97 starts over two consecutive seasons! Wood's career pretty much ended in May 1976 when a line drive shattered his kneecap. After a long rehab session, Wood returned to baseball but was not nearly as skillful on the mound as he had been before the injury.
Tags: Wilbur  Wood  Sports  Illustrated  cover 
Added: 27th April 2009
Views: 801
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Posted By: Lava1964
Seattle Pilots The Seattle Pilots were an American League baseball club that lasted just one season--1969. This is the official team logo. The Pilots began play the same year as the Kansas City Royals, the San Diego Padres, and the Montreal Expos. The Pilots' owners were granted a team because they assured Major League Baseball a domed stadium would be built in Seattle within two years. That didn't happen. Instead they played at an antiquated minor league park called Sick's Stadium. The venue was so shoddy that seats were still being renovated on Opening Day. Visiting teams hated playing in Seattle because the ballpark's plumbing was horribly inadequate, forcing them to shower at their hotel. The stadium's toilets often failed when more than 10,000 people came to games. (That seldom happened; the Pilots drew just 677,944 fans for their 74 home dates. Still, the Pilots outdrew four other MLB clubs in 1969.) The team alienated potential supporters by having no local TV deal and charging as much as (gasp!) $6 per ticket--the highest price in MLB at the time. After finishing in last place in the American League West with a 64-98 record, and incurring losses of about $250,000, the team uprooted and moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and became the Brewers. Oddly enough, there is more interest in the Pilots now than when they were around. Mainly it is because of pitcher Jim Bouton's irreverent book, Ball Four.
Tags: Seattle  Pilots  baseball 
Added: 18th May 2009
Views: 963
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rock n Rollen Rollen Frederick Stewart, also known as Rock 'n' Rollen and Rainbow Man, was a fixture in American sports culture for about a decade. He became famous for wearing a rainbow-colored afro-style wig and, later, for holding up signs reading "John 3:16" at sporting events around the United States and overseas in the 1970s and 1980s. Stewart, a born-again Christian, was determined to "get the message out" via television. He figured televised sporting events provided the best opportunities. Stewart would strategically position himself for key shots of plays or athletes. Stewart's first major appearance was at the 1977 NBA Finals where he seemed to constantly be on camera. By the time of the 1979 MLB All-Star Game, broadcasters were actively trying to avoid showing him. Undaunted, Stewart appeared behind NFL goalposts, near Olympic medal stands, and even at the Augusta National Golf Club. At the 1982 Indianapolis 500, he was behind the pits of race winner Gordon Johncock. Stewart's fame led to a Budweiser beer commercial and a Saturday Night Live parody sketch. Stewart was briefly jailed by Moscow police at the 1980 Summer Olympics for wearing a red, white, and blue afro wig. By the mid-1980s Stewart's began exhibiting irrational behavior. In the late 1980s, he began a string of stink bomb attacks. His targets included the Orange County Register, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and a Christian bookstore. The stated intent of an attempted attack at the American Music Awards was to show the public that "God thinks this stinks." Stewart is currently serving three consecutive life sentences for a orchestrating a hostage-taking and attempted kidnapping at a California hotel in 1992. Reportedly, Stewart believed that the Rapture was due to arrive in six days. During the standoff, he threatened to shoot at airplanes taking off from nearby Los Angeles International Airport and covered his hotel room windows with "John 3:16" placards. His next parole hearing is in 2017.
Tags: Rollen  Stewart  Rock  n  Rollen 
Added: 17th February 2014
Views: 1897
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Posted By: Lava1964
Worst MLB Team - 1916 Athletics The 1927 New York Yankees are usually considered by baseball history buffs to be the greatest MLB team ever assembled. But which team was the worst? My choice for the worst baseball team (of the 20th century, at least) goes to the pitiful 1916 Philadelphia Athletics. They finished at the bottom of the American League standings that year with an awful 36-117-1 record. What makes the A's horrendous showing so remarkable was that Philadelphia had won the American League in pennant in 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914--and the World Series in three of those seasons. However, the A's were stunningly upset by the Boston Braves in the 1914 World Series. Miffed owner/manager Connie Mack quickly dismantled his superb team and attempted to restock it with castoffs and college hopefuls. The A's finished last seven years in a row before rebuilding their dynasty in the late 1920s. The 1916 Athletics are of particular interest to me because I'm a co-author of the book shown here: A's Bad As It Gets. (Blame my publisher for the punny title.) It is now available through McFarland Publishers or it can be purchased online via Amazon. Trust me: if you're a baseball fan you'll enjoy it! After the huge number of posts I've made on this website over the years (nearly 2,700) for everyone's enjoyment, I figure I'm entitled to one shameless, self-promoting commercial announcement.
Tags: baseball  1916  Philadelphia  Athletics 
Added: 16th March 2014
Views: 664
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Posted By: Lava1964
Stan Musial Last Game 1963 This is a treat for baseball fans: Clips from Stan Musial's last MLB game in 1963.
Tags: Stan  Musial  MLB  final  game 
Added: 11th April 2015
Views: 578
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Posted By: Lava1964
Lou Gehrig Streak Reaches 2000 Lou Gehrig's remarkable streak of consecutive MLB games played reached 2,000 during the 1938 season, as this playful publicity photo shows. Early in the 1939 season the streak would end in Detroit at 2,130. Two years later Gehrig was dead from ALS at age 38.
Tags: Lou  Gehrig   
Added: 17th September 2009
Views: 1818
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Posted By: Lava1964

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