George Earnshaw was a World Series champ and WWII hero


George Earnshaw

The college standout takes an unconventional path to pro ball George Earnshaw took the road less traveled. Throughout his life he made unexpected decisions that always had a way of working out. Living on his own terms he became the right-handed ace of a baseball dynasty and a World War II hero. Earnshaw was a star in football, basketball, and baseball at Swarthmore College and later a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. On the pitcher’s mound the 6’4″, 210-pounder was an especially imposing presence. When he left the school in 1922, baseball scouts tabbed him as the top local prospect. The International League’s Double-A Baltimore Orioles were Earnshaw’s most persistent suitor. When they wouldn’t agree to his demand of $600 per month, Earnshaw took a job with his uncle’s transportation business in Newark, New Jersey. He later joked he was the only holdout in baseball history who had yet to play a professional game. Over the next couple of years, the Orioles reminded Earnshaw of their interest each time they traveled to Newark to play the Bears. When his uncle’s business closed in 1924, Earnshaw finally took the Orioles up on their baseball offer. More than two […]

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Drysdale’s scoreless streak in ’68 ended in an unlikely way


Don Drysdale

Baseball shines the light on the fringe player like no other sport Every sport celebrates its stars. More than any other pastime, baseball provides opportunities for fringe players to become part of the game’s fabric. Howie Bedell is one such man. In his 67-game big league playing career, Bedell had three runs batted in, the last of which links him to one of the most memorable streaks in the history of the game. The story begins with the 1913 performance of perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time, Walter Johnson. One of five in Cooperstown’s inaugural class, Johnson threw 55 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings that year. The majestic run set a record that Johnson held for the rest of his life. Fifty-five years later another Hall of Fame hurler began a streak of his own. On May 14th, 1968 Dodger hurler Don Drysdale beat Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins with a 2-hit blanking of the Chicago Cubs. Four days later he twirled a 5-hit shutout against the Astros. The Dodgers then headed to St. Louis where Drysdale bested Cooperstown’s Bob Gibson 2-0 on May 22nd. His next start came at the Astrodome against the Houston team he shut out eight […]

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Paul Waner recorded hit #3,000 twice


3,000th hit Paul WAner

The story of how Lloyd Waner tallied his milestone 3,000th hit is now a mere footnote in baseball history.

It’s also a story worth knowing.

In an unlikely turn of events, an angry Paul Waner rejected a scorer’s decision.

Waner demanded a chance to record his memorable knock cleanly – and got his wish.

This is the forgotten tale of how the 7th MLB batter to total 3,000 hits joined baseball’s exclusive club.

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A white elephant? The Athletics turned an insult into a a team logo in 1902


Connie Mack White Elephant

Today the Oakland Athletics sport a white elephant on their uniform. They also use the pale pachyderm in sales and marketing.

What is the link between the A’s and a white elephant?

It all began because of a feud at the dawn of a new century during the inception of the American League.

John McGraw, Ban Johnson, and Connie Mack – Cooperstown men all – were at the center of the battle. What could’ve been a debacle is today an enduring part of baseball history.

America’s National Pastime has a long and glorious history separates it from every other North American sport.

Enjoy the article that links three baseball titans to the present day.

You gotta love baseball!

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Buddy Lewis was on his way to Cooperstown before World War II


Buddy Lewis

Buddy Lewis broke into the big leagues at age 19, was a regular by age 20, and an All Star by age 21.

When the infielder recorded his 1,000th career hit on June 4, 1941 he was just 24 years old.

Only four players in major league history reached the 1,000-hit plateau at a younger age. All are in the Hall of Fame – Ty Cobb, Mel Ott, Al Kaline, and Freddie Lindstrom – are in the Hall of Fame.

The Senators third baseman was one of baseball rising young stars. Lewis was on the path to Cooperstown.

Then everything changed.

Lewis enlisted into the army to fight in World War II. Flying a C-47 that he named “The Old Fox” in honor of Senators owner Clark Griffith, Lewis survived more than 350 missions.

When he returned to the game after a 3 1/2 year absence, he was a different man and a different player.

With all that he saw during the war, baseball took on less significance.

Though he had some success, Lewis was out of baseball by age 34.

Once a man on the path to Cooperstown, Lewis answered the call to serve his country.

This is the story of Senators great and World War II hero Buddy Lewis.

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Tony Conigliaro was on the path to greatness before beaning


Tony C

Tony C finds success early Tony Conigliaro made his big league debut in 1964 at the tender age of 19. The first pitch the Red Sox rookie saw in front of the Fenway faithful he hit over the Green Monster for a homer. During his time as a teenager the Massachusetts native slugged 24 homers – the most by any player before his 20th birthday. Conigliaro followed up that performance by swatting a league-leading 32 homers in ’65. At just 20 years old, the right-hander remains Major League Baseball’s youngest home run champion. Tony C had another fine year in ’66. He finished in the top ten among AL batters in triples, homers, total bases, RBI, and OPS. Finally old enough to drink, Conigliaro was on his way to becoming a superstar. The first half of 1967 was more of the same. Selected as the starting right fielder in the All Star game, Conigliaro had the world on a string. Twelve days after the Mid Summer Classic he hit his 100th career homer – the youngest player in American League history to reach the plateau. Then on August 18th, everything changed. The beaning changes everything In the bottom of the […]

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Military service in WWI deprived Sam Rice of the 13 hits he needed for 3,000


Sam Rice Washington Senators

The historical marker near Sam Rice’s hometown of Morocco, Indiana reads, “Drafted into the Army in WWI. Rice missed most of the 1918 season. He helped Washington win American League pennants in 1924, 1925, and 1933, and a World Series title in 1924. Over 20 seasons he was often among league leaders in hits and steals. He played his last year in 1934 with the Cleveland Indians, finishing with a career .322 batting average and 2,877 hits.”

Rice remains largely forgotten today.

The Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins. Today no team or fan base embraces Rice. He finished just 13 hits shy of the 3,000-hit milestone.

Sam Rice is one of baseball’s forgotten stars.

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Steve Carlton’s 1972 season was one of the best since the Deadball Era


Warren Giles gives the Cy Young to Steve Carlton

Steve Carlton’s 1972 season is one of the greatest performances by a pitcher in the last 100 years. The National League Cy Young Award winner, Carlton went 27-10 for a last-place Phillies team that finished 37 1/2 games out of first place.

Any way you measure it, Lefty’s season was one of the ages.

Carlton won the National League’s pitching Triple Crown by leading the Senior Circuit in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He completed 30 of his 41 starts.

SABRmetrics are predictably kind to Carlton’s season. He posted the highest single-season WAR by a pitcher since Walter Johnson in 1913. Lefty also led the majors in ERA+ and fielding-independent pitching.

Many feel his 1972 performance is vastly underappreciated.

It’s plain to see, the career year for one of baseball’s best pitchers was one of the ages.

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Vic Wertz did much more than fly out to Willie Mays in the ’54 World Series


Willie Mays catch

World Series heroics in a losing cause Vic Wertz played over 1,000 big league games by the time he reached his only World Series in 1954. Once he got to baseball’s biggest stage he was sensational. In Game 1 Wertz opened the scoring with a two-run triple to deep right. In his next two at bats, Wertz hit sharp singles. Then in the 8th inning and the score tied 2-2, Wertz came to bat with two runners on. The first baseman ripped a line drive to deep centerfield in New York’s cavernous Polo Grounds. Giants center fielder Willie Mays turned his back to the plate and sprinted toward the wall. Mays caught up to it and made a spectacular over-the-shoulder grab 450 feet from the plate. “The Catch” brought the 52,751 fans in attendance to their feet. The Giants won the game 5-2 in ten innings. Though his Indians were swept in the Series, Wertz went 8-for-16 with four extra-base hits. For Mays the Game 1 play was another memorable moment in a career filled with them. With 660 homers, 24 all star appearances, 12 straight Gold Gloves and two MVP Awards, he is regarded by many as the game’s […]

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Tommy Bond was one of the best pitchers in the early days of baseball


Tommy Bond

Tommy Bond was one of the greatest pitchers at the start of professional baseball. Many believe he belongs in Cooperstown.
His 2.14 career ERA is bested by only 6 Hall of Fame Hurlers.
He had six seasons of 20 or more wins, four seasons of 30 or more wins, and three seasons of 40 or more.
Some criticize the brevity of his 10-year career but his 3,628 2/3 innings remains 60th all time.
His case is now in the hands of the Veterans Committee.

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954