Moneyball. Will the Thrill. 1910 New Orleans Pelicans. Gibson in ’84. The Black Lou Gehrig.
I don’t care what anyone says, this movie is going to freaking rule.
Giants legend Will Clark got into the batting cages to take some BP this last Sunday prior to the Giants and Reds game. While doing so he got my inner 10 year old self stoked beyond belief by taking a ball deep over the right field wall. I think it’s safe to say that at age 47 he still possesses the incredible swing that made him the envy of little boys everywhere here in Northern California. You can watch video of this HERE.
I’d say behind Tony Gwynn and Ken Griffey Jr, Will Clark was my favorite player when I was a kid (Andy Van Slyke was probably 4th in the list). I remember practicing Clark’s and Griffey’s batting stances in the mirror although I always felt like a poser because I was not a left-handed batter. In fact now that I think about it, all the guys I listed above were left-handed batters. Well, it’s too late to change now.
(UPDATE: I forgot about Rickey Henderson in my list of favorite players as a kid, so disregard the left-handed batter nonsense I was speaking of for the most part. I know, this is important stuff to know.)
The 1910 New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association. The Pelicans were a Minor League team who during their existence were an affiliate for 7 different Major League teams. I personally discovered the New Orleans Pelicans a few years ago via Ebbets Field Flannels. They sell a bunch of Pelicans gear which in turn generated interest in the team and made me start researching them. They have a pretty storied history which fascinates me. HERE is an interesting article which I came across that suggests that the 1910 Pelicans are “The Greatest New Orleans Sports Team Of All Time.” Whether you agree or not, the article is definitely worth reading.
Also in case you didn’t notice, the above photo features a 23 year old Shoeless Joe Jackson (bottom row seated third from right, #12).
I will always be an unapologetic Kirk Gibson fan no matter what and this photo from the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres is pretty awesome. It’s kinda funny that I love him so much considering that he won World Series MVP and beat my 2 favorite teams (Padres & A’s) in 1984 and 1988. I think it’s because the first World Series I really remember watching and paying attention to in every aspect was the 1988 series. The magic of Gibson’s home run in game 1 impacted me in a way that I’ll never forget.
On a side note, has anyone paid attention to Gibson this season as the Diamondbacks Manager? I swear he looks like he could still play if he wanted to as he’s still in great shape. I’d like to see him take some BP much like Will Clark recently did and see what he could still do with a bat.
Here we have Buck Leonard of the legendary Homestead Grays. The “Black Lou Gehrig” as he was often called was one of the greatest Negro League stars of all-time and spent his entire Negro League career with the Grays. After retiring from the Negro Leagues he played ball for 3 years in the Mexican Leagues with the Algodoneros de Torreón and played 10 games in the minors in 1953 with the Portsmouth Merrimacs. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 along with Josh Gibson.
A cool little fact I didnt know until recently is that Leonard was actually offered a Major League contract in the early 1950′s from owner Bill Veeck. I have read conflicting stories on the year this happened so I am not sure if it was while Veeck owned the Indians or Browns. In any case, Leonard turned it down due to being in his 40′s and feeling that his advanced age would in turn set back the desegregation of Major League Baseball. Interesting stuff if you ask me.
Read more about Buck Leonard and his Baseball career HERE.