Uecker & MacDonald. Splittorff. Seals vs Solons. 1918 throwbacks. The Oakland Larks.
Anyone who knows anything about Baseball knows that the great Bob Uecker is probably the funniest man in the game. The long time voice of the Milwaukee Brewers and ex-member of the Braves, Cardinals & Phillies during his playing days is no stranger to mainstream media. He has appeared in the Major League movies, Mr. Belvedere, Futurama, Who’s The Boss, Miller Lite Beer comercials, made numerous appearances on The Johnny Carson show and has even appeared on WWF Wrestling. What I am trying to say is that he is known worldwide for things other than his playing career which was not remarkable by any means however he still played in the big leagues for 6 years which is 6 more than I played. I can honestly say he is one of the only celebrities that I would like to meet one day as I admire him in many ways.
The above video may not have Uecker actually in it but it’s absolutely priceless and always cracks me up. Do yourself a favor and watch it as it features Norm Macdonald on the Letterman Show discussing a conversation he had with Uecker while in the Brewers broadcast booth. The topic of discussion is the musician John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival and I can guarantee that you will watch the video more than once. On a sidenote, If you are curious to what Artie Lange interview they refer to in the beginning which Uecker was not happy about, you can watch it HERE.
Yesterday the Baseball community lost another good guy. Long time Kansas City Royal Pitcher and color commentator Paul Splittorff passed away after a battle with Cancer at the age of 64. I had just read last week that he was sick but did not know he was close to passing. Splittorff was always great to listen to during Royals games although he had not been around consistently for the last couple years due to being sick.
I would say he had the perfect career in the sense that he stayed with the same organization his entire career as he spent 15 years as a Royals player and 24 in the broadcast booth. He is a member of the Royals Hall of Fame and has the most wins in the organization’s history with 166. He will be missed by both Kansas City and Baseball fans everywhere. MLB did a video tribute yesterday, view it HERE.
July 30th, 1943. Gus Suhr of the San Francisco Seals sliding into home as Eddie Malone of the Sacramento Solons tags him out. I recently found this photo and was delighted to say the least. Why you may ask? Well it’s because I knew who both of these PCL players actually were and the action shot is great.
You probably should know who these guys were also. Suhr’s claim to fame is that while playing in the Major Leagues, he set the the National League streak of consecutive games played at 822 straight games. Stan Musial eventually broke his record and then Steve Garvey who still holds the record to this day. Malone’s personal claim to the fame is that he designed and used the Baseball bat that most, if not all bats are based after today which is the M110 model. The M in M110 stands for “Malone.” Pretty cool huh?
This last weekend the Chicago Cubs visited the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park for the first time since the 1918 World Series. To celebrate this interleague match-up both teams wore 1918 throwback uniforms on Saturday. It’s no secret that I LOVE throwback uniforms and I got to admit that the Red Sox looked absolutely sweet. Personally I was not that into the Cubs uniform (click HERE to see them both up close) but it was still great to see a nod to their past.
While on the topic of the 1918 World Series, ESPN published a cool article last month which tackles the possibility of the 1918 World Series being thrown much like the 1919 World Series. While this is not new news to anyone, some valid points are brought up and its a well written article. Read it HERE.
Charles Roberts, Marion Cain, Ira Wells of the 1946 Oakland Larks. The Larks were a black Baseball team from Oakland, California and part of the West Coast Baseball Association which was also known as the West Coast Negro Baseball Association. I am fascinated by the Larks and the WCBA and I think it’s tragic that the league only operated for 1 year. A short history about the Larks and the WCBA can be read HERE.
In case you are curious about the league and the teams that played in it, there were 6 cities represented: Los Angeles White Sox, Oakland Larks, Portland Rosebuds, San Diego Tigers, SF Sea Lions, Seattle Steelheads. The teams usually played in the PCL parks while the home-teams were away and often struggled with attendance with the exception of Larks. A couple fun pieces of info regarding the WCBA is that Olympic hero Jessie Owens owned the Portland Rosebuds, Fresno originally was supposed to get a team but San Diego took their place instead and Lionel Wilson who later became the first black mayor of Oakland was a member of the Larks.
I wish there more photos of these teams around but I don’t think they were very well documented. I would love to see what each of their uniforms looked like. What I do know is that Ebbets Field Flannels is currently making a Oakland Larks cap which is pretty cool and on my things to buy list. Check it out HERE. If anyone knows of any books which were written about this short lived league and the teams that played in it, please contact me as I would like to learn more.