Last week was Ted Williams’ birthday. The baseball legend, who passed away 10 years ago, would’ve been 94. Ted was one of the greatest hitters of all-time, if not THE greatest. His stats are among the best as they stand, but to think he missed almost 5 full seasons in his prime due to the war is astonishing. He STILL ended up with a .344 lifetime average, 521 home runs, two Triple Crowns, six AL Batting Championships, and 17 All-Star games. Continue reading →
Happy All-Star Game Day! Here’s one more awesome baseball art find…Left Field Cards. These awesome linocut and letterpressed cards were created by Amelie Mancini. They’re so fun and play off of the amazing characters in baseball history. There are three series available…Marvelous Moustaches, by far my favorite, showcasing the greatest cookie dusters in baseball…Edible All-Stars, featuring players with food names…and Bizarre Injuries, commemorating the most embarrassing injuries in history. Really cool stuff.
The process is almost as cool as the images themselves. True old-school art class inspired. She starts by drawing a player, then carving the image out of a linoleum block. She uses the process known as blockprinting to put the image onto paper. She then scans this linocut print and letterpresses them by hand. Once the cards are printed and trimmed, she packs them up in vellum wrappers and sews each one with colored thread. These awesome cards are available for purchase at select stores. Love em!
In honor of the upcoming baseball all-star game, I’ll share these awesome baseball stadium prints I came across. City Prints creates simplistic, colorful, and very cool artwork from city maps, university campuses, sports stadiums, and so on. Who would’ve thought a map would make such an awesome print. One of my lifetime goals is to gradually visit every major league baseball stadium, and I’d love to get one of these for each ballpark I see!
Bill “Moose” Skowron passed away recently. The five-time All-Star and five-time World Series Champion belted 211 home runs, had 888 RBIs, and finished his 14 year career with a .282 batting average. He most notably played for the Yankees, helping them win four championships, but also spent time with the White Sox, Senators, Angels, and Dodgers. He isn’t one of the most talked about ballplayers from the 50s and 60s, and isn’t one of the all-time greats. He was a very good ballplayer though. One of those guys whose solid stats gradually get overlooked. From everything I’ve heard on the radio and read the last week though, his personality was never overlooked and no one will be forgetting Moose anytime soon. I was lucky enough to meet him once and it was pretty amusing.
My family was at a Sox game and my brothers and I went down near the dugout to try and get autographs before the game. We grew up learning baseball inside and out so we knew who Moose Skowron was. While we were standing there, we noticed this big older guy with a flattop haircut that resembled the young Yankee from my Dad’s ’58 Topps. I thought I had heard that Moose Skowron was doing scouting work for the Sox, but I wasn’t real sure. So after a few minutes of my brothers and I arguing back and forth, I decided to approach the man in question and find out for sure. Awkwardly I asked, “Are you the Moose?” He said kind of sternly and brash-like, “No.” Then it was an even more awkward pause. It was probably a good five seconds of silence. Then the young woman sitting with him slapped him on the shoulder and said, “Oh stop that!” He laughed and responded, “I sure am,” and then signed my baseball. Such a good memory. RIP Moose.
Today is the birthday of the greatest hitter of all-time. The Great Bambino. The Sultan of Swat. The King of Crash. The Colossus of Clout. George Herman “Babe” Ruth. When he came along he revolutionized the game. His personality was as big as his production and he became baseball.
In 1920 he hit an absurd 54 home runs, which far surpassed the all-time high of 29 that he set the year before. His 54 home runs was also more than any team hit that year as a whole! That was just the beginning. He went on to set the all-time single season and career totals when he retired. By far. He also wasn’t just a big slugger that homered or struck out. He only struck out 90 times twice, never reached 100. And he had a .342 lifetime average to go with those homers. During his career he helped lead New York to seven American League pennants and four World Series titles. AND that all happened after his pitching career, in which he was as good as there was in the game! He won 94 games in 6 years with a 2.28 ERA while with the Red Sox. He also set the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. The. Best. Check out his lifetime stats on Baseball-Reference.com.
“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die.” – Babe Ruth character in Sandlot.
Today’s the 91st birthday of Stan “The Man” Musial, one of the most underrated baseball players in the history of the game. He was the National League’s answer to Ted Williams in the 40s and 50s and is the greatest living baseball player now…better than Hank or Willie. So great, yet so underrated.
Stan Musial ranks near the top in almost every all-time baseball category. To think he was a pitcher in the minor leagues until he got a dead arm and transformed into a hitter is mind boggling. He went on to become a Hall of Fame outfielder, playing in 24 All-Star games, and winning three MVPs. He won the National League batting title seven times while topping a .300 average 17 times. His lifetime stat line is as impressive as anyone who has ever played the game—.331 Batting Average, 3,630 Hits (4th all-time), 1,377 Extra-Base Hits (3rd), 725 Doubles (3rd), 177 Triples, 475 Home Runs (6th when he retired), 6,134 Total Bases (2nd), 1,949 Runs (9th), and 1,951 RBIs (6th). For more stats check out Baseball-Reference.com.
Stan’s always been a likeable guy too. He’s from the era where ball players didn’t make millions of dollars and they genuinely loved playing the game. Up until recent years because of health, he would always get the crowd going at the Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremonies with a couple songs on his famous harmonica. A fan favorite, he’s still “The Man” in St. Louis. Not yet Albert.
Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed away last night at the age of 67. Frazier was a fighter’s fighter. He didn’t joke around like Ali and wasn’t all smiles. He always had a fierce look on his face. He came to the fight to take care of business. A true bad-ass. As a kid I always liked watching specials and documentaries about Ali because he was so amusing and TV publicized him so much, but with the more I read and see…Joe Frazier was the man. Ali is basically responsible for all the trash talking and prima donna-ism in sports now. Frazier on the other hand was as real as you could be. He was a fighter. He was a man. All the taunting and ripping Ali did of Frazier during their fighting career really got to him and he was bitter for years towards Ali.
Another thing that upset Smokin’ Joe was Philadelphia’s love and pride for Rocky Balboa, the fictitious boxer. Joe was from Philly. He was a real-life heavyweight champion boxer. Everything from the Rocky movies was based on Joe’s real-life training too…the running up and down the stairs at the Museum of Art, the punching sides of beef in a slaughterhouse, etc. But did Philadelphia build a statue for the man who won the Heavyweight Gold Medal in the 1964 Olympics? Did they build one for the man who was Heavyweight Champion from 1968-1973? Did they build one for the fighter who was 32-4-1 with 27 KO’s professionally? Nope. They built one for the fictitious Rocky Balboa. That would’ve pissed me off too.
Smokin’ Joe Frazier will forever be remembered though as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all-time. Even better than Rocky.
Since I skipped last week, this week’s Top 5 is going to be a Top 10 list…all-time White Sox hitters. I’m a big Sox fan and since they suck so bad and have no playoff chance this year I might as well think about the past, right? Here’s who I think are the Top 10 White Sox hitters of all-time. All stats listed are just as a member of the White Sox. The numbers in red indicate that they are in the top 5 of that category for all-time White Sox leaders. I was surprised to see Pauley’s lifetime stat line, he’s getting up there in everything. For any baseball stat you should always check out baseball-reference.com. Greatest website ever.
Click image for larger version or HERE for a pdf of the stat sheet.