Blog Archives

‘The Kid’ Gets His Own Place

Cooperstown’s population will be getting two new permanent residents.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York today. To be candid, Griffey Jr. was my favorite player back in the day when SportsCenter was on channel 11.

And by “day,” I mean the ’90s.

The former outfielder for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds was incredible with his glove and bat. Here are a few of his achievements throughout his 20+ year Major League Baseball (MLB) career:

  • League MVP (1997)
  • Gold Glove (1990-1999)
  • Silver Slugger (1991, 1993-1994 and 1996-1999)
  • All-Star Game MVP (1992)

(Source: ESPN)

As a lefty, Griffey Jr. always had a curve ball of his own (so to speak) when at the plate or when climbing the outfield wall to deny a home run. Perhaps it was fitting that his first-time ballot vote had a special twist.

“A star slugger during the steroids era who was never tainted by accusations of drug use, Griffey was on 437 of 440 votes in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. His 99.3 percentage topped the previous mark of 98.84, set when Tom Seaver appeared on 425 of 430 ballots in 1992.”
–“Ken Griffey Jr. (99 percent of vote), Mike Piazza head to Cooperstown,” ESPN

Ken Griffey Jr. is a great person and he was great on MLB’s big stage.

His remarkable talent was famously showcased on the silver screen. Little Big League, you’re up.

Sometimes in movies, characters and events are exaggerated to enhance suspense, drama and action. However, Griffey Jr.’s smooth swing and monster of a home run was a scene right out of a real Mariners game.

And it’s awesome that 99.3% of Hall of Fame voters chose to give “The Kid” his feel-good movie ending set for release this summer.

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Top of the Sixth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

For twenty four Major League Baseball teams, today serves as Opening Day for the 2013 season. Despite the fact there will be 161 more games to follow, every team wants to start off the right way. A first game victory sets a good tone for the second game and so on and so forth. Winners always want to win and understand that it all begins with a great first pitch. The team that is on defense during the top of the first never wants to get behind early.

For some baseball teams though, bad karma can’t ever be broken. The following clip is not from a movie. However, I think most would agree the video below is a “pitch” perfect representation of the opening day for a particular organization.

The New York Mets host the San Diego Padres this afternoon.

Bottom of the Fourth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

Today is March 31st and officially Opening Day of Major League Baseball. The Houston Astros host the Texas Rangers tonight for the first game of the 2013 season. Accordingly, coaches and players are finalizing their lineups and strategies for the first few games. Cohesion is vital for clubs that want to perform at the highest level. It’s essential that everybody be on the same page. Once the first pitch is thrown, all the members of the team need to have, “all hands on deck.”

What happens if there is a discrepancy? Hopefully, there is a leader who can take his teammates through any mutinies. Otherwise, it could be “bad news.”

Top of the Second

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

In the game of baseball, there are teams that can afford to peruse through a catalog of players, glaze over their hitting percentages and “big name” status and then call them up with a single offer that would make them potentially the biggest fools on the planet if they were to reject the contract. In other words, money plays.

But what if there was a team that thought differently? What if a manager and his Ivy League educated assistant used statistics and mathematical equations to evaluate talent to determine the best value in players who would inevitably score x runs, strikeout y hitters and ultimately win z games?

And more incredibly, what if this was based on a true story involving the Oakland A’s?

“Bottom of the First” showed us how math had to be used to get the Minnesota Twins, of “Little Big League,” into the game. The first scene (and a bonus scene!) from “Moneyball” shows us the genesis of deciding to utilize statistics and math to win the game.