Major League Baseball announced its new rules driven by COVID-19 health and safety requirements. Notably, spitting is banned! I'd imagine that this will be tough to enforce—spitting in baseball is as American as, well, baseball.
Here's the rule:
• Spitting is prohibited (including but not limited to, saliva, sunflower seeds or peanut shells, or tobacco) at all times in Club facilities (including on the field). Chewing gum is permitted.
It's also a good thing the spitball was outlawed in 1920.
That said, the new rules also state that, "Pitchers may carry a small wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers." Read the rest
On June 12th, 1970, Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the San Diego Padres while he was high out of his god damn gourd on LSD. As he told the Ottawa Citizen:
I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the [catcher's] glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters, and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes, I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn't hit hard and never reached me.
Ellis also regaled the tale for a 2009 NPR interview, the audio of which was animated by cartoonist James Blagden into the animated short above, which has long since been one of my favorite things on YouTube.
Follow your dreams, children.
More on Dock Ellis's legacy and drug habit:
The Man Who Pitched a No-Hitter While Under the Influence of LSD Has Found a New Delivery: He Coordinates a Substance-Abuse Rehabilitation Program : Ellis: ‘I Couldn’t Pitch Without Pills’ [Jerry Crow / Los Angeles Times]
The Long, Strange Trip Of The Dock Ellis LSD No-Hitter Story [AJ Daulerio / Deadpin]
How Dock Ellis dropped acid and threw a no-hitter [Larry Getlen / New York Post] Read the rest
The Charleston RiverDogs are a farm team for the New York Yankees based out of South Carolina. Like plenty of minor league baseball teams, they throw a lot of themed promotional event nights to help fill the stands, including a Human Cannonball to celebrate the season's opening weekend, and a Presidential Election Bobblehead night in August.
They had also scheduled an OJ Trial Night for May 26, which they described as:
The trial of the century gets a juicy new spin. We will finally receive the verdict that everyone has been waiting for … pulp or no pulp?
Fans will act as our jury, voting with custom paddles to reach verdicts on various topics throughout the night. The eyes of the nation will be upon us. Fans will receive an “OJ Trial” shirt upon entering the stadium. If the shirt don’t fit, you must … see if we have a different size.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, an event that involves paddling and is themed around a violent criminal who "allegedly" murdered his ex-wife was received in poor taste by many a person. And alas, OJ Trial Night at the RiverDogs has since been cancelled.
I know this was the responsibility of the RiverDogs management, and likely not condoned or approved by their major league affiliate franchise. But it does remind me of an old New England adage: "Fuck the Yankees."
Charleston RiverDogs scrap OJ Trial Night promotion amid backlash [Derrek Asberry / Charleston Post and Courier]
Image: U.S. Air Force photo of the Riverdogs by Airman 1st Class Michael Cossaboom / Public Domain Read the rest
King County Council was ambushed by a series of surprise amendments to its meeting on Monday that resulted in $135,000,000 being diverted from hotel lodging tax funds earmarked for affordable housing, arts, and tourism boosting, to effect repairs to the Mariners stadium, despite the team being valued at nearly $1.5 billion.
Read the rest
The South Bend Cubs, a minor league baseball team in South Bend, Indiana, will be wearing special jerseys that look like Mister Rogers' iconic red cardigan for a special event in August.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the South Bend Cubs will host Mister Rogers Day at Four Winds Field on Sunday, August 12 at their scheduled 2 p.m. game at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Indiana.
In recognition of this 50th anniversary, the South Bend Cubs are partnering with local PBS affiliate WNIT and Fred Rogers Productions to celebrate this milestone. Clips from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will be shown on the video board throughout the game. Daniel Tiger, star of the award-winning PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and the son of the beloved original puppet, will also be in attendance. Fans can sign a giant banner with their own message of thanks to Mister Rogers. Special messages of thanks from fans, players, and community members will also be shown throughout the game.
According to the team, replicas of the shirt will not be sold to the public but "game worn ones will be available in an online auction with proceeds to benefit local PBS station WNIT."
Lead image via Darren Rovell , second image via MILB.com
Thanks, Andy! Read the rest
An exhibition game between the California Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers was cancelled mid-game due to sewage on the field.
Via SF Gate:
Read the rest
The exhibition finale between the Angels and Dodgers was cut short because of a foul-smelling leak that spilled sewage onto the field in the fifth inning.
The game was called after a 32-minute delay with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over their Los Angeles rivals. The water main leak left a brown mess pooling near the Dodgers' dugout in foul territory as the grounds crew spread a drying agent and worked to clean up.
"I'm not going to tell you what it really was," Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles said. "That's messed up. It's nasty."
There was definitely an undeniable stench, according to players.
"I thought it was Gatorade or something coming from the stands. I don't know. They said it was the sewer," Toles said. "I smelled it. It was nasty, man."
After about 10 minutes of waiting on the field, both teams returned to their respective dugouts. Umpire crew chief Gerry Davis announced the delay as officials tried to determine if it was a stadium or city issue.
"Apparently, there was a pipe backup on two different levels of the stadium," Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said after the game. "We don't know exactly where the backup was, or what caused it. It had something to do with a main pipe here, as well as main pipe outside the stadium."
Not sure what Yankee Stadium food vendors wear now but, apparently, sometime in the late sixties or early seventies they donned this far out, font-heavy number. Baseball photo historian Baseball by Bsmile shared this recently on Twitter and points out that the shirt was designed with ketchup/catsup and mustard colors.
A 2008 Uni-Watch (a site that follows sports teams aesthetics) article shares:
Read the rest
...Reader Paul Wiederecht has provided a wealth of interesting background info...
I saw that vendor’s shirt used from 1968-72 at games I attended. Sorry, no pics, but I think I may be able to shed some light on the shirt’s design history.
Much of the Yankees’ look during the team’s CBS ownership era can be attributed to Lou Dorfsman, who was CBS’s creative director for more than 25 years. Except for the eye logo, which was the inspiration of his predecessor, William Golden, Dorfsman was responsible for CBS’s corporate and on-air look. His contribution to graphic/interior and set/broadcast/advertising design is legendary, he set the high standard that artists like me have trying to measure up to our whole careers.
Anyway, back to the shirt: If you look here, you’ll see an example of the three-dimensional wall treatment in the CBS employee cafeteria, which was executed by Herb Lubalin (a typographer of note in his own right). You will see many design similarities [between the wall treatment and the vendor’s uniform], and similar design treatments can been seen in many Yankees publications from that era. I would not be surprised if Dorfsman used Lubalin’s design studio for many Yankees projects, possibly even this shirt.
Four fans were kicked out of Boston's Fenway Park during a baseball game yesterday after unfurling a banner reading: "Racism Is As American As Baseball."
Here's what one of the planners of the stunt had to say:
There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area. Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway [that Adam Jones spoke of].
"But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it's actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that."
And according to the Boston Red Sox:
"During the fourth inning of tonight's game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club's policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park."
(Bleacher Report) Read the rest
"This is why aliens will never want to be friends with us," says a loud NSFW Australian. [via] Read the rest
The MVP of last night's Miami Marlins-Atlanta Braves game was the cat who ran around the outfield before climbing a wall and watching the game from an animatronic home run sculpture.
"He stayed up there for four innings," said (Marcell), the Marlins' left fielder. "Every time I went on defense, I looked up there and the cat was hiding its head. I said, `What are you doing up there?' In the last inning I didn't see it. I don't know where he went."
Read the rest
I'd like for you to meet one of my favorite people in the whole world. He's a private guy and though he's okay with my writing this post, he'd rather I kept his identity a secret for now. He calls himself The Toadman. But I should warn you, what you are about to read isn't what you'd expect. He doesn't lick toads for fun, eat amphibians or live under a bridge. He simply loves toads more than anything in the world and what he does in his free time proves it.
If you ever meet The Toadman, he'll seem just like anyone else in the Motor City. He'll probably talk about Michigan State University, the Detroit Tigers and how great it is to live in his hometown of Clawson. But what you won't get right out of the gate is what I call his "green side". That's the side of him that's comfortable discussing his life-long passion.
Since we were kids, The Toadman has been obsessed with frogs and toads. The day I got my drivers license he talked me into traveling 20 miles north to a swampy area because "that's where they have the best ones". I know it sounds strange, but just as a bird watcher is able to detect the presence of certain birds by how they chirp, The Toadman is able to do the same with toads. It's uncanny really.
Did I mention that for the past 2 decades he's lived with toads and sometimes sets up professional photo shoots with them? Read the rest
With a 20 percent increase in patients during the Major League Baseball playoff games in Chicago, the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is preparing for a very busy World Series weekend there. Of course they expect alcohol-related injuries, from falls to DWI-related auto accidents, but cardiac issues are also expected to drive emergency room visits from emotional fans.
(Watching the baseball games) could increase their level of anxiety, hence exasperating some of their cardiac issues," emergency department director Anna Scaccia told WGN-TV.
"Taking their medication as prescribed per their physician, trying to stay as calm as possible. I know that can be difficult.”
(image by Brent Payne, CC via Flickr)
Read the rest
As part of their post-Olympics publicity tours, U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team members Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian were invited to throw out first pitches at two respective baseball games. Read the rest
According to a medical report published in the January 1977 issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum (great bathroom reading! - ed.), a 49-year-old man was admitted to a San Francisco hospital complaining of severe pain. A "firm, fixed, round object" was found to be lodged high in his rectum. The man then admitted that he and his sexual partner had celebrated the Oakland A's World Series win by having a baseball inserted into his ass.
After the physicians tried various techniques to remove it, the baseball was finally "skewered with a corkscrew instrument" and pushed through an incision in the fellow's colon.
According to the medical report, "Follow-up examination a year later revealed normal bladder and rectal functions."
Read the rest
Nice catch! (And doubly lucky it didn't hit her!)
Read the rest
Police in Toronto, Canada arrested a man at a baseball game for hitting a baby with the spray of a beer can he threw from his seat in the stands. Read the rest
From the New York Times:
“Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.”
“You can observe a lot just by watching,” he is reputed to have declared once, describing his strategy as a manager.
“If you can’t imitate him,” he advised a young player who was mimicking the batting stance of the great slugger Frank Robinson, “don’t copy him.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” he said, giving directions to his house. Either path, it turned out, got you there.
“Nobody goes there anymore,” he said of a popular restaurant. “It’s too crowded.”
Berra’s Yogi-isms were part of the marketing for the once very popular Yoo-Hoo chocolate beverage. Asked if Yoo-Hoo was hyphenated, he is said to have replied, “No, ma’am, it isn’t even carbonated.”
Read the rest