Monday, December 31, 2012

Video of Roberto Clemente batting one month before his death discovered

Roberto Clemente - 1972 Topps
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roberto Clemente's fatal plane crash on December 31st, 1972 in San Juan, Puerto Rico in his attempts to ensure that relief supplies were being delivered to the necessary recipients in Nicaragua. While Clemente was coaching in Leon, he was encouraged by fans to step up to the plate and take some batting practice. Sporting his familiar 21, Clemente obliged much to the delight of the fans and the opposing players. Hans Norbert Jaeger, a member of the German team that competed in the Amateur World Series in Leon, discovered footage of Clemente during that batting practice session.

Click here to view this rare video of Clemente. 

This video, which is linked above, is the last known video of Clemente batting. As we celebrate Clemente heroic efforts, watch closely at one last glimpse of Clemente's effortless swings interspersed between his classic gyrations to loosen himself up to hit.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A look back at the Mets 50th anniversary season

The 2012 season marked the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets franchise. While the Mets season commenced with the trade of Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in December, the past 12 months provided many opportunities to catch up with former Mets as they talked about their experiences in Flushing in celebration of the team's 50 years in baseball. Below are links to exclusive interviews with players, some more familiar than others that might have went under your radar in 2012.

For Choo Choo Coleman, It's a Homecoming Long Delayed - Jan 21, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

6th Annual Lou DeMartino Baseball Clinic to be held at John Jay College December 27th

The Greater New York Sandlot Youth Athletic Alliance will hold their 6th annual Lou DeMartino Christmas Baseball Clinic at John Jay College on Thursday December 27th, 2012, with limited free on-site registration starting at 8am. The clinic, for players ages 10-19, will feature instruction from New York area minor leaguers, George Carroll (Toronto Blue Jays), James Jones (Seattle Mariners), and Matt Rizzotti (Oakland Athletics), as well as well as longtime Chicago Cubs scouts Billy Blitzer and John Ceprini, the latter who represented the Cubs at the 2012 MLB Draft with Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins.

Click here for more detailed information on the event and how to register.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Boyd Bartley, former Brooklyn Dodgers shorstop passes away at 92

Boyd Bartley
The roster of the living former Brooklyn Dodgers is now one player lighter. Boyd Bartley, former shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers passed away Friday evening in Richland Hills, Texas. He was 92.

Click here to read more about the University of Illinois standout and World War II veteran, who after his playing career, became a long-time scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, whose most prized signing was Orel Hershiser.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Yankee hurler Fritz Peterson explains 'The Art of De-Conditioning'

The Art of De-Conditioning - Lightside Books
Former New York Yankees hurler Frtiz Peterson has a simple, yet effective message with his new book, acceptance. Weary of the rat race to stay in playing shape during his professional baseball career, Peterson found peace within himself once he was able to accept his own eating habits and no longer worry about his weight affecting him on the field.

Peterson’s quick and witty, “The Art of De-Conditioning: Eating Your Way to Heaven,” is an adventure into his journey of extreme de-conditioning. After finishing his 11-year major league career in 1977 that included time with the Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and the Texas Rangers, Peterson vowed he not only wanted to weigh 300 lbs., but that he would never again run another wind sprint, lift another weight, or go on a diet.

Click here to read the entire review of Peterson's journey away from baseball and into the land of  bulging bellies.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rare color footage of Satchel Paige pitching emerges

Rare footage of the legendary Satchel Paige pitching in 1948 has emerged due to a discovery in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences archives. The video below is of Paige pitching on November 7, 1948 at a winter league game in California. Paige pitched in the game for Chet Brewer's Kansas City Royals against fellow Indians teammate Gene Bearden's Major League All-Stars. Bearden can be seen around the :23 mark in the video. Also playing in the game was future Hall of Famer James "Cool Papa" Bell, as well as Sam Hairston, grandfather of New York Mets outfielder Scott Hairston, and Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Jerry Hairston Jr.




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rogelio 'Borrego' Alvarez, 74, Cuban baseball star and Cincinnati Reds first baseman

Rogelio Alvarez
Rogelio "Borrego" Alvarez, former first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds and Cuban Winter League star, died Friday evening in Hialeah, Fla., due to complications from kidney failure according to a former teammate who wished to remain anonymous. He was 74.

Alvarez was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 out of his hometown of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. I interviewed Alvarez at his home in February 2011, and he vividly recalled his tough transition from Cuba to the United States.

Click here to read the interview with Alvarez, where he discusses how he had to battle segregation while not speaking English en route to the major leagues.