Saturday, June 28, 2014

Book Review - Saving Babe Ruth by Tom Swyers

School is out and summer has arrived, time is abundant and the sun never seems to go down; a perfect storm for children to fill baseball fields across the country. Pass by most of the spacious greens now and they’re rarely used unless you are part of the elite who can afford the exorbitant rates collected by travel teams across the country. Securing not only the pocketbooks of parents nationwide, they’ve taken a firm grasp of the permits that control the access to these fields.

Standing in the face of these ever-expanding travel teams is David Thompson, a crusader for his town’s local Babe Ruth program. Thompson is the central figure in Tom Swyers’ novel, “Saving Babe Ruth,” which is based upon a true story of one parent’s fight to keep the field that has served his community so dearly for the continued use of all of its residents, instead of the exclusive group of the outsider travel program.

Click here to read why Swyers makes the cause of Babe Ruth one worth saving.
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tino Martinez in Monument Park, good for business?

Tino Martinez was recently given a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium in front of a sellout crowd, making him the 27th New York Yankee to receive this honor. Martinez's induction was met with much controversy, as the Yankees have multiple Hall of Famers (Earle Combs, Tony Lazzeri, and Herb Pennock) who have yet to be honored. As the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown found out in 2013, sending in a living player is good for business. The ones who remember the deceased superstars of yesteryear are either too old to attend, or have played their "final inning."

After watching Martinez have his likeness permanently installed in Monument Park, I immediately thought of another Yankee first baseman who won four World Series rings, Moose Skowron. He was a fixture at Old-Timers Day until his passing in 2012. Martinez and Skowron's career stats as a member of the Yankees are below.

Does Martinez's induction warrant consideration for Skowron? Is Martinez truly deserving of the honor, or was this decision motivated by reasons that have to do more with finances and less with baseball?

Tino Martinez stats.
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
1996 28 NYY AL 155 671 595 82 174 28 0 25 117 2 1 68 85 .292 .364 .466 .830 108 277 18 2 1 5 4 *3/D
1997 ★ 29 NYY AL 158 685 594 96 176 31 2 44 141 3 1 75 75 .296 .371 .577 .948 143 343 15 3 0 13 14 *3/D AS,MVP-2,SS
1998 30 NYY AL 142 608 531 92 149 33 1 28 123 2 1 61 83 .281 .355 .505 .860 124 268 18 6 0 10 3 *3
1999 31 NYY AL 159 665 589 95 155 27 2 28 105 3 4 69 86 .263 .341 .458 .800 104 270 14 3 0 4 7 *3
2000 32 NYY AL 155 632 569 69 147 37 4 16 91 4 1 52 74 .258 .328 .422 .749 89 240 16 8 0 3 9 *3
2001 33 NYY AL 154 635 589 89 165 24 2 34 113 1 2 42 89 .280 .329 .501 .830 114 295 12 2 0 2 2 *3/D MVP-12
2005 37 NYY AL 131 348 303 43 73 9 0 17 49 2 0 38 54 .241 .328 .439 .767 104 133 10 3 0 4 3 *3/D
NYY (7 yrs) 1054 4244 3770 566 1039 189 11 192 739 17 10 405 546 .276 .347 .484 .831 113 1826 103 27 1 41 42
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/24/2014.
 
Moose Skowron stats.
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
1954 23 NYY AL 87 237 215 37 73 12 9 7 41 2 1 19 18 .340 .392 .577 .969 167 124 8 1 0 2 3/54
1955 24 NYY AL 108 314 288 46 92 17 3 12 61 1 1 21 32 .319 .369 .524 .894 140 151 11 3 0 2 4 3/5
1956 25 NYY AL 134 523 464 78 143 21 6 23 90 4 4 50 60 .308 .382 .528 .910 142 245 16 6 2 1 3 *3/5
1957 ★ 26 NYY AL 122 501 457 54 139 15 5 17 88 3 2 31 60 .304 .347 .470 .818 123 215 17 3 3 7 6 *3 AS,MVP-22
1958 ★ 27 NYY AL 126 502 465 61 127 22 3 14 73 1 1 28 69 .273 .317 .424 .740 106 197 16 4 1 5 1 *3/5 AS
1959 ★ 28 NYY AL 74 309 282 39 84 13 5 15 59 1 0 20 47 .298 .349 .539 .888 145 152 10 3 2 2 0 3 AS
1960 ★ 29 NYY AL 146 584 538 63 166 34 3 26 91 2 3 38 95 .309 .353 .528 .881 141 284 17 2 0 6 2 *3 AS,MVP-9
1961 ★ 30 NYY AL 150 608 561 77 150 23 4 28 89 0 0 35 108 .267 .318 .472 .790 113 265 21 8 0 3 9 *3 AS
1962 31 NYY AL 140 524 478 63 129 16 6 23 80 0 1 36 99 .270 .325 .473 .798 114 226 13 5 1 4 4 *3
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
NYY (9 yrs) 1087 4102 3748 518 1103 173 44 165 672 14 13 278 588 .294 .346 .496 .842 129 1859 129 35 9 32 29
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/24/2014.