Baseball

  So much about baseball is known: the distance between the bases (90 feet), the batting average of a good hitter (.300) and the velocity of a hard fastball (95 mph). Barry Svrluga’s new book, The Grind, shows us what we may not know. No sport is as unrelenting as Major League Baseball; enduring the 162 games squeezed into 185 days (plus spring training and postseason.)

In 2004, Svrluga was assigned to cover the return of baseball to Washington D.C. The nation’s capital had gone without a major league team since 1971. In 2014, Svrluga wrote a series for the Post about the personal toll that baseball takes, with each installment profiling a different character from the franchise.

The Grind grew directly from that series, including the original six longform pieces plus updates and additional chapters.

MLB Network

Jim Kaat is one of the rare athletes to achieve greatness on the field and in his second career in the press box.

  It’s a classic story of the American Dream. George Mitchell grew up in a working class family in Maine, experiencing firsthand the demoralizing effects of unemployment when his father was laid off from a lifelong job. But education was always a household priority, and Mitchell embraced every opportunity that came his way, eventually becoming the ranking Democrat in the Senate during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Mitchell looks back at his adventures in law and politics in his memoir, The Negotiator.

  

  Mookie Wilson already had a successful baseball career before Game 6 of the 1986 Mets-Red Sox World Series made him one of the most iconic figures in baseball. The ball that went between Bill Buckner’s legs at first base was the play that turned the series and team morale around for the Mets.

In a team of larger than life characters like Keith Hernandez, Dwight Eugene "Doc" Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and Lenny Dykstra, Mookie is one of the most beloved and revered Mets to this day.

He writes about his career and life in his book Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the '86 Mets. He shares stories of that triumphant year from the dugout, as well as his early life in the rural south, his time in the minor leagues, and being called up to play as a Met.

Michelle Checchi

When it comes to baseball and upstate New York, Cooperstown has long been the center of the universe. But with opening day on the horizon, The Albany Institute of History and Art is getting into the game for the first time in its history. Three baseball exhibitions are open there now through the end of July, including Baseball: America’s Game, a traveling exhibition organized by Bank of America’s Art in Our Communities program; Play Ball: Baseball in the Capital Region; and The Clubhouse: Baseball Memorabilia.

Baseball is just around the corner, but the season is starting on a down note in Pawtucket on news that a new ownership group plans to move the Triple-A Red Sox affiliate to a waterfront park in Providence in 2017.

Keith Strudler: Slow Pitch

Oct 22, 2014

I was always a huge fan of get-a-way games. Those are typically Thursday afternoon major league baseball games that stand in-between both squads getting on a plane for weekend series somewhere else. For the away squad, it’s often the only thing keeping them from a return flight home. For the home team, it’s often keeping them from a cross country flight and a reasonable dinner hour. So needless to say, the game plays at something of an up-tempo. I once saw the Mets break two hours on a hot July day. Fans barely had time to get through the Shake Shack line before the final out. Guys were swinging at pretty much anything in the atmosphere, and the pitcher looked like a tennis ball machine – just one right after the other.

Keith Allison/Flickr

Derek Jeter still has three games left in his career before retiring, but officials in Cooperstown are already thinking about his likely induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The New York Yankees shortstop will be eligible for enshrinement in 2020. For Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, it's not too early to start planning for the huge crowd that will show up for Jeter's induction.

Katz told WSTM-TV in Syracuse that the attendance that July weekend could top 100,000. When Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. were inducted in 2007, about 80,000 jammed Cooperstown.

Keith Strudler: Time To Lift Pete Rose's Lifetime Ban?

Aug 27, 2014

25 years is a long time. Perhaps not in true historical terms, like compared to the history of dinosaurs. But in the context of an average human lifetime, 25 years is a considerable chunk. That duration, 25 years, is now how long baseball record holder Pete Rose has been exiled from the sport for gambling on it as a player and a manager. Rose, of course, holds the major league baseball record for hits at 4,256. He made 17 all-star games and managed for five seasons. But, he also bet on baseball, including his own team, while he was in the sport. That, of course, defies the sacred code of any sport, the idea that someone on the field of play compromises the integrity of an unscripted outcome. So for that reason, compounded by the egregious tenor of his gambling habit and adversarial denial of its occurrence, former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti essentially banned Rose in perpetuity in exchange for not pursuing any additional penalties, which would likely get really legal really fast. Giamiatti died soon thereafter, and the ban continued on, now almost in tribute to the former commissioner. So ending this 25 year ban feels about as easy as unmasking the tomb of the unknown soldier – even if we can do it, it’s not going to get a lot of support.

Utica's Ed Hinko Baseball League A Throwback

Aug 22, 2014
Ed Hinko Baseball League

With the Little League World Series under way, TV viewers are getting their annual reminder that youth baseball has moved far away from the sandlot. But for Utica’s boys of summer in Central New York, there’s a baseball league that’s a throwback to a simpler time.

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