Friday, August 17, 2007

"How to Get a Baseball at a Major League Game"

As a longtime baseball fan I am frustrated that I have never caught a ball that leaves the playing field. In fact, I've never even come close to doing so. Naturally I was intrigued when I found out about a guy who has more than 2,000 baseballs caught at major league games and more than four hundred consecutive games where he's gotten a baseball. Here's a link to the video on Youtube.

The video features Zack Hample. Besides being a great collector of baseball balls, Hample is a big fan and has written a couple of books about baseball. I've read How to Watch Baseball Smarter, but haven't been able to find a copy of his other book How to Snag Major League Baseballs, a book written in 1999 for kids and apparently out of print. How to Watch Baseball Smarter is a good book that is both entertaining and educational. I didn't always agree with what Hample wrote, but I did find some answers to questions that had been nagging at me.

Go Cubbies!

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wrigley Field Web Cam

The Cubbies won big today (August 16) and Milwaukee lost big to St. Louis. This leaves the tope three teams separated by only 2.5 games. This upcoming four game series at home against the Cardinals is a big one. Meanwhile Milwaukee plays the Reds at home.

I'm going to be watching the games on my computer except for Saturday's game that will probably the Fox game of the week where I live. I'm not a big fan of Fox broadcasting, but the recent color commentary provided by Joe Girardi has been very good. As it is I listen to Pat and Ron on my computer with the game showing on my wife's, unfortunately the radio broadcast is delayed a few seconds so I only use the video when watching replays.

For those of you (us) who can't go out to Wrigley to watch ballgames very often, I've found a very cool web cam that at least allows you to watch the entrance at Clark and Addison.

You can also get a look at the field at this location.

For those who want more here's a link to the DVD about Wrigley Field and a couple of nice posters of the Friendly Confines.

Keep cheering for the Cubbies. Could this be the year?

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two! -tfedge

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ankiel Hits 3 Run Homer in MLB Re-Debut

What a classic baseball story!

In 2005 Rick Ankiel threw in the towels as a major league pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals when he developed control problems. In 2000 he three five wild pitchers in one game and was never quite the same since then.

To his credit Ankiel, who didn't pitch in the MLB in the 2003 and 2004 seasons but worked his way back to St. Louis in 2005 where he pitched in five games with a 1-0 record in ten innings spread over five games. His ERA approached 6. At this point Ankiel announced he had pitched his last game.
Ankiel decided to become a position player and restarted his career in the lower minor leagues.

Despite his control struggles he has a winning record as a pitcher with 13-10 and a 3.90 ERA. This is better than a lot of pitchers currently in the MLB.

So far in 2007 Ankiel had 32 home runs and 89 RBIs in 102 at AAA Memphis Redbirds. On Thursday, August 10, Ankiel capped his re-debut with a three run homer off of of San Diego Padres pitcher Doug Brocail in his first start in the majors as a non-pitcher. When Ankiel first came to the plate he was greeted with a standing ovation.

The only thing that could have made the story any better would have been a walk-off home run in extra innings.

This kind of story is one of the reasons I watch baseball. Congratulations to Ankiel and the St. Louis Cardinals for supporting him in his efforts.

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two!