• Best Defensive Third Basemen

    Best Defensive Third Basemen

    It is important to remember that there are fewer third basemen in the Hall of Fame than any other position. The position has traditionally been looked at as a corner power-hitting place in the lineup. Therefore, trying to find a good power hitter who can also play defense is a challenging proposition. Most winning teams […]

  • Christy Mathewson - The Christian Gentleman

    Christy Mathewson: The Christian Gentleman

    Once, in the ninth inning of a game against the Cubs, the great Christy Mathewson looked into his fine-fielding catcher, the Californian Chief Meyers, for the sign. Suddenly, Meyers called “Time!”, jumped up and headed to the mound. “What’s the matter?”, asked Mathewson. “Skip wants a double-play ball,” responded Meyers. Mathewson glanced toward the dugout […]

  • Rube-Waddell-main

    Rube Waddell: The First American League Ace

    In the early part of the 20th century, baseball fans came out in droves to watch “Rube strike ’em out!” Yes, Rube Waddell was the new American League’s star pitcher. He was a flame-throwing strikeout ace–and he was really something to see. Before some games, he would paint, on the sidewalks and streets, “Come watch […]

  • Roger Connor Cover

    Roger Connor: The First Giant

    Roger Connor was the best first baseman in baseball during his 18 year career. He set a record for career home runs that was not broken until Babe Ruth broke it in 1921, 24 years later. What made Connor a star was his combination of power and superb fielding–an amazing balance on both sides of […]

  • Bill-Lange

    Bill Lange: How Good Was He?

    When asked about center fielder Bill Lange, A. H. Spink, founder of The Sporting News, responded, “Lange was Ty Cobb enlarged, fully great in speed, batting skill and baserunning.” Others agreed, only giving the nod to Buck Ewing as the greatest 19th century player because of his expertise at catcher. While Lange was widely acknowledged […]

  • Davy Force

    David “Davy” Force: The Gold Glove

    David “Davy” Force was not baseball’s first great short stop. Players such as Dickey Pearce and George Wright helped to develop the position in the 1860s and early 1870s. Yet, Force is clearly remembered as the first great defensive player at the position. He played on a number of teams for 19 years in the […]

  • UBTG Dream Team Baseball Poll

    UBTG DREAM TEAM BASEBALL POLL

    Recently, Ultimate Baseball The Game (UBTG) launched a “dream team” project, a Dream Team Baseball Poll designed to tally respondents’ favorite picks of all time at each position. I was asked to submit my all-time dream picks, and I decided to publish the following post in hopes of spurring some lively discussion. As many of […]

  • Monte Ward

    Monte Ward: Leader, Scholar and Athlete

    John Montgomery “Monte” Ward, all 5′ 9″ and 165 pounds of him, was one of the top pitchers of his generation. He was also one of the top shortstops of the 1880s and 1890s. And, he was one of the most influential “movers and shakers” in the history of baseball. As legends of baseball go, […]

  • Amos Rusie Cover

    Amos Rusie: The Pitcher Who Changed the Game

    Amos Rusie threw so hard, many fans swore they couldn’t see the ball when it left his hand. Experts believe he could “bring it” at 100mph–and that he routinely threw in the high 90s. His catcher, Dick Buckley, under his glove, placed a thin strip of lead covered in a handkerchief, and added a sponge […]

  • Big Sam Thompson Main

    Big Sam Thompson: The First Great Clutch Hitter

    In the 1880s, a new baseball star appeared on the horizon. He was 6′ 2 1/2″ tall and around 225 pounds, a pretty big fellow for his era, and his teammates, and the fans, called him “Big Sam”. Samuel Luther “Big Sam” Thompson was indeed a formidable force with a bat in his hands. He […]

Japanese & American Baseball Legends

From Deep Right Field covers Japanese & American baseball legends, famous baseball players & important baseball facts about the history of the game. As always, comments on legends of baseball are welcome. I am a baseball historian. I have always been fascinated by the influence that baseball has had on our culture & the influence people have had on the game. As my grandfather once said, "When America is excavated 2,000 years from now, the US will be mostly known for its form of government, our popular music... & baseball." It is the only sport through which you can study the evolution of American culture throughout our history.

1935_dai_nippon-620

Eiji Sawamura: The First Great Japanese Pitcher

I first heard the legend of Eiji Sawamura when I was in elementary school. My Japanese friends in our neighborhood, and their fathers and grandfathers, told me about how he had struck out Ruth, Gehrig, Gehringer and Foxx… in order. My father confirmed the story, and filled in the missing parts of the legend. It seemed hard […]

In 201, Yu Darvish became 1st NPB pitcher (since the start of the 2 league system) to pitch 5 straight seasons with an ERA under 2.

Yu Darvish: Dollars and Doubts

Everyone is now aware that the AL’s Texas Rangers won the bidding to negotiate with Yu Darvish for a mega-bucks contract. Yes, it appears that, barring a surprise, the Nippon Ham Fighters’ star pitcher will join the Rangers rotation for the foreseeable future. Total cost to the Rangers? In the neighborhood of $125 million. Of […]

Sports Medicine Said to Overuse M.R.I.’s

In the fall, Gina Kolata took a critical look at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its suspected overuse in professional sports. She published the latest findings in the New York Times on October 28th, 2011. I have been privileged to discuss the value of MRI’s with baseball people such as Eddie Robinson, Jon Matlack and […]

Left:Frank McCourt in the stadium shortly after they acquired the team, in January 2004. Right: Jamie McCourt in Dodger Stadium in 2008. By Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times (Frank McCourt), by Alex Gallardo/Los Angeles Times (Jamie McCourt), © D. Hurst/Alamy (baseball).

A Major-League Divorce

Vanessa Grigoriadis published “A Major League Divorce” in the August issue of  Vanity Fair (2011). Her reporting of events involving Jamie and Frank McCourt’s divorce is a prime example of why Major League baseball should do a far more thorough job of vetting potential buyers of, or investors in, Major League baseball franchises. It is […]

Victor-Starffin-620

Victor Starffin: The Greatest Pitcher in Japanese Baseball History?

Victor Starffin, except for a fluke of history, might have been a member of the American baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first pitcher to win 300 games in Japanese baseball history, and was elected to the Japan Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1960. Much of his family history is speculative and disputed, […]

Hornsby 620

Greatest Players of All-Time Series: The Second Basemen

The following post is part of a Three Part presentation on the greatest second basemen of All-Time. Part One will rate the players by Total Player Rating; Part Two will cover the offense, and Part Three will list the best defensive players. “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll […]

In 2004, Valentine began his 2nd stretch as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball club in Japan. In 2005, the Marines beat the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for their first Pacific League pennant in 31 years.

Valentine’s Day in Boston

  Bobby Valentine will now take the helm of the troubled ship that is the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are one of baseball’s most storied clubs, and it will take a leader with strong resolve to lead them. In Valentine, the Red Sox hierarchy has chosen well. Valentine has a history as a […]

Dan-McGann 620

Greatest Players of All-Time Series: First Basemen–Total Defense

The following post represents Part Three in a presentation of the best First Basemen in the history of baseball. This list covers the greatest defensive performers at first base.     #11 (3 tied):   Ed Konetchy Ed Konetchy was a gifted defender at first base. He played 15 seasons for a number of National […]

In 2011, Verlander became the first Tiger since Bill Gullickson in 1991 to win 20 games, and the first big leaguer since Curt Schilling (2002) to reach 20 wins before the end of August.

AL MVP 2011: Justin Verlander

Well, here we go again. The argument for infinity. Is it legitimate to award a pitcher the Most Valuable Player trophy, particularly the AL MVP 2011? There are as many arguments for–as against–this premise. Monday, November 21st, 2011, saw the best pitcher on the planet, the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander, win the AL MVP Award, […]

lou-gehrig 620

Greatest Players of All-Time Series: First Basemen by Total Offense

The following post represents Part Two in a presentation on the best First Basemen in the history of baseball. This list covers the greatest offensive players at the position. Part Three will list the best defensive performers at First Base.   #15 (2 tied): Orlando Cepeda Orlando Cepeda played first base for the San Francisco […]

Harry-Kingman

History of Baseball: First Major League Player Born in China

One of my brother’s friends in New York recently asked him if he knew of any Major League baseball players that were born in China. As it turns out, there is one, and his story is indeed stranger than fiction. Henry Lees “Harry” Kingman played for the New York Yankees in 1914. Only a “cup […]

Buck-Leonard-620

History of Baseball: Greatest Players Series–First Basemen

The following post starts a three part presentation on the best First Basemen of All-Time. Part One will show Total Player Rating on the top 13. Part Two will cover the best offensive players at the position. And, Part Three will list the best defensive performers at First Base. Lou Gehrig, one of the great […]