James Blagden’s Doc Ellis and the No-No is one of the all-time best short films and easily the greatest sports story of all time.
Doc Ellis for President.

James Blagden’s Doc Ellis and the No-No is one of the all-time best short films and easily the greatest sports story of all time.

Doc Ellis for President.

Doc Ellis. Never forget.

Doc Ellis. Never forget.

So punk.

So punk.

Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers

My brother’s favorite baseball player growing up was the “Man of Steal” Rickey Henderson, the greatest base stealer in the history of the game. His mad stride length plus 25 seasons (Vince Coleman didn’t have half his stamina) lead to 1406 steals.

My brother’s favorite baseball player growing up was the “Man of Steal” Rickey Henderson, the greatest base stealer in the history of the game. His mad stride length plus 25 seasons (Vince Coleman didn’t have half his stamina) lead to 1406 steals.


The final memories of Clemente for most were from the 1971 World Series when the Pirates beat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.  Clemente’s stat line was epic for a seven game series-.414 average, hits in every game, two doubles, a triple, and two home runs along with best in class base running, fielding, and throwing.  Yet stats are deceiving– it was more that his force of will drove his team to victory– hard to do in a situational game like baseball.  
Being interviewed in the locker room after the final out he said, “Thank you Bob (to announcer Bob Prince), and before I say anything in English, I’d like to say something in Spanish to my Mother and Father in Puerto Rico…En el dia mas grande de mi vida, para los nenes la benedicion mia y que mis padres me echen la benedicion (In the most important day of my life, I give blessings to my boys and ask that my parents give their blessing)”
— The Selvedge Yard
(via fatherfigurine)

The final memories of Clemente for most were from the 1971 World Series when the Pirates beat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.  Clemente’s stat line was epic for a seven game series-.414 average, hits in every game, two doubles, a triple, and two home runs along with best in class base running, fielding, and throwing.  Yet stats are deceiving– it was more that his force of will drove his team to victory– hard to do in a situational game like baseball.  

Being interviewed in the locker room after the final out he said, “Thank you Bob (to announcer Bob Prince), and before I say anything in English, I’d like to say something in Spanish to my Mother and Father in Puerto Rico…En el dia mas grande de mi vida, para los nenes la benedicion mia y que mis padres me echen la benedicion (In the most important day of my life, I give blessings to my boys and ask that my parents give their blessing)”

— The Selvedge Yard

(via fatherfigurine)

gq:

This Idiot Is Now Immortal

Almost as legendary as his  curveball is his reputation as “The Frying Dutchman”—he was born in  Holland and his favorite practical joke was the hot foot. Bert was, and  probably still is, an oafish and unimaginative shit-in-the-Jacuzzi,  fart-on-the-beat-reporter Ball Four-type joker. You could tell  from the way he acted in the booth—especially when he got suspended for accidentally saying “fuck” on air a couple years  ago—that there is something very Kenny Powers going on beneath Bert’s cheerful company-man act. Which is  fine, but evidently those writers didn’t much like getting farted on.

Lifelong Minnesotan Steve Marsh explains mixed emotions about new hometown Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.

gq:

This Idiot Is Now Immortal

Almost as legendary as his curveball is his reputation as “The Frying Dutchman”—he was born in Holland and his favorite practical joke was the hot foot. Bert was, and probably still is, an oafish and unimaginative shit-in-the-Jacuzzi, fart-on-the-beat-reporter Ball Four-type joker. You could tell from the way he acted in the booth—especially when he got suspended for accidentally saying “fuck” on air a couple years ago—that there is something very Kenny Powers going on beneath Bert’s cheerful company-man act. Which is fine, but evidently those writers didn’t much like getting farted on.

Lifelong Minnesotan Steve Marsh explains mixed emotions about new hometown Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.

I think fans have been able to compartmentalize their disappointments and still enjoy [the game of baseball] the way they used to. And I think we’ve built up the same sort of sieve for letting experience through that we have with real people in our real lives. We don’t expect them to be saints and we no longer expect our athletes to be. We expect them to be the same range of people that we see in the rest of our life. And I think that one of the reasons that baseball has not only not lost popularity but gained it, is — as its flaws become apparent — it actually gains depth and humanity even as it loses its fairytale mythic qualities. 
— Thomas Boswell, from Ken Burns’ Baseball: The Tenth Inning

I think fans have been able to compartmentalize their disappointments and still enjoy [the game of baseball] the way they used to. And I think we’ve built up the same sort of sieve for letting experience through that we have with real people in our real lives. We don’t expect them to be saints and we no longer expect our athletes to be. We expect them to be the same range of people that we see in the rest of our life. And I think that one of the reasons that baseball has not only not lost popularity but gained it, is — as its flaws become apparent — it actually gains depth and humanity even as it loses its fairytale mythic qualities.

— Thomas Boswell, from Ken Burns’ Baseball: The Tenth Inning

I finished watching the original 9-part Ken Burns Baseball documentary last night. Felt like a fantastic way to close out Thanksgiving. While I felt minorly bereft of footage of the era with which I was most familiar (’70s, ’80s, very early ’90s), I do feel grateful that he spent so much time on the early years, establishing well his primary thesis — that what is so magical about the sport is how constant & unchanged it has remained in its 150+ years, how it ties Americans to a national past they might otherwise feel missing in their ever changing lives.
Watching it made me feel not only more connected to my own past (the countless hours spent with the game in my childhood), but also far more connected with any sense of distinctly American identity than I’ve felt in my life since I first started immersing myself with the Beats (and Dylan to a lesser degree) in high school. Back then all the imagery of driving cross country and diners and yearning made me feel that there really wasn’t so much that separated me from the people on the page, that technology hadn’t driven a wedge between their human experience and mine. It was a marvelous feeling back then, feeling connected with generations past, perhaps something that most people experience daily, but for me it was a very special feeling, a window being opened into another realm, a window which sadly has not remained open to me. Until now. Watching Baseball re-opened that window. It’s my hope that I’m able to get a glimpse into that window every time I partake in the sport moving forward, whether its watching a game or reading and telling stories about it.
This pic of Willie Mays playing stickball on the streets of Harlem in 1954 is a nice overlap of my Beat and baseball windows.
(photo via aconversationoncool)

I finished watching the original 9-part Ken Burns Baseball documentary last night. Felt like a fantastic way to close out Thanksgiving. While I felt minorly bereft of footage of the era with which I was most familiar (’70s, ’80s, very early ’90s), I do feel grateful that he spent so much time on the early years, establishing well his primary thesis — that what is so magical about the sport is how constant & unchanged it has remained in its 150+ years, how it ties Americans to a national past they might otherwise feel missing in their ever changing lives.

Watching it made me feel not only more connected to my own past (the countless hours spent with the game in my childhood), but also far more connected with any sense of distinctly American identity than I’ve felt in my life since I first started immersing myself with the Beats (and Dylan to a lesser degree) in high school. Back then all the imagery of driving cross country and diners and yearning made me feel that there really wasn’t so much that separated me from the people on the page, that technology hadn’t driven a wedge between their human experience and mine. It was a marvelous feeling back then, feeling connected with generations past, perhaps something that most people experience daily, but for me it was a very special feeling, a window being opened into another realm, a window which sadly has not remained open to me. Until now. Watching Baseball re-opened that window. It’s my hope that I’m able to get a glimpse into that window every time I partake in the sport moving forward, whether its watching a game or reading and telling stories about it.

This pic of Willie Mays playing stickball on the streets of Harlem in 1954 is a nice overlap of my Beat and baseball windows.

(photo via aconversationoncool)

George Brett’s greatest story

Before I turned my pre-adolescent brain to rock n roll statistics, I had a few years of total immersion in baseball. From the age of 10 to 15 I was a whore for all things MLB-related. Spring would come and with the thaw came baseball. The only thing more exciting than opening day was the first day that the new season of baseball cards would hit the shelves. My neighbor JP, my brother Ben and I would bike over to Piggly Wiggly and drop twenty to thirty bucks (each) on whatever brand came in first (it was usually Topps) and spend the whole morning opening packs (chewing mega-wads of gum if indeed it was Topps that came in, as that was the only brand that actually came with gum; Fleer came with stickers and Donruss came with puzzle pieces). We’d marvel at each card, getting to know that year’s design, holding up our heroes, acquainting ourselves with new faces and names, trying to assess which rookies looked the most like future stars, adrenaline PUMPING the whole time. The only greater sensation was the less frequent release of new Star Wars or G.I. Joe action figures. After that initial buzz wore off, we’d spend the rest of the year memorizing stats, aping the commentators, doing our best to sound like we knew what we were talking about, like we had a voice worth hearing.

Baseball’s best players were nothing short of rock stars. Those who were heroic on the field were held up like titans, and they were rewarded in the eyes of fans for being consistent. It was one thing to have a great season, but to stack up a series of great seasons was how you became a legend. When I first started to pay attention to baseball it was 1985. The stars were Dwight Gooden (though in his rookie year, he was my fave), Steve Garvey, Rod Carew, Tom Seaver, Dale Murphy, Kirk Gibson, Eddie Murray, Rickey Henderson, Nolan Ryan, and George Brett. Of all those players, Brett most closely resembled a movie star. He was baseball’s Spartacus. A batting champ who could hit homers and field the ball, he led his team to a World Series victory that year. And we was willing to raise a stink or — even better — get into a brawl on the field.

There are so many incredible George Brett stories, but there’s only one greatest George Brett story. And luckily for us (thanks to the wonders of Youtube), we’ve got it captured straight from the horse’s patute. Yes, it’s the infamous "George Brett shitting himself story" and it is a must hear. There’s much I could say about it, but it’s best left to Brett himself. It’s his greatest story. You deserve to hear it from him.