Jon Lester, Legend Already

I had a nice long blog post about Jon Lester turning 33 years old today and my year to date. I hit the tab key and lost it all in some incredible fashion. I guess that's what I get for not saving as I go along. Oh well. I'll try again tomorrow. There were photos in the post I lost, so for sanity sake I'm posting those here. 

New Years Resolution - save your fucking work!

Bill Dahlen, Darling

If Bill Dahlen were alive, he would be 146 years old today. He was born on January 5, 1870. He logged 21 seasons in the big leagues, though it really was 19 plus a couple guest appearances as a player manager.  

When I looked at his Baseball-Reference.com page and saw 21 seasons, I automatically assumed he was in the Hall of Fame. When you find out for four seasons he was the all time career games played leader, it furthers that assumption of being a Hall of Famer. I don't know how to break down his era and check to see how many of his contemporaries played for as long as he did, but two decades at the turn of the century is impressive! Reading up on him via Wikipedia reveals he received the highest number of votes without gaining admission to the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee in 2013. In true Wikipedia fashion, it hasn't been updated since. 

There are books about Bill Dahlen specifically, and there are books commemorating the forgotten greats of his era. It's inspired me enough to put a couple of them on my Good Reads list. My Good Reads challenge for 2017 is to read 12 books. Perhaps Mr. Dahlen will be the subject of one!

Dahlen played a couple of seasons for the Boston Doves, which existed for only four seasons. They were named such because they wore all white uniforms and were owned by George and John Dovey. They're the team that were once the Boston Beaneaters, Boston Nationals and later they became the Boston Rustlers before becoming the Boston Braves and even later, the Atlanta Braves. 

In Bill Dahlen's life, they were always in Boston. He passed away in 1950, and the team didn't head out to Milwaukee for another 2 seasons. He won a World Series title as a member of the 1905 New York Giants. Perhaps that's part of the reason he spent his remaining days there. 

Some useless information on Mr. Bill Dahlen. He remains 28th all time with 548 stolen bases. 33rd all time in triples. 50th all time in runs scored. 2nd all time in errors committed. 2nd all time in put outs by a shortstop. He hasn't played baseball in 106 years. 

I wonder, if during his Boston days, fans pronounced his name the same way they pronounce 'darling'. Did Boston accents exist like they do today, back then? Questions for another day!

I Can't Count - Happy Birthday, Luis Rivera!

I was going to do a countdown to the day pitchers & catchers report for Spring Training, but I messed up the actual number of days. 

Then I realized I'm not sure if that's what I want to write about. So, Happy Birthday, Luis Rivera!

I'm not really sure I want to write about Luis Rivera, even! I idolized Luis Rivera growing up. Between Luis Rivera and Jody Reed, all I wanted to do was play infield for the Red Sox. It didn't work out, but I still have about 5 of these cards in my parents basement.

One of my new years resolutions was to get back into writing. I'm starting off slow, and going with where my wheelhouse is. Even my wheelhouse is a little rusty. For about three years I was blogging every single day. Before this week, I hadn't really blogged consistently in at least a year, maybe two. 

I had a bit of a half-ass attempt not too long ago, but I haven't really produced anything in a good long while. Which doesn't really mean anything, i suppose. It's something I like to do, but just haven't had the urge to do it. I'm hoping to change that. 

So we'll see if I can keep this resolution going a bit longer.

40 Days until Pitchers & Catchers

Happy January 2nd! The first day of your New Year's Resolutions, after maximum relaxation on January 1st! 

 courtesy New York Times. Used without permission.

courtesy New York Times. Used without permission.

 

Royce Clayton was born on January 2nd, 1970. He played 17 seasons with 11 different teams, including 7 different teams in his final 5 seasons. The last eight games of his career, in 2007, were spent with the Boston Red Sox. In his first game with the Red Sox, he scored a run in an eventual one run game. He didn't score a run, or drive in a run in any of his other appearances. For his contributions, he was awarded a World Series ring. Not too shabby!

After 17 big league seasons, I'm sure Royce Clayton was just happy to have a chance to play on a World Series team. 8 game or zero games. 1 run or no runs. It doesn't really matter. You could argue that without the run he scored, the Red Sox play extras, end up effecting the rest of the season. Maybe it causes more losses. Maybe they don't win the division. So, 1 run is worth the ring. 8 games is worth the ticket to the duck boat parade.

 

 

41 Days Until Pitchers & Catchers

Happy New Year! We are 41 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training camp for the Boston Red Sox. 

ts41

Tom Seaver wore 41 during his entire career, so it seemed appropriate to kick off the countdown with one of the greatest to wear the number. He wasn't the greatest to wear 41 for the Boston Red Sox(arguably John Lackey owns that title, though the competition is thin), but he gave it the ol' college try. 

Seaver's lone half season with the Red Sox, and his final in the big leagues, was respectable, but a knee injury prevented him was facing the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series. When Seaver's season started, he thought he might end up with the Mets, but that didn't work out. Imagine his luck when the team he did get moved to, faced his old club. 

As we closed the book on 2016, it seems everybody is looking forward to 2017. Maybe 2017 will be like Tom Terrific's last season. Solid, with a couple unexpected turns. We could all benefit from such a season. 

Happy Opening Day!

Baseball has returned! Specifically, Boston Red Sox baseball has returned!

The last time we saw them, they were playing out the string of another disappointing season. Coincidentally the last time I was blogging (somewhat) regularly, they weren't totally awful. Then they were, and I stopped caring because they stopped caring. But it's a new day. That's what I love about baseball. Every April offers a new hope. Hope springs eternal.

For some sports fans, baseball is the natural progression of seasonal changes. The NCAA tournament coincides with baseball's spring training. Hockey and basketball playoffs coincide with early season baseball. Baseball takes hold for the summer before giving way to football and the winter before we start it up again with hockey and basketball as football winds its season down. Add MLS, UFC, NASCAR, tennis, golf, and occasionally some variation of the Olympics or World Cup games every few years and I think that covers the American sports arena. 

For me, though, sports viewing begins and ends with baseball. When the baseball season ends, I turn to Netflix and Hulu to catch up on stuff I missed over the previous six months. I pay attention to other things. I don't move on to the New England Patriots or the Boston Bruins, or the Celtics. I'm so thoroughly engrossed in baseball that when it ends, I need a breather. I'm impressed with people who passionately jump from season to season, sport to sport. 

I think I like baseball because it's played so often, it's OK if I don 't catch every inning of every game, but I'll also watch a meaningless 5 hour game between the Red Sox and Orioles on a Wednesday. Whereas football is a weekly event, it's OK if I miss a Red Sox game because they're usually playing the next day. There are obvious exceptions when they're playing rivals, or there's a huge matchup. In general though, baseball is the ultimate game to follow. I'm biased, but that's OK. 

Some say the first game can be an indicator of a season. I prefer this as truth when the Red Sox either blow out the opposing team or have a dramatic walk off. I'll deny this as fiction when a starter gets knocked out early and everybody has a terrible first game. I'm fine with contradicting myself depending on the outcome year to year.

I don't have any predictions for the Red Sox this season. Part of me says they'll win the World Series, part of me says they'll end up in third place. I suspect it'll be somewhere between the two, and if they win the whole thing, it'll be a epic journey.