Free Baseball ~ Opening Day Edition

Sometimes I write for you. Sometimes I read and listen and watch stuff for you, so you don’t have to. (Isn’t that nice of me?)

Here are a few things I found. Think of them as Free Baseball* from The Baseball Bloggess – like the gift of extra innings that you didn’t expect when you came to the game.

After A Decade In Pro Ball, A Former Pitcher Goes Without Health Insurance

Public Radio International’s awesome Only A Game this week profiled Paul Wilmet, a pitcher who spent nearly a decade in pro ball, including playing three big league games for the Rangers in 1989. Today, he’s nearly blind but, with no pension, long-term health insurance, or benefits from his long baseball career, he’s been unable to get the surgery that could help him see again.

“If there weren’t any minor leaguers, there would be no major leaguers,” Wilmet reminds us. This story will break your heart, but I promise, if you listen, there is a hopeful ending, too.

Listen here

Chase Utley Reunited With Minor Leaguer Who First Met Him During Cancer Treatment


Before a game in 2006, Chase Utley, a second baseman who was with the Phillies, met a 9-year-old fan, Devin Smeltzer, who was battling cancer. Today, Utley plays for the Dodgers. And, today, cancer-free, so does Smeltzer, via

Read here

Sean Doolittle And Eireann Dolan May Be Baseball’s Most “Woke” Couple

The Washington Post profiled Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle and his wife Eireann Dolan this week. “Most major league players wouldn’t have their local paper requesting a photo shoot to accompany a story about their work with Syrian refugees or LGBT pride night or an op-ed they wrote about veterans’ issues. Doolittle and Dolan are not most major league couples.”

(P.S. Doolittle also played at Virginia and was inducted into the University of Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame in January.)

Read here

Twenty-Nine Percent Of Players On Opening Day Rosters Are Foreign Born

Those foreign-born players represent 21 countries, via NBC Sports. (The study noted that it included the 19 players born in Puerto Rico and the one player born in the U.S. Virgin Islands as “foreign-born.” This is, of course, not correct. Subtract those 20 players from the study, as they were not “foreign-born,” and the percentage drops to 26 percent.)

Read here

Six of the seven continents are represented, but I guess we’ll still have to wait for that first player from Antarctica.

In Case You Missed It, The Orioles Won A Game

The Baltimore Orioles won on Opening Day – their eighth straight Opening Day victory. They defeated the Twins, 3-2 in extra innings, thanks to an 11th-inning home run from center fielder Adam Jones. If you didn’t see the homer on Thursday, here’s the clip. (If you did see it, watch it again, because it is beautiful.)


Aren’t you glad baseball’s back?


* Free Baseball refers to extra innings that come after a nine-inning game ends in a tie. Here it’s extra things I didn’t want you to miss.


17 thoughts on “Free Baseball ~ Opening Day Edition

  1. What I love about Jones’ homer is the team, greeting him at the plate as if he won a playoff game for them. It’s only one of one hundred sixty two, but it was a big one!
    My Giants made history, over the last two days, beating the Dodgers 1-0 twice, both times on homers by Joe Panik, who almost didn’t make the team.
    And, yes, I am SO glad Baseball is back! It’s ridiculous; it’s “only a game”, but my days are suffused with a warm glow of pleasure, especially since the Giants are in first place- at least, for a few days.
    Be well, Blogess, and thanks!

  2. I, too, am ecstatic for the season to begin. As I sit here in MN, where it’s a balmy 25F (but sunny), reflecting upon the distinct possibility that the Twins home opener will likely be in the 30s with more snow forecast (no Fooling) next weekend, I can see that it’s actually Spring in other places. And an amazing season so far, with walk-offs (yay O’s), base stealing amazement (yay Jays), many HR, the return of Ichiro at 44 (🙀), and, certainly not least, as my brother wrote, “Panik for President!” Aaaaaahhh, ain’t the beer cold!

  3. I couldn’t reply until the Rockies won…we saved the series with 1W. Now I am thrilled with Baseball once again!😍

      • Blogess, I wonder if you saw the opinion piece in this morning’s New York Times, on Baseball’s “Unwritten Rules”? Worth a read, especially since it partially concerns the Orioles.
        As always, thanks.

        • I saw that 9th inning bunt last Sunday. I love the unwritten rules of baseball. But, Dozier interpreted the no-bunt rule much differently than most everyone else. If you put the shift on a player — whatever inning — then you invite them to bunt. I think that might be an unwritten rule, too. If this was a no-hitter, sure, there are additional unwritten rules of etiquette, but this wasn’t a no-hitter. The O’s were trying to avoid a shut-out. The issue with unwritten rules, I guess, is that they can get interpreted differently. Although I think Dozier was wrong in his interpretation.

          Jason Turbow’s “The Baseball Codes” about the game’s unwritten rules is an excellent and fun read if you haven’t already read it.

          And, last night’s Orioles-Yankees game, raised issues about two WRITTEN rules — regarding run-downs (the umpires said after the game that Buck Showalter and the O’s were correct in their argument and admitted that their call on the play was incorrect) and the blocking home plate rule (which applies only to catchers blocking home plate and not other players) which was correctly called when a pitcher ended up blocking the plate while trying to field the ball.

          You never know what obscure little rules — written or unwritten — might pop up in any given inning. I love that! :)

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