The #8. The Cal Ripken, Jr. Anniversary Of Blogging.

Eight years ago today, the Orioles lost.

And, I started this blog.

Eight is not a particularly momentous, landmark’ish anniversary. But, should you insist, gifts of pottery are appropriate.

In the baseball world, eight would be the “centerfielder anniversary” … so I give you this Orioles’ish clip: Adam Jones, playing centerfield for Team USA, robbing Manny Machado, playing for the Dominican Republic, in the World Baseball Classic in 2017:

In the baseball world, this would also be the #8 Cal Ripken, Jr. anniversary … so I give you this from 1996:

“… a career high eight runs, matching his uniform number.”

Now, welcome to Year Nine: The Weirdo Season.

But, here’s my pledge: I will do my level best to navigate this season of insanity and pandemic and baseball with acceptance and the hope that, if there must be baseball, there will at least be some good baseball, and that nobody gets sick.

And, I hope you will hang in there, too.

So, sure, Opening Day 2020 is at the end of July. The National League is DH’ing. A runner will be placed at second to start extra innings. Stadiums are empty and ballplayers aren’t allowed to spit any more.

One of those things is a good thing.

But, hey, today’s my blog’aversary, so back to me.

I believed eight years ago, and still believe today, that the 4-6-3 is the most beautiful play in baseball. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate something like this from last season:

I believed eight years ago, and still believe today, that anyone who stops by to read something on here is a friend … yes, even those thin-skinned Nationals fans who can’t seem to take a joke (you know who you are).

But, I never believed back in 2012 that I would still be writing here eight years later. But, it suits me. Sometimes burying myself in an old newspaper in search of a box score from a meaningless game brings me a mess of happy.

That you like old box scores, too, makes the search even sweeter.

July 24, 1896, 124 Years Ago Today

The 1896 Orioles actually won this game 13-8 by forfeit when the St. Louis Browns (who would later become the Baltimore Orioles of today) complained that it was too dark for them to play in the 13th inning. At that point the Browns outfielders basically refused to field until — five Orioles runs later — the umpires intervened and called a forfeit.

The Baltimore Sun helpfully explained that it was “not yet 7 o’clock” and there was at least another half-hour of good light available and the Browns were just being babies.

Let me just give a quick thank you here to those who edit my copy, patiently answer my endless off-the-wall baseball questions, and catch the mistakes that slip through the cracks. You make The Baseball Bloggess seem a lot smarter than I actually am.

Now, before I jump into Year Nine, I share with you this from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1881. I stumbled upon it a few weeks ago, while looking for something else.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/23/1881

“the weird-looking young men with lamp-mat caps and baseball pants.”

It is beautiful. It is poetry. I wish I had written it.

Maybe in another eight years, I can come up with something almost as good.

Until then …

Here’s a duck eating pizza.

31 thoughts on “The #8. The Cal Ripken, Jr. Anniversary Of Blogging.

  1. After waiting all this time, I actually forgot yesterday was opening day and didn’t watch any game. Sports has understandably, but also sadly slipped, to the end of the importance line in my life. The ironic thing is, I now have more time then ever to watch. Here’s to wishing for a return to normalcy.

  2. Jackie, your always informative, quirky, dependably amusing blogs have become a cherished bright spot in these otherwise dark days. All I can say is, Thank You, and may you continue enlightening us all, for as long as it pleases you to do so. Be well. -J.
    Ps: Where do I send the pot?

    • Thank you, John! Orioles baseball seemed dour this weekend and the broadcasters seemed out of sorts and not much fun at all … but when I flipped on the Giants game on Friday night and heard Kruk and Kuip discussing how Max Muncy’s weird gray bat looked like a bowling pin I knew things were going to be ok.

    • Thanks Jim … for all the baseball knowledge you’ve shared with me over the years. And, for sitting through a nearly 5 hour, 15-inning Orioles game at the Minnesota Metrodome with me on a beautiful 4th of July afternoon in 1992, when everyone else left because who wants to spend 5 hours sitting inside the Metrodome on a beautiful 4th of July? The Orioles lost that game … and it still stings.

  3. Because of the politicization of sports, I’ve given them all up. I’ll still work on my website about the old days.

    • The more I snoop around in the archives of ancient baseball, the more I realize that there’s always been some politics involved … it’s sort of interesting that things haven’t really changed all that much inside and outside the lines. Well, except for that extra inning running on 2nd rule, which is sort of a travesty and, yet, sort of exciting.

  4. Happy,anniversary, Jackie. I’m not a huge sports fan, but I am definitely a fan of your blog. Love the tidbits you bring to life about the game, the players, the ups and the downs of it all. Also loved today’s duck!

  5. Happy Caliversary! OK, Cal, Jr.versary, if technicalities matter. I have enjoyed your writing from the moment I’d discovered you, probably around your Babe Ruthversary, if I had to guess. The season is a mess, the world is a mess, but right there alongside the fear, (I hope!) is hope. Happy Opening Day, Jackie.

    • Thank you Wendy … I love that we found each other’s blogs … and Eli will always be one of the greatest baseball experts on my team.

      I entered this season with low expectations, but I’ve been happily surprised (so far). If nothing else, making fun of the cutout “faux fans” in the stands is a nice way to pass the time between pitches.

      Good luck to your Brewers!

  6. I believe the Angels were the first team to use the designated runner at second in extra innings
    ( and lost by 4 runs) Save this trivia for your 16th anniversary blog

    • Yes, you are correct! And, I think the Oakland A’s have decided it’s the greatest new rule baseball could have come up with. :)

      Good luck to your Angels this season … I’ll check in on the games from time to time, because I want to watch Mike Trout and see how Matt Thaiss is doing!

  7. Pingback: The week gone by — July 26 – A Silly Place

  8. Well it’s been quite the opening weekend. The O’s are playing good ball and showing once again that good pitching is really important to success. As you mentioned, despite it being an artificial abomination, the runner on 2nd in extras has been decisive in a few games. But I heard (I think?) that even MLB implies it’s a bogus idea, since it won’t be allowed in the inflated playoffs. I have found the cardboard cutouts distracting. I am already tired of Fox, et. al. deciding that watching every scheduled Yankees game is in my best interest. The Buffalo BoPs (Birds of Passage) have more human interest. Some amazing performances so far and I cannot completely stay away.

    • I couldn’t take my eyes off of those cardboard “faux fans.” There was a baby “faux fan” blown up to full oversize adult size in San Diego that was especially disturbing. There was also a life-size cow. And, I’m pretty sure there was a woman faux fan at the Dodger’s game who was also at the San Diego game.

      This season is a health disaster and I wish they would just shut it down now.

  9. Congratulations, Jackie. I’m relatively new here but truly enjoy your blog. I don’t have a pot, but am reserving a veggie quesadilla for you, whenever you’re ready for it! And thanks for the ducky laugh!

  10. I started my blog because a co-worker who knew I was a writer asked me why I didn’t spend more time actually writing… Had I not done that I might not have stumbled on this one – which I really enjoy.

    Cheers!

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