About Jackie, The Baseball Bloggess

Loves the 4-6-3 and the serial comma. All baseball is good baseball, but when the Orioles or UVa 'Hoo's take the field, it's great baseball. www.thebaseballbloggess.com And, for the Yoga ... www.peacefulhands.com

“Oh, This Is Not Good.”

First, some good news.

The Baltimore Orioles won last night, defeating the Cleveland Indians 3-1.

There you go.

I don’t have any more good news, so if you want to stop reading now, I totally understand.

O’s left-fielder Trey Mancini slid knee-first into a brick wall in the eighth. You don’t need to be a stat-wonky baseball fan to understand the bad-newsedness that comes when bone hits brick.

You can watch it – over and over, from multiple angles, and in slow motion – here.  As Jim Palmer says, “Oh, this is not good.”

That Orioles win last night, the first in more than a week, brings the O’s record to 6-14.

The Orioles are in last place in the AL East, 11-1/2 games back of another team whose name escapes me at the moment … um …

… I dunno.

Whatever. Another team. Good for them.

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Thank You, Jackie Robinson

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Reproduction number #LC-L9-54-3566-O

Each year, on April 15, major league baseball commemorates Jackie Robinson’s debut in the majors – the day that baseball was, finally, integrated.

Today, every major league player in every major league game will wear Jackie’s number, 42.

(This will make things confusing for your scorecard, I know, but remember, this is an important day, so just roll with it.)

Everyone knows that Jackie was a Brooklyn Dodger.

You might already know these 10 other things, too. But, just in case, here’s some Robinsonian facts from the nooks and crannies of trivia …

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Caroline County, Virginia: Lew & Tony Beasley

Caroline County — A Baseball Story In 3 Acts

Act 3: The Beasleys

Just like Clarence “Soup” Campbell (from Act 2, remember?), Lewis “Lew” Beasley was born in tiny Sparta, Virginia – 33 years later, in 1948.

He attended Bowling Green’s Union High School in the 1960s – the county’s “colored” school. I couldn’t find him in any of their mid-1960s yearbooks so I can’t tell you when – or if – he graduated, but reports say he played on the school’s powerhouse baseball team.

Beasley, an outfielder, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the January 1967 draft.

With the minor league Miami Marlins in 1969

Though short and stocky, he was known for his speed. They called him “Quick Lew” and his 41 stolen bases in 1969 was a then-team record for the minor league Miami Marlins.

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Caroline County, Virginia: Clarence “Soup” Campbell

Caroline County, Virginia — A Baseball Story In 3 Acts

Act 2: “Soup”

Three ballplayers of note have called Caroline County, Virginia home. And, our story starts in Sparta.

Caroline County fills an area of 537 miles and there are only two towns of any size within those confines – Bowling Green, the county seat, population 1,111, and Port Royal, population 197.

About all there is to Sparta, Virginia today is a post office, a couple churches, and a volunteer fire department. It was once a little more than that, but really not so much.

Clarence “Soup” Campbell was born in Sparta in March 1915.

Does everyone with the last name Campbell end up with the nickname “Soup”?  (Yes.)

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Caroline County, Virginia — A Baseball Story In 3 Acts

Act 1 — The County

If you ever need to get from the bottom of the East Coast to the top – or top to bottom – you’ll probably end up on Interstate 95.

That 1,900-mile road – the most traveled in America (which surprises no one who has ever been on it) – can take you from Houlton, Maine to Miami, Florida and back again.

You’ve probably been on it. And, you’ve probably cursed at it, muttered at it, and yelled at its gridlock that stretched out in front of you. Everybody does that. That’s proper I-95 etiquette.

(Because The Baseball Bloggess does not wish to mislead you: A 12-mile gap around Trenton, New Jersey prevents I-95 from being a complete North-South highway. That gap should be fixed in 2018.)

In the middle-ish of I-95, you’ll pass through Caroline County, Virginia

If you need to stop, exits 104 at Bowling Green and 110 at Ladysmith will pop you out into the county.

(It’s pronounced Care-oh-Line and was named in 1728 in honor of Queen Caroline, wife of England’s King George II.)

I-95’s proximity is not the most interesting thing about Caroline County.

And, baseball is not the most interesting thing about it, either.

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Little League’s Tubby Rule: “Girls Are Not Eligible …”

Back in May 2014, I talked to Kay “Tubby” Johnston, who became, in 1950, the first girl to play Little League baseball

“I simply wanted to play the game that I loved,” she told me. 

courtesy of “Tubby” Johnston

She played just that one summer. She was good, but when the season ended, she became the namesake of Little League’s national “Tubby Rule” which read in full:

“Girls Are Not Eligible Under Any Conditions.”

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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.

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Baseball Is Real & We’re All Number One

If the last five months were the “Off Season” … is today the “On Season”?

It’s The On Season, Baseball Fans!

To be honest, I kinda like the off season. Everybody needs a reset and I like the anticipation of a brand new season … brand new possibilities.

I don’t mind waiting.

Orioles waiting for the game to resume, August 2017 © The Baseball Bloggess

But, I’m glad we don’t have to wait anymore.

(Dear Beloved Baltimore Orioles, My amazing baseball experts don’t think you’re good enough to win the World Series. Nobody thinks you’ll do much of anything this year. But, I do. I believe in you. Please, don’t let me down.)

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My Experts Predict The 2018 World Series

“The Yankees will bash their way to the AL pennant. In the end, Washington will prevail, thanks to its stars – and, yes, a little luck.” – Sports Illustrated, 2018 MLB Preview

Sports Illustrated’s  pre-season World Series picks have been amazingly consistent:

2017 – Dodgers (wrong). 2016 – Astros (wrong). 2015 – Indians (wrong). 2014 – Nationals (wrong). 2013 – Nationals (still wrong). 2012 – Angels (wrong).  2011 – Red Sox (wrong). 2010 – (I’ve lost interest).

Sports Illustrated has never correctly predicted the World Series winner in its annual MLB Preview. Well, maybe they have. I don’t know. I got bored around 2010.

All I DO know is that my team of experts – first gathered in 2015 – has never been right and during that same period neither has Sports Illustrated.  To be fair, my panel has also included cats and, in 2016, a one-eyed possum and a crow.

(You gotta give SI credit … totally burned by the Nationals in 2013 and ’14, and they’re picking them again this year. Like Selena Gomez who can’t kick Justin Bieber to the curb, they’ve been screwed over – time and again – but SI just can’t quit the Nats. )

My experts can already tell you, SI will be wrong.

My crackerjack panel of experts – which includes people who don’t even like baseball – will probably be wrong, too.

But, my panel has another incentive: If their team actually wins their division – just their division, that’s all I ask – I will bake cookies for them.

It happened last season.

Here’s Victoria, now 4, enjoying her cookies. (She correctly picked the Indians to win the AL Central.) (Yes, I baked cookies and brownies. I’m swell.)

Opening Day is Thursday. The earliest Opening Day ever. Because baseball is more fun when it’s 30 degrees and there’s snow on the ground.

No time to waste. Let’s get this World Series over with.

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Page 1,967

© The Baseball Bloggess

On Friday, while major league ballplayers in Florida and Arizona were squeezing baseball games in between their tee times, Congress and President Trump were changing the rules of the game for minor leaguers.

You thought starting extra innings with a player on second is ridiculous?

It is. We can talk about that later.

Today’s ridiculosity (not a word; should be a word) is a rule change hidden away on Page 1,967 of the $1.3-trillion omnibus spending bill, signed into law by President Trump on Friday, which dramatically changes fair labor laws as they apply to minor leaguers.

From here on out – thanks to President Trump, Congress, and the wealthy team owners who spent more than $1 million lobbying in Washington these past two years – minor leaguers will no longer be protected by minimum wage or overtime regulations.

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