Archive for the tag 'minor leagues'

The Rise of the Midwest League and the Decline of the Three-I League by Tim Rask: a short review

A fine piece of research. Most minor leagues failed in the 1950s; we need more people examining why specific leagues succeeded.

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Cradle of the Game by Mark Cryan: a short review

Well-executed but nonetheless fairly typical tourist-oriented ballpark guide. A few of the ballyards are not currently involved in anything resembling an organized league.

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A Fan’s Guide Farewell

Emails often made my day. I heard from fans, from past and present players, from team radio voices, from former and would-be player girlfriends, from executives, from prospective team owners, from newspaper reporters. Over the years I received thousands of notes on a vast array of topics. A Danville fan told me about watching Butch McCord. One writer told about his mother boarding black players in Decatur. Another filled me in on a former player’s troubled life after baseball. A batboy told about his continuing friendships with players who’d shared the Dubuque dugout. Pat Neshek wrote me a delightful note after his MWL summer. Bob Sprout thanked me for writing up his remarkable season, as did Bob Lawrence; both were reminded of lost friends. In the best email I ever received, a kind lady from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, told me in detail how her family became unintentional hosts to a gentle giant named Juan Salazar, and fell in love.

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Beating the Bushes by Frank Dolson: a short review

Nineteen largely-independent chapters, of varying quality on varying topics. The best are those on Jim Bunning, booze, and winter baseball.

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The Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip by Josh Pahigian: a short review

The Fodor book is better, though the coverage is less complete. Some of the older, similar, books are far better.

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Beloit in Midwest for 1970 (1969)

The team name was going to be the Braves, the 1969 affiliation would be a Tigers-dominated co-op, the 1970 affiliation would be with Cleveland, and owner Mike Kelegian would likely move the team to Rockford for the 1970 season. None of these things happened.

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A False Spring by Pat Jordan: a review

This is a powerful and frustrating memoir of Pat Jordan’s three summers pitching in the low minor leagues, written when the author was in his thirties. At heart, it’s an exploration of why he failed, and that story is pretty brutal: Much of the problem was immaturity; he comes off as a cocky kid, with obvious talent but no ability to put the talent to use. Except for a Winter Instructionals interlude, the path is ever downward, and the ending inevitable.

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On to Nicollet by Stew Thornley: a short review

Good, solid overview of the history of the Millers. Wish Stew would do a similar book on the Saints.

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Explaining the Peculiar Circumstance of Minor League Baseball

In the major leagues, American Legion, and NCAA they play the game. In the minor leagues they teach the game. Even as they live it, breathe it, do it, and talk it on-call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, from March till September.

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Baseball Benefits Battle Creek (1999)

Again, some hints about the team budget amongst the boosterism. Comparing with the 1976 Danville program’s similar blurb, we see that costs about tripled in two decades. Hmmm.

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