Volume XIII April through July, 2015 Issue 50

Major League Minor League Skills/Strategies HS/College/Seniors
Feature Stories World Baseball News Release Performance Enhancers
Newsletter Photo Gallery Coaching Clinic Youth Baseball
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Cardinals and Adam Wainwright Beat Cubs on Opening Night

Adam Wainwright pitched the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 victory over the Cubs in the major league opener on Sunday night, April 5, at Wrigley Field. The big right-hander struck out six with no walks in his fourth opening day start. Jason Heyward got the major's first hit of the 2005 season when he doubled and scored on Matt Holliday's single in the first. Heyward is pictured here scoring past Cubs catcher David Ross in first inning action.

For the story, go to Major League

Rob Manfred Takes Over as Baseball Commissioner

Rob Manfred became baseball's new Commissioner in 23 years on Sunday, January 25 when Bud Selig officially retired from the role. Manfred walked to the same office he had been in for years. It was a momentous occasion for the sport. Manfred has a commitment to making this transition as seamless as possible. "One piece of advice that I will keep in mind is, 'Trust your instincts and be your own guy.' And I intend to do both," the 56-year old said.

To read, go to Major League

Pitchers Rule Early, Shutouts Pile up All Over Big Leagues

When Tim Hudson and a half dozen Giants relievers blanked San Diego 1-0 on April 9, it marked the 14th shutout in 46 major league games this season. A big number? There were 13 shutouts through the first 101 games last year. The MLB batting average dipped to .251 last year -- the lowest in more than four decades -- and after a spring training full of 1-0 final scores. Trevor Bauer, pictured here, and the Cleveland bullpen didn't give up a Houston hit until Jed Lowrie homered with one out in the ninth. In another story, MLB Could Alter Strike Zone as Response to Declining Offense.

For the article, go to Major League

Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame Great

Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on unsuccessful teams, died on January 23. He was 83. Banks hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career and was fond of saying, "It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two." Though he was an 11-time All-Star from 1953-71, Banks never reached the postseason. In 2013, Banks was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Another story, Cubs Legend Ernie Banks Remembered for Unwavering Optimism.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Baseball Ponders Legal Ways to Boost Offense

In 1998, baseball fans were swooning for sluggers. All the years later, the landscape has tilted today. Runs and homers are falling. Strikeouts and infield shifts are soaring. Pitchers rule. Last season, major league teams scored 5,000 fewer runs. and hit 1,500 fewer homers than they did in 2000, the height of the steroid era. The question for Rob Manfred, as he begins his first season as commissioner of baseball is whether he should do that. Another story, Play Ball: Quickly! Baseball Tries to Speed Game this Spring.

To read, go to News Release

MLB Announces Pace of Game Initiatives, Replay Modifications

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and other MLB officials have jointly announced additions to the sport's pace of game program, which will be effective during the regular season and the postseason, and a series of modifications to the instant replay system. The World Umpires Association also has given its assent to the new efforts, which will be reviewed by the parties following conclusion of the 2015 World Series. Another story, MLB Makes Small Pace of Game Changes.

For the article, go to Major League

As Baseball Games Drag on, Timelessness Becomes Less

Baseball would never need to consider pitch clocks if everyone played as crisply as Mark Buehrle, the Blue Jays' veteran left-hander. But games are taking longer than ever, and owners are eager to quicken the pace for a generation that hates to wait for anything. Buehrle's approach, however, is the exception, not the rule. The rules are changing in the minors this season, or, at least, the rules will finally be enforced, with a digital reminder ticking down to each pitch. Another article is Pace of Play Key to Young Fans.

For the story, go to News Release

How MLB's Presidential First Pitch Tradition Got Started

The tradition of the President of the United States throwing out the ceremonial first pitch is an ancient one, born over 100 years ago. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, pictured here, holds the record for most opening day pitches, having opened eight seasons between 1933 and 1941. On April 4, 1910, President William H. Taft was the first U.S. president to throw out the opening game first pitch, and a tradition was born. Zachary D. Rymer has presented an in depth and comprehensive article on the Presidential First-Pitch tradition.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Baseball's Prosperity at the Center of Selig's Legacy

The sweeping change brought about by Bud Selig that had the greatest impact on baseball was the reform of the game's economic system. Selig instituted vast increases in revenue sharing -- along with a luxury tax -- in an attempt to reduce the economic disparity among franchises. More small-market teams are now able to retain their own talented players, increasing the game's competitive balance. Selig pushed for these reforms against considerable early opposition.

For the article, go to Newsletter

Hall of Fame Elects Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz and Biggio

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, a trio of star pitchers who dominated in an era of offense, were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, along with Craig Biggio, the first time since 1955 writers selected four players in one year. The Big Unit, Martinez and Smoltz easily earned induction on their first tries, and Biggio made it on the third attempt. The quartet will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 26. Steroids-tainted stars Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa remained far from election.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Winning Culture Led Max Scherzer to Washington Nats

The Washington Nationals held a news conference at Nationals Park on January 21 to introduce Max Scherzer, who agreed to terms on a seven-year. $210 million deal with the club. The contract is the second largest for a pitcher in the Major Leagues behind Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Scherzer said he signed with the Nats because of their commitment to winning. The 30-year-old Scherzer was reunited with general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Matt Williams, who managed Scherzer at Double-A Mobile in 2007.

For the article, go to Newsletter

Batting Styles of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds teams of the 1970's are widely recognized as being among the best teams in baseball history. The Big Red Machine dominated the National League from 1970 to 1976. Perhaps the most successful was the 1975 Reds team which had a record of 108-54. Managed by Sparky Anderson, the Reds were led by four Hall of Famers, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez. Highlighting Don Weiskopf's Photo Gallery are batting sequence series photos of Rose, Bench, Perez, with batting tips from Rose and the managerial career of Anderson.

To read and view, go to Photo Gallery

Pete Rose's Statistics: 4,256 Hits and an Error

Pete Rose, baseball's career hits leader, has applied for reinstatement to Major League Baseball, which barred him for life in 1987 for gambling on games played by the Cincinnati Reds, the team he was managing. Rose's request will be reviewed by Commissioner Rob Manfred. If Rose is reinstated, the earliest he would be considered for Hall of Fame admission would be December 2016, by the Veteran's Committee. Hall of Fame home run slugger Mike Schmidt said, "I have the exact same opinion about this that all Pete Rose supporters have: Enough is enough. We should forgive."

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Mr. Versatile: John Smoltz Thrived as Starter and Reliever

John Smoltz could do it all on the mound. His amazing versatility sent him to baseball's Hall of Fame on his first try, a year after former Braves manager Bobby Cox and longtime Atlanta teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were inducted into Cooperstown. Smoltz is the only pitcher in major league history with at least 200 wins and 150 saves. Yet he was always proudest of the way he pitched in the biggest games, going 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA in the postseason. As a starter, he posted double-digit wins in 10 of 11 seasons, and the NL Cy Young Award in 1996.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Chicago White Sox Baseball Pioneer Minnie Minoso Dies

Minnie Minoso, who became baseball's first black player out of Latin America and a treasured figure in the history of the Chicago White Sox, died on March 1 at the age of 90. The cause was a heart ailment. Minoso, a Havana, Cuba native, made his major league debut on May 1, 1951, just two years after Jackie Robinson. Playing for White Sox teams known for speed, defense, and pitching, Minoso ran the bases with abandon and had good power, swinging out of a crouched stance.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Bud Selig Will Likely Be Elected to Hall of Fame

Bud Selig's 22-year run as MLB Baseball Commissioner officially came to an end on January 25. He is likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee in 2016. Perhaps it shouldn't be so easy. Selig has exited the game at a high point, with industry revenue topping $9 billion in 2014, but it's only fair to remember Selig's shortcomings, like cancelling the 1994 World Series; allowing the proliferation of steroid's; enriching corporations at the expense of average fans; the contraction sham, and sacrificing the importance of the regular season to feed the post season.

For the story, go to News Release

Best Offense in Baseball Is an Aggressive Attack

The best offense in baseball is an aggressive attack, which is capable of exerting pressure on the defense, said Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston. This has been the trademark of some of the most successful major league teams in history, including the Dodgers' championship teams. A team that lacks the home run hitters should have players who are able to bunt, drag and push. Aggressive base running by Maury Wills, pictured here, gave the Dodgers a big victory. The Skills and Strategies page features Don Weiskopf's sequence series photos of Wills, Tommy Davis, Steve Garvey, Manny Mota, and Billy Grabarkewitz.

To read and view, go to Skills and Strategies

Pete Rose Submits Application for Reinstatement to Manfred

Pete Rose has submitted a new request to be reinstated to baseball. In 1989, he had agreed to the lifetime ban in 1989. Rose applied for reinstatement in September of 1997, but Commissioner Bud Selig never ruled on the application. Rob Manfred who succeeded Selig in January, said, "I want to hear what Pete has to say, and I'll make a decision." Rose, who recently turned 74, denied for 15 years that he bet on baseball. In 2004, he reversed his stand and acknowledged he bet on the Reds while managing the team.

For the article, go to Major League

Baseball Union Chief Tony Clark Wants Rose to be Reinstated

The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says he wants Pete Rose to be reinstated. Former All-Star first baseman Tony Clark made the remarks to reporters at spring training on March 17, a day after new Commissioner Rob Manfred said that Rose has formally reapplied to have his lifetime ban lifted. "I would love to see Pete reinstated," said Clark. Asked to explain his reasoning, Clark said of Rose: "He made a decision that was not the right decision. He made a decision that he has paid a price for."

For the Story, go to Major League

Al Rosen, AL MVP with Indians, Former Executive, Dies

Al Rosen's success in baseball didn't end after he left the diamond for the final time. The muscular third baseman for the Cleveland Indians who won the 1953 AL MVP Award and later worked in the front offices of several teams, died on March 6. He was 91. In 1953, Rosen came within a hit of winning the batting triple crown. He played his entire career with Cleveland from 1947-56. Rosen was a member on the Indians' 1948 title team, the last Cleveland squad to win the World Series.

For the article, go to Newsletter

Absorbed Lessons Will Serve Paul Molitor Well as Manager

Paul Molitor's image as manager of the Minnesota Twins will be calm, but intense. And if everything goes as planned, the Twins club will play baseball in exactly the same way. The task before Molitor is not easy. The Twins are coming off four straight seasons of 90-plus losses and he is a rookie big league manager. But Molitor is a Hall of Famer and a St. Paul native, who has spent many years in the Twins organization. He will have instant credibility, a base of support, and he will be calm, but intense.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Ex-MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent Rips Alex Rodriguez

If Alex Rodriguez thinks former baseball commissioner Bud Selig was harsh on him during the Biogenesis scandal, the disgraced Yankee should be thankful Fay Vincent no longer holds the reins of America's Pastime. Vincent has called Rodriguez a "disgrace" and said the baseball fan base doesn't "owe him anything." Vincent also took aim at Selig's tenure as a baseball owner and criticized other MLB owners, namely Jerry Reinsdorf, for their involvement in baseball's collusion case of the 1980s, in which owners worked together to avoid competitive bidding for player services.

For the story, go to News Release

Hank Peters, Former Orioles General Manager, Dies at 90

Hank Peters, general manager and architect of the last Orioles team to win a World Series in 1983, died on January 4 of complications from a recent stroke. Peters was 90. Patient and unflappable, Peters in 1975 took over a team with a storied past and, for much of the next 12 years, sustained that success. In his first 10 years, a decade marked by the advent of free agency and a tumultuous 1981 players' strike, the Orioles averaged 90 victories and won two American League titles. In another story, Former Minor League President Hank Peters Dies

For the article, go to News Release and Minor League

Over 50,000 Fans in Montreal Watch Blue Jays Beat Reds

Josh Donaldson homered and Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-1 on Saturday, April 4, before a crowd of 50,231 at Olympic Stadium. The Blue Jays earned a split of a two-game set with Cincinnati that drew a total of 96,545. The fans rallied, hoping to show MLB they want a big league ball park back after losing the Expos to Washington following the 2004 season. The total attendance topped the 96,350 that saw Toronto and the New York Mets play a two-game exhibition series in Montreal last season.

For the story, go to Major League

Baseball's Drug War

Major and minor league baseball players missed more than 25,000 games from 2007 through 2014 while suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. That was after the era of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. The figure is bigger than the number of games played by all 30 Major League Baseball teams over five seasons. It stands as evidence of the persistence of drug use in baseball, as in other sports, in the face of efforts to clean it up. The study was written by Mason Levinson, Bloomberg Quick Take.

For the story, go to Performance Enhancers

Anthony Bosch, Clinic Owner in Doping Scandal, Sentenced

Anthony Bosch, former owner of a Florida medical clinic who posed as a doctor and illegally supplied steroid injections and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players and even high school athletes, was sentenced on February 17 to four years in federal prison. Bosch, who choked back tears in court, sought a more lenient term because of his cooperation in the investigation. U.S. Judge Darrin Gayles, however, refused. Prosecutors said Bosch could still have his sentence reduced through further cooperation, including potential trial testimony.

For the article, go to Performance Enhancers

Pitchers Are Using Bigger, More Traditional Wind-ups

A major change continues to occur in the game of baseball. A growing number of major league pitchers are using bigger and more traditional styles in winding up. They have switched from the no-wind-up delivery used by most pitchers the past couple of decades. Among the many big league hurlers using a traditional type of wind-up are Adam Wainwright, one of baseball's most dominant pitchers; Max Scherzer; Matt Moore; John Lackey; and Francisco Liriano. Featured in BPA's new edition are Don Weiskopf's sequence series photographs of five former pitching greats: Steve Carlton; Bob Gibson; Jack Morris; Billy Pierce; and Sonny Siebert.

To read and view, go to Coaching Clinic

Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant, Baseball's Top Power Prospects

Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant are towering, hulking ballplayers now, top prospects in the Cubs and Rangers systems. They are far cries from the small, quiet boys their fathers developed into athletes and their mothers molded into men. From the dusty fields of Las Vegas, Bryant and Gallo have ignited the imagination of two fan bases, widening the eyes of those who have witnessed their power. Bryant is the son of a baseball man who believed in the tenets of Ted Williams, one of the game's greatest hitters, applying Ted's principles to countless boys chasing the same dream.

To read, go to Minor League

MiLB Game Day Experience Strong, Study Says

A nationwide study conducted by independent research company Turn Key Intelligence revealed Minor League Baseball fans are extremely satisfied with their at-event experience. More than 20,000 MiLB game attendees were surveyed and collectively gave the Minor League Baseball game day experience a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 58. The league announced its overall attendance at 42.4 million in 2014, the third highest in the organization's 114-year history.

For the article, go to Minor League

Minor League Announce Pace-of-Game Rules

Minor League Baseball has announced rules and procedures aimed at improving the pace of play in games at the Triple-A and Double-A levels. The procedures, created in partnership with Major League Baseball, will monitor the time taken between innings and pitches, and will limit the amount of time allowed during pitching changes. Umpires will continue to enforce rules prohibiting batters from leaving the batter's box between pitches.

To read, go to Minor League

Pitch Clock is Used at Minor League Level, but Not Big Leagues

A pitch clock is being used this season during MiLB games at Triple-A and Double-A, but it has been ruled out for the majors this year. Commissioner Bud Selig said the decision to use the pitch-clock in the minors followed a successful experiment in the Arizona Fall League. In the Fall League experiment, pitchers had to throw within 12 seconds with no runners on base and within 20 seconds when a base was occupied. There was a maximum 2:05 between innings and 2:30 limit for a pitching change. Additionally, hitters were required to have one foot in the batter's box at all times.

To read, go to Minor League

Managers in Minors Face Long Days, Make Big Impact

Hard working players are often praised by their teammates and by front-office staff as being "the first guy at the ballpark." In most cases though, the first person in uniform at the ball park is actually the manager, and during home games, he is almost the last to leave for the night. "By the time it's all said and done, it's after midnight," said J. R. House, who led the Class A Short Season Hillsboro Hops to a Northwest League championship last year in his first season as a manager.

For the story, go to Minor League

New Year Brings New Midwest League Chief

The dawn of 2015 resulted in a changing of the guard for the Midwest League as longtime president George Spelius stepped down after 28 seasons. Richard "Dick" Nussbaum II, a South Bend-based attorney, who has served as the league's general counsel since 1993, replaced him. Spelius, seen here with 2007 league champion West Michigan, presided over unprecedented growth from his office in Beloit, Wisconsin. Now it's Nussbaum's turn to assume such responsibilities.
To read, go to Minor League

Mario Cuomo, former New York Governor, Played in Minors

Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York and an avid baseball fan, passed away on January 1, at the age of 82. At age 19, Cuomo signed a professional baseball contract with the Class D Brunswick Pirates in Georgia, receiving a $2,000 bonus, sizable for that time. As a professional ball player, Cuomo played in 81 games during the 1952 season. The young center fielder hit .244 with a total of 62 hits. His baseball career, however, was short-lived that summer. What was thought to be a promising career lasted just one season because of a beaning at the plate, but it opened a political one.

For the article, go to Minor League

Cuba Beats Mexico for 1st Caribbean Series Title Since 1960

Cuba won its first Caribbean Series Championship since 1960 with a 3-2 victory over Mexico on Sunday, February 8, highlighted by Yulieski Gourriel's eighth inning home run. The victory was met on the field with a huge celebration on the mound, as chants of "Cuba! Cuba! Cuba!" echoed throughout the stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cuba out-hit Mexico 11-4 on the way to this year's title, a day after dominating Venezuela 8-4. Another story, At Caribbean Series, Yulieski Gourriel Captures the Imagination.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Pedro Martinez Gets Hero's Welcome in Dominican Republic

Thousands of people in the Dominican Republic greeted new Baseball Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez after he landed Saturday, January 10, in his homeland aboard a private plane, bearing his country's flag. A caravan greeted the former Boston Red Sox pitcher at the airport and took him to a public park in Santo Domingo, where a crowd lined a 19-mile stretch of highway to catch a glimpse of him. Once at the park, Martinez went on stage accompanied by major league players David Ortiz and Robinson Cano, as merengue music played and fireworks lit up the sky.

To read, go to World Baseball

Derek Jeter Participates in Charity Baseball Game in Japan

Former major league teammates Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui took part in a charity baseball game to support survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Participating in the game at Tokyo Dome on Sunday, March 22, was a group of student baseball players from the Tohoku region that was devastated by the disaster that killed more than 15,000 people. "The kids had a magnificent day," said Matsui. "It was a wonderful few days." Jeter said, "Hideki showed me around, and I got a chance to see his hometown, and to top it off was this great charity event."

For the article, go to World Baseball

Dirk Fries, New Sports Director of German Baseball Federation

Dirk Fries, former pitcher on Germany's national team, has been appointed sports director of the German Baseball and Softball Federation. The 35-year-old who succeeds Michael Gomez-Kraemer, is responsible for the coordination of all baseball and softball national programs. Fries was a long-time member of Germany's National Team, pitching in several European championships, as well as the 2007 Baseball World Cup and the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Fries served as assistant baseball coach for Germany's national team under coach Greg Frady.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Kuroda and Matsuzaka Return to Japan to Pitch

Major League pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Daisuke Matsuzaka have returned to Japan to pitch. Pitching for Hiroshima Toyo Carp, Kuroda won his first game on his return home on Sunday, March 29. One of the most durable starters for the Yankees, Kuroda was 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA. Matsuzaka has signed a contract with the Softbank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League after pitching for eight years in Major League Baseball. In 2014, Matsuzaka went 3-3 with 78 K's for the New York Mets.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Heat Wins Second Straight Australian Baseball League Title

For the fourth time in five seasons, the Perth Heat are Australian Baseball League champions. They routed the Adelaide Bite, 12-5, in the decisive third game of the Finals. Former Phillies and Rangers prospect Tim Kennelly, pictured here, got Perth started with a mammoth two-run homer in the top of the first inning. Former Braves Minor Leaguer Craig Maddox pulled Adelaide within 9-4 with a three-run homer in the fourth. Twins catching prospect and Perth native Allan de San Miguel captured MVP honors.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Rangers' Kellin Deglan Blasts his Way into ABL History

When Kellin Deglan was first presented with the idea to travel to Australia for his North American offseason, he briefly filed it away in the back of his mind. Now, Deglan has etched his name in the Australia Baseball League record book. The Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces' slugger has taken his Down Under opportunity and made the most of it, breaking a modern ABL single-season record 16 home runs, with two rounds to go. Entering Round 10, the Texas Rangers prospect had hit 11 home runs through 32 games.

To read, go to World Baseball

Pirates Infielder Kang Hoping to Pave Way for other Koreans

After hitting an $11 million jackpot with the Pittsburgh Pirates, infielder Jung Ho Kang wants to pay it forward with other ball players in his native Korea. Kang signed a four-year contract with the Pirates, who in December agreed to pay a $5 million posting fee to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. Kang hit .356 with 40 home runs in 117 games last season in Korea. The 27-year-old Kang is the first position player to jump from the KBO to Major League Baseball.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Gordie Gillespie One of College Baseball's Most Winning Coaches

Gordie Gillespie, one of the most winning coaches in college baseball history, died February 28 at the age of 88 following a long illness. He had 2,402 wins in four sports, although he is most remembered for his accomplishments on the baseball diamond. Gillespie retired in 2011 with 1,893 victories, which were the most in college baseball at that time at any level until being passed by Augie Garrido in 2014. The coaching legend was inducted into 15 Halls of Fame and went 55 consecutive years (3,371) without missing a game.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

NCAA Reports Big Jump in Home Runs with New Flat-Seam Ball

The new flat-seam ball in college baseball is having the desired effect, with teams hitting 40 percent more home runs early in the 2015 season. The NCAA announced early in March that teams were hitting a home run about every other game. Last year, teams homered about once every three games through the first three weeks of the season. The flat-seam ball was introduced this season in an attempt to punch up a game that has seen steep declines in offense since new bat standards took effect in 2011.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Drew Rasmussen Tosses OSU Beavers' First Perfect Game

If anyone wondered how the Oregon State baseball team would replace a pair of all-conference pitchers this season, Drew Rasmussen delivered a resounding answer on Saturday, March 21. The freshman right-hander became the first Beaver to throw a perfect game and Oregon State defeated Washington State 3-0 in front of a crowd of 2,785 at Goss Stadium. He turned in just the fourth perfect game in Pac-12 Conference history. Rasmussen (3-0) struck out 10 batters and used 103 pitches to finish off the Cougars.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Torii Hunter Jr. Playing Baseball for Notre Dame

Torii Hunter Jr. grew up playing baseball. That should come as no surprise since his father is Twins outfielder and five-time All-Star Torii Hunter, but Hunter Jr., a sophomore wide receiver at Notre Dame, had not played the sport competitively since his junior year of high school. Injuries had forced him to focus only on football, and his scholarship was for football. His love for baseball, however, never went away. "I've done it my whole life," said Torii Jr. "I just need to get my timing down. I cover a lot of ground in the outfield."

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Hit By Pitch Epidemic Threatens Game Integrity

A massive amount of hit batters took place during the 2014 college baseball season, a good portion on purpose by hitters trying to gain an edge. As a result, the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has cracked down with precise wording in the rules to slow down this tactic. Batters purposely move into pitches as they are hit in many parts of their bodies to get on base. The new rule states that a batter must make an attempt to avoid being hit by the ball.

For the story, go to HS/College/Senior

Revised HBP Rule Will Make Baseball Better

One of the most divisive issues in college baseball is batters purposely getting hit by pitches. Those who despise hitters who do this feel the ethics of the game are at question, and this practice should never be allowed or tolerated by umpires. The other camp believes when their players purposely "take a dose" for the team, then it becomes a huge tactical advantage for them. A large number of batters purposely roll into pitches as they are hit in many parts of their bodies to get on base.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

West Virginia Coach Pushing April Start for College Baseball

The college baseball season would run from April to August instead of the traditional February to June under an ambitious plan by West Virginia coach Randy Mazey. He has been working on the idea for years, but it has drawn increased attention because of the cold wave that has caused scheduling havoc the first two weeks of the season even for teams in the South. Snow patches are pictured here covering parts of the outfield of Haymarket Park, home of the Nebraska NCAA college team in Lincoln, Nebraska.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Marc Wiese, Pacific Coast H.S. Baseball Coach of Year

Who would have thought that in Marc Wiese's 19th season coaching Puyallup High School baseball would be as memorable as it has been. Not only is 2014 be the year the Vikings won their first Class 4A state championship with a perfect record (28-0), but they did it while receiving national attention. Last June, Wiese was named the Pacific Coast Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. In explaining his team's success, "I used to pressure my players on games, trying to emphasize the importance each game was. We decided to treat it differently and put that same pressure from the games on our players during practice."

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Bush League Boys: The Postwar Legends of Baseball

The end of World War II brought a craving for normality, which for Americans has long meant baseball. By 1950, there were nearly 60 professional baseball leagues scattered across the United States, and the Southwest was far from immune to the baseball bug. In his latest book, Albuquerque native Toby Smith chronicles the league's 15-year roller-coaster ride of existence. Smith combines his passion for sports and his knowledge of New Mexico in his book on baseball history in the American Southwest, with emphasis on the mythical nature of the home run.

To read, go to News Release

Little League Strips U.S. Winner of Title for Cheating

Little League International has stripped Jackie Robinson West of the national title that the Chicago team won last summer after an investigation revealed it had falsified boundaries to field ineligible players. In a stunning announcement on February 11 that came months after the all-black team captured the attention of the country, the baseball organization also found that after the boundaries were changed, league officials went to surrounding leagues to convince them to go along with what they'd done.

For the story, go to News Release

Sandlot Baseball Filled the Day for Kids

Somewhere, surely there is a boy this summer with a baseball glove dangling from the handlebar of his bicycle, on his way to a hastily put together, loosely organized version of our national pastime. Somewhere the youngsters found an empty diamond and quickly picked teams and went at it under the mid-day sun, and into dusk. Someone brought a bat, someone brought a ball, and right field was out. They played for hours, until the light of day abandoned them. Surely this must go on, somewhere in America.

To read, go to Youth Baseball

Sandlot Baseball Was a Hit

Before Little League, before Pony League, before Babe Ruth League, on Janey Way in Sacramento, California, we had sandlot baseball. We began by playing catch on the street with rubberized baseballs, but that soon failed to satisfy our need for real competition. So we searched for a place to make a field. That was easy because almost exactly in the middle of Janey Way stood two adjacent empty lots. They made a perfect sandlot baseball field.

For the story, go to Youth Baseball

How to Set Up a Sandlot Baseball Game

From the time he was eight or nine, up until he was about 15, R.J. Licata was a master at organizing neighborhood games. As he looks back now, he is amazed at all the things he learned by taking on this task. “Think about the different hats I wore just trying to get a game of baseball organized. There was a lot of carefree time-wasting, but when it was time to get down to business, we knew what we needed to do.”

For the article, go to Youth Baseball

Sandlot Kids

Getting Kids Back to Sandlot Baseball

The key to the revival of the sandlot baseball game are the thousands of public recreation and park agencies across the country. Children today do not play enough park and school playground baseball, and there is a long, overdue need to revive the concept and promote a nationwide movement. More opportunities to play baseball in parks and playgrounds need to be provided by local park and recreation departments and school districts. City playgrounds should be open longer and the necessary equipment provided. A major effort should be made to have local recreation and park agencies nationwide, coordinated by the National Recreation and Park Association, spearhead such a movement.

To learn more, go to Youth Baseball

Revival of Baseball Pick-up Games

The best way to get children to play more baseball on their own is to promote the return of pick-up games. The youth of America need to be taught how to organize pick-up games. In the Youth Baseball page, Don Weiskopf, publisher of Baseball Play America, explains the rules on how eleven favorite pick-up games are played. They include Work-up, Over the Line, Scrub, Catch a Fly and You’re Up, and a couple of Brent Mayne’s favorites, First to Ten and Play Catch.

For the rules, go to Youth Baseball

Sandlot play in Chicago

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