Volume XII November 2014 through February 2015 Issue 49

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Giants Defeat Royals 3-2 to Win 2014 World Series

Madison Bumgarner highlighted his World Series performance by pitching the San Francisco Giants to their third championship in five years with a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on October 29. The big left-hander came out of the bullpen to throw five scoreless innings in two days rest, saving a Series pushed to the limit. And by winning Game 7 on the road, Bumgarner and the Giants succeeded when no team had in 3 1/2 decades. In another story, Royals Rout Giants 10-0 to Force Game 7.

For the stories, go to Major League

Madison Bumgarner Wins World Series MVP

Madison Bumgarner capped off a performance for the ages and earned Most Valuable Player honors, pitching five scoreless innings of relief in Game 7 as the Giants held off the Kansas City Royals. Bumgarner earned a sensational save to go along with two sparkling wins as a starter in the Series and pitching a record 52 2/3 innings in the postseason. He threw two shutouts in October, starting with a win at Pittsburgh in the Wild-card game.

To read, go to Major League

Royals Find Right Recipe for Small-Market Success

The recipe for small-market success in baseball generally is: Develop talent through your farm system, strike on a couple reclamation projects, uncover a few diamonds in the rough and then make one or two big trades to put the team over the top. The Kansas City Royals followed that blueprint to near-perfection, a big reason why the long-down trodden franchise lead the American League Central and made its first playoff appearance in nearly 30 years.

For the story, go to Major League

Yankee Legend Derek Jeter Retires After Great Career

Regardless of who your favorite Major League Baseball team is, it is a sad time for baseball. Derek Jeter, one of the greatest and classiest players to ever play the game, put on the New York Yankees uniform for the last time. When looking back in Major League history, there are few who have accomplished as much as the 40-year-old Yankees longtime shortstop. September 28th, 2014, was the final time that the famous #2 Yankees uniform is worn, as the retiring Jeter's number. In another article, Derek Jeter Starts his Finale at Yankee Stadium with a Double.

For the stories, go to Newsletter and Major League

As He Bows Out, Bud Selig Sees Positive Signs

On the final day of his final season as commissioner -- the day of the last game to be played with his signature on the baseball -- Bud Selig was invigorated. Selig is 80 years old and has held his job for more than 22 years. His top lieutenant, Rob Manfred, will succeed him after his term expires on January 24. A World Series ending at Kauffman Stadium was a fitting finale for Selig. Without an expanded playoff field -- and revenue sharing -- the Wild-card Royals would still be in postseason purgatory.

To read, go to News Release and Major League

Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout Win MVP Awards

A day after unanimously taking the National League Cy Young Award, Clayton Kershaw completed a Los Angeles sweep. Angels outfielder Mike Trout was a pick for the American League MVP. He and Kershaw both led their teams to West Division titles. Trout hit .287 and set career highs in home runs (36) and RBIs (111) while leading the major leagues in runs with 115. Kershaw led the majors in wins and ERA while going 21-3 with a 1.77 and throwing a no-hitter.

For the story, go to Newsletter

In First Five Years, Buster Posey Evoking Legendary Backstops

Buster Posey is a special player off to a rare start to his Major League career. Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors speak to his individual talents. Three World Series rings are testament to his leadership qualities, both behind and beside the plate. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy believes the 27-year-old catalyst of the Giants' run of success is putting himself in very rare air. "Buster's really going to be one of the elite catchers of all time in the game," said Bochy.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Houston's Jose Altuve Wins American League Batting Crown

In a bizarre twist before the season finale, Jose Altuve talked his way into the lineup and wrapped up the American League batting title with two more hits against the New York Mets on September 28. He became the first Houston player to take home a batting crown. About 35 minutes before the game, the Astros inserted Altuve in the lineup, saying he deserves the right to make the decision. Altuve hit a ground-rule double and a run-scoring infield single, ending the season with 225 hits and a .341 average -- both best in the majors.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Rob Manfred Replaces His Boss as Baseball Commissioner

Rob Manfred was elected baseball's 10th commissioner on August 14, winning a three-man race to succeed Bud Selig and given a mandate by the tradition-bound sport to recapture young fans and speed play. The 55-year-old Manfred, who has worked for Major League Baseball in roles with ever-increasing authority since 1998, will take over from the 80-year old Selig on January 25. "I am tremendously honored by the confidence that the owners have showed in me," Manfred said. "I have very big shoes to fill."

Another story on Manfred is, The Case for Changing Baseball

To read, go to Major League and Newsletter

Bruce Bochy Has The Postseason Touch With Giants

Bruce Bochy is clearly in charge of the San Francisco Giants. This fall, he guided the Giants into the World Series for the third time in five years, becoming just the 10th manager with three rings. Every manager in that group is in the Hall of Fame. Bochy insists he doesn't dwell on his accomplishments. "I'm fortunate that I have a great club, a gritty team with a lot of character that plays to win," he said. "It's all about our players and ownership. They've given me the tools, and that's how this works."

In another article, Giants Defeat Nationals in Longest Post Season Game Ever.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber Win Cy Young Awards

Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw was a unanimous choice for his third National League Cy Young Award, and Cleveland's Corey Kluber edged Seattle's Felix Hernandez to win the American League honor for the first time. Kershaw led the majors in victories and ERA and threw a no-hitter, going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA for the NL West Champions. A 28-year-old right-hander, Kluber went 18-9 to tie for the AL lead in wins. He had a 2.44 ERA in his first full major league season and 269 strikeouts. Kluber pitched consecutive 14-strikeout games in September.

To read, go to News Release

Wild-Card Teams Have Dominated the MLB Postseason

Like him or not, outgoing MLB Commissioner Bud Selig brought some changes to the game of baseball in the last two decades -- most notably the expansion of the post season in 1994, even though it wasn't until 1995 that we saw it happen for real. Major League Baseball has turned its playoffs into a month-long baseball festival. While the MLB has succeeded in providing many postseason games and involving 10 teams in them, it is questionable whether or not it has succeeded in building up World Series that are worthy of being the final act. In another story, Should Major League Baseball Expand Post Season Format?

For the story, go to Major League

Vin Scully Honored by Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully received the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award for his record 65 years of calling Los Angeles Dodgers games on September 5. Retiring Commissioner Bud Selig gave Scully the gold trophy at Dodger Stadium. "Vin Scully is a treasure of the National Pastime," said Selig. "From Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Vin has depicted the history of the Dodgers and the timeless beauty of our game with class and grace. Major League Baseball is honored to commend Vin Scully's 65 years of excellence."

For the article, go to Newsletter

Buck Showalter, Matt Williams MLB's Top Managers

Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles was voted American League Manager of the Year for the third time, and Washington's Matt Williams won the National League honor following his first season as a big league skipper. Showalter guided the Orioles to a 96-66 record and their first AL East title since 1997. He became the third Orioles winner, following Frank Robinson in 1989 and Davey Johnson in 1997. Williams, who played under Showalter in Arizona from 1998-2000, guided the Nationals to an NL-best 96 wins. Williams credited his players for the award, saying, "These guys made my transition easy."

To read, go to Newsletter

Adam Wainwright Wins 20 Games For Second Time

Adam Wainwright joined Clayton Kershaw as the majors' only 20-game winners, pitching three-hit ball over seven innings to defeat the Chicago Cubs 8-0 on September 22. He hit the 20-win mark for the second time. His run the past five years has been impressive. Two more times, he finished with 19 victories, and he hasn't won fewer than 14 in that stretch. "It's a tremendous honor," Wainwright said about winning 20, "but more important, it's a big win for our team." Cardinals manager Mike Matheny looked at Wainwright's run over the past five years and summed it up with one word. "Wow," said Matheny. "He's in a very elite group."

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Giancarlo Stanton Agrees to Record $325M Deal With Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton agreed to terms with the Miami Marlins on a $325 million, 13-year contract, said Miami owner Jeffrey Loria. It's the most lucrative deal for an American athlete and averages $25 million per season, or $154,321 per game. The deal includes a no-trade clause, and Stanton can opt out after six years, Loria said. "It's a landmark moment for the franchise and Giancarlo, and it's for the city and fans to rally around," Loria said. Stanton, who turned 25 on November 8, is perhaps the game's most feared slugger. He has 154 career homers despite playing home games in spacious Marlins Park.

For the article, go to Major League

Rawlings Announces 2014 Gold Glove Award Winners

Three Baltimore Orioles players, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosner and Salvador Perez, were among those honored by Rawlings Sporting Goods for fielding excellence. St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina received the award for the seventh year in a row. Gordon, pictured here making a diving catch, won for the fourth straight year. Managers and coaches voted for the awards in their own leagues. Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones won for the fourth time.

For all the Gold Glove Award winners, go to Feature Stories

Jordan Zimmermann's No-hitter Ends on Great Grab

One out away from pitching the Washington Nationals' first no-hitter, Jordan Zimmermann watched his 104th pitch get smacked toward deep left-center. He leaned his head back and winced. His first thought was: "Double. No-doubt double." But thanks to a dramatic, diving grab by Steven Souza Jr., Zimmermann completed his gem, a 1-0 victory for the NL East Champion Nationals over the Miami Marlins on September 28. Souza sprinted, extended his glove and leaped for the sensational catch, using his bare hand to squeeze the ball in his mitt as he fell.

For the story, go to News Release

Alex Rodriguez Admits to Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs

New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview with federal agents investigating a Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of baseball's doping scandal, the Miami Herald reported on November 5. Rodriguez admitted to Federal investigators he used Steroids supplied by the owner of a now-closed South Florida clinic. He told them he used banned substances between late 2010 and October 2012 supplied by Anthony Bosch, who owned the Biogenesis of America Clinic in Coral Gables.

For the article, go to Performance Enhancers

Major League Batting Averages Lowest Since 1972

The final numbers are in, and Major League Baseball's batting average hasn't been this low since Richard Nixon was in the White House, and the designated hitter was a radical proposal limited to spring training experiments. Big league hitters batted .251 this year, down two points from last season and 20 points lower than the Steroids Era peak in 1999. Hall of Famer George Brett says times have changed from the days fast ball pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Goose Gossage stood out. "Now, a lot of guys throw 95 or higher," Brett said. "Every team has them."

For the story, go to Major League

Albert Pujols' Milestone Night Kept Angels Out in Front

Albert Pujols has a giant trophy room in the basement of his house in St. Louis. The collection grew on Sept. 6, a night that saw Pujols reach 2,500 career hits and 1,500 career runs in the Angels' third straight victory. Pujols' third-inning solo homer, his 25th of the year, giving him 87 RBIs on the season, made him the 98th member of the 2,500-hits club. Pujols, who turns 35 in January, is only the 11th player since 1901 to reach 1,500 runs by his age-34 season. He's now one of 14 players all-time with at least 13 seasons of 25-plus homers.

To read, go to Newsletter

George Shuba, Former Brooklyn Dodger, Dead at 83

George Shuba, the Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder who played in three World Series during the 1950s but who was best remembered for his welcoming gesture to Jackie Robinson at home plate on the day Robinson, as a minor leaguer, broke baseball's color barrier, died on September 29 at his home in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 89. On April 18, 1946, Robinson made his debut with the Dodgers' Montreal Royals farm team. In the third inning, Robinson hit a three-run home run. When he completed his trip around the bases, Shuba, the Royals next batter who was white, shook his hand. Shuba's welcome to a smiling Robinson was captured in this AP photo that has endured as a portrait of racial tolerance.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Joe Torre's Number Retired by the Yankees

Joe Torre lingered on the field at Yankee Stadium, hugging each one of the guests on hand August 23, to honor New York's four-time World Series winning manager. The recently inducted Hall of Famer unveiled his number alongside those of 16 other retired numbers. Torre, now an executive vice president for Major League Baseball, is the fourth member of the Yankees teams that won four W.S. titles from 1996-2000 to be honored in Monument Park. The Yankees made the playoffs in each of Torre's 12 seasons, winning six American League pennants. He was 1,173-767-2 in the regular season and 76-47 record in the postseason.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Hunter Pence Reveals Character With Salute to Troops

Hunter Pence rounded the bases after his first-inning home run in Game 1 of the World Series. His two-run blast gave San Francisco a 3-0 lead, with Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Before the start of the game, the service men and service women who had presented the giant American flag for the national anthem at Kauffman Stadium were lined up along the warning track, holding the flag. And there was Pence taking the time and effort to thank those who have dedicated their lives to the service of their country. That's the type of guy you can root for, even if you're not a Giants fan.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Don's Favorite Baseball Photographs

Most of Don Weiskopf's favorite baseball photos appear in three of the many textbooks he wrote and compiled on the great American pastime. They are Baseball, the Major League Way, followed later by two books he co-authored with Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The many sequence-series photographs were taken with a high-speed 35 mm camera that he used at big league ballparks. Don's new Photo Gallery include Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax, shown here, Bobby Richardson, Tony Kubek, Brooks Robinson, Tom Seaver, Henry Aaron, Wes Parker, Maury Wills, Jim Fregosi, and Bill Russell.

For the story, go to Photogallery

Josh Beckett Retires After 14-Year Pitching Career

Josh Beckett, veteran pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has retired at age 34, ending a 14-year career that included two World Series championships. Beckett, who threw a no-hitter last May, was on the disabled list much of the season. He was 6-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 20 starts. At his peak, Beckett was one of the best clutch pitchers in baseball. He became one of the youngest World Series MVPs in history at age 23 with the Florida Marlins. For his career, he went 138-106, compiling a 3.88 ERA. He won the World Series with the Marlins in 2003 and Red Sox in 2007.

For the career story, go to Newsletter

Throwing the Curveball

A good curveball can be a devastating weapon against the hitter. No hitter can hit the really good breaking stuff consistently. Sal "The Barber" Maglie, who threw a razor sharp curve, once boasted, "I don't believe there is such a thing as a good curveball hitter." A quality curveball can be highly effective in striking out hitters as well as setting up a double play. Featured in Don's in-depth and well illustrated study on throwing the curveball are sequence-series photos he took of Vernon Law, Scott Sanderson, Harvey Haddix, Warren Spahn, Larry Christenson, and David Palmer.

To read and view, go to Skills and Strategies

Alvin Dark, 92, Is Dead; Led Giants to 3 Pennants

Alvin Dark, who was the All-Star shortstop and captain of the New York Giants' pennant-winning teams in the 1950s and went on to manage the team to a pennant in San Francisco, died on November 13, at his home in Easley, South Carolina. He was 92. Dark played in three World Series, with the Boston Braves in 1948 and with the Giants in 1951 and 1954. In the '54 World Series, highlighted by Willie Mays' famed over-the-head catch, Dark hit .412 as the Giants swept the Cleveland Indians. In 1974, he managed the Oakland A's to a World Series title, followed by a division title in 1975.

For his career story, go to Major League

Blue Jays Rally from 5-0 Deficit to Win Game in the 19th

Jose Bautista's single in the 19th inning drove in the winning run, as the host Toronto Blue Jays rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win the longest game in franchise history, beating the Detroit Tigers, 6-5, on August 10. Munenori Kawasaki singled to begin the 19th and advanced to third on an errant throw and a sacrifice bunt. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Bautista, who ended the game with a single over the drawn-in outfield, sending his teammates out of the dugout in celebration.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Konerko, Rollins Are Co-Winners of Roberto Clemente Award

Two veteran standouts who have become iconic for their 16 and 15 years playing for a single team have become the first co-winners of Major League Baseball's annual Roberto Clemente Award for service to their communities. First baseman Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies were honored October 24 for their contributions both on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

To read, go to Feature Stories

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.

For the new edition, go to Coaching Clinic

Jerry Lumpe, Infielder for Yankees in Two World Series, Dies

Jerry Lumpe, who played the infield for the Yankees in two World Series in the 1950s and later was an All-Star second baseman with the Detroit Tigers, died on August 15 in Springfield, Missouri. He was 81. His wife, Vivian Lumpe, said the cause was cancer. When Lumpe made his Yankee debut in 1956, he had something in common with Mickey Mantle. Both were from the Ozarks, Mantle an Oklahoman, and Lumpe from Missouri. Lumpe played 12 seasons in the major leagues. His best season came in 1962, when he hit .301 for Kansas City and drove in 83 runs.

For his career story, go to News Release

Brett Hayes Powers Omaha Storm Chasers for Triple-A Title

The Omaha Storm Chasers provided a sendoff to the Minor League season with another dose of excitement. This time it came in the form of catcher Brett Hayes' two-run go-ahead homer in the seventh inning that sent the Storm Chasers to their second straight victory in the Triple-A National Championship Game, a 4-2 triumph over the Pawtucket Red Sox September 16, at BB&T Ball Park. Five pitchers combined on an eight-hitter as Omaha overcame Pawtucket's occasional power display, and a lengthy rain delay.

To read, go to Minor League

Cubs Prospect Kris Bryant Earns Minor League Player of Year

Kris Bryant anchors the newest generation of big-swing, short-memory hitters in baseball. His booming bat is the reason the Chicago Cubs invested their largest signing bonus in history -- nearly $6.71 million in 2013, and the reason he has been selected as the 2014 USA TODAY Sports Minor League Player of the Year. Bryant led the minor leagues with 43 homers, while recording 110 RBI and a .325 batting average between Classes AAA and AA. Bryant is fully aware of the edge-of-their-bleacher seats expectations in Chicago -- and is shying away from none of it.

For the article, go to Minor League

Rawlings, Minor Leagues Announce 2014 Gold Glovers

Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., have announced Minor League Baseball's recipients of the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. Pictured here are Toledo first baseman Jordan Lennerton (Detroit); Josh Geer, San Antonio pitcher (San Diego); Tony Kemp, Second baseman, Lancaster/Corpus Chrisi (Houston); and Lancaster catcher Roberto Pena (Houston). Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball's top defensive players, during the 2015 season.

For the story, go to Minor League

PCL's Branch Rickey Wins Second Warren Giles Award

Minor League Baseball has announced that it has selected Pacific Coast League President Branch B. Rickey as the recipient of the 31st annual Warren Giles Award, which honors outstanding services as a league president. The award has been presented annually since 1984 and is named for the long-time baseball executive who served as National League president from 1951 to 1969. Rickey has served as a league president in Triple-A baseball leagues for more than 20 years.

In another story, Knights' Dan Rajkowski Named IL Executive of the Year.

To read, go to Minor League

Fred Costello Keeps Sweet Tune in Rochester

Ballpark organists are an endangered species in professional baseball, right up with players who hit without batting gloves and games that take under two and a half hours to complete. But at Rochester's Frontier Field, home of the Triple-A Red Wings, the mellifluous tones of the sport's most iconic instrument are still heard on a nightly basis. Fred Costello is the reason why. A New York native, he has played the organ at Red Wings games for each of the past 38 seasons. After he and his wife, Cathie, had their first child, the Costello's decided to move back to her hometown of Rochester.

To learn more about Fred's musical career, go to Minor League

Hillsboro Hops End Canadians' Reign, Win First title

When the final out of the Northwest League season landed in first baseman Kevin Cron's glove, Hillsboro Hops manager J.R. House's immediate reaction wasn't emotional. It was physical. "Well, I got bear-hugged by (hitting coach) Mark Grace and (pitching coach) Doug Drabek at the same time." With the first title in franchise history just one win away, Hillsboro grabbed an early lead Sunday, Sept. 8, and beat Vancouver, 4-3, to complete a sweep of the best-of-3 Northwest League Championship Series.

For the article, go to Minor League

Netherlands Wins 2014 European Baseball Championship

The Netherlands have won their 21st European Baseball Championship. In the 33rd edition of the top European Baseball Tournament, the Dutch National Team defeated Italy 6-3 in the Gold Medal Game in Brno, Czech Republic on Sunday, September 21. Kalian Sams and Curt Smith, pictured here tagging a base runner, each hit a pair of home runs in the final. Italy had won the last two European Championships in Stuttgart and Rotterdam. Rob Cordemans of the Netherlands threw four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. He struck out six.

For the story, go to World Baseball

Team USA Baseball Collegiate Team Wins Honkbal MVP

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team defeated Japan, 6-3, to win the championship game at the 27th edition of the Haarlem--Honkbal Week at Pim Mulier Stadium on July 20. The Honkbal Week Championship is the fourth in the history of the Collegiate National Team, having previously won the title in 2000, 2002 and 2008. It now holds an all-time record of 29-5 in the tournament. Alex Bregman (LSU) was named the Honkbal Week Most Valuable Player

To read, go to World Baseball

Baseball in Europe Experiencing Steady Rise in Participation

Baseball in Europe is experiencing a steady rise in participation and popularity. The successful European championship involved two of Europe's leading sporting and Olympic nations -- the Netherlands and Italy. "Our sport has never been more universal than it is today across both genders," according to World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari. "This highlights the excellent strategic planning and commitment of our National Federations in attracting young talented athletes to our sport."

For the story, go to World Baseball

Japan No-hits MLB All-Stars in Game 3 Win

Hayato Sakamoto and Sho Nakata both hit two-run homers and starter Takahiro Norinoto combined with three pitchers on a no-hitter as Japan beat the Major League Baseball All-Stars 4-0, November 15, to take a 3-0 lead in their five-game series. Norimoto struck out six over five perfect innings to pick up the win. Ryosuke Kikuchi, left, and Norimoto are shown here celebrating. "It's too good to be true," Norimoto said. "I wanted to see how my pitches would work against MLB hitters."

For the article, go to World Baseball

MLB All-Stars Beat Japan 3-1 in Final Game of Tour

Matt Shoemaker combined with four relievers on a four-hitter to upstage Shohei Otani, and the Major League Baseball All-Stars beat Japan 3-1 on November 18 in the finale of their five-game series. Randy Choate, Tommy Hunter and Mark Melancon finished as the MLB All-Stars won the last two games after an 0-3 start. "Our experiences over here was very positive," said Boston's John Farrell, the All-Star's manager. "All five games were competitive. We faced some very good pitching. Unfortunately, we lost a couple of players to injury, but overall it was a very positive experience for us."

To read, go to World Baseball

Yasmany Tomas Leads Latest Influx of Cuban Stars

Outfielder Yasmany Tomas has become a central figure this offseason. Tomas, 23, pictured here, leads a new wave of Cuban players on the market who could end up at a spring training facility or big league stadium in the near future. It is uncertain where the players will sign. it's also unclear what type of contract Tomas or any of his countrymen will command when they come to terms with a club. Rusney Castillo has signed a seven-year, $72 million deal with the Red Sox in August. Jose Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million contract, and Yasiel Puig inked a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Dodgers in June, 2012.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Japan wins LL Title

Troy Percival Named Head Baseball Coach at UC Riverside

Former Anaheim Angels reliever Troy Percival has been named the new head baseball coach at the University of California-Riverside. Percival attended UC Riverside for three years, playing college baseball there before being drafted by the then California Angels as a catcher. Percival was moved to relief pitcher after a year in the minor leagues, and would go on to be a four-time All-Star with a lifetime 3.17 ERA and 358 saves. He played 14 seasons in the major leagues. In another story, Mark Martinez Promoted to head Coach at San Diego State.

For the stories, go to HS/College/Senior

Paul Konerko's Baseball Legend Began in High School

Paul Konerko is revered in Chicago for his 16-year stay with the White Sox, but his legend took root in the early 1990s at Scottsdale Chaparral High School, where it seemed clear he was destined for greatness. As a senior catcher in 1994, Konerko hit .564 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs to help deliver the first state baseball title for Chaparral High School and his coach Jerry Dawson. "The first time you saw Paul swing a bat, you knew he had a chance to be a hitter," said Dawson.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

John Winkin, Legendary College Baseball Coach, Dies

John Winkin, the University of Maine head baseball coach for 22 years who led the Black Bears to six College World Series appearances, passed away July 19. It was just four days short of his 95th birthday. As a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy during World War II, Winkin served his country with distinction. He served in the Pacific for four and one-half years. During his long coaching career, Winkin won over 1,000 games at Maine, Husson College and Colby College. He was inducted into six Halls of Fame, including the ABCA in 1979. More than 90 of Winkin's players went on to sign professional contracts.

For the story, go to HS/College/Senior

Fresh From Campus, Royals' Brandon Finnegan Making History

Brandon Finnegan, the Kansas City Royals rookie left-hander, is the first to play in both the College World Series and the Major League World Series in the same year. The 21-year-old was pitching for Texas Christian University in June. Among his six post season appearances, Finnegan pitched a scoreless two-third of an inning in helping the Royals earn a 3-2 win over the Giants in Game 3 of the 2014 World Series. In another article, Finnegan's Cap Heads to Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to Honor Achievement.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Santa Barbara Foresters Defeat Seattle for 5th NBC W.S. Title

The Santa Barbara Foresters beat the Seattle Studs 3-2 in 12 innings on August 9 for its fifth National Baseball Congress World Series Championship since 2006. The Studs were stymied in their efforts to win back-to-back titles. The Foresters would not be denied a third time in the 80th annual championship, overcoming deficits twice before prevailing at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. Santa Barbara scored single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to tie the game, and went ahead for good in the 12th on Granger Studdard's two-out double.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Brooklawn Wins Second Straight American Legion World Series

For the fourth time in team history and the second consecutive year, Brooklawn, New Jersey won the American Legion World Series with a mercy-rule victory, this time a 18-0 rout of Midland, Michigan Post 165, in seven innings. Representing Post 72 in the tiny town in Camden County, the team jumped to a 10-0 lead after three innings and cruised to victory in the title game in Shelby, North Carolina. The defending champions were coached by Dennis Barth. Brooklawn's starting pitcher Tyler Mondile delivered a brilliant performance on the mound. He went the distance, allowing just five hits and striking out five.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Mo'ne Davis Dominates at Little League World Series

Mo'ne Davis was on the mound for the first time since her brilliant performance in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, when she lead Taney Youth Baseball Association of Philadelphia to the World Series. Davis gave up a pair of infield hits and struck out eight in a 4-0 victory over Nashville. With each out in the final inning, the cheers became louder, and when Davis struck out the final batter, she became the first girl in Little League W.S. history to earn a win. She had become an inspiration virtually overnight. In another story, South Korea Beats Chicago 8-4 to Win Little League World Series.

For the stories, go to Newsletter

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

Sandlot Kids 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

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

Sandlot play in Chicago

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

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