Volume XII March through June, 2014 Issue 47

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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Major League Baseball Begins Play in North America

After a frigid winter of blizzards for much of the United States, baseball came storming back March 30-31, when 26 major league teams opened their seasons. On Sunday night, the Padres rallied to beat the Dodgers 3-1 in San Diego. The game marked the North American start to the 2014 Major League Baseball season. The Phillies' Jimmy Rollins began the season on Monday with a slam, and Neil Walker of the Pirates hit a walk-off home run. The Nationals made a thrilling ninth-inning comeback to defeat the New York Mets, 9-7. Pictured here is a giant American flag being unfurled before the game at Citi Field. Major League Baseball now has an innovative replay system for the umpires, with video reviews of close plays.

For the article, go to Major League

Dodgers Defeat D-backs 3-1, 7-5 as Season Opens in Australia

The Los Angeles Dodgers opened the Major League Baseball season with a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A crowd of about 40,000 watched the first regular-season major league game in Australia. Clayton Kershaw flashed his Cy Young Award form, allowing one run and five hits in six and two-thirds innings. Scott Van Slyke hit a two-run homer and doubled. The following day, the Dodgers beat Arizona 7-5 for a Down Under sweep. Yasiel Puig had three hits and two RBIs to back a scoreless outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu.

To read, go to Major League

Max Scherzer Begins Follow-up to Cy Young Season

When Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers took the mound on February 28 in Lakeland, Florida, he felt like the offseason had flown by. He had gotten married, a new manager, and seen the team behind him transformed. The way he pitched against the Yankees looked like he had picked up where he left off last year when he won the AL Cy Young Award with the best season record by a major league pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2001. "I try to attack the zone," said Scherzer, "throw first pitch strikes and locate my fastball."

For the story, go to News Release

Chris Davis Rewrote Orioles Record Book with Power Displays

Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles turned his career around in 2012, hitting 33 home runs. It actually turned out to be a warm-up act for one of the most prolific power displays in recent memory. Davis' 53 home runs in 2013 led the majors by nine, set an Orioles record and made him only the second player to reach the 50-homer plateau since 2008. It's no wonder the man they call "Crush" received the most All-Star votes in either league and won a Silver Slugger Award.

To read, go to Newsletter

Miguel Cabrera Signs Record Contract Extension with Tigers

Tigers' owner Mike Ilitch got the super star he wanted with a shocking trade for Miguel Cabrera seven seasons ago. Three batting titles, two MVP Award, and a Triple Crown later, the Tigers likely ensured they will keep their super-star for the rest of his career. It qualifies for the largest contract in baseball history, reportedly $292 million for the next 10 seasons. The Tigers signed Cabrera with two years to go before potential free agency. Another article on the Tigers' slugger is The Unforgettable Sight and Sound of Cabrera's Swings.

For the stories, go to Major League and Newsletter

After a Great Rookie Year, Mike Trout Outdoes Himself Again

One year after turning in one of the most impressive rookie seasons of all time, all Mike Trout did in his 2013 sophomore season was cement his place as the best all-around player in the game. Trout, with this past season, has already joined Willie Mays (1957-58) as the only two players in Major League history with at least two years with a .320 average, 25 home runs and 30 steals. Of all his eye-popping numbers, Trout takes the most pride in reaching triple digits in both runs scored and walks. On August 7, he turned 22 years old.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Greg Maddux, A Master of the Pitching Craft

By the time Greg Maddux joined the Atlanta Braves for the 1993 season, he was a Cy Young Award winner. Tom Glavine, this year's third new member of the Hall of Fame, explained that his old teammate's main lesson for pitchers was pretty basic: change speeds and locate. More than anything else, fellow pitchers would ask Maddux how he threw his two-seam fastball. That pitch helped Maddux collect 3,371 strikeouts, against just 999 walks. When he retired, Maddux had 355 victories.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Bud Selig, A Final Swing at History

Bud Selig is a self-described history buff who would rather let history judge him than the other way around. Only one of the nine men who have held the title of commissioner of baseball has served longer than Selig, and that was the first, the legendary Kenesaw Mountain Landis. He leaves the game at financial heights he never could have imagined, from $1.2 billion in annual revenue in 1992 to more than $8 billion last year. "We have really competitive divisions this year," said Selig." It's going to be remarkable."

For the story, go to Major League

Jackie Robinson Integrates Baseball

By being the first to break the unwritten rule forbidding integration in baseball, Jackie Robinson changed the face of sports over the last half of the 20th century. Robinson will be honored each year at all major league ball parks hosting a game on April 15, the anniversary of the date he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the first African-American to play in the major leagues after nearly seventy years of segregation and prejudice.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Maddux, Glavine and Thomas Elected to Hall of Fame

A new generation of starting pitchers and a self-proclaimed Mr. Clean of the Steroids Era will be ushered into baseball's Hall of Fame in July. For tainted players, however, the doors to Cooperstown remain bolted. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected on their first ballot appearance. Maddux and Glavine spent an entire decade together (1993-2002) in which neither ever had a losing record or lost a start to an injury.

To read, go to Newsletter

Sandy Koufax's Opening Day Start, April 14, 1964

April 14 will mark the 50th anniversary of Sandy Koufax's only Opening Day start in a Hall of Fame career. Don Drysdale, the big right-hander, started on Opening Day in 1958-61, '63 and '65. For Koufax, '64 was his turn and his time. The 50,451 fans at Dodger Stadium saw one of the greatest left-handers in major league history, scatter six singles and shut out the eventual World Series champion Cardinals. Koufax went out in style and became the youngest former player ever inducted in Cooperstown.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Cox, La Russa and Torre Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Retired managers Bbby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame by the expansion era committee. They will be inducted in July. Cox managed the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays for 29 seasons, leading his teams to 15 first-place finishes, and 5 National League pennants. La Russa led his teams to 12 first place finishes and three World Series titles. Torre managed the Yankees to six American League pennants and four World Series titles.

To read and view, go to News Release

Pete Rose's Absence is Biggest Strike Against Hall of Fame

When Pete Rose enters the Hall of Fame, it will finally regain its legitimacy. His lifetime numbers are unapproachable, as is the fact that he played on winners. Not only does Rose hold the Major League record for hits (4,256), he owned the record for most post-season hits when he retired (86). He won three World Series titles with two different teams. Rose deserves enshrinement for his play on the field. He could be voted on by the Veterans Committee if he were re-instated under current rules.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Dr. Frank Jobe of Tommy John Surgery Dies at 88

Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died March 6. He was 88. Dr. Jobe performed ground breaking elbow surgery on John, a Dodgers pitcher who had a ruptured medial collateral ligament in his left elbow. John went on to pitch 14 years after the operation on Sept. 25, 1974, compiling 164 more victories.

To read, go to News Release

Terry Francona Restores Winning Culture to Tribe in 2013

While Terry Francona's return to the dugout was the big story around the Indians in spring training, he knew he was taking over a team with potential. In the end, after a solid 2013 season, capped with a magical September, Francona and his players hosted the American League Wild Card Game against the Rays. "It's easy to see why he's had winning teams under him," said Jason Kipnis in spring training. "The guy has meetings every morning. He's here with a purpose every single day."

For the story, go to Newsletter

Roy Halladay Retires After Brilliant Pitching Career

Roy Halladay gave his body to baseball. When it gave out, with his back and shoulder severely compromised, it seemed to go quickly. In 2011, He was the runner-up for what would have been his third Cy Young Award. Two years later, he is done. Halladay, 36, announced his retirement from baseball in December. In this age of specialization, he threw 67 complete games. He went 170-75 with a 2.97 ERA, a perfect game, and a postseason no-hitter. In another story, "Halladay Returns to Spring Training".

For both stories, go to News Release

Ralph Kiner, Hall of Fame Slugger and Broadcaster

Ralph Kiner, who slugged his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame and enjoyed a half-century career as a popular broadcaster, has died. He was 91. Kiner hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career, mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The six-time All-Star still ranks sixth all-time with a home run every 14.1 at-bats. Kiner averaged more than 100 RBIs per season and hit .279 with the Pirates, Cubs and Cleveland. As a baseball broadcaster, "Kiner's Komer" was a delight for players and fans alike where players would join Kiner for postgame chats.

For the article, go to Major League

Expanded Replay Approved, To Begin this Season

Major League Baseball has announced that all 30 clubs have unanimously approved the expansion of instant replay for the upcoming regular season and playoffs. The World Umpires Association and the Major League Baseball Players Association have also given their consent. Managers will be given at least one challenge to use in every game, and if that given play is overturned by a replay review, the manager would retain the ability to challenge again. No manager will be allowed to challenge more than two plays per game.

To read, go to Major League

Losing Arguments

Change comes slowly to Major League Baseball, and only after a groundswell of support has developed. So the league's announcement in January that it will implement an expanded instant-replay review system, one that can be applied to some 90% of the game's plays, was met with near- universal enthusiasm. Owners, players, umpires, and traditionalists and progressives alike agreed that the technology exists to get the calls right. This will make the job of an umpire, which can be difficult and cruel, a little easier.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Robinson Cano, Lloyd McClendon Bond in Seattle

During his free agent negotiations with the Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano inquired about what kind of help he would get in trying to turn around the flagging club. New manager Lloyd McClendon, hired five weeks before Cano left the New York Yankees for a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle, has made it clear early in his tenure that Cano will be a vocal, commanding figure for the Mariners' attempt to reverse a slide that has seen them miss the postseason each of the last 12 years.

To read, go to Feature Stories

Jim Fregosi, Former Player, Manager and Scout, Dies

Jim Fregosi, a six-time All-Star shortstop who spent 53 years in professional baseball as a player, manager and scout, died February 14. He made his major league debut in September 1961 for the Los Angeles Angels at the age of 19. Fregosi was the franchise's first star and was selected the No. 1 player in team history in a fan vote. He played 11 seasons with the Angels and later played for the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates, retiring in 1978. Fregosi had been involved in professional baseball since signing as an amateur free agent in 1960 and last year worked as an advance scout for the Atlanta Braves.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Red Sox Hitting Styles

The hitting exploits of the Boston Red Sox proved to be the best in baseball in 1975 when Boston won the American League pennant. Featured in the new Photo Gallery is Don Weiskopf's interview with Johnny Pesky, the Red Sox batting coach, and several of the hitters he worked with, including Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, and Rico Petrocelli. Pesky, who compiled a career batting average of .331, was a teammate of Hall of Fame greats Ted Williams and Bobbie Doerr. Pesky is shown here giving hitting advice to Lynn, who batted .331 during the '75 season.

To read and view, go to Photo Gallery

New Rule on Home Plate Collisions Put into Effect

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have announced the addition of Rule 7.13, covering collisions at home plate, on an experimental basis for the 2014 season. In 2014, the rule being implemented by MLB and the MLBPA will prohibit the most egregious collisions at home plate. In determining whether a runner deviated from his pathway in order to initiate a collision, the umpire will consider whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate, and whether he lowered his shoulders or pushed with his hands, elbows or arms when veering toward the catcher. Another article: MLB Approves Padded Protective Cap for Pitchers.

For the article, go to Major League

Vin Scully Has Returned to Dodger Booth in 2014

Vin Scully, one of baseball's most beloved broadcasters, has returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record 65th season in 2014. The 86-year-old Scully began his professional baseball broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He has called three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games. Scully will work all Dodgers home games and road games in California and Arizona. With every passing year, the adoration of the Dodgers fans and the city of Los Angeles has humbled him even more and made him want to continue his lifelong passion.

To read, go to Newsletter

Playing the Outfield

Defense is the key to a sound and solid baseball team, and the players in the outfield have a major role in the attainment of a tight defense. The defensive responsibilities of an outfielder are as important as his batting skills. Like the hitter at the plate and the star pitcher on the mound, the outstanding outfielder can be a great asset to his team. A bobble, a slow return or an inaccurate throw are all enough to give the hitter an extra base. Featured in Don Weiskopf's Skills and Strategies are many of baseball's greatest fielding outfielders, including Ken Berry, Jim Landis, Bill Russell, pictured here, Paul Blair, Jim Northrup, Rusty Staub, and Rick Monday.

To read and view, go to Skills and Strategies

Paul Blair, Center Fielder for Champions, Dies

Paul Blair, who was acclaimed as one of the greatest defensive center fielders in baseball history, died December 16. The fleet and elegant ball hawk roamed center field for four World Series champions. His range was extraordinary, and his arm was strong and accurate. Over 17 seasons, he threw out 104 runners from center field. As a hitter, Blair batted .288 in 28 games over six World Series, including 9 for 19 in the Orioles' five-game victory over Cincinnati in 1970. He was one of the heroes for the Yankees in their 1977 World Series triumph over the Dodgers.

For the article, go to Feature Stories

Buck Showalter Demands Report From Orioles Prospect

Manager Buck Showalter is molding the young minds of the Orioles system by making them learn about the organization's storied history and tradition. On February 24, Hall of Fame slugger Frank Robinson spoke to the Baltimore players in the clubhouse. Josh Hart, a 19-year old outfielder who was visiting the training camp, ran into Robinson and didn't know who he was. Showalter, who wanted to teach Hart a lesson, told him, "I want a page on Frank Robinson. You research it and have it on my desk tomorrow." Hart quickly complied with the manager's request.

For the story, go to Newsletter

Jerry Coleman, Yankees Infielder, Padres Broadcaster, Dies

Jerry Coleman, a former fighter pilot who played in six World Series as an infielder for the Yankees but who made his most lasting mark as a broadcaster for the Yankees and Padres, died January 5. He was 89. Coleman spent more than four decades with the Padres as a broadcaster. In 2005, he was given the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame "for major contributions to baseball." As a Marine pilot, Coleman flew in the Pacific during World War II and was recalled to fly during the Korean War conflict. He was also inducted into the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame

For the story, go to News Release

Texas Rangers Extend Ron Washington through 2015

General Manager Jon Daniels said there was never any question in his mind about Ron Washington being the Rangers manager beyond 2014. Now the Rangers have backed that belief with the symbolic gesture of a contract extension. The Rangers announced on February 24 that Washington has been given a one-year contract extension through 2015. "We feel as strongly as we ever have about Wash, and we expect that to continue for a long time," said Daniels. Washington, 61, is tied with San Diego's Bud Black and San Francisco's Bruce Bochy for the fourth-longest tenure among active managers.

For the article, go to News Release

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 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

Alex Rodriguez Banned for '14 Season, Arbitrator Rules

Alex Rodriguez was dealt the most severe punishment in the history of baseball's drug agreement when an arbitrator rules the Yankees third baseman is suspended for the entire 2014 season as a result of a drug investigation by Major League Baseball. The decision by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz on January 11 cut the suspension issued Aug. 5 by Commissioner Bud Selig from 211 games to this year's entire 162 game regular season schedule plus any postseason games. In another BPA story, Anthony Bosch Talks to 60 Minutes about Doping Scandal

To read, go to Performance Enhancers

MLB, Players Union Agree to Improve Joint Drug Program

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed on significant enhancements to the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, including more frequent testing and harsher penalties for players who intentionally use performance-enhancing substances. The changes are the most extensive since 2006 and come just more than a year after MLB and the MLBPA added blood testing for human growth hormone, extending testing to the offseason, and established a baseline for Testosterone levels.

For the article, go to Major League

Lou Brissie, All-Star Pitcher and War Hero, Dies at 89

Lou Brissie, who suffered devastating leg wounds in World War II but went on to become an All-Star pitcher with the Philadelphia Athletics and a symbol of perseverance for the disabled, died November 25 in Augusta, Ga. He was 89. Brissie had a 14-10 record for the A's in 1948 and 16-11 in 1949, his best season. "I knew I was a symbol to many veterans trying to overcome problems," he once said. "I wasn't going to let them down." Brissie, who lived in North Augusta, South Carolina, directed the American Legion Baseball program for many years.

For the story, go to Feature Stories

Aussie Baseball Has Long, Colorful, Successful History

It might be difficult to imagine for residents of the sunburned country of Australia, but when 45,000 fans crammed into Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, March 22, to watch the first two regular-season Major League Baseball games, a new sport had taken over Down Under, if only for a little while. Oz-raised cricketers had to watch because their most iconic pitch was temporarily remodeled for the four-day party between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks called Opening Series 2014. It's also because the SCG has some serious baseball history in its favor.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Yankees Sign Masahiro Tanaka for $155 Million Contract

Masahiro Tanaka, the most sought-after pitcher on the free-agent market, has signed with the Yankees for seven years and $155 million. Tanaka, 25, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season pitching for Rakuten in Japan. "I think it came down to him just wanting to be a Yankee," said one source. The Yankees will also pay Rakuten a $20 million posting fee as part of the new agreement between MLB and the Japanese league. Former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui also made a recruiting pitch to Tanaka on behalf of the Yankees, the source said.

For the story, go to World Baseball

American Pastime Rising in Europe

The unmistakable crack of a Louisville Slugger rings out in the state-of-the-art Armin-Wolf Arena in Regensburg, Germany, which hosted the 2009 Baseball World Cup. Not content with the state of German baseball, Martin Brunner got enough government funding to get a baseball academy off the ground. The strong growth of baseball has made Europe fertile scouting grounds for Major League Baseball which continues to sign many prospects. The European game has relied heavily on men like former Yankees infielder Robert Eenhoorn of the Netherlands, the longtime coach and director of the Dutch Baseball Federation.

To read, go to World Baseball

USA Baseball to Host Chinese Taipei in Summer 2014

USA Baseball and the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association have announced that their collegiate National team programs will compete in an international friendship series in the United States for the first time since 2008. The Chinese Taipei Collegiate National Team travels to the U.S. with games in three locations in North Carolina from July 1-5. "We are extremely excited to host the Chinese Taipei national team this year," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "Our countries share a unique passion and enthusiasm for the game of baseball."

To read, go to World Baseball

Blue Jays, Baseball Canada Fostering Relationships

The next generation of Canadian baseball players had the opportunity of a lifetime on March 11 when they were matched up against their country's only big league team. Toronto sent the vast majority of its starting lineup to Al Lang Field for an exhibition game against the Canadian Junior Team. During the early morning, Jose Bautista, the Blue Jays veteran outfielder and standout hitter, held an informal talk with the Canadian team. The junior team remained on the field to shag balls as the Blue Jays took batting practice while Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind, and others made their round to exchange pleasantries.

For the article, go to World Baseball

Crawdads Trio Swung Power Bats in 2013

Maybe it didn't matter what stadium Joey Gallo, Ryan Rua, and Lewis Brinson played their home games at last season. They were probably going to hit a lot of home runs wherever they called home. But put those three - and the rest of a powerful free-swinging bunch of Hickory Crawdads - together on the team, and L.P. Frans Stadium, already one of the most homer-friendly parks in Minor League Baseball, suddenly seemed tiny. And that's what happened in Hickory - Gallo smashed 38 home runs, Rua hit 29 homers, and Brinson clouted 21.

For the story, go to Minor League

Micah Johnson Stealing His way to Majors

A ninth-round pick out of Indiana University in 2012, White Sox prospect Micah Johnson burst into the national consciousness in 2013 by dominating the South Atlantic League in the spring and finishing the season with a Minor League-leading 84 stolen bases (in 110 attempts). The Indianapolis native, who turned 24 in December, was less effective after promotions to Class A Advanced Winston - Salem and Double-A Birmingham but regained his swagger in the Southern League playoffs. Johnson batted .368/.467/,474 with seven stolen bases and 12 runs scored in 10 postseason games as the Barons won their first league title since 2002.

To read, go to Minor League

Jameis Winston Eyes College World Series Title

Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston wants to help Florida State win another national championship - in baseball. "I just want to have an effect on this team like I did the football team," said Winston. "I just want to be a team player." The plate is where Winston really wants to improve. Florida State head coach Mike Martin said, "We're going to use him in the outfield and on the mound. But we want him to be our closer and as a DH some. That's what we have prepared him to be." In another story, "Winston Gets 3rd Save of the 2014 season."

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Jacob Gatewood, Slugging Star of Clovis High School

Jacob Gatewood's high-profile summer of 2013 was punctuated by winning two home run derbies in major league ballparks. The right-handed slugger from Clovis (Calif.) High School moved into the awareness of the national baseball audience by hitting 14 home runs in Citi Field during the Junior Select Home Run Derby that was during the All-Star Game festivities in July. Gatewood's quick hands and easy swing produce plus bat speed and raw power capable of driving the ball out of any part of the ballpark. He generates leverage with his loose, lanky and lean 6-foot-4, 190 pound body with long extremities.

For the story, go to HS/College/Senior

Ejections and Suspensions Are Up in NCAA Baseball

Ejections and suspensions were up during 2013 NCAA Baseball games despite the NCAA Rules Committee approving the toughest penalties in college baseball history for unruly behavior prior to last season. A grand total of 624 ejections and suspensions took place in NCAA Divisions I, II and III in 2013 which was 23 more than the 601 ejections/ suspensions that were reported from over 20,000 games. This total includes virtually every type of ejection possible, including verbal confrontation with umpires, fighting, running into a catcher, purposely throwing at batters by pitchers, arguing balls and strikes, etc.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Baseball Coaching Legend Dick Birmingham Dies

The Ozarks lost another coaching legend, Dick Birmingham, who spent more than 50 years teaching tens of thousands of youngsters the proper way to play baseball, died March 4 at the age of 80. His teams won more than 1,000 games. Fellow coaches and reporters say his teams always were fundamentally solid. Birmingham coached at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Missouri from 1960 to 1984, compiling a 309-138 record that included the 1979 state championship and two other final four appearances. The school's baseball field bears his name. In another story, Don Sneddon Resigns as Santa Ana College baseball coach.

For the article, go to HS/College/Senior

Japan wins LL Title

Hall of Fame Coach Galen McSpadden Gets 1,100 Wins

When you top the 1,000 win mark as a Head Coach, it is hard to know what the next actual milestone win number is. On February 3 at Brent Gould Field in Liberal, Kansas, Seward County Saints head coach Galen McSpadden picked up win No. 1,100 in his career, as Seward downed McCook 7-3 on opening day. Since 1981-1982 when he became Head Coach at Seward County, McSpadden has built the Saints into one of the elite junior college programs in the country. In 2008, he was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Hall of Fame. Elsewhere in college baseball, Dave Randall of Waubonsee College in Northern Illinois has reached 800 wins.

To read, go to HS/College/Senior

Eagle Field Memories of Sandlot Baseball Games

The soil collected from the old home plate area of Eagle Field in Pecan Park still glitters with magic promise of great games and good times to come. Bill McCurdy never "outgrew" his emotional attachment to the old dedicated city vacant lot in the east end of Houston that once so faithfully served as home to their sandlot baseball games. "Those sandlot baseball days were the greatest era of joy in life that would ever again know," said McCurdy. "We can't live in the past," he said, "but I do wish we could revive the sandlot." In his excellent article, "Playing Around", Lowell E. Sunderland recalls some of his experiences while growing up.

For the story, go to Youth Baseball

Bringing Back Pick-up Baseball Games

There was a day when sandlot baseball and pick-up games were the way players developed their skills. Forty or fifty years ago parents did not worry about kids going to the sandlot and playing ball all day. Today, they are afraid to let them go around the corner. Young baseball players need practice and repetitions. Take a look at a young player in the Dominican Republic that spends a day at the sandlot. He might have 15 or 20 at bats, numerous chances fielding grounders, fly balls, throwing plays, and several base running turns.

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 story, 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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