Bryce Harper (known as Bam Bam) is perhaps the last person you would expect to be a baseball historian. But Harper started Spring Training drawing a historical analogy to his injury running into a wall last year. He was, it seems, just like Babe Ruth.
On July 5, 1924, Harper recounted, Babe Ruth ran into the wall in Washington DC’s Griffith Stadium, knocking himself out cold for 5 minutes. Despite that, the Bambino refused to leave the game and went 3 for 3. That is the kind of all-out play that Harper is known for, so maybe there is something to the analogy.
Its too early to read much into the first week’s performance in Spring Training games, but its hard not to notice that Darwin Barney has started hot. Barney went 3 for 5 in the first handful of games, with a home run, 2 RBIs and a run scored.
As I’ve explored the history of Mormons in baseball and baseball among Mormons, I’ve been somewhat surprised at the number of times that Mormon missionaries have been involved in playing baseball in different countries around the world, often as the sport is just starting there. I’ve found information that shows this involvement in Japan, Australia, South Africa and in Britain.
In this latter case, baseball was first introduced in 1890, when a small league was formed in Derby. But that attempt failed, and a later, much more successful attempt, came in 1933 with the founding of the National Baseball Association. And according to the following excerpts of an article from the Improvement Era, LDS missionaries were at the meeting that founded the organization, and a year later provided a league-winning team in the West London League.
Oakland As 2nd baseman and LDS Church member Eric Sogard finished behind the Mets’ David Wright in the final in MLB’s “Face of MLB” popularity contest. The twitter-based vote finished at 8am EST today and the results were announced on MLB Network’s Hot Stove at 9am.
The Face of MLB contest is basically an MLB promotional campaign to engage fans for the upcoming season. Each team nominates a player who then faces a player from another team in a day-long twitter vote. The winner advances to the next round in an elimination contest that ended with the final round that finished today.
Oakland As 2nd baseman and LDS Church member Eric Sogard has reached the final in MLB’s “Face of MLB” popularity contest. Sogard faces the Mets’ David Wrigth in the twitter-based vote today, starting at 9am EST.
Fans can vote on twitter up to 25 times until 8am tomorrow.
The Face of MLB contest is basically an MLB promotional campaign to engage fans for the upcoming season. Each team nominates a player who then faces a player from another team in a day-long twitter vote. The winner advances to the next round in an elimination contest that ends with the final today.
The nerd-look is benefiting LDS ballplayer Eric Sogard, who has reached the final four in MLB’s “Face of MLB” popularity contest. Sogard faces the Blue Jays’ José Bautista in the twitter-based vote today, starting at 9am EST.
The Face of MLB contest is basically an MLB promotional campaign to engage fans for the upcoming season. Each team nominates a player who then faces a player from another team in a day-long twitter vote. The winner advances to the next round in an elimination contest that will end this week.
Today Sogard faces the Blue Jay’s José Bautista, who has been actively seeking voters by agreeing to follow their twitter accounts (he already is following over 170,000 fans). Fans can vote up to 25 times by twitter for the player they like. To vote for Sogard simply send a tweet with the hash tags #EricSogard and #FaceOfMLB.
Mormon sports fans are likely tired of the all to frequent arguments over who should play baseball on Sunday and under what circumstances. Anyone who is an active member of the Church and who pays attention to lessons on how to keep the sabbath day already knows all the arguments. This post isn’t about those arguments. Instead, it is about history: specifically rumors about Sunday baseball and members’ reactions to that rumor.
Apparently, in 1913 at least, there was just such a rumor going around, claiming that Heber J. Grant, then an apostle, had told a group of church members that they could play baseball on Sunday.
Somewhere someone has named the things that major leaguers do these days during the off-season — perhaps something that is the equivalent of “stupid human tricks.” Its not that there is anything wrong with what they do. Its just that sometimes it reveals something unusual about them, such as odd musical tastes from someone in a testosterone-laden profession, like the Royal’s Jeremy Guthrie.
The minimum salary for minor league players NOT on the 40-man roster is just $7,500 a season, which means that earning something on the off-season is a must. And if you can give some kids a bit of a thrill in the process, so much the better. Harper does just that when he shows up in Las Vegas inner-city schools as a substitute teacher.
Figuring out where all those who played in the major leagues last year (as I detailed in yesterday’s post) have moved is relatively easy compared to figuring out what has happened to those who passed through the minors last year. This is true for several reasons:
- There are more places where they could have gone — including both foreign and independent leagues
- The minor league records online aren’t as accurate as the major league records
- Its early, and not all the decisions have been made about where players will be, and the final decisions depend on the results of spring training.
There are probably other reasons as well. I must admit that I’m not that experienced in pulling together this information — I’ve only been at this for a few years.
But, despite these problems, I have produced a list of Mormons in the minors, foreign leagues and independent leagues: