The Black Man in Baseball

Randomly came across this very interesting post on Goodreads, about how, in the 19th Century, there were African-American baseball players in the major leagues. ¬†“In fact, some 30 black players saw service in organized baseball in the last two decades of the 19th century”, ¬†from 1872 to 1892. This is more than a lesson in history, it’s a lesson about history. In the immortal words of Jim Mora, “you think you know, but you don’t know, and you never will.”


magical thinking and sports

Tonight the World Series begins between the Giants and the Rangers. On the sports talk radio, much magical thinking going on – mostly tongue-in-cheek, but with a hint of desperately-wanting-to-believe a la X Files.

Something about a recurrence of the number Five and Tim Lincecum’s uni number being 55

Something about how every time the Giants play the Red Sox in inter-league play, one of those teams wins the World Series that year (i.e., the Red Sox did it twice, the Giants never)

Something about the Giants being ‘due’ (sure, 56 years of futility MUST be a magic number)

There is a long history of superstitions in sports, especially those of athletes (not touching the white lines, for example, or changing hats or bats, etc …) but I wonder how much has been collected regarding fans’ trivia superstitions. I’m sure there’s a lot of great stuff there.

a simple google search turned up some, including this and this

stat magic

[Cliff] Lee had 30 strikeouts in between walks, another postseason record. There have been eight postseason games in history in which a pitcher has struck out 10 and walked none; Lee has four of them. He locates his fastball as well as any pitcher in the game, works the inside part of the plate as well as any pitcher, and has a great curveball and a cutter from hell. Every hitter knows he will be around the plate with every pitch, and no one can hit him.

curse of the talking point

two cases today:

Red Sox vs Angels, top of the 9th, 2 outs, nobody on …

“Jonathan Papelbon has never been charged with a run in 27 innings of postseason appearances”

and then he gives up 3 runs and loses the game AND the series …

Forty Niners vs Falcons

“San Francisco has an elite defense”

which promptly got torched for five touchdowns in the first half …

pet peeve of the day

the play-by-play announcer on the Milan-Napoli goal continually refers to Ronaldinho and Rolandinho – it’s like a baseball announcer saying Larry Bonds instead of Barry!

and speaking of intolerable sportscasters:


why is it unfair if a 12 year is better than a 16 year old at gymnastics? just because it’s against the rules? and why is it against the rules? because of child labor laws or something? all of these 16 year old gymnasts have been working ungodly hours for years already, more years in fact than the 12 year olds. hey, if a twelve year old could do my job … but for that they’d need to start programming from the age of 3. it could happen.