How Many MLB stadiums Have You Seen a Game in?

Of the stadiums that are being used today, I have been to six.  Years ago I also went to six that are now long-gone, including the three that used to be in New York City.  My favorite of those was Brooklyn’s Ebbits Field.  Today my favorite is Fenway Park.  I very much want to get to Wrigley Field some day.

Here is a good article comparing and rating the thirty stadiums now in use.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/sports/how-many-mlb-parks-have-you-visited/?utm_term=.9d339803ebce

The first lighted baseball stadium West of the Mississippi

The Madrid Miners were a pretty successful baseball team from about 1920-1950.  Their home was the mining town of Madrid, New Mexico, which got its start when coal was discovered nearby in the mid-1800s.  This link will take readers to a trove of history about the first baseball stadium to have its own lightes, even before the first major-league team got them.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1008996/back-to-the-thirties.html

Life Throws a Curveball at Jim Palmer

When I was growing up in Arizona I played a lot of baseball.  While in high school Jim Palmer was rising to legendary stardom at a neighboring school.  He had an electric fastball that my brother and I could not catch up to:)))  Later in life (before the Washington Nationals debut) I drove up to Baltimore many times to watch him pitch (and drive Earl Weaver around the bend).  The Orioles were the only game in town for us ball-players in The Washington, D.C. area.

Check out this unusual story about Jim Palmer

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer long wondered if he’s related to JFK. At 72, he learned the truth.

Was Cochise a Baseball Fan?

Here is an incredible story about baseball in the Arizona Territory in the 1870s to the 1890s.   The territory was home to a number of U.S. Army forts and when the soldiers weren’t out chasing outlaws or warring with renegade Indians they apparently often turned to baseball for entertainment.  Here is a link to the news article:

https://www.dcourier.com/news/2016/jul/10/days-past-remembering-baseball-territorial-arizona/

Moe Berg—the Inside Story

Subject: A Fascinating Bit of History

When baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig went on tour in baseball-crazy Japan in 1934, some fans wondered why a third-string catcher named Moe Berg was included. Although he played with 5 major league teams from 1923 to 1939, he was a very mediocre ball player. He was regarded as the brainiest ballplayer of all time. In fact Casey Stengel once said: “That is the strangest man ever to play baseball.” When all the baseball stars went to Japan, Moe Berg went with them and many people wondered why he went with “the team.

The answer was simple: Moe Berg was a Unites States spy working undercover with the CIA.

Moe spoke 15 languages – including Japanese – Moe Berg had two loves: baseball and spying.

In Tokyo, garbed in a kimono, Berg took flowers to the daughter of an American diplomat being treated in St. Luke’s Hospital – the tallest building in the Japanese capital.

He never delivered the flowers. The ball-player ascended to the hospital roof and filmed key features: the harbor, military installations, railway yards, etc.

Eight years later, General Jimmy Doolittle studied Berg’s films in planning his spectacular raid on Tokyo..

Berg’s father, Bernard Berg, a pharmacist in Newark, New Jersey, taught his son Hebrew and Yiddish. Moe, against his wishes, began playing baseball on the street aged four.

His father disapproved and never once watched his son play. In Barringer High School, Moe learned Latin, Greek and French. Moe read at least 10 newspapers every day.

He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton – having added Spanish, Italian, German and Sanskrit to his linguistic quiver.

During further studies at the Sorbonne, in Paris, and Columbia Law School, he picked up Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Arabic, Portuguese and Hungarian – 15 languages in all, plus some regional dialects.

While playing baseball for Princeton University, Moe Berg would describe plays in Latin or Sanskrit.

During World War II, he was parachuted into Yugoslavia to assess the value to the war effort of the two groups of partisans there. He reported back that Marshall Tito’s forces were widely supported by the people and Winston Churchill ordered all-out support for the Yugoslav underground fighter, rather than Mihajlovic’s Serbians.

The parachute jump at age 41 undoubtedly was a challenge. But there was more to come in that same year.

Berg penetrated German-held Norway, met with members of the underground and located a secret heavy water plant – part of the Nazis’ effort to build an atomic bomb.

His information guided the Royal Air Force in a bombing raid to destroy the plant.

There still remained the question of how far had the Nazis progressed in the race to build the first Atomic bomb. If the Nazis were successful, they would win the war. Berg (under the code name “Remus”) was sent to Switzerland to hear leading German physicist Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Laureate, lecture and determine if the Nazis were close to building an A-bomb. Moe managed to slip past the SS guards at the auditorium, posing as a Swiss graduate student. The spy carried in his pocket a pistol and a cyanide pill.

If the German indicated the Nazis were close to building a weapon, Berg was to shoot him – and then swallow the cyanide pill.

Moe, sitting in the front row, determined that the Germans were nowhere near their goal, so he complimented Heisenberg on his speech and walked him back to his hotel.

Moe Berg’s report was distributed to Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and key figures in the team developing the Atomic Bomb. Roosevelt responded: “Give my regards to the catcher.”

Most of Germany’s leading physicists had been Jewish and had fled the Nazis mainly to Britain and the United States . After the war, Moe Berg was awarded the Medal of Freedom. America’s highest honor for a civilian in wartime. But Berg refused to accept, as he couldn’t tell people about his exploits.

After his death, his sister accepted the Medal and it hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown ,

March 2,1902—–May 29, 1972

Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest award to be awarded to civilians during wartime)

Moe Berg’s baseball card is the only card on display at the CIA Headquarters in Washington DC

Mighty Girl History

Here’s a great story for you jaded baseball buffs!

Jackie Mitchell, pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts, a minor league baseball team, struck out baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig during an exhibition game. Born in 1912, Mitchell showed a talent for baseball from a young age. Her next door neighbor, future Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Dazzy Vance, taught her how to pitch as a girl, including his special “dr…op ball” pitch.

At 17, Mitchell joined a women’s team, attended baseball school in Atlanta, and was soon offered a contract by the Chattanooga Lookout for the 1931 season — one of the first professional baseball contracts given to a woman. It was during this season that Mitchell became famous for striking out two of the greatest baseball players in history Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, pictured with her below. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, the baseball commissioner voided her contract, declaring the game “too strenuous” for women. Jackie Mitchell continued to play professionally with traveling teams until her retirement from the sport in 1937.

There are two wonderful books for young readers about Mitchell’s fascinating story: “Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen,” a picture book for 4 to 8 (http://www.amightygirl.com/mighty-jackie-the-strike-out-queen) and an early chapter book “The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth” for 6 to 8 (http://www.amightygirl.com/the-girl-who-struck-out-babe-ruth).