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Some History

Probably the only thing I love more then baseball is baseball history. I’d rather scan Babe Ruth’s statistics then I would Barry Bonds, and while I don’t read enough of them, I love a good baseball book.

While this list isn’t all inclusive, here are some websites that are doing some pretty neat historical columns:

The Hardball TimesSteve Treder’s column comes out every Tuesday and it’s a must read. This week he takes a look at the business of baseball back in 1954, but he’s touched on a variety of subjects. He’s not the only one who writes about baseball history, so it’s best you stop by there every day.

Baseball’s Savior – This is a relatively new blog about the Yankees. Nick is going back and looking at the Yankee’s World Series appearances and he’s started with their first in 1921.

Black Sox Blog – This White Sox website has been taking a look at the early White Sox season. While the Sox aren’t a favorite team of mine these day’s it’s interesting to see the evolution of one of the storied franchises in the American League.

Tom Seaver Fan Club – This Mets blog is true to it’s word. While it focuses on the current day Mets, Jon also is doing a season by season retrospective of Tom Seaver. His latest was one of Terrific Tom’s best seasons of his career so be sure to check out the 1969 installment.

Reds Cutting Edge – Blade will be annoyed I put him last, but he’s been doing a series of Cincinnati Reds All Decade Teams. If you to read about how the Reds had a chance at nabbing Babe Ruth or how they lost out on both Christy Matthewson and Sam Crawford then be sure to check it out. You’ll also find the 1975 Reds diary I’ve been working on this year.

Neat links. What’s up with the Yankee blog name, though? “Baseball’s Savior?” Is he implying the Yankees are baseball’s savior or something? What a dork.

Posted by Jay on July 26th, 2005 at 12:53 pm

Well, during the Yankee portion of Babe Ruth’s career he was, indeed, widely viewed as exactly that — “baseball’s savior”. And after the big Black Sox scandal, an argument could definitely be made for exactly that.

Posted by jeff k on July 26th, 2005 at 2:01 pm

Thanks for the mention. And Jay, you hit it right on the head. If it weren’t for Steinbrenner and the Yankees, we’d be seeing a situation similar to hockey where most of the teams lose money.

The Yankees are the most important franchise in the league. It keeps it going.


Posted by Nick Smith on July 26th, 2005 at 2:24 pm

I couldn’t disagree more.

If you want to say that baseball needed the Yankees at certain points in its history, I’d begrudgingly say I have to agree.

But you know what? Baseball doesn’t *NEED* the modern Yankees. Most important franchise in the league? Possible. “Keeps it going”? Hardly. Without the Yankees, we’d have a “situation similar to hockey where most of the teams lose money”? Doubt it very much.

Posted by jeff k on July 26th, 2005 at 3:49 pm

“:If it weren’t for Steinbrenner and the Yankees, we’d be seeing a situation similar to hockey where most of the teams lose money.”

No, not even close. Nothing is more annoying than a Yankees fan with an overinflated sense of his franchise’s role in sports.

Posted by Joe on July 26th, 2005 at 6:42 pm

The facts say otherwise. George Steinbrenner gives away more money every year to both the league and to the “poor” teams then some team’s entire payroll.

The Yankees have also led the league in road attendance the last three years and could make it fourth depending on how things finish out. They make several millions of dollars for all of the ball clubs. It’s too bad Bud Selig’s communist/parity policies take dollars right out of Steinbrenners pocket.

But it’s all for the good of the game, right? I bet you’re a liberal and you feel it’s all “okay.”

Posted by Nick Smith on July 26th, 2005 at 8:44 pm

OK… Not really sure how we veered off into a political tangent (and when was the last time NYC voted anything but Democrat, anyways?)… The first thing I typed was that I couldn’t disagree more, and nothing you have said changes that.

Just think for a minute of a world without the Yankees… Some team would fill that role, possibly about 3-6 teams would sort of rotate in and out based on their performance over shorter spans. Look at the highlights from last night’s BoSox/D-Rays game… Johnny Damon leads off the top of the 10th with a HR, and he got quite the ovation… in Tampa. Speaking of the Sox, without the presence of the Yankees, who would have had A-Rod? No question the Red Sox would be the major-market gorilla in a mythical no-Yankee world. Oh, yeah, and if you want to go there, the Red Sox pay the so-called “luxury tax”, too…

Posted by jeff k on July 27th, 2005 at 11:54 am


While you make some interesting points, I think your take on the Yankees is a little, well, extreme. I’ll agree with you that the Yankees are good for baseball. I can’t go as far as saying the entire league would fold if the Yankees packed up.

Nice work on the 1921 World Series retrospective though.

Posted by Brian on July 27th, 2005 at 1:58 pm

Get bent, Nick. The Yankees are a big part of baseball. To say that they “keep the league going” is asinine. It could be argued that giving money away to poor teams has, if anything, actually hurt the league.

Yankee fans can often be like children whose parents have spent their entire lives telling them that they are the greatest thing on earth. Whan that happens they are devoid of humility and utterly obnoxious.

You’re damn right I’m a liberal. If you’re a conservative and voted the way I think you did, then you sicken me.

Posted by Dan on July 27th, 2005 at 2:00 pm


“keep the league going”? much like how your conservative hero in the White House is “keeping the league going”? to say “poor” teams also is a useless argument. They are all rich. some owners refuse to spend money. The modern yankees do nothing to save baseball. The only thing a yankee does is slaps the ball out of a firstbaseman’s hand as he runs to first clutching his purse. You can put me in the Liberal row with Dan. Sully this board no longer!

Posted by michael on July 27th, 2005 at 2:11 pm

By the way… The point about road attendance? The Yankees would be crucial to the league if they were absolutely lapping the field in this area, but of course, they’re not.

2005: Red Sox 39,012; Yankees 38,264; Cubs 36,878; Mets 33,952; D-Backs 33,629

2004: Yankees 40,847; Cubs 37,100; Giants 36,190; Red Sox 36,009; Padres 32,349… PADRES!

2003: Yankees 34,477; Cubs 33,406; Giants 33,398; Red Sox 30,544; D-Backs 29,989

You get the idea…

Posted by jeff k on July 27th, 2005 at 3:05 pm

Jeff K,

I like how you use raw numbers to distort the facts. First off, the Yankees road attendance would be even higher if they didn’t have to play in that shit box, Fenway Park, so often. In turn the Red Sox’ number is artificially high because they have the privelage of playing in Yankee Stadium so often.

With regard to the “poor” teams, that was my point and why I put it in asteriks. They’re all owned by millionaires.

As far as the rest of the comments, I’m not surprised about the venom and jealousy. Here are some quick facts:

New York Yankees – Last 10 Years
10 Playoff Appearances
4 World Championships

Detroit Tigers – Last 100 Years
11 Playoff Appearances
4 World Championships.

And some of those playoff appearances will be dropping off soon. Too bad Ty Cobb (half the hitter of the Sultan) wasn’t still playing for you guys.

Posted by Nick Smith on July 27th, 2005 at 3:15 pm

The venom is understandable. It’s understandable because you are a bastard.

Posted by Dan on July 27th, 2005 at 3:29 pm

it really shows something when a yankee fan decides to try and rub the noses of tiger fans. Whats the point A%$hole? We are well aware of our history. Enjoy your teams success’ but its rather republican of you to kick those who arent in the midst of your success.

Posted by michael on July 27th, 2005 at 3:45 pm

Apparently, venom is a 2-way street.

As to the other, espn.com’s sortable stats also lists it by percent of capacity:

2005: Yankees 84.8; Red Sox 83.2; Cubs 82.0; Mets 76.4; Pirates 75.4… PIRATES!

2004: Yankees 88.9; Cubs 82.7; Giants 78.5; Red Sox 75.8; Dodgers/Cardinals 70.7

2003: Yankees 76.9; Cubs 73.5; Giants 76.4; Cardinals 64.8; Rangers 64.3… RANGERS!

2002: Yankees 78.9; Cubs 70.4; D-Backs 68.5; A’s 66.1; Giants 65.2

2001: Yankees 76.5; Cubs 76.3; Cardinals 74.9; Red Sox 71.4; Reds 71.0

One conclusion to draw from that… If it weren’t for the Cubs and Barry Bonds, the National League might as well shut its doors. [/sarcasm]

Posted by jeff k on July 27th, 2005 at 3:49 pm

As far as George Bush, I’m not a huge fan but one thing you can say about him is, he’s a winner. Since you all seem to like rooting for a loser, I’m not surprised you’re all democrats.

Yankees = Winner
George Bush = Winner

Tigers = Perennial Losers
Democrats = Also Perennial Losers

Posted by Nick Smith on July 28th, 2005 at 8:57 am


Posted by jeff k on July 28th, 2005 at 9:47 am

Hey Turd Blossom…Yeah you Nick. we have no choice but to root for the team that was given to us. I grew up in detroit. my parents took me to tiger stadium as a child. they are my team and I cannot and will not abandon them. I will not jump onto the white (black) sox wagan simply because I have relocated to chicago. That would seem like the easy thing to do right? wrong. It is very easy to go buy a yankee hat and tell everyone you are a lifelong fan. But try sticking with the cards you were dealt. If you were born in NEw York then by all means, enjoy your hand. But do not snicker at those who stick by their teams through decades of dismal seasons. As for Bush=winner…. i agree with Jeff in saying whatever. You live in a world filled with fantastical gumdrops and chocolate hookers.

Posted by michael on July 28th, 2005 at 10:43 am

You have blood on your hands, Nick. May it weigh heavily on your conscience.

Posted by Dan on July 28th, 2005 at 11:40 am

Nope, no blood. But I have a steak sandwich in my hands. It’s lunch time.

You guys are a trip. This is an awesome site. I love it.

Posted by Nick Smith on July 28th, 2005 at 12:33 pm

Guys, let’s do ourselves a favor and just not respond any more. Nick’s last comment reveals exactly how to get rid of him. Let’s do it.

Posted by jeff k on July 28th, 2005 at 2:06 pm

Looks like Jeff’s packing up and taking his nerf ball home.

I’m sure I could make another Tiger’s reference here, but it’s getting boring. Like picking on the little guy.

Posted by Nick Smith on July 28th, 2005 at 2:43 pm

Yeah, let’s leave it be. Just because Nick is clearly an amazing piece of shit doesn’t mean he needs to be replied to. Back to Tigers talk.

How about that play by Monroe last night? I was really appalled by his reaction to dropping the ball. He had to do his little pouty thing out there, with people just running around the bases, and he somewhat casually leaned over and picked the ball up with his glove, another no no.

Posted by Dan on July 28th, 2005 at 4:09 pm

Well, yeah, maybe so, but there were 2 outs… Runners were going on any hit ball. Not like much could be done by that point.

Posted by jeff k on July 28th, 2005 at 5:02 pm

Thank you Dan. Just another example of the loser mentality of the Tigers. I’m sure he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow with no punishment whatsoever.

I know for a fact Joe Torre wouldn’t tolerate that.

Posted by Nick Smith on July 28th, 2005 at 5:06 pm

Good point. I guess I’m letting my negative image of Monroe bias my observations. I got down on him when he stole that $30 belt this past offseason.

Posted by Dan on July 29th, 2005 at 12:44 pm

When I say, “Good point,” I mean, “Good point, Jeff.” Just clarifying.

Posted by Dan on July 29th, 2005 at 12:45 pm

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