“Don’t pay attention to the score,” Prince of Wales manager Kim Schiedecker told her team during the opening game of the Alaska District 2 Minors (9/10 year old) baseball tournament at Miller Fields on Friday. “We still get to have ice cream after and have fun.”
I liked that. That summed up what this level of competition is all about. Prince of Wales had barely enough players to field three little league teams during the season. The Minors All Star team that was finding itself on the ice cream end of a 30-0 score to the Juneau Americans brought all but four of its available age group athletes. The POW Majors All Star team will take all but six of their age available athletes to Haines.
POW has a couple of players from Klawock, and one, the final pitcher, from Hollis, Jane Marquess. Yes, JANE. There are a few females on the roster. And that is fine. They play just fine. And Jane was cheered loudly when she threw some strikes, because Jane is not one of the regular pitchers. But you do what you have to do to play and POW had gone through some pitchers against the Americans.
Last year POW had players from Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove. This group of baseball loving youngsters is truly from the islands.
“This is a great opportunity to play Juneau,” Schiedecker told them. “They are really good ballers, we can learn from them. Don’t pay attention to the score. Even the greatest ball players in the world strike out.”
And you know what? They even loaded the bases against Juneau in the third inning.
The Haines little league only had two teams this season. So when the Minors team was selected there were only enough age eligible players to make half a team; Cade Clay, Carson Crager, Mark Davis, Kirby Faverty, Manny Hansen, Gable Sage and manager Ashley Sage. Juneau minor leaguers Gavin Gende, Lars Gifford, Dawson Hickok, Dylan Murdoch and Frederick Norman joined the black uniformed Haines All-Tourney team along with coach Jason Murdoch. The Haines Majors are hosting the District Tournament this year and will have 10 players. What makes tournament’s tough on teams is that if a pitcher throws 20 pitches he cannot pitch the next day so limited rosters mean non-pitchers sometimes get to take the mound.
A GRAND PAPPY SHOT!!!
Juneau Nationals’ minor leaguer Christian Ludeman hit the first home run of the Alaska District 2 tournament at Miller Fields on Friday against Sitka. He was the second batter in the first inning. The shot headed for left field, feathered through cotton wood fallout in the air, and landed with authority on the roof of his biggest fan’s car... grandfather Steve Staveland. The proud “granddad” went and retrieved the ball after it caromed into the shrubs. Ludeman then hit a triple and a double and was on deck to possible complete the cycle before the game was called due to the “mercy rule.”
THAT’S MY BRO!!!
Lars Gifford is helping fill out the roster on the Haines Minor leaguers team. It seems his brother Elliot was announcing on opening night and said, “now batting for Haines, LARD Gifford.” Did I mention this is Lars’ older brother... and stronger brother. Younger brother Wade Gifford was busy being a cheerleader and getting towed around the fields on his scooter by family dog Nina.
AND NOW MY RANT!!!
Okay, so the minor league tournaments do not have a 10-run rule until the fourth inning. Whereas during the season teams at bat would be retired from an inning if they put up lots of points so the opponent could get a “crack” at batting. There have been a couple lop-sided scores to date in the Alaska District 2 tourney play here. And that is part of life and baseball... I get that. Good life lessons. Ahem, good life lessons for both players AND coaches. Seriously, if your opponent’s pitcher can barely get the ball to the plate and is walking your roster around the order do you really tell your team not to swing???? And are you stealing bases when up by incredible point totals? We still need to keep score. That is sports. Winning and losing. Kids know what the score is... how it arrives on the scoreboard and in the books is where the lessons come to play. If my next all-star team is up by over 10 runs and the strike zone cannot be met by my opponents, my kids will be swinging at every pitch whether it bounces in the dirt or makes Tom Karpstein duck. I just say, “Look lads (that is what we Swedes call our ballers).. Look lads, they appear a bit like greenhorns on the deck, they are having problems finding the plate, so lets go find the ball and see if we catch a big one.”
AND SPEAKING OF!!!
Tom Karpstein, Matt Greely, David Means, Joyce Vick, Mike Kelly, and any other umpires and base umps I have missed... Thank You!!!!! Thanks for all the games under your belt and behind the mask. Much appreciated by all! Thanks to score keepers and announcers as well!
FAMOUS SPORTS QUOTE:
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” - Babe Ruth, American baseball great.
Reader Submitted: How do three base runners end a play standing on third base?
You could have found out first-hand if you’d been at Ebbets Field on August 15, 1926. The Brooklyn Robins (they wouldn’t become the Dodgers until 1932) were playing the Boston Braves (now of Atlanta via Milwaukee). With Chick Fewster on first, Dazzy Vance on second, and Hank DeBerry on third, first baseman Babe Herman hits a George Mogridge pitch to deep right. The runners go halfway while waiting to find out if the ball will be caught. When the ball bounces off the wall DeBerry easily trots home from third. Vance rounds third and Fewster rounds second. The batter, Herman, has taken off running around the bases at full speed with his head down. As he rounds second, the third base coach sees that he is about to pass Fewster, who has come to a stop between second and third. The coach yells at him “Go back! Go back!” Herman ignores him, passes Fewster and proceeds to third, pulling in standing. Meanwhile Vance, mid-way between third and home thinks the coach is shouting at him, so he retreats to third, while Fewster figures he’d better get to a base and third is 90 feet closer to home than second. So, while Herman is standing on third, Vance and Fewster slide into the bag, Vance from the home plate side and Fewster from the second base side. When the ball finally reaches Braves third baseman Ed Taylor he tags all three. The umpires determine that Vance belongs on third. They declare Herman out for passing Fewster, and Fewster out for being illegally on third. The scorer gives Herman credit for a double and an RBI, and, after the technical outs, scores the play 9 to 4 to 2 to 5 to 4. In spite of the base running fiasco, the Robins won 4 to 1.
On This Date In Baseball History, July 8:
1912 — Rube Marquard’s 19-game winning streak was stopped as the New York Giants lost 7-2 to the Chicago Cubs.
1935 — The AL extended its All-Star winning streak to three with a 4-1 victory at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. New York Yankee Lefty Gomez went six innings, which prompted the NL to have the rules changed so that no pitcher could throw more than three innings, unless extra innings.
1939 - Prior to the first game of a doubleheader with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, a wall of Japanese beetles form in front of the home dugout. Although over 5000 insects will be captured, the problem will return later in the month.
1941 — Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hit a three-run, two-out homer in the ninth to give the AL a dramatic 7-5 victory in the All-Star game at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium. Up to that point Arky Vaughn of the Pittsburgh Pirates was the NL hero with two home runs, the first player to do so in All-Star play. Joe and Dom DiMaggio both played for the AL, marking the first time that brothers appeared in the same All-Star game.
1947 — Frank “Spec” Shea became the first winning rookie pitcher in the first 14 years of All-Star play as the AL nipped the NL 2-1 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The 26-year old ‘Naugatuck Nugget’ tosses three solid innings but his appearance in the Mid-summer Classic leads to a sore arm limiting his effectiveness as a starter for the Bronx Bombers.
1949 - Hank Thompson, who broke in to the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, becomes the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout faces Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation takes place between black players in the major leagues.
1950 - In the bottom of the ninth inning at Forbes Field, Jack Phillips, pinch-hitting for Murry Dickson, erases a three-run deficit with a walk-off grand slam off Harry Brecheen. The 28-year utility infielder, who will go deep only nine times in 892 major league at-bats, gives the Pirates a dramatic 7-6 victory over the Cardinals.
1951 - After Joe DiMaggio commits an error in center field, Yankee manager Casey Stengel replaces the aging superstar with rookie Jackie Jensen. The skipper’s decision to make the move in the middle of the game strains an already acrimonious relationship.
1952 — The NL edged the AL 3-2 in the first rain-shortened All-Star game. The five-inning contest, at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, featured home runs by Jackie Robinson and Hank Sauer of the Nationals.
1956 - In an 11-1 rout of the Pirates at the Polo Grounds, the Giants go deep for a franchise record seven home runs. Willie Mays, Daryl Spencer and Wes Westrum each connect for a pair and Hank Thompson adds another.
1958 — The 25th anniversary All-Star game, at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, went to the AL, 4-3 in a game that produced only 13 singles. This was the first All-Star game in which neither team got an extra-base hit. Giants’ hurler Billy O’Dell pitched a perfect final three innings of the Silver Anniversary of the All Star game.
1959 - During the All-Star break, the Reds fire manager Mayo Smith (35-45) and replaced him with Fred Hutchington (39-35), the skipper of the Seattle team in the PCL. ‘Hutch’, who will become a mainstay in the Cincinnati dugout, is the team’s fourth manager in less than a year.
1962 - With the help of Stan Musial’s three home runs, the Cardinals soundly defeat the Mets at the Polo Grounds, 15-1. ‘The Man’, who at the age of 41 becomes the oldest major leaguer ever to accomplish the feat, misses an opportunity for another at-bat in the ninth inning, when he is replaced by pinch runner Bobby Gene Smith in the previous frame.
1965 - At Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Joe Morgan sets an Astro record by going 6- for-6. The rookie second baseman’s stellar performance doesn’t stop the Braves from beating Houston, 9-8.
1969 - At Shea Stadium, Don Young is roundly criticized by Cubs’ teammate Ron Santo for his two misplays in center field that helps the Mets score three ninth-inning runs, resulting in a 4-3 walk-off victory for New York. The third baseman will apologize for his remarks tomorrow, but will be soundly booed by hometown fans in his first game back at Wrigley Field.
1970 — Jim Ray Hart of San Francisco hit for the cycle and became the first NL player in 59 years to drive in six runs in one inning as the Giants beat Atlanta, 13-0.
1973 - Bob Watson’s hard slide into second base in an effort to break up a double play fractures Expos shortstop Tim Foli’s jaw. When the Houston outfielder returns to left field, the Montreal fans at Jarry Park begin hurling debris at him to show their displeasure about his treatment of their popular infielder.
1976 - Randy Jones posts the most victories at the All-Star break in National League history winning his 16th game of the season in the Padres’ 6-3 defeat of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In the second half of the season, the 26-year old southpaw’s good fortune runs out when he will loses seven games by a run, including two 1–0 loses.
1987 - Gerald Young becomes the first player from Honduras to appear in the majors. In his big league debut, the Tela native plays the outfield for the Astros and goes 0-for-4 in a 1-0 loss to the Expos at the Astrodome.
1994 — Shortstop John Valentin made the 10th unassisted triple play in baseball history in the sixth inning and then led off the bottom of the inning with a homer to lead Boston to a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Valentin snares Marc Newfield’s sixth inning line drive, steps on second retiring Mike Blowers and then tags the runner coming from first, Kevin Mitchell, to turn the UTP and break the Mariners’ hearts.
1995 - After matching solo tallies with their opponents in the 1st and 16th inning, the Astros score in the bottom of the 17th inning for a 3-2 victory over San Diego. At the Astrodome, Craig Biggio’s one-hit single off Brian Williams plates Doug Brocail, who will become the victorious pitcher, with the winning run.
1997 — Cleveland Indians catcher Sandy Alomar hit a two-run homer to give the American League a 3-1 victory over the National League in the All-Star game. Alomar, the first player to win the All-Star MVP in his own ballpark, broke the tie in the seventh inning off San Francisco’s Shawn Estes.
2000 — Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens teamed up to shut down the Mets, giving the Yankees identical 4-2 victories in the first double-ballpark doubleheader in the majors since 1903. After the opener, many in the sellout crowd of 54,165 at Shea Stadium immediately headed for Game 2, which drew 55,821 at Yankee Stadium. It proves to be quite an interesting day in New York as Mike Piazza is hospitalized after being beaned by Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden gets first Shea win since 1994 and a bizarre obstruction call on Mets’ first baseman Todd Zielle causes the first game to be played under protest.
2000 - After Jose Cruz Jr. hits #20 in a 6-3 win over the Expos, the Blue Jays become the first team in major league history to have four batters to hit 20 or more homers before the All-Star break.
2002 - In an effort to set professional baseball’s lowest attendance record, fans are shut out of the Charleston Riverdogs vs. Columbus RedStixx game. When the minor league game becomes official in the fifth inning and the attendance is recorded as zero, patrons are allowed through the gates to watch the contest.
2003 — Cleveland rookie Billy Traber pitched a one-hitter for his first complete game, beating the Yankees 4-0. Traber retired 27 of 28 batters, including 21 in a row after John Flaherty’s single in the third inning.
2005 - In Singapore, the International Olympic Committee takes a secret vote on the approval of the 28 current summer Olympic events scheduled to be played at the 2012 Summer Games in London. Baseball and softball are eliminated making it the first time since polo was dropped in1936 that sports have been cut.
2005 - n a 7-6 defeat to the Rangers, Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay suffers a broken leg as a result of being hit by a Kevin Mench third inning line drive. ‘Doc’, who was slated to be the AL starter in the All-Star game to be played in Detroit this week, will miss the rest of the season.
2008 - The Cubs bolster their pitching staff obtaining starter Dan Harden and reliever Chad Gaudin from the A’s in exchange for right-hander Sean Gallagher, second baseman/outfielder Eric Patterson, outfielder Matt Murton, and minor league backstop prospect Josh Donaldson. Chicago’s dealing may be in anticipation of the trade rumors of the Brewers getting Indians’ ace, C.C. Sabathia.
2009 — Andruw Jones of Texas homered in his first three at-bats to help the Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-1.
2010 - With the Rockies’ 4-3 victory over St. Louis, Ubaldo Jimenez became the first pitcher in ten years to record 15 wins prior to the All-Star break. The Colorado right-hander, who is has compiled a 15-1 mark, is the first hurler to reach the plateau since David Wells posted a 15-2 record with the Blue Jays in 2000.
2010 - Using an on-line ballot, fans select Nick Swisher of the Yankees and Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto to fill the last two roster spots in this year’s All-Star game. The New York outfielder, who edged Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis for the final AL spot, used his Twitter account to campaign for votes and to thank his fans for their support.
2011 - Claudell Washington, making his major league debut, strokes a walk-off single in the tenth inning to give the A’s a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Indians in Oakland. The 19-year old rookie’s hit spoils Gaylord Perry’s attempt to get his record-tying 16th consecutive victory this season.
Today’s birthdays: Josh Harrison 25; Jaime Garcia 26.
Famous Sports Quote:
“When I step onto the court, I don’t have to think about anything. If I have a problem off the court, I find that after I play, my mind is clearer and I can come up with a better solution. It’s like therapy. It relaxes me and allows me to solve problems.” - Michael Jordan, basketball great.
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” - Bill Shankly, English soccer manager.