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Around The Bases, No Rain No Gain

Posted: July 11, 2012 - 12:04am
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Juneau American pitcher Bryson Echiverri tags out Juneau National runner Chase Foster at home plate during Monday's Alaska District 2 minor division Championship game.
Juneau American pitcher Bryson Echiverri tags out Juneau National runner Chase Foster at home plate during Monday's Alaska District 2 minor division Championship game.

No rain out!!!

It evidently takes a little more than a record setting day of rainfall to dampen the spirits of our local minor leaguers. I can attest to that as I had to give up the battle of trying to stay dry with my camera as the Juneau American boys and Juneau National boys went spike-to-spike for the Alaska District 2 minor baseball Championship at Miller Fields Monday night. It seems that the valley had an all-time rainfall high... most of which was dumped on Miller Field 1, and me, and 24 players, and numerous coaches and umpires in XtraTufs. When I started to sneeze I determined it was time to go. Yet on the field there remained a bevy of ballers laughing, crouching, hitting, throwing, sliding, diving and having a blast playing Southeast Alaska baseball. By the way, 1.64 inches of rainfall was recorded at the airport. It was also 54 degrees, the coldest high temperature on record in Juneau for that day.

Majors’ softballers!!!

The Gastineau Channel Little League softball Majors all-star team has been selected. The roster includes Morgan Balovich, Megan Dallas, Haleigh DiCarlo, Alondra Echiverri, Sami Good, Peyton Harp, Allison Ireland-Haight, Rachel Macaulay, Maranda Markovich, Abigail Meiners, Maxie Saceda-Hurt, Leah Spargo, manager Scott Balovich, coach Brian Dallas, and coach Dave Spargo. The Team begins play Friday at Melvin Park against either Anchorage’s Abbott-O-Rabbit or Nunaka Valley. The two teams played late Tuesday in a deciding game. Last season the Nunaka Valley Juniors dominated Alaska and made it to the Junior Softball World Series, their nucleus had also traveled to the Majors World Series in 2009. Local scouts say Nunaka is just as talented this season, on both the majors and juniors levels.

A Quote On Sports:

“So you wish to conquer in the Olympic games, my friend? And I too, by the Gods, and a fine thing it would be. But first mark the conditions and the consequences, and then set to work. You will have to put yourself under discipline; to eat by rule, to avoid cakes and sweetmeats; to take exercise at the appointed hour whether you like it or no, in cold and heat; to abstain from cold drinks and from wine at your will; in a word, to give yourself over to the trainer as to a physician. Then in the conflict itself you are likely enough to dislocate your wrist or twist your ankle, to swallow a great deal of dust, or to be severely thrashed, and, after all these things, to be defeated.” Epictetus, Greek Stoic philosopher.

On This Date In Baseball History, July 11:

1914 — Babe Ruth made his major league debut for the Boston Red Sox, getting the win in a 4-3 victory over Cleveland. He was removed for a pinch hitter in the seventh, and Duffy Lewis’ single led to the winning run.

1925 - At Sportsman’s Park, George Sisler becomes a one-man crew when he comes to the plate with the bases loaded in back-to-back frames in the Browns’ 10-5 victory over Washington. The St. Louis first baseman drives in seven runs in two innings, tripling with the bases jammed in the third and hitting a grand slam in the fourth.

1939 - All three runs in the American League’s 3-1 All-Star victory are driven in by Yankees as their home ballpark plays host to the Midsummer Classic. Indians fireballer Bob Feller steals the show at Yankee Stadium as the 20-year old hurls 3.2 scoreless innings.

1944 — Phil Cavaretta set an All-Star game record by reaching base safely five straight times — triple, single, three walks — to lead the NL to a 7-1 victory over the AL at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

1950 — The All-Star game returned to Comiskey Park, the site of the first game, and was won by the NL 4-3 on Red Schoendienst’s 14th-inning home run off Ted Gray. It was the first extra-inning All-Star game, the first time the NL won at an AL park and the first All-Star game shown on network television.

1954 - Phillies rookie Jim Command’s first major league hit is a grand slam off Brooklyn’s Carl Erskine. The 25-year old third baseman’s blow in the sixth-run eighth isn’t enough as Brooklyn hangs on to win the Ebbets Field’s contest, 8-7.

1961 — Despite a record seven errors, and the memorable sight of a 165-pound pitcher Stu Miller balking after being blown off the mound by a gust of wind, a fact the right-hander says has been exaggerated over the years, the NL edged the AL 5-4 in the first of two All-Star games played that year.

1967 — Tony Perez’s home run off Catfish Hunter in the 15th inning gave the NL a 2-1 win in the longest game in All-Star history. The game was played in California’s Anaheim Stadium.

1968 - In Kansas City, ground is broken for the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex which will include separate side-by-side stadiums built specifically for baseball and football. Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL’s Chiefs, will open in 1972 followed by the debut a year later of Royals Stadium, the new home ballpark of the American League’s franchise in the City of Fountains.

1973 — Jim Northrup of Detroit knocked in eight runs, batting in the leadoff spot, to lead the Tigers to a 14-2 romp over the Texas Rangers.

1976 - At Altanta-Fulton County Stadium, thirty-four couples are married at home plate and a wrestling championship match takes place in a promotion billed as Headlocks and Wedlocks. The Braves take down the Mets, 9-8.

1978 — Steve Garvey keyed the NL’s 7-3 All-Star victory at San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium with a game-tying, two-run single and a triple that sparked a four-run eighth inning.

1980 - The Dodgers sell Charlie Hough to the Rangers. The 32-year old knuckleballer will spend 11 seasons with Texas posting a 139-123 record along with an ERA of 3.68.

1985 — Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros became the first pitcher in major league history to reach the 4,000-strikeout mark when he fanned New York’s Danny Heep leading off the sixth inning. The Astros beat the Mets 4-3 in 12 innings on Bill Doran’s fifth hit of the game.

1989 - n a contest best remembered for the leadoff Ruthian blast to center field by Bo Jackson, the game’s MVP who will join Willie Mays as the second player to hit a home run and steal a base in an All-Star game, the American League beats the NL’s best players, 5-3, at Anaheim Stadium. During the first inning of the Mid-Summer Classic, former U.S. President and one-timer baseball announcer Ronald Reagan joins Vin Scully in the NBC broadcast booth.

1994 - Handling four chances in the 8-1 defeat to the Rockies, Cardinal infielder Ozzie Smith passes Luis Aparicio and moves into the top spot on the all-time list for assists by a shortstop. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ will end his 19-year career in 1996 with 8,375 assists.

1995 — At the Ballpark in Arlington, Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine becomes the tenth player to homer in his first All-Star at-bat, and Frank Thomas becomes the first White Sox player ever to homer in the Midsummer Classic as the NL out-homers the American League, 3-2. Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza also go deep for the Senior Circuit.

1995 - Mickey Mantle’s final public appearance increases awareness of organ donation programs.

1996 - The United States Postal Service issues ‘Mighty Casey’’, a commemorative stamp which depicts the title character of Ernest L. Thayer’s immortal poem, ‘Casey at the Bat’. The maligned Mudville outfielder joins Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Pecos Bill as part of a set commemorating American folk heroes.

1998 - Padre reliever Trevor Hoffman, brother of opposing manager Glenn Hoffman, saves the Padres’ 4-1 victory over the Dodgers. It’s the first time in major league history a player has faced his brother as the skipper of the opposing team.

1999 - The first MLB Futures Game provides a stage for future major-league All-Star Alfonso Soriano to shine as the Yankees farmhand goes 2 for 3, hitting two of the game’s three home runs in the World’s 7-0 victory over the USA at Fenway Park. The former Hiroshima Carp infielder, now the Columbus Clippers shortstop, is named the game’s MVP.

2000 — Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored as the AL defeated the NL 6-3 in the All-Star game. Jeter became the first Yankee to win the All-Star game MVP. The 71st All-Star contest was dubbed the All Scar game due to the many stars absent from both lineups because of injuries.

2002 - The Marlins are busy on the trading block making separate deals with the Expos and the Reds. Florida deals Ryan Dempster to Cincinnati for Juan Encarnacion and gets four players, Carl Pavano, Graeme Lloyd, Mike Mordecai and prospect Justin Wayne from Montreal in exchange for Cliff Floyd, Wilton Guerrero and prospect Claudio Vargas.

2002 - The Indians fire their manager Charlie Manuel and name third base coach Joel Skinner as the interim skipper. After issuing an ultimatum to the front office about his status, the 58-year old was released after piloting Cleveland to a 39-47 record, 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Twins in the AL Central.

2004 - Carlos Beltran, selected to be an American League All-Star, will now have an opportunity to patrol the NL outfield instead. The former Royals’ flycatcher, traded to the Astros last month, was invited by Senior Circuit skipper Jack McKeon to replace Ken Griffey, Jr., on the star-studded roster.

2006 — With the American League down to its final strike, Michael Young hit a two-run triple off Trevor Hoffman for a 3-2 victory that kept the Americans unbeaten in the All-Star game for the past decade. The NL took a 2-1 lead into the ninth behind David Wright’s homer and some daring, old-style base running.

2006 - Prior to the start of the fifth inning of the All-Star game played in Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, Vera Clemente is escorted onto the field by 1960 World Series hero Bill Mazeroski to accept the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband. With the scoreboard showing replays of Roberto, tears flowing from AL skipper Ozzie Guillen, and the heartfelt ovation from the crowd, the ceremony honoring the Pirates’ Hall of Famer becomes a truly memorable moment in the history of the Midsummer Classic.

2006 - Jim Eriotes leads off for the Sioux Falls Canaries against the St. Joe (Mo.) Blacksnakes and strikes out, including fouling off one of the four pitches he sees. The at-bat makes the 83-year old former minor leaguer the oldest man to ever play in a professional baseball game.

2008 — Chris Volstad became the sixth pitcher since 1971 to get a victory as a starter and a reliever in his first two big league appearances when he came within one out of a shutout in a 3-1 win over the Dodgers. Volstad was making his first career start, after throwing two innings of scoreless relief at Colorado on July 6.

2009 — Nick Johnson, Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn homered in consecutive at-bats and the Nationals set season highs for hits and runs in a 13-2 win at Houston.

2010 - After firing Sean Berry as the club’s hitting coach, the struggling Astros name Jeff Bagwell to fill the position for the remainder of the season. The former All-Star first baseman, who retired with a lifetime .297 batting average, is the all-time team leader with 449 home runs and 1,529 RBIs.

2010 - Long time Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard dies at the age of 99. The ‘Voice of God’, a nickname bestowed by Reggie Jackson, informed patrons of the lineups and of the players coming to bat in over 4,500 contests during his 56 years behind the microphone in the ballpark in the Bronx.

2011 - Robinson Cano, the fourth straight left-handed swinger to win the competition, beats Adrian Gonzalez with 12 dingers in the final round of the Home Run Derby. The highlight of the three-hour long contest comes when the Yankee slugger gives his father, a former major league hurler with the Astros, a huge bear hug on the mound and tells his pitcher, “I love you, Dad” after he ties the Red Sox first baseman for the lead.

Today’s birthday: Javier Lopez, 35.

No He Didn’t!!!

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.” George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright.

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