Larry Doby Day

On some baseball-related CD I own, I have a song that goes:
“Hooray, hooray, the time has really come.
Hooray, hooray, the time has really come.
Cleveland’s got Larry Doby, Brooklyn’s got Jackie Robinson.”

Jackie Robinson’s contribution to baseball, and to society, has been well documented, especially with this being the 60th anniversary of him breaking the game’s color barrier back in April. But I was watching Sunday Night Baseball this week, and there was a discussion suggesting that perhaps Larry Doby being the first black in the American League, at least in the modern era, was as tough as or tougher than what JR went through. An interesting theory, that. Jackie DID go through the Dodgers’ minor league system, whereas Doby, who died four years ago, came straight from the Negro Leagues, without a Branch Rickey to advise him along the way. And while Jackie integrated the one league, I suspect there were those who were holding out hope that the AL would remain lily-white. So when he showed up, well, there goes the neighborhood. (Which, strangely, reminds me of some song I haven’t heard in years by the Bus Boys, NOT the Molly Hatchet or Sheryl Crow or Body Count song with the same title.)
Oh, speaking of Sunday Night Baseball, I know about “the book”, but really, why does a manager pull a starting pitcher who’s thrown less than 85 pitches, who’s given up zero runs on six hits, stranded a runner on third with no outs, in favor of a “closer” with an ERA of over 6.00?
From my in-laws’ local paper: Baseball can be a microcosm of American society, State University College at Oneonta history professor William Simons said.
I bought a book this week: The SABR Baseball List & Record Book: Baseball’s Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics. It’s a fun book.
Who threw the first no-hitter at Shea Stadium? Jim Bunning, now a member of Congress.
Who hit the first grand slam at the LA Coliseum? Willie Mays.
Most years together for 9 teammates? 10 years, by Detroit Tigers of 1964-1973. The team also has the record for 8 teammates together (11 years), 7 teammates (11 years), 6 teammates (12 years) five teammates (12 years), and tied for 4 teammates (13 years).
Plus all sorts of base-stealing, pitching, and batting records. Recommended for baseball stats junkies.
The June 29 Wall Street Journal (p. W9C) is hot on something called BOP (bases over plate appearances), which is the total number of bases + hit by pitches + walks divided by plate appearances. I was curious how many of the top 10 guys are on the All-Star roster:
Alex Rodriguez (NYY) .732 starter
Barry Bonds (SF) .701 starter
Jack Cust (Oak) .680 not on roster
Magglio Ordonez (Det) .677 starter
Carlos Pena (TB) .667 not on roster
Prince Fielder (Milw) .664 starter
Chipper Jones (Atl) .649 not on roster
David Ortiz (Bos) .643 starter
Jim Thome (CWS) .634 not on roster
Ryan Howard (Phil) .633 not on roster
I wonder how it would have turned out if they were playing in an American League city, where the designated hitter is in the lineup, rather than in San Francisco. Cust and Thome are both DHs. Pena and Howard are at the crowded first base position. Third baseman Jones has been injured a lot this season.
Off topic, ADD recommends something called The Simple Dollar. I was particularly intrigued by the July 1 post, extensively reviewing a book entitled The 12 Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back. Looks interesting.


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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