Daily Archives: September 6, 2011

Stephen Strasburg – Take Two

Stephen Strasburg will make his long-awaited debut with the Nationals on Tuesday. Sound familiar?

Technically, it’s only the phenom’s season debut, since he appeared in 12 games for the Nationals last season. But after Strasburg missed a year due to Tommy John surgery, there may be nearly as many eyes on this debut as his first big league appearance a year ago. Certainly, it’s been a long time coming.

“The bottom line is to go out there, get your innings in, build up the arm strength, go into the offseason healthy,” Strasburg said earlier this week. “I’m not going to put any expectations on myself. I’m not going to win a Cy Young in four starts. I’m just going to try and help this team win some ballgames.

“It was my goal [to come back this season]. Besides that, I wanted to go into the offseason healthy. It looks like at this point, both are going to happen.”

Strasburg is expected to pitch five or six innings on Tuesday against the Dodgers, who have dropped two straight after rattling off a season-best six consecutive wins.

Last year, Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA before undergoing elbow reconstruction in September. He was on a rehab assignment by August, going 1-1 with a 3.54 ERA in six games. Tuesday’s start — against Los Angeles southpaw Ted Lilly — will be Strasburg’s first big league game since Aug. 21, 2010, against the Phillies.

2,131

2,131

On this day in 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. broke the all-time Major League Baseball record for consecutive games played.  Lou Gehrig’s record stood for an amazing 56 years, but on September 6, 1995 Cal eclipsed Gehrig’s 2,130th consecutive games played streak. 

I still recall where I was when this went down – Hot Shots Sports Bar in Ft. Lauderdale.  The moment was thrilling to watch on television and now, more than fifteen years later, I still get chills watching Cal circle the ballpark celebrating with the fans.

Amazingly, Cal did not miss a single game in 13+ years!!!  Today we honor for this amazing baseball record. 

A true baseball legend, Happy Anniversary Cal!!!! 

Kirby Puckett 1989 Bowman

Kirby Puckett 1989 Bowman

Sure, I know that the 1989 set was Bowman’s re-emergence into the hobby, but it seems like they took just twenty minutes to discuss design and artwork.

And why are so many of the images used in this set of the ‘bat over the shoulder’ variety??

Was Getty having a sale on posed baseball portraits the day that Bowman decided to get back into the hobby??

Next.

Did You Know…

The first player in major league history to hit 20 or more home runs in a single season is Ned Williamson.  In 1884, Williamson connected for 27 round-trippers while playing for the Chicago White Stockings.

Happy Anniversary Eddie Murray!!!

Happy Anniversary Eddie Murray!!!

On this day in 1996, Eddie Murray became the 3rd member of the 3,000 hits/500 home run club!!!

Of all of the offensive stats that are recognized in the baseball world, I find the combination of the 3,000 hits and 500 home runs stats to be the perfect combination resulting in a complete offensive threat.

So on this day, Eddie Murray joined Willie Mays and Hank Aaron in the most elite and exclusive club in baseball.  His entry into this club helps stake his claim as one of the greatest offensive players to ever play the game of baseball.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary Eddie Murray!!!

1982 Headline: Pirates Set To Retire Stargell’s Jersey!

1982 Headline:  Pirates Set To Retire Stargell’s Jersey!

In an honor reserved for the greatest players in a franchise’s history, the Pittsburgh Pirates retired Willie Stargell’s #8 jersey on September 6, 1982.

Stargell was and still is the pride and joy of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.  Having played with the team for 21 major league season, Stargell, the city of Pittsburgh, and all Pirates fans share a special bond.

An exceptional ball player, Willie Stargell was dynamic on offense.  He has a lifetime batting average of .282 with 2,232 hits.  His power numbers are solid as he smashed 475 home runs and 423 doubles.  He also scored 1,195 runs during his career while driving in an additional 1,540.

Stargell was a 6-time All-star and he won the MVP Award in 1979 at the age of 39.  Stargell was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.  He also helped lead the Pirates to two World Series championships in 1971 & 1979.