1st game - 1912 World Series at the Polo Grounds, New York
Vin Scully is joined by President Ronald Reagan in the broadcast booth during the 1989 All-Star game. Scully has been calling Dodgers games since 1950. (V.J. Lovero/SI)
Lenny Dykstra (4) celebrates with teammates Rick Aguilera, Bob Ojeda and Dwight Gooden after defeating the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are off to a perfect 4-0 start. Is another World Series in their future? (Ronald C. Modra /SI)
Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams gives hitting advice to fans and fellow players during spring training in 1956. Williams retired with a .344 batting average, tied for seventh all time. (Hy Peskin/SI)
GALLERY: Classic Spring Training Photos
Willie Mays makes his iconic over-the-shoulder catch deep in center during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. The catch preserved a 2-2 tie and allowed the Giants, who swept the series, to win the game in the 10th inning. (Frank Hurley/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
GALLERY: Classic Photos of the Polo Grounds
Today is Darryl Strawberry’s 50th birthday. The eight time all-star won four World Series championships (1986, 1996, 1998, 1999) and retired with 335 career home runs and 1,000 RBIs. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
March 1, 1969: Mickey Mantle announces his retirement from baseball.
After a bad bat, Mickey Mantle flings his helmet away in disgust, June 25, 1965. Mantle made the All-Star team for 14 straight seasons and finished in the top five in MVP voting nine times. But this 1965 John Dominis photo, one of the most famous portraits of an athlete in decline ever recorded, shows something else: a man on the downside of a glorious career, ravaged by injuries, betrayed by the very body that had brought him fame and riches.
(see more — Mickey Mantle: Glory and Pain)
Photo reblogged from with 22 notes
Hall Of Fame catcher Gary Carter passed away today from brain cancer at age 57.
Besides being one of the best ever to play his position, he was known for his positive approach to life. Carter once said: “My enthusiasm for my family — and for baseball, and other things, too — strikes some people as a bit too much. My happiness crowds people a little.”
Below is an anecdote via ESPN’s Gus Ramsey, which goes to show that anyone who had the pleasure of crossing paths with Carter could see that he was nothing but genuine:
For many years I had the good fortune to produce the coverage of the baseball Hall of Fame inductions. My favorite part of the weekend always came about 30 minutes before the induction ceremonies started. Two buses carrying the returning Hall of Famers, and the inductees, would pull in behind the huge stage where they would all sit for the ceremony. I would always jump out of the production truck when the buses rolled in and stand where I could see the best of the best walk off that bus.
One by one, the greatest the game ever saw, hopped off the bus, adjusted their ties, ducked under the entrance to the backstage tent and got themselves a drink. Fans were not allowed back in that area, and security pretty much kept everyone at a distance, so there was never any “hassling” of the Hall of Famers.
The first year after Gary Carter was inducted, he walked off the bus, sunglasses on and a huge smile on his face as he stopped and looked around a little. A security guard said hello and Gary went over to the man and shook his hand. A few other stragglers, who had permission to be in the area, came over and Carter chatted them up. He stood there for four or five minutes, shook hands, smiled and made the others smile too.
Again, I witnessed the Getting Off the Bus Procession seven times, and Carter was the only player I ever saw stop to say hello to a stranger. At the time I remember thinking “He just can’t help himself. He just has to talk to anyone who would listen.” It was true, but in a much better way than I first considered.
Gary Carter loved life, loved people and loved spreading his joy to anyone and everyone. It’s one of the greatest gifts anyone can be bestowed or bestow upon others. After further examination that day, it occurred to me that Gary Carter might be the best of all the people who walked off the bus that day, just not in the way I had originally considered.
photo via Joe Petruccio
Mets centerfielder Lenny Dykstra celebrates after hitting the game-winning home run in Game 3 of the 1986 ALCS against the Astros. The Mets would win the series in six games before beating Boston in the World Series. Dykstra turns 49 today. (Manny/Millan/SI)
In 1911, the Wyoming Penitentiary’s warden, Felix Alston Sr, put together the most bizarre of All-Star teams. Consisting of only death row convicts because they would appreciate the freedom on the field more than the rest of the prison population, they became a barnstorming sensation, drawing top competitors to their western outpost. Ruthlessly, Alston instilled a policy to further incentive the ballplayers: succeed on the field, you receive a stay of execution. Fail to perform? Not only were you off the team, but you were off to the gallows.
Before one game, Alston told reporters:
“Leroy Cooke is at first. He bludgeoned to death a barber and stole his monety. On second base is George Saban. He shot his wife and two children. Jack Carter, third base. Shot and killed an old hermit, cut him up and burned his remains in the fireplace. Benjamin Owen, beat his neighbor to death with a hatchet. Horace Donavan, catcher. Shot and killed his brother-in-law. Fielders Simon Kensler, Darius Rowan and Lazlo Korda—between them they raped and killed eight people. William Boyer, pitcher. Stabbed his father to death with a letter opener.”
As for the star shorstop, Joseph Seng, he “unloaded a revolver into a man’s head.”
Even more shocking is that, instead of the politicians decrying the practice, it is believed that many funded their campaigns by betting on the All-Stars, with an estimated total of of “more than $132,000 dollars in bets” exchanging hands over the team. It was a lucrative practice for the town and everyone surrounding it.
The increased popularity was a double-edged sword, however, as it soon brought the attention of reporters who wanted to expose the scam that the Warden Alston and Judge Farchi had put in place. With the pressure on, Judge Farchi schedule an immediate appeal for Joseph Seng, the first step in hurrying his execution. Despite an outcry of support from Seng’s mother and the town that had fallen in love with his play, he was put to death and soon after the team was dissolved.
Perhaps most telling of all is third baseman Jack Carter’s quote:
“If I had to do over again, I’d still been a crook, but I would have fought harder to get on the All Star team sooner.”
(images and information via Death Row All-Stars by Chris Enss)
Doctors Without Borders is an international medical organization that provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival has been threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. Please help me and tomorrow’s guest bloggers reach our goal of $2,000 by donating here.
Fair of Foul by Peter Bond
Photo taken at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
Page 1 of 2