If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for another baseball fan (or perhaps for yourself), why not take a look at Bethany Heck‘s Eephus League scorebooks?
They are beautifully designed and seem like they’d be perfect for a baseball fan who is just starting to keep score at games or the fan who doesn’t want to be encumbered by a larger book (or be forced into using the inadequate souvenir scorecards sold by most teams.)
For many people, baseball season ended when the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated their second World Series title in the past six years. For fans in certain Arizona communities, baseball season extends into November thanks to the Arizona Fall League.
Since it debuted three years ago, the MLB Network has let the rest of the country share in the fun by televising the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game and the Arizona Fall League Championship Game. When the Salt River Rafters closed out their 9-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros, that marked the end of professional baseball in the United States for 2011.
I meant to post this last week, on the anniversary of the only no-hitter I’ve ever seen live. But then I forgot. So here we go, one week late:
On Aug. 4th, 2010 I saw Southern Maryland Blue Crabs pitchers Joe Newby and Jim Ed Warden combine to no-hit a Newark Bears lineup that included former major leaguers Carl Everett, Daryle Ward, Brian Barton, Eric Munson and Pablo Ozuna.
Newby was cruising along for the first six innings – a third inning walk was all that separated him from perfection.
A seventh inning error and a walk presented a bit of a challenge, but a caught stealing and a double play kept the Bears from really threatening. In the eighth, Newby hit Everett to start the inning. However, he was able to strand him at third base.
By the ninth inning, Newby ran out of gas. He walked the leadoff batter, hit Ozuna and walked Kennard Jones and Barton to force in a run. If Newby hadn’t been throwing a no-hitter, I’m sure Butch Hobson wouldn’t have left him in so long. Still, in a 3-1 game, the Blue Crabs’ skipper had his limits.
Tuesday, Carlos Beltran played his final Mets game in Cincinnati. Just over six and a half seasons ago, Beltran played his first game for the Mets in Cincinnati. I guess there’s something to be said for symmetry.
Beltran went 3-for-5 to start his Mets career on Opening Day in 2005. He had a home run and a double off of Reds’ starter Paul Wilson, then added a single off reliever David Weathers in the seventh inning.
The Mets took an early 1-0 lead as Kazuo Matsui hit a first inning home run. Matsui also hit a home run in his first at bat of the season in 2004, making him the first Met to accomplish that feat since Darryl Strawberry did it in 1987 and 1988 (or so the note on my scorecard says.)
The Reds took a 3-1 lead on Adam Dunn‘s three-run homer off of Pedro Martinez in the bottom of the first. Martinez, who was also making his Mets debut, dominated the Reds for the next five innings. He struck out 12 batters over six innings, a record performance for a Mets pitcher on Opening Day.
Beltran’s homer tied the game in the third inning, and his single off Weathers drove in Jose Reyes as the go-ahead run in the seventh. The Mets added two more runs in the inning on Cliff Floyd‘s homer to go up 6-3.