Posted in Baseball, Newark Bears

Our second Met in Cooperstown

Piazza-20160106_195946Last night, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza would be inducted this summer as the Class of 2016.

Griffey set a new record, appearing on 437 of the 440 ballots cast. (The old record was held by Tom Seaver – our first Mets representative in Cooperstown – who received 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992.)

It took four years, but Piazza finally crossed the 75 percent threshold in this year’s election. And while I can’t figure out how a man who’s been retired from baseball since 2007 managed to do anything that “made him a Hall of Famer” since the last election, I’d rather celebrate the voters getting something right.

Continue reading “Our second Met in Cooperstown”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Raines hired by Blue Jays, according to report

Happy New Year! Let’s try to make 2013 a good one, ok?

Newark Bears manager Tim Raines goes over the ground rules with home plate umpire Matt Beaver and Lancaster Barnstormers manager Von Hayes before a game in 2009 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall).
Newark Bears manager Tim Raines goes over the ground rules with home plate umpire Matt Beaver and Lancaster Barnstormers manager Von Hayes before a game in 2009. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Baseball reporter Mel Antonen says that potential Hall of Famer Tim Raines has been hired by the Toronto Blue Jays as an outfield and base-running coach. Antonen didn’t offer any details, so this could be a major league or minor league assignment… it could possibly even be a part-time spring training instructor gig.

For what it’s worth, the Newark Bears website still lists Raines as the team’s director of player development. (Update – January 2nd: The Bears confirmed that Raines is leaving their organization.)

Yesterday was the last day for voters to submit their Baseball Hall of Fame ballots; the results will be announced on Wednesday, January 9th. Last year, Raines received 279 votes (48.7%), up from 218 (37.5%) in 2011, 164 (30.4%) in 2010, and 122 (22.6%) in 2009, his first year on the ballot.

Do you think Tim Raines will be elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

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Posted in Somerset Patriots, Uncategorized

Minor League Monday: 2008 Somerset Patriots Ballpark 10th Season set

To celebrate their 10th season in 2008, the Somerset Patriots gave away a series of baseball cards highlighting some memorable moments in their ballpark’s 10 year history.

There were five differed strips, each with four cards that were part of the set plus an advertising card for the business that sponsored that particular giveaway. The set was not sold in the team store or online, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find one today.

In addition to cards of fan favorites like Jeff Nettles, Billy Hall and Brian Adams, the set includes what I believe is Tim Raines‘ only Atlantic League baseball card. (Raines played in eight games for the 2000 Patriots team to showcase his skills with the hopes of making the U.S. Olympic team; he was not selected.) There are also cards for two notable non-baseball celebrities: singer Jessica Simpson, who performed a concert at what was then known as Commerce Bank Park in 2004, and Donald Trump, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game in 2004.

Continue reading “Minor League Monday: 2008 Somerset Patriots Ballpark 10th Season set”

Posted in Uncategorized

Oberkfell to manage Newark Bears in 2012

Ken Oberkfell's 2010 Buffalo Bisons baseball card

The Newark Bears have announced that Ken Oberkfell will manage the team in 2012. (When he was first hired as the team’s bench coach, I had suggested that he was overqualified for that role.)

Tim Raines will remain with the Bears as the team’s Director of Player Development. “Raines is committed to the Bears and is excited about these new changes within the organization,” according to a press release sent out by the Newark Bears this morning.

Oberkfell and new pitching coach Ralph Citarella will be formally introduced at a press conference prior to the Newark Bears Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball charity event on Saturday.

Posted in New York Mets, Uncategorized

Baseball season is getting closer

Well, we’re 22 days from the official start of spring training for the New York Mets (and seven days from the football game that people actually care about.)  The first 2012 Topps baseball cards will make their appearance in stores this week.

David Wright (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

And a few major league teams held fanfest events this weekend. (Sometimes I wonder why New York sports teams developed this mentality of expecting fans to shower them with money just because they exist.)

At the annual Chicago White Sox fan convention on Friday, emperor-for-life Bud Selig decreed that “clubs really want” his expanded playoff system and wants it to be implemented this season. I was initially in favor of the plan – and I still am – but I don’t see the need to rush into it. (Then again, maybe I just dislike the idea because Selig is pushing it… )

Some odds & ends: