morning afternoon. (I am overseas this week and regret not having been able to post Reveille in time for you to chew it over alongside your big bowl of delicious Frosted Flakes.)
Here are several links from the past week that will make what’s left of your Monday a bit more bearable:
En route to the clubhouse at Anaheim Stadium for his first All-Star Game, the July 11, 1967 Midsummer Classic, Tom Seaver was asked to show his player ID card to prove he belonged. “I looked like I was about 12,” Seaver says now, laughing. He was 22.
When Seaver arrived in the clubhouse, Lou Brock glanced over and said, “Kid, go get me a Coke.” Seaver, laughing again, says, “He thought I was a clubhouse kid!”
It didn’t take Seaver long, however, to show that he belonged. And the National League’s 2–1 victory in the All-Star Game helped prove it to, of all people, himself.
Seaver, who went on to win NL Rookie of the Year, got the save by pitching a scoreless 15th inning after Tony Perez had smacked a go-ahead solo homer off Catfish Hunter in the top of the frame. On the mound, Seaver says, he had a career-changing moment.
The phone rang in the bullpen and Seaver knew it was the call for him to pitch — Claude Osteen, the only other remaining NL pitcher, had thrown 9 2 / 3 innings two days earlier.
“I really had to work to keep from throwing up,” Seaver says. “I did. It’s probably an exaggeration, but that’s the feeling I had. When I got to the mound, I walked up the mound and I looked down at the rubber and that’s the time I finally believed in myself, I said, ‘I can do this.’ I remember distinctly. That was a huge turning point in my career. ‘This is what I do. I can do this.’ I threw my warmup pitches and all that sort of insecurity went away.”
- Erik Brady and Ted Berg of USA Today take note of the paucity of All-Stars from the New York teams and wonder if the locals are as into the sport as they were two or three years ago.
- Just because Yasiel Puig isn’t on the National League roster doesn’t mean we can’t talk about him. Heck, Fangraphs’ Alex Remington goes so far as to compare his hot start with Jeff Francoeur’s.
- Raul Ibanez isn’t on the American League Roster but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times marvels at the 41-year-old’s power surge. Ibanez is a mere five home runs away from breaking the record for most home runs by a player his age (Ted Williams, 29 HRs in 1960).
- Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics showcases the heat map for Tim Lincecum’s 148-pitch no-hitter last Saturday in Petco Park.
- Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune laments “Nine traditions lost from baseball,” including:
The Bullpen Car
Dick Stigman, the pride of Nimrod, Minn., was acquired by the Twins on April 2, 1962 for Pedro Ramos, and was an outstanding left-handed addition over the four years. He spent his share of time in the bullpen (except for 33 starts in 1963) and took rides at Met Stadium in a Dodge, in a Ford and in a golf cart.
“One year, the players got free Dodges for the season from the place out by Southview, so we rode in from the bullpen in a Dodge,’’ Stigman said. “Another time we got Fords from Midway, so we rode in a Ford.
“Nobody ran in from the bullpen. I don’t think we could’ve made it. We all smoked.’’
George Tsamis, the manager of the Saints, said: “I saw bullpen cars as a fan of the Giants and the A’s in the Bay Area. I don’t know why they don’t have them these days, the way everything in a big-league ballpark is marketed.’’
Glen Perkins agrees. The ace lefthander of the Twins’ bullpen has campaigned in recent months for a bullpen car at Target Field, mostly through his Twitter handle @glen_perkins.
- Beyond the Boxscorei’s Jon Roegele discovers that starters who face the same opponent in consecutive starts see results that are not appreciably different the second time around, although those pitchers on average tend to throw slightly fewer fastballs.
- Aaron Hicks initially misplayed this ball in the gap but then unleashed a long, rainbow throw to nail Vernon Wells at third base.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!