BaseballGuru.com's Braintrust Newsletter, July 2002
Friends and Braintrust Subscribers,
Like all of you, we were flabbergasted and saddened by the sudden death of Darryl Kile Saturday, June 22, 2002. As a Dodgers fan whose team has been a frequent victim of Kile's competitiveness and pitching skill, we would like to pass on our best wishes and thoughts to both the St. Cardinals and, especially, to Darryl's family. If there is one consolation in this truly terrible event, he got to play most of his career in front of the best fans in all of baseball. May he rest in peace.
Where were you when you heard about Darryl Kile's passing? Email me.
Among the short list of players who died during a season, the one that sticks out in memory for me was Thurman Munson. He was a great catcher for the New York Yankees on a star-studded team including Reggie Jackson, Tommy John and others. It was a real tragedy. On August 8, 1979 he crashed a private plane that he was flying. I was a kid at sleep away camp when it happened. I heard about it around dinnertime. None of us could believe it, kids and counselors alike. The next morning the camp flew its American flag at half-mast. The season before Lyman Bostock was shot in the back seat of a car. I remember when Thurman died, we chatted about how good he and Lyman both were. Its funny how you recall previous tragedies when a new one happens.
Mike McCann continues his quest to visit every major and minor league baseball stadium.
Earlier this season, Mike McCann spent some time in southern California on business. While there, he saw nine baseball games in eight different stadiums, including five California League stadiums (Visalia, Lake Elsinore, High Desert, San Bernardino and Lancaster). Since he was staying in Lancaster during his trip, he also saw two games at Lancaster Municipal Stadium, also known as The Hangar. Plus, he saw the Jet Hawks on the road at High Desert. Here's the link to the article: http://baseballguru.com/bunko/analysisbunko07.html
Laurence Alpert provided new information about the death of Smokey Joe. He asks if anyone knows what happened to widow Beatrice Williams or if any relatives are still living? Locations/address? Phone contacts?
He was also interested in whether a baseball group might be interested in arranging some sort of official ceremony perhaps arranging for a plaque to be placed at Lincoln Cemetery in Suitland (working with Ms. Garfinkel the Director of Administration). He would be interested in contributing to such a cause.
Here's the link to the article and it has Laurence's contact info: http://baseballguru.com/jholway/analysisjholway18.html
Pro Yakyu: A Trio of Japanese League Articles
Ever wonder which were the best teams of all-time? How about in Japan? Jim Albright wrote an excellent article describing the most dominant and most dominated teams in Japanese baseball history. Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright09.html
Next, Jim tackled dynasties and long time flops. Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright11.html
Finally, Jim contends that all successful managers have stars on their teams, because it is those stars who fuel the team's success. Managers sometimes develop the stars, and sometimes they just join with them in creating success, but either way, the relationship is there. This article tries to identify all the Japanese stars who starred for very successful managers in more than one season. Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright10.html
There's been a recent push among some SABR members for Sadaharu Oh to be elected to the Hall of Fame. This would open the door to an evolution from an American HOF to an International one.
The recent Japanese invasion of the MLB is what kicked off this debate. It's about Ichiro's MVP, not any special interest. Based on Ichiro's Japanese career and whatever accomplishments he finishes with in the MLB, it seems that he is an inevitable Hall of Famer.
Because it is likely that Ichiro will ultimately be elected based largely on his Japanese career, by extension, Sadaharu Oh deserves reconsideration. This is because Oh was the best hitter in Japanese history, but was restricted from the MLB during his playing years. Had he played in the MLB he would no doubt be a Hall of Famer.
Likewise, Josh Gibson from the Negro Leagues was elected to the HOF under similar circumstances. He never played in the MLB but was elected and rightfully so.
If you are interested in following this discussion more, there are a couple of essential web sites to see: First, http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright08.html
Also, you can do your own analysis by checking out the freely available Japanese data archive. Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/stats.html
Finally, the brief "Introduction to Japanese Baseball" on Baseball Guru, is by all means worth reading. In fact, why not start there? http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/japanesebaseballprimer.htm
Baseball Analysis -- Some Highlights
John Holway asks, "Do the Red Sox want to win the World Series badly enough to woo the coquettish maiden with the sparkling eye and light-hearted laugh who sparked Boston to six pennants and five world championships in 14 glorious years 1903-1915?" Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/jholway/analysisjholway26.html
Last month we talked about the ramped use of steroids in the MLB. Find out about more Steroid Cheaters. Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/jholway/analysisjholway27.html
Anyone who would like to contribute commentary, photos, articles, experiences or whatever may to submit them for online publication by emailing me. You don't have to be a Guru to make a valuable and interesting contribution.
The Guru's Famous Game
In case you missed the grand opening, the new Free Cards Archive was recently established! Come see what new cards are available and look for more free cards to be posted. Here's the link: http://baseballguru.com/nya1996.htm
Of particular interest is the free set of Babe Ruth cards from his years on the Red Sox. See his transition from star pitcher to star batter.
If you've never played the game before, you can print out the instructions from the Free Cards Archive. If you want to learn more about the game, here's the link to the main page: http://baseballguru.com/bbboardgame.html
You can support BaseballGuru.com with very little effort
Do your part by buying all of your books and CD's through The Guru's Amazon Affiliate Store instead of directly through Amazon. You get the same prices and service but also help keep baseballguru.com up and running. Please use the search box on any page. It's much appreciated.
So, that's what's new. Keep on visiting, keep on emailing and tell your friends about the most interesting baseball site on the web!
Craig Tomarkin (the Guru, webmaster and editor)
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