Showing posts from March, 2011

The Legend of Pitching Great: Rube Waddell (1897-1910)

George Edward Waddell was born on October 13, 1876. He was nicknamed Rube because he was a big young fresh kid. The term was used back then to decribe farmboys ir hayseeds. Waddell was a fascinating personality. His off the field antics ade it hard for him to land a steady job in baseball. When the National League was set to eight teams in 1900 the Pittsburgh Pirates took over the players from the Louisville club, including Waddell.  When he hit the big leagues he was one of the best pitchers of his era, maybe all time. The crowds always came out to see him pitch. He always made grand entrances, earning applause & cheers. The kids idolized him & the older fans got a kick out of him. He led the NL in ERA that season, but his crazy behavior got him suspended & he moved on to pitching in small towns. Connie Mack heard of Waddell & with the Pirates approval had him pitch for him in the newly former American League at Milwaukee for a brief period. After the season he pitc

The Italian / American Coach Attacked on the Field: Tom Gamboa

Thomas Harold Gamboa was born February 28, 1948 in Los Angeles, California. He was a minor league manager beginning in 1979, then again in the 1980;s getting as high as AA ball. In 1998 & 1999 he was the Chicago Cubs third base coach returning to manage at the AAA level in 2000. In 2001 he became the Kansas City Royals first base coach & would remain there for three seasons. Then on September 19th at Comiskey Park in Chicago in a game against the White Sox, Gamboa was involved in a very strange incident. It was one of the uglier moments in baseballs modern day. Gamboa was coaching in the box at first base when he was attacked from behind by two drunken fans. The father & son tackled the coach landing a few punches to his head until players & security were able to pull them off. Gamboa suffered injuries both physical & mental. He recovered & is working for the San Diegos Padres as a minor league instructor these days.

Amazin' New Mets Book: 50 Amazin' Seasons- The Complete Illustrated History

Matt Silverman's new book; New York Mets 50 Amazin' Seasons- The Complete Illustrated History, is a great easy read book on Mets history. I especially like the large collection of photographs from yearbooks, baseball cards & various media outlets. Matt a true Mets fan, believes (as we do here at centerfield maz) that the Mets are more than just 1986 or 1969 or 2000. There is a great history to the ball club with many great players & characters who have worn Mets uniforms. Yes, there were many bad seasons that we can now look back & laugh at, but we still have fond memories of those days too. There were so many second place finishes where great seasons ended up just falling short. Those years were better than the bad years & better than most teams fans get to enjoy. I also love the way this book puts some focus on the 1973 NL Champion Mets team, maybe my favorite of all Mets teams. No one ever mentions this great part of Mets history, the amazing comeback to