Play Ball!

With the opening of the 2019 baseball season safely behind us (Go, Mets!), now would be a good time to add to this site’s entries on baseball.

“This boy comes the nearest to perfection in pitching of anyone in either major league at the present time. He has more speed than Spahn and almost perfect control of a slow curve, – that really curves. He also has an exceptional fast ball and occasionally throws a change up off the fast ball.” This is the opinion of the legendary Branch Rickey in one of his numerous scouting reports – this one on the superb pitcher Sandy Koufax. (A point of transparency here. I am a native-born Brooklynite and actually saw Koufax pitch with the Brooklyn Dodgers.) All of Rickey’s insightful reports, including ones of Henry Aaron and Roberto Clemente, are now available online at the Library of Congress. A timeline of Rickey’s contributions to baseball accompanies this site as do other useful links.

How about viewing the first baseball cards? There are 2,100 of them printed between 1887 and 1914 representing 1,000 players from thirteen leagues and seventy-five cities. They feature the likenesses of some of the great names from that era including Christy Mathewson and Cy Young. And the collection even has the 1909-13 Brooklyn Dodgers! In addition, the backs of the cards are also displayed because they contain either biographies of the players or other sporting information. You can search by city or league.  A special feature is the chronological arrangement of the cards by the collections in which they appeared. A wonderful site for those who consider baseball as the only true sport in this country.

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