The Ripken Way

Cal Ripken Jr. acknowledges the crowd after officially breaking Lou Gehrig’s record.

IRONMAN

Cal Ripken plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record; truly one of baseball’s magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Perfect PRACTICE Makes Perfect

Practice does not make perfect. How is that possible? Because bad habits may be practiced, and practicing a flawed technique will get a player nowhere. The only way to do something is to do it right. Practicing good habits is what makes a better player. Habits are formed in practice and then become automatic in the game. You play like you practice; If you practice correctly, you will play correctly.

TEACHING BaseballPrintable Lessons as well as Video Lessons (click hyperlinks below) on the Basic Fundamentals of Hitting, Infield & Outfield Play, Pitching and even a Glossary. Instructors include Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, John Habyan and Joe Orsulak.

HITTING

Hitting is probably the most difficult part of the game. However, it is also the most enjoyable and satisfying part, as we all love to hit a baseball. It’s difficult because the pitcher has the ability to throw the ball hard, or not so hard, or to make it curve or sink. As the hitter, we not only have to determine what pitch has been thrown, but also whether it is a strike or a ball. If it is a strike, we have to attempt to hit it. All of this must be done in a fraction of a second. Like all parts of the game there are basic fundamentals that can help make us become better hitters. Click on Hitting Lessons with Cal: Fundamentals, Choose Right Bat, Right Grip, Stance, Weight Shift, Release Point, Stride, Swing, Tee Drill, Soft Toss Drill, One Hand Drill, Make It Fun

INFIELD

Infield defense can be broken down into two parts: catching and throwing. It’s as simple as that. If we don’t catch the ground ball, we certainly can’t throw it. If you take that concept to its extreme form, a double play is five simple parts: a catch, a throw, a catch, a throw and a catch. Click on Infield Lessons with Bill & Cal: Defense-Catch & Throw, Playing Catch, Get Wide, Roll Ball Drill, Backhand, Throwing Side Foot-Backhand Drill, Glove Side Foot-Backhand Drill, Routine Backhand Play, Infield Throwing, Underhand Flip, Underhand Toss Drill, Box Drill Short-Second, Box Drill Second-Short, Double Play, Firstbase Fundamentals

OUTFIELD

Outfield play, especially at the youth levels, often gets overlooked. Even though the outfielder is not directly involved in the majority of plays, coaches need to stress the importance of the position. An outfielder has to be able to maintain concentration throughout the game, because there may only be one or two hit balls that come directly to that player during the course of the contest. Those plays could be the most important ones. There also are many little things an outfielder can do — backing up throws and other outfielders, cutting off balls and keeping runners from taking extra bases, and throwing to the proper cutoffs and bases – that don’t show up in a scorebook, but can really help a team play at a high level. Click on Outfield Lessons with Joe Orsulak: Straight Away, Good Stance, Pick Up Ball Off Bat, Cross Over Step, Drop Step, DS Drill, Get To Spot, Catch Ball, Fast-Slow-Fast, Throwing-Grip, Throw Using Body-Crow Hop, Make Accurate Throw

PITCHING

As a pitching coach or an instructor, you do most of your work from behind the mound watching pitchers throw. There is a certain progression to use when you are observing pitchers. The first thing to do, especially when watching pitchers for the first time, is to just observe. Resist the urge to discuss any theories or any expectations. Just give them the ball and let them throw for 10 minutes. When watching pitchers throw for the first time, it’s important to look for three things, and one of them isn’t mechanics. Don’t really concentrate on mechanics as one of the first things. Click on Pitching Lessons with John Habyan: Mechanics-Strikes, Five Links, Four Seam Fastball Grip, Two Seam FB Grip, Five Links of Chain, One Knee Drill, Tee Drill, Power Position Drill, Breaking Balls-Grip, Breaking Ball-Mechanics, Change Up

LIGHT BULBS

Lessons: First Baseman, Box Drill-Cross Over Step, Following Pitch

Skipper

Al Gallagher

The BEST thing I heard after our disappointing 10-0 loss in the Championship game was from a complete stranger.

A young boy was walking by immediately following my Gatorade shower and said,”That’s the happiest losing team I ever saw”!

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Every baseball player and coach wants to win, generally. That’s why you keep score. The biggest showcase of the year is the World Series and that’s where all the hard work throughout the season comes to a close. If you had a successful season and won enough games to make it to the playoffs you have a shot at taking home a National Championship.

However, there have been many, many great baseball players that were not very popular like Al Gallagher. So, when you think of the BEST ballplayers, you automatically associate their stats. What was his batting average? What was his ERA? And yes, coaches also are measured on stats. Yet, considering how difficult it is to make it to the World Series, it is fascinating to me that Joe Torre won the Championship four (4) times. Read more.

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Buck Showalter

If you want to be the best ___ [fill-in the blank]. Find someone who has already achieved that success. Then just copy everything they do! Eventually, you’ll develop your own “signature”. I’ll stick with the home town hero, Buck Showalter.

Earl Weaver

Notice that Buck was the Yankees coach before Torre. But I grew up watching Earl Weaver. Buck Showalter loves scouting reports — except when it comes to assessing the personalities of people he’s never met. In that regard, the Orioles’ manager insists upon formulating his own opinion. “People will start to tell me about a player that’s coming,” Showalter said, “and I stop them and say, ‘I got this. We’re starting fresh. I’m going to make up my own mind about him.'”

Buck Showalter

Showalter’s reputation preceded his arrival in Baltimore. Taskmaster, drill sergeant, disciplinarian — those words were often associatedwith him during his tenure as manager of the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Texas Rangers (2003-06). So when the feisty skipper was hired by then-president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to turn around a franchise in search of its first winning season since 1997, the players knew what was coming…

“Some people’s reputation before you meet them is not the same after you get to know them.

Hank Aaron

Hall of Famer and Braves Legend Dies at 86

Baseball lost one of its greatest legends with the death of Hall of Famer and Braves legend Hank Aaron at age 86.

“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank. He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments yet he never lost his humble nature,” Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement.

“Hank Aaron is near the top of everyone’s list of all-time great players. His monumental achievements as a player were surpassed only by his dignity and integrity as a person,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said.

“Hank symbolized the very best of our game, and his all-around excellence provided Americans and fans across the world with an example to which to aspire. His career demonstrates that a person who goes to work with humility every day can hammer his way into history–and find a way to shine like no other.” Read more


For complete stats, CLICK HERE


Greatest in baseball history

Hank Aaron, one of the greatest players in baseball history who smashed Babe Ruth’s career home run record in defiance of threats to his life and who used his Hall of Fame baseball career as a platform to champion civil rights, died Jan. 22 at 86.

Jonathan Kerber, the Atlanta Braves’ communications manager, confirmed the death but did not provide additional details. Mr. Aaron became the 10th member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to die since April, an unfathomable loss of star power, history and institutional knowledge of the game.

Throughout his 23-year career, spent mostly with the Braves in Milwaukee and then Atlanta, Mr. Aaron was admired as a model of steady excellence on the diamond, even though he lacked the swaggering charisma of Ruth or the exuberant flair of his contemporaries Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente. Read more


Henry Louis Aaron (February 5, 1934 – January 22, 2021), nicknamed “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank”, was an American professional baseball right fielder who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1954 through 1976. He spent 21 seasons with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) and two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League (AL).

Aaron is regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His 755 career home runs broke the long-standing MLB record set by Babe Ruth and stood as the most for 33 years; Aaron still holds many other MLB batting records. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its list of the “100 Greatest Baseball Players”. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Aaron was born and raised in and around Mobile, Alabama. Aaron had seven siblings, including Tommie Aaron, who played major-league baseball with him. He appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. By his final MLB season, Aaron was the last Negro league baseball player on a major league roster. During his time in the MLB, especially during his run for the hitting record, Aaron and his family endured extensive racist threats. Read more

Mike Matheny

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 14: Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 14, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 14: Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 14, 2014 in San Francisco, California

Read his letter to Little League => Click Here

Great philosophy!!!

Humility & Teachable.

Michael Scott Matheny (born September 22, 1970) is an American former professional baseball catcher and the current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB), a position he has held since 2012. A product of the University of Michigan, Matheny was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth round of the 1991 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut for the Brewers in 1994 and retired in 2006 with the San Francisco Giants. He also played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cardinals during his thirteen-year catching career.

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Though not a prodigious hitter, Matheny was one of the most accomplished defensive catchers of his era, winning four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Further, he established major league records among catchers for consecutive games played without committing an error (252), and consecutive chances fielded without an error (1,565). Matheny is one of only three Major League catchers with an errorless season of at least 100 games, and he set a Giants single-season team record in 2005 for catcher’s fielding percentage at .999. He retired from playing due to persisting concussion symptoms, and has since become an advocate for its prevention and for improved catcher safety.

mike_matheny_umpireAfter his playing career, Matheny coached Little League Baseball. The Cardinals hired him to manage following the 2011 season in spite of having no previous professional experience. In 2015, he became the first manager in MLB history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, and, in 2014, just the fifth to a League Championship Series appearance in each of his first three. His furthest title claim occurred in 2013, when the Cardinals won the National League pennant, only to fall to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Read more

Championships

Blaze Runner-up

Picture above is from our 2016 season. Congratulations Blaze! Notice the guy to my right is Tippy Martinez.  He along with catcher Rick Dempsey, and the starting pitcher Scott McGregor—were to have leading roles in the Orioles’ World Championship of ’83.  Read more.tippy_martinez2

May-June is an exciting time of year for all the school championships.  At all levels- high school and college, the game begins.  Pressure.  Intensity.  Cheer for your local team or perhaps you have a relative or neighbor playing this month?

Currently, our team is in the “FINAL FOUR”. 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate?  Remember that cheer?  Win or Lose, this is where TRUE sportsmanship comes in.  Our team has made REMARKABLE progress this season.  Great players, coaches and parents!

I spent some time the other day looking up the MLB League Leaders (see below).  Notice Manny Machado is #1 in three categories (read more). You might also want to read about Dexter Fowler.  However, what is more extraordinary, is the Chicago Cubs record of 25-6. That’s a winning percentage of .806.

Compare that to the 1st place team in the AL East Orioles 19-12, you’ll have an appreciation how amazing that it is.  fowlerAlso, remember last year’s “Back to the Future” crystal ball reference that in the movie with Michael J. Fox, the Cubs were predicted to win the 2015 World Series.  They came on strong during the playoffs winning the wild card race, but fell short to the Mets in the National League who eventually went on to play the Royals.

Well, if you like competition, the NCAA College World Series DI Championship will be held on June 18-28, 2016 in TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska.  This was very exciting last year when University of Maryland had an incredible year and lost to UCLA.  University of Virginia went on to win the National Championships.  The teams to watch in 2016 are Florida and Texas A&M (read more).

It’s pretty cool watching amateurs play at the highest level.  Even if you don’t like baseball, you can tune in to see the very best compete in Tennis, Golf, Lacrosse, Track & Field, and many more sports.

Now, if you are a real enthusiast, you could even visit Ripken Stadium to watch MD Interscholastic Athletic Association A & B Conference championships on May 22, 2016  (read more).  Another local team I found having an amazing season is Dulaney High School with a 17-3 record (read more).  Here are some other interesting links: www.d1baseball.comwww.maxpreps.com, www.varsitysportsnetwork.com and www.prepbaseballreport.com.

See ya at the ball park 🙂

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Gatorade Shower

In the 2016 spring baseball season I experienced one of the most gratifying experiences from our successful team known as the Gatorade shower.

We had about a half dozen players return from the 0-14 losing season in 2015.  So, to make it to the championship last year was quite an accomplishment. Read more

I kept reminding the players – practice fundamental baseball. Simultaneously, always keeping them motivitated, “who wants to bring home the hardware?”

It paid off!

Also known as the Gatorade dunk or the Gatorade bath, is an American sports tradition that involves players surreptitiously dumping a cooler full of liquid (most commonly Gatorade mixed with ice) over the head of their coach (or occasionally a high-profile assistant coach, star player, or team owner in professional leagues) following a meaningful win, such as the Super Bowl or World Series. Read more

Interestingly enough, I had the pleasure of leading our soccer team to a championship season as well. Read more

Win one for the Gipper

knute-rockne

As Notre Dame was about to play Army in 1928, football coach Knute Rockne invoked the name of former player George Gipp.  Gipp’s deathbed request eight years earlier supposedly had been to use his memory to motivate the Fighting Irish for a big game.  “‘Rock'”, the coach said Gipp told him, “‘some day when things look real tough for Notre Dame, ask the boys to go out there and win one for me.’

Given the 2016-17 Presidential climate, I (Coach Brooks) never knew the history of this quote.  I suspect just about every competitive athlete and coach has heard this expression, “Win one for the Gipper“, but now it’s even more meaningful understanding the origin!

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Well, I’ve never used Gipp’s request until now.  This is the time.” Notre Dame won.  A New York Daily News writer later reported Rockne’s emotional locker room speech in a feature story headed, “Gipp’s Ghost Beat Army / Irish Hero’s Deathbed Request Inspired Notre Dame.”  Two years later Rockne embellished the legend when he wrote in a magazine that Gipp told him, “‘Some time, Rock, when the team’s up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys—tell them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.” In 1940, an adaptation of these words, “Tell’em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper,” provided the dramatic denouement of a movie in which Ronald Regain played George Gipp.  That movie (whose script was written by Robert Buckner), and Reagan’s lifelong identification with this role, made “Win one for the Gipper” a permanent part of America’s athletic-political lore. (The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When by Ralph Keyes. St. Martin’s Press, Apr 1, 2007).  Read more


George Gipp (February 18, 1895 – December 14, 1920), nicknamed “The Gipper”, was a college football player who played for the University of Notre Dame. Gipp was selected as Notre Dame’s first Walter Camp All-American. Gipp played several positions, particularly halfback, quarterback, and punter.  Gipp died at the age of 25 of a streptococcal throat infection, days after leading Notre Dame to a win over Northwestern in his senior season,[1] and is the subject of Knute Rockne’s famous “Win just one for the Gipper” speech. In the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American he was portrayed by Ronald Reagan. Read more


Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor who was the 40th President of the United States, from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California, from 1967 to 1975, after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.

Raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois, Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to Hollywood in 1937, he became an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild, the labor union for actors, where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories.

Reagan essentially did not become very FAMOUS until after his 56rd birthday – Governor of CA and especially after his Presidency.  He often used the expression, “Win one for the Gipper” in his political speeches.

He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency in 1968 and 1976; four years later, he easily won the nomination outright, becoming the oldest elected U.S. president up to that time, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980.  Read more

This will continue to be my #1 “locker room motivation pep talk” until I retire from coaching (which probably won’t be until Blake goes to college).  Reagan is often regarded as one of the most popular and influential American Presidents alongside Kennedy and Lincoln in the history of the United States.

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William Joseph Patrick “Pat” O’Brien (November 11, 1899 – October 15, 1983) was an American film actor with more than one hundred screen credits. Of Irish descent, he often played Irish and Irish-American characters and was referred to as “Hollywood’s Irishman in Residence” in the press. One of the best-known screen actors of the 1930s and 1940s, he played priests, cops, military figures, pilots, and reporters. He is especially well-remembered for his roles in Knute Rockne, All American (1940), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), and Some Like It Hot (1959). He was frequently paired onscreen with Hollywood legend James Cagney. O’Brien also appeared on stage and television. Read more

 

Broken Clock

Were you late for any meetings this week (e.g. Monday, March 13)?  How many clocks did you have to change in your house and office? Well, I have at least a dozen or more. This includes microwave, coffee maker, watches, etc.

A broken clock is right twice a day.  Thank God for “smart phones” that automatically adjust twice a year.  Hopefully, I am right more often than I am wrong, but that is often debatable. Two steps forward, one step back.

Nevertheless, if you are like me, you might have some broken clocks, or a watch with a dead battery.  In fact, if you are really behind the eight ball, you may have to update your calendar or your watch because February only has 28 days and your watch may be 3 days behind if you have not worn it in awhile.

Daylight Saving Time

The good news is the days are getting longer and you will start seeing more daylight.  Daylight Saving Time changes at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March in the U.S. when we set our clocks forward (“Spring Forward”) one hour ahead of Standard Time. We turn the clocks back at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November (“Fall Back”), thus returning to Standard Time. Read more

You may recall my Introductory “Little League” Letter was all business.  Well, actually I’m pretty laid back and often digress – side track or even worse, regress move backward.  Did you know that moving your clock forward one hour is a lot easier than moving it back in the fall because you have to cycle through 11 hours?  Depending on whether you have an Analog or Digital clock, when you change the time from 2am to 3am it’s real easy.  However, changing from 2am to 1am means you have to go all the way around.

This reminds me of my life.  Physically “In old age, one’s body regresses.”  Frequently, “I battle with ONLY two gears in my life”.  Forward or Backwards.  Rarely do I Park and Sit Still. That is my greatest challenge – moderation and being low key.

When local standard time was about to reach Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2:00:00 am clocks were turned forward 1 hour to Sunday, March 12, 2017, 3:00:00 am local daylight time instead.  Sunrise and sunset was about 1 hour later on Mar 12, 2017 than the day before. There was more light in the evening.  However, there is a one week, one hour time difference Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5) or Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4) depending upon the season (Spring forward, Fall back), so please adjust accordingly. Read more

As your Skipper, I believe it is better to give you too much information than too little. That gives you the autonomy to decipher what is important to you. For example, this Friday, March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day and Monday, March 20 is the First Day of Spring.  Another life lesson I have found is that it is easier to lighten up than tighten up.

During our Parent Meeting at our last practice (March 11), I discussed the importance of having Fun this season.  This is a very big philosophy of Roland Park Baseball League and I want to reinforce this principle.  Too often I see kids get burnt out or lose interest.  My goal every time I coach is to develop talent and make it enjoyable.  If you are not getting better than it quickly becomes no fun.  I stressed the importance of Parent expectations and think Mike Matheny said it much better than I could ever articulate.  However, I do want to emphasize my promise to you that I will try my best to keep email communication short and sweet.  I will routinely post pre-game and post-game blogs and interact with the League Toolbox as far as scheduling goes.  Notice on this blog that there are many, many baseball and sports related Hyperlinks that will keep you busy for hours.

In terms of practice plans, we will typically start out every practice and game with stretching and conditioning (running stairs is a great way to get the heart rate pumping).  Then we will break-out into 3 groups focusing on pitching, fielding and hitting.  I like to end the practice with a scrimmage and really concentrating on “situations” for both offense and defense (e.g. what do you do with one out, man on first and the ball is hit to the shortstop?). More importantly, I am very serious about sportsmanship and hustling.  I don’t ever want to see kids teasing each other or their opponents and insist on running on and off the field between innings.  Also, I prefer that the kids help setup the equipment, carry the bags to/from the coaches car and cleanup and the end of every practice & game.  That’s how we did it when I played little league.  And I remember distinctly the coaches telling me that when the college and MLB scouts show-up at our games, they are paying particular attention to ATTITUDE.

Moving forward, we need lots of help!  I’m still looking for volunteers to help run stations.  I received some questions about Uniforms and it would probably be best if we all wore Black baseball pants with black socks, but I’m flexible.  If you already have grey or white pants, that’s fine.  Also, if you are considering investing in a helmet, Baltimore City requires that you wear a face mask.   The RPBL gives us more than four team helmets with mask.  I suggest if you are concerned about hair lice that you purchase your own.  Just make sure it is comfortable (snug and doesn’t slide around) and can see well.  We also have 3-4 baseball bats and you are welcome to take home with you, but if you would like to buy your own I can help you decide.

Youth Baseball Bats feature a 2 1/4 inch barrel diameter and are often lighter, with a length to weight ratio between -8 and -13. Youth bats are sometimes referred to as small barrel bats or Little League baseball bats, and are used by players that play in leagues that mandate a bat with a 2 1/4 inch barrel. Most will be Little League approved bats and should also be legal in one or more of the following associations: Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC, or USSSA. NOTE: As of January 1, 2018, the new USA Baseball Bat Standard will be implemented. Little League-approved baseball bats that are approved for use for the 2017 season will no longer be acceptable for use in any Little League game or activity. Read more

 

Be True to Yourself!

Even if people call you, “The Freak” or you are labeled “Stan the Man Unusual”. Always remember, “someone LOVES you”.

If you are in pain, feeling self-pity or perhaps you had a problem that caused GRIEF… Hang in there. Don’t give up. Keep working hard!

Sometimes you may need to look around for that inspiration and/or gratitude. It’s very hard when you are hurting and feeling weak. But it’s there. Trust me!

Timothy Leroy Lincecum (born June 15, 1984), nicknamed “The Freak”, is an American professional baseball starting pitcher who is a free agent. He pitched in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants from 2007 to 2015 and for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2016. He stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Lincecum helped the Giants win three World Series championships in a five-year span. Lincecum was the team’s ace starter in 2010 and as a relief pitcher in 2012 and 2014, winning the Babe Ruth Award in 2010 as the most valuable player of the MLB postseason. Read more

I watched Lincecum warm-up before Angels vs. Orioles game last year. He was starting pitcher and part of his routine was to “long toss” like every good ball player. Especially outfielders. But what blew me away was seeing him throw a line drive 300 feet from corner of Camden Yards home run fence across the entire field and hit the catcher on the dime. Not once, but 5 times in a row. Catcher never moved his glove. WOW!!! 100 yards. Entire football field. That’s why he us called, “The Freak“.


George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 – November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and was awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature. Read more

 


Donald Joseph Stanhouse (born February 12, 1951 in Du Quin, Illinois) is a retired baseball pitcher who had a ten-year major league career from 1972 to 1980, 1982. He played for the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles of the American League and the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League.

Shuttled back and forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation with the Rangers and Expos, Stanhouse excelled in 1978 after joining the Baltimore Orioles, where Manager Earl Weaver employed him as a full-time closer. Because of his Harpo Marx hairstyle and pre-game batting practice antics – where his primal scream would entertain early ballpark arrivals – he was quickly labeled Stan the Man Unusual, a pun on the nickname “Stan the Man” for Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial.

Stanhouse finished 3rd in the American League in both 1978 & 1979 in saves, recording 45 over that span, helping the Orioles capture the American League Championship in 1979. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1979. Read more

 

Indoor Training Facilities

If you are like most teams, finding an indoor facility can be challenging. Here is a list of facilities in the local area (in order, great to good). There is no such thing as a “bad” batting cage.

B.U.B.A. Baseball

Address: 1205 South Carey Street Baltimore, MD 21230
Website: Click here
Andy Weltlinger, Owner
Email: bubabaseball@gmail.com

CR Sports Zone

(formerly Cages Baseball Training Center)
Address
: 1201 Pauls Lane Joppa, MD 21085
Website: Click here
Raffy Marrero, Owner
Phone: (443) 619-5236
Kelly Billing, Scheduler
Phone: (443) 504-2345
Email: rmdbaseball@yahoo.com or crsportszone@gmail.com

Next Level Sports Performance

(formerly Extra Innings)
Address
: 7904 Rossville Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21236
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-665-6789
Email: stanton@nlsportsperformance.com

S3 Training Center

Address: 1412 Shoemaker Road Baltimore, MD 21209
Website: Click here
Rob Slade, Owner
Phone: 443-474-8090
Email: robslade1@verizon.net

Maryland Sportsplex

Address: 5200 Glen Arm Road Glen Arm, MD 21057
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-510-7418
Email: mdsplx@marylandsportsplex.com

PerformFit Sports Experience

Address: 10880 Railroad Avenue Cockeysville, MD 21030
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-785-2600
Email: tim.bishop@performfit.com

Coppermine Fieldhouse

Address: 4 Hamill Road Baltimore, MD 21210
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-337-7781
Email: info@copperminefieldhouse.com

Elite Prospects Athletic Complex

Address: 10900 Gilroy Road, Unit L Hunt Valley MD, 21031
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-329-1400 | 410-808-7779
Email: jimmy.parisiEPAC@gmail.com

Harford Sports Performance Center

Address: 121 Industry Lane Forest Hill, MD 21050
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-420-8442
Email: harfordsports@gmail.com

Top Gun Baseball Academy

Address: 1332 Londontown Blvd. Suite 102 Sykesville, MD 21784
Website: Click here
Phone: 410-449-3050

D-Bat

Address: 8777 Snouffer School Rd Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Website: Click here
Phone: 240-588-3030 | 202-437-5643

Professional Baseball Training

Address: 6541 Baltimore National Pike Catonsville, MD 21228
Website: Click here
Phone: 443-250-5712

Bases Training Facility

Curtis Business Center 713 E. Ordnance Road, Suite 319
Baltimore, MD 21226
Website: Click here

In the Net

Address: 798 Airport Road Palmyra, PA 17078
Website: Click here
Phone: 717-838-8706 | 888-408-9119
Email: sue@inthenet.com


Biggest indoor facility in the midwest

Elite – Wyoming, MI
Website: Click here

Strikeouts

Why do players strikeout?

Answer: By regulation, baseball bats may be no more than 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more than 42 inches long.  A MLB baseball is only 3 inches in diameter. Thus, it is very, very difficult.  As a matter of fact, you can fail 7/10 times and be qualified for the Hall of Fame (.300 batting average). Read more

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Batters

The top 15 Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders: (as of 2015 season)

  1. Reggie Jackson – 2,597
  2. Jim Thome – 2,548
  3. Adam Dunn – 2,379
  4. Sammy Sosa – 2,306
  5. Reggie_JacksonAlex Rodriguez – 2,220
  6. Andrés Galarraga – 2,003
  7. José Canseco – 1,942
  8. Willie Stargell – 1,936
  9. Mike Cameron – 1,901
  10. Mike Schmidt – 1,883
  11. Fred McGriff – 1,882
  12. Tony Pérez – 1,867
  13. Bobby Abreu – 1,840
  14. Derek Jeter – 1,840
  15. Dave Kingman – 1,816

Active batters with over 1,400 K’s:
(as of 2015 season)

  1. Alex Rodriguez – 2,220alex_rodriguez
  2. Ryan Howard – 1,729
  3. David Ortiz – 1664
  4. Carlos Beltrán – 1,592
  5. Mark Reynolds – 1,519
  6. Adrián Beltré – 1,518
  7. Curtis Granderson 1,459
  8. Adam LaRoche 1,407
  9. Melvin Upton – 1,406
  10. Miguel Cabrera – 1,400

Single season strikeout records (batters):

Rank Player Team Strikeouts Year
   1 Mark Reynolds Arizona Diamondbacks 223 2009
   2 Adam Dunn Chicago White Sox 222 2012
   3 Chris Carter Houston Astros 212 2013
   4 Mark Reynolds Arizona Diamondbacks 211 2010
   5 Drew Stubbs Cincinnati Reds 205 2011
   6 Mark Reynolds Arizona Diamondbacks 204 2008
   7 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 199 2007
   8 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 199 2008
   9 Adam Dunn Washington Nationals 199 2010
  10 Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles 199 2013

 

Strikeout records

Then there is the best pitchers who threw strikeouts.

Pitchers

The Top 20 Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders (active players in bold) (since 1901):[16]

  1. Nolan Ryan – 5,714
  2. Randy Johnson – 4,875
  3. Roger Clemens – 4,672Nolan_Ryan
  4. Steve Carlton – 4,136
  5. Bert Blyleven – 3,701
  6. Tom Seaver – 3,640
  7. Don Sutton – 3,574
  8. Gaylord Perry – 3,534
  9. Walter Johnson – 3,509
  10. Greg Maddux – 3,371
  11. Phil Niekro – 3,342
  12. Ferguson Jenkins – 3,192
  13. Pedro Martínez – 3,154
  14. Bob Gibson – 3,117randy_johnson
  15. Curt Schilling – 3,116
  16. John Smoltz – 3,084
  17. Jim Bunning – 2,855
  18. Mickey Lolich – 2,832
  19. Mike Mussina – 2,813
  20. Cy Young – 2,803

Active pitchers with over 2,000 strikeouts (as of 2015 season):

  1. CC Sabathia – 2,574
  2. Bartolo Colón – 2,237roger_clemens
  3. Félix Hernández – 2,142
  4. Jake Peavy – 2,105

The Top 10 Major League Baseball career strikeout-per-nine innings leaders (since 1900, minimum 1,000 IP):[17]

  1. Randy Johnson – 10.61
  2. Kerry Wood – 10.32
  3. Pedro Martínez – 10.04
  4. Tim Lincecum – 9.61
  5. Nolan Ryan – 9.55
  6. Max Scherzer – 9.51
  7. Trevor Hoffman – 9.36
  8. Sandy Koufax – 9.28
  9. Clayton Kershaw – 9.26
  10. Óliver Pérez – 9.22

The Top 5 Major League Baseball single season strikeout-per-nine innings leaders (since 1900, minimum 1.0 IP per team game):

  1. Randy Johnson, 2001 – 13.41
  2. Pedro Martínez, 1999 – 13.20
  3. Kerry Wood, 1998 – 12.58
  4. Randy Johnson, 2000 – 12.56
  5. Randy Johnson, 1995 – 12.35

The Top 10 Major League Baseball single season strikeout totals (since 1900):[18]

Pitcher Strikeouts Season Team League Overall Rank
Nolan Ryan 383 1973 California Angels AL 8
Sandy Koufax 382 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 9
Randy Johnson 372 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 11
Nolan Ryan 367 1974 California Angels AL 14
Randy Johnson 364 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 15
Rube Waddell 349 1904 Philadelphia Athletics AL 18
Bob Feller 348 1946 Cleveland Indians AL 19
Randy Johnson 347 2000 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 20
Nolan Ryan 341 1977 California Angels AL 25
Randy Johnson 334 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 30

The Top 10 Major League Baseball single season strikeout totals (all time):[19]

Pitcher Strikeouts Season Team League Overall Rank
Matt Kilroy 513 1886 Baltimore Orioles AA 1
Toad Ramsey 499 1886 Louisville Colonels AA 2
Hugh Daily 483 1884 Chicago Browns/Pittsburgh Stogies/Washington Nationals UA 3
Dupee Shaw 451 1884 Detroit Wolverines/Boston Reds NL/UA 4
Old Hoss Radbourn 441 1884 Providence Grays NL 5
Charlie Buffington 417 1884 Boston Beaneaters NL 6
Guy Hecker 385 1884 Louisville Eclipse AA 7
Nolan Ryan 383 1973 California Angels AL 8
Sandy Koufax 382 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 9
Bill Sweeney 374 1884 Baltimore Monumentals UA 10

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Opening Day

trumbo_homer

Baseball Really Is a Game of Inches

Baltimore Orioles win their first game 3-2 over the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th inning. Read more.  Mark Trumbo hits first opening day walk-off home run in Orioles history. Trumbo picks up where he left off last season, as he led the majors in home runs with 47 in the regular season and he also added one in the wild card game. Speaking of which, it had to feel good for the Orioles to take down the Blue Jays in similar fashion to how the wild-card game ended. The Trumbo walk-off winner here was historic, as it was the first walk-off home run on opening day in Orioles history. It’s also the first in the majors since 2014, when Neil Walker, then of the Pirates, did so to the Cubs. Read more

Unfortunately, our Junior Orioles U12 Little League team lost our home opener vs. the Bearcats 5-4.  However, we were not able to finish the game in 6 innings of regulation play on account of darkness (7:25 PM – approximately 85 minutes – 5 complete innings) and the umpire was concerned about safety.  Who knows if we had another 30 minutes of daylight what would have happened?  Read more.  Also, if you recall the letter from an earlier blog by Mike Matheny, he said, “We will lose a lot of games”.

Blake and I stopped to get something to eat on the ride home and anxiously awaited the NCAA Championship game.  It was no surprise that the game was decided in the last 60 seconds.  North Carolina (1) prevailed over Gonzaga (1) 71-65.  Roy Williams deserves a lot of credit! I really enjoyed watching the FINAL FOUR this year.  In particular, I loved what South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Head Coach said in an interview,

“People keep score when you play games 35, 36, 37 times a year, and sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. That score eventually goes away. When you impact people by the masses the way these kids have, that means you’re a winner as a human being and that’s what matters.  When we get home and they realize what they’ve done in our community, their hearts will open up with joy because they’ll be so happy that the pain of losing a game eventually goes away.”

South Carolina lost to Gonzaga in the Final Four on Saturday, but Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin believes his players are still winners.  Outstanding Performance TrophyIn the press conference, he was asked what he has to say to the kids who are fans of the team. Martin took his time with his reply, while trying to hold back tears.  Read more.

In addition, our Brewers Over 40 Baseball Team also lost 12-4 in our season opener vs. the Diamondbacks.  However, the score was a lot worse after 9 innings than any of the previous games mentioned.  Yet, the score was 0-0 after my first 3 innings of pitching on the mound.

Tonight’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award goes to Richard McLeod.  He received the game ball and starting Thursday we will start handing out the trophy below (similar to the “Stanley Cup“) for the kids to take home till the next game (please be GENTLE so it does not break).  He sparked the bench in the 2nd inning with a standup triple and later scored our first run to put us on the board.

 


 

Mr. Hoover