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Outsider Baseball: Hardball on the fringe

Not every great ballplayer plied their trade in an MLB ballpark, as you’ll see in Jesse Goldberg-Strassler’s review of Scott Simkus’s noteworthy new book, Outsider Baseball. Within Scott Simkus’s Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876–1950, there are two books volleying back and forth. The first book introduces a formula, STARS, […]

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Celebrating all the pioneers during Black History Month

Jackie Robinson is rightly revered as a pioneering figure in baseball’s integration. But he was not alone and, as Jesse Goldberg-Strassler notes, pioneers like Buck O’Neil and Emmett Ashford deserve recognition from baseball fans during Black History Month. In an AP story from March 18, 1962, titled innocently “Cubs Assign Coaches for Farm Clubs,” the […]

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Fifth Third fire brings back memories of past ballpark blazes

Ballpark fires are extreme rare these days, but at one time were a major threat to baseball operations. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler looks at how ballpark design changed because of fire awareness. On January 3, a fire significantly damaged Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the Midwest League’s West Michigan Whitecaps. Thankfully, no one was injured.  Photographs of […]

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Risk versus reward in home-plate collisions

It’s still a hot topic: the decision by Major League Baseball to eliminate home-plate collisions, protecting both catchers and baserunners. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler looks at how the change will affect the game. In Orlando last week, Major League Baseball announced an end to collisions at home plate. The exact details have not been announced yet, but […]

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Gone too soon, or good riddance? Thoughts on Turner Field’s future demolition

Reaction to the news that Turner Field would be torn down in 2017 came in two forms: goodbye to a mediocre ballpark, versus disbelief that such a young facility is doomed. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler looks at the decision. A cell phone, we are told by the service providers, can be upgraded every two years — although […]

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Why the Chihuahuas name works: It’s fun!

The PCL’s franchise in El Paso, formerly Tucson, revealed its nickname last week, immediately provoking reactions to the El Paso Chihuahuas branding. If you heard the news, it’s likely you had an immediate opinion as well; Jesse Goldberg-Strassler shares his. Your thoughts? The national reaction — the loudly shouting, negative, incredulous folks who could not […]

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