Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Mick Gillispie and Kevin Reichard review the fragile state of baseball at all levels due to COVID-19, discuss the history of the Indians and Redskins monikers, and reminisce about prior All-Star Games in this week’s Ballpark Digest Broadcaster Chat.
In this week’s chat:
- The difficulties of launching the MLB season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic: teams are not happy with the MLB testing protocols, players are feeling uneasy, and stars like David Price are skipping the season
- Why MLS should be seen as a warning sign: the FC Dallas team will skip the Orlando tourney after 10 players test positive
- How those same difficulties are faced by summer-collegiate leagues, where games have been canceled because of COVID-19 positives, with examples in Frisco and Traverse City
- The cancelation of the 2020 MiLB season
- The issue of racial monikers in pro sports
- Why the Cleveland Indians name has nothing to do with Louis Sockalexis, the Penobscot Indian tribe member who was the first Native American to play professional baseball, despite the Indians at one time pushing him as being an inspiration for the name. Instead, the Indians name was pushed by newspapers in a time when American Indian names were trendy. Coverage focused on negative stereotypes of the era, with subsequent owners—like Bill Veeck, who created the first terrible Chief Wahoo—making things worse.
- Why the Washington Redskins name needs to go; it’s based on the same stereotypes behind the Indians
- Remembering the first All-Star Game, which launched on July 6, 1933
- Jesse outlines that first All-Star Game with information from The Baseball Thesaurus
- Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward created the game to promote the sport, and it proved to be such a success it became an institution
- Mick shares memories of his favorite All-Star Games and dominant players, and how they were key in promoting baseball across the country
- Kevin remembers attending the Target Field All-Star Game where Derek Jeter bade a fond farewell to the Midsummer Classic
- Why we could see players go right from college to the major leagues this year, including Spencer Torkelson and Max Meyer this year and players like Jim Abbott and Mike Leake in the past
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is the Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and the author of The Baseball Thesaurus and The Football Thesaurus from August Publications. Mick Gillispie is the Voice of the Tennessee Smokies and a spring-training Voice of the Chicago Cubs. Kevin Reichard is publisher at August Publications and Ballpark Digest.