May 22, 2013
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About Richard BarbieriBorn and raised in New York City, Richard still lives there to this day. He works full-time at a large New York City government agency, a job which funds both his apartment and the many, many baseball books that occupy that space. But not much else.
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Richard Barbieri's Articles
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On Dec. 15, 1967, Mo Vaughn was born. Vaughn would be a solid hitter, but also would make 139 errors in his career. As a first baseman, Vaughn topped the table in errors a record six times. Richard did not err quite so frequently this year, but he is only human. Read on....
On Dec. 11, 1959 the Yankees dealt Don Larsen, Hank Bauer and others to the Kansas City Athletics for three players, most notably Roger Maris. This was just one of the many trades between the two franchises during the period, which helped the Yankees dynasty continue and doomed the A's to a series of second division finishes.
On Dec. 1, 1954, the Yankees and Orioles completed a trade that had begun on Nov. 14. Don Larsen, Bob Turley and Gene Woodling were just a sixth of the players involved in this 18-player deal, still the largest in major league history.
On October 26, 2008 Joe Blanton hit his first career home run. He did it in the World Series no less, becoming just the 13th pitcher to hit a World Series home run. Richard looks back at other postseason homers struck by the men who spend their time on the mound.
On Nov. 4, Richard will depart for Australia. In honor of his visit "Down Under," he looks at the Australians who have reached the major leagues.
On Oct. 22, 1910, Jimmy Sheckard had the first walk-off hit in postseason history. Since then there have been 104 more by 97 more men.
Oct. 15 is the birthday of both Mule Haas (1903) and Mule Watson (1896). While there hasn’t been a “Mule” in the majors in some time, the nickname has an admirable history.
On Oct. 4, 1944, Tony LaRussa was born. Like many great skippers, if LaRussa the manager had been stuck with lots of LaRussa players, many wins likely would not have come.
On Sept. 22, 1946 Larry Dierker was born. He would go on to be the Houston franchise leader in innings pitched, starts and complete games. After his playing career, he became the Astros leader in managerial winning percentage.
On Sept. 9, 1850, the state of California was born. To celebrate the birthday of a state that has produced more major leaguers than any other state, and more players than all foreign countries put together, Richard creates an all-California team.
On Sept. 5, 1903 Joe Tinker hit home run No. 10,000 in major league baseball history. As another landmark homer approaches. Richard looks back on some of the numerically notable round-trippers of all time.
On Aug. 25, 1937 Clarence Coleman was born. Like George Ruth and Denton Young, his place in the game’s history would come with a nickname. Unfortunately for "Choo Choo" Coleman, it would not come with the greatness Babe and Cy enjoyed.
On Aug. 23, 1870, George Davis was born. He would go on to a Hall of Fame career that reflected both the excellence of the player and the era in which he played.
On Aug. 12, 2008, the Boston Red Sox managed to blow a 10-run lead, then rally back to win. On Aug. 5, 2001, the Seattle Mariners, who'd win 116 games that season, took a 14-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Surely a 12-run lead would be safe, right?
On July 30, 1962 Gene Conley returned to the Red Sox after having wandered off from his team and attempting to…actually, you won’t believe it until you hear the whole story.
On July 21, 1958 Dave Henderson was born. "Hendu" would have a 14-year All-Star career, but his chance at true historic notoriety slipped away through no fault of his own. But was it for the best?
On July 17, 1961 Ed Reulbach died. "Big Ed" pitched 13 years in the big leagues and won 182 games and two World Series titles. He is notable both for his own accomplishments and for what he can show us about one of today’s best young pitchers.
On July 9, 1851 Red Woodhead was born. Red saw only minor time during the early days of baseball, but commenced a tradition of July 9 being the birthday of, shall we say, intriguingly named players. Richard looks at some.
On June 19, 1903 Lou Gehrig was born. He would die of the disease that now bears his name in 1941. In between, virtually all of the major events of Gehrig’s life took place within the confines of New York. Richard takes a walking tour around the city to look back at Lou Gehrig's New York.
On June 8, 1989, the Pittsburgh Pirates scored 10 runs in the first inning against the Phillies, sending 16 men to the plate in one inning. It was only the first inning, though, and the game proved Yogi Berra’s maxim that it ain’t over 'til it's over.
On June 4, 1986, Barry Bonds hit the first home run of his career. He would have 761 more. This week, Richard looks back on other notable home run hitters’ first time rounding the bases in the major leagues.
On May 29, 1945 John Odom was born. By the time he was in the fifth grade, Odom was known as "Blue Moon," and by the time he was a teenager, he was pitching in the majors. Richard looks back on Odom’s life and career.
On May 14, 1955, Dennis Martinez was born. "El Presidente" would go on to a 23-year career in the major leagues that included a perfect game, battles with alcoholism, and a distinguished record for games won.
On May 5, 1981, Maury Wills lost his job as manager of the Seattle Mariners. Wills had led the team only since Aug. 4 of the year before, but already had one of the most disastrous managerial tenures in history. Richard looks back on the lowlights.
On April 30, 1961 Willie Mays became just the ninth player to hit four home runs in a game. Richard looks back on Mays' feat, and the other men who have clubbed four round-trippers in a single day.
On April 20, 1937, Gee Walker of the Tigers hit for the cycle on Opening Day. Walker managed his feat "in reverse," starting with a homer and working his way down to a single. That’s one of many cycle-related facts that Richard shares this week.
On April 8, 1946, James Augustus Hunter was born. Thanks to the machinations of Charlie Finley, he would be known to the wider world as "Catfish." Richard looks back on Hunter, and the rest of the "All-Sea Creature Team."
On April 1, 1969, the Seattle Pilots traded little-known outfielder Lou Pinella to Kansas City. Thanks to moves like that, a year later Bud Selig bought the Pilots and moved them to Milwaukee. Richard looks back at the history of Seattle’s first major league team.
On March 24, 1961, the New York State Senate approved money for the construction of a baseball stadium in Queens. On that anniversary, Richard looks back at New York’s "other" baseball stadium, one which also will be lost to the ages after this season.
On March 11, 1901, John McGraw announced the signing of Tokohama, a Native American he hoped to deploy at second base for his Baltimore Orioles. That was just one of the transactional shenanigans that took place during this week of March.
On March 8, 1939, Jim Bouton was born. He would go on to fame as a Yankees pitcher and even greater fame as the author of Ball Four. He is one of many baseball writing talents to have a birthday this week.
On Feb. 29, 1968 Lean Blackburne died in Riverside, California. His legacy in baseball, however, lies in a river in New Jersey and continues to this day. Richard looks into just what that legacy entails.
On Feb. 20, 1963 the Chicago Cubs hired Bob Kennedy to be the head man on their team in 1963. This effectively put an end to a unique—and ill-conceived—plan.
On Feb. 10, 2008, Richard visited the supreme location for all things sport in the world. He comes back with a couple of photos, an explanation for his theory and what all of this has to do with baseball.
On Feb. 7, 1979, the Mets acquired Jesse Orosco in a trade. On Sept. 27, 2003, he faced his last major league batter. In between were nearly 9,000 days, 1,252 games and a noteworthy career.
On Jan. 13, 1962 a San Francisco attorney—representing himself—won a lawsuit against the Giants over his seating at the ballpark. That attorney and his lawsuit make for quite the story.
On Jan. 15, 1969 Delino DeShields was born. Under 25 years later, he was dealt to the Dodgers in exchange for Pedro Martinez, one of the worse trades of all-time. This week Richard looks at the careers of the “other men” in such lopsided moves.
On Jan. 9, 1918, Ferrell Anderson was born. A career .261 average in fewer than 100 games belies the incredible achievement of Anderson reaching the major leagues.
On Jan. 2, 1963, David Cone and Edgar Martinez were born. The pair were connected in Game Five of the 1995 ALDS, which was not only a great game, but helped shape baseball for the next decade.