May 19, 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. 14, 1963, the final game at the Polo Grounds—a 19-10 defeat of the New York Titans by the Buffalo Bills—took place. Richard looks back at the park, and visits the location where it once stood.
On Nov. 29, 1969, Mariano Rivera was born. Richard looks back at the career of the greatest short reliever of all time.
On November 25, 1951 Bucky Dent was born. Dent had his brief, memorable moment in the sun, and of course, that is practically the only thing people know about him. Richard looks at other, similar players.
On Nov. 18, 1967, Tom Gordon was born. Gordon is one of only a handful of pitchers in the "3-100 Club"—those with 100 games started, wins and saves. Richard looks at the entire group.
On Nov. 12, 1993, Bill Dickey died. The former Yankee catcher was an all-time great, a Hall of Famer, 11-time All-Star and career .313 hitter. Dickey also played on eight teams that won a World Series; only two players have more. But this week Richard looks back on the unfortunate souls not so lucky.
Oct. 31 is Halloween, the day when people everywhere dress up and head out to trick-or-treat and maybe put a scare into their neighbors. Richard looks back at the men born on this day and what might scare them.
On Oct. 18, 1988, a walk-off home run was hit in the World Series off of an All-Star reliever. But this isn't Kirk Gibson off Dennis Eckersley, it is Mark McGwire and Jay Howell. Richard looks back at this and other memorable postseason series featuring multiple walk-offs.
As it turns out, the final regular season game of 2009 would not take place until Oct. 6, 2009—and what a game it was. But that hasn’t been enough to change Richard’s All-Decade team; today he completes the roster started last week.
On Sept. 27, the final week of the games for the 2009 season began. This is also, of course, the last week of games for the decade that began in 2000. Richard looks back and presents the first half of his team of the decade.
On Sept. 14, 1853 Jake Goodman was born. He is the earliest born man from that date to debut in the Major Leagues, while the latest is Delmon Young, born on this date in 1985. Richard looks back at the players who connect them.
On Sept. 9, 1913 Hugh Mulcahy was born. Or, as he was known during his nine-year career "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy. That is what happens when you have the misfortune of pitching for some of the worst teams in baseball history.
When it comes to great moments, historic games and memorable plays, Richard will admit that Sept. 4 does not notably stand out. But that doesn't mean the history of what took place on that isn't worth hearing, especially if you appreciate the more unusual bits in baseball history.
On Aug. 23, 2009, Eric Bruntlett turned just the 15th unassisted triple play in major league history. Richard, who was there to see it, looks at the history of of one of baseball's rarest plays.
Richard celebrates his return to regular column work after a brief summer vacation by looking back at notables whose birthdays were his first week back.
On July 31, 2004 Dave Roberts was traded to the Red Sox. Though he would play only 45 games in a Boston uniform, it is his one moment in the 2004 playoffs that is remembered, to the exclusion of the rest of his career. Richard looks at similar players.
On July 21, 1997 Curt Schilling pitched eight innings against the Pirates, striking out 15. For his trouble, he was rewarded with a loss. That isn’t an everyday occurrence, but it does happen more than one might suspect.
On July 14, 2009 the Major League All-Star game was held. To honor the event, even if he could take it or leave it, Richard looks back at some All-Star history of the past.
On July 9, 1955 Willie Wilson was born. The longtime Kansas City Royal won a World Series, a Gold Glove and two All-Star spots. But is that enough to get him on the All-Wilson Team?
On June 24, 1957, Doug Jones was born. Jones would make his major league debut in 1982 and last through the 2000 season. During that time he not only would have a good career, but also mark a sea change in pitching roles.
On June 14, 1982, the San Diego Padres signed Mitch Williams. Most people know the “Wild Thing” for the home run he allowed in the 1993 World Series. This week Richard looks back at Williams’ other defining characteristic, the one that earned him his nickname.
On June 11, 1919 Sir Barton became the first horse to win the American Triple Crown. That’s a pretty good accomplishment for a horse—it hasn’t been done since 1978—but had of course already been managed in baseball by then. This week Richard looks back at the Triple Crown, the kind achieved with a bat and ball, rather than saddle and whip.
This week, Richard gives every day its due, looking back at a piece of history from every day, spanning the years to bring the interesting historical events of May 31 through June 6.
On May 27, 1968 Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas were born. But everyone knows that story. Today Richard looks at the other players born on that date.
On May 21, 1962, the Baltimore Orioles signed Robin Roberts. It seemed to be the marriage of a player on his last legs with a franchise in need of any body capable of taking the field. Instead, it would launch a second wind for the long-time Phillie.
On May 13, 2009, Richard Barbieri attended the Mets game at CitiField. That game was the last to fit in his current scorebook, which has served him since September of 2002. Richard looks back at some of the 99 games of history contained within.
On May 6, 1890, Walton Cruise was born. Eight years later on the same day Al Wingo came into the world. In 1921 it was Dick Wakefield’s big day. These May 6 men are among the players dwarfed by Willie Mays, born on this day in 1931.
On May 1, 1947 the Indians moved permanently into Cleveland Municipal Stadium, also known as “The Mistake by the Lake.” This would be the first of almost 50 years the team spent the venue.
On April 24, 1945, A.B. “Happy” Chandler was elected baseball’s second commissioner. Chandler served into 1951, earning himself election into baseball’s Hall of Fame. But that was just one part of a distinguished life.
On April 14, 1969, Brad Ausmus was born. In his 17-year caree, he has appeared in more games than all but a handful of catchers. During this career, Ausmus posted a historic batting line, which inspired Richard to look at other, similar hitters.
On April 8, 1986 Felix Hernandez was born. The man known as “King Felix” is having a good week—and a good career—so far, but Richard takes a look to see how he compares to young pitchers throughout history.
April 1 was April Fool's Day. Richard did not pull any big pranks, but that doesn't mean there aren't some good ones in baseball history.
On March 8, 1984, Richard Barbieri was born. He’s unlikely to see any time in the major leagues, but plenty of others born on March 8 have. Richard picks the best of them.
On March 5, 2009 the second World Baseball Classic kicked off as Japan shut out China. The clear favorites in this year's pool are Japan and Korea, two countries with well-known baseball histories, but today Richard looks at less baseball-oriented Asian countries.
On Feb. 23, 1960, demolition began on Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Nearly 50 years later, demolition is nearly finished on Shea Stadium, the home of New York’s most recent National League franchise. Richard looks back at other past stadium sites.
The week of Feb. 15 featured a number of notable events in baseball history. Richard looks back at several.
As always, Valentine’s Day will be Feb. 14. In the past, Richard has looked back at baseball Valentines. This year, he celebrates players who share their name with the emotional center of the holiday.
On Feb. 5, 1934 Hank Aaron was born in Alabama. Aaron is the all-time leader in RBI, total bases and extra-base hits. Of course, not all records are quite as notable. This week Richard looks back on some lesser-known all-time leaders.
On Jan. 31, 1891, Goat Cochran was born. Cochran was just one of the players born on this date who would go on to earn a memorable moniker. Richard looks at some of the more distinctively dubbed players.
On Jan. 21, 1972 Alan Benes was born. In his major league career, he would win 29 games, or 126 fewer than his older brother Andy. Richard returns to one of his favorite subjects, looking at the "other brother" of great pitching families.
On Jan. 16, 1980 Albert Pujols was born. The greatness of "Prince Albert" is in no dispute—his second MVP attesting to the fact—but this week Richard looks back to see just how Pujols compares to great hitters of the past.
On Jan. 10, 2000, Aaron Sele signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Mariners—but only because Orioles owner Peter Angelos nixed a four-year contract due to his concerns about arm trouble. Angelos' moves have reduced his once-proud franchise to embarrassment.