When you study the business machinations and the franchise-shaking transactions and the rule changes that have characterized baseball’s various Winter Meetings since (at least) early in the last century, one small benefit is discovering rules that weren’t changed, proposals that weren’t adopted.
Fifty years ago baseball used its annual multiday Winter Meetings as a place to get things done. In the days before email and cell phones, and in the very early days of primitive “conference calls,” these meetings were the best opportunity for all of baseball’s owners and general managers to meet face to face, to make decisions on their business, to debate rules changes, to consider franchise moves, or to negotiate trades.
To those who have been following this series on baseball’s best photographers, my apologies for the rain delay. That’s what you can call the chunk of time that passed between Part 6 (“George Grantham Bain: Master of Mystique”) and this new installment. And who better to get “Legends of the Camera” back in focus than pioneering Paul Thompson?
Fred Lynn seemingly never lacked for confidence.
By 1975, he’d been a three-time collegiate World Series player at the University of Southern California, the best player on tournament teams in Japan and the 1971 Pan-American Games, and had shined during a September 1974 call-up.
“The handwriting was kind of on the wall,” Lynn said in a recent phone interview from his Southern California home.
There have been many controversial MVP Award winners over the years, but one defies justification from this distance of 75 years: New York Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon won the award in 1942 even though Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox won the Triple Crown. How did it happen?
When I first starting collecting baseball cards back in the 1970s, Topps had a virtual monopoly on the industry. There were a few other companies putting out their own cardboard collectibles, but they made up a microscopic portion of the market. Hostess, for example, occasionally printed a trio of “panel” cards on the bottoms of Twinkies boxes. Even Toys-R-Us and K-Mart tried to get in on the action.
If someone wrote a screenplay about the 1989 Baltimore Orioles, it might seem contrived even by Hollywood standards.
After Sandy Koufax won the Cy Young Award in 1966, the Baseball Writers Association of America had seen enough. For the third time in four seasons, Koufax had won—unanimously. Plenty of other fine pitchers never sniffed a vote (like Juan Marichal, 25–6 in 1966). So the BBWAA did something about it.
For teams fighting for a pennant, the final weekend of the season is packed with tension and excitement. For those far out of contention, it is the end of a long grind and the anticipation of going home after an arduous, disappointing season.