December 6, 2021
1. The Baseball Hall of Fame gained several new members today
When nothing is happening in baseball, news like this is great to hear—especially with the current Hall of Fame era we’re in, as a big chunk of the eligible 2000’s players have steroid asterisks next to their names. And so today, the Hall welcomes a new incoming class of veterans, elected by the Golden Days Era Committee. From CBS Sports:
“The National Baseball Hall of Fame will induct at least six new members in 2022. Sunday evening the Hall of Fame’s Early Baseball Era Committee announced Negro League legends Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil have been voted into Cooperstown. Also voted in were Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, and Tony Oliva by the Golden Days Era Committee.”
If you’ve never heard of Bud Fowler, he may be the most obscure (and interesting) among them — being elected to the Hall of Fame 108 years after his death. From Wikipedia:
Bud Fowler (March 16, 1858 — February 26, 1913), born “John W. Jackson”, was an American baseball player, manager, and club organizer. He is the earliest known African-American player in organized professional baseball. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.
Here were former teammates Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva this afternoon, after both being elected:
2. Brian Cashman, rappelling down the side of a building in Connecticut, dressed as an elf, fights the Grinch
This is what the MLB lockout is all about, folks.
Wasn’t long ago that he was curling up in a sleeping bag outside, too:
3. Albert Pujols went deep in the Dominican Republic winter league
Must be an awesome sight for the local fans, getting to watch one of the all-time national legends at the stadium down the street.
4. Ken Burns reacts to Buck O’Neil’s entry into the Hall of Fame
An emotional, long-awaited reaction from his friend and advocate:
5. A fish mascot in the Japanese league retires
A stunning announcement for the famed mascot of the Chiba Lotte Marines (“Nazo no Sakana” aka “Mysterious Fish”) — and a press conference was called for the occasion.
The tweet from the fish, translated:
“I had a retirement interview. I was nervous. I’m tired so I’m going to sleep. good night.”
This thing has the edge on every American mascot except maybe the Philly Phanatic, and yet the moment you’ve found about it —sadly, it’s gone. Here was one of the highlights from its short-lived career (2017–2021), as it transformed earlier this year into its third and final “form”:
6. Updates from the Mets managerial search
Nothing big to report yet, but with no players to be signed during the lockout, the search for a new manager and coaching staff goes on:
7. Ichiro Suzuki greeted Daisuke Matsuzaka with flowers at his retirement ceremony
Last night at the Tokyo Dome, in front of a packed house:
And if you’ve forgotten about Daisuke “Dice-K” Matsuzaka, reacquaint yourself with the 2007 Red Sox and his win in the World Series:
8. Former Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge is making a baseball film
From an article a few months ago in SPIN:
“According to the musician/filmmaker/author/UFO expert, his next movie will capture the on-field tension between a pitcher and a hitter while also portraying the rollercoaster lifestyle that accompanies life in the Minor Leagues. Inspired in part by DeLonge’s love of 2011’s Moneyball, his take on the baseball world will feature the sex, drugs, and porn ‘staches of its 1970s setting, but still show the intricacies that happen on the diamond beyond the towering home runs and flashy diving plays. He makes it sound like Bull Durham’s dirtier and more inappropriate cousin.”
9. Here’s the top prospect in baseball demolishing a golf ball
Set to be called up to the Orioles next season (if there is a next season).
10. And lastly, a highlight from the world of bottle-cap baseball in Japan
With no proper baseball to watch all winter, we can resort to this.