Hey baseball fans!
I just put up my latest post in the Kids’ Hot Korner section of New Jersey Baseball Magazine. This one is about Sam McDowell, a pitcher on the Indians in the 1960′s and 1970′s. If you want to read more about Sam, just click here.
Check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Well, that’s all the info about Ken, so let’s get to the interview.
Matt: What sports did you play and watch as a kid?
Ken: As a kid, I played organized baseball and soccer, but also loved bowling. I watched all the American sports, from baseball to football to basketball to hockey.
Matt: When did you start realizing that you wanted to write about baseball?
Ken: Probably when I was about seven or eight. I would read all the articles about sports in the Star Ledger and I would even write articles on the Yankees with my grandma’s typewriter.
Matt: From the time that you’ve covered the Yankees, who has been the most exciting Yankee player to watch/write about?
Ken: Hands down it’s got to be Mariano Rivera. His consistency on the mound and his courtesy to others makes him one of the coolest people I have ever met.
Matt: What do you think is the best Yankees team of all time?
Ken: I’m gonna have to go with the 1961 Yankees. They were a stacked team, with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris duking it out in the home run race and Whitey Ford on the mound.
Matt: Who do you think belongs in the Hall of Fame that currently isn’t from all time retired players?
Ken: Guys not on the ballot, but who I think should be in the Hall, are Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker and Willie Randolph. I vote for Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker. Some other people who deserve to be in are Kenny Lofton and Kevin Brown.
Matt: Which Hall of Fame Yankee has the best nickname?
Ken: I will have to go with Jim “Catfish” Hunter“
Matt: Right now in baseball, who would you vote for to win the MVP and Cy Young Awards?
Ken: In the AL, Robinson Cano should win MVP and Carlos Gomez in the NL. For the Cy YoungAward, I will have to go with Matt Harvey for the NL and Matt Moore in the AL.
Matt: What’s the funniest or weirdest story in baseball that has happened to you in your career?
Ken: In 2001, there was a pitcher on the Yankees named Brian Boehringer. I asked him if I could ask him some questions in Spring training and he said that he wasn’t doing any interviews for the whole year, and I had no idea why. Midseason, he gets traded to the Giants and the Giants play the Mets at Shea Stadium, a game I had to cover. So I go into the Giants clubhouse and I see Brian doing an interview and I said to him, “What the heck, man? I thought you said no interviews?” And he says to me, “I swear, this is my first one all year!” I got a kick out of that.
Matt: If you could’ve met Babe Ruth, what questions would you ask him?
Ken: I would ask him about his childhood because not much is known about it.
Matt: If you could add one non-Yankee pitcher and hitter from baseball history to the current Yankees roster, who would they be?
Ken: The hitter would be Barry Bonds because I think he is one of the greatest hitters of all time and the pitcher would be Christy Mathewson because he had a very successful career.
Well, that’s the interview. Thanks a lot to Ken for agreeing to let me interview him. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading it. Check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Today I have something a little different to share with you. As you know, I am a teenager and, as a teenager, I enjoy playing video games. There is this one video game on the PlayStation3 called: “MLB 13: The Show”, which is a realistic baseball game where you have the option to also create your own players. I actually created a guy in the game and I thought it would be fun to share it with you.
The player I created, Duke Snider III (the imaginary grandson of Dodgers legend Duke Snider) was drafted by the Brewers in the 2012 MLB Draft as a homer-hitting switch-hitting first baseman. He played the 2013 season with the Brew Crew’s Double-A affiliate, the Huntsville Stars. He was brought up for the 2014 season to Milwaukee, not having to play a single game in Triple-A. In his rookie year, he had 46 homers, 112 RBIs, and batted .309 to take home the NL Rookie of the Year. He got a taste of postseason ball in 2016, in which he batted .290, hit 48 homers and drove in 138 RBIs to win the NL MVP Award and eventually won Playoffs MVP and the World Series against the Royals in seven.
After the end of that season, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. He had a great season in 2017, selected to start in his first All Star Game and winning the Home Run Derby in Cincinnati. Duke led Texas to the World Series with the help of Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer and eventually took out the Rockies in six. 2018 was a season filled with sorrow, as the Rangers lost the ALCS to the Royals, who went on to win the Fall Classic. However, in 2019, Duke had possibly his best year ever, winning the AL MVP Award, batting .336 with 50 homers and 148 RBI and won his first Silver Slugger at first base. He became the first player since Frank Robinson to win the MVP Award in both leagues. Sadly, the Rangers finished out of the playoffs.
The Rangers did not sign Snider for the 2020 season, so he became a free agent. He ended up teaming up with Stephen Strasburg, signing with the Red Sox, but the team didn’t do well that year. However, Duke won his first Gold Glove at first and won the AL MVP again batting .339 with 50 homers and 153 RBIs. In 2021, the Red Sox bounced back, with Duke hitting .344 with 45 homers and 156 RBIs. Boston got to the World Series to face none other than the Brewers, who made it to the Fall Classic with the worst record for a team to make the Fall Classic in baseball history, at 80-82. Surprisingly, the Sox who were down in the Series three games to none become the first team to come back from that deficit in World Series play! And it was all because of Duke Snider III, who won Playoff and World Series MVP.
In eight seasons so far, Duke has batted .322 with 357 homers and 1,038 RBIs. His career is long from over, so he will probably get into the Hall, just like his grandpa. For now, he is on top of the world, because his team has just won the World Series!
I hope you liked this different post. I had fun writing it and I hope to do at least one more in the future. Well, check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Hey baseball fans!
I have another interview for you! It is with Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson! I actually got to interview him live at his office in Citi Field and the video of the interview is on YouTube! So, please click here to see me interview Sandy.
However, I’m not sure that you all know about Sandy’s history, so read the following paragraph in order to learn a few things about the mentor to Billy Beane.
Sandy was the son of an Air Force pilot who flew planes during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Sandy himself joined the Marines and also served in Vietnam, like his father. He went on to Dartmouth College and then Harvard Law School. After law school, he worked for a law firm in San Francisco, California. Roy Eisenhardt, one of his bosses, left to become president of the Oakland Athletics and in 1983 Sandy joined him to become the team’s general manager until 1997. Sandy almost completely revamped the A’s minor league system, which produced back-to-back-to-back Rookies of the Year in Jose Canseco (1986) (who was in the system before Sandy joined the team), and Mark McGwire (1987) and Walt Weiss (1988). The Athletics won three pennants and the 1989 World Series during Alderson’s tenure, a four game sweep of the Giants. In 1995, because of cost cutting, Alderson began using sabermetric principles, which was basically using all sorts of mathematical calculations to find undervalued players to make a winning team. He also helped introduce Billy Beane (who is written about in the book “Moneyball”) to these ideas. Alderson left the A’s to work for the MLB Commissioner’s office, where he served as Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations from 1998-2005. Sandy then became CEO of the San Diego Padres from 2005-2009, leading the team to back-to-back division titles in ’05 and ’06. Finally, Alderson was hired by the New York Mets before 2011 to replace Omar Minaya as their general manager .
Well, that’s all you need to know about Sandy Alderson. Make sure you watch the interview. It’s really good and I thank you for watching it and hope you enjoy it. I also want to give a big shout-out to Sandy Alderson for being such a great sport in doing the interview, plus I want to thank June Napoli, Sandy’s assistant, for helping to arrange it, and also Seward & Kissel litigation partner Dale Christensen, Sandy’s college buddy, for introducing me to Sandy.
And as always, please check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Andre “The Hawk” (got his nickname because his uncle said that he attacked ground balls like a hawk at a very young age). Dawson, ended his 21-year major league career with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox, and Marlins from 1976-1996 with a .279 lifetime batting average, 438 career home runs, 314 stolen bases, and 1,591 RBIs. Known for his outstanding defense in center field and right field, the eight-time Gold Glove Award winner won NL Rookie of the Year with Montreal in ’77 and NL MVP in 1987 with Chicago. The eight-time All Star actually underwent 12 knee surgeries during his career, making him the modern-day Mickey Mantle: got injured a lot and still put up great stats. He is just the second of four players (along with Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez) to be part of the 400HR/300SB club. He was elected into Cooperstown in 2010.
Overall, Andre is one of the greatest players in history and probably the best Expo outfielder of all time. Anyway, thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Hey baseball fans!
At the end of my movie review of “42″, I forgot to wish you all a happy Cinco DiMaggio!!! I know what you are thinking, “What in the world is Cinco DiMaggio?” It’s pretty simple: it is a holiday made up by me that honors the great Yankee, Joe DiMaggio. Why is it on May 5th, you ask? Well, that’s pretty simple, too: Joe’s record-setting 56-game hitting streak started in May and he wore the number five.
So, remember that today is Cinco DiMaggio for the rest of your lives. I know you aren’t all Yankee fans like me, but celebrate it just for me. If you don’t want to celebrate it, maybe these Cinco DiMaggio customs that I’ve come up with will persuade you to celebrate this great holiday:
- Have a spaghetti and meatball dinner with 56 noodles and five meatballs (Joe was Italian)
- Watch a video with Marilyn Monroe in it (Joe married this famous actress)
- At precisely 11:25 at night (Joe was born on November 25) make five seal noises so that you will receive a nail clipper under your pillow (Joe’s nickname was the Yankee Clipper) from the Great Bay Seal (Joe started his career with the minor league San Francisco Seals) when you wake up the next morning
Hey baseball fans!
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the movie “42″ that recently came out in theaters. Well, I decided to do a movie review of it!
The movie “42: The True Story of an American Legend” is the story of how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and joined the major leagues, the first black man to do so. (To learn more about Jackie Robinson, just click here.) The stars of the movie were Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), and Branch Rickey, the owner of the Dodgers at the time (played by Harrison Ford). In the movie, Jackie overcomes adversity when he becomes the first African-American ballplayer in the MLB after he gets signed by Rickey. He is brought up to The Show in 1947 and a lot of people don’t really like him because of the color of his skin, including Phillies manager Ben Chapman, who was very mean to Jackie. However, as the movie continues, the hate starts to turn into respect as people like Chapman and other players realize that Jackie is as good, if not better at baseball than them. In the movie and in real life, Jackie marries his college sweetheart, Rachel, the Dodgers win the National League pennant, and Robinson wins the first ever Rookie of the Year Award.
The movie provided some amazing special effects, as ballparks such as the Polo Grounds (Giants) Ebbets Field (Dodgers) and Forbes Field (Pirates) all looked so realistic. Also, every time a ball came out of the pitcher’s hand, the camera view was as if the audience was the catcher, so I was bracing myself from getting hit with the ball. The movie wasn’t even in 3D and I was scared out of my pants from getting beaned!
All in all, it was a great movie and if you haven’t seen it, you really should. Well, I hope you enjoyed this movie review. Thanks for reading it and check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Hey baseball fans!
Matt Nadel here of Baseball with Matt with some more on the history of America’s Pastime. Now I know that at least some of you have heard of the great quarterback in the NFL, Warren Moon. However, have you ever heard of Wally Moon (no relation)? At first, I had never heard of the guy, but I looked up his stats and although he had a short career, he was a heck of a hitter.
Wallace Wade Moon played from 1954-1965 with the Cardinals and Dodgers. In his twelve-year career, he hit 142 homers, drove in 661 runs, and batted .289 lifetime. The Rookie of the Year winner in 1954 also went to three All Star Games and considering that the NL outfield for the All Star Games of that time were dominated by Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Willie McCovey, and Frank Robinson, I’d say that three All Star Game appearances is very good for Moon. Anyway, the teams he played for won two World Series, the Dodgers in 1959 and 1965 (the Dodgers also won in 1963, but Wally wasn’t in the lineup for that Fall Classic). In those series, Wally went 6-27 with a homer and two RBI. Fun fact about Moon: he invented the term “moonshot”, when his titanic homers were called that by announcers and newspapers.
P.S. – In case you missed it, I appeared last night at 8:30PM on SportsRantz Radio on the show Hump Day with That Sports Chick. I was on for about a half hour and the hosts Robyn Vandenberg and Tom Murphy were really nice. If you want to hear it, just click here (I come on at about 31:25 into it).
I have another interview for you today! It is with Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins! If you’d like to first learn some more about the only Canadian in the Hall of Fame, just click here for a prior blog post that I did about him. So, let’s get to the interview.
Matt: If you could go back in time to any point in baseball history, which players would you like to face?
Fergie: Two guys in particular – Stan Musial and Ted Williams. I wish I’d had a chance to face them. They were both left-handed, .300 hitters with great power. They would have presented a great challenge to me as a pitcher.
Matt: Which player was the toughest to pitch against?
Fergie: Willie McCovey was the most dangerous hitter I ever faced. He could turn on a pitch really quickly and make you look bad. The other really tough guy to face was Pete Rose. The guy got more than 4,000 hits and he made a lot of pitchers’ lives pretty difficult. Pete had a knack for working the count and finding holes in the field.
Matt: What sports did you play as a kid? What sports did you watch as a kid?
Fergie: Growing up in Canada, I liked watching and playing hockey. My first love was the Montreal Canadians – I wanted to be a defenseman. I also played a lot of baseball – my dad played semi-pro and he was pretty good – and, since I was a pretty good athlete too, I ran track and field.
Matt: Why did you start getting into baseball, considering you grew up in Canada with no Expos or Blue Jays?
Fergie: Well, like I said, my dad played semi-pro in Chatham. He was a good player and taught me a lot about the game of baseball and its history. As I got into high school, I was playing more and more, and then Gene Dziadura and Tony Lucadello found me and got me signed to my first pro contract.
Matt: Can you tell me a little bit about your foundation? Also, why did you recently start a museum?
Fergie: I started my Foundation in 1999 with the intention of giving back to charities in Canada and the United States. Baseball afforded me a lot of opportunities and I feel blessed. Starting a charitable foundation is my way of saying thanks and trying to help out people who are less fortunate, especially youths. The new museum is happening as a result of everything that I’ve collected over my life – both during my career and after I stopped playing. I’ve kept a lot of things: uniforms, autographs, memorabilia, as well as some more personal items – and this museum will give the public a chance to view and experience some of these great moments in my life.
Matt: Have you ever considered taking a coaching job with the only team in your native Canada, the Blue Jays?
Fergie: At the end of my career, there was talk about the Blue Jays considering picking me up or trading for me, but that was as a player – some people thought I could come in and help their young pitching staff; plus, I was Canadian, so that seemed like a fit. Unfortunately it didn’t happen though. They haven’t reached out to me for any coaching positions, but I’m happy to do what I do now: playing golf, hunting, fishing and doing charity work.
Matt: You are the only Canadian in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Do you expect that number to increase in the future? If so, who do you think will get voted in in the future?
Fergie: The Hall of Fame is difficult to get into. It’s a very exclusive group and one that I’m proud to be a part of. Larry Walker had a great career and it’s nice that he got to spend time playing in Canada too. You’re talking about a guy who won three batting titles and an MVP. It’s really too bad that his career got cut short by injuries, because in his prime, there was no one better. He’ll get some Hall of Fame votes and it’ll be a close call. The other guy who has a chance to get in isJoey Votto. He’s young, already won an MVP and he’s a great left-handed hitter. If he continues to develop and has a long and productive career, he’ll get some Hall of Fame attention, for sure.
Matt: For your 68th birthday, Canada honored you with a postage stamp. That’s pretty cool. Were you involved in the design?
Fergie: Yes, I was. I helped develop the concept of the book of stamps looking like a baseball ticket, with some of my important stats, and then the stamp is meant to depict me not only as a ballplayer, but also as a proud Canadian and humanitarian.
Matt: The Cubs retired your jersey number 31 in honor of you and Greg Maddux. Did you ever give Greg advice during his career?
Fergie: Unfortunately, I never really got to talk pitching with Greg while he was still playing, but there’s no doubt, he was an incredible pitcher and it’s nice to be mentioned alongside a great player like him.
Matt: I read that you improved your pitching skills by throwing pieces of coal. Do you recommend that for pitchers today?
Fergie: Throwing coal between the rail cars was just a way for me to work on developing my stamina and accuracy. That’s what I would tell young pitchers today – work on throwing strikes, being a good athlete and working with what you’ve got. There are all kinds of different throwing programs out there and, to be honest, I never really got into weightlifting either. I was more interested in developing my stamina, flexibility, endurance and control.
Matt: You were a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team from 1967 to 1969. What was your best shot?
Fergie: I was a jump-shooter. The other guys like Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal ran the fast breaks, but I was more of a jump shooter, which goes back to my basketball playing days in high school. Also, the guys involved me in some baseball-related skits on the floor – all as part of the tricks and entertainment we did – which was pretty fun and successful, too.
Well, that’s the interview. I hope you really enjoyed it and thanks for reading it. Thanks to Mike Treadgold and Jillian at the Foundation for helping to set it up, and a special shout-out to Fergie Jenkins for agreeing to do it and for giving such great answers. Check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”
Hey baseball fans!
Yesterday, I recorded my first ever podcast for my friends at Seamheads.com thanks to the help of head Seamhead, Mike Lynch. Anyway, for my inaugural podcast, I spoke about who I think are the greatest hitters ever in baseball history. It was a lot of fun. If you want to hear what I had to say, just go to Seamheads.com and go down about a quarter of the page on the right column under where it says Baseball with Matt. Then click on the MP3 player and listen away. Hope you like what I had to say.
Thanks for reading (and listening) and check back again real soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”