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Ideas for the Best Sports Themed Vacations in the USA 0

Posted on November 09, 2018 by John Harris
The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore is one of many cool sports destinations for a sports themes vacation.

The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore is one of many cool sports destinations for a sports themes vacation.

If you’re a devoted sports fan, there’s a good chance you grab every opportunity to watch your favorites on television, and with very few sports not getting airtime on one of the hundreds of channels available, that’s a lot of sport! Watching on TV is great, but how often do you get to see sports played live? There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a sporting arena, being able to see what goes down as it happens while you’re surrounded by thousands of other passionate devotees of your team or country.

The problem is it’s not a cheap day out in many cases, especially for the more popular sports, and it can be hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on watching a ball game you could have stayed at home and watched for considerably less. One answer to the problem is to combine your love of sports with your annual vacation, or even a weekend away with the family. Everyone gets to enjoy the activities they’re interested in, and you get to breathe in the atmosphere of some of the most exciting and interesting sports grounds and sports-related tourist attractions, all as part of the cost of a vacation you’d have taken anyway.

Why you should take a sports-themed vacation

The chance to see and experience these places and events is something you’ll remember forever, so it’s worth making an effort to organize a few tours and attend a live event.

If you’re managing on a restricted budget, you obviously don’t want to overstretch yourself financially. However, there are still options out, therefore, you, as you can consider looking into personal loans for bad credit that can actually improve your credit ratings if you make sure the repayments are always made on time. It does you good to have memorable experiences, and may well be more rewarding than most other possessions and activities you spend your money on, so don’t let money stand in the way of living life to the full.

Baseball

Cooperstown, New York, is a must visit place for baseball fans, as you can tour The National Baseball Hall of Fame, and see where the game was invented at Doubleday Field. There’s also the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, where you can see eerily lifelike wax models of all your baseball heroes.

The movie Field of Dreams is a baseball-themed legend, and you can see what it feels like to play on the Iowa baseball diamond; a real treat for a family day out. Wrigley Park is a few hours to the east, where there are guided tours of one of the country’s most famous ballparks.

Louisville, Kentucky, may be best known for its horse racing and as being the birthplace of Muhammad Ali, but there are plenty of other sporting attractions, and baseball fans can watch a fascinating demonstration of bat-making as part of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.

Further north in Boston, is another legendary stadium. Take a tour around Fenway Park and get to the heart of what it feels like to play on this iconic ballpark.

Babe Ruth has to be one of the best-known names in baseball, and you can visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. If you’re more of a Ty Cobb fan, then his museum is a bit further south, in Royston, Atlanta. Read the rest of this entry →

Fortunes Turn Quickly For Mid-Market Major League Baseball Teams 0

Posted on September 02, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Orioles-Royals-2018

Just four years ago the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals played in the AL Championship Series. This year they may not COMBINE for 100 wins.

The Major League Baseball matchup this weekend between the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles illustrates exactly how quickly the fortunes can change for mid-market teams in the modern era of baseball.

It was just four years ago that the two teams combined for 185 regular season wins and met in the American League Championship Series.

This season, the two teams entered September with a combined total of 83 victories and a staggering 186 losses.

Baseball executives like to brag about having competitive balance where no matter what size the market a team can compete for a title.

However, the reality is that for teams outside of the big-budget Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, competitive balance means they have a small window for success before they have to drop back down to the bottom and try to crawl their way back to competitiveness.

The Houston Astros are a prime example of that reality. In 2014 while the Orioles and Royals were playing for the AL title, the Astros were celebrating that they won more than 56 games for the first time in four years. After going 162-324 between 2011-2013, the Astros “improved” to 70-92 in 2014 and then in 2015 went 86-76 and reached the playoffs.

The way things are looking, both the Orioles (40-95) and Royals (43-91) will be hard pressed to finish the 2018 season with a better record than the 51-111 mark the Astros posted in 2013.

In the 24 seasons since the baseball strike of 1994, the New York Yankees have posted a winning record every year. The Dodgers have been above .500 21 times and the Red Sox 20.

Conversely, of the other 27 teams, the St. Louis Cardinals are the only other team with 20 or more winning seasons during the last 24 years. In fact, the Cardinals are the only one of those 27 teams that hasn’t endured a stretch of at least three consecutive losing seasons.

All told, 16 teams have endured stretches of at least six consecutive losing seasons since 1995. The Pirates (18 straight), Orioles (14 straight) Tigers (11 straight), Brewers (10 straight) and Rays (10 straight) had double-digit periods of losing records since 1995. The Marlins, Reds and Royals each had nine consecutive losing years. Both the Orioles and Pirates did not have a winning season in the first decade of the new century and the Royals had a losing record in 17 of 18 seasons between 1995 and 2012. Read the rest of this entry →

Five Dietary Changes that Can Help Athletes Recover Faster from Broken Bones 0

Posted on August 09, 2018 by Joe Fleming

Posey-injuryFrom Titans’ running back Leon Washington to Giants’ catcher Buster Posey, athletes throughout the years have had a history of breaking bones. Fractures are one of the most common injuries an athlete can deal with, and, considering the amount of time they take to fully heal, they’re not exactly fun to face.

Getting diagnosed with a fracture is never pleasant. But, did you know that there are dietary changes you can make that will speed up the recovery process and get you back in the game faster?

Whether you’re a professional or an amateur athlete, these nutrition tips will help you heal and become more resilient to future injuries.

1. Consume Sufficient Calcium

You probably grew up being told to drink your milk to keep your bones healthy and strong. Well, your mom was right. Although, you don’t necessarily need to drink milk or eat other dairy products to get sufficient amounts of calcium.

If you don’t tolerate dairy, you can get plenty of calcium from the following food sources:

  • Broccoli

  • Collard or turnip greens

  • Kale

  • Bok choy

  • Canned fish (tuna, salmon, and sardines — just make sure they haven’t been deboned)

  • Almond milk

You can also use a calcium supplement if you feel that you need additional help meeting the minimum daily requirement (anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day). Read the rest of this entry →

Wake Up Baseball Fans – WAR is Fake and Meaningless 2

Posted on July 28, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Mike Trout is a great player, but sabermetrics thinks he is one of the greatest of all-time.

Mike Trout is a great player, but sabermetrics thinks he is one of the greatest of all-time.

As a baseball fan who has been paying attention to baseball stats since the early 1970s when my primary motivation to learn to read was so I could read the statistics on the back of baseball cards, I have reached my limit with those baseball “stat geeks” who have taken the game I love and turned it into a mathematical equation that seems more designed to show how smart they are rather than really identifying who the best baseball players are.

I started reaching my limit over the last several years when the sabermetrics craze has minimized some baseball greats while pushing others to a higher level, regardless of what their real statistics say.

The greatest example of this is Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout. If you judge baseball based simply on sabermetrics, you will likely try to argue that he is the greatest baseball player since Babe Ruth, heck, maybe even better.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Mike Trout is a great player, but I am not yet ready to consider him in the same conversation as some of the all-time greats.

Earlier this year, there was an article claiming that Trout was on his way to having the greatest single season in baseball since Ruth. That sounds amazing, but at the time he was hitting .below .300 and was not ranked among the league leaders in home runs or runs batted in.

What the sabermetrics folks have done is change the definition of what is considered important in judging the success and greatness of a baseball player.

For generations, batting average, home runs, extra base hits and runs batted in were the primary stats used to judge greatness. Heck, those were most of the stats listed on baseball cards when I was growing up. Secondary to those would be things like runs scored, on base percentage and slugging percentage.

Beginning in the mid-1980s with the publication of Bill James Baseball Abstract and continuing at a greater pace as fantasy baseball (originally known as rotisserie baseball) started building in popularity, there has been a growing desire among some baseball fans to look at the value of players in different ways.

Bill James originally devised the idea of “win shares” and that concept has been taken to a greater extent through sabermetrics with what is now considered by some baseball fans as “THE” measurement statistic of a player’s value known as WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

While I am not going to pretend to know enough about WAR to explain how it is computed, it is very clear that at some level WAR is designed to reward players who do more than just get base hits, drive in runs and hit home runs. Players who score well in WAR tend to get on base a lot, score runs and are quality defensive players.

In 2012 there was quite an uproar when the old school baseball definition of greatness clashed head-on with the new school definition of value for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

At first glance, the 2012 AL MVP voting should have been a “no brainer”. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera had an amazing season in becoming the first American Leaguer since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the triple crown (lead the league in home runs, batting average and RBIs). Read the rest of this entry →

How to Keep Kids Safe in Little League 2

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Nothing says summertime like baseball. And across the nation, kids have a ball playing on their little league teams. Sadly, some of them will end up injured.

baseball-1539730_640

When we think of dangerous sports, baseball generally doesn’t rank high on the list. However, the tragic case of little Nader Parman II demonstrates that even a relatively tame sport can turn deadly. While cases such as Parman’s are considered freak accidents and are blessedly rare, failing to take proper safety protections can lead to serious injury. To keep your littles safe on the diamond, adopt the following safety measures:

1. Learn CPR and First Aid, and Be Sure All Coaches and Assistants Are Trained in It

Most adults who work with children, from school professionals down to summer playground leaders, are required to be trained in CPR and basic first aid — but don’t take that for granted. Inquire as to whether your child’s baseball or softball coach is certified. It’s a good idea if volunteer assistant coaches and other adult participants get certified as well.

As a parent, it’s always a good idea to get certified in first aid and CPR yourself. You will hopefully never need the skills, but it helps to know you’re prepared should an emergency occur.

2. Warm up and Cool Down Properly

Just like adult exercisers, children need to warm up and cool down properly before engaging in physical exertion. Contrary to popular opinion, warming up doesn’t necessarily involve heavy stretching. Rather, focus the warm-up on mobility exercises and exercises made to increase heart rate gradually. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Build a Baseball Diamond 1

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Scott Huntington

As America’s favorite pastime, baseball is an excellent way to stay in shape, make new friends and get outside on beautiful days. However, if you live far away from a park, you might want to build a diamond somewhere closer to home.

Whether you’re building a diamond for yourself, your kids or a professional or local team, here are three basic tips to help you create an epic baseball diamond.

 

1.     Hit a Home Run, Not Someone’s Car

A practical place to start in your diamond-building endeavor is to find an ideal spot for the field. Things you should take into consideration may be location, proximity to traffic and measurements of the field. This may vary depending on who will use the field — including whether it’s for professional or recreational use.

Depending on how you plan to use the field, the size will differ from one age group to the next. Also, remember that after you determine your field measurements, you may want to calculate room for visitors and spectators to park and sit.

When foul balls inevitably happen, be sure to have a net or the standard 60 feet of bushes to help block the ball from hitting fans, cars or other potential victims. You should also ensure the field will not be at a low elevation or a floodplain. Verify there is sufficient water drainage to avoid water damage, as well.

2.     Know Your Numbers

Before you break ground, it’s good to know what your numbers look like so you know what to expect. Take a close look at your budget, including a plan for maintaining the field after you build it. You can create a beautiful state-of-the-art field, but if you don’t take care of the turf, dirt or soil afterward, you’ll waste money down the road on repairs.

home-15646_1920

Once you have a complete understanding of your budget, you will know what kind of materials and layouts you can afford. This will give you a better vision of your field and help in the decision-making process. For example, if you want to build a field for a college or high school, you may want to use different materials than what Wrigley Field has.

The pitcher’s mound and batter’s box will need higher amounts of clay to maintain quality throughout use — around 40 percent is a good number. The infield, overall, however, doesn’t need quite as much. You want to have the amount of sand under 75 percent to keep the infield from becoming dry. An ideal infield mix is 25 to 50 percent clay and silt with 50 to 75 percent sand.

To save money in the long-run, it’s crucial that you care for your field after you build it. You can easily maintain the integrity of your field by hiring a field manager or turf consultant.

Once you have a solid idea of what you want the field to look like, where you want it to be and what kind of professionals you may want to hire, you’re ready to start building.

3.     Start From the Ground Up

Players, coaches and empires alike will all appreciate a level playing field — both literally and figuratively. Make sure that when you break ground, you do it right.

baseball-field-1495659_640

You may need machinery such as rollers, loaders and excavators to help move dirt and flatten the land. These can be expensive to purchase but renting them is a cost-efficient way to go.

After you have flattened the land, you can measure the field and mark your bases. A standard baseball diamond is a 90-foot square with sliding room around the bases, but there’s room to move for the outfield and fences.

If You Build It, They Will Come

By following these tips, you can build the baseball diamond of any player’s dreams. Enjoy your new home turf — play ball!

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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