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Sports Then and Now



How to Clean up Old Baseball Equipment 0

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Sometimes, the new baseball season demands new equipment. If your favorite pair of cleats is separating from their hardened soles, for example, it’s time to trade them in. However, lots of the equipment we put aside as worn out actually has life left in it.

As companies look for cheaper ways to manufacture gear, consumers can be forced to deal with what is ultimately a lower-quality product, and who wants to spend more money on new equipment when you can get more use out of pieces you’ve already paid for? Instead, why not breathe some new life into that old mitt or bat?

Reconditioning Your Mitt

glove5-800x519

A good baseball or softball glove can last decades, but you’ve got to take care of it properly. Some newer gloves are made of synthetics, which are softer when new but break down more quickly than their natural counterpart, leather. A leather glove requires care, or it will dry out.

When you pull an old leather glove out of storage, it will probably be dry and stiff. A good cleaning and some leather conditioner go a long way toward restoring its supple feel. Wipe the glove down with a damp cloth, and if it’s stained or dirty use rubbing alcohol to remove discoloration. If mold or mildew have grown on it, use a rag soaked in vinegar.

Next, select a conditioning agent. Since so many things are made of leather, you’ve got your choice between old-school options like saddle soap or more recent synthetic conditioners. Use a damp rag and work the conditioner into the glove. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Reasons You Should Encourage Kids To Play Team Sports 0

Posted on May 18, 2016 by John Harris

LL-baseballWhere do you stand on competitive team sports and children? In recent years, many parents have started thinking twice about encouraging sport for their kids. However, there are a lot of benefits for them that they would miss out on if you didn’t at least offer them the opportunity.

And, the further involvement won’t just help your kids – it’s also good for your family and the local community, too. Here are five reasons why you should allow your children to get involved with team sports.

It’s good for social skills

When your child plays in a team, they learn to be more friendly. It’;s good for communication skills, too. Players in teams are always talking to each other, and putting their ideas across in the shortest possible way. Plus, it gives kids an opportunity to talk with other adults, such as their coaches, referees, and other parents. It’s an excellent life skill that might just draw them out of their shell.

It’s good for your family

Of course, the further your child progresses in team sports, the more commitment it takes. But, all those early morning starts and weekends driving to other fields of play can be valuable family time, too. It’s good bonding time, and sports events are also great social occasions.

It’s great for your community

Communities benefit greatly from local sports teams. They provide an outlet for people young and old to get fit and socialize. But, community sports teams need people to join in. Without participation, there is no team. And, without parents and players raising money for the team, there is no funding. So, think about getting more involved. Hold some events and offer prizes for a draw, as an example. You can use Online Sports Memorabilia Auction sites to find attractive rewards that fit your team’s sport. Or, you could ask local companies to sponsor you with products or services. Read the rest of this entry →

Hard Hitting Baseball Facts 7

Posted on November 18, 2015 by John Harris

catcherBaseball is not just a game. It is a way of life! And for over a century it’s been loved and played and pulled and pushed into the game we love today.

What could be more iconic symbols of the game than the gloves we cherish, the almighty bat, the helmet and visor, or even the catcher’s body armor? Serious baseball nuts know this was not always the way.

The heroic players of yesteryear stepped out onto the field in nothing more than the clothes they wore. They would have regarded today’s baseball apparel as something of a cheat.

They were the guys who’d take the knocks on the chest and head!  Battles scars were common and bruises, even broken fingers, were a part of the action.

You could argue the game wasn’t as fast.  After all, pitchers threw underarm to start with.

Even so the discovery of baseball’s battle armor is a fascinating part of our favorite sport’s history.

Bare hands not gloves

The glove was not a part of a respectable player’s kit. A far cry from the youth baseball gloves of today.  In fact the first player to dare to wear a glove knew he’d be ridiculed.  That was the glove worn by Charles Waite in 1875. In fact, he was so embarrassed that the glove he wore was flesh colored and most definitely unpadded.  Well, he sure was right about one thing.

He was jeered and laughed at for being a sissy!

Read the rest of this entry →

How to Play Baseball Better in 5 (Not So) Easy Steps 3

Posted on June 25, 2015 by John Harris

baseballImproving your fitness in key areas will help you fine tune your baseball skills and give you the edge over your opponents. It takes hard and regular work to start seeing the gains but make no mistake about it: it can be done. Try these exercise ideas and see if your game improves.

At The Batter’s Box

Want to hit the ball harder and faster? Then you are going to need to work on the core and upper body strength. Push-ups will help you develop your chest and shoulders while crunches will increase your core strength. Start slowly and build yourself up – once every other day is more than enough. Once you have developed your strength a little, you can move up to pull-ups. Rest one of your feet on a chair if you are struggling, and it won’t be long until you are pulling yourself up easily.

Sprinting

You are going to need speed if you want to make it around the field, either for your first home run since high school or just to make a catch. Forget about jogging ten miles a day – you need high-intensity interval training to increase your speed over short distances. The best thing about HIIT sprinting is that you can achieve a lot from a single workout, and it only takes up a small amount of your day. Hit up this workout from Shape.com to get started. Read the rest of this entry →

Fancy A Flutter? These Baseball Betting Tips Will Help You Cash In! 1

Posted on May 27, 2015 by John Harris
How well a team performs the fundamentals can have a major impact in baseball success.

How well a team performs the fundamentals can have a major impact in baseball success.

There’s no denying that baseball is one of America’s most popular sports. In fact, it’s also a hit in most parts of the world too! As with many other sports, baseball is a hot pick in the world of betting.

The only trouble with betting is that it’s easy to lose big money fast if you don’t know what you’re doing. And it makes no difference whether you bet on baseball or any other sport.

Are you a newbie to the world of baseball betting? If so, today’s handy guide will show you how to bet like a pro. By following the tips on this page, you will stand the best chance of getting a return. Here is what you need to know:

Don’t bet early on during the season

One of the little-known “rules” of baseball is that you should never place bets early on during the season. You might be wondering why that is so. There’s one simple reason: playing conditions.

We all know that baseball is usually an outdoor sport. As such, the conditions on the ground are subject to local weather changes.

When the baseball season starts, the weather in some parts of the country is still bad. And you also have to consider the fact that team managers are changing player lineups.

As you can imagine, baseball betting before July will just deliver unpredictable results. That’s why it’s better just to hold onto your money until then. Read the rest of this entry →

Umpire Big Egos are a Bad Thing for Baseball 0

Posted on April 18, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Jordan Baker added himself to the list of awful ego-driven umpires by ejecting Ubaldo Jimenez during the Orioles-Red Sox game on April 17, 2015

Jordan Baker added himself to the list of awful ego-driven umpires by ejecting Ubaldo Jimenez during the Orioles-Red Sox game on April 17, 2015

Umpires who think they are bigger than the game has been a thorn in the side of baseball for generations. With Bud Selig, who seemed unwilling or incapable of addressing the problem, now out of the way, it is time for his replacement, Rob Manfred, to address this critical issue.

The problem was amplified last night when umpire Jordan Baker, who first umpired in the majors in 2012, made a ridiculous call that has the potential to impact one of the teams involved for days.

It is one thing when umpires make the wrong call on a close play and hold their ground. While you would hope they would be most concerned about getting plays right, part of being good at your job is feeling you are correct. Fortunately, the addition of replay as an opportunity to correct umpire mistakes has helped this phase of the game.

However, the bigger problem, and the one that Baker exemplified last night is when an umpire makes a horrible judgement call that cannot be altered by replay.

With the Baltimore Orioles clinging to a 1-0 lead with two outs and no one on base in the fourth inning, pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was working on a no-hitter when Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval came to the plate. Considering that Jimenez was horrible in 2014 and fortunate to even make the starting rotation this season, you can guarantee that his focus was to continue the scoreless streak he has had to start the season and to keep getting players out.

So when his first pitch to Sandoval, who as a left-handed hitter with a large figure is known for setting up close to the plate, sailed in and hit Sandoval below the shoulder with a slider, you can bet that he disappointed to have added a base runner, but ready to move on to the next batter, Mike Napoli.

Watching the game live, there seemed to be nothing out of the normal until suddenly Baker came out from behind home plate and immediately threw Jimenez out of the game. There had been no warning or any previous close pitches by either team.

According to crew chief Jerry Meals, who of course is going to defend his fellow umpire, Baker felt that Jimenez was retaliating for a hard slide Sandoval had made into second base earlier in the game.

First, even if the hit-by-pitch was done in retaliation, that is part of the game and has been for generations. However, there is no evidence that the errant pitch was related to any previous action. It was just a bad pitch. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bulldog Turner: Two-Way Star
      November 12, 2017 | 8:52 am
      Bulldog Turner

      Bulldog Turner

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a two-way star for the dominant Chicago Bears teams of the 1940s.

      Though Hardin-Simmons College in Abilene, Texas was not known as a football power, legendary head coach George Halas could find great players anywhere and chose Clyde “Bulldog” Turner with the seventh pick in the 1940 NFL Draft.

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