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Sports Then and Now



Why Isn’t Gil Hodges In The Baseball Hall of Fame? 10

Posted on July 24, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Few players are more deserving of Hall of Fame selection than Gil Hodges.

With a new class set for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend, it provides another opportunity to ask the question of why baseball legend Gil Hodges does not have a plaque in Cooperstown.

It is very likely that many longtime baseball fans (and perhaps even some Hall of Fame voters) just assume that Hodges took his rightful place in Cooperstown decades ago. Because he passed away in 1972, Hodges’ omission does not receive the same annual publicity as that of other deserving candidates who are still living.

One of the famed “Boys of Summer” that led the Brooklyn Dodgers to six World Series appearances between 1947 and 1956, Hodges was the starting first baseman in an infield that included Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson at second base and Pee Wee Reese at shortstop.

Along with Duke Snider, Hodges served as a steady power threat and run producer for the Dodgers. Hodges drove in more than 100 runs for seven straight years between 1949 and 1955, including a career-high 130 RBIs in 1954. His 1,001 RBIs in the 1950s were the most in the National League during the decade.

Hodges eclipsed the 30 home run mark six times, including blasting 40 home runs in 1951 and 42 in 1954. He also scored more than 100 runs three times and had a season batting average above .300 twice.

A member of seven World Series teams during his entire tenure with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1947 (he did make a brief appearance for the Dodgers in 1943, but because of military service didn’t return to the majors until 1947) through 1961, Hodges often saved his best for the postseason. Read the rest of this entry →

NLCS Goes From Sunny LA To Chilly Philly 2

Posted on October 18, 2009 by Richard Marsh

National League Championship Series

Weather could be a factor in game three of the National League Championship Series.

In what might have been a game that could have put the Los Angeles Dodgers back against the wall, this series stands even at one game a piece. Charlie Manuel’s decision to remove Pedro Martinez after seven brilliant innings in Game Two, only to see his bullpen give away the game in the 8th inning.

The bright side is that Pedro will certainly be ready for a repeat performance in Game Six if it should go that far. As I have mentioned in earlier stories I like the way the Phillies rotation sets up for the rest of the series.

Today in Game Three, Cliff Lee who has been nothing short of un-hittable takes the mound against eight game winner Hiroki Kuroda pitching in his first playoff appearance in the 2009 post season.

Read the rest of this entry →

How “Manny” is Manny Ramirez These Days? 2

Posted on October 16, 2009 by Don Spieles
NLCS Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers

Since his return from a 50-game suspension, Manny Ramirez has struggled to regain his offensive form.

Manny Ramirez has had a long strange trip on the way to this year’s postseason.  The question on many lips then is: “Is Manny still Being Manny?”

Boston fans and media coined the phrase “Manny Being Manny” as a gentle, catch-all euphemism many of the things that the slugger did while playing for the Red Sox.  There was his outfield play that sometimes bordered on the comical.  There were is strange behaviors with the press, putting forth a sort of “I’m shy” affect where reporters were concerned.  When he had to answer nature’s call (or a call on his cell phone) he was known to disappear in the Green Monster to… well, do whatever he needed to do.

All of Manny’s quirkiness was tolerated with a smile and a shake of the head for one reason: He hit a ton.

Well, to be specific, he hit a ton when he wanted to.  Read the rest of this entry →

Pedro Martinez is Back on the Main Stage 2

Posted on October 16, 2009 by Richard Marsh
Diamondbacks-Phillies

Pedro Martinez is back on the main stage with the Philadelphia Phillies.

It is no secret among these parts of my love affair with Pedro Martinez. I can qualify that statement by the countless number of articles I have devoted to him in the past year on these very pages. I have been enormously critical of the Mets organization for their lack of foresight when it comes to this living legend.

I have said it more than once, that if Pedro were to have been resigned by the Mets, his buddy Manny Ramirez would have roamed left field this past year in Citi-Field. But those were pipe dreams, and the reality of another post season begins to today for Pedro when he takes the mound against another former Philadephia Pitcher Vincent Padilla, which excites me as a fan to get the opportunity to, once again, be in the presence of a true future Hall of Famer, and the best pitcher of this past generation.

I love it.

Read the rest of this entry →

Playoffs Reminder: “There’s No Crying in Baseball!” 4

Posted on October 08, 2009 by Don Spieles
According to Jimmy Dugan, "There's no crying in baseball!"

According to Jimmy Dugan, "There's no crying in baseball!"

According to the American Film Institute, their list of top 100 movie quotes of all time includes (at number 54), “There’s no crying in baseball!”  This gem, uttered in “A League of Their Own” by Peaches coach Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) has also become a favorite of sportscasters and fans alike.

Apparently,  few of the players currently on postseason rosters have yet to see this very entertaining and informative film.

First, Cole Hamels.  Last year’s World Series MVP really wants to get back to the big show again this year.  In the process, he’s annoyed about the afternoon game times that the Phillies/Rockies matchup has garnered this week.

“I don’t think it’s fair. I definitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans. I understand TV ratings, but at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they’re most comfortable, and that’s kind of what we’ve been trained to do, and I think it’s more fair for us than really the TV ratings.”

Read the rest of this entry →

National League Playoff Preview: Cardinals vs. Dodgers 0

Posted on October 07, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Milwaukee Brewers vs St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols will look to power the Cardinals past the Dodgers.

For much of the 2009 season the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals appeared to be the two best teams in the National League. However, a late slide by the Cardinals suddenly pits these two traditional contenders against each other in the opening round of the National League playoffs.

In Albert Pujols and Manny Ramirez, this series features two of the best known players in the game. However, while Pujols is at the peak of his game, Ramirez has struggled to regain top form since missing 50 games due to a positive drug test.
Read the rest of this entry →

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      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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