The On Deck Circle

Baseball History, Commentary and Analysis

Archive for the tag “The On Deck Circle”

A One Year Anniversary Thank You, and a Shout-Out

Crowd outside Huntington Avenue Grounds before...

Image via Wikipedia

Well, looks like we made it.  Step right up, and have your tickets handy.  The gates are now open.

The On Deck Circle turns one-year old as of November 30th, a few hours from now.

Thank you all for the 5,062 hits over the past year.

Here’s a paragraph I wrote in that first blog-post, by way of introduction:

Memory is what keeps most of us (those of us who love baseball), hooked on this sport.  That is to say, we remember what we loved about baseball in our youth, and we try, sometimes a little too hard, to pass these memories on to our own children.”

Further attempting to clarify the intended purpose of this blog, I later added:

There are actually two questions here, important to both American history proper, and to baseball history:

  1. Who deserves to be remembered?
  2. How do they deserve to be remembered?

The answers to these questions comprise the collective historical mythology that we pass down through the generations, from father to son.”

Thus, this blog has primarily been focused on those two important questions over the past year.  I hope that my efforts to resurrect the careers of semi-forgotten stars, while also periodically sharing personal stories of my baseball youth, have stayed true to my original, intended purpose.

Meanwhile, I also wanted to take this opportunity to do a Shout-Out for several other baseball blogs that I have followed over the past year.  In some cases, the authors of these blogs have been kind enough to provide useful, constructive feedback on my 83 posts.

This is my way of saying thank you to some of the people who provided inspiration and support to me along the way.

In each case, these blogs have given me some reason to come back to each one of them again and again. 

So, in no particular order, here they are:

1) DMB Historic World Series Replay

Ever wonder how the old-time World Series match-ups would have turned out if they could be replayed once again, using the same rosters and lineups as were used in the original match-ups?  Well, look no further.  In a recent World Series replay, the 1908 Cubs were upset by Ty Cobb‘s Tigers.  Blog writer Kevin Graham provides brief commentary and full box scores of each replay.

Recently, Kevin has also added a series in which he takes a closer look at members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame.  I am subscribed to this blog, and always enjoy following along.

2)  Play That Funky Baseball

Where to begin on this one.

This is one funky baseball road-trip through the 1977 season, complete with a stopover at Graceland.  Populated by one of the strangest cast of characters to ever spill popcorn on unsuspecting patrons at a ballpark near you, including C. Buzz Gip, Crazy Amy, Mikey Spano, Friendly Fred and others, trying not to physically vanish from this alternate universe before their favorite teams are eliminated from playoff contention.

Ballplayers with names you have long since forgotten, like Doug Rau, Jerry Reuss, and Jack Billingham once again fill the baseball scorecards.  Check it out and you may find yourself riding along on this demented baseball road-trip.

3.  Verdun2’s Blog

I’ve been following this blog longer than any other baseball blog.  It is always well-written, and the author (who is that masked man, anyway?) is that rarest of baseball fanatics:  One who doesn’t have his head up his ass every time he opens his mouth.

Verdun2 specializes, but does not limit himself, to the extremely early days of baseball (19th and early 20th century.)  His historical perspective always provides an interesting learning opportunity for the reader.  He also writes about contemporary baseball topics such as picking the players who will win the post-season awards, and which retired players will / should be elected to the Hall of Fame.

V has also been an extremely loyal reader of The On Deck Circle since virtually the beginning, and for that I am ever grateful.

4)  Section 518

If you are a Mets fan, as I am, look no further for analysis of this ugly duckling franchise (with the current emphasis on ugly.)  A Mets fan in the truest sense, JD is an optimist willing to lay his head on the chopping block year after year, yet realistic enough to accurately gauge their chances for making the playoffs.

I like to read his take on which moves he thinks the Mets should make, and his analysis on moves they have already made.  JD’s evaluations are logical and often brutally honest.  Good stuff.

5)  The Ball Caps Blog

What can you say?  The man is addicted to ball caps.

Actually, my friend Daniel Day simply has a healthy appreciation for all things baseball, so long as you can wear it.  He has been known to travel to Timbuktu for an original 1912 Giants home baseball cap.  Or at least to the local Marshall’s for a facsimile.  Always willing to support other baseball fan’s blogs, it’s time he got a little love sent back at him.

Thank you, Dan, and keep up the good work.

6)  The World According to Keitho

On any given day, in any given post, Keitho is likely to write about how driving in San Fran compares to driving in NYC, his experiences playing jazz in a local nightclub, trying to program a VCR (!) on Thanksgiving, or, when the mood strikes him, his current opinions on all things baseball.

Reading Keitho’s blog is a bit like checking in with a friend of yours via any other social networking platform from time to time.  His style is open, engaging, funny, and interesting.  Reading the World According to Keitho is like opening a box of chocolates, because  it’s always better than NOT opening a box of chocolates.

Keitho pulls no punches, but he is an entertaining social critic with an eye for detail.  And his periodic descents into baseball analysis keep me coming back.

7)  Never Too Much Baseball

I have to confess that I don’t get around to reading this one as much as I should.  His posts pique my interest every time I read them.  His post, “Be Careful: What You Write Might Be Held Against You,” 10/5/10, is one of the most hilarious articles I’ve read in a long time regarding how imprecise writing can completely undermine a writer’s (otherwise) best efforts.

Charles April is never imprecise with his language.  And his logic is even sharper.  His analysis of the various blown calls in the MLB playoffs, and his subsequent arguments in favor of instant replay, are typical of the excellent writing you will find in this blog.  Have a look.

It would be impossible for me to include each and every one of the other baseball blogs and bloggers that I read.  There are links on the right-hand side of my homepage that will take you to several others that are certainly worth a look.  Therefore, with apologies to anyone who may feel slighted, let us stop here for now.

Meanwhile, my plans for future posts include an analysis of the most underrated player of the past 20 years, and why he belongs in The Hall of Fame (hint:  he is a first-time candidate on this year’s ballot.)  I also plan to write a third Underrated / Overrated blog-post about baseball and everything else I can throw in to the mix.

Otherwise, my hope is that this blog will evolve organically, perhaps into something like a Triffid that can only be destroyed by seawater.  Or perhaps into something that will continue to generate a reasonable amount of daily traffic due to the continuously high rate of leisure time apparently enjoyed by the average middle-aged baseball fan (like me.)

Anyway, here’s hoping that I am lucky enough to continue to meet and correspond with fellow baseball fans like you.  Until next time, carry your trash out with you, and please drive home carefully.

Regards, Bill Miller


Make it Stop: Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball at PNC Park – Comedy Video

Call this the weekend edition of The On Deck Circle.

A baseball-blogging colleague of mine, Dave Kreshover, is part of a comedy team called Nine More Outs.  He, along with two of his friends who comprise this group, visit various major league parks around the country pretending to be fans of that particular team for the day.  Previously, they invaded Toronto to poke fun at the Blue Jays.

In this youtube video that Dave asked me to post on my blog, NineMoreOuts find themselves in Pittsburgh attending a Pirates games.  This is their second stop on what they call their Stadium Shmadium Tour.

I found the video to be very funny, and I think will, too.

By the way, Dave also has a baseball blog of his own which is well worth checking out.  It is called, “Be Gone With Wilpon.”  If you are a Mets fan, you might already be aware of its existence.

So, without further ado, here is the video…

Enjoy your weekend, Bill

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