To give you a sense of how historic that would be:
- The starting pitcher for the Red Sox in Games 1 and 4 of the 1918 World Series was….BABE RUTH!
- The team the Red Sox was playing in the 1918 World Series was the Chicago Cubs. The CUBS! It was a match-up of two of the most “cursed” teams in baseball. The Sox beat the Cubs in six games.
- After they traded away Babe Ruth, the Red Sox wouldn’t win another championship for 86 years!
- That’s not as bad as the Cubs, who haven’t won a Series since 1908! Over 100 years!
- The next World Series played in 1919 would go down in history as the famous “Black Sox” “fix” game by the White Sox.
- When the Sox won in Fenway Park, which is now the oldest ballpark in baseball, it was only 6 years old!
- And if you think Fenway Park was the new ballpark, Wrigley Field was only 4 years old! And it wasn’t even called Wrigley Field. It was called Weeghman Park. And the Cubs only moved in 2 years earlier.
I am hoping for a historic win for Boston!
Game 3 of the 2013 World Series. Tie game with runners on second and third, one out. St. Louis, in the bottom of the 9th, is hoping for a win. Jon Jay is at the plate and here’s Uehara on the hill.
Jay cracks it up the middle to Pedroia, who’s playing in. Pedroia fires home to nab Molina at the plate. He’s out! Two outs.
Oh, but wait! Saltalamacchia fires down the line to Middlebrooks at third to gun down Craig who is trying to advance to third. The throw… IS OFF-TARGET and gets past the outstretched glove of Will Middlebrooks! But left fielder Daniel Nava is backing up the throw. Craig stumbles over Middlebrooks and runs towards the plate as fast as he can on his injured foot. Nava fires it home, in plenty of time, and Salty puts the tag on Craig. The home plate umpire Dana DeMuth raises his arms and wipes them from side to side signaling Craig is safe.
Third base umpire Jim Joyce called “Interference” on Middlebrooks after he dove for the offline throw, and Craig was automatically awarded home when he tripped over Middlebrooks’ body!
The Cardinals win Game 3 of the World Series by a score of 5-4 in a walk-off interference call on what should’ve been a game-saving 4-2-5-7-2 double play.
That was a crazy play! Two plays at the plate and two runners clearly out by a mile, but the St. Louis Cardinals walk off the field in a victory.
Is anyone really surprised by this? Is anyone really surprised that the St. Louis Cardinals somehow won the game on this bizarre kind of play? This happens all the time to the Cardinals! They win games based on the craziest flukes.
THE RALLY SQUIRREL
In the 2011 NLDS, Skip Schumaker had a 1-1 count against Roy Oswalt when a squirrel ran across the plate. The squirrel showed good luck to the Cards, as they won the World Series.
DAVID FREESE HOMER IN GAME 6 OF THE 2011 WS, 2 OUTS, 2 STRIKES
The Cardinals were tied with the Rangers 9-9, and out of nowhere Third Baseman David Freese hit a homer that cleared 400 feet in center. It went to a game 7, and the Cardinals won that game too thanks to Freese.
GAME 5 OF THE 2012 NLDS
I can’t… really!
THE INFIELD FLY RULE
The baseball gods struck again on a well-into-the-outfield popup, that Left Field umpire Sam Hollbrook called an out on supposedly the “outfield fly rule.”
THE OBSTRUCTION CALL
The Cardinals struck again against the Red Sox when Will Middlebrooks was called for obstruction.
I’m not saying that it was a good call or a bad call, and I’m not saying the Cardinals stink. The umpires used their best judgment to try to get it right. And the Cardinals are a good team. They won their Division this year against really competitive teams, the Pirates and the Reds. They beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. They’re playing tough against the Red Sox in this World Series. They have good talent on their team.
It’s just that they are always so stinking lucky.
It must be great to be a Cardinals fan. Somehow– somehow!– your team wins on incredible, unbelievable, this-just-doesn’t-happen kind of fluke plays. It happens over and over again. Which is why it is probably fun to be a Cardinals fan.
But if you’re not a Cardinals fan (and I’m not), then these unbelievable wins are just devastatingly frustrating. It’s annoying to see this team always win based on crazy good luck.
It looks like this October, a few days before Halloween, the Cardinals have made another deal with the devil.
Where can you get great sports gifts for the holidays and help out a charity at the same time? At the Bethesda Big Train Holiday Auction!
The auction will be held on November 17 at the DoubleTree Hotel (8120 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda, MD). You can learn more about the event and get tickets HERE.
The Big Train is a collegiate summer baseball team that is part of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. They play at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, which is also the home of Georgetown University’s college baseball team. Many of their players make it to the big leagues. For example, a 2012 Big Train alumni, Hunter Renfroe, was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the first round of the MLB Draft (#11 overall). His MLB.com Prospect Watch summary states Renfroe “broke out in the Cal Ripken League in the summer of 2012.” Keep an eye on this year’s star players like Josh Spano, Bubba Derby, David Del Grande, and Ty France.
Big Train always gets involved in charity. They are a non-profit organization that raises money to improve the conditions of youth baseball and softball fields in Montgomery County, Maryland and the District of Columbia. They hosted the Big Train Celebrity Softball Classic that you may remember I wrote about back in April. They also hosted Gio Gonzalez’s charity baseball camp this year.
At the auction you can bid for seriously awesome things like a signed Bryce Harper jersey, a Bruce Springsteen signed record (wink,wink, mom!) and a “42” movie poster signed by the cast, a 1980 Miracle on Ice USA Olympic Hockey team autographed framed photo, and Sylvester Stallone signed boxing gloves.
And guess what! Nationals reliever Drew Storen will be at the event too! So will ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian, who is also a big Big Train fan and supporter. If you you’d like to meet them, you should definitely buy your tickets right away and head over to the Bethesda Big Train Holiday Auction on Nov. 17.
Prices for a single adult are $50.00. A family pass is $150, and that’s good for four people. The money goes to charity and there will be food and entertainment too. Baseball fans, come and see Nats mascot Screech, Teddy the Racing President, lots of your favorite Natstown bloggers (like me!), Big Train players, Tim Kurkjian and also Drewwwwwww Storen!
Sorry I haven’t been writing on my blog last week. I have a lot going on with with school and my lung cancer fundraiser. But there is a lot to update you on. So here’s a little heads-up on what’s happened in the past week and more. I am saving the best piece of news for last, so be sure to read all the way through.
Matt’s Bats Ranks #32 of MLB Pro Blogs for September
Last month, Matt’s Bats debuted as an MLB Pro Blog and came in #45 in popularity. Making the Top 50 is pretty good in the first month. In September, I moved up 13 spots to #32! I happened to beat the blog that Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel writes, which came in at #39.
DC Internet Baseball Writer’s Association Awards
The DC Chapter of the Internet Baseball Writer’s Association published its 2013 Player Achievement Awards. I voted in the survey. You can see my First Place votes and how that compared to the winning First Place votes. To see all the winners, CLICK HERE.
|AWARD||MY FIRST PLACE VOTE
|WINNING FIRST PLACE VOTE
|Goose Goslin Most Valuable Player Player most valuable to the success of the Washington Nationals||Jordan Zimmermann||Jayson Werth|
|Walter Johnson Starting Pitcher of the Year Excellent performance as a starting pitcher||Jordan Zimmermann||Jordan Zimmermann|
|Frederick “Firpo” Marberry Relief Pitcher of the Year Excellent performance as a relief pitcher||Tyler Clippard||Tyler Clippard|
|Sam Rice Hitter of the Year Excellence in all-around hitting, situational hitting and baserunning||Ian Desmond||Jayson Werth|
|Frank Howard Slugger of the Year Excellence in power hitting||Jayson Werth||Jayson Werth|
|Joe Judge Defensive Player of the Year Excellence in fielding||Ian Desmond||Denard Span|
|Mickey Vernon Comeback Player of the Year Player who overcame biggest obstacle in the preceding season to contribute on the field||Drew Storen||Wilson Ramos|
|Josh Gibson Humanitarian Player of the Year Player who meritoriously gave of himself to the community||Ian Desmond||Ryan Zimmerman|
|Minor League Player of the Year Minor league player most destined for big league success||Zach Walters||Lucas Giolito|
Baseball Season over for the Tigers
My little league team, the Tigers, finished the season strong with a win over the Pirates, 9-4. Our record was 4-2-1. I played right field and catcher in our last game of the fall season, and I almost threw out who was trying to steal third from the catcher spot.
MET AND BEAT MY CHARITY FUNDRAISING GOAL.
As you probably know, I’m raising money for lung cancer in memory of my grandfather. I am so grateful that so many people have supported me by donating money to this cause. You can donate here or sign up to participate in the Breathe Deep DC 5K walk on the National Mall on Sunday, November 3.
Also, please read my post about why I am raising money for lung cancer.
My goal was to raise $5,000. I thought that was a big goal and a massive challenge. I loved my grandfather so much that I want this terrible disease to be cured. I thought that $5,000 was so much money, but that is what is needed to defeat something so terrible. Even though lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer in the U.S., it does not get a lot of money for research.
So how am I doing? Well, let’s check the thermometer:
Like Harry Caray would say, “Holy Cow!”
My goal was to raise $5K for the 5K. I actually hit that on Friday night, October 18 (which was a special day to reach this goal). And then….
One anonymous donor who doesn’t want me to use his name matched my $5,000 goal by donating $5,000 and brought me up to $10,834! As of now, I have raised more money for the event than anybody else!
That is a ridiculous amount of money. Thank you so much to everyone who has given. Even though I never thought I would raise $5,000, and I actually passed my goal by $5,834, you can still donate sign up to walk with us HERE.
I’d like to recognize the people who donated in this post (as of Sunday night):
@MattsBats and Family
Arnold & Estelle Spring
Aunt Roberta Schoenbrun
Bob and Sharon Buck
Chuck, Jessica, Sam, Ben and Josh Myers
David, Melanie, Ben, Charlie & Lenny
David, Zach, Erika and Josh Bauml
Dorothy & Happy Eiglarsh
Felicia and Andrew Berkowitz
Hanna & Opa
Jaime, Melissa, Molly and Jordan Rosen
Michael and Ana Lucia Eisner
Mitch & Evie Mitchel
Mr. Irving and Lynda Grenman
Mr. Kevin Leaptrot
Ms. Adele Tarran
Nora and Howard Lynn
Randi and Max
Ruth Fischer and family
Sammy and Jack
Scott and Becky Freedman
Suzy and Jack Welch
The Brickman Family
The Sager Family
The Schultz Family
Your Woodstock Hosts
That’s all for today, Monday, October 21. No MLB baseball until the start of the World Series on Wednesday, when the Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Also, check back later this week where I will be sharing some details for a really cool baseball-related charity event.
My grandfather, Larry Eisner, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005, about a year after I was born. He was a very nice person, but he sadly passed away in 2008.
My G-pa was a kind of doctor called a neurologist. In his life, he helped many people when they were sick. My grandfather, like a lot of people who get lung cancer, did not smoke or do other things that are risky for your health. One of the facts that people may not know is that about 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or who have quit smoking a long time ago. Compared to other types of cancer, lung cancer does not get a lot of money for research, even though it is one of the most deadly types of cancer. You can learn a lot more facts here.
My family and I miss him so much. We do not want other people to have this very bad disease. So in 2010, we started doing a walk in Washington, D.C. to help raise money for a charity called Lungevity that gives money for lung cancer research, education and treatment. The walk is called Breathe Deep DC. I am participating in it again on Sunday, November 3 to help raise money for scientists to find a cure to lung cancer.
We walk around the monuments on the National Mall with other lung cancer patients, people who are survivors, family members, and other people whose lives have been touched by lung cancer. It is fun because they have activities, they play music and show videos, and have speakers who share their stories and you get to meet people who all have been affected by lung cancer. Every year they show a slideshow of people who died from lung cancer, and my G-pa’s picture is on it.
This year, instead of raising money from just friends and family members for the walk in November, I want to see if people who read my blog and Twitter will help me raise money by donating or coming to the Breathe Deep DC walk on November 3 on the National Mall. You can click on http://events.lungevity.org/goto/mattsbats to learn more!
Since this is a blog about baseball, I want to tell you how my fundraising involves baseball in another way. It is about one of my dad’s friends named Troy Gaston who got diagnosed with brain cancer in 2001. Troy is a lawyer in Greenwood, Arkansas, which is near Fort Smith and close to the Oklahoma border. Troy’s health is fine and his cancer is under control now. He is married with 2 kids, and is a big baseball fan. His favorite team is the Cardinals. I have never met Troy, but he has been a friend of my dad’s since 1998. (In fact, my dad said that on September 9,1998, he was at Troy’s house in St. Louis watching the Cardinals vs. Cubs game when Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ record). This year, Troy came to DC and my dad went with him to a Nationals game. (By the way, his son Jack is a big Ian Desmond fan and I want to try to get his Nationals hat autographed by Desi to give to him).
After my dad and Troy went to a Nationals game, Troy sent me a 1958 Stan Musial baseball card. It was a very nice gift, but the note he wrote with it explained why he chose to send me such a generous present. He wrote:
Musial was particularly known for going out of his way to be kind to other players. He would often cross the field to console African American players during the game after they were abused by white players. He never turned down a fan for an autograph. Musial’s character and grace reminds me of someone in your family. Your grandfather and I both had cancer at the same time. Since mine was a cancer of the brain, he had a special knowledge about my condition. There were several times that he went out of his way to contact me, comfort me and give me advice about my illness. Never once did he mention his own condition or think of himself. I am sure your mom and dad are teaching you to demonstrate similar character.
Here is a copy of the whole letter:
This is a very important letter for me because it reminds me about my grandfather, who died when I was only about 3 ½. I still remember him, but I was very little so most of what I know about him comes from what other people tell me about him.
I am sad that he never saw my success in school and writing my blog and that I became a pro blogger for MLB when I was 9. It is nice to know that I had a grandfather who was generous to other people and helped other people through tough times. I like hearing about how he made an impact on other peoples’ lives. It is great to read a letter from someone who isn’t a family member saying how my G-pa did little things that meant a lot to him. It is also great to hear someone make a connection back to baseball and compare my grandfather to a baseball hero like Stan Musial.
I have truly missed my grandfather and I’ll do whatever it takes to cure the disease that made him die. Now that I am older and I have a way to reach out to a lot of people, I am raising money for research and to bring awareness to lung cancer. I am going to teach people that even people who don’t smoke can get lung cancer. I am going to show people that there needs to be a cure so that good people like my G-pa don’t die from a bad disease. My G-pa was the kindest man I knew, and I miss him a lot.
It would mean very much to me if you visit the webpage set up for me for the Breathe Deep DC event (http://events.lungevity.org/goto/mattsbats). Please donate a little bit of money if you can or sign up to participate in the walk on November 3 on the National Mall. It is also important if you put a link on Facebook or RT this post on Twitter (You can just copy and paste http://wp.me/p3QhbY-kl). You can also follow Breathe Deep DC on Twitter @BreathDeepDC.
My fundraising goal is $5,000, which is a huge amount of money but it is always good to aim high. Even if you don’t donate money or come to the event, you should read these CRAZY facts about lung cancer, so at least you get a little bit of education about it.
Thanks so much for everyone who chooses to donate or to come to the Breathe Deep DC event and become a member of “Team Matt’s Bats” or even just retweet this post on Twitter!
If you like my posts, keep following @MattsBats on Twitter and reading MattsBats.com online during the offseason. I have some exciting things that I am planning to write about during the offseason to get you for Opening Day.
10. Stephen Strasburg’s First Career Complete Game Shutout (8/11/13)
9. Jordan Zimmermann’s Three Complete Games (4/15/13, 4/26/13, and 9/20/13)
6. Jayson Werth’s 1,000th Career Hit is a Home Run (8/10/13)
5. Bryce Returns from the DL with a BANG! (7/1/13)
4. Bryce Harper’s Walk-Off Tater (7/25/13)
3. Ian Desmond’s Game-Winning 1st Career Grand Slam (6/19/13)
And my pick for the Number 1 Moment of the Nationals’ 2013 Season Is…
… Not Just One Moment But … 29 Moments!
1. Denard Span’s MLB-Leading 29 Game Hitting Streak (8/22/13 – 9/18/13)
I picked Denard Span’s hitting streak as the most memorable moment of the Nationals 2013 season because it was the 2nd longest hitting streak in franchise history and the longest in all of Major League Baseball in 2013. The fact that he was 27 games away from Joe DiMaggio’s record shows just how amazing DiMaggio’s record is. But still, Span’s hitting streak kept the Nats’ post-season hopes alive in late August and September. Denard Span helped give us meaningful baseball late in the season, and he made each Nats game exciting. He played awesome Gold Glove defense all season and ended the season with a Silver Slugger quality hitting streak.
Here is a video that MLB and the Nats put together of their favorite moments. I think I had all of them on my list too.
What do you think? Do you agree with my picks? Do you remember any other great moments that you think should’ve been on this list? Leave a comment below!
To help you remember the exciting moments of the Nationals 2013 season, this week I am counting down the Top 30 Moments of the 2013 Nationals season. Yesterday I did #30-21 and today we’re still counting backwards from #20-11. That means tomorrow is the Top 10 of 2013! So if you didn’t see your favorite moment in today’s post or yesterday’s post, it may be coming up tomorrow.
Also, keep following @MattsBats on Twitter and reading MattsBats.com online during the offseason. I have some exciting things that I am planning to write about during the offseason to get you for Opening Day, which is only 181 days away.
20. LaRoche Uses Werth’s Bat, Hits A Homer (8/3/13)
19. Ramos’ 24 Game Catching Streak is Longest in MLB in 2013 (9/15/13)
17. Zim’s Walk-Off Shot (7/26/13)
16. Ramos Has His 2nd 5-RBI Day (9/15/13)
14. Nats’ First Walk-Off on Lombo’s Sac Fly (6/4/13)
13. Jayson Werth’s Incredibly Hot July and August
11. Harper in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game (7/15/13)