It seems to me that if you're going to
pass yourself off as some kind of expert
on baseball, or even just a "buff,"
you ought to avoid the more egregious types
of errors that only non-baseball types could
be expected to make.
I've seen this one many times before, most
notably in the work of Peter Golenbock,
a self-proclaimed baseball historian and
writer who remarkably, despite his frequent
errors and poor research, has managed to
pass himself off as a credible baseball
What I'm talking about is the erroneous
spelling of the name of Hall of Fame outfielder,
slugger, and my own favorite player of all
time, Duke Snider. Note that the name is
NOT "Snyder"! There have been
several Snyders in baseball, mostly it seems
journeyman infielders who occasionally surface
on mediocre teams like the Washington Senators,
Kansas City A's/Royals, et al. It seems
to me that a man who not only hit more than
400 home runs (and would have easily reached
the 500 plateau had not the Dodgers relocated
to the cavernous L.A. Coliseum, with its
ridiculous 450-foot right field fence) while
hovering around or above the .300 mark for
most of his career, but also hit 40 homers
a year for five straight years (1953-57)
and was the leading home-run hitter in the
major leagues for the ENTIRE DECADE of the
1950s, could at least been granted the honor
of having his name spelled right!
And by the way, wasn't it Roy Campanella
who worked as a haberdasher in the off-season,
before he bought his liquor store in Harlem?
Despite my outrage at your botching the
name of my hero, the Duke of Flatbush, I
DO enjoy your e-zine. Keep it up.
ED: We have to respond personally
to this letter, especially since, on a historical
front, we absolutely love the Dodgers of
old. Mr. Raidy is right--there's no
excuse for misspelling Snider's name.
We couldn't find evidence of
Roy Campanella as a haberdasher. Robinson
owned a men's store, though he probably
didn't wander the sales floor. Still,
we stick by our pointthat the days
of the players living amongst their fans
is over. Thanks again for taking us rightly
Wow - lots of things to digest
- liked the comments on the strike and also
Books to Read:
Lords of Baseball -
absolute must - even though it covers baseball
owners through the late 60's it represents
a good look at the owner's mentality. Absolutely
fascinating anecdotal history - particularly
of Branch Rickey.
Leveling the Playing Field:
How the Law Can Make Sports Better for FansThis
is a tough read, written by a lawyer, who
as a sports fan, explains how law helps
the sports teams.... I am not a lawyer,
do not pretend to be, nor want to be one.
But when I have contract negotiations, I
involve them for all the right reasons -
to document the protection of my interests...
This is the same thing the baseball master
agreement does (and all sports agreements
do), consequently we need lawyers. I have
a much better understanding of the legal
history of baseball (e.g. Flood, Messersmith,
etc.) as well as a better sense of how the
arbitration works. Tough readbut worth
the effort if you are interested in the
facts surrounding the master agreement.
OK I haven't been to all the
major league parks - but I have been to
a significant number of town ball parksplaces
that provide the venue for town team baseball.
Each is quirkybut all of them outdoors...No
this won't be a diatribe against the DomeI
share partial season tickets with a friendbut
rather comments on what makes a good ballpark
from a fan's perspective...as thought through
at a recent rain delay at State Amateur
tournaments in St. Cloud.
A canopy is great - provides
a place to huddle to watch the rain and
protects you from the sun. Seats without
having to look through the new 3/8"
thick black indestructible chain link fence
city park departments like to put up because
they can forget about it for 50 years. Seats
down the lines that angle toward the playing
field (the one real wish I do have for the
Domemy seats are on third base lineI
am envious of the angled seats down the
right field side...) Real hotdogs (skin
on wieners!) for a buck-fifty... Scoreboards
perpendicular to the fans line of site
not parallel to the fence in right or left
(city park departments like things to be
"square and plumb" or parallel
Mowing techniques - parallel
to third base line first cut, parallel to
second base line second cut, parallel to
a line from home to second extended third
Drainage techniques - if you
can't afford drain tile, build your field
on a flood plain. Chaska's Athletic floods
occasionally, but it also takes 4"
of rain, and within three hours of the rain
stopping is ready to play!
Monuments - Cold Spring's
park - great entrance, and then their monument
to the Springer teams of the past.
Lawn Chairs - Most comfortable
seats in the parkJordan's left field
hill is probably the best. St. Cloud's Putz
had a spot on the first base dugoutbut
the operating authority there figured that
one out and reserved it for themselvesbut
St. Cloud's Faber has a nice spot on the
third base line...Chaska has the space in
their grandstand to allow you to bring lawn
chairs, and then places to put lawn chairs
down the lines...
To the editors of Mudville:
I'll tell you, it's like fair-weather
fans, those Europeans! One minute they love
you, the next you're evil. Saddam doesn't
sell like he used to, I guess. Sort of like
the Rangers. You see plenty of folks like
those continentals back in Arlington
sure, we get to winning a few, the stands
fill, beer and wieners sell, everyone's
smiling. The twins brag to their friends,
and everything's peachy. But come losing
time (and there's always plenty of
that at The Ballpark), why, no one wants
to talk to you! Kind of like Gerhard Schröder.
getting after me for surfing the web (gotta
read Drudge!), so I can't write much.
Apparently, I've got another speech
to give to make everyone less restless.
I hope Dick'll wait until after the
series is over to fight (he's a hockey
man). The way I look at it, if the Angels
can finally do it, who says the Rangers
Please don't call me 'Rally
To the editor:
Sure, you couldn't be righter
than when you point out that the owners
are obviously papering their Swiss chalet
walls with Benjamins, but Muddy, aren't
the players striking to avoid anything that
resembles a salary cap, thereby protecting
their own chance to dance naked amid flurries
I suggest you take your Anti-Series
plan further: convince the whole league
to obey playground rules. Break up the teams,
choose captains, and pick players one by
one. It'd be a thousand times more interesting
than any home-run derby could be.
And then there'd be the added bonus of wiping
the owners out entirely, but I won't go
into that right now.
I've spent the last 7 hours
trying to get the fold-in to work, and I
finally got it, but now my monitor keeps
making those rice crispies noises.
I like your idea of the players
organizing their own play-offs and world
series w/o the owners. I thought of this,
too. It reminds me of the ideas discussed
in the film "Bingo Long.." (about
the Negro Leagues) in which the players
would seize the "means of production"
and own their teams collectively and run
the leagues on a non-profit basis. I agree
it would be a memorable series of events
that will go down in history. The players
(or the union) could rent the ballparks
and tell tix independently of the owners.
One legal question: If the players go on
strike, and there's no contract anymore,
are the players under any legal obligation
not to play for another team -- even a player-run
team? I assume they are, at that point,
Professor of politics at Occidental College,
I totally disagree with your
point of view that supports the players
in the current negotiations. G-R-E-E-D on
the part of players is wrecking the game.
They just plain have received too much and
it is time to back off. Many people in Minnesota
don't have jobs and will never in a lifetime
make the salary which players receive for
just one year.
Since expansion, half of the
players are at the most AAA quality. Let
us pay the stars, which are very few, and
pay the others what they deserve.
Enjoyed your article/editorial
about the pros and cons of the players
and owners and agree with your categorizing
Selig as an owner, rather than commissioner.
He has managed to do something that I
thought impossible. He makes General Eckert
look like a good Commissioner. His plan
for contraction to placate his buddy Pohlad
in Minnesota (and make both richer) is
a joke and insult to the fans of Minnesota
and Montreal (yes, I believe there are
fans there, who would come out if they
felt that they had a properly run team
to complement their quality young players.
Bud should go back to join his daughter
in Milwaukee and ruin one team, instead
of acting as Commissioner and trying to
ruin 30 teams.
My team is the Astros, who
may or may not pass St. Louis for the
Central pennant, or more unlikely, pass
the Giants and Dodgers for the wild card.
Either way, or if they don't make either,
will have enjoyed the season going into
October, or ending this week.
Don't feel the players are
blameless, but, as you say, the honesty
of the players is much more open to public
record than that of the owners.
Thank you for allowing
the forum to speak.
Doug Palmer, Athens, Alabama