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Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Fame.’

The Baseball World mourns the death of “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks (photo by Scott R. Anselmo via wikipedia commons)

The baseball world was disappointed Friday when the Chicago Cubs had to announce that their beloved “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks had passed away at the age of 83.

Fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posted photos of Banks with a note of how he had affected their life. Whether a Cubs fan or not, Ernie Banks was well-liked by anyone connected with baseball.

Despite many years of playing on losing teams in Chicago, the always-smiling, upbeat Banks always had enthusiasm for the game and was its best ambassador next to Hank Aaron and Yogi Berra

He was famous for always saying, “It’s a great day for baseball. Let’s play two”!

The two-time National League MVP in a 19-year career with the Cubs, had a .274 average with 2,583 base hits, 512 homers, 1,636 RBI’s in a Hall of Fame career. He played from 1953-1971. He hit 40 or more homers in a season five times. Other career highlights and awards include: 14-time All-Star, a 1960 Gold Glove winner, 2-time NL Home Run and 2-time NL RBI champion, Cubs retired his #14 jersey  and he was a member of the MLB Century All-Star Team.

He started his career as a shortstop and ended it as a first baseman.

Ernie Banks in 1955 on Bowman Baseball Card (Public Domain via wikipedia commons)

The one sad fact about his career, he never reached the postseason. Which is mind-boggling considering the Cubs in those days had some great players in Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, Glenn Beckett, Don Kessinger, Billy Williams, Kenny Holtzman, Randy Hundley, Bill Hands and Phil Regan.

He reached the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility of 1977.

One fact that most fans don’t realize about Banks is that he was the Cubs’ first black player on 1953.

Banks signed with the Cubs in the fall of 1953. He made his major league debut at Wrigley Field on September 17 at age 22, and played in ten games. He became one of a handful of former Negro league players who joined MLB teams without playing a single minor league game.

In 1954, Banks’ double play partner during his official rookie season was Gene Baker, the second Cubs black player. Banks and Baker roomed together on road trips and became the first all-black double-play combination in major league history.

Clark’s Late Field Goal Helps MTSU Nip Memphis, 17-15


Memphis at Middle Tennessee (photo by Steve Basford)

MURFREESBORO, TN — Redshirt freshman Cody Clark’s 40 yard field goal with 1:49 left, the second of his short career, boosted Middle Tennessee State to a 17-15 win over in-state rival Memphis. The Blue Raider defense preserved the win with key sacks on Memphis’ last gasp drive.

(courtesy MTSU)

MTSU took over on their own 35 with 3:31 remaining and down 15-14. Pass plays of 18 and 25 yards by Logan Kilgore to Marcus Henry and Tavarres Jefferson helped the Blue Raiders reach the Memphis 23.

Memphis reached the MTSU 36 after the field goal, but sacks by Alexandro Antoine and Jared Singletary of Tiger quarterback Paxton Lynch, the last one leaving no time for another play, pushed the Tigers out of field goal range.

The MTSU Blue Raiders continued their dominance in the series with Memphis, running their record in the series to 17-8-1, including 11-2 at home. Memphis’ last win in Murfreesboro was in 1939. The eighth largest crowd in Floyd Stadium history — 23,922 — was on hand to honor its 2013 Hall of Fame class.

Memphis outgained MTSU 350 to 284 and had over nine more minutes of possession time, but committed 15 penalties for 145 yards. The Tigers had 11 of their penalties for 114 yards in the first half.

MTSU scored on their second possession, going 92 yards in 13 plays, with the help of two pass interference calls. On a favorable overturn after an official review, Kyle Griswould’s catch of Kilgore’s bootleg pass and dive at the right pylon from seven yards out was ruled a touchdown.

(courtesy U of Memphis)

The Tigers answered two possessions later with a 21 yard field goal in the second quarter by Jake Elliot. The Memphis drive started at the MTSU 38 following a punt out of the end zone.

The Blue Raiders needed only eight yards to extend the lead to 14-3 with 3:39 left before halftime on a one yard plunge by Jordan Parker. T.T. Barber’s interception at the Memphis 32 and return to the 16 plus an eight yard penalty set up the score.

Cody Clark is the hero for the Blue Raiders (courtesy MTSU)

Elliot’s second field goal of the half of 41 yards made the halftime score 14-6. Bakari Hollier’s interception of a Kilgore pass at his own 22 and 33 yard return started the drive at the MTSU 45 with 1:12 remaining.

The Tigers had to settle for Elliot’s third field goal from 27 yards on their first possession of the second half to make it 14-9. A false start on second and goal at the MTSU five stalled the drive.

Lynch’s one yard rollout pass to Alan Cross on third and goal at the one gave Memphis a 15-14 lead with 13:38 remaining in the game, capping a 10 play, 69 yard drive. Lynch’s two point conversion pass was incomplete, leaving the margin for a field goal to win instead of tie.

The Blue Raiders raised their record to 2-1, while the Tigers fell to 0-2.

Paxton Lynch (U of Memphis)

Clemens pitches well at age 50 for Sugar Land Skeeters; next start on Sept 7


Roger Clemens (photo by Keith Allison via wikipedia commons)

“The Rocket” Roger Clemens thinks he can make a comeback to Major League Baseball.

Pitching for the first time in 5 years, the 50-year-old Clemens threw 3.1 scoreless innings last Saturday night for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent Atlantic League.

Clemens pitched against the Bridgeport Bluefish and allowed one hit without a walk and threw 37 pitches. He struck out former MLB outfielder Joey Gathright to start the game.

The fireballer’s next start will be on September 7 for the Skeeters.

Clemens has Hall of Fame numbers no doubt, 354 wins 184 losses, a 3.12 ERA with 4,672 strikeouts. He pitched for Boston, Toronto, the Yankees twice and Houston.

Clemens was an 11-time All-Star, 2-time All-Star, with 7 Cy Young Awards and was named to the MLB All-Century team.


Info compiled from Radio, TV & MLB news

Hall of Fame a deserving honor for Larkin


Barry Larkin of the Reds in 2004 (photo by Rick Dikeman via wikipedia commons)

There was no doubt as Barry Larkin’s career advanced that he was going to be a Hall of Fame shortstop.

That reality came true on Monday when the 47-year-old former Cincinnati Reds captain was voted into Baseball’s Hall in his third year on the ballot. In 2010, he fell just 75 votes shy of election.

Larkin, the Cincinnati-born and bred native son was popular with fans, media, teammates as well as opposing players. The always-positive Larkin was so well-liked by fans in Ohio, eventhough he was a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Larkin was voted in on 495 of the 573 ballots cast, a percentage of 86.4 that bypassed the 75 percent which is needed to get into the Hall of Fame. He was the only player selected by the baseball writers and will join the late Ron Santo who was elected in December by the Veterans Committee heading into the Cooperstown, New York shrine this coming summer.

Larkin will be joining Johnny Bench and Bid McPhee as Hall of Fame players who spent their entire careers with Cincinnati.

Number-11 posted a batting average of .295 with 198 homers, 960 RBI’s, 2,340 base hits and 379 stolen bases in his career. He played in 12 All-Star games, won nine Silver Slugger Awards, which goes to the best hitter at his position; helped lead the Reds to a World Series title in 1990; won the NL MVP award in 1995 and was the first shortstop to make the 30-30 club, hitting 33 homers ans stealing 36 bases in 1996.



Info compiled from MLB, Cincinnati Reds, Radio & TV news

Reds to induct Casey, Driessen, Reilly to Hall of Fame


Sean Casey at first base in 2004 with Reds (photo by Rick Dikeman via wikipedia commons)

The Cincinnati Reds have announced their 2012 Hall of Fame class.

Three-time All-Star Sean Casey, Big Red Machine 3B/1B Danny Driessen and 19th century first baseman John Reilly will be joining the membership of 75 who have been inducted to the team’s hall.

Casey was selected by the online voting process through the Modern Player Ballot.

Driessen and Reilly were picked by the Reds’ Hall of Fame veteran’s committee, which is composed of media, Hall of Famers, historians and Hall of Fame executives.

The trio will be honored June 22-24 during the Reds’ Hall of Fame Weekend, which will include on-field ceremonies at Great American Ball Park and festivities at the team’s Hall of Fame.

Casey quickly became one of the most popular players to play for Cincinnati. He became known as “The Mayor” during his eight-year tenure.

Driessen was a versatile infielder with the Big Red Machine clubs in the 70′s. He played 12 seasons for Cincinnati from 1973 to 1984.

Reilly was a Cincinnati native and very solid first baseman in the 1880′s. Reilly played for the Reds his entire career of nine years. He held team records for most singles, doubles, triples, home runs, runs scored, RBI’s and games played.

The 37-year-old Casey, who grew up in the Pittsburgh area, also played for Cleveland, Detroit and Boston. He retired after the 2008 season.

He was a 3-time All-Star with the Reds and was the 1999 winner of the Hutch Award.

Casey’s career totals includes: a .302 average, 130 homers and 735 RBI’s.


Info courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds

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