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Posts Tagged ‘NL.’

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.

Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn dies of cancer at age 54

Tony Gwynn in 2006 (photo by Ewen & Donabel via wikipedia commons)

Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn has passed away at 54 years old.

Gwynn died today, Monday, June 16, 2014, of cancer of the salivary gland.

He is survived by his wife, Alicia, daughter Anisha and son Tony Jr., an outfielder with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Hall of Fame outfielder, spent all 20 of his MLB career with the San Diego Padres, had been on a medical leave since late March from his job as the head baseball coach at his alma mater San Diego State.

One of the greatest contact hitters to ever play the game, Gwynn amassed 3,141 hits, a career .338 average and won eight NL batting titles. He excelled at hitting singles the other way, between third base and shortstop, which is considered the “5.5 hole”.

Gwynn had three procedures to remove noncancerous growths from his parotid gland since 1997. In 2010, Gwynn was diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland and had both lymph nodes removed. Gwynn said his cancer was due to the habit of dipping tobacco that he had since playing rookie ball in Walla Walla in 1981.

Gwynn’s second surgery was complicated, with surgeons removing a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumor inside his right cheek. They grafted a nerve from Gwynn’s neck where he  eventually was able to regain facial movement.

Gwynn’s other accomplishments included:

2 World Series appearances

15-time All-Star

8-time Batting Champion

5-time Gold Glove Award Winner

7-time Silver Slugger Award Winner

1999 Roberto Clemente Award Winner

Number 19 jersey retired by San Diego Padres retired in 2004

.338 career batting average

135 career homers

1,138 career RBI’s

Played with the Padres from 1982-2001.


Reds’ Votto wins MLB Network’s Face of Baseball title

Joey Votto (photo by Geoff Livingston, UCinternational via wikipedia commons)

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto had star written all over him when he arrived in the Queen City in 2007.

The 29-year-old Canadian has lived up to the hype, with career totals of .316 batting average, 133 home runs, 822 hits, 457 RBI’s, a 3-time All-Star, NL MVP, NL Hank Aaron Award winner.

He is very popular with fans throughout baseball.

Recently, the MLB Network had a voting for the Face of Baseball title.

In the semifinals, Votto beat out another popular player, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. In the finals, Votto got past Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, by gaining 67 percent of the votes.

 

Info compiled from MLB Network, Radio & TV news

No collapse in 2012, as Braves clinch NL playoffs berth with win over Miami

 

In 2011, the Atlanta Braves led the St. Louis Cardinals by 10 games in the National League Wild-Card race only to lose it and a chance at the playoffs. The Cardinals went onto to become the NL champions and World Series champions.

In 2012, the Braves have weathered the storm and will make the playoffs.

(courtesy of MLBpressbox.com)

Retiring third baseman Chipper Jones led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double to right-centerfield off the Miami Marlins’ Mike Dunn, the losing pitcher who falls to 0-3. He advanced to third on a wild pitch before Freddie Freeman homered to send the Braves to the postseason for the second time in three years.

Jones’ double in the ninth tied him with Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar for 57th place on the all-time major league career list with 2,724.

Chipper Jones (photo by Dirk Hansen via wikipedia commons)

Atlanta starter Kris Medlen pitched seven innings, allowing three runs and five hits, striking out eight and walking none. He did not figure in the decision but he and the Braves go into the record books. The Braves have won Medlen’s last 22 starts, tying a major-league record set by Whitey Ford and Carl Hubble.

 

Info compiled from MLB.com & Atlanta Braves news

Washington Nationals dilemma: Strasburg innings to be limited even if needed in pennant race

Stephen Strasburg (photo by dbking, Kanesue via wikipedia commons)

If the Washington Nationals are going to get into the playoffs, they’ll have to be very creative with the innings pitched by staff ace, 24-year-old Stephen Strasburg.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has been saying for weeks that the former San Diego State star will not pitch more than 180 innings in 2012.

So far, Strasburg is on pace to pitch 184.1 innings in a very solid year so far.

In April 2012, Strasburg accumulated an NL-best 34 strikeouts and second-best 1.13 ERA. He totaled 6 walks and did not give up a home run. Consequently he was named National League Player of the Month.  On May 20, Strasburg went 2-for-2 as a hitter in a game against the Baltimore Orioles and hit his first career home run, a solo shot off of Wei-Yin Chen.

In his June 13 start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Strasburg became the first pitcher of the year to strike out 100 batters.

On July 1, Strasburg was elected to his first All-Star Game.

The Washington Nationals have been controlling the National League East since the early days of the season.

 

Info compiled from MLB, Washington Nationals, Radio & TV news

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