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Yanks captain chases hits milestone July 8, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag, Trends.
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New York Yankee captain and all-star short stop, Derek Jeter, is closing in on baseball history. He is 2 hits shy of 3,000 for his career and is the only Yankee, current or past, to reach this milestone. During a homestand this weekend against division rivals Tampa Bay,  it is likely that Derek will get the 2 hits he needs to reach this next achievement in his future hall of fame career. In all of baseball, Jeter will be only the 28th player to have 3000 hits. Derek is that exceedingly rare MLB player who has only played for the New York Yankees his entire career.

Chasing 3K hits

Jeter 2 shy of 3000 career hits

As usual, the captain is not talking too much about this significant event. He is focused on helping his team win games. Yet, they have only won 1 game in 5 since his return. It is hard not to be distracted when an HBO film crew is dogging you and the team.

Jeter has just come off the disabled list earlier this week. During that time, the Yanks were 17-3. Now that he is back in the line up, he will play every day until the All-Star break next week.

I hope he gets his 3,000th hit on Saturday. I will be watching the Yanks playing a day game, with history on deck.

What could be more American than that?

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Yankee history made as Jeter ties hits record September 10, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Like millions of other fans, I watched baseball history unfold  during last night’s  Yankee game. Derek Jeter, the team captain, tied a franchise record for most hits with 2,721. The 72 year old record was held by another famous Yankee captain, Lou Gehrig***. Gehrig is known as the ‘Iron Horse’ and the ‘Pride of the Yankees’.  He played alongside Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio toward the end of his career. There is a great movie about him with Gary Cooper in the lead role.

A brief  game recap describes how he got those three hits. As luck would have it, on the same day last year in the old stadium, Jeter tied Babe Ruth for hits as a Yankee. You don’t have to be a Yankee fan to know about the chase for the hits record. Jeter has been closing on this record for a while.

26 time World Champions

26 time World Champions

Derek was in a bit of a hitting slump, going 0-12 in the last few games.  Last night, he started with a bunt single to get his 1st hit. He had two more hits in the game, the last one to tie the record at 2721.  Currently tied with Gehrig, he passed Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth for most hits by a Yankee. He is certainly a future member of the baseball Hall of Fame. As one of the most respected players in the game, Cap’n Jeter is in some very famous company these days.

Making baseball history and tying the record, I’m sure Jeter will remember this game for a long time.  It is a definite certainty that Derek will surpass this record.  From now on, each additional hit is a record high for a Yankee. A benchmark for future players to measure themselves against. I salute the Yankee captain and hope he holds this record for a long time.  Congratulations Derek!

***Gehrig’s life was shortended by Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is commonly referrd to as ‘Lou Gehrig’s disease’ .  Learn about the walk to defeat ALS from the ALS association. More on Gehring available here on the NYT site.

MLB 2009 All Star Game July 12, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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2009 MLB All Star Game

2009 MLB All Star Game

The summer season is in high gear with the 80th edition of  the MLB All Star game this week. The All Start Game (ASG) will be played in a great baseball town, St. Louis on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

If you’re a baseball fan, you know that MLB is roughly half-way through the season and at this time, all the teams get a 4 day break. For many major leaguers, this is a great way to rest and recover from injuries before the second half of the season begins. For those voted to be on the All Start team, it is chance to play with the best and perhaps, shine, in the national spotlight. While I grew up playing the sport, I learned one of the most interesting things about baseball while watching the Ken Burns documentary a few years ago. Baseball is unique in that it  is the only game in which the defense has the ball. Amazing when you think about it. Every other game I can think of, the offense has the ball.

By rule, the roster for both the National League and American League teams must include at least one player from each team. This year, a record number of votes were cast by fans with more than 223 million recorded. Hope you got your vote in for your favorite player. This year, there are three Yankees on the AL roster (including the Yankee captain, Derek Jeter).

26 time World Champions

26 time World Champions

The Yankees are my favorite team so I know the players in the American League better than in the National League. What is also interesting is the players not on the roster this year. Some major notables include Man-Ram (aka, Manny Ramirez) and A-Rod (aka, Alex Rodriguez). Like’em or hate’em, you won’t see either play in the ASG this year.

I will watch the actual game itself and  I’m sure some of the Home Run Derby highlights will be unavoidable. During the sixth inning of the Midsummer Classic, fans can cast their votes online at MLB.com for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award.

Baseball is a game with lots of statistics. As with all sports, performance is measured beyond wins and losses. On offense, they keep stats for batting average, stolen bases, hitting with runners in scoring position (RISP), hitting with 2 outs, hitting with bases loaded to name a few. On defense, they track errors, pitch count, earned run average, put outs, assists and turning double plays.

For the ASG, the league with the most wins is the most important.  Here is one of the many sites with a quick summary of ASG history. What is your favorite part of the ASG? Do you want bragging rights for the AL or NL? Is it important to you who gets home field advantage in the World Series?

I like watching great ball players and this game showcases a lot of talent players on the field. You have to watch carefully as there are many substitutions made to get most of the players a chance to play in the field and get an at-bat. It is a honor to get nominated to play and it’s good to see them take the game seriously. The same cannot be said for some of the other major sports All Star game (e.g. – football).

I hope it is a competitive game with good defense and offense on display. Save me a seat and a hot dog, OK?

Play Ball!