Digital Version of Baseball Magazine
This was the official website for an online version of Baseball Magazine providing commentary on the history of the game along with commentary on contemporary baseball topics.
Content is from the site's 2015 -2016 archived pages.
I really enjoyed this magazine. You could say I am a baseball fan, in the extreme according to my friends. For instance, when I learned that the Columbia MD moving company, Von Paris Moving & Storage, I was using for a move to Boston (yea...Red Sox) had been named the official Mover of the Baltimore Orioles, the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, I was psyched. Since I lived so close to Baltimore, I attended just about every Baltimore Orioles home game. My moving company was used to move anything associated with the Baltimore Orioles. Perhaps they also had moved some of the players like when they were moving into a new home. My truck might have moved Mark Trumbo or Zach Britton. Ok, Ok, maybe I am getting a bit too enthusiastic. My friends kid me, asking whom I will be rooting for when the Red Soxs play the Orioles. Ah! I won't worry about that. It's the game of baseball, itself, I love.
We at Baseball Magazine are extremely proud to debut this month, October 15 , our first digital issue of our magazine. Each month, we will be adding the latest issue, with magazine-exclusive content that you won’t find on the web site.
About Baseball Magazine
Baseball Magazine is being brought back from the grave, not as it’s now-defunct print version, but in digital format. Our goal as a staff is to celebrate and provide thought-provoking commentary on the history of the game, while tying in contemporary baseball topics and their relevance on our National Pastime.
A little history about the original Baseball Magazine…
It was the first monthly baseball magazine published in the United States.The magazine was founded by Boston sportswriter Jake Morse prior to the 1908 season.It continued publishing through 1957 before shutting down for good. The print version of the magazine also provided human interest stories about baseball stars, such as Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, and that is also something that today’s Baseball Magazine will provide as well.
Mr. Morse stated that his mission in starting Baseball Magazine was to “fill the need of a monthly organ filled with the highest thought surrounding the game, well edited, well printed, and filled with first class illustrations.”
It’s Mr. Morse’s vision and goals that we intend to carry on with this new version of his brain child, Baseball Magazine. His thoughts and believes will be tightly-woven into every single piece that appears on this site.
A monthly baseball publication was unique for the times. The monthly format permitted lengthy examination of baseball issues which the weekly Sporting Life and its competitor The Sporting News didn’t often pursue with their focus on on-the-field results. “BaseCharles Bevis, SABR)
In late 1910, less than three years after the founding of the magazine, Joseph Potts replaced Mr. Morse as president of Baseball Magazine. He remained as editor for a time, but the December 1911 issue was the last one he edited. F.C. Lane, who had joined the publication as associate editor for the July 1911 issue, became the editor of Baseball Magazine effective with the January 1912 issue. Lane relocated the magazine’s office to New York City and expanded the editorial content to “outdoor sports” such as football and ice hockey, and published more mainstream articles that appealed to a broader readership. Bevis, SABR)
Where the original Baseball Magazine left off, is where the 21st century version wants to begin. Quite a bit has occurred in the game since the last issue was published in 1957. We intend to close that gap, while remaining fresh and relevant in regards to today’s game as well.
Baseball Magazine – October 2015
Looking Back at the Playing Career of Don Mattingly
Jacob R Misener
Despite five-straight seasons in which the Los Angeles Dodgers finished above .500, Don Mattingly and the club parted ways in mid-October, leaving the door open for him to test the waters elsewhere. According to multiple reports, Donnie Baseball is headed to South Beach to help lead a talented, albeit raw Miami Marlins team that features a nucleus that includes Jose Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
For my generation, Mattingly is a manager. Most don’t even know anything regarding his playing career, which spanned from 1982 to 1995 – all of which was spent in the Bronx with the New York Yankees. Without understanding just how talented Mattingly was as a player, it’s honestly quite difficult to wrap one’s mind around why he’s such a hot-button issue out west, where he became the first skipper to lead the Dodgers to three-straight division titles.
A 19th-round pick of the Yankees in the 1979 draft, it took just a handful of years in the minors before Mattingly made his way to the Big Apple, where he made his big-league debut on Sept. 8, 1982 as a defensive replacement for skipper Clyde King.
It was not until the next season, 1983, that Mattingly started to show promise. In just under 100 games, he batted .283/.333/.409 – which are solid numbers in and of themselves. But, from there, the story of Donnie Baseball changed forever.
From 1984 to 1989, the Yankees’ first baseman finished in the top seven of American League MVP voting five different times, earning an All-Star selection in each one of those campaigns. In 1985, just his third full season in the bigs, Mattingly won the AL MVP, to go along with his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards after posting a .939 OPS with 145 runs batted in, 48 doubles and 35 long-balls.
During a four-year stretch in the mid-1980s, Mattingly averaged 30 homers and 121 RBI for New York, but, despite his astounding play, the Yankees failed to make the postseason from the time the slugger was drafted until his final season in pinstripes, 1995.
By that point, Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill took over carrying the offensive load, marking the beginning of George Steinbrenner’s historic 1990’s teams of Bombers that went on to win the Fall Classic five times from 1995 to 2001. But in Mattingly’s only postseason appearance, the team failed to advance past the NLDS – a trend that has continued into his managerial career.
For whatever reason, after working exclusively in the Yankees’ organization as a coach and special instructor for over a decade following his retirement, the front office decided to tap Joe Girardi as the next skipper of the storied franchise, setting up his eventual departure to the Dodgers, where he also worked as a coach until taking over the reins himself.
Yet, here we are. Another relationship between Donnie Baseball and a storied baseball franchise done and over. After not getting the job done in both Los Angeles and New York, could sunny South Beach be the place where Mattingly gets past that first round and finally gets a taste of the World Series?
Who Invented Baseball?
The first game of the 111th World Series was a long one. Like more than five hours long. Do the math backwards and the first World Series was in 1903 (there was no World Series in 1904 before the tradition resumed again in 1905).
But jump back even further– all the way to 1839– and we see the misguided inception of the game of baseball.
Many have credited Abner Doubleday with the invention of the game of baseball. That, however, is inaccurate and untrue. Doubleday himself never claimed to have invented the game, and was at West Point in 1839. So where, then, did America’s Favorite Pastime come from?
One has to jump back to a murky history, across the ocean and back to the 18th century. American baseball’s closest relatives are found in the English games of rounders and cricket. Those games traveled across the Atlantic with the first colonizers of the New World, and as the decades passed, children played variations of both on playgrounds and at university.
With the turn of the American Industrial Revolution, men in busy urban areas sought recreation. In one city, New York City, a group of men organized a baseball club. And so, in 1845, the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club was founded. It was then, that we first see the coordinated organization of baseball in the United States.
Alexander Joy Cartwright– a firefighter and bank clerk– codified the rules for the group, most prominently the diamond-shaped infield and the three-strikes-you’re-out that define the game even today. He also, smartly, removed the beaning rule where the defense could get the runner out by pegging them with the live baseball.
These rule distinctions added more layers of intrigue, a faster pace, and a little more gamesmanship to the young game of baseball.
And in 1846, the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club played the first unofficial organized American baseball game against a cricket team.
And the game of baseball was born. Not ‘new’ from the mind of a Civil War soldier, but the product of a group of men from New York looking for ways to, well, pass the time.
Remembering Eiji Sawamura: A Celebrated Life of Sacrifice
Eiji Sawamura during the 1934 15-game exhibition series against Major League Baseball all-stars. Image Courtesy of War is Boring.com
In 1934 an All-Star team of American Major League Baseball stars arrived on the shores of Japan. Their goal was to spread the United States’ great national pastime to Japan by way of a 15 game expedition series. The Japanese were overmatched as the All-Star team that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Fox mowed down their competition. Yet, one game is still celebrated by Japanese baseball fans. One marked by fantastic talent and incredible sacrifice.
17-year old Eiji Sawamura was widely considered the best high school ballplayer in Japan’s new and budding baseball culture. When he was asked to take part in the exhibition series it meant being expelled from high school and forfeiting the chance to pitch in college. But Sawamura saw it as a great opportunity to represent his country and gave up a future education for the chance to take on the best players in the world. The young righty hurler took the mound against Earl Whitehill and the two became locked in a pitchers’ duel that is still talked about today. Sawamura would steal the show despite ultimately losing the game. That’s not surprising considering he struck out Charlie Gehringer, Ruth, Gehrig and Foxx in succession, a stunning feat comparable only to Carl Hubbell’s performance in the 1934 All-Star Game and, later, Pedro Martinez in the 1999 All-Star Game.
Sawamura would go on to play for the Tokyo Kyojin (Now the Yomiuri Giants) and establish himself as a superstar right off the bat. In 1936 he went 14-3 with a 1.18 ERA and 123 strikeouts at just 19-years old. The next year he went 33-10 with a 1.38 ERA and an incredible 325 strikeouts. He consistently declined to play in America despite the best efforts of big league teams. It’s been long told how an American scout tried to trick the young pitcher into a getting him to sign a deal by telling him the paper he was signing (Which was actually a contract) was just an autograph request. Connie Mack, the legendary architect and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics also attempted to add him.
Sadly, Sawamura’s legend ended tragically. In 1944 he was serving on a Japanese transport ship as World War II was still in full force. While his ship was sailing off the coast of Taiwan it was attacked and sunk by American warships. Among the deceased was Sawamura. The legendary pitcher who had once dazzled against the best hitters Major League baseball had to offer was just 27 years old. Another sad story from history’s worst conflict.
Since 1947, the Nippon Professional Baseball League has awarded the year’s best pitcher the Eiji Sawamura Award, the equivalent of MLB’s Cy Young Award. Many of its recent recipients have gone on to play for Major League clubs. Hideo Nomo won the award in 1990, five years before debuting in America as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Koji Uehara, currently the closer for the Boston Red Sox, earned the prize twice, once in 1999 and then again in 2002. Hisashi Iwakuma, the free agent who has played with the Seattle Mariners since 2012, won his in 2008 as a member of the Rakuten Golden Eagles and his former teammate and current ace of the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka, was the recipient of the coveted title in 2011 and 2013. Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers also won the award in 2007 while pitching for the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
Sawamura lost his life too young and, despite never playing in America, still has a relevant place in baseball. His legacy lives on with the other immortals.
Baseball As It Was
Baseball Magazine is excited to be partners in our love of baseball history, by teaming up with Brian Wright, founder and host of Baseball As It Was, a weekly podcast covering all topics baseball history.
2015 Season Episodes:2015 Season Episodes:
NEW EPISODE!!! October 6th with former Angels and Tigers hurler, Frank Tanana!
September 24th with longtime broadcaster, Bob Wolff
September 15th with former Yankees, Orioles, and Dodgers backstop, Rick Dempsey
August 31st with former National League MVP, Dick Groat
August 19th with Heather Quinlan, filmmaker of an upcoming ’86 Mets documentary
August 10th with Granddaughter of HOFer Yogi Berra, Lindsay Berra
July 30th with former Cy Young Award Winner, Frank Viola
July 23rd with National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum President Jeff Idelson
July 20th with Washington Nationals’ author Barry Svrluga
July 7th with MLB Network contributor and Sports Illustrated writer, Tom Verducci
June 29th with Hall of Fame outfielder and member of the Big Red Machine, Tony Perez
June 18th with former Astros flame-throwing legend, J.R. Richard
June 11th with former Red Sox pitcher, Spaceman Bill Lee
June 1st with former Dodgers’ pitcher Carl Erskine
May 21st with Cooperstown Mayor and author of Split Season, Jeff Katz
May 14th with former Astros and Dodgers slugger Jimmy Wynn
May 7th with longtime pitcher and Yankees’ broadcaster Jim Kaat
April 27th with author of Billy Martin biography, Bill Pennington
April 16th with former hurler and Golden Spikes Award winner Jim Abbott
April 9th with Babe Ruth’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens
April 1st with former MLB pitcher Jerry Reuss
March 24th with Director Terry Lukemire, discussing his Pete Rose documentary.
To access the archive of all episodes, click this link.
No sport has a richer history than baseball, and Baseball as It Was is the place where those memories are recalled. This weekly podcast provides a look to the past with a nod to the present – featuring in-depth interviews with former players, authors and other notable personalities of the sport.
Recent guests include Fred Lynn, Tommy John, Ken Burns, Willie Mays Aikens, Roberto Clemente, Jr., Larry Dierker, and Jerry Koosman.
Billy Brost (Founder/Editor-in-Chief): Our magazine’s founder, Billy Brost, has had a long and storied history in the writing and editing field. First published when he was 13, Billy’s calling card later on in his career was coming to struggling sites, cleaning them up, and leaving them as sites that made an impact in the baseball blogosphere. His last stop, at Fansided, garnered him not one, but two sites (Yanks Go Yard & Friars On Base) that became high-content producing machines. Billy was honored for his hard work by being named the Fansided MLB Co-Editor of the Year for 2014 along with fellow editor Jason Evans. He is also the founder of WestCoastYankees-The Blog, which has been in it’s current format since 2008. Billy is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Society For American Baseball Research, and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.
His passions are baseball and history, as he earned both his BA and MA in history from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Billy’s dream was to resurrect the defunct print version of Baseball Magazine (which ceased production in 1957) and bring it into the 21st Century. He resides in Riverton, Wyoming with his wife and two children. In his spare time, he coaches youth baseball at the Little League and American Legion levels, and serves on his county’s historical preservation commission. You can follow Billy on Twitter @Billy_Brost.
Dan Hughes (Associate Editor): Dan Hughes has been writing at various outlets since 2003. He founded a now-defunct monthly sports magazine (The Oregon Tailgater – 2005-2007) focusing specifically on the state of Oregon. Most recently, Dan spent almost two years as the Managing Editor of a Seattle Mariners site as part of a blogging network.
With fellow contributor Charlie Spencer-Davis serving as co-editor, they turned a virtually empty site into a top destination for Seattle Mariners fans, increasing views by over 400% in one year and eclipsing one million views in 2014.
Dan lives in Salem, Oregon with his beautiful wife of 16 years, Amy, as well as three amazing kids. When Dan isn’t writing or delivering packages for UPS, he’s coaching his 12-year old son’s JBO team or rooting on the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @Degan4baseball.
Charlie Spencer-Davis (Contributing Writer): One of the youngest of our writing bunch, Charlie is set to graduate from Boston College in May 2015 with BAs in International Studies and French. A die-hard Mariners fan born and raised in Seattle, Charlie has spent much of his life writing in his spare time. Fortunately, two years ago, he was taken on as a staff writer at Fansided’s Mariners site: SodoMojo.com. In two years with the site, he helped turn the once-dormant news source into a well-liked and often-read Mariners outlet. After being promoted to co-editor a year in— working alongside fellow Baseball Magazine contributor Dan Hughes— Charlie was a part of a turnaround that saw Sodo Mojo increase site traffic by 400 percent in 2014, reaching 1 million views for the first time in site history.
Since parting ways with Sodo Mojo, Charlie has been writing for his college courses and applying for graduate programs in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about baseball, he’s usually reading a book or watching sports or working as the Head Student Manager for the Boston College football team. You can follow him on Twitter @C14SpencerD.
Eric Becker (Contributing Writer/Videographer):Eric Becker has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Irvine and an MBA with an emphasis in finance from the University of Redlands. Eric’s a 4th generation Dodger fan with family roots in Brooklyn who’s first word was, quite literally, “Dodger.” In addition to his work with Baseball Magazine, Eric is currently in charge of West Coast Bias Sports’ Dodgers page, “DodgerVerse” (http://www.dodgerverse.com) Eric enjoys immersing himself in the fan community and frequently attends and documents Dodger fan community events. If Eric could create a niche for himself, it would be to spend baseball season travelling the country, stopping at different major and minor league ballparks, and documenting the unique sights, sounds and fan communities surrounding each team.
A resident of Covina, California, a Los Angeles suburb, Eric can frequently be found at baseball games in Los Angeles and sometimes in Anaheim which he swears is still on the other side of the Orange County line from April through October. Eric has two children, Ava and Jude, who tend to keep him occupied when he isn’t working, sleeping, watching baseball or trying to remember how to play guitar. Eric’s favorite craft beer is Extra Red from the Ritual Brewing Company in Redlands, California just in case you were wondering what to get him for Christmas this year. You can follow him on Twitter at @BeckerWCBias if he ever figures out how to actually use the platform.
David Warren (Contributing Writer): David earned his B.A and M.A from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in History. His passion for history and baseball has helped gain an even larger appreciation and desire to learn about the early twentieth century years of baseball. Growing up in San Diego, David became a life-long San Diego Padres fan which helped him land his first editing job to help grow Friars on Base at Fansided from May 2014-Oct 2014.
Jacob Misener (Contributing Writer): Jacob is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan who grew up in the Steroid Era, which, believe it or not, he loves to reminisce about often. Favorite players include Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio. Believes that Wrigley Field is the greatest place on earth. 2013 graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
While in attendance, Jacob worked as the editor-in-chief of the student-run campus newspaper, leading it to record-breaking success in each of his three years at the helm. Post-graduation, he served as the managing editor for two newspapers – one in central Illinois and the other in western Nebraska. He currently works as the editor of Redbird Rants and Cubbies Crib, the latter of which is on pace for over 1.5 million views this year. You can follow Jacob on Twitter @jacobrmisener
Matt Mirro (Contributing Writer): Matt is a student in New York where he has proudly called home all his life. He has followed the New York Yankees religiously since elementary school and also enjoys learning about the history of baseball.
Matt has written for a number of websites including Yanks Go Yard, Friars on Base, Baseball Essential, New York Sports Hub and is currently the Lead American League Writer at Call to the Bullpen, an MLB.com affiliate. He is a certified member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow Matt on Twitter @Mirro_The_Ronin.
Patrick Leary (Contributing Writer): Patrick graduated from Marquette University, past home of such luminaries as Dwyane Wade, Chris Farley and the dad from That’s So Raven, in 2015 with a B.A. in journalism. He is currently an aspiring reporter cycling through various stages of employment, and has worked for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Arizona Republic. He’s also written or edited several sports blogs about various topics, mostly regarding his native Seattle.
In the meantime, he makes the highly questionable decision to devote significant time and energy to the worst franchise in the history of professional baseball, the Seattle Mariners. If you say anything negative about Felix Hernandez around him, including criticizing his admittedly horrifying neck tattoo, the conversation will immediately end. Other athletic spirit animals of his include Yoenis Cespedes, JJ Reddick and Mix Diskerud. You can follow him on Twitter at @patrickkleary if you generally enjoy irreverent sports commentary.
J.J. Keller (Contributing Writer): JJ Keller is currently in college on his way to earning a degree in History Education with the hopes of becoming a high school teacher, but writing of all sorts has become a passion over the years. A lifelong Seattle Mariners fan, JJ began as a staff writer for Sodo Mojo in 2012 at the age of 16 and remained there through 2014, working under fellow Baseball Magazine members Dan Hughes and Charlie Spencer-Davis for much of that time.
From there, he had an idea for another site in the Fansided Network, which became a sabermetrics site called Statliners, creating a stat-friendly baseball community within the network. Since stepping down, JJ had taken a hiatus from sports writing but decided Baseball Magazine was a great place to start up again, and hopes bring an analytical perspective to the site in the process.
Apart from the Mariners, who take up too much of his life for his own good, JJ enjoys watching T.V. (he says Breaking Bad is the best show of all time and will not listen to any dissenting opinions), reading Batman comics, and thinking about how cool it would be to write a screenplay. You can find him on Twitter @KJ_Jeller.
Eric Gray (Contributing Writer): Eric is from Plainview, New York, and got his BA from SUNY New Paltz. His major was Political Science, and he had an “undeclared” minor in English and writing. He moved to San Francisco and spent his career with the Department of Labor overseeing job training programs for disadvantaged youth. He has been married for 36 years to Lynn, and their two children, Rachel and David. They are huge Giants fans.
Jacob Winters (Contributing Writer):Jacob was born and raised in New York City and is a life long baseball fan. As early as he can remember, he obsessively read about historical games, seasons, players, and stats.
Jeff Baker (Cover Artist): Jeff was born and raised in San Luis Obisbo, California and has resided in sunny Arizona for the past 27 years. Married for the last six years to his beautiful wife, Alison, they have a precious 3-year-old daughter and a baby boy due in December.
Jeff runs the Gypsy Oak Studio Collection and specializes in creating small sports pieces using nineteenth century printing techniques, which includes relief and woodcut-style printing on antique and vintage reclaimed items.
Jeff works mainly on private commissions and you can find Gypsy Oak artwork in three museums, one of which is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.