In the late 16th century Henry IV of France expressed a desire that everyone in his realm would “have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” That idea showed up again in Herbert Hoover’s promise of a “chicken in every pot”—the politician’s promise of prosperity. I’m not sure whether “a baseball team in every ward” is a promise of prosperity or programming gone awry, but that is essentially what leaders of the MIA suggested in 1922—some years before Hoover made his ill-fated promise. They wrote: “Each ward should have an organized baseball club, and each stake should have an organized baseball league…”
Despite a heartfelt campaign led by his children, LDS baseball star and former Massachusetts Boston Mission President Dale Murphy was not inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, according to the results announced this afternoon. While that result was expected, the fact that fellow Mormon Jack Morris was also not selected was almost as suprising as the fact that the BBWAA selected none of the eligible players this year. The group last failed to add any players to the Hall of Fame in 1996.
“Clown Questions” and Expectations
A week ago, baseball phenom Bryce Harper briefly topped twitter’s trending topics when he characterized a reporter’s question as foolish. The Toronto-based reporter had asked Harper (who, in case you don’t know, is a 19-year-old LDS player in his rookie year) if he was going to take advantage of Canada’s more liberal drinking laws (which allow drinking at 19 instead of 21) to celebrate his home run during the game, and if so, what brand of beer he would drink. Harper replied, “I’m not answering that. That’s a clown question, bro.”
An Un-natural ‘Natural’
A review of The Last Natural: Bryce Harper’s Big Gamble in Sin City and the Greatest Amateur Season Ever by Rob Miech. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2012. 356 p. Review copy courtesy of the publisher. The title ‘The Last Natural‘ packs a lot of meaning and connotation into a few words. While ‘natural’ clearly refers to the inherent talent that Bryce Harper seems to have, there are a few other connotations, at least in baseball. Since Harper arrives at what might be considered the end of the “steroid era,” it could be a kind of pessimistic reference to Harper’s eschewing drugs since ‘natural’ can also mean pure or unchanged. It could also be a nod to Bernard Malamud‘s novel The Natural, perhaps the finest work of fiction about baseball and the source for the Robert Redford film of the same name.
Two Mormons in Baseball’s 2011 All-Star Game
While 13 Mormons are among the 750 active players on Major League Baseball rosters at this point, just two (of 68 players) are on the rosters for tomorrow’s All-Star game. And with one player in each league, there is no clear team to root for in tomorrow’s game.
Last week Major League Baseball held its most important annual draft, indicating interest in more than 1,500 possible players. As far as I can tell, just two of them are Mormon, down from 6 last year.
A memory of youth draped in black
I was saddened to hear today that a central part of one of my fondest childhood memories is no longer here. Baseball great Harmon Killebrew died this morning following a six month battle with cancer. He was 74.
Baseball History and Personal Significance
Yesterday, baseball history was marked when the Phillies’ Eric Bruntlett recorded the rarest play in the game–the unassisted triple play. If you think about it, there is a bit of a life lesson in this.
Information for the Next Six Months
The first weekend of April is a time when we look for information, for an understanding of the changes that have happened in the last six months and how that will help us prepare for the next six months. This is because the first weekend of April begins the baseball season.