Wildcard Wednesday: From Starlin Castro to Queen Victoria

I haven’t put up a good old fashioned Wildcard Wednesday post in a few weeks, so I figured it was time…

Skinna Marinky Linky Links:

I don’t know how Starlin did this, but I think the evidence suggests he might be made of magic.

What is the opposite of clubhouse cancer? A clubhouse miracle drug? Regardless what you want to call it, that is what Ryan Dempster is. And this is why if/when the Cubs trade him we should all be really sad. Randy Wells talks a little about why Ryan Dempster is so awesome in this lovely article from Comcast Sportsnet.

This has nothing to do with the Cubs, or baseball. Or… anything. But, did you know that the National Zoo has a live video feed of its red panda that you can look at all day long if you want to? And I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to. Red pandas are the cutest things since baby sloths.

Happy Birthdays in baseball today: Kendry Morales, Kevin Gregg, Carlos Lee, Dickie Thon, Red Barbary and Pryor McBee (I don’t know who he is, but his name rocks).

Other birthdays: Errol Flynn, Audie Murphy, Martin Landau, Olympia Dukakis, Brian Wilson (the Beach Boy, not the pitcher), Lionel Ritchie, John Goodman and Cyndi Lauper.

And the rest of historical happenings on this day:

-Congress approved the United States seal and the bald eagle as its symbol (1782)
-King Louis XVI was caught trying to escape the French Revolution (1791)
-Eli Whitney applied for a patent for his cotton gin (1793)
-An 18-yr-old Queen Victoria ascended to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV (1837)
-West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state (1863)
-President Andrew Johnson announced the purchase of Alaska (1867)
-Caroline Willard Baldwin became the first woman to earn a PHD (1895)
-New York Giant player Josh Devore stole four bases in a single inning (1912)
-Joe DiMaggio recorded his 2,000th hit (1950)
-Brooks Robinson recorded his 2,000th hit (1970)



A Rebelious link post

Hey gang! Happy June and all that.

Another exciting year of New Market Rebels baseball has commenced and everyone in our little community is naturally all aflutter. I know it isn’t quite possible for all of my readers (far and wide as you happen to be) to share in this particular passion of mine. So instead of bombarding you with VBL-love, as is my usual way at this time of year, I am instead going to simply offer a handful of links to some previous effusions. You may take them or leave them. Think of this as a Choose Your Own Adventure post (it isn’t really like that at all. But the comparison occurred to me and I couldn’t not mention it, as I used to love Choose Your Own Adventure books. Not as much as Valley League Baseball, but still a whole lot. Mystery of Chimney Rock 4 life!!!)

So, yes. Links:

If you only click one, make it this ‘un. It’s fresh off the presses! I was delighted to be able to moonlight over at the blog of a friend of mine last week (thanks for the opportunity, Staci!). It’s like a travel brochure/Valentine mash-up singing the praises of our fabulous little league.

2011 Farewell Post

2010 Farewell Post

2011 Introductory Post

2004 Article from the Washington Post (I did not write this one, as I do not work for the Washington Post).

Video Coverage!


And, just for kicks, here’s a video depicting a bit of improvised pre-game fun.



The FBB’s 2011 Holiday Shopping Guide (Part Two)

Sometimes I think I am like the Alfonso Soriano of bloggers. I had such lofty intentions for this year’s 2011 Christmas gift-giving guide… I was gonna go for, like, three or four installments. And yet here I am limping in with Part Two less than a week before the big day. Ah, well… there’s always next year.

Till then, here are a few more of the best and bizarrest baseball gifts that Etsy had to offer. On a side note, “bizarrest” isn’t a word. But it should be.


The Ultimate Beard

For all the die hard Brian Wilson fans out there.


Fear The Beard sculpture

In case the Ultimate Beard wasn’t enough…


Baseball card birth announcement

OK, so this doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas. But HOW CUTE CAN YOU GET?!?! Not much cuter than this, I’ll tell ya that much.


USB Memory Drive in a Baseball Player Original LEGO minifigure

For that lover of baseball, Legos, and computers in your life.

This might be the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Worse than the Cardinals Russian nesting dolls and green Phillie monsters that I stumbled upon a few years ago.
I don’t really get the whole sock monkey thing… but I have to admit that this one is pretty cute. And major kudos to this vendor on the awesome photos.
I almost wish I had a toddler to go with this precious little hat…

The FBB’s 2011 Holiday Shopping Guide (Part One)

Well, my friends, Thanksgiving has passed and that means that the Christmas season is officially upon us. Carols, nativities and Salvation Army bell-ringers will be out in full force. Warm fuzzy feelings will abound.

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but finding the right gifts for everyone on your list can often be anything but wonderful. The FBB wants to help lighten the load just a bit. This year I am once again compiling a collection of the weirdest and coolest gift ideas for the baseball fans in your life. Because I want you all to be able to relax and enjoy your gingerbread cookies and Bing Crosby albums this holiday season.

You can thank me later.


The Weird:

Red Sox Zombie print

Personally, I think this is taking the zombie craze a little too far. But, hey… if you know a zombiephile who also happens to be a die-hard Red Sox fan, maybe this is just what you’re looking for.

Little Black SQUEEwok with Multi-Colored Sports Patterned Hood

An ewok-like creature in athletic garb. Why didn’t I think of that?

Sister Runnata the baseball player

It’s a baseball nun! Yep.

The Cute:

Baseball player mouse ornament

He might look more like a constable in a karate outfit than a baseball player, but he’s still a cute little guy, eh?

Baseball Bat button

Love it.

The Flat-Out Cool:

NL Central Standings Board

How awesome is that? All the other divisions are available, too.


Stay tuned for more of my holiday shopping guide in the coming weeks!

Wildcard Wednesday: Happy Bastille Day Eve!

Welcome to another edition of Wildcard Wednesday. I’d give you a proper recap of yesterday’s MLB All Star game, only I didn’t get to watch it. I heard that Darlin’ Starlin stole 2 bases, got thrown out at the plate, and made an error. I’m pretty sure he looked adorable all the while, and that’s all that really matters when you’re 21 and in your first midsummer classic.

I love the semi-awkwardness that never ceases to arise between players on All Star teams who are usually rivals. “Yay! We win! Should we hug? No? Let’s just high five. Or low five? Er… let’s just move on.”

The lone Cubbie.

Prince Fielder and his MVP award, and his kids, and their hair.


Yahoo’s Big League Stew featured two delightful posts yesterday that I think warrant circulating. You know how I love pictures of Major Leaguers when they were younger? Here is a collection of high school photos from a smattering of All Stars.  Priceless.

Awhile back, I posted an excerpt from Bill James’ New Historical Baseball Extract called “The Secret Scorer” about the Cubs female official scorer in the late 1800’s. BLS has a much more detailed version of the story, and it is fascinating.  I highly recommend checking it out!


And what would Wildcard Wednesday be without a little this-day-in-history?

-Harrison Ford (1942) and Rubik’s cube inventor Erno Rubik (1944) were born.

-The first night All Star game was played at Shibe Park in Philadelphia (1943)

-French revolution writer Jean Paul Marat was murdered by Charlotte Corday (1793)

-Babe Ruth hit homer #700 against Detroit (1934)

Of course, tomorrow is Bastille Day. I hope everyone has a good one.

Wildcard Wednesday: “Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.”

Happy Wednesday! Who’s ready for a bit of this-day-in-history? I know I am.

Historic events of April 27th:

Ulysses S. Grant (1822), Rogers Hornsby (1896) and Casey Kasem (1932) were born.

Ferdinand Magellan (1521) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (1882) died.

British parliament passed the Tea Act, which eventually led to the Boston Tea Party. (1773)

West Virginia seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the U.S. (1861)

1,450 paroled Union POWs were killed on their way home when the river steamer “Sultana” exploded on the Mississippi River. (1865)

The 4th modern Olympic Games opened in London. (1908)

Himmler ordered the establishment of Auschwitz concentration camp. (1940)

Boston Brave Jim Tobin no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944)

Babe Ruth day was celebrated at Yankee Stadium and throughout the United States. (1947)

Baltimore Oriole Tom Phoebus no-hit Boston. (1968)

Nolan Ryan passed Walter Johnson to become MLB’s strikeout king. (1983)

Over 70 inches of snow fell in Red Lake, Montana. (1984)

Coors Field opened in Denver. The Rockies beat the Mets 11-9 in 14 innings. (1995)


Finally, I want to get a word in about our old friend Sam Fuld. He seems to be taking the baseball world by storm. Any Cubs fan could have told you how good Sam was in the outfield. His heroics on defense are hardly a surprise. What is ever so pleasant is that he has been hitting like a maniac now, too. He’s batting .346, stealing bases, flirting with cycles… and people are taking notice. As a long time fan of Mr. Fuld, I couldn’t be more pleased. News stories are popping up all over the place. Here are just a few links, for those who may be interested.

Fuld provides nightly defensive heroics

Fuld enjoys the power of statistics

In short time, Fuld a legend

Sam Fuld’s value to the Rays goes beyond the numbers

Tampa Bay’s ‘Superman’ Sam Fuld headlines surprising early stars

Three cheers for The Human Highlight Reel!

Wildcard Wednesday: “It’s just an old run-of-the-mill Wednesday.”

I haven’t much for you today, but look for my last divisional Predictorama tomorrow!

‘Til then, here’s another edition of Name That Youngster…

…And a few historical happenings, just for kicks:

-Joan Crawford (1908) and Mike Remlinger (1966) were born on this day.

-On this day in 1806 Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific coast.

-The Wright Brothers obtained a patent for their airplane, 1903.

-The Dixie Cup was invented, 1912.

-The first telephone was installed in the White House, 1929.

-William DeWitt bought the Cincinnati Reds for $4,625,000, 1962

-Wayne Gretzky scored his 802nd goal, an NHL record, 1994


And, finally, a link. My attention was yesterday called to a young blog being written by Mrs. Micah Hoffpauir. I deem it both interesting and adorable. If you are the sort that is interested in knowing what life is like for a baseball family in Japan, you’d best scoot on over.