|Image Source: Pixabay|
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE baseball. It consumes my time from Opening Day to the last moment of the final game of the World Series every year. During the season, the first thing I do every morning is check the baseball listings on TV ~ then plan my day around the times the game(s) are broadcast. I am a died-in-the-wool FANatic, and proud of it.
In the winter I 'pine' for baseball season and spend my free time reading baseball books and watching baseball movies.
My very favorite quote is by Bill Veeck:
There are only two seasons – winter and BASEBALL
Therefore, as we enjoy Opening Day and all the baseball games this year, I'll share some baseball moments and a few baseball facts to get you in the mood for the Major League Baseball season and any Minor League games you might be fortunate enough to be able to attend.
Baseball Honors Number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day
|Jackie Robinson (Wikimedia)|
In 1997, the 50 year anniversary of Robinson's debut, his No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball. Only one player at the time was wearing that number (Mariano Rivera) and he was 'grandfathered' in and was the only active player allowed to wear No. 42 until his retirement in 2015. Since then, no other active player will ever again be assigned number 42. Instead, on April 15 each year, all players and teams throughout baseball wear number 42 on their uniform honoring Jackie's major contribution to baseball, which was that of breaking the color barrier. In addition to the honor, celebrations are planned at many stadiums.
The Shift – in Baseball
|Normal baseball positioning|
Baseball has its own ever-changing language, so its not surprising that even long-term baseball fans still have to look things up in order to understand what the broadcaster said.
The term 'shift' has been part of baseball terminology for many years, yet I can't recall it being used as often as it has in most recent years of baseball. “The Shift is on”, the sportscaster tells us. All of a sudden it seemed to me as if it was happening in every game I watch. Finally I got out my trusty Baseball Dictionary and looked it up!
The 'Shift' means “to change fielding position;' to move defensive players from their traditional positions in the field to defend against a particular batters' way of hitting, or to be in a better position for a double play.”
All individual players move left or right to step into the path of the ball for fielding, But the shift in most recent years seems to involve half the players on the field moving to another position all at the same time before the batter even hits. I've begun paying closer attention to this move now that I know what they are talking about. My baseball education continues.....
Doubled Off First Base
I watch a lot of baseball, following the games and players and listening to the announcer's descriptions of the action on a regular basis.
|Derek Jeter at Bat (Wikimedia)|
The announcer stated that Jeter had been 'Doubled-Off'. I basically knew what it meant, but even though I've heard the term often, I never really thought about the definition. Suddenly quite curious, I got out my Baseball Dictionary to look up the exact meaning.
To be 'doubled-off' means 'caught off base and put out before tagging up after the batter has flied out, resulting in a Double Play!'
This 'doubled-off' double play was a most unusual happening for Derek Jeter. Not to worry, his two-run double in the third inning sparked a 4-run inning, and the New York Yankees won the game 6-4.
Minor League Memories
|Rochester Redwings Frontier Statium (c) Personal Photo|
My family are fans of the Rochester Redwings, the top Triple A minor league baseball team for the Minnesota Twins located in Rochester, NY, and we go to their games often. A long ball was hit one night directly toward where my family was sitting. Everyone is jumping up & down hollering "I've got it, I've got it", except my mother who remained sitting down. Like a 'heat-seeking' missile, that ball headed straight for my mom and hit her right over the heart. She wasn't badly injured, but had a huge bruise for weeks. My brother really wanted to have the baseball, but mom wouldn't give it to him, saying she had the badge of honor proving she'd caught it.
For more baseball facts and memories, check out my
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