Showing posts with label Baseball Fan Contributor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baseball Fan Contributor. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

One Last Strike - Baseball Book Review

Available on Amazon
The Remarkable Story of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals

I was living in St. Louis in 2011 watching my favorite baseball team, the Cardinals, on TV every day. As the season dwindled down, I watched and worried and agonized with the rest of the city with 'fingers crossed' while our team fell further behind, ending up more than 10 games out with less than a month left in the season. As we went through September, the Cardinals came close to catching up, but every one of the last 5 games of the regular season was an elimination game.

In "One Last Strike", Tony La Russa, the third winningest manager in baseball history, takes us through his Cardinals' 2011 season, which was also his last season as a baseball manager. He describes how the team came from ten and a half games back to make the playoffs on the night of the final game of the season and how they went on to win the World Series despite being down to their last strike 'twice' in a comeback like no other! At the beginning of September 2011, not even Tony could have foreseen the magical and memorable ride the Cardinals were about to take.
 

Manager Tony La Russa and his St. Louis Cardinals Team


You don't need to be a St. Louis Cardinals fan to enjoy this book. Any baseball fan will love the 'behind-the-scenes' look into how a manager makes game by game and inning by inning decisions to bring his team to a win. The Cardinals had to have those 'wins' over and over to first make it to the playoffs, and then to the World Series in this hard-fought 2011 baseball season.


 

Busch Stadium - Home of the St. Louis Cardinals

In his book "One Last Strike", Tony writes,

 “all the cliches we (the Cardinals) used about never giving up on yourself, believing in yourself, bouncing back from adversity – they're all true!”

Tony La Russa describes how he used his 33 years experience managing baseball teams from the Chicago White Sox to the Oakland A's to being the St. Louis Cardinals' longest serving manager to bring the Cardinals to their final game of the World Series .. and win. He gives great credit to team unity and determination.



 
Tony La Russa (Source: Wikimedia)


Tony La Russa's Rules as a Baseball Manager


La Russa had simple rules as manager.

  • Don't do something to lose the game when on defense.
  • Do something to win the game on offense.
  • Be good enough and tough enough... and keep believing.

In a team meeting prior to the beginning of the 2011 MLB Baseball Playoffs, La Russa tells his players that sports are unpredictable. The best team or player can have an off day. Just come in as prepared as you can be and play the best of your ability.

He summed it up with “Play as if each game is the 7th game of the World Series --- or the last (baseball) game of your life, and play only one game at a time.”
 

Tony La Russa talks about his book "One Last Strike"

 


More Baseball Books...

 

Available on Amazon

Additional stories about manager Tony La Russa and his analytical manager mind applied to a game.


Written by Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager is about a three-game series between the Cardinals and Cubs in 2003. It describes manager Tony La Russa's decisions for each batter and each inning of this 3-game series, based somewhat on computer data, but more importantly his experiences managing nearly 4,000 games. 



My 'Salute' to some special St. Louis Cardinals




If I were to create my perfect 'Dream Team' for the St. Louis Cardinals, using players from the past to the present at each position, this is what it would look like.

Your Review This Baseball Contributor and Article Writer, Wednesday Elf, is a Big Baseball Fan!


When I'm not 'watching' baseball... or 'talking' about baseball, I love reading books about baseball. It was great fun to relive the St. Louis Cardinals' magical 2011 season through the eyes (and words) of manager Tony La Russa. What a wild ride he had in his final managerial season!

"One Last Strike" is their story. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed being part of the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 season while living in the team city!



Article Originally Written © 2014 Wednesday-Elf.  Updated for Review This! Blog on 3/1/2018.





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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Baseball Season is Back!

Wednesday Elf's Baseball Board Pin
(c) Elf's Souvenir Signed Baseball

Baseball Season begins here on the Review This! blog with a collection of  baseball stories, crafts and treats.

It's April and Springtime, which may bring those April Showers for the May Flowers, but baseball fans believe that the true first sign of Spring is the beginning of baseball season!  For all the baseball fans out there, let's check out some fun baseball stories, DIY crafts and tasty treats.









Craft a Fingerprint Baseball

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/246009198371890558/

Michelle of Crafty Morning has created an interesting baseball craft that would be perfect for an arts & crafts project to do with your children, or a fun seasonal craft to do with a Scout Troop. 

All you need is paper, paint and fingers!  

Check out the easy step-by-step directions here.

 

 

 

A Famous Baseball Sportscaster

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/246009198370897400/
Vin Scully

Major League Baseball Teams each have an announcer who regularly broadcasts games for their home radio or TV network.  There have been many well-known baseball sportscasters over the years, but none who have been with a team as long as Vin Scully.  Known as the Bard of Baseball, Vin Scully has been the Voice of the Dodgers through six decades. At the end of the 2016 baseball season
, at age 88, Vin retired after 67 years as the broadcaster for the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles. 

Here is his story written by HubPages author Ellen Brundige, which she calls the Vin Scully Fanpage.

 

Baseball Cupcakes


Baseball Cupcakes
Yummy Baseball Cupcakes

Randi of Duke & Duchesses created a fun dessert that would make a great 'treat time' for after a Little League game or for a baseball-themed birthday party.

Randi's Baseball Cupcakes were done by baking a pan of cupcakes, frosting them in white frosting, then using Skittles to form the laces, placing them side by side on the frosting.





Baseball Flip Flops Flower Tutorial

 

Baseball Flip Flops
Baseball Flower Flip Flops

For the baseball mom or any fan, create a cute pair of flip flops with a flower design made from baseballs.

All you need is a pair of flip flops (new or old), 2 baseballs (anyone with kids seems to have a bunch of old ones around, or you can buy some new ones), an X-Acto knife and glue.  The 'how-to' instructions are in a YouTube video on the crafty post by KidPep, a website for Crafts, DIY and More.


The technique used for the baseball flip flops can also be used for a Baseball Hair Bow with the video on the KidPep website.

 

 

 

I'm 'Crazy About Baseball'


Your writer, Wednesday Elf, has been a baseball fan since childhood and has shared many favorite baseball memories in  “Crazy About Baseball”.

 

Opening Day of Baseball



Available on Amazon



Opening Day of the 2019 Major League Baseball Season began on March 28th.  Us baseball fans now get to enjoy 26 weeks of baseball with the 30 teams in the MLB. 


More Baseball Stories


There are many more baseball stories to check out on Review This!  Good reading for days your favorite baseball team has a 'rain-out'.

Welcome to the 2019 Baseball Season.  Let's PLAY BALL.




Wednesday Elf on Blogger and on Etsy

 



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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Little League Baseball is Over 75 Years Old

Little League World Series Stadium, Williamsport, PA
Nearly eighty years ago, a man in Williamsport, Pennsylvania had an idea about establishing a baseball league for boys that would teach fair play and teamwork. His name was Carl Stotz and in the summer of 1938 he gathered up his two nephews and some of their neighborhood friends and they began playing some informal games. By the following summer, Carl and two of his friends were the coaches of a league of three teams, sponsored by different businesses in the area, and on June 6, 1939, the first 'league' game took place. 


The next year a second league was formed in Williamsport. It was the beginning of what would become Little League Baseball, which grew to become an international organization of nearly 200,000 teams in every U.S. state and over 80 countries around the world. Stotz' dream had come true.


Little League Used to be for Boys Only


Until 1974, Little League Baseball was for boys only. After a lawsuit, the rules were revised to allow participation by girls in the baseball program. Today, there are over two & a half million players in Little League Baseball worldwide, including both boys and girls in both the baseball league and the softball league.


Little League Begins Their World Series Championships


In 1947, the first Little League World Series was held. Today that event has become internationally known and is held each year in August at the Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, PA, where Little League began. My brother & friends have attended several times and say it is a most enjoyable time. 

Read a story about being in a Little League World Series


Available on Amazon
Play Ball (Little League) is an interesting story for ages 8 to 12 years about two cousins, one a pitcher and one a catcher, who grew up playing baseball and then find themselves in the Little League World Series where their team is on the verge of winning the championship.  

 







A Little League Baseball Batter
Not only is Little League an excellent training area for kids who love to play baseball, but many professional baseball players have come out of the program over the years. One of my favorites of the current players in the MLB is Lance Lynn, former pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and now pitching for the New York Yankees. Little League Baseball is a wonderful organization and we salute them as they celebrate 75 years*.




*NOTE:  The Little League 75 Year celebration occurred in 2014.  The tradition continues to this day.



As a huge Baseball fan, I love talking and writing about baseball.  Did I mention my passion is Baseball? 





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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Baseball

Source: Pixabay

Baseball fans love the month of April. It's a magical time which includes Opening Day of a brand new baseball season with all its promise of a successful winning season and the possibility of making and breaking records.



"Hammerin' Hank Aaron


Hank Aaron with the Braves 1960
One of the most famous 'broken records' occurred 40 years ago on April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's 'unbreakable' home run record by hitting home run number 715. “Hammerin' Hank” would go on to have a career high of 755 home runs (a record broken by Barry Bonds in 2007, as baseball records are wont to do). Carolan Ross (Crosscreations) has included Hank Aaron in her HubPages article about the top ten baseball players Best in Baseball - MLB Heroes - worthy of April Baseball recognition.



Jackie Robinson Day


And the most special moment of April Baseball is celebrated every April 15th – the day in 1947 that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. On that day, every baseball player on every team honors Jackie by wearing his number 42. Ellen Brundige (mythphile) tells us how this Baseball Player Changed the World.



Back in 1947, the father of Hank Aaron told his son that no black man would ever be allowed to play on a Major League team. Jackie Robinson changed that forever.



April Baseball Moments...


A few other 'April' moments in baseball...


  • On April 4, 2003, Sammy Sosa became the 18th member of the 500 Home Run Club 
  • On April 22, 2014, Albert Pujols became the very latest member of the 500 Home Run Club, an 'unofficial' honor held by only 26 players in the history of baseball.
  • On Sunday, April 8, 2012, first baseman Prince Fielder recorded his 1,000th hit while playing for the Detroit Tigers.
  • On April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens made MLB history by striking out 20 Seattle Mariners in a 3-1 Red Sox win. He would go on to win the Cy Young Award later that year and lead his team to the 1986 World Series. 
  • There have only been 23 'Perfect Games' by pitchers in the entire history of Major League Baseball.  Two occurred in April - Charlie Robertson (#5) on 4/20/1922 and Philip Humber (#21) on 4/21/2012 - BOTH for the Chicago White Sox!



April baseball

My favorite time of the year when it all begins again!



Baseball reviews from Baseball Fan Wednesday-Elf.



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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Baseball Managers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tony_La_Russa_May_2008.jpg
Tony La Russa
There have been a large number of famous baseball managers over the more than 150 years of Major League Baseball. Every baseball manager begins Spring Training each year with the same hopes & dreams for his team for the upcoming season. As Tony La Russa wrote “Opening Day of Baseball is magical. Sure, it's only Game 1 of the 162 games in the season, but it's more... a day of promise that there will be a winning season.”





St. Louis Cardinals Managers

 

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2017/08/one-last-strike-baseball-book-review.html
In his book One Last Strike, La Russa, the St. Louis Cardinals' longest running manager, tells us how he used his 33 years of managerial experience with 3 different teams to bring the Cardinals from virtual elimination to winning the World Series in 2011.


The Cardinals have had some of the best managers in all of baseball, including Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and Tony LaRussa.   
 
CrossCreations reviews them for us in Cardinals Baseball Managers.


Casey Stengel


One of the most well-known baseball managers was Casey Stengel, who managed the New York Yankees from 1949 to 1960. During what was known affectionately as the 'Stengel Era' (1949 to 1953) the Yankees won the World Series five consecutive times. I remember being a pre-teen during the 1950s and thinking that the Yankees were the only team in town! :) 'It's the World Series – the Yankees will win!' Of course it also helped that I lived in New York State and was therefore a loyal NY Yankees fan! 



Hopes and Dreams of Baseball Managers


As we enter the third month of the 2019 MLB season, all managers – and the teams they lead – hold onto those hopes & dreams. Perhaps another magical season such as the one the St. Louis Cardinals had in 2011 awaits one of the 30 teams who began their seasons in April.

Review from the Review This!  Baseball Fan Contributor




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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Brings Opening Day of Major League Baseball

Chicago's Wrigley Field (Image Credit)
The month of March brings the first day of Spring and Opening Day of Major League Baseball (3/31/2014). To baseball fans this is what we wait for all winter long. Our feelings for this season are reflected in my favorite baseball quote “There are only two seasons, Winter and Baseball” ~Bill Veeck



As Spring Training comes to an end and the 2014 baseball season begins, we look forward to seeing our favorite players and teams, and reflect back on past favorites. We will miss the ones who have retired (like Mariano Rivera, the marvelous 'closer' on the pitching staff for the Yankees). If you're like me, you find the lives of these men as fascinating and interesting as their baseball careers have been and might wonder what their stories were.



Luckily for us, there are a wealth of baseball books available, written by and about pitchers, position players, managers and sports announcers which put all the excitement of their careers in baseball on printed pages between the covers! I'm reading one right now about 'retired' St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. The book (One Last Strike) focuses on just a small section of Tony's career (specifically his final season of 2011 and the magical comeback of a team that refused to give up). Once you get interested in reading about a specific player, you find all sorts of fun 'tidbits' of information. For instance, I bet you didn't know that Tony La Russa became a vegetarian – and why. 



As a baseball fan I'm looking for reviews of baseball books you have read and recommend for all us 'fans' who want to learn more about these 'Boys of Summer'. If you write a review, leave me a link in the comments and I may feature it in an upcoming post.





Books such as "The Science of Hitting" by Ted Williams. Did you know that in 1935, Lovell Haskins Peirce, a physics professor at San Diego State University, had Ted in his physics class where the professor gave a lesson on the physics of hitting a baseball?  Ted Williams went on to become the last hitter to top a .400 batting average in a season.

The Science of Hitting










Now that Spring Training has ended, let's get ready to Play Ball. 




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Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm the 'Baseball Fan Contributor' on Review This!

From the beginning of Spring Training to the last day of the World Series each year, my life is totally wrapped around baseball. I watch whatever game happens to be playing on TV each day, no matter what teams are involved. The first thing I check each morning is the scores and stats of the day before, and the times of the televised games coming up. As you may have guessed, I'm extremely passionate about Baseball. That's probably why Wednesday-Elf is the Baseball Fan Contributor on Review This. 


Grayson Stadium, Minor League Ballpark, Savannah, GA
Besides my 'daily dose' of TV baseball, I have been to games in person in a couple of Major League stadiums, and these days frequently go to our minor league Single-A team games, the Sand Gnats, here in Savannah, Georgia. Many a great major league player has come out of minor league baseball and Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Jackie Robinson once played here at our humble Grayson Stadium, the oldest (1926) working minor league stadium in the United States today.
 
March brings Spring Training each year as teams and players prepare for Opening Day of Major League Baseball beginning most years in early April.  This Baseball Fan is also busy this time of year, getting ready to follow favorite teams throughout the season.  I also spend time featuring baseball stories about this, our favorite sport, on my baseball blog "Baseball Moments and Memories" and reading baseball stories from others.   

For instance, our own Mary Beth (mbgphoto here on Review This) gives us a fun review of hers (and my) favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, at Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida where she attends the Cardinals' Spring Training games each season.


Many events take place throughout baseball season, one of the earliest being 'Jackie Robinson Day' on April 15 – the day every ball player on every team wears the number 42 (Jackie's number) to honor him and his contribution to baseball. Greekgeek has written a wonderful tribute to this special player. 

These are just a few of the people and pages I will continue to feature during baseball season as the 'Baseball Fan Contributor.' I invite all baseball fans to join me for the upcoming season... and beyond.


Quick Link:

For a list of all the baseball-related stories currently featured on Review This! ~ click here.
 






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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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