After the Dodgers got eliminated by the Cardinals, I was feeling very down. I had driven to work because I was planning attending the Baseball Reliquary event at the Burbank Library “Dock Ellis and the Swinging 70’s.” I drove feeling depressed and not sure if I wanted to be around people but I drove there getting there just before the event started.
From left to right, Baseball Reliquary Executive director, Terry Cannon with the panel of speakers of Jeffrey Radice, co-producer and director of “No No: A Dockumentary”; historian and journalist Dan Epstein; and former big leaguer Jim “Mudcat” Grant.
I am so glad I went! I could have listen to these speakers for hours, especially Jim Mudcat Grant Mr. Grant has a bank of stories to tell and he tells them with such charm. I was glad to go out to dinner afterwards because I ended up hearing more stories from Mr. Grant. He was telling me about his brother Julian playing in Monterey, Mexico and how everyone used to call him “Julio.” One time they got into a taxi, he was sitting in the front and his brother in the back. The taxi driver asked him “Are you Julio?” He said no, and pointed to his brother and the back. The taxi driver was driving with the windows open yelling to people “Hey, this is Julio!”
Mudcat told me about an exhibition games in the south, They had landed in New Orleans, where blacks were not permitted in the airport lobby or to wait for cabs alongside whites. They had to wait on a grassy hill to wait until a black cab would arrive. The luggage would invariably be brought to the white hotel. The black players would get to the homes where they could stay. They would draw straws on who would go to the white hotel to retrive their luggage. In once such incident, the Indians were playing the Boston Red Sox in New Orleans and Mudcat’s straw had come out short. When Grant went to retrieve the luggage, he was stopped by a hotel baggage handler who refused to allow him into the hotel. He told him that blacks had no business entering. While discussing the situation with him, Grant saw Ted Williams entering the lobby. Williams walked over to Grant and asked what was happening.
“Well, you know we cannot stay at this hotel,” said Grant.
“I know. It’s a terrible shame,” said Williams. ”This man will not let me come in to get my bags that were sent here,” said Mudcat.
Williams replied, “He’s right. You shouldn’t be going in to get those bags. He should get them and bring them out to you!”
Another of his stories was when he was in Cuba. He was in a car with Tommy Lasorda and another black players. The police stopped him and Tommy told them “Let me do the talking.” Well, Mudcat said that they ended up in jail! They jumped on Tommy in jail and asked him “What did you tell them??”
Here are pictures from the event:
Mudcat signed my baseball. Loved the hat he was wearing!
Part of the Baseball Reliquary exhibition at the Burbank Library
part of the pictures Mudcat was showing us. In the picture Mudcat, Larry Doby and Satchel Paige.
I started this blog a little over three years ago. Is hard to believe that this is my 400 post. For someone who never liked writing in High School or College, well that is something. It still does not come easy to me, but baseball & the Dodgers are my love so I keep pecking away at the keyboard.
I looked up the names of players that have hit .400. There have been only 28!
In the 19th century there were 19 hitters with a batting average of .400 or better.
Tip O’Neill .485 1887
Pete Browning .457 1887
Bob Caruthers .456 1887
Hugh Duffy .440 1894
Yank Robinson .427 1887
Willie Keeler .424 1897
Cap Anson .421 1887
Dan Brouthers .420 1887
Denny Lyons .415 1887
Sam Thompson .414 1894
Fred Dunlap .412 1884
Reddy Mack .410 1887
Ed Delahanty(3) .410 1899. .404 1895, .404 1894
Jesse Burkett (2) .410 1896, .405 1895
Oyster Burns .409 1887
Sam Thompson .407 1887
Ross Barnes .404 1876
Billy Hamilton .403 1894
Hughie Jennings. .401 1896
Note that in 1887, when a player was awarded a walk, he was also awarded a hit in his official statistics.
In the 20th century only eight hitters have hit .400 or better.
|Rogers Hornsby||.424 .403 401||1924 1925 1922||St. Louis|
|George Sisler||.420 .407||1922 1920||St. Louis|
|Ty Cobb||.420 .409 401||1911 1912 1922||Detroit|
|Bill Terry||.401||1930||New York|
Only three players have batted over .400 three times in their career. Ed Delahanty(19th century), Ty Cobb & Rogers Hornsby>
Ted William being the last one in 1941 prompted this quote from him:
“I hope somebody hits .400 soon. Then people can start pestering that guy with questions about the last guy to hit .400.” – Ted Williams. in Baseball’s Greatest Quotations (Paul Dickson, Collins Publishers, 10/2008, Page 348)
Is the .400 club extinct now? It has been 71 years since Ted Williams did it in 1941.
The closest anyone has come to hitting .400 in a season was Tony Gwynn who hit .394 in the strike-shortened 1994.
So here’s to all the hitters in the .400 club! cheers!
Since there was no Dodger on the list, I just had to look who holds the Dodger record for highest batting average. Well it is Babe Herman in 1930 with a batting average of .393. He also has the second highest at .391 in 1929. Mike Piazza’s .362 in 1997 ranks 8th.
I had a great time at SABR42 and I am looking forward to next year for SABR43 at Philadelphia. Also the next location for 2014 was announced. It will be in Houston. I have never been to either park.
The Mary Tyler Moore statue was within a block from the hotel so Abby and I had to get a picture there.
There was a Farmers market so I am carrying some cherries in the bag. I also tried Cheese curds in one of the stands.
Keynote speaker MLB Historian John Thorn
Check out John Thorn MLB blog at http://ourgame.mlblogs.com his keynote speech is there.
Back outside we spotted this bar on wheels.
Local boy Mike Moustakas from Chatsworth High doing well with the Kansas City Royals
Bert Blyleven! look who his hero was!
A familiar face. Jonathan Broxton making it interesting recording his 22nd save
Abby, Kent, Norm from Canada.
this picture on the Twins’ screen reads “Former SABR member Ted Williams ….”
Twins Mickey Mouse from the All-Star game at Anaheim
So with that it was time to say goodbye to Minneapolis. Thanks for hosting SABR42! Thank you the local SABR chapter!
Come to a SABR convention! Here is a list of past HOF speakers as compiled by SABR member Max Kates.
Hall of Famers to speak at SABR conventions
- 1979:Cool Papa Bell (SABR 9, St. Louis)
- 1982:Sparky Anderson (SABR 12, Baltimore)
- 1989:Phil Rizzuto (SABR 19, Albany)
- 1990:Bob Feller, Bob Lemon (SABR 20, Cleveland)
- 1992:Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst (SABR 22, St. Louis)
- 1993:Bobby Doerr, Dick Williams, (SABR 23, San Diego)
- 1994:Robin Roberts, Nolan Ryan (SABR 24, Arlington)
- 1995:Bill Mazeroski (SABR 25, Pittsburgh)
- 1996:Bob Feller, second appearance (SABR 26, Kansas City)
- 1997:Jim Bunning, Pee Wee Reese (SABR 27, Louisville)
- 1998:Orlando Cepeda (SABR 28, San Mateo)
- 2000:Monte Irvin, Tony Perez (SABR 30, West Palm Beach)
- 2003:Pat Gillick (SABR 33, Denver)
- 2008:Bob Feller, third appearance (SABR 38, Cleveland)
- 2010: Phil Niekro (SABR 40, Atlanta)
How I wish I would have joined earlier and gone to the conventions from the first year I joined.
I left with my luggage a little heavier with more reading material from the convention plus a few more books that I bought.
What a treat to go into the Twins Archive room. We met the Twins curator Clyde Doepner!
I would love to go thru stuff here! Those Sporting News would be a nice start.
There is all sort of treasures in this room
A Hole in One by plaque by Harmon Killerbrew
Thanks Clyde! I think this would be a great job.
Now we are the Visiting Clubhouse.
Are you confy Kent?
Kent looks like he is giving a sign.
I like my shadow
Abby taking a picture of Babe Ruth
The Babe when he played for the Saint Paul Saints
And here is Walter Alston and Roy Campanella
Ted Williams played for the Millers
Willie Mays also played for the Millers.
OK…that is enough pictures for a post so one more coming up with pictures at the Throwback game.