Baseball | WAMC


Ron Blomberg's new book is a memoir of his time playing with Thurman Munson
Triumph Books

Yankees great Thurman Munson was one of the best catchers in the game when he died in a stunning plane crash at age 32 in 1979. One of Munson’s closest friends and teammates was Ron Blomberg, from their time in spring training, the clubhouse and their adventures off the field.

Book cover for "Tom Seaver: A Terrific Life"
Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster

Tom Seaver was one of the most talented and popular players in the history of baseball. He is one of only two pitchers with 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts, and an ERA under 3.00. He was a three-time Cy Young award winner, twelve-time All Star, and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame with the highest percentage ever at the time. Popular among players and fans, Seaver was fiercely competitive but always put team success ahead of personal glory.

Bill Madden began following Seaver’s career in the 1980s. Seaver came to trust Madden so completely that, eager to return to New York from Chicago, he asked Madden to explore a possible trade to the Yankees, which never materialized. "Tom Seaver: A Terrific Life" draws in part on their long relationship. In the book, Madden offers a deeply personal and fascinating portrait of one of the greatest and most admired players of all time.

Dave Parker's new memoir "Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood."
Dave Parker's new memoir "Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood."

Dave Parker spent 19 years in the major leagues, racking up three Gold Gloves, more than 2,700 hits, two batting titles, seven All-Star games, two World Series rings and the 1978 MVP Award.

Dutchess Stadium
Courtesy of the Hudson Valley Renegades

Four county executives in New York, including two from the Hudson Valley, are calling on the state to expand capacity at smaller baseball stadiums. They say current restrictions on the kinds of baseball parks in their counties would amount to a summer strikeout.

WAMC's Jackie Orchard speaking with Tom Merritt, creator of the MLB Trivia Challenge game, at Shamrock Tavern in Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY.
Matthew Burton

If you’ve ever played the MLB Trivia Challenge board game, you may have wondered, “Where did all of these statistical questions come from?” They were created long before Google, and the game itself is the result of one upstate New York man’s life’s work.

Pete Incaviglia, who spent 12 years in MLB, is the ValleyCats' new manager.
Tri-City ValleyCats

The Tri-City ValleyCats have tapped Pete Incaviglia to manage for the next two seasons, as the franchise enters a new era in the Frontier League. Incaviglia, who hit 30 home runs as a rookie for the Rangers in 1986 and finished with 206 for his career, is also the all-time Division I home run leader (both career and single season).

A photo of Tom Seaver
Public Domain

Tom Seaver, the galvanizing leader of the Miracle Mets 1969 championship team and a pitcher who personified the rise of expansion teams during an era of radical change for baseball, has died. He was 75.

Normally by now we’d be past the all-star break and heading into baseball’s pivotal dog days. This year, opening day for a 60-game season was pushed all the back to Thursday because of the coronavirus pandemic. Whatever it looks like, Jay Horwitz will be a part of the baseball season as usual, as has been the case for four decades. The New York Mets’ longtime p.r. head who now works in alumni relations, Horwitz is the author of a new memoir: “Mr. Met.” It traces his career from college sports information to the big leagues in the number one media market.

Bill Ripken has been around baseball forever. A 12-year major leaguer, current analyst for MLB Network, and a member of one of the sport’s leading families, Ripken is the author of a new book: “State of Play: The Old School Guide to New School Baseball.”

In Gish Jen’s latest “The Resisters,” we meet Gwen who has a Golden Arm and her teens find her happily playing in an underground baseball league. The novel is the story of an America that seems ever more possible. It is also the story of one family struggling to maintain its humanity and normalcy in circumstances that threaten their every value as well as their very existence.

Ken "Hawk" Harrelson
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Longtime Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson has been named the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2020 Ford Frick Award winner.

Alva Noë is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Center for New Media and the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and he was a weekly contributor to National Public Radio’s science and culture blog 13.7 Cosmos and Culture.

His new book is "Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark."

Baseball is a strange sport: it consists of long periods in which little seems to be happening, punctuated by high-energy outbursts of rapid fire activity. Because of this, despite ever greater profits, Major League Baseball is bent on finding ways to shorten games, and to tailor baseball to today's shorter attention spans. But for the true fan, baseball is always compelling to watch and intellectually fascinating. It's superficially slow-pace is an opportunity to participate in the distinctive thinking practice that defines the game. If baseball is boring, it's boring the way philosophy is boring: not because there isn't a lot going on, but because the challenge baseball poses is making sense of it all.

In "Infinite Baseball," philosopher and baseball fan Alva Noë explores the many unexpected ways in which baseball is truly a philosophical kind of game.

Mariano Rivera
Ian Pickus

The first unanimous inductee in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame leads the class of six being enshrined this weekend in Cooperstown. 

The new book: "After the Miracle: The Lasting Brotherhood of the '69 Mets" is the inside account of an iconic team in baseball history - a consistently last-place team that turned it all around in just one season - told by ’69 Mets outfielder Art Shamsky, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, and other teammates as they reminisce about what happened then and where they are today.

Art Shamsky will be in Albany, New York on June 18 when The New York State Assembly and Senate will pass a resolution to honor the 1969 Mets team on the 50th anniversary of their championship season. 

Shamsky was a Major League baseball player for eight years, starting with the Cincinnati Reds in 1965 and then joining the New York Mets in the winter of 1967. Since his retirement from baseball, he has been involved in various businesses and worked as a sports broadcaster at WNEW-TV in New York City and on ESPN, and as a broadcaster for the NY Mets.

Headshot of Tim Mead
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

One of the most beloved organizations in our region is getting a new leader. This summer, Tim Mead is taking over as president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

Over 17 seasons in the major leagues, pitcher David Cone experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. The five-time all-star won the 1994 Cy Young award, earned five World Series rings — four with the Yankees dynasty of the 90s — and threw the 16th perfect game ever in 1999. He also endured multiple surgeries, including for a life-threatening aneurysm, sometimes lost his confidence, and never stopped tinkering as he thought about how to get the next batter out.

On Wednesday, May 15, Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger will talk with Oblong Book and Music's Dick Hermans about "Ballpark: Baseball in the American City."

The book is a new look at the history of baseball: told through the stories of the vibrant and ever-changing ballparks at the heart of our cities--where dreams are as limitless as the outfields.

Joe Torre

When Joe Torre was the age of most of the college graduates he’ll address at Skidmore’s commencement at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on May 18, he was already in the major leagues. He spent 18 years with the Braves, Cardinals and Mets, notching nine all-star appearances and the 1971 MVP. Torre, now a Hall of Famer, is better known to recent generations of baseball fans as a manager.

The baseball is an amazing plaything. We can grip it and hold it so many different ways, and even the slightest calibration can turn an ordinary pitch into a weapon to thwart the greatest hitters in the world. Each pitch has its own history, evolving through the decades as the masters pass it down to the next generation. From the earliest days of the game, when Candy Cummings dreamed up the curveball while flinging clamshells on a Brooklyn beach, pitchers have never stopped innovating. In "K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches," Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches.

Tyler Kepner started covering baseball as a teenager, interviewing players for a homemade magazine that was featured in The New York Times in 1989. He attended Vanderbilt University on the Grantland Rice/Fred Russell sportswriting scholarship, then covered the Angels for the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise and the Mariners for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He joined The New York Times in 2000, covering the Mets for two seasons, the Yankees for eight, and serving as the national baseball writer since 2010.

The Pittsfield Suns logo and a photo of Michael Lieberman
Pittsfield Suns

Pittsfield, Massachusetts’ collegiate summer baseball team, the Pittsfield Suns, is welcoming a new leader this season. Drawn from Division I, II, and III teams, the Suns call historic Wahconah Park home. They compete against eight other teams in the Future Collegiate Baseball League of New England. This week, Michael Lieberman – an 11-year veteran of summer college ball  – will take over as General Manager. Lieberman talked with WAMC about his life in baseball, and what to expect on and off the field at Wahconah this year.

The New York Yankees don’t have rebuilding years — or decades — the way many other franchises do, but in recent years the club has undergone something of a transformation. Gone are the days of owner George Steinbrenner threatening jobs on the back pages. The core of the club is now homegrown. And instead of grinding down its Spanish-speaking prospects, the Yankees are teaching them language and life skills as well as the wheel play.

Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, New York will hold a screening of "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel" followed by a discussion with documentarian Seth Kramer on Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 p.m.

"Heading Home" is the upbeat and crowd-pleasing story of Team Israel as they compete as underdogs for their first time in the World Baseball Classic. Seth Kramer’s films include: "The Linguists, Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie," and "The Anthropologist." Local to the mid-Hudson Valley, Seth lives in Red Hook and works at Ironbound Films with collaborators Daniel Miller and Jeremy Newberger.

Crowding the plate, fearsome and fearless, Frank Robinson hammered his way into the Hall of Fame. His legacy, however, was cemented the day he simply stood in the dugout at old Cleveland Stadium as the first black manager in Major League Baseball. Robinson, the only player to earn the MVP award in both leagues, died Thursday at 83. He had been in failing health and in hospice care at his home in Bel Air. MLB said he was with family and friends at the time.

HOF President Jeff Idelson
(Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson plans to retire after the annual induction ceremony in July. The Hall made the announcement Monday. The 54-year-old Idelson succeeded Dale Petroskey as Hall president in 2008. Idelson joined the staff in 1994 as director of public relations and promotions and was promoted to vice president of communications and education.

If you’ve been watching the major league baseball postseason, it’s obvious the game is changing: strikeouts are way up, pitchers are throwing gas, defenses are setting up in strange alignments, and relievers are starting games from the stretch. In the post-Moneyball era, most clubs are embracing analytics to maximize their chances of success — which is why you’re more likely to see a three-run homer than a sacrifice bunt or stolen base.

The Pittsfield American Little League All-Stars are on a historic tear as they near the Little League World Series.

North Adams, Massachusetts is celebrating baseball across the nation with "One Country, One Game: A Celebration of Baseball."  “Shades of Greatness” from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City anchors the exhibit, which also includes features on Berkshire County players like Hall of Famer Frank Grant and Jack Chesbro and memorabilia from Berkshire County teams through the years.

Dan Bosley is a lifelong baseball fan and was the president of the North Adams SteepleCats, a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League for 7 years following 24 years in the Massachusetts State House. The North Adams SteepleCats have had over 120 former players drafted into professional baseball with nine making it to the Major Leagues.

Josh Landes

The Pittsfield Suns’ baseball game Wednesday night is the opening act for the biggest fireworks display in Berkshire County.

It’s baseball season in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Josh Landes

Tonight, the Pittsfield Suns take on the Brockton Rox at Wahconah Park in their first game of the season. College baseball players from all over New England are in town for the summer.