A lot of coverage was given last week to MLB's decision to bestow retroactively
major league status to several of the domestic Negro Leagues that existed before and up to 1948. Newly-found box scores unearthed by indefatigble researchers influenced the decision.
It is too bad that stats from the last years of the Negro leagues through 1959 were not included. If available, stats from the winter leagues in Latin America would have been very eye-opening, too.
I do find a problem of mixing in stats from leagues that played 80 or 90 games a season with the 154 game season major league season that existed since 1903. I have no problem with a statement against segregation.
Here's another idea that I hope is considered by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Why not name the MVP trophies after Frank Robinson?
The name of baseball's first commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was recently removed from its MVP trophies, mainly because of his role in enforcing the color line. Why not name the trophy after Frank Robinson?
He is the only player ever to win the MVP in both leagues, the Cincinnati Reds in 1961 and the Baltimore Orioles in 1966. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer with unquestionable numbers: 21 year career, .294 BA, .537 SA, 2943 H, 586 HR, 1829 R, 1812 RBI.
He also managed contending teams in both leagues and served as a major league executive for several seasons. His Hall of Fame acceptance speech is one of the most moving I've ever read.
He deserves to be immortalized in this trophy. He passed on in February 2019. In an earlier post I thought he was one of the far-too-many Hall of Famers who left us in 2020.
Happily, liberal political commentator Mark Shields, 83, is still with us. But he retired last Friday Dec 18 from his long-running Friday night gig opposite David Brooks on the PBS NewsHour.
After a feature filled with praise from his colleagues, Shields said that his father would have been happy with it and his mother "would have liked to believe it." He expressed optimism that President-elect Biden can succeed in bringing the country closer together.
In a closing moment, Shields quoted from Dick Tuck, famed in his day as a prankster against Richard Nixon. When Tuck ran for office himself and lost a close election, he said, "The people have spoken, the bastards."
Unfortunately, President number 45 is refusing to accept defeat. We'll have to sweat nervously up to noon on Jan. 20.
I do hope for the day soon when this #45 will recede into unpleasant memory and we can think of the truly immortal #45's like Pedro Martinez and Tug McGraw. I'm sure I'm missing some 45's so please suggest others.
Here's to a healthy happy holiday season for all and the return somehow to normality or normalcy at some point in 2021. (Warren Harding coined the word "normalcy" and I usually avoid it. But hey for all his failings he was about as liberal as any President on racial issues and he did release socialist Eugene Debs from prison.)
Normalcy won't return unless people follow simple public health guidelines. Alas, nothing is simple anymore.
That's all for now. Always remember: Take it easy but take it!