Best of 2014- How Babe Ruth’s trade was reported (Updated!)

Originally published on July 9, 2014.

This is an updated version of an article from last fall, now including things from The Sporting News of the era. Thanks to the Society of American Baseball Research (of which I am now a member!) for the access to the Sporting News archive, which made this update possible.
It could be said that the last vestige of the “Curse of the Bambino” fell last year, as the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in Fenway Park itself for the first time since 1918. To be more exact, they were the first Boston team to clinch the title at home since this game.

Take a look at that game. And notice how different it was: it took only 1:56 to play, it was a day game and only 15,238 were in attendance. It took place in September since the season was shortened due to WWI travel restirctions. Hall of Famers Harry Hooper and Babe Ruth (who was used as a defensive replacement, despite still being primarily a pitcher at the time) were on Boston, and HOF umpires Bill Klem and Hank O’Day were working the corner bases (there were only four umpires in the playoffs back then).

Of course, that ended up being the last World Series game that Ruth would play for the Red Sox, because on December 26 of the following year, he was infamously sold to the New York Yankees. And that’s what brings us to this article, where I take a look at how the Ruth sale was reported in the papers of 1919.. or, rather, 1920, since it took TEN DAYS for them to officially announce it.

(JUMP)

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Josh Donaldson is the best player most people aren’t familiar with

In case you missed it, Josh Donaldson was traded from the Athletics to the Blue Jays in exchange for Brett Lawrie and prospects Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto. The wise among us immediately saw this as a great deal for the Blue Jays, at least in the short-term, and a puzzling one for the Athletics, at least in the short-term.

Then there were others who disagreed with these assessments. “Orioles Uncensored” perhaps had a good response to them:

While no doubt the people @OsUncensored was speaking to may have been Orioles fans who remember the Donaldson/Manny Machado spat of last year, the fact is that many people probably don’t truly understand how good a player Donaldson is. It’s not their fault, after all, Donaldson is a relative newcomer (he’s only played 405 career games) and has played his career in Oakland. His traditional stats aren’t too flashy (his career BA is .268), and last year was his first time as an All-Star.

So here’s a bit of a primer. Donaldson is a 28-year-old 3B (although he has played C in the past) from Florida, although he grew up and went to both High School and College (Auburn) in Alabama. He didn’t grab hold permanently in the majors until 2012, his age 26 season. He didn’t become the type of player who gets into headlines for being traded, though, until his sophomore season in 2013. He hit .301/.384/.499, and his WAR was second-best in the AL, behind only Mike Trout. While his averages were down in 2014, he still was the 2nd best in WAR in the AL, and he had the third best WAR overall across the past two seasons, behind only Trout and Andrew McCutchen. Why? Because WAR doesn’t just hitting- Donaldson is a spectacular fielder, winning the 2014 Fielding Bible Award (a more sabermetric version of the Gold Glove) while being credited with saving more than 30 runs since 2012. That, along with his hitting, make him one of the best 3B in the game.

And those offensive numbers that seem a bit low, by the way, will likely grow. He is now going from O.Co Coliseum- an infamous pitcher’s park- to Rogers Centre, where extra-base hits are plentiful and where the park factors are more favorable for the hitter.

So, that’s who Josh Donaldson is.

How Babe Ruth’s trade was reported (Updated!)

This is an updated version of an article from last fall, now including things from The Sporting News of the era. Thanks to the Society of American Baseball Research (of which I am now a member!) for the access to the Sporting News archive, which made this update possible.
It could be said that the last vestige of the “Curse of the Bambino” fell last year, as the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in Fenway Park itself for the first time since 1918. To be more exact, they were the first Boston team to clinch the title at home since this game.

Take a look at that game. And notice how different it was: it took only 1:56 to play, it was a day game and only 15,238 were in attendance. It took place in September since the season was shortened due to WWI travel restirctions. Hall of Famers Harry Hooper and Babe Ruth (who was used as a defensive replacement, despite still being primarily a pitcher at the time) were on Boston, and HOF umpires Bill Klem and Hank O’Day were working the corner bases (there were only four umpires in the playoffs back then).

Of course, that ended up being the last World Series game that Ruth would play for the Red Sox, because on December 26 of the following year, he was infamously sold to the New York Yankees. And that’s what brings us to this article, where I take a look at how the Ruth sale was reported in the papers of 1919.. or, rather, 1920, since it took TEN DAYS for them to officially announce it.

(JUMP)

Continue reading

How Babe Ruth’s trade was reported

It may be premature, but it could be said that the last vestige of the “Curse of the Bambino” is about to fall, as the Boston Red Sox have a chance to win the World Series in Fenway for the first time since 1918. To be more exact, they have have a chance to be the first Boston team to clinch the title at home since this game. In 1918, due to WWI restrictions, the 1918 season was shorter and the World Series happened in September.

Take a look at that game. And notice how different it was: it took only 1:56 to play, it was a day game and only 15,238 were in attendance. Hall of Famers Harry Hooper and Babe Ruth (who was used as a defensive replacement, despite still being primarily a pitcher at the time) were on Boston, and HOF umpires Bill Klem and Hank O’Day were working the corner bases (there were only four umpires in the playoffs back then).

Of course, that ended up being the last World Series game that Ruth would play for the Red Sox, because on December 26 of the following year, he was infamously sold to the New York Yankees. And that’s what brings us to this article, where I take a look at how the Ruth sale was reported in the papers of 1919.. or, rather, 1920, since it took TEN DAYS for them to officially announce it.

(JUMP)

Continue reading

Off-Topic Tuesday has been cancelled… BECAUSE OF A MEGATRADE

The planned “Off-Topic Tuesday” has been cancelled due to a shocking mega-trade: the Marlins have done it again. In their long history of firesales, they may have outdone themselves, trading almost every notable player they have not named Giancarlo Stanton, Ricky Nolasco or Logan Morrison for a bunch of prospects. Perhaps in a few years, should those prospects rise to become a good core, we will think this shrewd. However, right now, there are a few things to be noted:

1. Baseball in Miami has once again sustained a major wound.

2. They’ve alienated the one genuine star they have left:

3. The Blue Jays are now a legitimate power in the American League East, which will be even more of a madhouse than it was in 2012. 

 

More tomorrow.