Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hit Sign... Win Suit

From today's Baseball Hall of Fame "Inside Pitch" email.

When Abe Stark came up with the idea of giving away a new suit of clothes to a ballplayer to garner attention for his men's store, he thought he had an ingenious plan. He asked the Dodgers to place his sign at the bottom of the right field scoreboard, starting at the ground, with the words "Hit Sign, Win Suit." The catch? The batted ball had to hit the sign, which was approximately four feet tall, on the fly. As he hoped, Stark's sign created a buzz, and also (as he hoped), he gave away few suits.

For six seasons, no one hit the sign. Then, on June 6, 1937, a light-hitting Brooklyn shortstop got a free set of threads from Mr. Stark. That afternoon, Woody English hit a line drive off Cincinnati left-hander Johnny Vander Meer that banged off the right field wall and Stark's sign. English trotted into second base with a double and Stark had to give away his first free suit.

English was an unlikely candidate for breaking the drought. The scrawny infielder hadn't hit a homer the previous season and would hit just one in 1937. He would hit just .238 for Brooklyn that season. In addition, English was a right-handed hitter, so hit suit-winning hit went to his opposite field.

Ironically for Stark, a dedicated Dodger fan, it was Mel Ott of the rival New York Giants who was the only opposing player to hit the sign and win a suit. "Master Melvin," who was a famous pull hitter, accomplished it twice. Dodgers' outfielder Carl Furillo, a stellar defensive player, was so adept at roaming right field, that Stark reportedly gave Furillo a suit to reward him for all of the free suits he saved with his glove.

Stark's sign remained on the Dodger scoreboard until the team moved to Los Angeles and abandoned Ebbets Field. The Museum's Sacred Ground exhibit, which contains hundreds of artifacts from ballparks, contains the cornerstone from Ebbets Field.

YouTube: Dodger Videos

For your viewing and listening pleasure.

YouTube Link: Ramsas:

How can you go wrong with Nancy Bea playing "High Hopes"

YouTube Link:

And part 2.

YouTube Link: SootikinCharlie:

Keep them come'n Charlie!

So Far So Good

Saito passes the first test.
Injured Dodgers closer Takashi Saito tested his strained left hamstring before Tuesday night's game, playing catch and doing some light jogging and cross-over drills.

Saito threw softly and landed on his left leg gently, but didn't back off the workout and seemed to be satisfied with his progress in the two days since suffering the injury. Before the workout, he said he does not feel discomfort while doing normal everyday motions.

"The final checkpoint will be when I can throw off a mound," Saito said. "It's throwing off the incline and the twisting, that's where the discomfort was. If I can do that, I can pitch in a game."

Story Link:

Long Beach Armada Changes Their Name

I just received an email from the Long Beach Armada. Apparently they have changed their name to follow in Anaheim's footsteps.
The Long Beach Armada professional baseball team announced today that it has changed its official name. The new name will be the Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska. The name will be the longest of any professional sports team in the world. The Armada have partnered with Barrow, Alaska to form the northernmost sister city franchise in professional baseball.

“In order to better reach the larger Armada Nation, we felt compelled to lengthen the name to incorporate all our fans stretching from the warm beaches of Los Angeles to the frigid beaches of the artic circle,” Golden Baseball League CEO Dave Kaval stated. “Our inspiration was Arte Moreno’s brilliant marketing gambit of positioning the Anaheim Angeles as an LA team. Being a real Los Angeles county team, we too wanted to extend our reach as far north as possible.”
The team will carry an abbreviation of LBALACUSNAIBA. To honor the last two letters of their abbreviation, The Armada will host “Barrow Alaska Day at Blair Field” on Saturday July 30th. The game will be dedicated to the Armada fans in Barrow, Alaska. Armada fans in Barrow, Alaska can tune in to KBRW am/fm for more information on Armada baseball.

Wow. I think I'll go to a
Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska game.

Press Release Link: