Results tagged ‘ 2008 World Series ’

Hall Monitor: One Round Down


Hayes_90.jpgBy Trevor Hayes

The opening round of the playoffs was notable in many ways, from to woes Minnesota has with the Bronx Bombers to the tight, to-the-wire competitions between the Giants and Braves. As October rolls on, today’s players write their stories.


10-15-10-Hayes_FellerLemon.jpgThe Roys
: Bolstered by the second-ever postseason no-hitter and a solid sweep, the Phillies’ rotation is set for another run. And coincidentally, two of the team’s three NLDS starting pitchers share more than a uniform. If Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt can help bring another World Series trophy to Philadelphia, they will be the fifth set of same-named starters to do so. The others: The 1998 Yankees with David Cone and David Wells; the 1988 Dodgers with Tim Belcher and Tim Leary; the 1983 Orioles with Mike Boddicker and Mike Flanagan; and the first pair, who not only led the 1948 Indians but also joined the Hall of Fame: Bob Feller and Bob Lemon.

Famous in Philly: Cole Hamels was impressive two years ago, and along with the Roys, he’s harnessing that again. He tossed a shutout in the deciding game of the NLDS. In 2008, he marched the Phillies to their first World Series title since 1980, picking up iconic status in the city, four wins and a pair of postseason MVP Awards along the way. His shutout this year was his sixth career playoff win, matching another legend, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who served as the team’s ace during its glory years in the 1980s.


10-15-10-Hayes_GehrigRuth.jpgTexas Boppers meet Bronx Bombers
: Over the last week, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz provided plenty of pop to propel the Rangers to an ALCS matchup with the Yankees. The Texas duo each hit three home runs, making them the second pair of teammates to connect for at least three homers apiece while playing five or fewer postseason games, The other pair set their standard in 1928. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, with each famous Yankee hitting three homers during a four-game sweep of the Cardinals.

Master Lee: The Ranger’s success against the Rays can also be attributed to the man who won two games. Cliff Lee’s postseason dominance has made him seem incapable of walking batters, who seem incapable of getting to him. His 21 strikeouts without a walk set a new single-series record, besting the previous mark of 14 set by the Braves’ Kevin Millwood when he didn’t walk a Giant in the 2002 NLDS. Meanwhile, Lee  tossed a complete game in Game Five, his fifth game with seven or more innings of without a walk. That ties Hall of Fame Christy Mathewson for the second-most and is just two behind Greg Maddux’s record of seven.

10-15-10-Hayes_GomezGibson.jpgWith just two years of postseason play under his belt, Lee is now 6-0 in seven starts. Only five pitchers in major league history have six wins in their first seven postseason starts, including Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Lefty Gomez.  Pitching in Games One and Five, Lee won his fifth and sixth straight decisions as a starter to begin his postseason career, equaling Gomez for third-most all-time. The record is eight, and Lee is slated for at least one more start without going on short rest. He’s also rattled off five straight W’s in which he pitched seven or more innings. Only Dave Stewart, Gibson and fellow Hall of Famers Red Ruffing have longer streaks.

Last of the 30: In the first-ever series in which the road team won every game, the Rangers picked up their first-ever postseason series win. Dating back to the 1961 Washington Senators, the franchise has finally claimed victory in baseball’s second season, the last active franchise to do so. The franchise waited 41 years to taste postseason glory, a drought only eclipsed by four teams, three of which began play before the World Series started in 1903. From their birth onward, only the Phillies (104 years), Dodgers (79 years), Orioles (63 years) and Cardinals (50 years) took longer to win their first playoff series. Like Texas, each of those teams had made the postseason before. And each year they finally won a postseason series, they went on to win the World Series. In fact, only the Astros, Brewers, Mariners, Nationals, Padres, Rays and Rockies did not win the World Series in the same season the franchise garnered its first playoff series win.

Trevor Hayes is the editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Carl Cooperstown has another historic night

Horn_90.jpgBy Brad Horn

ST. LOUIS — At this rate, he might want to consider a formal name change to Carl Cooperstown.

Crawford, better known to his Tampa Bay and American League teammates as “C.C.,” earned Most Valuable Player honors in Tuesday’s 4-3 All-Star Game in St. Louis, extending the A.L.’s unbeaten streak to 13 straight. The win assures the World Series will start in an American League city.

7-15-09-Horn_CrawfordCatch.jpgCovering ground has made Crawford a major league star, and since last October, he’s covered enough earth to orbit Cooperstown thrice. Donating an artifact from an historic achievement is a rare honor, as the Museum typically requests about 30 items per year from major league achievements.

With the donation of the cap he wore in Tuesday’s Classic, essentially the only part of Crawford now not in Cooperstown is the rising star himself.

“What is it going to be this time?” Crawford asked me last night after receiving the MVP award on the field at Busch Stadium. Beaming with a smile that shows a natural love for the game, Carl gladly handed over his cap… after a quick trip to the interview room. Next stop: Cooperstown.

At the conclusion of the World Series last October, we asked Carl for the road jersey he wore in Philadelphia. Though his Rays came up short against the Phillies, his all around dynamic play represented the spirit of baseball’s upstarts in 2008. He was all too willing then to give, as he was again last night.

7-15-09-Horn_Crawford.jpgJust six weeks into the 2009 season, Crawford ran – almost at will – against the Red Sox, stealing six bases in a game to tie a modern record. The spikes he wore in that game kept running a bit further… to Cooperstown. On the day they arrived in May, another fellow five-tool leftfielder happened to be in the Museum and inspected the spikes as they arrived.

Rickey Henderson was on his orientation visit that day and was among the first to see Carl’s spikes in their new home.

And so this week, for the third time in 10 months, Carl Crawford will be represented with an artifact at the home of baseball. 

The road from Houston’s Jefferson Davis High School to major league stardom in Tampa Bay apparently runs right through Cooperstown.

Brad Horn is the senior director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Phillies fans celebrate World Series title in Cooperstown

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

6-27-09-Muder_Ring.jpgLarry Shenk has seen his share of fanatic Phillies fans. But Shenk, the longtime head of the Phillies communications department and now a team vice president, couldn’t help but be impressed with the turnout on Saturday in Cooperstown.

“It’s great to look out and see all that Phillies red,” said Shenk, who was in Cooperstown on Saturday to present a 2008 World Series ring to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “It was eight months ago today, Oct. 27, when the Phillies clinched the World Series title. And we’d like to come back and do this again next year.”

6-27-09-Muder_Trophy.jpgThe overflow crowd in the Museum’s Autumn Glory exhibit cheered Shenk’s proclamation, then took turns taking pictures of the ring Shenk presented to Hall of Fame Senior Vice President Bill Haase. The ring will become part of the Museum’s collection and will soon be displayed in the Museum’s Autumn Glory exhibit, which is dedicated to baseball’s postseason.

After the presentation, Shenk and his wife Julie — who wore her World Series pendant, given to player’s and executive’s wives — walked down to see the 2008 World Series trophy, which is on display at the Hall of Fame through Sunday, June 28.

“This is the 10th state we’ve brought the trophy to since we won it,” Shenk said. “But it’s the first time we’ve had it in New York. I think it was safer to bring it to Cooperstown, New York, than Flushing, New York — with all those Mets fans there.”

Museum visitors can view the 2008 World Series trophy until 5 p.m. on Saturday and then from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The chance to see the World Series trophy is included with regular Museum admission.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
6-27-09-Muder_Crowd.jpg

Hall of a game for Crawford

Carr_90.jpgBy Samantha Carr

After winning the American League pennant last year and starting off slow in 2009, the Rays were starting to be regarded as a fluke by some baseball fans. But Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford proved Sunday — by tying the record of a Hall of Famer — that the Rays are heating up again.

Tampa Bay took three of four from the second-place Red Sox over the weekend and is 11-2 against Boston at Tropicana Field dating back to last year. The Rays have a Major League-leading 40 stolen bases through 26 games. On Sunday, the Rays tore up the basepaths by stealing a club-record eight bases. Crawford swiped six in six tries.

“Hopefully, it’s the start of something,” Crawford told MLB.com. “We have to pick it up if we want to get to where we were at last year, so hopefully, it was the start of something.”

5-4-09-Carr_Crawford.jpgCrawford graciously donated his jersey from the 2008 World Series, and the jersey is currently on display in the Hall of Fame’s Autumn Glory exhibit. Crawford has agreed to donate his spikes from Sunday’s game to the Hall of Fame.

Crawford reached base in each of his five plate appearances Sunday, four times on hits, and tied the modern-day Major League record of six stolen bases held by Hall of Famer Eddie Collins in the American League and Otis Nixon and Eric Young in the National League. It was the first time a player recorded six steals and four hits in one game since Collins did it in 1912.

Crawford leads the Majors with 17 stolen bases, four more than Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox. He has yet to be thrown out this season and is only one successful steal away from becoming the American League’s all-time leader in stolen-base percentage for players with at least 300 steals. Crawford is at 83.28 percent, and Willie Wilson is the record-holder with 83.29. Hall of Famer Paul Molitor holds the American League record for most steals in a season without getting caught with 20.

If Crawford continues his larceny for a few more years, he might just run himself all the way to Cooperstown. Of the top 10 base stealers in the modern era, seven are enshrined in Cooperstown.

Top 10 Modern-Era Base Stealers
Rickey Henderson* 1,406
Lou Brock* 938
Ty Cobb* 892
Tim Raines 808
Vince Coleman 752
Eddie Collins* 744
Max Carey* 738
Honus Wagner* 722
Joe Morgan* 689
Willie Wilson 668
* – denotes Hall of Famer

Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

An Unforgettable Birthday at the Museum

Carr_90.jpgBy Samantha Carr

Donald Bentzel had no idea what to expect when the limo arrived at his home Thursday morning. All he knew was that it was his 60th birthday, and the boys had planned a trip.

“I had no idea. I thought we were on our way to an old-folks home to dump me off,” Bentzel said, laughing.

4-2-09-Carr_Bentzels.jpgInstead, Troy, Tim and Brian had planned him a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Donald’s wife, Roxanne, began to drop hints about one hour into the trip from Ephrata, Pa., and four hours later, they arrived in Cooperstown.

“How many years have we waited to come here?” Roxanne asked her husband.

“I can’t believe I’m here,” Bentzel said.

The entire family is either active in or retired from the U.S. Army and Air Force. Tim was able to take leave and join his parents on the trip, but Troy and Brian are stationed in Alabama and Georgia and were unable to make the trip.

Bentzel coached Midget League baseball for nine years in the ’80s, and Roxanne describes him as a true sports fanatic.

“I have always wanted to come,” said Bentzel, proudly wearing his Phillies shirt.

And he can’t wait to see the Autumn Glory exhibit featuring the Phillies’ World Series artifacts. He loved every minute of the championship run last October, and he and the boys ran up their cell-phone bills calling back and forth.

Donald had expected Cooperstown to just be a big tourist attraction. But once he got here, he realized it is much more than that.

“It’s baseball. It takes me back to the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s when baseball was every kid’s fantasy. It’s the atmosphere. I can hear the called third-strike, the sound of the bat hitting a ball, and Cy Young is walking beside me, and I’m telling him how to hold his fastball.”

With the Hall of Famers as guests, this will be a birthday party that Bentzel and his family won’t soon forget.

Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Opening Day at the Hall of Fame

Light_90.jpgBy Stephen Light

“It follows the seasons, beginning each year with the fond expectancy of springtime and ending with the hard facts of autumn.” Of all the quotes, monologues, and stories Ken Burns shared with us in his documentary Baseball, this one has always stuck with me.

And here we are — April. The fond expectancy of springtime. Hopes are high all across baseball. Will the Rays repeat their magical run to the World Series? Can the Phillies defend their crown?
4-1-09-Light_RedsMets.jpgWill a new-look Mets bullpen help wipe away memories of two consecutive late-season collapses? How will the Yankees rotation stand the pressure of the pinstripes? Is this the Cubs’ year?

Here in Cooperstown, spring is in the air as well. After an icy cold winter, the snow has disappeared, the ice on Otsego Lake has thawed and temperatures are reaching up into the 50s. The streets have become busier, too, as baseball fans head to the Hall in anticipation of the new season.

In the Education Department, we are preparing for a busy spring and summer, with April kicking off an exciting schedule of public programs and events. Opening Day of the baseball season will serve as an opening day of sorts for us as well. If you are in the area, stop by the Hall of Fame on Monday, April 6, as we bring visitors live coverage of the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds in the Bullpen Theater starting at 1 p.m.

In between innings, we’ll serve up some Opening Day trivia. I’ll even give our blog readers the chance to do some homework on the first question: Which president showed off his ambidextrous talent by throwing out two ceremonial first pitches on Opening Day, one left-handed and one right-handed?

Stephen Light is the manager of museum programs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

It has a nice ring to it

Strohl_90.jpgBy Erik Strohl

This replica 1980 championship ring was given to fans at Veterans Stadium on April 19, 1981, the first Sunday home game of the new season. But it is no cheap, plastic, disposable item. It’s solid metal and just donated to the Hall by longtime Phils fan Duane Cosner, who was at that game as a 10-year-old child.

3-23-09-Strohl_PhilliesRing.jpgThis ring was added to the Hall of Fame’s exhibit that’s dedicated to the 2008 World Series, Autumn Glory. Until November 2009, we will show the equipment and uniforms used in the 2008 Fall Classic, such as the Game 5 jersey of Series MVP Cole Hamels. The exhibit also includes some unusual items, such as the “Elmer Fudd” cap worn by Rays manager Joe Maddon in the cold and rain of Philadelphia and the rule book used by Commissioner Bud Selig when he made history by suspending Game 5.

The 2008 Phillies will receive rings celebrating their championship, only the second in the history of the franchise, at the beginning of the regular season. In June, the Hall will get a copy of that ring, as we do every year, and put it on display in the World Series exhibit as well. Check back later this spring to learn when the Hall of Fame’s 2008 world championship ring will go on display.

Erik Strohl is the senior director of exhibits and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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