Earl Weaver is auctioning off a ton of memorabilia

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Whenever I hear about a baseball figure auctioning off stuff I worry that they’re broke or something, but in this day and age it’s more likely that they’re merely trying to simplify their estate plan.  That seems to be the case with longtime Orioles’ manager Earl Weaver, who is auctioning off all kinds of things:

Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver is auctioning off 47 of his treasured keepsakes, including his 1966 World Series ring and jerseys received as gifts from Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray.The former Baltimore Orioles skipper will earn tens of thousands of dollars from the sale, but Weaver says he doesn’t need the money and isn’t keeping any of it.

“I have four children. They have children, and their children have children,” said Weaver, who turns 81 in August. “I don’t know how to divide whatever memorabilia there is among them.”

The article lists a lot of the things he’s selling and Weaver talks about how, when you have a ton of grandchildren and great grandchildren, most of whom don’t love baseball as much as you do, it’s way easier to simply liquidate the collectibles.

He also says something briefly about remembering the stuff that led to his acquisition of said collectibles, and that resonates with me. I’m not a pack rat. Aside from some baseball cards in the basement I don’t keep much. I don’t begrudge those who are fond of keepsakes, but the memories of people and places in my life are far more valuable to me than the keepsakes themselves.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: there is no word if Weaver’s auction items include any Terry Crowley cards, books on tomato plants or treatises on team speed.  And if you don’t know why I mention that, I suggest that you use Google to find out.  And if you do, dear God, make sure the volume is down on your computer and that there are no minors within 1000 yards of you when you find what you’re looking for.

Astros advance to the World Series with 4-0 finale against Yankees

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The Astros punched their ticket to the World Series on Saturday, shutting out the Yankees 4-0 to take their first Game 7 victory at home. Charlie Morton was nearly untouchable on the mound, holding the Yankees to two hits, a walk and five strikeouts en route to his first career postseason win.

Morton and Sabathia carried their duel through three solid innings. Morton struck out three batters and allowed just one baserunner. Sabathia worked in and out of jams in the second and third innings, supplying and stranding two runners in scoring position.

Evan Gattis was the first to strike. In the fourth inning, he punched a 2-2 slider from Sabathia into the left field wall, where it registered a projected 405 feet and broke a homer-less streak of 115 at-bats by designated hitters in the 2017 postseason. The home run signaled the beginning of the end for the Yankees’ starter. He induced a groundout from Marwin Gonzalez, then walked Brian McCann on six pitches and allowed Josh Reddick his first base hit of the playoffs. That was enough for Joe Girardi, who pulled Sabathia for righty Tommy Kahnle and an inning-ending double play to close out the fourth.

Even with Sabathia gone, there was still some hope that the middle of the order could bail the Yankees out. Greg Bird led off the fifth with a first pitch double and Aaron Hicks took a four-pitch walk. A wild pitch from Morton allowed Bird to reach third base, but Alex Bregman and Brian McCann weren’t about to let the Yankees spoil their starter’s shutout. Todd Frazier bounced a ball toward third base, where Bregman grabbed and fired it to home plate, catching Bird just as McCann put his glove down.

The bottom of the inning wasn’t any easier for Sabathia’s successors. Jose Altuve went oppo-taco on a 1-1 changeup from Kahnle, postmarking it 364 feet into the right field stands. Kahnle labored through the next four at-bats, handing out a pair of singles to Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel before sending Gattis down swinging. The next at-bat was even more troublesome. McCann roped a two-out, two-RBI double to the warning track in right field, clearing the bases and boosting the Astros’ to a cushy 4-0 lead.

The excitement fizzled a little over the next few innings. Brett Gardner muscled a leadoff single off of Lance McCullers, but was later caught at second on a force play to end the sixth. McCullers didn’t let go of the ball again. He was lights-out through the end of the game, scattering a walk and six strikeouts over four innings and clinching the pennant with a 1-2-3 performance in the ninth.

Whatever confidence the Astros had coming off of their three-game sweep in the Division Series was tested and tested again in their pennant run. They battled through three tough losses in Games 3 through 5, staved off elimination with a gem from Justin Verlander in Game 6, and finally emerged victorious tonight. Three days from now, when they enter Dodger Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series, they’ll have the chance to do it all again.