The Society for American Baseball Research does a lot of things, but one of the coolest things it does is to host the indispensable Baseball BioProject. These are no small bio-blurbs. They are painstakingly researched essays on the life and playing times of the game’s most significant players and events.
And stadiums. Like the latest entry by Scott Ferkovich on Tiger Stadium, which is all kinds of fabulous. All kinds of fun nuggets, like this:
Old-time Detroit baseball fans, who fondly remember Tiger Stadium’s green wooden slat-back seats, may be surprised to learn that Navin Field’s original seats — all 23,000 of them — were painted yellow. One feature that remained constant throughout the entire 87-year history of the park was the 125-foot-high flagpole in deep center, made distinctive because it was in the field of play.
And the flagpole is still there. Or a flagpole. Not sure. Kind of cool, though.
Anyway, great reading for anyone interested in the grand old ballparks, the Tigers or baseball history in general.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)