Must-Click Link: Thank God for the Civil War

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Too soon? Maybe it’s too soon.

But can we at least acknowledge that were it not for the Civil War that baseball would have spread across our Great Republic — or perhaps our fractured and ugly two-nation former Republic depending on how things woulda gone — without it?

That’s part of what’s in play in this fascinating look at baseball during the war, particularly in the military encampments around Washington D.C.  Bonus points for the two-word spelling “base ball.”  Extra bonus points for the old newspaper article cited which describes it as a game “calculated to improve the health, while strengthening the mind.”

Good read.

(link via BTF)

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.