Tagged: HOFers

RSBS Sits Down with Hall of Famer Dave Winfield

dave winfield.jpg“I come from a family that always believed: If you have a little, give a little. If you have a lot, give a lot.”

And there is no doubt.  Hall of Famer Dave Winfield gives. A lot.

From being the first active professional athlete to establish an official 501(c)(3) charitable organization (The Winfield Foundation) to funding the Dave Winfield Nutrition Center at Hackensack University Medical Center to providing entire blocks of game tickets for underprivileged youth in San Diego, giving back to the community has always been a high priority for the 12 time Major League All-Star.

“I think part of it comes from the area of the country I’m from in St. Paul and Minneapolis, major corporations used to always give a part of their pre-tax dollars to charity.  For some reason, that’s just always sunk in.”

“And with my Winfield Foundation, we try to give to things that deal with health and education; I’ve used sports as a kind of carrot to lead people into these areas.”

But as Winfield admits, the strongest inspiration for his remarkable spirit of philanthropy comes from his mother, Arline, a selfless woman who tragically passed away from breast cancer after seeing her son play in the 1988 All-Star Game.  In an effort to further educate the public, Winfield has teamed up with Ask.com and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to form “Answers for the Cure”, allowing baseball fans and people everywhere to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

For every person who goes to Ask.com/ForTheCure and uses the search engine, Ask.com will donate ten cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Contributions will help fund life-saving research, education, screening services and community outreach projects.

“Early detection is the most important thing,” Winfield remarks.  “There is no cure, but if you detect it early on, you can combat it.  If you’re late, there may not be a second chance.”

In his mother’s case, there was no second chance; but by giving back to the community, Winfield keeps her spirit alive.  And he is not alone.

In fact, many current Major Leaguers have adopted Winfieldian philanthropic lifestyles, donating their time, money and efforts to educating the public on important health and educational issues.  Nick Swisher, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira… these are just a few of those giving back.

“Derek Jeter,” says Winfield, “he stands out as a person who has been totally committed, using his career and his life to be a role model and a good example for others to follow.  He has a great foundation.  He’s raised millions of dollars.  He has helped so many kids.  One day, when he retires, he will have affected tens of thousands of people for sure.”

Indeed, Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation and Jeter’s Leaders Program have both done incalculable work inspiring young people to live active, healthy, substance free lives, rewarding academic achievement and promoting social activism.  And Jeter’s inspiration for establishing such charitable work?

dave winfield hall of fame.JPGDave Winfield.

One might even say Winfield inspires us all to give back to our respective communities.  Who else could turn an unfortunate (and inadvertent) 1983 Toronto seagull killing into a charitable endeavor that raised over $60,000 by donating two paintings to an Easter Seals auction?

Whether it’s hitting a World Series winning double off Charlie Leibrandt in extra innings or educating the public through selfless charity work, one thing is certain:

Dave Winfield is clutch.

And now you can be too.  Join Dave and RSBS in the fight against breast cancer.  Make a difference today.

Written by Jeffery Lung

Special thanks to Zack Nobinger of Taylor PR for arranging the interview with Dave Winfield.

Click *HERE* to read Jeff’s interview with Ken Griffey, Sr.

(Top image courtesy of Exposay.com, Albert L. Ortega Photos)

(Below image courtesy of Padres Nation)

Obligatory Idol Worship: The Greatest I Ever Saw

Griffey's catch.jpg
I knew this was coming.

We all knew it was coming.

And yeah, it probably came later than most of us had hoped.

But all of that is over now… wee memories that will promptly dissolve into suggestions of things we’ll soon forget.  Forever.

A true American hero is hanging it up. 

Ken Griffey, Jr., you will be missed.

All told, he’s the greatest ballplayer I’ve ever seen.  Maybe someday Albert Pujols will take his place in the hallowed halls of my fond baseball-lovin’ regards.  But today is isn’t someday; today is the day I stand and applaud the career of an absolute legendary icon — the man I wanted to be, the man every little boy with a glove and a bat wanted to be, the man whose smile could infect an entire stadium.

And did.

Ken Griffey, Jr… saying goodbye to you is like saying goodbye to summer: I know everything will be okay… just a little less fun.

I tip my cap… and can’t wait to see you in Cooperstown.

Peace,

Jeff


Don’t forget to check out the LATEST RSBS Podcast!

The Filibuster

Is baseball becoming a small man’s game?  Frank Thomas is retired,
Jermaine Dye can’t find a new home.  Even Ryan Howard didn’t seem to be
quite the same dynamo last season as he was the year before.  Joe
Mauer and Albert Pujols, while not necessarily small, definitely
aren’t monsters like McGwire and Bonds.  And let’s not forget Dustin
Pedroia’s MVP win from a year ago.  With all the focus on multi-tooled
players, is there still a place for a big man with a big stick?

-Levi J.
Peru, IN
____________________________________

ryan howard pimpin.jpgBelieve me, dear readers, when I put an entire year’s salary on the table and bet on the fact that from now until the end of time, in this grand game of ours there will always be a place for a big man with a big stick.

(That’s what she said.)

That and I will obviously continue to have the self-restraint of a 14 year old.

But that doesn’t matter.

Sure, the game changes.  It morphs to suit the times, needs.  In the nineteen-aughts the emphasis was on the fundamentals — moving the runner over, taking the ball the other way, sliding cleats up.  The Ruthian era saw the longball gain importance.  The 60s saw pitching dominate.  The game of the 80s stressed the need for speed.  The steroid era killed all of that, making it easy for old, overweight has-beens to resuscitate their careers while inflating the record books at the same time, thus exaggerating the homerun to cult status.

And now, after all of that, indeed we are seeing another theme take form and that theme is: athleticism.  Five tooled players are the hottest commodity.  Weight consciousness abounds.  The current goal is to be well-rounded and excel at every part of the job.  The more a player can do, the more valuable he becomes and we are experiencing a real shift in the athletic zeitgeist of Major League Baseball. 

What a wonderful thing! 

Instead of waiting for the juiced-up meat-head to play the 3-run homer waiting game, now we get to see hitters expand the strike zone and hit to all fields.  The running game is in renaissance and we get to experience the art of the steal, which in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful facets of any baseball game.  And now managers manage more: hit and runs, double steals, sacrifice bunts.  They’re all results from this new found shift towards athleticism.

Baseball is rewarding itself with pure, stealth athletes.

Yet fear not, homer lovers, for the game will always need its big men.  The premier archetype, George Herman Ruth, made baseball what it is today; and without that powerful mystique and consistent threat from the “slugger”, baseball would not remain as our US American pastime. 

So while the bones of the league may shift more towards athleticism and overall skill, I assure you that there will always be room for Dave Kingman and Frank Thomas and Ryan Howard. 

Like they say all over the internets, chicks certainly do dig the long ball.

And contrary to everything you know, chicks run the universe.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Photo collages of Tiffani Amber Thiessen circa 1992-1996 also welcome.

Ninemen’s Morris: No Sweeter Sibilance

Silas red quigley Prattling ninny!
 

Eastman Thune proved a Little Lord Fauntleroy!

I can’t think of a greater malfeasance than the continuation
of your poppycock and piddley-poo!  While
casting a vote for the windy-city murderers to appear in the La Belle Serie
Mondiale is a safe (some would say namby-pamby?) bet, the notion that
Detroiters would be denied another time is tantamount to an Irishman demurring
at an unwatched distillery.  A foppish
fantasy!  Nonsense on stilts!

Ty Cobb dominated, ripped up the basepaths and the shins of
his opponents throughout the last saison, and this correspondent sees no reason
why this status should not remain quo. 
And while a Killer Cubs World Series is plausible, there is no reason to
suggest they would easily win.  They do
indeed feature a murderous pitching rotation, led by Three-Finger Mordecai
Brown (27 wins to 9 losses) and his bewitching colleague Orvall Overall
(20-11), and lead all the leagues in Chadwick’s newly devised Earned Run
Average (a tetchy 1.74).

Tinkers evers and chance But curse you Thune, calling for their dominance for the
duration of the cententary and beyond is nothing short of swinging a dead cat
in a Chinese opium den and feigning surprise when striking a harlot.  It’s a virtual certainty, man!  They have the most devilish fireballers, the
dandiest batsmen, and a crackerjack defensive infield of Tinker, Evers, Chance,
and Steinfeldt.  Sweeter sibilance
couldn’t be dreamed up for any newsman’s reel.

Be that as it may, your tone of conciliation leaves me no
choice but to lob up a softball prognostication for you to masticate upon,
Alabaster, and I will not equivocate. 
Look you to this come springtide: this season will show an unlooked-for
boost from the man of your last column. 
I predict a mighty effort by those Cuyahoga Clippers, the Cleveland
Naps.  Arrogant namesake though he may
be, I predict Napolean Lajoie will lead his upstart brigade nearly into the
pennant, only to have his efforts dashed by Cobb’s wizardry. 

Confound you Old Man Winter, when will you forsake your
slumber for the gilded lilly of Lady Spring? 
Men and boys alike trudge through the mush and brave the howling gales
for your respite.  Come soon.  Please? 
We need your sweet breath, and the following crack of the bat.

– – –

Written by

Silas ‘Red’ Quigley
Editorial correspondent for the Boston Wax-Intelligencer.  Editor/Publisher of various workers rights
publications, sporting weeklies, and Ladies Garment Journals.  As a youth he was attache to Henry Chadwick (claims to be the
uncredited co-creator of the box score).

For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*


Ninemen’s Morris: A Reign of Dominance Will Commence!

Alabaster eastman thune Quigley!

You are a dung-encumbered
wretch!

(Just thought that I would
remind you.)

Ok.  Throw your bananalla peels at me, for I
readily accept them.  While I am
typically a soothsayer unparalleled in my ability to prognosticate outcomes in
all matters, sporting and otherwise, I must nonetheless admit an insipid
failure.  In the ante-annum, I was quoted
as follows:


…while the Detroiters seem
to be a lock to waggle the pennant American (hopefully they will be able to
hoist it a few times before Cobb uses it to rid his posterior of residual
defecate), they will nonetheless fall hard in the World Series, at the hands of
Chicago’s dear Orphans, the mighty child bears, the blessed Cubs themselves.


Honus_Wagner_1911 While the Bengals of
Windsor’s cross-water tongue-thumber did, indeed fall in Global Series
showdown, it was not at the hands of the mighty Cubs, but rather the
scurvy-lipped Buccaneers local to that intersection of Three Rivers known for
its defecation of steel.  Local-boy Honus
Wagner, though on the down-slope of his career, was somehow able to rise up and
help the Alleghany Arses take the match-up in seven.  He out-hit the cur Cobb .333 to .231, and
stole six bases, establishing the new Series record. 

I was so angered, that I took
all of my Honus Wagner baseball cards (I had roughly 30 of the brand new T206
series) and relieved myself on them before setting them on fire.  I guess I must find something else to leave
my unborn (and unconcealed) son.

If I have been silent for
some time, it is out of shame.

But let it be stated
now!  In 1910, the Chicago Cubs will once
again win the World Series, once again placing this, the greatest of the
nine-men’s quorums National or American, once again at the pantheon of the
game!  A reign of dominance will then
commence that will surely last the duration of the Millennium, and far into the
next!

What say you, Quigley?

You ding-bat!

– – –

Written by

‘Alabaster’ Eastman Thune
Former editor of the “Follies and Whatnots” section of the Chicago Inter-Ocean. 



Currently unemployed.

“Alabaster” is known for coining the popular quip:  “An Irishman and
his whiskey are like the Father Sky and his Sun – you are guaranteed
that the latter will show up in the former each day of God’s blessed
week.”

For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*

Having Fun with Pete LaCock

pete lacock.jpgA few days ago I was at a Christmas party thrown by a client of my employer, and just like at any other social event, I tried to curb my baseball talk as much as I could because, well, not everyone is as enthusiastic about baseball as I.  Some people even think I’m a weirdo.

Whatever.

But then I got to talking to a high school kid — a kid who has drawn attention in the Chicago area for perhaps having what it takes to someday get to the big leagues — and before long we were discussing the finer points of pitching.  Like the Cardinalphile that I am, I had no choice but to reference the gutsiness of one Bob Gibson.

“Who?” the kid asked.

It took a lot out of me to not deck this kid in the face for not knowing who Bob Gibson was, but I took a deep breath and decided to educate him on the Hall of Famer the best I could: by telling a story.

“By 1975, Gibson had already lost much of what made him the baddest, scariest, most dominating pitcher in the National League, but he still had guts.  Still had pride. 

“The last batter he ever faced in the big leagues was a pinch hitter by the name of Pete LaCock.  The Cardinals were playing the Cubs and LaCock came in with the bases loaded.

“LaCock hit a grand slam.

“Years later, in an old timer game, Gibson is on the mound and guess who comes to the plate to face him.  Yep.  Good ‘ol Pete LaCock.

“Gibson drilled him in the back.”

I finished my story and looked at the kid, waiting to see what kind of reaction I’d get, knowing that I had just hit a homerun in conveying what kind of bad^ss Gibson really was.

But the kid was laughing — a snicker at first, then a chuckle, then an all out cackle.

“What?” I asked.  “What’s so funny?”

“Dude,” said the kid, “That guy’s name was LaCock?!  LaCock!  Hahaha!  LaCOCK!”

Gotta admit: I snorted a little when I joined in the laughter. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Google Knows EVERYTHING II

baseball hall of fame.gifThe 2010 Hall of Fame ballot is out and the names are all there for our relentless ridicule.  Meh.  Let’s not make this too difficult now, shall we?  There is only one nominee who is a surefire lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and that man is Barry Larkin.

Everybody else? 

Not so much.

But these decisions need to be weighed with ample baseball knowledge and ruthless number crunching, which is why we turn to the always accurate Google Oracle to see whether or not these fellas are Hall of Fame worthy. (click on the images for a closer view)

Robin Ventura
robin ventura google.JPGWhen your one claim to fame is getting your a$s beat by a man old enough to be your father in what was probably the most embarrassing basebrawl of all time, no, you may not enter the Hall of Fame, sir.

Fred McGriff
fred mcgriff google.JPGInterestingly enough, the lesson in McGriff’s ‘instructional video’ is: how to vote Fred McGriff into the Hall of Fame.  Slick… but not slick enough.  No Hall of Fame for you, Crime Dog.

Roberto Alomar
roberto alomar google.JPGWell, unless there’s a Hall of Fame of AIDS then Robbie ain’t gettin’ in anywhere.

But please, somebody — baseball writers, Oprah, Jesus, anyone — please put Andre Dawson in the Hall of Fame.  He deserves to be there.  And I am getting very, very sick of having to lobby for this ex-Cub who made a living making my life miserable as a child. 

Buck up, fellas.  The Hawk was better than Jim Rice.

Hate me ‘cuz I tell it straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I”m right.

Peace,

Jeff