Monthly Archives: September 2014

Measuring a Leader

Baseball has statistics for almost everything except a player’s leadership ability. That’s something usually determined by the players themselves and the comments they make about each other. Bob Scheffing was the manager of the Los Angeles Angels in 1956 but second baseman Gene Mauch was “the cat’s meow on the field,” according to Eddie Haas, […]

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Speaking His Mind

When Gale “Windy” Wade spoke, people listened – or ran for cover. “Gale speaks his mind,” says Bob Speake, who played alongside Wade in the outfield with the Los Angeles Angels in 1956 and Chicago Cubs in 1955. “As hard-nosed and strong jawed as he was, I didn’t want to mouth off to him. I […]

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Birthday Boys

Dave Hillman and Jim Fanning were the 1956 Los Angeles Angels’ birthday boys, born September 14, 1927, and playing on the same teams on their way up to the big leagues. Today, they are 87, Hillman living in Kingsport, Tennessee, and Fanning in London, Ontario, Canada. Hillman, a pitcher, and Fanning, a catcher, were battery […]

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As the Worm Turns

Baseball has had its share of drinkers. Babe Ruth was as legendary for his beer drinking as he was for his home runs. Hall of Famer Wade Boggs denies that he once downed 64 beers on a cross-country flight but admits, “It was a few Miller Lites.” Unlike Ruth and Boggs, Steve Bilko isn’t enshrined […]

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Bingo to Bango to Bilko

One double play combination produced a legendary refrain, the other a clever phrase that’s now a trivia question. In the early 1900s, the defensive wizardry of Chicago Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance inspired the poem, Baseball’s Sad Lexicon, and the famous line, “Tinker to Evers to Chance”. […]

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