Around the Diamond

Happy Birthday to Rob Deer!
Aaron Judge ties Rodger Maris with 61 home runs. The two Yankees hit the mark 61 years apart.
The Mets now lead Atlanta by a game heading into their weekend series. Met 3B Eduardo Escobar hit a walk off single in the tenth to give the Marlins yet another one-run loss. Escobar is the first Met to account for all the team's runs while getting at least five RBI.
P Tyler Glasnow came back to the mound Wednesday after missing 14 months to Tommy John surgery. He allowed one run in three innings.
Milwaukee now just a half game behind Philly for final NL Wild Card. Philly has lost nine of 12 and have the tougher remaining schedule, but they own a better record verses the Brewers (6-4) should they end tied.
In his 11-year career, Rob Deer had eight 20-home run seasons (two of those over 30).
Is the "Philly Fade" happening again? The Phillies haven't made the playoffs since 2011. In 2018 they lost nine of their last 11. In 2019 they lost nine of their last 12. In 2020 it seven of their last eight. In 2021 they lost six of their last seven. Currently, they are in the midst of a four-game skid and have lost nine of their last 12.
Aroldis Chapman has not recorded a save since May 17.
Cleveland is the only team ever to reach the playoffs having 16 rookies make their debut.
Ty Cobb won 12 batting titles in 13 years. The year he didn't win he batted .371.
"SCOOTER" --- At try outs in 1935, legendary Yankee manager Casey Stengel told, a 5'6" 150-pound, Phil Rizzuto to "get a shoeshine box." In 1941 Rizzuto would become the everyday short stop for the New York Yankees. "Scooter," so called for the way he ran the bases, played short stop for the Yankees his entire 13-year career and retired second in MLB history with 1,217 career double plays turned and fielding percentage for a short stop (.968). Rizzuto was a 5-time all-star, a 7-time World Champion, he was the 1950 MVP. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame (1994) and the Yankees retired his number 10. How's that for "Holy Cow." Casey Stengel would later say of Rizzuto, "He is the greatest shortstop I have ever seen, and I've seen some beauties." The Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams, said his Red Sox would have won those Yankee pennants in the 40's and 50's if they had Rizzuto. A classic "small ball" player Phil Rizzuto is the only MVP to lead the league in sacrifice bunts. He would lead the league in sacrifices from 1949-1952. Later he would teach bunting at Yankee spring training and lament about its declining use during his broadcasts. Scooter was a slick fielder, leading the league in double plays and total chances three times. He twice led the league in put-outs and once in assists. He once went 238 consecutive chances without an error, a single season record. Pitcher Vic Rashi would say, "My best pitch is anything the batter grounds, lines or pops in the direction of Rizzuto." Not known for his offense, he was still clutch. In his three World Series game sevens (1947, '52 and '55) he would hit .455. In September of 1951, the Yankees and Indians where in a virtual tie for the pennant. Facing the great Bob Lemon with bases loaded, Rizzuto came to bat. He took strike one, argued with the umpire for a moment about the call while placing a hand on each end of his bat, signaling a squeeze play to Joe Dimaggio on third. The next pitch, Joe D broke too soon and Lemon, sensing what was happening, threw the ball high in an attempt to prevent the bunt. Rizzuto, jumped with both feet in the air and bunted in the winning run. Lemon would throw his glove (with the ball in it) into the stands. Rizzuto would say, "If I didn't bunt, the pitch would've hit me right in the head." Casey Stengel, who once told Rizzuto to "get a shoeshine box," called it "the greatest play I ever saw." In 1956 the Yankee front office released Rizzuto in a classless way. They called him up to the office to go over the lineup card asking him to name who should be left off. It was Rizzuto they wanted to release for recently acquired Enos Slaughter. Phil would begin a broadcasting career in 1957 and call Yankee games for 40 years, the longest tenure of any Yankee broadcaster. "Holy Cow!" would become his catchphrase and make it into popular culture on Seinfeld and in the classic Meatloaf song "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." Not a big fan of nature, Phil was afraid of lightening and, if a storm was bad enough, was known to leave the booth until it passed. He was afraid of snakes and players would often tease him with a rubber snake in his glove that he would make a teammate throw away before going near it again. When the Yankees retired his number, they had a cow with a halo (Holy Cow) at the ceremony. The cow stepped on Rizzuto's foot knocking him over. During his hall of fame induction speech, he was constantly bothered by bugs causing him to ramble a bit. Rizzuto served three years in the Navy during WWII. He was in charge of a 20mm gun crew in the Pacific before contracting malaria. While recovering in Australia he coached the Navy baseball team. He is one of the Bob Feller Act of Valor winners for his service. Away from baseball, Phil led a full life. He met his wife of 64 years while speaking at a communion breakfast. "I fell in love so hard I didn't go home", Rizzuto would tell the story saying he rented a hotel to be near her. He would marry Cora Esselborn in 1943, have four children and remain together until his death in 2007. Phil was generous with his time and would raise money for the first Ukranian Church near his home in New Jersey despite being Catholic and having no affiliation. At a charity event in 1951 Phil would meet Ed Lucas, a boy who was blinded by a hit ball playing the game with his friends when he was 12. From that moment until his death, Phil would raise millions for St. Joseph's School for the blind. He would host the annual Phil Rizzuto Celebrity Golf Classic and the "Scooter Awards." He would donate the profits of his television commercials and his books to the school. And when nearing his death he sold his awards, trophies, and even his World Series rings, donating most of the proceeds to St. Joseph's School. Ed and Phil would remain friends throughout the years. Ed would go on to become an accomplished reporter and broadcaster and was introduced to his second wife by Phil. He would marry Allison Pfeifle, Phil's florist, who was also losing her sight. Due to Rizzuto's influence, Ed Lucas's wedding in 2006 is the only one ever held at the old Yankee Stadium. They were married at home plate; George Steinbrenner paid for everything. Lucas was one of the very last people to visit Rizzuto before he died in nursing home. The day Lucas was blinded in that baseball accident in 1951 was the same day Bobby Thompson hit his "Shot heard 'round the World."
"My stats don't shout. They kind of whisper." --- Phil Rizzuto

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Baseball Calendar 2022

9/16-9/21

WBC Qualifiers in Germany (Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Great Britain and South Africa).

9/30-10/5

WBC Qualifiers in Panama (Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan and New Zealand).

10/5

Regular Season final day.

10/7

Postseason begins.
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