Everyone who is a sports fan wants to appear smarter and more knowledgeable than anyone else. Sports provide so many historical moments and stats. I will bring you closer to the high level of sports learning you seek. I will do all of the hard research so you can become the ultimate sports fan. Each edition will be on one particular sport. You may know some of the events but I will open your eyes to something about them you may not yet know. I bring to you the 1st edition of “Get Smart” So let’s get started.
Joe Dimaggio’s 56 Game Hit Streak
In 1941 Joe Dimaggio had 56 straight games with a hit. This record still stands in 2012 and is widely considered the most elusive of all sports records. The final and 56th game of the streak occurred on July 16th against the Indians at Cleveland’s famed Municipal Stadium. The pitchers in that game were Al Milnar and Joe Krakauskas, Dimaggio went 2 for 4 and scored 3 runs. The great streak came to an end one day later July 17 in a game also against the Indians.
Joe Jackson And The Throwing Of The 1919 World Series
In 1919 one of the worst happenings in the history of Baseball occurred. The heavily favored Chicago White Sox threw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The truth came out two years later that some of the White Sox players were involved with gamblers and payed off to lose. In 1921 eight players from the White Sox were found guilty of intentionally losing the series and banned from baseball for life. The most notable of those player was the sure Hall Of Fame candidate “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Jackson is considered one of the best short stops to ever have played the game. The puzzling fact of Joe Jackson’s involvement in the throwing of the Series are his stats. The stats Jackson had in that series do not look like that of a man that was intending to lose. Jackson batted .375, had 5 runs scored, hit a home run and batted in 6 runs. Jackson played no different than he usually did at the plate and made no critical fielding errors. It has been said that he was aware that the games where fixed but did not actively participate in the plan. We will truly never know if he was involved but if you judge it by the numbers the answer looks like he was not.
The Beginning Of The MLB Draft
The amateur draft has a history of good picks by teams but it has a even greater history of players not panning out. It is the least popular of the drafts amongst casual sports fans. The die hard baseball fans look forward to it every June. The first ever MLB amateur draft took place in 1965. The first team to pick was the Kansas City Royals, who selected outfielder Rick Monday from Arizona State University. Monday went on to play 19 seasons and retired in 1984 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Monday had a career batting average of .264, 271 Home Runs and 775 RBI’s. He was also a World Series Champion with the Dodgers in 1981. After his playing career ended he moved on to Broadcasting.
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The Pirates have been changing the perception of their team this year. After years of dwelling in the cellar of the National Leagues Central Division they seem to have turned things around. The team currently holds a record of 51 wins and 40 loses and are tied for first in the division with the Cincinnati Reds. Both teams hold a 5 game advantage over the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Superb pitching has a lot to do with their success but beyond the pitching is the incredible play of Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates Andrew McCutchen is having an MVP caliber season heading into August.
McCutchen is having a great year and has shown himself to be the team leader. He has the best batting average in both leagues batting .369 after 87 games played. He also has 22 home runs, 65 RBI’s, 65 runs and 14 stolen bases. Producing many walk off game winners and with the lowly Pirates not looking so low combined with his stats shows that he is in the running and possibly the lead to win the National League MVP trophy this year.
McCutchen was drafted by the Pirate in the 1st round of the 2005 draft with the 11th overall pick. He is in prime position to turn this franchise around for good and be recognized as one of the best baseball players around. He has added excitement to a team that had nothing to get excited about since Barry Bonds left after the 1992 season. He has had a few good seasons already but none as dominant as he has been this season. The fact that the Pirates are in 1st place in late July is amazing in its own right. The city of Pittsburgh could be transferred from a football city into to a baseball city in just a matter of a couple more years.
The Pirates have a lot to prove still. Can they make the playoffs for the first time since the early 90’s? Can they advance in the playoffs? Can they continue to be a good team year in and year out? All of those questions ride on the play of McCutchen. If McCutchen continues this run he will be the N.L. batting champion and should be the N.L. MVP. Recognition of that level would be incredible for the Pirates franchise. So if you have not been following this player or this team its time to open your eyes and believe what you are seeing, its true the Pirates are for real and they have one of baseballs best rising stars.
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Tagged 1st round, 2012 season, american league, andrew mccutchen, barry bonds, baseball, batting champion, cardinals, central division. 2005 draft, Florida, fort meade, home runs, july, loosers, major leagues, MLB, mvp, n.l., national league, pirates, pittsburgh, playoffs, rbis, record, reds, runs, schedule, stolen bases, super star, walk off win, will he win mvp, wins, world series