By In Baseball, History, Joe Vault

Vault: The Willie Mays Hall of Fame

Today’s Vault addition: For Brilliant Reader John Williamson, who requested it.

Bob Costas on Wednesday said something I’ve heard a lot of people say through the years. But because he’s Bob Costas, and I think the world of the guy, his words inspired this post. Bob thinks the Baseball Hall of Fame is too big. He did not go into detail, but he made it very clear — and I believe the reference point was Bert Blyleven– that the Hall of Fame was supposed to be for the “great” and, over the years, it became for the “very good.” He did not elaborate out of respect for the very good players who are already in the Hall of Fame. But I suspect that if it could be done clandestinely — that is to say if it could be done without anyone noticing and without hurting anybody — Bob and a lot of other people would throw a lot of players out of their Baseball Hall of Fame.*
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By In Joe Vault, Music, RIP

Vault: The King of Pop

As part of the new blog, I’m going to start putting up some old posts that have disappeared from the Internet … you’ll be able to find these in the new “Joe Vault” section. This was written on June 25, 2009, the day after Michael Jackson died.

The thing I understood about Elvis when I was young was that he was famous. Crazy famous. The kind of famous that only a handful of people have ever been — Elvis, Muhammad Ali, Jack Kennedy, Will Rogers, Babe Ruth, the Beatles, that kind of iconic famous. I knew, of course, what Elvis did — King of Rock and Roll and all that — but by the time I knew him he was a cartoon character, a fat sweat-hog who wore capes and sequins and collars you could parasail with, an overgrown leftover from the 1950s who was so buzzed on drugs or jelly doughnuts that he hardly seemed real.

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By In Stuff

Welcome Back

Hi, my name is Joe Posnanski. I’m a writer. I do a lot of my writing for NBC Sports. I also write books. I’m writing a book about Houdini now and how he inspires today’s world. Anyway, when writing those stories or books, the words are, more or less, spelled correctly and the stories themselves tend to make sense because NBC and my publishing house have great editors … and standards  … and stuff.

This, meanwhile, is our toybox. The words here are often speled wrong and sometimes sometimes they repeat for no apparent reason. Here we get lost in the weeds. We dig deep into rabbit holes. Here we write way too much about Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame credentials and the Cleveland Browns’ incomparable talent for losing. Here we make a lot of mistakes, try a lot of things and constantly lose focus. Squirrel!

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By In Browns

Browns Diary Week 3

There’s a fun little game that I’ve started to play in my continuing effort to get into The Good Place by rooting for the Cleveland Browns. I call it: “Can the Browns trick me into thinking they will actually win?”

Here is how it works: I go into every game knowing that the Browns will lose. That’s sensible, right? The Browns have lost 21 of their last 24 games and, as the line in Bull Durham goes, the only mystery is how they won those three games.

“It’s a miracle,” Larry says.

“It’s a miracle,” Skip adds.

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By In Baseball, Golf

A Sad Day

Some days, rare days every so often, it’s not a lot of fun being a sportswriter. (more…)

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By In Stuff

My Pal Lin

Three Tweets:

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By In Browns

Belichick and the Browns

Last night, while Bill Belichick was adding a few more sprinkles to his ice cream sundae of genius, this was tweeted out:

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By In Baseball

Last Call

There are two outs now, bottom of the ninth here under a full moon at Dodger Stadium. The bases are still loaded, and the Dodgers still trail by a run. And, well now, it looks like Lasorda is calling back Steve Garvey. This is a surprise. The Dodgers are going to send up a pinch-hitter to face Warren Spahn. And it looks like, yes, it’s going to be Vincent Edward Scully. Well, they say strange things happen on nights when there is a full moon, and this is certainly strange.

Vin Scully, well, there’s certainly no need to tell you much about him. He has been with the Dodgers since they were in Brooklyn a few million years ago. Everything about him is familiar, even in this most unfamiliar of positions. Two outs. Bases loaded. And the Dodgers trail by a run.

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By In Baseball, History

Pennant Porch and Great American

Before we get into the remarkable — and painful — dinger-dinged pitching season for the Cincinnati Reds, we should talk for a good while about Pennant Porch and the 1964 Kansas City Athletics.  We should always take time, every now and again, to talk about Pennant Porch.

No team had ever given up 200 home runs in a season before 1964. The closest had been … the 1962 Kansas City Athletics, who gave up 199. Well, the Kansas City Athletics did love to give up the the long ball. The 1956 Athletics still hold the record for most homers allowed to one team … you can guess the team. That was the year Mickey Mantle won the triple crown, and he hit nine of his 52 homers against the A’s. Even more impressively, Hank Bauer hit 10 of his 26 homers against the A’s, and Yogi Berra hit nine of his 30 homers against the A’s. All in all, the Yankees hit an astonishing 56 home runs in 22 games against Kansas City.

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By In Stuff

Louis CK and Kansas City

One of my favorite gags is Louis CK on how much he hates Kansas City. He’s used that gag over and over again. Ripped Kansas City on The Tonight Show (“Kansas City is the armpit of the world”). Ripped Kansas City on the show “Louis” a few times. The feeling in Kansas City seems to be that it comes from early in Louis’ career when Kansas City audiences just didn’t quite take to him. But I think it has just become a gag.

I know some Kansas City people who are offended by all this, but as someone who loves Kansas City, I think it’s great. The way I see it: You WANT to be the town that your favorite comedian uses for jokes. There’s a connection there. It’s like: You WANT to be the player that fans boo at the All-Star Game. You don’t want to be the player at the All-Star Game who gets introduced, and the crowd is completely silent, like: “Uh, who cares?”

Maybe that’s just the Cleveland in me.

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