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Chalmers Award

10-28-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
There have been three different "most valuable player" awards in baseball since 1911. The Chalmers Award was the first of those three and it was presented by between 1911 and 1914 by Chalmers Automotive — a Detroit based automobile company. By 1915 the Chalmers Award was no longer considered popular. Rumors about possible cheating and the inability for any player to win more than once were factors which led to its demise.
 

Cy Young Award Winners 1956-2014

10-20-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The Cy Young Award was then Commissioner Ford Frick's idea to honor the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. Hard lessons were learned by the Chalmers Award (1911-1914) earlier in history so the recipients of the Cy Young Award were selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America from the inception of the award. During the first eleven years (1956 - 1966), only one winner from Major League Baseball was selected. Immediately after Commissioner Frick retired, the rules were changed to honor the best pitcher from each league.
 

All-Star Game History

10-12-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also popularly known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers. The All-Star Game usually occurs in early to mid-July and marks the symbolic halfway point in the Major League Baseball season (though not the mathematical halfway point; in most seasons, that actually takes place one week earlier). The game is usually played on a Tuesday, with no regular season games scheduled on the day before or the day after. 
 

Baseball Luxury Tax

10-06-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Monies collected under the MLB luxury tax are apportioned as follows: The first $5m is held in reserve, to pay for possible luxury tax refunds. This isn't comparable to a tax return you might expect if you decided to donate car or truck parts this year, the sums of money involved in the luxury tax refund are much greater. Once it is clear that there are no refunds to be issued, this money is then earmarked for the Industry Growth Fund (IGF). 50% of the remaining money is used to fund player benefits, 25% is used to fund baseball programs in developing countries with no high-school baseball, and 25% is put into the Industry Growth Fund. The cap on spending before the luxury tax (officially called the Competitive Balance Tax) kicks in changes during each season of the current collective bargaining agreement. According to the agreement, affected teams must send a check to the commissioner's office by Jan. 31. These are a lot of checks to be writing and they're not cheap checks either. 
 

History of Umpiring 8

10-02-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
In contrast to increased tolerance regarding on-field behavior, the personal lives of umpires received unprecedented scrutiny. In November 1988 Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, acting on behalf of club owners, released ten-year National League umpire Dave Pallone because of the fear that the arbiter's homosexuality might compromise his on-field performance and baseball's image. NL president Bill White suspended Bob Engel in April 1990 after he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of shoplifting baseball cards; baseball's insistence upon the unquestioned integrity of umpires prompted the twenty-five-year veteran to retire immediately upon his conviction in July. And in 1991 two unidentified umpires, one in each league, were placed on a year's "probation" because of alleged association with bookmakers even though there was no indication that they had ever bet on baseball games.
 

History of Umpiring 7

09-29-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Eight years later the Umpires Association made major advances under the new leadership of Richard G. "Richie" Phillips, a Philadelphia lawyer who also represented National Basketball Association referees. A second umpire's strike on August 25, 1978, lasted only one day, owing to a court injunction against the Association, but a third strike from Opening Day to May 18, 1979, won major concessions for the union, including a salary schedule of $22,000 to $55,000, based on years of service; annual no-cut contracts; $77 per diem while traveling; and two weeks' midseason vacation. The aftermath of the prolonged strike, which demonstrated the power of the Association and the inadequacy of replacement umpires, was marked by ill will between the union umpires and "the Class of '79"--the four "scab" umpires retained on each league's staff. 
 

History of Umpiring 6

09-25-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Spurred by war-induced prosperity, continental expansion, and television revenue, baseball led the transformation of professional sport from a commercial business to an entertainment industry. Moreover, baseball, like all organized sport, felt the impact of the social and cultural changes that swept over America. After World War Two umpiring truly became a profession, and by the end of the 1980s major league umpires were not only far better trained and organized than ever before but also a forceful and independent voice in baseball affairs.
 

History of Umpiring 5

09-22-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Although major league umpires, save for a few short-lived experiments, wore blue serge suits and officiated according to the same rule book, subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the style and technique of umpiring developed between the two leagues. Inasmuch as league presidents from the beginning hired, assigned, and instructed their umpires, personal preferences were reflected in the umpiring staffs early in the century. Then inter-league chauvinism sustained and accentuated the distinctiveness. Under Ban Johnson's leadership, the American League soon boasted an overall staff that was superior to the National League, just as the Junior Circuit had more star players, stronger teams, and more successful managers during the same period. Because Johnson believed that all of his umpires were good enough to work the World Series, the prestigious (and lucrative) assignment was rotated among his staff, whereas postseason honors in the National League went selectively to the best (or most favored) umpires. In return for backing his umpires to the hilt, Johnson demanded reserve and restraint on the field, whereas National League presidents adopted a more laissez-faire attitude toward their umpires.
 

History of Umpiring 4

09-18-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Between World Wars One and Two, when baseball dominated the nation's sport consciousness as the National Pastime, umpiring became a career vocation instead of a limited occupational opportunity. Expanded schedules meant seven months of employment, and umpires received better salaries and more recognition. Staff stability became the norm: an umpire who passed muster the first two or three years could look forward to a long career. Umpires continued to be vexed by arguments with players, insults from fans, and occasional flying objects, but the vicious rowdiness declined. The physical abuse was curtailed significantly because of the stiff penalties imposed for fighting and bottle tossing, while the verbal abuse abated as league officials and the press did an about-face after the infamous Black Sox Scandal by proclaiming the umpire the personification of the game's integrity. To underscore their role as independent arbitrators, umpires had to make travel arrangements separate from players and patronize different bars, hotels, and restaurants.
 

History of Umpiring 3

09-15-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
With the 1903 peace agreement between the National League and the new American League, major league baseball entered the modern era and brought stature and stability for umpires. Byron Bancroft "Ban" Johnson, president of the upstart American League, led in providing the strong support from league officials that was essential to the morale and effectiveness of the umpires. Noted for his backing of umpires when he had been the head of the Western League, Johnson insisted that umpires be respected and backed up his words by supporting their decisions and suspending players who were guilty of flagrant misconduct. 
 

History of Umpiring 2

09-11-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
That same year a new professional circuit, the American Association, pioneered in the creation of an umpiring staff that was hired, paid, and assigned to games by the league itself. Paid $140 a month and $3 per diem for expenses while on the road, American Association umpires were required to wear blue flannel coats and caps while working games. The next year the National League adopted its own permanent paid and uniformed staff, thus completing the professionalization of major league "men in blue."
 

History of Umpiring

09-08-2014  |  By: author unknown |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Traditionally regarded as villains by fans, adversarial autocrats by players, and invisible men by the press, umpires have been, as Furman Bisher put it, "submerged in the history of baseball like idiot children in a family album." Yet the umpire is baseball's indispensable man, for the arbiter transformed baseball from a recreational activity to a competitive sport and has personified the integrity of the professional game. Since attorney William R. Wheaton officiated the first recorded "modern" game on October 6, 1845, umpires have made important contributions to the National Pastime. Indeed, the history of the umpire mirrors the distinctive eras and developments of the game itself.

From the creation of the modern game in the 1840s through the Civil War, the umpire was the personification of base ball (two words then) as an amateur sport played by gentlemen. According to the September 23, 1845, rules of the Knickerbocker Club of New York, which created modern baseball, the president of the club "shall appoint an Umpire, who shall keep the game in a book provided for that purpose, and note all violations of the Bylaws and Rules." 
 

Properly Scoring Runs

09-05-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Does the run score?

One of the topics that I receive far too many questions on is if runs are to be scored or not scored. Understanding of the requirements for scoring / not scoring runs is imperative to umpires at all levels of play. There are a few basic conditions for scoring or not scoring runs that are detailed below.

 

The Infield Fly Rule

09-01-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Having not written anything recently for my site, I thought I would provide some clarity concerning the infield fly rule. It is a simple and common, but occasionally misunderstood part of the game. This being said, the rule not being in place would unfairly place base runners at risk in the infield fly situation. The infield fly rule dates back to 1894 and is covered under rules 2.00, 6.05(e), 7.08(f) and 7.08(f) exceptions of the Official Rules, NFHS 2-19-1 and NCAA 2-47. These cover various possibilities that may occur under the rule.
 

Rules References

08-25-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
If a fielder catches a fly ball and then falls over the fence it is a homerun.

As long as the fielder is not touching the ground in dead ball territory when he catches the ball, it is a legal catch if he holds onto the ball and meets the definition of a catch. If the catch is not the third out and the fielder falls down in dead ball territory, all runners are awarded one base. If the fielder remains on his feet in dead ball territory after the catch, the ball is alive and he may make a play.

Rules: 2.00 CATCH,
6.05(a), 7.04(c) Official Baseball Rules
 

 
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