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Trump as an Indirect Product of the Sixties Cultural Revolution
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Regarding Trump’s style of battling publicly with all and sunder, including his own underlings such as Jeff Sessions, I often point to the similar style of Trump’s idol, New York Yankee ballclub owner George Steinbrenner. The George Steinbrenner character voiced by Larry David on Seinfeld was an older, cuddlier version than the one I remember from the late 1970s.

Commenter Yojimbo/Zatoichi, however, points out that Steinbrenner’s Yankees didn’t invent the mode of the team where the owner exchanges insults with the star in the newspapers. Charlie O. Finley was doing much the same thing with the Oakland As in the early 1970s.

One common denominator was the star slugger of both teams was the intelligent, boastful, moody, and talented Reggie Jackson. Another was that it seemed like a post-1960s thing.

It was seen as being related to the major leap in candor in Jim Bouton’s 1970 book Ball Four, as part of the Sixties cultural revolution against hypocrisy and discretion.

In the 1890s, the National League got taken over by brawling big city Irishmen and the game stagnated economically as it became more disreputable, what with all the cursing and fans throwing bottles at umpires and what not. Ban Johnson saw an opening and in 1901 launched the American League to provide a more respectable ballpark experience that would be attractive to middle class families. Johnson’s cleaned-up version of the game was an immediate hit and the AL soon became the dominant league.

Baseball became identified with boyhood and rural innocence, even concocting out of whole cloth an origin story that baseball had been invented in 1839 by a future Civil War hero in idyllic Cooperstown, NY, which is just about the most beautiful small town in America. (Instead, the game more or less evolved into the form we know in New York City.)

Finally, in 1970 washed up pitcher Jim Bouton published his diary of the 1969 season, Ball Four, that frankly (and hilariously) disclosed what relievers really talk about in the bullpen. That book was initially controversial, but it was so funny and in tune with the post-Sixties spirit of the age that it became a classic.

Soon, it seemed in tune with the times for owners to explain to reporters exactly how they felt about their highest paid slugger’s current 0 for 13 slump and for the slugger to explain back what a cheap bastard the owner was.

It was a 70s thing: first the A’s fought in public and still won three World Series and then the Yankees fought in public and still won two World Series. Those two teams won 5 World Series from 1972 to 1978, being interrupted only by the Big Red Machine. The button-downed Dodgers who imposed strict message discipline upon all employees made it to 3 World Series in the 1970s but lost each time.

The more forward looking sportswriters liked to say that in the future everybody would air their dirty laundry in the newspapers and we’d all be better off for it (not least of all sportswriters). It was part of sportswriters’ 1970s theory that they were the new Woodward & Bernstein.

But in the long run, the institutions largely figured out how to control their images through access journalism and this 70s-style open contentiousness mostly faded away. But now Trump is running the White House like he’s George Steinbrenner in 1977.

Trump’s enemies say this obviously represents paranoid authoritarianism, but it’s really post-Sixties, post-Watergate openness.

 
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  1. concocting out of whole cloth an origin story that baseball had been invented in 1839 by a future Civil War hero

    More likely, Abner Doubleday did indeed show some boys at his school the basics of some ball game, and thought nothing more of it. His friend later blew the story way out of proportion, after the general was long gone.

    Otherwise, you’re forced to claim that his friend outright lied. That’s possible, too, but I like to give the friend the benefit of the doubt.

    Now here’s a trivia question to nail your friends with: Only one Hall of Famer played his minor league ball for a team in the county of which Cooperstown is the seat. Reagan was president at the time.

    Who is this Hall of Famer?

  2. Russ says:

    You missed the most stark example: In 1972, the green-clad Athletics, paid bonuses to grow facial hair, faced and topped the clean-shaven Reds of Sparky Anderson in the World Series.

    But the Steinbrenner metaphor only goes so far. Perhaps more pertinent in the wake of the Kavanaugh win: The GOP is now Trump’s; it is no longer Woodent B. Prudent’s and his son Shrub’s. (So one might hope …)

  3. Semi-OT:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-07/it-ritz-carlton-underground-paranoid-hampton-billionaires-build-luxury-panic-rooms

    Why are these people terrified? Why are they wasting their billions building these ridculous bunkers?

    They are receiving the precise version of Mudmerica they have fought to implement for so many decades.

    They should be embracing MS-13 entering their domiciles and torturing them to death.

    Finally, these dumbasses have apparently never seen the Dirty Dozen:

    • Replies: @notanon
  4. Hodag says:

    More Finian nonsense…

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  5. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Tommy Robinson posed for a group photo with some Limey cadets and now they’re all looking at getting keel hauled. As much as I hate the laws of Nuw-Brytun, it is an ancient and universal (and sensible) rule that when you put on a uniform you give up any right to make political statements. They are wearing their uniforms in the photos which the Army will fear implies organizational endorsement. That said there is a serious danger of hysterical overreach and so a petition has been set up.

    http://www.standwithourlads.com

    • Replies: @L Woods
    , @AndrewR
    , @Jack Hanson
  6. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Ah, at last! I’ve wondered when Mr. Sailer would get back to Ba$hball, fka baseball, in which HR/K/W has replaced all that bunting, stealing, first-to-third stuff that didn’t lend itself to ESPN highlights.

    If you’re going to get all misty about the smell of horsehide in October, etc., please acknowledge that the current game has been INTENTIONALLY turned into Home Run Derby. Another thread in the tapestry of a dumbed down America.

  7. J.Ross says: • Website

    And we have the example of how mainstream journalists really feel about paranoid authoritarianism in their screamingly biased reporting on China’s stern rebuke to Trump’s hot-headed lashing out on trade, or just how chic and cool the North Korean propaganda minister looked at the Olympics.

  8. @anonymous

    But much of the job of turning baseball into Home Run Derby was done by high IQ sabermetricians.

  9. “Trump’s enemies say this obviously represents paranoid authoritarianism, but it’s really post-Sixties, post-Watergate openness.”

    Perhaps.

    More likely, it’s just New York City. And Pres Trump is the first to break the curse and apparently cursing all the way . . .

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  10. O/T what can we know about Soros’s political strategies by looking at his investment strategies? Steve? Anyone?

    • Agree: Coemgen
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Forbes
  11. D. K. says:
    @Steve Sailer

    More of it was done by high-IQ biochemists.

  12. Obee says:

    Ya think? Except the first Yankee owners were Big Bill Devery, NY Police Chief, Big time Tammany Pol and chosen enemy of Teddy R in partnership with gambler Frank Farrell. They did sell out to Jacob Ruppert who was fer sure a cut or two above the likes of Big Bill – although he too was a loyal son of Tammany.

    Funny that the Yankees of whom it was once said “rooting for them is like rooting for US Steel” ( weep when you pass the miles of closed and rotting mills) are remembered as scruffier than the Dodgers of say Mickey Owen, Skoonj, Campy and Sal the Barber. Everything O’Malley touched turned to shit except his own bank account. Oops I forgot it was Robert Moses who moved the Dodgers to LA.

  13. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:

  14. @Steve Sailer

    Back in the Dead Ball Era, there was a young pitcher who did an amazing feat, although I may have the first two years reversed.

    His first year as a starter he led the AL in victories.
    His second year he led the AL in ERA.
    His third year he hit 7 HR, tying him for the AL lead.

    Hint: if you were to guess this pitcher’ name, you should get it on the first try.

  15. L Woods says:
    @J.Ross

    I don’t see anything “universal” or “sensible” about it at all. Stuffed uniforms recite leftist dogma all the time.

    • Agree: AndrewR
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  16. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Song For the Deaf

    Have you read his book? Have you noticed that he gambles that a given currency will devalue, then sics his house brand of antifa on the capital of the target nation? Why are you reversing the order?

  17. @Russ

    Hope is not a plan.

    We’ll see but so far it’s back to suckupitude.

  18. @JE

    Did you already know that?

  19. SnakeEyes says:

    Isn’t Trump’s political act just a variant of his daily act since the mid-1980s? He seems to have adopted the strategy from an early stage in his public life of revelling in each and every controversy and doubling down on every conflict. He has been a public figure for 30+ years and he really has not changed in the least.

    • Replies: @Forbes
    , @Lurker
  20. Marty says:

    With Finley, it was even earlier. The very first baseball free agent was Ken Harrelson, who Finley fired in ‘67 when Harrelson went public that Finley had unfairly fined another player re drinking on the team plane (I think Lew Krause). I actually visited the Finley farm in La Porte in ‘69, and attended a Cubs game with his kids. Nice people.

  21. J.Ross says: • Website

    As humilating as the Kavanaugh spectacle was, it appears to have created social pressure (which did not exist and may not have been possible before) to punish false accusers.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/36917/five-teenage-mean-girls-falsely-accused-boy-sexual-ashe-schow

  22. the Big Red Machine

    Pete Rose has a lot in common with Trump, but it was laid-back Cubano Tony Perez who made the Big Red Machine go. He deftly deflated egos with the kind of needling that SJW progtards and corporate types (but I repeat myself) are oblivious to.

  23. J.Ross says: • Website
    @L Woods

    The rules never apply to lefties.

  24. @EliteCommInc.

    More likely, it’s just New York City. And Pres Trump is the first to break the curse and apparently cursing all the way . . .

    What curse? Several presidents have been associated with the city– Arthur, T Roosevelt, Nixon (in his first run).

    Maybe there’s a mayor’s curse, but that is hardly unique to New York. Only three cities have sent a mayor to the White House– Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, Tenn., and Northampton, Mass.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  25. @Steve Sailer

    But much of the job of turning baseball into Home Run Derby was done by high IQ sabermetricians.

    We need deeper outfields. Way deeper.

    Forbes Field was a good model. And it lasted twice as long as its successor, Riverfront Veterans Busch Memorial Three Rivers Stadium.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    , @anonymous
  26. AndrewR says:
    @J.Ross

    How ancient is that rule?

    Is posing for a photo with a mildly edgy public figure a “political statement”?

    This is about rooting out all patriotism from the military.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  27. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Leaked Google in-house memo confirms free speech regarded as outdated, policy of censorship, especially to please authoritarian regimes
    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/10/09/the-good-censor-google-growth-strategy-shift-towards-censorship-to-appease-authoritarian-governments/

  28. Trump noticed how powerful and famous you could become through sports, even if you aren’t a player. He owned the New Jersey Generals of the USFL and sued to force a merger. When that failed, he started to host heavyweight boxing matches, including 13 of Mike Tyson’s when he was hot. After Tyson went to jail Trump got out of boxing, but in 2014 he attempted to buy the Buffalo Bills when Ralph Wilson died, but was denied.

    Much like George W Bush wanting to be Commissioner of Baseball, if the NFL had said yes Donald Trump either time, this would be a much different world.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  29. @Reg Cæsar

    In a similar vein were RFK, Atlanta, and Shea (for 280 degrees). That was literally half of the ballparks in the National League from 1971-93.

  30. @Reg Cæsar

    I am a Yankee fan, so I knew that. Elway was using the Yankees as leverage against the Baltimore Colts, forcing a trade to Denver.

    This was an era where the Yankees weren’t developing too many of their own players, but a number of quality players came out of Oneonta during this era: Al Leiter, Mike Lowell, Tippy Martinez, Don Mattingly, Willie McGee, Amos Otis, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Buck Showalter. None of them are Hall of Fame material, but still.

    Only two of Elway’s teammates made the majors: Orestes Destrade, who was the original first baseman of the Florida Marlins, and Dan Pasqua who mostly played for the White Sox in the early 90′s, playing 78 games for the 93 AL West champions. Pasqua played minor league baseball with Michael Jordan in Birmingham in 1994, which means he played baseball with 2 non-baseball hall of famers.

  31. Lurker says:

    All and sundry rather than all and sunder.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  32. J.Ross says: • Website
    @AndrewR

    I believe the Romans had something like it — their upper class had a pretty high rotation between civilian public service and military tours, and you did not politically campaign in your campaigning gear.
    >when is a selfie political
    It’s Tommy. You may recall they tried to nick him for blogging.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  33. Anon[574] • Disclaimer says:

    Middle School never ends

  34. As a life-long New Jersey resident, we consider baseball to be a product of the Garden State, since the first game was in Hoboken in 1846.

  35. Johnny789 says:

    I must’ve read “Ball Four” 50 times in HS. Boutons second book “I’m Glad You Didn’t Take it Personally” was funny as well, especially the Dave Rader stuff. After that not so much. I think he made a fortune on inventing shredded bubble gum sold in a chewing tobacco like pouch called, “Big League Chew”.

  36. @Hodag

    I saw the Pogues on this 1988 tour, in Chicago at the Riviera.

    Good show, but terrible acoustics as always in the Uptown venues. I stumbled upon a book online a few years in which my late father in law, the tuba player, was quoted that the Riviera and the Aragon ballroom had terrible acoustics when he played there in the 1940s, and oldtimers told him the acoustics were bad when they opened in the 1920s.

    • Replies: @JimB
    , @Anonym
    , @JMcG
    , @Mike Zwick
  37. Anonymous[181] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    There’s something about being a big-city mayor that disadvantages a presidential run. It’s as if the mayoralty unfits you for a national campaign by having to beg for votes *too* much. I’ve just noticed this with Sen. Spartacus but there are more examples. To run for president one needs the alpha-male sink-or-swim “confidence” in the folks, for reasons TBD, supporting you. Even the shrewdest chessmaster mayors don’t know how or maybe have lost the ability to affect that natural statesmanlike dignity.

    Yet coming from either academia or a screwed-up childhood doesn’t seem to preclude presidential timber at all.

  38. @J.Ross

    This is pure cuck thinking and you should get yourself to the gym ASAP and lift moar to stop sounding so womanly.

    Ask yourself if there would have been any issues had they posed with some leftist figure.

    (No, there would have been zero issues).

    • Agree: L Woods
  39. Baseball became identified with boyhood and rural innocence, even concocting out of whole cloth an origin story that baseball had been invented in 1839 by a future Civil War hero in idyllic Cooperstown, NY, which is just about the most beautiful small town in America. (Instead, the game more or less evolved into the form we know in New York City.)

    Cooperstown is about as idyllic as small town America gets. A beautiful place. On the sad side, there are so many small towns in Upstate New York that are just as quaint and beautiful that have been largely abandoned because they do not host the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    The Cooperstown Doubleday Myth was in part driven by an expression of American nationalism in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. It is pretty obvious that baseball was derived from the game of rounders which was popular in Great Britain and Ireland (and often literally referred to as “baseball”), but American nationalists of the time wanted no part of a foreign game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rounders

    My favorite angle to the Doubleday Myth is that the conspiracy involved one my favorite mysterious groups, The Theosophists. Most of the major proponents of the Cooperstown and Doubleday origins of baseball were Theosophists, including Abner Doubleday, Albert Spalding and Abraham Mills. Abraham Mills was the head of the Mills Commission that was appointed by Spalding to determine the origins of baseball. It was likely all a setup by various Theosophists agreeing to support the Doubleday Myth in order to honor America, but perhaps also the Lost Continent of Lemuria.

    https://havechanged.blogspot.com/2017/12/madame-blatavsky-and-beginnings-of.html

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  40. A good example of Sixties Culture merging with Baseball Culture in the Seventies

    • Replies: @njguy73
  41. JimB says:
    @Steve Sailer

    the Riviera and the Aragon ballroom had terrible acoustics when he played there in the 1940s, and oldtimers told him the acoustics were bad when they opened in the 1920s.

    Concert hall acoustic design is still somewhat of a black art.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
  42. Anonym says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I never listened to the Pogues AFAIK but I always remember this quote by Ian Stuart Donaldson:

    ‘Now we’ve got the f***ing police outside telling us the gigs off, who’s orders are them bastards taking? You know what I mean? We’re British people and we’re European people here to listen to a f***ing concert, whilst them wankers outside telling us we can’t have one. When down the road Public Enemy are playing going “kill whitey”, their allowed to play! You’ve got the f***ing Pogues down the other side of the road, singing bomb the British people up the IRA, their allowed to fucking play! So why the f***ing pigs telling us we can’t have a f***ing gig in our own country? F*** them!’
    IAN STUART DONALDSON

  43. notanon says:

    going directly to the voters bypassing the media is also partly a result of the media’s authoritarianism,

    people rightly criticize GOPe for surrendering to the media all the time but surrendering to the poisonous media or relentlessly attacking the poisonous media are the only options.

  44. @Reg Cæsar

    I dated a girl that went to Granada Hills HS. They eventually renamed the football stadium after Elway.

  45. dearieme says:

    “the game more or less evolved into the form we know in New York City”: phrased with lawyerly precision, Mr iSteve. It’s presumably a version of the old English stick-and-ball game of that name (and several other names), complete with a home plate, a diamond for running around, and so on.

    On 19th century NYC rules WKPD says ‘One important rule, the 13th, outlawed “soaking” or “plugging”, putting a runner out by hitting him with a thrown ball.’ The “rounders” we played when I was small featured throwing the ball at the runner. That was half the fun of the game.

    As we got older girls stuck to rounders, boys swapped to cricket. If you think the baseball ball is hard you should introduce yourself to the cricket ball. And then remind yourself that we catch it bare-handed: only the “wicket-keeper”, equivalent to the baseball “catcher”, catches wearing gloves.

  46. But in the long run, the institutions largely figured out how to control their images through access journalism and this 70s-style open contentiousness mostly faded away.

    The Sports Illustrated documentary “14 Back” credits a NYC newspaper strike with enabling the Yankees to overcome their 14-game deficit to overtake the Red Sox in 1978. Without the newspapers, the Yankees could focus on baseball. They take this to be the beginning of the end of the open access clubhouse and drinking buddy atmosphere, with reporters and players using relationships to build their careers and manipulate team and manager decisions (Reggie driving reporters home after a game, reporters getting Billy Martin drunk and talkative about hating Reggie).

    It also ties in a federal court ruling about granting female reporters access to the locker rooms during the same time period.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  47. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Nope — just un-alter the ball, which I said repeatedly last year while others came up with all sorts of other needless suggestions that would in turn screw up the game in their own ways.

    Then commenter Travis on October 26 shared this:

    “The new flat-seam ball in college baseball is having the desired effect, with teams hitting 40 percent more home runs after they changed the ball. The NCAA introduced the flatter seamed ball with the stated aim of increasing Home runs. The flatter-seamed ball has a seam height of .031 inches compared to .048 inches for a raised-seam ball. The NCAA Committee members made the decision to change to a flat-seamed baseball after research showed that flat-seamed baseballs launched out of a pitching machine at averages of 95 mph traveled 20 feet further. The NCAA’s official supplier of baseballs, Rawlings, also conducted testing of the flat-seam balls in its own research lab. That research was consistent with the findings in the WSU lab, the balls travel 5% further causing routine fly balls to go over the fence.nJust as predicted by physics, the distance the baseball travels is increased due to less drag on the baseball.

    MLB also introduced a new flat-seam ball which had the same effect in the MLB, Home runs increased by 47% after they changed the balls. Two studies confirms that home runs are up due to a change in the baseball. http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2017/06/29/a-second-study-confirms-that-home-runs-are-up-due-to-a-change-in-the-baseball/

    Now that it is easier for an average hitter to go yard, we will continue to see more strike-outs as most players will be able to hit 20 home-runs each year. Players who hit 20 home runs with the older balls will be expected to hit 30 home runs with the newer balls. Will have less effect on players who were home run hitters, as home run hitters who previously hit 40 home runs will get less benefit, boosting their number s by just 20% while the weaker players will see their home runs increase by 50%.”

    I thanked him at the time, but no one else picked up on it.

    Don’t overcomplicate this. If the home run isn’t so easy and strikeouts not so important, then the game would realign to what many of us miss: pitching to contact, more defensive plays, team offense, stealing and other aggressive baserunning, etc.

  48. AndrewR says:
    @J.Ross

    I refuse to call Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon by his assumed name.

  49. I have finally been referenced in one of Steve’s posts. I am honored, humbled, and truly touched. Thanks.

    Unlike Steinbrenner, who may have a pretty good chance at getting inducted into the HOF one day, it doesn’t appear likely that Charles Finley will have that opportunity any time soon.

    The Bronx Zoo (e.g. Steinbrenner, Reggie, and of course, Billy Martin) was preceded by the A’s. Reggie was still Reggie, but in some ways Finley laid the template for Steinbrenner’s later antics. For example: During the 1973 WS, Charles tried to remove SS Mike Andrews from the roster for a couple of errors that cost the A’s a crucial game to the Mets in favor of Manny Trillo. When that failed, he simply had him benched the rest of the series (‘cept for pinch hitting role). Colorful characters such as Bill North fought Reggie. Bert Campaneris fought a lot of people, including DET Manager Billy Martin during the ’72 ALCS.

    So there’s definitely precedent for George’s hijinx.

    Finley + Steinbrenner = Trump

  50. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Well, maybe. But today’s problem is the altered ball, which I have addressed in response to Reg Caesar.

    It’s like the earlier years of the steroids scandal – an open secret. If the owners aren’t shamed or scared about a loss of revenue, things will stay ruined (from my point of view). So after 50 years, I have walked away.

    This isn’t a question of good/evil. It’s their show. But what has happened to the game exemplifies how greatly money and how slightly tradition matter today in American mass culture.

  51. @Russ

    And the A’s beat the Reds without Reggie, who had been injured in game 5 of the ALCS and thus missed the entire WS that year.

  52. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I saw them in Philly on that tour. Shane McGowan came out with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a cigarette. The entire fifth of whiskey was gone in about half an hour. He was pretty incoherent for the majority of the show I saw. He was better a few years later, much better in fact. One of the best bands I’ve ever seen for pure musicianship.
    I’m stunned he’s still among the living. God between us and all harm I suppose.

  53. Danindc says:

    The Orioles won only 1 World Series in the 70’s. Prob should have won 3. Not sure if this fits your theory but it’s a shame. Only 5 teams won World Series in the decade which is strange Orioles, Pirates, A’s, Reds, Yankees.

  54. njguy73 says:
    @Clifford Brown

    A good example of Sixties Culture merging with Baseball Culture in the Seventies

    Four words: Fritz Peterson, Mike Kekich.

  55. Right.

    And what drove the cultural revolution was an idea and a process borrowed from Freud. The Truth of the individual (and society) was thought to be hidden beneath a facade of deceptive defense mechanisms the purpose of which were to hide one’s worst characteristics from oneself and others. Stripping away this veneer of reality-distorting civility was supposed to be the first step towards liberation and enlightenment.

    Exposing someone else’s hypocrisy was the highest good because it served the Ideal of living in the antiseptic white light of Truth. As a consequence, a certain type of asshole became the bearer of 1970′s culture, the jerk who wouldn’t let any other person’s claim to reticence or modesty slide. They specialized in pointing out and persecuting other people for their insecurities, which were seen as defense mechanisms. You were supposed to let your guard down to someone who needled you for not letting your guard down. Not being completely confident and transparent was the prime Sin for young adults in the Seventies.

    Of course in the end the Seventies failed. Total openness in itself is not existentially liberating. Keeping part of yourself to yourself is okay. Nurturing your own dream apart from the collective group therapy session was then and is now the way forward.

  56. @Steve Sailer

    The same people who brought us leveraged buyouts, the 2008 mortgage meltdown, Google spying, etc.

  57. @Desiderius

    They had Johnny Bench, Geronimo, George Foster, Joe Morgan, Concepcion and Ken Griffey Sr. to go along with Rose and Perez.

    Man, what a lineup. Heck, looking at it Bench and Rose were the only White Men. The 70′s and 80′s were definitely the hey day for American Black players in MLB.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  58. In the 1890s, the National League got taken over by brawling big city Irishmen and the game stagnated economically as it became more disreputable, what with all the cursing and fans throwing bottles at umpires and what not. Ban Johnson saw an opening and in 1901 launched the American League to provide a more respectable ballpark experience that would be attractive to middle class families. Johnson’s cleaned-up version of the game was an immediate hit and the AL soon became the dominant league.

    Ironically in Chicago, the AL White Sox and Comiskey Park have been known as the rowdy team and ballpark, with cursing fans, fights, and even fans who jump on to the field and beat up the players. Comiskey is the type of place you and some buddies go to get drunk and rowdy. On the other hand, with the NL Cubs, Wrigley Field has always been known as a place where you would take your Aunt Myrtle from visiting from Davenport or your cub scout pack to see a ballgame.

  59. @Steve Sailer

    Another Chicago theater that was known for bad acoustics was the Paradise on the West Side. That is why it eventually closed. It is famous for being the inspiration for the Styx song and for one of two theaters staked out by Melvin Purvis’ men as he had a tip that John Dillinger was possibly going to show up there. He went to the Biograph Theater instead.

  60. @anonymous

    In the ’63 WS the featherweight hitting Dodgers swept the heavily muscled Yankees (winner of the two previous WS) with a combination of tight defense and off-the-charts pitching (the lefty-loaded Yankees never laid a hand on Johnny Podres’ devilish change-up in either this series or the ’55 series). And the Koufax/Drysdale combo was unhittable.

    Nowadays, a team like the ’63 Dodgers would be considered “borrringgg”.

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe
  61. Ian M. says:

    Speaking of Reggie Jackson, it’s interesting to me that he wore glasses. Great hitters are often renowned for having great eyesight.

    What other great hitters have there been who needed eyeglasses? I suppose these days you wouldn’t know it, because any hitter who needed them would likely be wearing contacts instead.

  62. @Steve Sailer

    And most sabermetricians/analytics guys are Globohomocorp SJWs. It’s a virus that preys on those prone to abstraction.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  63. @Anonymous

    Screwed-up childhood seems mainly to increase variance.

  64. OT – Ulster bakers don’t have to bake cakes with gay slogans on.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45789759

    From the judgement (that requiring them to bake a “support gay marriage” cake was contrary to their right of freedom of religion)

    “It is, of course, the case that businesses offering services to the public are not entitled to discriminate on certain grounds. The bakery could not refuse to provide a cake -or any other of their products -to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or because he supported gay marriage. But that important fact does not amount to a justification for something completely different -obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed. In my view they would be entitled to refuse to do that whatever the message conveyed by the icing on the cake -support for living in sin, support for a particular political party, support for a particular religious denomination. “

  65. Dtbb says:
    @JimB

    I was involved in the construction of a Muvico 20 theatre. They had two guys whose job was fine tuning the sound system in each theatre. One guy would sit in the middle of the empty seats while the other guy blasted the volume of different music and sound effects. They spent about 4 hours in each. Seemed like a cool job.

  66. I have a Cooperstown, New York, memory of riding in a car over some hills in a snow storm to get into that town.

    James Fenimore Cooper’s people pioneered the area of Cooperstown, New York.

    Cooper wrote a book about the pioneering of Cooperstown called The Pioneers.

    Cooper’s book about his people pioneering the area around Cooperstown, New York, is a lot of fun. The best part is that there were big cats still on the prowl in the hills around Cooperstown. Imagine a big cat in an oak tree that weighs a hundred pounds or more jumping down on you.

  67. @Anonymous

    “There’s something about being a big-city mayor that disadvantages a presidential run.”

    It was said a Mayor is identified with “picking up the garbage,” which was not good for running for president.

  68. @Russ

    Blame the A’s facial hair on Reggie Jackson. He showed up with one, and Charlie Finley loved it and decided to make a show of it by paying the bonuses and holding a “Mustache Day.” Back then the guys were fighting over something like $100k per season, so the mustache bonus was not inconsequential.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  69. My family was nuts about the Charlie O. Finley Oakland A’s of the 1970s. Jackson, Blue Moon Odom, Bando, Kingman, Campeneris, Monday, Fosse, Duncan. Those names still linger despite my waning interest in sports.

    OT but related to the late 60s/early 70s era: The Neil Armstrong biopic Last Man opens Friday and it looks to be a fabulous film. Since the film centers on Armstrong, I’m left wondering which one of the other two Apollo 11 astronauts, Buzz Aldrin or Michael Collins, Hollywood will turn black.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  70. Ian M. says:
    @ScarletNumber

    Is Don Mattingly HoF material? Alan Trammel just made the HoF, and Mattingly was certainly a better hitter than Trammel. Mattingly also won an MVP, while Trammel never finished higher than second. (I like Trammel and I’m a Tigers’ fan, but I’m not sure he belongs in the HoF). On the other hand, Trammel had a longer career and was a shortstop. He also won a WS, unlike Mattingly, though I wouldn’t hold that against Mattingly.

    Trammel is probably regarded as the fourth best shortstop of the era, behind Ripken and Larkin and Ozzie Smith. How does Mattingly stack up against other first basemen of his era?

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  71. Forbes says:
    @Song For the Deaf

    I doubt you learn anything about Soros’ politics/political strategy by reading The Alchemy of Finance, which as far as I know is his only book on investment strategy. I didn’t–I read it and I abhor his politics.

    He’s written a number of other books that outline his political philosophy. If you’ve ever seen him as a public speaker, he sees himself as not merely an investor, but a public intellectual deserving of sharing his genius with the world. Hubris lurks, not humility.

    Like much of the Wall St. world, he sees his riches as confirmation of his smarts. A very tentative conclusion.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  72. Forbes says:
    @SnakeEyes

    Yup. His boast 1986 to get Central Park’s Wollman Rink refurbished and running within 12 months after the city spent 6 years going nowhere was one of his earliest forays into the public arena.

    He got the job done in four months, and reportedly $775,000 under budget.

    And the NYT called that “carefully crafted self-promotion.” In the NYT view, accomplishment is self-promotion.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  73. @Anonymous

    Even the shrewdest chessmaster mayors don’t know how or maybe have lost the ability to affect that natural statesmanlike dignity.

    Or maybe those with dignity are winnowed out of the process. John Lindsay famously bombed.

    The most presidential mayor of recent years was Richard Lugar. Note that his city and county had consolidated. No coincidence there. Jacksonville might be another home for a future president. Or Miami, if it were still an English-speaking city.

    Hubert Humphrey was also a mayor close to the presidency, but that was a time when his city was about to dominate a still-white NBA. An outlier of sorts.

    Grover Cleveland was the only big-city mayor to reach the top. But his relationship with his home city, particularly the press, was so fraught that he refused to return there from Washington. In distinct contrast to Millard Fillmore, one of the best ex-presidents ever.

  74. @Desiderius

    “Sabermetrician” is a particularly stupid word. Couldn’t they come up with something better?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @ScarletNumber
  75. @Paleo Liberal

    Ah, but who holds the record for most home runs by a pitcher? Season, and career.

    He’s not in the Hall of Fame, but his catcher brother is.

  76. @Reg Cæsar

    Take it up with Bill James. They call themselves analytics guys or moneyballers now.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  77. Tipsy says:

    Question: Is Trump the Billy Beane of politics? It seems to me there have been a number of very popular political positions (e.g., restriction of immigration and late term abortion, fair trade and tariffs, low taxes, etc.) that no one would touch before Trump, and yet, they represented high return / low investment political strategies that, looking back, are pretty obvious.

    Even looking at the way Trump campaigned, it was Billy Beane all the way. Maximize electoral votes for each dollar spent.

    • Replies: @Lowe
  78. @Forbes

    When Alchemy came out, he was just another Eastern European hero of The End of History like Vaclav Havel. Being a Havel fan I read Alchemy and was amazed how muddle-headed it was.

    Once the Crisis of Global Capitalism came out the game was up. We’re all tremendously lucky he’s so incompetent.

  79. @SunBakedSuburb

    They paid their SJW jizya by memory holing the American flag on the moon.

  80. Lurker says:

    Isn’t this pretty much what Vince McMahon does with his wrestlers and Simon Cowell does with his employees, er I mean fellow judges, on his talent show panels?

  81. @Forbes

    And the NYT called that “carefully crafted self-promotion.” In the NYT view, accomplishment is self-promotion.

    Except when self-promotion is accomplishment. Cf. the Arts pages.

    His boast 1986 to get Central Park’s Wollman Rink refurbished and running within 12 months after the city spent 6 years going nowhere was one of his earliest forays into the public arena.

    He also helped build this, which includes the name, and age, of a close relative of mine:

    The suprising truth about Trump and veterans

  82. Lurker says:
    @SnakeEyes

    It grates on me when it’s claimed he’s just piggybacked off his run on The Apprentice, reality TV star turns Prez. As if no one knew who he was pre -Apprentice. But he’s been on my radar since the 1980s and I don’t even live in the US.

  83. @The Alarmist

    Reggie was AL MVP in 1973 while making $70,000. Charlie O offered him $100,000 the following season and Reggie took him to arbitration and ended up winning. His new salary was $135,000.

  84. @Reg Cæsar

    It is derived from SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  85. @Desiderius

    Take it up with Bill James. They call themselves analytics guys or moneyballers now.

    I’m an admirer of James, and of the late Whitney Smith, who coined the word “vexillology”. But they should’ve sought advice from their local classics departments before attempting neologisms. Or just used their native language, English.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  86. @ScarletNumber

    After Tyson went to jail Trump got out of boxing, but in 2014 he attempted to buy the Buffalo Bills when Ralph Wilson died, but was denied.

    What was Trump’s plan for the Bills? There’s always the fear, on both sides of the border, that they’d move to Toronto.

    But it seems like they’re in the catbird seat for a small-market team. They can milk significant NFL interest in Canada’s largest market, while staying in (a suburb of) their hometown. That keeps the locals and authenticists happy, and nationalistic Canadians as well. Win-win.

    Also, without the Bills, Trump’s state wouldn’t have a single team in the league. Right now, Virginia (#12) is the most populous state without an NFL franchise. South Carolina (#23) and Alabama (#24) are next. Louisiana (#25) is the smallest state with one.

    Until Vegas gets in (Nevada is #33):

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  87. @Ian M.

    On a personal level, I think Mattingly is a Hall of Famer. However, he has never come close to getting in. His best performance on the ballot was his first. He ended up with 28 %. Ironically, this was higher than both Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris, who eventually got inducted.

    In Trammel’s first year, Mattingly was ahead of him 20%-16%.

    What hurt Mattingly is that his peak was relatively short. His prime was 84-89, and during that time there wasn’t a better player in baseball. However, the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs until Mattingly’s final season, although they also would have in 94. I compare him to Mel Stottlemyer, who also had the bad timing to be a Yankee during one of their downturns.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  88. @ScarletNumber

    It is derived from SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research.

    We know that. The point was that it’s a dumb word, and using acronyms for neologisms à la grecque is a primary reason why.

    And why is it the Society for American Baseball Research? Shouldn’t it be the American Society for Baseball Research? A lot of us have questions about Asian and Latin American ball.

    E.g., how do Japan’s smaller leagues compare with ours? Teams face each other much more often, which must make a difference somehow. They also held off “interleague play” and “playoffs” (both bogus) far longer than we did. How does that work out? Are baseball-only domes better than multi-purpose ones?

    • Replies: @Sarah Toga
  89. @Lurker

    All and sundry rather than all and sunder.

    Trump went through two divorces. “Sunder” seems almost appropriate.

  90. @ScarletNumber

    Amos Otis

    Otis was in the Red Sox organization in the minors:

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=otis–001amo#standard_batting::none

    Giving him up for Joe Foy ranks with Nolan Ryan-for-Jim Fregosi among the worst Mets trades ever.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  91. @william munny

    My grandmother was a summer reporter for her brother’s newspaper in the 1920s while a college student . She covered minor league baseball in the afternoon and was the society columnist by night.

    I assume she never once entered the locker room.

  92. Indirect Product of the Sixties Cultural Revolution

    These guys were assimilating to it:

    Records tie Hussain’s sons, Shahyer and Nauman, to a sprawling, seven-bedroom home outside Albany.

    Neighbors said they saw “stretch limos and young Russian girls coming and going at all hours” before the two men suddenly moved out Sept. 30, leaving a “mountain of garbage” outside.

    https://nypost.com/2018/10/08/owner-of-limo-company-in-horrific-crash-was-an-fbi-informant/

  93. @ScarletNumber

    This was an era where the Yankees weren’t developing too many of their own players, but a number of quality players came out of Oneonta during this era… None of them are Hall of Fame material, but still.

    I wonder if Mark May was in the stands for any of these games. He’s in the College Football Hall of Fame, and grew up a short walk from the ballpark.

  94. @Reg Cæsar

    English is uniquely neologistic.

  95. @Reg Cæsar

    NFL in Alabama would be interesting. The Birmingham USFL seemed pretty successful.

  96. Lowe says:
    @Tipsy

    The restriction of late term abortion is popular, but it is not true that nobody would touch that. Lots of Republicans before Trump proposed restricting late term abortion. Abortion has been a perennial favorite talking point for evangelical and establishment Republicans, mostly because it is something they can talk about, knowing they won’t have to act on any of the talk.

    Ironically Trump, who actually spent little time talking about abortion, may be the first Republican president who could impact Roe v. Wade. Especially ironic given Trump’s lack of focus on abortion was important to his electability. Republican voters have learned that abortion is just a talking point, and they want to hear about something else. Trade and immigration were two big issues nobody had addressed in a long time, with the country having suffered for it. There was a visceral relief that an R presidential candidate was finally talking about something in need of attention, something other than abortion, some variation on public morals/decency, the state of democracy in foreign countries, and terrorism, terrorism, terrorism.

    Likewise lowering taxes is something discussed by standard-issue Republicans before Trump. That was not an important part of Trump’s campaign, or a position that made him unique. It’s just the only part of his agenda where establishment Rs have played ball.

  97. @Desiderius

    Sometimes I wonder if Trump’s attacks on the NFL are to some extent revenge for only getting a $3 judgment.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  98. @Steve Sailer

    High IQ? Lotsa $$$? . . . and . . . being toooooo White ? ? Pure chance? hmmmm?

  99. @Reg Cæsar

    A lot of us have questions about Asian and Latin American ball. E.g., how do Japan’s smaller leagues compare with ours

    One difference is the Asian leagues will never be called “too yellow” . . . Latin American leagues will never be called “too brown”.

  100. @Desiderius

    NFL in Alabama would be interesting. The Birmingham USFL seemed pretty successful.

    Alabama’s only major-league franchise was apparently the hockey team Birmingham swiped from Toronto.

  101. As a complete player, Trammell is behind only Ripken among SS of their era. Larkin really belongs to a different era. Trammell was a WS MVP, as well.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
  102. @Paleo Liberal

    Also, during his second and his fourth year, he pitched in two WS, and had a record of 29 and 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, until it was broken by HOF NY P Whitey Ford (during the 1960 & 61 WS).

  103. anon[162] • Disclaimer says:

    Speaking of the Steinbrenner Yankees, Sports Illustrated recently ran a long piece about how the team who loved to air their grievances in the tabloids was affected by the Newspaper Strike of 1978:

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2018/09/20/14-back-documentary-yankees-red-sox-1978-pennant-race

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  104. @ScarletNumber

    Hol, hol, hol, hold it, hold it. 1987 thru 89, the Bash Brothers were certainly Mattingly’s equals, if not better. Come on. And both McGwire and Canseco won a WS.

    Always remember: If McGwire should be in the HOF, then so should Canseco.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  105. Ian M. says:
    @It's All Ball Bearings

    Yeah, I was tempted to put Trammel ahead of Smith in my comment, but I thought maybe I was being too much of a homer. Smith of course made the HoF so easily because of his spectacular defense.

    And yeah, you’re right that Larkin probably belongs to a different era.

  106. @anonymous

    Thanks for this post — I can’t recall seeing anything about the seams being changed before, although I guess I might have just forgotten.

    Anyway, this explanation for the MLB power surge makes a lot of sense. For example, I do remember last year we were discussing Clayton Kershaw’s struggles in the playoffs, and concluded that in pretty much all aspects of his pitching he was better than ever, except that suddenly in the 2017 season, and then most notably in the playoffs, he was giving up significantly more homers than he’d ever done before. A 5% increase in carry likely doesn’t explain all of this, but it stands out as a contributing factor.

    And then, as you say, the knock-on effects are widespread and have profound effect on the tenor of the game itself.

    I’ve been an advocate of making the outfields bigger in most stadiums as a way to escape the tyranny of the ‘three true outcomes’. Raising the seams on the baseballs a little bit is a far more straightforward solution.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  107. @Prester John

    that kinda sounds like the 2015 KC Royals

  108. @Charles Pewitt

    Cooper’s book about his people pioneering the area around Cooperstown, New York, is a lot of fun. The best part is that there were big cats still on the prowl in the hills around Cooperstown. Imagine a big cat in an oak tree that weighs a hundred pounds or more jumping down on you.

    Those days may be returning. Cougars/pumas are reestablishing populations in the Dakotas, and are moving into Iowa and points eastward. They’ve been sighted in lower Michigan and Ontario. The USA is awash in their prey, i.e. deer. It probably won’t take them too much longer to get back to a nice wooded habitat like upstate NY.

  109. @Paleo Liberal

    Sometimes?! Wonder?!

    I’m telling you definitively that Trump’s enmity for the NFL is entirely because of the $3 and not being allowed to buy the Bills.

  110. @Reg Cæsar

    You are correct. Oneonta was a Red Sox farm team for exactly one year, the year Amos Otis was there.

    My point holds that he is a solid player who isn’t Hall of Fame caliber. In fact, his only year on the ballot he received no votes.

    And yes, the Otis trade ranks up with the Ryan trade as the worst in Mets history. I would say trading away Nolan Ryan was worse though.

  111. @Desiderius

    It’s amazing how many professional football teams Birmingham has hosted:

    *WFL – Americans/Vulcans
    *USFL – Stallions
    *WLAF – Fire
    *CFL – Barracudas
    *XFL – Thunderbolts

  112. For those wondering, Rusty Staub topped out at 8% in his 4th year, and dropped out of voting after 7 years.

  113. @Ian M.

    It’s an interesting question whether the Hall of Fame should include the best ever at a certain skill or the best-all-arounders. For example, Ozzie Smith was possibly the best defensive player ever at any position. Eventually he became a pretty good singles hitter as well. Does that make him more worthy to be in the Hall of Fame than Alan Trammell who was extremely good all around for a long time without being all that memorable?

    Or Trammell vs. Mark Belanger. Trammell was clearly the better all around player but Belanger was an incredibly defensive shortstop but a pretty bad hitter. Trammell is now in the Hall of Fame, while Belanger is probably the best defensive player not in the Hall.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
  114. @Ian M.

    Bill Mazeroski is in the Hall of Fame for being the best ever at a single skill, turning the double play. His batting statistics aren’t that good (although if he’d played in Wrigley Field he likely would have hit a lot of homers for a second baseman).

    • Replies: @MC
  115. vinny says:
    @Desiderius

    No way could Alabama support a third pro football team.

    • LOL: Dtbb
    • Replies: @Desiderius
  116. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    You’re welcome, and thank you for amplifying.

    Nothing as definitive as the analyses shared by Travis, but I recall seeing when fired up about this the last year or two published complaints from pitchers that the flat-seamed ball made their offspeed pitches less effective. If so, more fastballs may have helped to turn the game into one-on-one contests of power pitchers versus power hitters.

    That the industry presumably is correct in seeing this as a marketing positive is dispiriting. My calls last year to Boycott Ba$hball didn’t catch on because, I suppose, most people who share my preferences still find the game enjoyable enough relative to the alternatives.

    But the radio here on the porch has been silent this summer — I am now done with all spectator sports.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  117. Ian M. says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a tiered system in the HoF: reserve a ‘pantheon’ level for the best of the best. This would include the original five inductees, and then later players on a similar stratospheric level: Williams, Mantle, Mays, Musial, etc. Then the second tier for everybody else.

    I guess if you take the ‘fame’ part of the HoF literally, Ozzie Smith definitely deserves to be in: he’s certainly more famous than Trammell or Larkin, though not more famous than Ripken (though if Ripken hadn’t broken Gehrig’s record, I wonder if Smith would be more famous even than Ripken).

    Re: Belanger being the best defensive player not in the Hall. Would you put him ahead of Omar Vizquel? Vizquel’s traditional numbers, by the way, look better than Ozzie Smith’s, but his career WAR is much lower. Probably a function of having played during a much more offensive era, as well as having had the misfortune of playing contemporaneously with Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Derek Jeter. Not to mention also Ripken and Larkin.

  118. notanon says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    most rich people will be even more gas-lit by the media over the crime aspect of immigration than the average person as they have the least experience of the reality.

    even the people who own the media and order their minions to cover up immigration-related crime will be gas-lit on this issue cos they prevented it being reported.

  119. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    You are mistaken. Even using 87-89, you have forgotten that both Canseco and McGwire only had one great year during the 3: Canseco’s MVP year in 88 and McGwire’s ROY year in 87. They were both lousy the other two years.

    The top 5 players on the 89 World Series Champions A’s were:
    *Mike Moore
    *Rickey Henderson
    *Carney Lansford
    *Dave Henderson
    *Dave Stewart

    Add in the fact that Mattlingly played second base lefty in the last inning of the Pine Tar game, and it is obvious that Mattingly put Canseco and McGwire to shame in the 80′s.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  120. @The preferred nomenclature is...

    Two of their black players were white (Morgan and Foster) and Griffey, Sr. wasn’t exactly from the ‘hood either. The blackest player was probably Rose. And Geronimo and Conception were about the least macho Hispanics you’ll find. Bench was the Jack Nicklaus of baseball.

    It was an interesting mix. During their heyday seven of the eight were playing hall-of-fame caliber baseball, and Geronimo hit over .300 in ’76 while turning in his usual outstanding defense.

  121. @ScarletNumber

    I’d have bet a lot of money in the mid-80s that Mattingly was a lock for the hall-of-fame.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  122. @vinny

    Good one.

    They actually could probably support eleven or twelve.

  123. @anonymous

    Sad that I didn’t even miss Marty (Brennaman) this year. Didn’t hear or watch a pitch. First year I haven’t seen/heard at least 10/20 games.

  124. MC says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Even with his defensive skill, Mazeroski doesn’t get into the Hall without hitting a bottom-of-the-9th game-winning home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

  125. My paperback copy of ‘Ball Four’ had about critic quotes on the back. Among them it included this one:
    “Jim Who?” – Mickey Mantle

  126. @Desiderius

    Since I was curious, I decided to see if Mattingly’s numbers would hold up for the entire decade. They didn’t. I found another player would can lay a better claim to being called the AL first baseman of the 1980′s. That player is

    [MORE]
    Eddie Murray

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  127. @ScarletNumber

    Well yeah. He may have been the best player at any position from, what, 78-88?

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