Hot Stove #90 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (2019) – Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Effa Manley

[When my law firm added Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday in 2002, I began an annual message within the firm about why we celebrate the holiday. The distribution was later expanded outside the firm, and since 2016 the message has been circulated as a Hot Stove post. Below, my 18th annual MLK message.]

One of the best ways to appreciate Martin Luther King Jr. Day is to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Not just for the memorabilia collection – although that is well worth the trip. There is also a compelling civil rights lesson. As one walks through the baseball exhibits, there is a parallel timeline along the lower edge that places Negro Leagues history in context with civil rights milestones.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #89 – Fifty Years Ago – The Washington Senators (Part 3 – Tom Eagleton – The Senate Years)

Image result for tom eagleton st. louis cardinals

Part 2 of this trilogy took us through 1968, the election of Tom Eagleton to his first term in the Senate. He quickly became a rising star in the Democratic Party, leading to…

1972 – McGovern and Baseball Commissioner: At the Democratic Convention in July of 1972, George McGovern picked Tom Eagleton to be his running mate. That did not go well, but it produced a couple of baseball stories that Tom liked to tell.

  Continue reading

Hot Stove #88 – Fifty Years Ago – The Washington Senators (Part 2 – Tom Eagleton – The Early Years)

In the last Hot Stove, I began what has turned into a trilogy. The starting point was my first year in politics, 1968, when I met two “Washington Senators” from Missouri, Stuart Symington and Tom Eagleton. At that time, Symington was serving in his third term in the Senate and Eagleton was running for his first. In the last post, you read about Stuart Symington’s aid to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. This post (and the next one) will focus on Tom Eagleton’s baseball passion.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #87 – Fifty Years Ago – The Washington Senators (Part 1 – Stuart Symington)

Image result for opening day kansas city a's 1955 truman

[Fifty years ago this month, Tom Eagleton was elected to his first term in the Senate. I have taken that fact and somehow expanded it to a couple of Hot Stove posts – about baseball, not politics. But in the wake of this past week’s elections, I want to pause a moment to thank my friend (and occasional Hot Stove reader) Senator Claire McCaskill for her lifetime of exemplary public service. As you will read below, the Senate seat once held by Harry Truman had a 24-year run with Stuart Symington. Republicans then had a good stretch, but Claire McCaskill took back the seat in 2006. She held it for two terms. Kudos to Claire who never stopped working hard for the people of Missouri. From her first race at age 28 to her concession speech Tuesday night, a class act. Below, Claire with husband Joe (a regular Hot Stove reader) at the 2014 Cardinals home opener.]

Continue reading

Hot Stove #85 – Red Sox v. Dodgers (1916 and 2018); 1968 World Series and a Star-Spangled Controversy

Image result for jose feliciano 1968 national anthem

1916 and 2018 World Series – Red Sox v. Dodgers: The 2018 World Series matchup is now set. The Red Sox rolled over Houston in the ALCS, winning four games in a row after losing the first. Los Angeles eliminated Milwaukee in an exciting 7-game series in the NLCS. I will miss Moose and Cain now that Milwaukee is out. The Red Sox won 108 games this season and are the likely favorites over the Dodgers who won 92. But the Dodgers were riddled with injuries during the regular season and may now be peaking. The Series pits the teams with the highest (Boston) and third highest (LA) payrolls, and the games will be played in the oldest (1912) and third oldest (1962) stadiums in major league baseball. For those of you who want to know about #2, the Giants are second in payroll and Wrigley is the second oldest stadium (1914).

Continue reading

Hot Stove #84 – 2018 – Division Series; 1968 – The Year of the Pitcher

Image result for mlb moustakas walk off alds milwaukee

How about those Milwaukee Royals (a/k/a Brewers)? Lorenzo Cain knocked in the winning run in the tiebreaker to win the NL Central. In Game 1 of the NLDS, Mike Moustakas stroked a hit for the walk-off win in the 10th inning (below, #6 Cain celebrates with Moose). In Game 2, Moose doubled and scored the first run, and then he and Erik Kratz knocked in the other three runs in a 4-0 win. Kratz was a backup catcher for the Royals in 2014 and 2015, but never made it into a postseason game. Kratz continued his success In Game 3, getting three more hits to finish with an NLDS average of .625. Kratz is the oldest player (38) to make his postseason debut since 1905. Joakim Soria had a 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances. The Brewers easily swept the Rockies  – Rocktober is over and out.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #83 – A Century of Baseball – The 2018 Playoffs and the World Series of 1918

Image result for babe ruth red sox

Deja vu in the 2018 playoffs.

 On Monday: Mike Moustakas was 1-4. Ben Zobrist, 0-3 with a walk. Joakim Soria came on in relief to get a key third out with two men on in the 6th. Lorenzo Cain knocked in the winning run. On Tuesday: Zobrist went 1-6 and showed his defensive versatility by playing RF, LF and 2B. Second-string catcher Drew Butera entered the game in the 7th and almost became the goat of the game. With two men on and two out, a batter grounded out to end the 7th – but wait. Butera’s glove had interfered with the swing and the batter was awarded first, loading the bases. Butera got off the hook when the next hitter made the third out. In the 8th, Terrance Gore came in as a pinch runner, stole second and scurried home on a hit to tie the game. Wade Davis entered the game with two outs in the 8th. He was paired with Butera at catcher, just as they were at the end of the final game of the 2015 World Series. Davis got the third out in the 8th and allowed no runs in the 9th, sending the game into extra innings. The winning run scored in the 13th on a single by the third-string catcher who had replaced Butera.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #82 – 2018 World Series Scenarios


The playoffs are almost set. The Wild Card Games are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Rita and I will be watching those games in Lake Havasu City in Arizona with our friends Larry and Diana Brewer. Havasu’s claim to fame is that it is the home of the original London Bridge built in the 1830’s to cross the Thames. The bridge was dismantled in 1967, shipped in parts to Arizona, and reassembled to cross a channel of the Colorado River. I wonder if we have to drive on the left when crossing the bridge.

Continue reading