Hot Stove #156 – Lew Krausse, Charlie Finley and Jim Chappell

The position players have now joined the pitchers and catchers, spring training is in full swing. In the words of the great reliever and poet Dan Quisenberry

Rituals of spring training

Running of sprints

A gaggle of grown men laughing at sore muscles

Omnipresence of coaches, general managers, fans, scouts…

 If I close my eyes and listen

I hear the pop of ball hitting bat

Ball smothered in loved leather

And even the whoosh of ball

Spinning with raised seams cutting through air

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Hot Stove #155 – The Sports Gap – Chiefs to Royals

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We are now in the “Sports Gap” in Kansas City. The time frame between the last Chiefs game and the start of Royals spring training. For more years than I care to remember, the gap was about five weeks because the Chiefs were either not in the playoffs or made an early exit if they were. But in the Mahomes era, the Sports Gap has shortened, first in 2019 when the Chiefs made it to the AFC championship game. Then, in the 2020 and 2021 Super Bowl seasons, the gap was reduced to a mere 10 days. I prefer short gaps. Continue reading

Hot Stove #152 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (2021) – Buck O’Neil on the Mountaintop

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This is my 20th annual message for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The first, in 2002, was an internal email to the lawyers and staff at the Polsinelli law firm. We had added the MLK holiday at the firm, and I sent out King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” as a reminder of why we celebrate the holiday. The annual message has grown in length and circulation over the years, and since 2016, it has been merged into my Hot Stove posts. All of the prior MLK messages are at this link on the Lonnie’s Jukebox website. Continue reading