Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The 1967 Red Sox and Jim Lonborg

Red Sox Nation as we know it was born 50 baseball seasons ago. The 1967 Red Sox ushered in a new era of Red Sox baseball. The 2017 Red Sox are favorites to be in the World Series this year but it all started with a team that wasn't predicted to do much fifty years ago.

 The Red Sox will be celebrating this team all year long and with the help of Out of the Park Baseball 18 we will be doing a season long replay simulation. I am taking over the role of Dick Williams and I will try to lead the Red Sox to victory.

 Opening Day of our simulation was yesterday. Jim Lonborg got the ball and what happened is something that has never happened to me in all the years I have played Out of the Park Baseball. 1967 was the year of Carl Yastrzemski but for the first game of the season Lonborg stole the show. Here is video of what happened:

Here is the box score from the game

Chicago White Sox (0-1)001000000100
Boston Red Sox (1-0)00000120X362
Lonborg Tosses No-Hitter Against Chicago
In a dominant outing, Jim Lonborg of the Boston Red Sox totally silenced the bats of the Chicago White Sox, finishing with a no-hitter.

In the Red Sox' 3-1 victory, Lonborg faced only 33 batters, surrendered no hits, had 10 strikeouts and 4 walks.

"Honestly, I didn't even know the situation was what it was until the seventh inning," Boston manager Michael Dobreski said. "I happened to look up there to see how many hits we had gotten, and I happened to notice that they hadn't gotten any."

Commenting on the defeat, losing manager told reporters in the clubhouse that he had a "pretty simple" analysis of the game.

"The Red Sox had all the hits and all the runs, so they won," he snapped. "But yeah, Lonborg pitched a heck of a ballgame."
D. Buford 3B4100021.00000
J. Adair 2B2000201.00000
P. Ward LF3001122.00001
T. Agee CF4000033.00000
T. McCraw 1B3000101.00000
K. Berry RF4000013.00000
R. Hansen SS3000010.00000
J. Martin C3000000.00000
G. Peters P3000010.00000
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: T. McCraw , K. Berry
Team LOB: 5
J. Foy 3B4112012.25012
M. Andrews 2B4000022.00000
C. Yastrzemski LF4020000.50000
T. Conigliaro RF4000012.00000
G. Scott 1B3111100.33311
R. Petrocelli SS3000022.00000
R. Smith CF2110100.50000
M. Ryan C3010001.33300
J. Lonborg P2000014.00000
Doubles: C. Yastrzemski (1, 4th Inning off G. Peters, 0 on, 1 out)
Home Runs: G. Scott (1, 6th Inning off G. Peters, 0 on, 2 outs) J. Foy (1, 7th Inning off G. Peters, 1 on, 2 outs)
Total Bases: C. Yastrzemski 3 , G. Scott 4 , J. Foy 4 , R. Smith , M. Ryan
2-out RBI: G. Scott , J. Foy
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: M. Andrews , R. Petrocelli
Sac Bunt: J. Lonborg
Team LOB: 5

Errors: G. Scott (1) , J. Foy (1)
G. Peters L (0-1)8.0633272126833.38
Game Score: G. Peters 63
Batters Faced: G. Peters 32
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: G. Peters 10-7
Pitches - Strikes: G. Peters 126-83 
J. Lonborg W (1-0)9.00104100126750.00
Game Score: J. Lonborg 91
Batters Faced: J. Lonborg 33
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: J. Lonborg 11-6
Pitches - Strikes: J. Lonborg 126-75
WP: J. Lonborg 
Player of the Game: Jim Lonborg
Ballpark: Fenway Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy (53 degrees), wind blowing out to center at 11 mph
Start Time: 2:05 pm EST
Time: 2:26
Attendance: 10715

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Columbia Fireflies' Ownership Defend Tim Tebow

Less than 24 hours ago the announcement came that Tim Tebow would be playing in Columbia, SC for the Fireflies. This led to the Greenville Drive twitter account making fun of the move and Tim Tebow. I reached out last night to Fireflies' Managing Owner Jason Freier for his reaction to the tweets and the assertion that Tebow is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Here is his statement in full:

I'm sure they meant it as a joke.
It is certainly unusual for someone to be playing class-A baseball at 29 but this isn't any normal guy or situation. 
This is a world class athlete and a champion.  It is a guy who has shown tremendous leadership, determination and work ethic in everything he has done.
He's 29 and trying to learn to do the hardest thing in sports--hit a baseball--so it is certainly an uphill battle. 
But anyone who is counting him out obviously hasn't paid attention to his career to date.
And there is no way in which this is a publicity stunt.  He is one of the most popular athletes in the country and he doesn't need publicity.  The Mets are only a season removed from being in the World Series and have some of the brightest and most marketable stars in the game--they don't need the publicity either.  Both the Mets and Tim Tebow are completely serious here and wouldn't be doing this otherwise.

Opening Day in Columbia is a little more than two weeks away. This should be fun.

Out of the Park Baseball 18 Review: Highlights

It is the most wonderful time of the year. The newest version of Out of the Park Baseball is on my computer. Here is a video I made while I was trying things out. I focused on the new highlight feature and a new feature from last year that got some love this time around.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Trash Talking Tim Tebow



The news broke today that the New York Mets would be assigning Tim Tebow to their Single A affiliate in Columbia, SC. The news was met with trash talk but not from fans, from the Greenville Drive twitter account 

The Drive are the Single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and play in the South Atlantic League with Tebow's brand new team.  The Greenville Drive didn't back down when they received some complaints.


The Greenville Drive eventually did apologize....sort of...

Welcome to Tebow Time in minor league baseball.

Tebow Time Coming To Columbia

More good news for Columbia, South Carolina. Not only is it home to Sweet 16 basketball teams but it will also be the minor league home for Tim Tebow. As some of you know, I am based in Columbia, SC and have been fortunate enough to get media credentials for the Fireflies. Looking forward to seeing Tebow up close and personal this season. Here is the press release from the Columbia Fireflies:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — ‘Tebow Time’ is coming to Columbia. Former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time BCS National Champion Tim Tebow will start his professional baseball career with the Columbia Fireflies, Mets Manager Terry Collins announced. Tebow will continue with the Mets in spring training at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, before breaking camp the first week of April and heading to the Palmetto State’s capital.

 “No one works harder than Tim did this Spring,” said New York Mets manager Terry Collins in an interview today with Marc Carig from Newsday. “He was a pleasure to have around. What he wants is to improve. I’m sure he’ll be a great influence on the kids in Columbia and the fans will enjoy watching him play.”

 “Tim Tebow will bring major excitement and national attention to the Fireflies and city of Columbia,” said Fireflies President John Katz. “Baseball fans, sports fans and Tim Tebow fans will likely come from around the southeast to see him play. We expect this to add to the energy at Spirit Communications Park and around downtown Columbia, especially during our opening weekend (April 6-9)."

 Tebow signed with the Mets on September 8 and participated in three Florida Instructional League games, hitting a home run in his first at-bat. The 29-year-old finished 4-for-14 (.286) at the plate in those three games with two walks. Later in the fall, he played in 19 contests in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL annually features some of the best prospects in Minor League Baseball, primarily consisting of Double-A and Triple-A level players. Tebow finished with a .194 batting average (12-for-62) with two RBIs and eight walks. It was the first time the former NFL quarterback played organized baseball since his junior year of high school (Allen D. Nease High – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) in 2005.

 Barring anything unforeseen, Tebow will wear his number 15 jersey when he steps on the field for the Fireflies. “Tebow’s story is so compelling – from the BCS National Championships and the NFL playoffs to reinventing himself as a professional baseball player,” said Katz. “His humility, faith and unwavering commitment to better himself will bring a new dynamic to our clubhouse. Having a player that has achieved his level of success on two big stages will ultimately pay huge dividends for our players as they pursue their dreams of playing for the New York Mets.”

 After graduating from the University of Florida as the SEC’s all-time leader in total touchdowns (145 – a record he still holds today), Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He started 11 games for the Broncos in 2011 and led Denver to an AFC West Division title and a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round – a game that ended with Tebow throwing an 80-yard touchdown strike to Demaryius Thomas in overtime. Tebow also played for the Jets, Patriots and Eagles during his six-year NFL career. While in college, the two-time first team All-American and SEC Player of the Year twice played in Columbia at Williams-Brice Stadium. Tebow led the Gators to victories over the Gamecocks during the 2007 and 2009 seasons – the latter occasion with his team ranked number one in the nation.

 Tebow is one of a just a few Heisman Trophy winners to also play professional baseball. Bo Jackson followed up his 1985 Heisman campaign by playing in both Major League Baseball (where he was an All Star in 1989) and the National Football League (where he was a Pro Bowler in 1990). Ricky Williams won college football’s most prestigious award in 1998 after spending parts of four summers as a Philadelphia Phillies farmhand. And Chris Weinke won the Heisman in 2000 after six years in the Toronto Blue Jays' minor league system.

 Tebow joins a select list of NFL players who also played professional baseball. Hall of Fame inductee and Broncos General Manager John Elway—for whom Tebow played while in Denver—played in the New York Yankees minor league system. Elway later went on to win two Super Bowls and make nine Pro Bowls during his 16-year NFL career. Others include eight-time NFL Pro Bowler and nine-year MLB veteran Deion Sanders, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, nine-time Pro Bowler (and current San Francisco 49ers General Manager) John Lynch and former Atlanta Braves outfielder and Atlanta Falcons safety Brian Jordan.

 Perhaps the only distinction that trumps Tebow’s athletic accomplishments is the philanthropic work with his eponymously-named foundation. The Tim Tebow Foundation has aided under-privileged and ill children worldwide financially and spiritually since its inception in 2010.

 Individual game and partial and full season ticket plans for the 2017 season are now on sale. Visit FirefliesTickets.com, the Spirit Communications Park ticket office or call (803) 726-4487 for more information.