The founding document of professional sports

512px-1885_Chicago_White_Stockings

On February 2, 1876, the constitution of the National Baseball League was signed.

Before that, playing a sport professionally meant that the players split the money that the fans paid to watch the game.  Amateur sports was considered far more honorable.

The document establishing the National League not only was foundational for baseball.  It was foundational for all professional sports to come.   Among other things, it established that teams would be owned and that the owners would pay athletes to play for them.

This founding document has been put up for sale.  (The auction referred to in the story after the jump has been postponed, due to a dispute over who currently owns it.) [Read more…]

Flushing a friend

White_toiletI have long complained about contemporary funerals.  But I have learned about yet another way of honoring the death of a loved one.

A man is going to baseball stadiums around the country.  While the game is going on, he goes to the men’s room and flushes some of the ashes of his late friend down a toilet.

Thus he honors his friend, a baseball fan and a plumber, making him one with the cathedrals of the game.  Or something.

[Read more…]

The Cubs didn’t really win the World Series

The_Cubs_celebrate_after_winning_the_2016_World_Series._(30709972906)The Chicago Cubs didn’t really win the World Series over the Cleveland Indians.  Actually, both teams scored 27 points.  So the series was really a tie.

That’s the same kind of reasoning that insists Donald Trump didn’t really win the election because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.  So says Mollie Hemingway in a column about how liberals can learn from conservatives in accepting disappointing outcomes. [Read more…]

The teams with longest championship drought made the World Series

The two teams that have gone the longest without winning a championship are in the World Series this year.  The Chicago Cubs last won it all in 1908. The Cleveland Indians won it in 1948.

That these two teams have conquered their respective leagues should be encouraging news for all other losers.

I’m pulling for the Cubs, in honor of my late father, a die-hard Cubs fan.

Which team are you for?  Why?  What are your predictions?

What you need to know about the series, after the jump.

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Why Tim Tebow is good for baseball

Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets.  Much of the baseball world is skeptical and derisive. But Joel Sherman compares Tebow’s baseball dreams with those of Michael Jordan, who also, after his basketball super-career, tried to make it in baseball. [Read more…]

World Series post mortem

The Kansas City Royals won the world series against the New York Mets in a series of epic comebacks.  They were behind in each of the games!  In game #4, they were down to their last four outs, but ended up winning the game.  In game #5, they were down to their last three outs–completely shut out in a brilliant pitching performance by Matt Harvey–but they scored two to tie it, going on to score seven runs in the 12th inning for the series victory.  The  Royals were relentless and never quit, so they are the World Champions.

Didn’t we do our annual baseball predictions for this season?  I can’t find them.  If we didn’t, that’s unlike me.  If you can find them, say so in the comments so that we can see who, if anyone, won our virtual prognosticator award.  All I know is that most observers, including me, picked the Washington Nationals, who didn’t even make the playoffs, likely because in times of adversity they are not relentless and do tend to quit.

An account of the series after the jump. [Read more…]