Dan Holmes

Bill Veeck’s “Night to end all nights”

Those who work in baseball for a living are fond of saying that without the fans there wouldn’t be a game. Rarely, however, do the fans get their due. One owner, Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, did his best to pay tribute to the fans and put them center stage.

Setting the record straight: The last ball caught before World War I

When Detroit fans settled into Navin Field for the traditional Labor Day doubleheader in 1918, they had no idea that they would see a 41-year old coach pitch and get a victory, and that a pharmacist who came to watch the game, would play the outfield in place of Ty Cobb. But that’s what happened.

Ty Cobb sold me a Coke

In the “Peach State” on May 8, one of the most popular beverages in history was first concocted, and on December 18, a legendary ballplayer was born. As a result, Coca-Cola became a household name and one of the most profitable companies in the world, and Tyrus Raymond Cobb became a batting champion and eventually one of the first members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Greatest Cinderella teams in baseball history

Here’s our list of the greatest Cinderella teams in baseball history, from the 1914 Miracle Boston Braves to the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, these teams wore the glass slipper for one magical season.

Chick Hafey’s batting rampage of 1931

When Charles “Chick” Hafey first caught Branch Rickey’s eye in the spring of 1923, it was a case of mistaken identity. Hafey was in the Cardinal camp as a right-handed pitcher, but Rickey saw him in the batting cage, and after he sped down the first base line later that day, the St. Louis manager was certain he had the makings of an outfielder.

Ty Cobb’s horror: Murder in Royston, Georgia

When Ty Cobb arrived in Royston, Georgia, on August 10, 1905, his father was dead from a shotgun blast and his mother was facing arrest for manslaughter. The small community was abuzz over the shocking death of their most influential and prominent figure, while Ty was in a state of shock at the loss of his father.

Frick made huge impact on game of baseball

Few Hall of Famers forged as diverse a career in baseball as Ford Christopher Frick, who was instrumental in the establishment of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

George Brett recalls the Pine Tar Game

In the midst of the 1983 season, future Hall of Famer George Brett was involved in one of the stickiest incidents in baseball history. It involved a home run, some pine tar, and the rule book.

Ted Williams’ walk-off homer in 1941 All-Star Game

Today we would call what Ted Williams did in the 1941 All-Star Game a walk-off home run. But for those who were in uniform in Detroit for that game, it’s simply a moment they’ll never forget. In what may still be the most thrilling All-Star Game in history, Williams belted a three-run, game-winning homer in Detroit’s freshly repainted Briggs Stadium on July 8, 1941, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, to give the American League a thrilling 7-5 victory.

Dave Winfield: Everyone’s favorite draft pick

In his senior year in college, Dave Winfield was a wanted man. In 1973, Winfield, a senior at the University of Minnesota, was selected in four drafts in three different professional sports. Just weeks after being selected as the fourth overall pick in the baseball draft by the San Diego Padres, Winfield was named Most Valuable Player of the College World Series.

Remembering Ernie Harwell

I don’t have to tell the people of Michigan how wonderful Ernie Harwell was, or how important he was to this state. It seems there isn’t a man, woman, or child over the age of 10 in Michigan who doesn’t have some memory of the Voice of the Tigers. The Voice of Baseball in Michigan, the Voice of Spring.

Rivalry Renewed: Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth on the golf course

Under a warm summer sun, fans strained to catch a glimpse of two of baseball’s greatest stars battling each other. Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, once tough competitors on the baseball field, were at it again. But this competition did not take place on a diamond – the battle occured instead on the rolling hills of a golf course.

Fidrych was a rare bird

It was July of 1976, the Summer of The Bird. Mark Fidrych, the 21-year old rookie was the center of attention. He couldn’t help but be. The spotlight found him, and it was for the simplest of reasons. He was himself. Refreshingly so.

Remembering Jackie Robinson

When Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, he blazed a trail for African American ballplayers. That legacy lives on today. In the last ten seasons, 15 of the 20 league Most Valuable Player Awards have been awarded to African American or Latino ballplayers.

When Hall of Famers made their big league debut

When Juan Marichal stepped on the mound for the first time as a big leaguer, it was the first major league game he had ever seen. Nine innings later, he had made one of the most spectacular debuts in baseball history, and launched a career that would land him in Cooperstown.

When a girl struck out Ruth and Gehrig

When Babe Ruth went down on strikes in an exhibition game in Chattanooga in 1931, it was at the hand of a pitcher described as having “a swell change of pace,” as well as a “mean lipstick.”

Baseball’s unique spectacle: Opening Day

Opening Day is unique to baseball. Other sports have season openers, but baseball’s Opening Day marks the ceremonial beginning of spring. It may only be 1/162nd of the season, but fans and players alike admit there’s something special about the first game of the schedule.

Hugh Duffy and Tommy McCarthy: Baseball’s Heavenly Twins

Today, Hugh Duffy is largely remembered for his amazing 1894 season, in which he hit .438, a mark that remains a major league record. But he was also a manager, executive, coach, and team owner, who was under contract in baseball for an incredible 68 years of his life.