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Real-life Crash Davis retires after walk-off HR

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For Cody Decker, his 204th minor league home run was a walk-off blast in every sense of the word.

Yes, the two-run shot gave the Triple-A Reno Aces a 10-9 walk-off win Friday night, but the 32-year-old first baseman also chose that moment to walk off into the sunset, stealing a page from the script for the movie “Bull Durham.”

Decker, a real-life Crash Davis, retired as the active home run leader in the minor leagues.

“I never really knew I’d get the chance to do it,” Decker told TahoeOnStage.com about retiring after hitting a game-winning homer. “It was a really special night and one of the best of my career, something I’ll never forget. The fact I got to share it with these teammates, you can’t beat it.”

Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 22nd round in 2009, Decker played 1,033 games over 11 seasons for 13 teams, retiring with a .260 batting average and 645 RBIs to go with his 204 homers. He hit .240 with seven homers and 21 RBIs for Reno — the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ affiliate in the Pacific Coast League — this season

Decker’s major league career consisted of eight games with the Padres in 2015 when he went 0-for-11 with one RBI.

The time in the minors, though, provided memories for a lifetime. None, though, may top the memories provided by his final at-bat and trip around the bases.

“That moment coming off the field is something I never knew would happen,” Decker told TahoeOnStage.com. “Getting all those hugs at home, then having a curtain call from the fans. It wasn’t just the fans which is amazing, it was my teammates on the top step both giving me a standing ovation.”



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Trout hopeful to return to Angels lineup Thursday

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Los Angeles Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout was out of the lineup for the third straight game Wednesday night against the Houston Astros due to a calf injury.

An MRI performed on Monday revealed a small strain in his right calf, and the Angels have listed the superstar as day-to-day.

Trout expects to return to the Angels’ lineup on Thursday.

“I feel good,” Trout told reporters Wednesday. “I feel fine. Just being cautious. I think I’ll be available to hit tonight and I should be fine to play tomorrow.”

Manager Brad Ausmus said Trout would be evaluated again before playing.

“We’re going to get him evaluated again when the doctors get in here and hopefully he’ll be able to go tomorrow full bore,” Ausmus said. “But I can’t swear to that.”

The 27-year-old is batting .305/.455/.666, on a pace to compete for his third MVP trophy. He’s 12-for-32 with eight home runs in nine games this month.

Brian Goodwin got the start in center field for the Angels again.

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Trout out of Angels’ lineup again due to calf

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Los Angeles Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout was out of the lineup for the third straight game Wednesday night against the Houston Astros due to a calf injury.

An MRI performed on Monday revealed a small strain in his right calf, and the Angels have listed the superstar as day-to-day.

The 27-year-old is batting .305/.455/.666, on a pace to compete for his third MVP trophy. He’s 12-for-32 with eight home runs in nine games this month.

Brian Goodwin got the start in center field for the Angels again.

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Green, first black player on Red Sox, dies at 85

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BOSTON — Former Boston Red Sox infielder Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player on the last major league team to field one, has died. He was 85.

A Red Sox spokesman confirmed the death Wednesday night, and the team observed a moment of silence before its game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Green, who was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2018, had been living in California.

A speedy but light-hitting utilityman, Green brought baseball’s segregation era to an end of sorts when he took the field against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959 — more than a dozen years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Green joined the team on a lengthy road trip and had played nine games before taking the field at Fenway Park for the first time. Green said this year in an interview with NESN, the Red Sox TV network, that he remembered receiving a standing ovation when he came to the plate, batting leadoff.

“It was heart-warming and nerve-wracking,” he told reporters in 1997, when he returned to Boston to take part in ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s debut. “But I got lucky: I hit a triple off the left-center fence.”

Green didn’t have the talent of Robinson, a Hall of Famer, or Larry Doby, an All-Star who was the first black player in the American League. The Red Sox infielder reached the majors as a role player, just once playing more than 88 games, and never hitting more than six homers or batting better than .278.

Green played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox before finishing his career with one year on the New York Mets. In all, he batted .246 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs.

But his first appearance in a Boston uniform ended baseball’s ugliest chapter, and the fact that it took the Red Sox so long left a stain on the franchise — and a void in the trophy case — it is still trying to erase.

The Red Sox had a chance to sign Robinson in 1945, before the Dodgers, and Hall of Famer Willie Mays a few years later; they chose not to, decisions that go a long way toward explaining the 86-year World Series championship drought that didn’t end until 2004. Last year, acknowledging the poor racial record of longtime owner Thomas A. Yawkey, the team expunged his name from the street outside the ballpark.

A few days after Green was called up, the Red Sox added Earl Wilson, a black pitcher. Green said there was an informal quota system that required teams to have an even number of black players so they would have someone to room with on the road.

There were few blacks in the clubhouse, the offices or the Boston stands, Green said in ’97.

“Most of the time it was just me,” he said. “It was almost an oddity when you saw a black person walking around the stands.”

But unlike Robinson, Green said, he received no death threats. “It was mostly insults,” he said.

“But you can get those at any ballpark at any time,” he said. “I learned to tune things out.”

Green returned to northern California and worked as a counselor at Berkeley High School before retiring in the 1990s. The Red Sox honored him again on Jackie Robinson Day in 2009, but he was unable to attend the ceremony in 2018 when he was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Upon his return to Fenway in ’97, he noticed that things had improved but still saw work to be done.

“Baseball still has its problems, and so does society,” Green said. “I don’t believe things are that much better in baseball or society. Hopefully, it will be shortly.”

A brother, Cornell Green, was a star safety for the Dallas Cowboys.

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