Ever wonder how items from famous baseball games end up in the Hall of Fame? Or who decides which pieces are worthy?
The answers to both questions lie with Brad Horn, Vice President of Communications and Education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
Before Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium, for instance, Horn read that ESPN commentator Jessica Mendoza would be the first woman to call a postseason game. Before the game, he walked up to Mendoza on the field and asked if she would donate her scorecard from the broadcast for the Hall of Fame’s “Diamond Dreams: Women in Baseball” exhibit. She happily agreed. Now, a signed scorecard from the Astros’ 3-0 victory over the Yankees is headed to Cooperstown.
As a rule, any time a running back breaks a two-year drought of backs being selected in the first round of the draft, even though he was coming off a devastating knee injury, and then runs for nearly 150 yards in just his second-ever NFL game, that guy is going to be among the players trending upward in Risers and Sliders. The Rams' Todd Gurley, however, was not alone in fundamentally altering his fantasy value for the better in Week 4. At the same time, some players who have done nothing but disappoint this season have to be downgraded, even in cases where they’ve already been pushed down the rest-of-season rankings.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Let’s start this off with the guy whose value changed the most as a result of the Week 4 action. Gurley got his first significant amount of playing time in Sunday's game against Arizona and immediately showed why the Rams took him with the 10th pick in the draft, even though he was less than six months removed from an ACL tear. Gurely racked up 146 yards on 19 carries and iced the Rams’ impressive win over the previously undefeated Cardinals. It wasn’t just that he picked up 146 yards, though. It was the way he did it. Here were the Rams’ five longest plays from scrimmage last week:
In the middle of August, my brothers and I went to see the Rangers play the Seattle Mariners. What started as a terrible season was starting to get a little better. And we were there the day Derek Holland was back for the first time since the home opener.
Making the playoffs seemed pretty unlikely. But when we saw the Rangers hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, and we saw how great Holland pitched, we started to get excited.
Now, here we are in early October. Texas is American League West champions and I can’t wait to get home from school today so I can watch the Rangers — in the playoffs! They begin their divisional series against the AL East champs the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon.
The 2015 New York Comic Con (NYCC) opens today, and for four days the center of the comic book and entertainment world will be Manhattan. The event not only allows fans to get the latest info on upcoming books, movies, and TV shows. It also gives them a chance to meet their artistic heroes. And for most people, Todd McFarlane is very high on that list.
He began his career in the mid-1980s before becoming a superstar drawing Spider-Man in the late ‘80s and early 1990s. But in 1992, he joined a group of other comic artists to form the independent company Image. There, McFarlane published the book Spawn, which has been running non-stop for more than 20 years and was turned into a movie and cartoon series.
McFarlane also created toys based on Spawn characters, which allowed the artist to branch out from comics. He designed lines of action figures based on monsters, movie characters, and athletes. His baseball, football, hockey, and basketball toys are the most realistic sports toys ever created. The success of McFarlane Toys, along with his reputation as a comic artist, has made McFarlane one of the biggest names in pop culture and a fixture on the comic convention circuit.
But comics and toys aren’t his whole life. He’s also a huge sports fan (especially baseball and hockey — he once owned a stake in the Edmonton Oilers) and a committed youth baseball coach. Team Spawn, which is based in Arizona, is made up of 13-year-olds and funded entirely by McFarlane. The team is the real deal. It has been ranked the number-one 13-year-old team in the country and has won numerous national tournaments.
We caught up with McFarlane at last year’s NYCC and again at Toy Fair in February to talk baseball and toys. The following Q&A is a condensed version of those two conversations.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — These Chicago Cubs are supposed to be too young to be here. Or maybe they're just too good to care.
Jake Arrieta allowed four hits in nine dominant innings and the Cubs rolled to a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL wild-card game on Wednesday night.
Arrieta struck out 11 without a walk. He also dusted himself off getting plunked by Pittsburgh reliever Tony Watson to send the Cubs to the NL Division Series in St. Louis starting on Friday.
The Chicago Cubs, a team nicknamed the “lovable losers,” are winning. The Cubs had the third-best record in the majors during the regular season and last week clinched a berth in tonight’s night’s NL wild card game. This will be the just the 16th playoff appearance for a franchise that has existed since the 1870s.
But as Chicago eagerly awaits Wednesday’s Cubs-Pirates showdown, another local team will be training for its next match in relative obscurity. And they’ll do it near the end of a dismal season.
The Chicago Fire are in last place in Major League Soccer with two games remaining. As a practical matter, the team has been out of playoff contention for most of the season.
Just a few years ago, the Cubs were stuck at the bottom of the MLB standings. But fan support never really wavered as the team was slowly rebuilt from the ground up, culminating in this year’s postseason berth. The fans patiently endured losing streaks and sloppy play for several years straight.
For the Fire, though, it’s been a different story.
Now that bye weeks have arrived, fantasy owners need to be a little more pragmatic when making their waiver claims. During the first few rounds of waiver adds, everyone is typically looking for the player who can turn into this year’s Justin Forsett. That player, more often than not, has already emerged by the time we’re transitioning to Week 5 from Week 4. Fantasy owners should be looking for depth on the waiver wire at this point of the season. Four teams are on bye this week (the Dolphins, Jets, Panthers and Vikings), and that will be the minimum number of teams on bye every week through Week 11. The only way you survive that is by having enough depth, and the easiest way to add depth is to make the right moves on the waiver wire.
Jay Cutler, QB, Bears
Cutler returned after missing one full game, and most of another, and played quite well in the Bears’ win over the Raiders. He did throw one bad interception, but threw for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns, hooking up with Martellus Bennett and Eddie Royal for his scores. He did this against a soft Oakland defense, but he was without Alshon Jeffery, so we can call that a wash. Cutler looks like a low-end QB1 in Week 5 with the Bears visiting the Chiefs. They’ve allowed the most points per game to quarterbacks, surrendering a league-high 11 passing touchdowns and 8.24 yards per attempt. If you’re a Cam Newton owner who needs a one-week replacement, Cutler can be your guy.