Earlier this season, major and minor league baseball teams around the country held a bunch of Star Wars-themed nights at their ballparks. But since you can never have enough Star Wars baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals hosted their own intergalactic party at Busch Stadium last night.
Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Stormtroopers, and whole lot of other famous faces from a galaxy far, far away made the Kesel Run to St. Louis to be part of the event. And fans came dressed as their favorite characters from the Star Wars saga. Even the Cards' mascot, Freebird, got in on the act, donning Jedi robes to become Obi-Wan Frednobi. There was also a special ticket that got you a cool R2-D2 t-shirt and helped benefit the charity Stand Up to Cancer.
Hitting the baseball and softball field in the summertime is a rite of passage for a lot of kids. And last month, a group of disabled veterans made sure some special young people who are differently abled had a chance to play, too.
The Wounded Warrior Softball Team hosted its second annual Kids Camp in Louisville, Kentucky, in June. Twenty boys and girls from 11 states who are missing arms and legs joined the travel softball team of veterans who lost limbs for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The talk at the College World Series was about how few home runs were hit at TD Ameritrade Park.
Well, one was hit Wednesday night — and the folks in Nashville undoubtedly will be talking about it for a long time.
John Norwood's tie-breaking homer in the top of the eighth inning carried Vanderbilt to a 3-2 win over Virginia in the third and deciding game of the CWS finals, giving the Commodores their first national championship.
A few kids have thrown out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. Not many can say they've thrown major league batting practice. But that's exactly what 17-year-old Chelsea Baker did last night before the Tampa Bay Rays' game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Chelsea played for the Durant High School baseball team in Plant City, Florida, and she has a wicked knuckleball. She used it in Little League to threw two perfect games in 2010, and this season she got off to a 2-0 start with a 0.78 ERA. (She learned how to throw the knuckleball from MLB greats Tim Wakefield and Joe Niekro, who was her coach when she was a kid.) Those kinds of numbers attract attention, and Chelsea has been featured on ESPN, and when she played in a tournament in Japan fans there started calling her "Knuckleball Princess."
Yesterday, though, might have been the highlight of her young career. Chelsea was invited by Rays manager Joe Maddon to not only throw out the first pitch, but to toss some BP before the game. And she used the opportunity to test out her knuckleball on some of the game's best hitters: Jose Molina, David Price, and Evan Longoria.
Yesterday, I attended Yankees Old-Timers Day. It was a day filled with fun ceremonies, highlighted by Rich "Goose" Gossage getting enshrined in Monument Park. First-time Old Timers included 2009 World Series Champions Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, along with pitcher John "The Count" Montefusco. Reggie Jackson returned after a one-year absence, and he and many other Old Timers took time to speak with or wave to the fans in the packed stadium.
Before the 2014 season, Major League Baseball approved new protective headgear for pitchers to help reduce the severity of injuries from come-backers. It sounded like a good idea, but the cap was big, bulky, and frankly looked weird, so many pitchers chose to wait until the technology got a little better.
But not Padres reliever Alex Torres. When he was brought in in the top of the eighth against the Dodgers on Sunday, he took the mound with the oversized protective hat. And that makes him the first pitcher in the league to wear it in a game.
There have been two no-hitters in Major League Baseball so far this season, and both have come from the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation. Last night, nearly a month after Josh Beckett shutout the Phillies, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Colorado Rockies in an 8-0 LA victory.
"I am so amazed," Kershaw said. "Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank."
Whatever lessons Beckett gave Kershaw, last night made clear that the student has become the master.
It was Kershaw's first no-no, but it more than just a no-hitter. This was one of the all-time dominant pitching performances. The two-time Cy Young Award winner threw 15 strikeouts (a career high) and zero walks — the first time in MLB history that a pitcher has done that in a no-hitter, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. And he did it all on only 107 pitches. And if not for a Hanley Ramirez throwing error in the seventh inning, Kershaw would be celebrating a perfect game.