The second day of SABR 44 in Houston was just as exciting as day one.
Early in the day, author Rebecca Herman spoke about researching the different leadership styles of MLB managers and some of the most important skills needed in the clubhouse, like honesty, open communication with players, and being a teacher.
But the morning’s highlight was a panel focused on the 1980 Astros, remembering the team that was the first ever Astros team to make the playoffs. Tal Smith, the General Manager of that team told me that his favorite moment of that season was beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in a one-game playoff:
Jose Cruz was an infielder on that 1980 Astros team. He retired holding many franchise records. After the panel, he told me hat it meant to him to be on the Astros’ first playoff team:
Happy two million strikeouts, Major League Baseball! On July 27, Danny Salazar punched the milestone strikeout in Kansas City when Norichika Aoki went down swinging in the bottom of the seventh.
While individual landmarks are achieved throughout the majors on a frequent basis, this collective milestone combines the efforts of hundreds of pitchers. Every major leaguer who has ever taken the mound and notched a strikeout was a part of this moment.
The first day of SABR 44 in Houston, Texas, has come to an end, and already the conference is proving to be another great baseball experience.
Guys who throw a baseball 100 mph are hard to find. But the Minnesota Twins just discovered one named Brandon Poulson, who has been pitching for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in a collegiate summer league. Ever heard of them? Neither have we. Poulson went undrafted this summer, and yesterday the Twins scooped him up for $250,000, a pretty hefty contract for someone passed over by 29 other MLB teams.
There is hope for Poulson yet. Here are five other players from across the four major professional sports leagues who went undrafted but still became highly-regarded names in their respective sports.
Understanding the mechanics of a softball swing just got a whole lot easier with the help of Zepp Labs. Last week, Zepp and the Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) league announced a partnership to bring advanced data technology into the softball world.
Zepp created a sensor that attaches to the end of a bat. It only weighs six grams, but hidden inside the tiny gadget is a processor that gives softball players a never-before-seen look at their swings.
Now in his 12th year in the majors, Edwin Jackson is playing for his eighth team. The 30-year-old righthander was born in Germany and grew up an Army brat (he also lived in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana), so he’s used to starting over. This summer, he talked to SI Kids about what it’s like being the new guy.
A record-breaking number of Americans (26.5 million to be exact) tuned in to watch Germany and Argentina compete in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. But 8-year-old Kaylie-Jade Plott was the only American to escort Lionel Messi onto the field before the match.
The Virginia native was one of 1,408 kids from around the world who were part of the McDonald’s Player Escort Program at the World Cup. She was one of 25 Americans chosen to be in the program, and the only kid from the United States on the pitch for the final match.