MLB Network host Bill Ripken is not a fan of analytics, to say the least. The former major league infielder joins us to discuss his thoughts on WAR, OPS, pitcher wins, launch angle and more. Plus, Ripken discusses his late father, legendary Orioles coach Cal Ripken Sr.
Smoky Joe Wood was one of the most remarkable players of baseball's deadball era, putting together a legendary career as a pitcher and outfielder in just 11 seasons. Author Gerald Wood joins us to discuss his award-winning biography of Wood.
Over the course of 25 years, Cumberland Posey transformed the Homestead Grays from a semi-pro team into a juggernaut that won nine straight Negro National League pennants. Author James Overmyer joins us to discuss the Hall of Fame owner's lasting legacy on black baseball.
On July 2, 1963, future Hall of Famers Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal faced off in an epic pitcher's duel that lasted 16 innings. In a game full of stars and decided by one run, each hurler tossed more than 200 pitches. Jim Kaplan joins us to discuss a game that has attained legendary status over the years.
In 1910, the race for the American League batting race between superstars Ty Cobb and Napoleon Lajoie became a national obsession. Author Rick Huhn joins us to explain why the bizarre ending of the race remains controversial 110 years later.
Author and legal expert Howard Wasserman joins us to discuss the history and controversy of baseball's most misunderstood rule, the Infield Fly Rule. Drawing on interviews with experts, legal arguments and a study of every infield fly play in eight Major League seasons, Wasserman tells the complete story of the rule.
Author Jane Leavy joins us to talk about her classic biography of Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax. Leavy discusses the legendary lefty's Hall of Famer career, his aversion to the spotlight, his Jewishness, his 1965 perfect game and more.
The Houston Astros are paying a big price for stealing signs, but author Paul Dickson says sign stealing has been going on since baseball's earliest days. Dickson joins us to discuss the rich legacy of baseball's oft-controversial hidden language.
Chief Bender, the greatest Native American in baseball history, played his Hall of Fame career facing a kind of pressure few other players could even imagine. Author Tom Swift joins us to discuss his award-winning account of Bender's remarkable life.
Forty years ago, Sparky Lyle and Peter Golenbock caused a sensation with "The Bronx Zoo," a rowdy, foul-mouthed look at the Yankees' tumultuous 1978 season. Golenbock joins us to look back at the classic book and its enduring legacy.
Featured song: "Go Mental," the Ramones.
Author Chris Zantow joins us to discuss how car dealer Bud Selig and a group of Milwaukee citizens led the effort to bring a major league team back to the city following the departure of the Braves for Atlanta. Along the way, Selig & Co. ran into stiff opposition from baseball's power brokers, who didn't see Milwaukee as a viable market.
In 1978, San Francisco was shaken by the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk and the massacre at Jonestown. Meanwhile, the city's punk rock scene exploded and Vida Blue, Jack Clark and the Giants provided an unexpected pennant race. Lincoln Mitchell joins us to tie it all together.
Although few fans in the United State may know it, baseball has a long and culturally important history in Europe. Author Josh Chetwynd joins us to discuss the impact of the game in the Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain and more than 40 other European countries.
In the summer of 1911, a group of murderers, rapists and other hardened convicts at the Wyoming State Penitentiary garnered national attention through their prowess at baseball. Author Chris Enss joins us to discuss a remarkable tale of corruption, politics, violence and home runs in a state that was transitioning from the Old West into the modern world.
Find out more about the author at chrisenss.com.
The 1948 American League pennant race was one of the greatest in history, featuring legendary stars, an iconoclastic owner and a one-game playoff to determine which team would advance to the World Series. Author David Kaiser joins to discuss Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck and more.
Many experts believe Oscar Charleston is among the handful of best players in baseball history. So why is the former Negro Leagues star virtually forgotten today? Jeremy Beer joins us to discuss the life and legacy of the man who dominated black baseball in the 1920s and 1930s.
Jean Fruth has photographed amateur baseball players from Cuba to Oakland, from Japan to the Bronx and other baseball hotbeds throughout the world. Fruth and former Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson join us to discuss her book of more than 250 photos, as well as their efforts to grow amateur baseball around the globe.
In 2018, the Red Sox won the World Series with perhaps the best team ever in the franchise's storied history. Author Alex Speier joins us to explain how Boston spent years methodically developing a generation of elite prospects who led the team to the promised land.
Over the past two decades, Major League Baseball has put a lot of effort into honoring Jackie Robinson as a heroic man who broke the color barrier. But Robinson's legacy has been sanitized and oversimplified, says author David Naze. Robinson was a complex man who engaged in controversial political activity, had public clashes with other prominent African-Americans and didn't hesitate to criticize MLB.
Featured song: "This is My Country," the Impressions.
"The Celebrant" has been lauded as one of the greatest baseball novels ever written. Eric Rolfe Greenberg joins us to discuss his classic tale of a Jewish immigrant whose life intersects with the career of legendary New York Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson over two decades.
Featured song: "Sensation," Scott Joplin.
One hundred years ago today, the infamous 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds began. Author David Fleitz joins us to discuss his biography of Shoeless Joe Jackson, the man who has become the focal point of the Black Sox scandal in the public imagination.
Featured song: "I'm a Man," Joe Jackson.
Following the 1934 World Series, Cardinal aces Dizzy and Paul Dean set off on a 14-game barnstorming tour that saw them compete against such legendary Negro League stars as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston. Award-winning author Phil S. Dixon joins us to discuss "the greatest barnstorming tour of all time" — and how the white newspaper reporters covering the Deans missed the most important story.
Featured song: "Ramblin' On My Mind," Chris Thomas King.
Dale Murphy was one of the best, and most respected, players of the 1980s. Yet the former Braves star has not gotten close to being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Author Kirk McKnight joins us to discuss why he think Murph belongs in Cooperstown.
Featured song: "Do it Clean," Echo & the Bunnymen.
In 1992, nine MLB All-Stars "appeared" as themselves on a third season episode of "The Simpsons." In the 27 years since, "Homer at the Bat" has become one of the most remembered episodes of the classic animated TV series, beloved by generations of fans. Emily Hawks joins us to discuss Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey Jr. and the rest of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plants softball squad.
Featured song: "The Simpsons" Main Title Themes, Danny Elfman.
For more than four decades, the Birmingham Black Barons were one of the premier teams in all of black baseball. Author William J. Plott joins us to discuss the legacy of the team that helped launch the careers of Satchel Paige, Willie Mays and others.
Featured song: "Frosty," Albert Collins.