Baseball Cards, MLB

The Touching Responses to the Plea for Ryan Freel Cards

You may have heard about former player Ryan Freel’s father, Patrick, who is attempting to put together binders of Freel’s baseball cards for Ryan’s three daughters (ages 9, 11 and 13). Freel committed suicide in 2012.

Patrick, 74, says he’s getting older and he wants to give his son’s children something to remember their father by. So he put out a plea for Ryan’s cards and people are responding in the most touching ways:



The Man Inside the “The Freeze” Suit

One of the best baseball promotions you’ll see this year is happening in Atlanta where “The Freeze,” a former college track star, races against fans. He spots them gigantic leads and then systematically chases them down.

It’s led to some hilarious moments this season, including this one:

The MLB network recently did an interview with the man in the suit, Nigel Talton. He says he’s working two jobs right now, which is limiting his training, but he hopes to compete in the Olympics. The only question is, will he show up for the trials in the suit?

If you missed the interview, here it is:


Trevor Bauer’s Fascinating Long Toss Sessions

Trevor Bauer rocketed a ball toward the sky at Kauffman Stadium a few weeks ago during a game of long toss. It seemed like it would never come down. But it did. Landing perfectly in the glove of the Indians bullpen catcher on the other side of the field.

The coach tossed the ball to a buffer — a guy in the middle because he couldn’t have possibly made the same throw.

When I got home, I looked up Bauer’s long toss routine. According to this Big League Stew article, he maxes out at 450-475 feet—at least a football field and half. And he does so with seeming little effort. I know that’s not true. Partially because he says so in this Sports Illustrated article.

“It’s done with a very fluid motion,” Bauer told SI. “It appears to be effortless because the body is very synced up. It’s not effortless. It’s actually max effort, but it can only happen when the body is connected. To launch a ball 300, 350 or 400 feet, it takes a high level of athleticism. That’s a big reason why I like it.”

He also says it helps to loosen him up.

Perched overhead in the sports bar in right field, I was fascinated by every throw. The physical skill it takes to be able to throw a baseball that far is hard to fathom.

Just for some perspective, Doug Flutie tossed his “Miracle in Miami” from his own 37-yard line—a 63-yard pass. Kordell Stewart launched his “Miracle in Michigan” from his own 27-yard line—a 73-yard pass.

Throwing a football isn’t the same thing, but knowing that Bauer is throwing long toss that is approximately twice the distance of Stewart’s pass creates quite a visual, doesn’t it?

In 2012, while Bauer was still with the Diamondbacks, Ken Rosenthal wrote a story about how some of the Mariners lined up along the third baseline to watch Bauer throw long toss from pole to pole.

“So strange. So, so strange,” Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan says in the story. “Everyone has got their routines and stuff. But he was almost in our bullpen, throwing into their bullpen. That’s crazy.”

Several fans have captured one of Bauer’s long toss sessions on YouTube. Here’s one that’ll give you a good perspective on just how far he’s throwing the ball.


MLB to Allow Players to Wear Nicknames on Jerseys


When Mike Moustakas strode up to the plate a couple of weekends ago in Kansas City, I turned to a friend in the ballpark and asked him if he thought Moose had a chance to break the Royals all-time season home run record, set by Bye Bye.

I grew up listening to the Royals on the radio, where nicknames were prevalent during the broadcast or pre- and post-game shows. Guys like A.O, Flash, Gooby, Ape, Quiz, Soupy, Sabes, Splitt were just part of my vernacular.

That’s why my first reaction to this story about MLB allowing players to wear nicknames on their jerseys during the Aug. 25-27 weekend is positive.

What’s your take?