Tag Archives: major league

A Simple Game of Pitch and Catch… or Catch and Pitch

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Erik Kratz.

The journeyman major leaguer is now the answer to a baseball trivia question.

Ten days ago, Kratz became the first player since 1879 to pitch AND catch for two different major league teams in a single season.

On June 21, the Pirates catcher tossed a scoreless inning after being forced into relief in Pittsburgh’s 15-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants. He allowed two hits, but finished the inning unscathed, and even struck out Brandon Belt. Two months earlier, Kratz took the mound for the Houston Astros to finish out an 11-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.  In that one,  he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits. The Astros. The Astros released him in late May, and after a brief stop with the Angels, Kratz was on to Pittsburgh where he made baseball history. Anyone who is the first to do something in 137 years is, well, pretty cool, don’t you think?

usat-erik-kratz-pirates    Erik_Kratz_on_June_15,_2016

Baseball is chock full of Erik Kratzes. Nondescript players by most accounts who end up as historical footnotes. And, perhaps, like cerebral catchers who end up as big league managers (See Mike Scioscia, Mike Matheny, Bruce Bochy, Kevin Cash, John Gibbons, etal).

The moral of the story? If your son wants to be a big leaguer, tell him to be a catcher.

 

 

Big Hit

Last night, baseball witnessed it’s version of Halley’s Comet.

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon hit his first career home run, at age 42.  He turned on a James Shields fastball and deposited it over the left field wall, to become the oldest player in history to hit his first career home run, just 3 weeks shy of turning 43.  Coming into the game, the round mound of the mound sported a microscopic .089 lifetime batting average over his 19 seasons.

He surpassed Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, whose first homer came at age 40. He’s only the third Met to homer after turning 40, joining Willie Mays and Julio Franco, baseball’s Methuselah who was 48 when he homered.

Said Colon, “I don’t even know how to explain it.”

Mets’ play-by-play man told the television audience, “The impossible has happened!”

When asked about it, opposing San Diego Padres’ manager, said, “Certain things leave you speechless.”

The crowd went nuts, then watched the portly pitcher take 30-seconds to haul his 283 pounds (or so he is generously listed) around the bases.

The entire scene was definitely one for the ages.

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/bartolo-colon-home-run-video-mets-new-york-padres-petco-park/11ffmoasde0wc15jrokmw04m0l