Ducksnorts World Tour 2007

With Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony coming up in July, I figure now is as good a time as any to plan a road trip. You know I love the minor-league ballparks, so I’ll be hitting seven of them over 10 days on my drive from San Diego to Cooperstown and back. If you’re in or near any of the places I’ll be, let me know — I’d love to meet you in person.

Ducksnorts World Tour 2007: In Like Gwynn
Date(s) City Game
Mon., Jul. 23 Albuquerque, N.M. NO (Was) @ Alb (Fla), 7:05 p.m.
Tue., Jul. 24 Oklahoma City, Okla. Por (SD) @ Okl (Tex), 5:05 p.m.
Wed., Jul. 25 Knoxville, Tenn. Car (Fla) @ Ten (Ari), 7:15 p.m.
Thu., Jul. 26 Durham, N.C. Nor (NYN) @ Dur (TB), 7:00 p.m.
Fri., Jul. 27 –
Sun. Jul. 29
Cooperstown, N.Y. HOF induction
Mon., Jul. 30 Fort Wayne, Ind. Bel (Min) @ FtW (SD), 7:00 p.m.
Tue., Jul. 31 Springfield, Mo. Tul (Col) @ Spr (StL), 7:15 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 1 Albuquerque, N.M. SLC (Ana) @ Alb (Fla), 7:05 p.m.

This is an extremely aggressive schedule, so I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do. I will try to check in every now and then, and I’ll upload photos to Flickr when I return. Anyway, take a look and let me know if I’m coming to a town near you. We’ll catch a game or two. :-)

Also, we have shirts:

World Tour 2007 White T-Shirt @ Ducksnorts Online Store /

77 Responses »

  1. How about control? Not allowing runners via the walk? First I’ll list BB/9, followed by WHIP:

    Blyleven: 0, 3, 8; Carlton: 0, 0, 0; Perry: 1, 4, 10; Kaat: 2, 7, 13; John: 1, 5, 12.

    Here we can see why John and Kaat enjoyed their longevity. It’s not that they were great pitchers, but by not allowing the free pass they were able to remain effective for a long time. Blyleven also had excellent control, but was far more dominant; he was much more like Carlton due to his ability to K the hitter and prevent balls in play. This brings us to WHIP.

    Blyleven: 1, 7, 11; Carlton: 0, 4, 5; Perry: 0, 6, 10; Kaat: 0, 1, 3; John: 0, 1, 5. Here again Blyleven differentiates himself from Kaat and John. Although they both had excellent control, they were eminently hittable, Bert was not. Carlton was dominant despite being somewhat wild; Blyleven was both dominant and dominant in the strike zone, and for a long time.
    Sustained greatness is a true mark of a HOF player.

    Wins are cited as a lack of dominance by Blyleven. Personally, I find wins to be a terrible way to judge a pitcher as the pitcher has no way of influencing the number of runs scored by his offense, nor do he have control over the bullpen support he receives (although this is not as much of an issue with the pitchers we’re looking at). Wins are a team stat, not an individual pitcher stat. Nonetheless, it has already been mentioned Blyleven’s WPct. is about 30 points higher than his team’s, and BP has him losing 23 games more than he should have based on run support. If anyone wants to hold him out of the HOF because he didn’t win enough or often enough, I think it’s a very poor argument, but I won’t try to dissuade you further on this point.

    Cy Young awards I put into the same category as Wins. They are a subjective award voted on by writers who often do not do a good job of identifying the best players, and in Blyleven’s case by writers whom he didn’t enjoy a cozy relationship with. Also, San Diego fans should be aware of media bias toward the big markets and against small markets. This plays a role in voting. Another factor fully acknowledged by voters is an unwillingness to vote for players on non-contending teams. I hope everyone is familiar with the, “How can the MVP/CY winner play for a losing team?” argument. In Blyleven’s best season, 1973, the Twins (small market) finished .500, and he finished 7th in the voting. Take a look at the voting and tell me who was clearly better as a pitcher than he was:

    He threw more innings than Palmer, struck out 100 more hitters, his ERA was comparable and his ERA+ was exactly the same. What’s the difference? In 1974, his second best season, Minnesota finished 82-80. He didn’t get a single vote, but in 281 IP he had a 2.66 ERA, lower than four of those who did and basically the same as John Hiller’s 2.64; he struck out 249, higher than all but Ryan of those who did receive votes, and 102 more than Hunter who won; his WHIP was 1.14, lower than four of those who received votes. In 1984, his third best season, he pitched for Cleveland who finished 75-87, and finished third behind two relief pitchers who, combined, pitched only 14 more innings than he did and, combined, won fewer games. There are other seasons like this as well. For those anti-longevity folks in the crowd, don’t you think the fact that Blyleven received and deserved CY consideration and recognition at 33, 34 and 38 years of age is testament to his greatness and not just to longevity?

    I hope this has adequately addressed all four numbered points above. And the fifth, he has the same numbers as Tommy John, should also be clearly refuted. Never the best pitcher in the league, highly debatable. Never the top 5, clearly incorrect.

  2. “The subjective analysis has to play some part in the HOF…He was never the best pitcher in the league, he was not even the top 5 over his career…a total of 2 All-Star appearances give you an indication of what people thought of him during his playing career. Was there a period of 3-5 years that he was considered one of the top 2 or 3 pitchers in the league? No. He had a very good, sustaining career, but he did not dominate the league the way a HOF pitcher should.”

    All Star appearances? This is far, far worse than Wins. So after the fans have selected the eight position players, a manager has to pick a pitching staff, and a representative from each team, after less than half a season’s work. Just how does this measure a player’s greatness? It doesn’t, pure and simple. For example, in 1974, one of Blyleven’s best years and no AS appearance, Steve Busby, Wilbur Wood, Ed Herrmann, Dave Chalk, and Cookie Rojas made the roster. They must have had a hell of a first half. In 1977, another great year with no AS game, Bill Campbell had a career year, Eckersley didn’t but made the team for some reason, Wayne Gross, Jim Kern, Dave La Roche, and Jim Slaton all also made the roster. Doesn’t this make it clear why AS games are pointless in evaluating the HOF caliber of a player? Making an AS appearance, in many cases, is not based on a player’s performance, but instead is based on roster construction and the need to have a player from each team. Furthermore, it is possible a player is simply having a hot streak at the right time. Using them to determine the quality of a player’s career is pointless.

    How about something a bit more geared toward performance, but still somewhat unique, if not subjective? These are not AS or CY, but they are still significant and perhaps overlooked by some. Blyleven threw 164 IP in 25 starts with 5 CG’s, 1 SO, an ERA+ of 117, and a WHIP of 1.16 as a 19 year old rookie for the first place Twins, and didn’t receive a single vote for ROY! At 20 he threw 278.3 in 38 starts with an ERA+ of 127. After his age 25 season he already had six seasons of over 275 IP and had an ERA+ of no lower than 117, including a 158 and a 142. That is an extraordinary start for any pitcher, but almost entirely unique for one who started at 19.

    Despite not pitching for many good teams, he does have post season experience. Being “clutch” in the post season is often cited by the stodgy (your word, CM, not mine :-) ) as a HOF quality. So how does he stack up? In 8 post season appearances he started 6 games and went 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA and 36 K’s in 47.3 IP. His WHIP was just 1.08. He was 1-1 in the 1987 WS with a 2.77 ERA and struck out 12 in 13 IP with a WHIP of 1.15, at 36 years of age! His teams won 4 of the 5 post season series he played in, including both WS. Seems like he had a positive impact when given the opportunity.

  3. “Basically, his overall numbers make him a borderline candidate, especially when put into context of a 25 year career…the subjective analysis is what keeps him out for me. He is Tommy John and Jim Kaat…he is the pitchers equivalent of Edgar Martinez or Harold Baines…”

    How are you placing them into context? Are you ignoring the peak entirely and only looking at the career counting stats? I honestly do not understand what you mean by this. How is he Tommy John and Jim Kaat? I think his record as I’ve laid it out show very clearly he is not.

    “It won’t be a travesty if he gets in (like it was for Maz), but he is borderline at best. You can give me all of the JAWS, ERA+, Anaconda stats you want…I have learned them, I am paying attention to them, and I am using them…I would be a fool not to…but just like any other new toy/tool that comes out, I have to take them with a grain of salt until there is proven staying power….As a good buddy of mine says “Mike, you can make the numbers say anything you want.””

    The only thing remotely SABRE I’ve used is ERA+; I hope you understand why it is used and how it is valid. I’ve shown good, old K’s and BB’s, hits allowed and ERA, just the basics, and they show Blyleven was a top pitcher for an extraordinarily long time. Are you a pure peak person? Does a player have to be absolutely the best, number 1, for a couple of years, three, five? Isn’t being top 5 for a decade good enough? I honestly don’t get it.

    Wins, CY and AS are the measure of a pitcher? Three things over which he has little or no control and which do not objectively measure his performance are more important than preventing base runners independent of his team’s defense, thereby preventing runs, and thereby giving his team the best chance to win? No way, that is simply not reasonable!

    “I’m finding CM’s argument reasonable … rather than asking “isn’t there room for 35 pitchers”, an alternative question is: is there room for 6 or more from a single era? (and given an era = ~10 years, we’ve had 10-11 era’s, so now the total question becomes “isn’t there room for 60-70 pitchers”?)”

    LynchMob, Blyleven is one of the top 60-70 pitchers using your numbers for era and qualifiers. Furthermore, his career covers two “eras” and I think I’ve shown him as a top 5 guy for at least 10 of those years. Doesn’t that qualify him? I think he suffered bad luck and bad timing for his career. Not only did he overlap a lot of great pitchers, but he played in small markets for noncompetitive teams. Not his fault in either case.

    What do you think about the upcoming HOF pitchers? I think it’s going to be a very similar case for any number of guys. We have three, and arguably four, of the top 10 to 15 pitchers of all time still active: Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, and Martinez. Then you have guys like Glavine, Smoltz, Schilling, Mussina, Kevin Brown, and the closers, Hoffman and Rivera. Several of those guys are arguably strong candidates, or borderline, or clearly out depending on how you limit the number of guys from an era. Tough call, isn’t it?

  4. 44: CM, to be clear, YOU’VE come up with a list of 8-10 pitchers you think were better than Blyleven. Who is this “we?”

    I’ve said he was clearly one of the 3-5 best pitchers in the game during his peak. My only reason for bringing up how good his peers were is to explain, beyond writer stupidity, why he didn’t get many Cy Young votes.

    53 (last paragraph): Excellent point. Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Martinez are all first-ballot. Smoltz was a great pitcher, still is, and he shouldn’t be kept out because he was #5 on the list of 1990-2006 pitchers.

  5. Pat, could you expand on your points a bit? Try to really explore the studio space this time. For my money, I need more on Bert Blyleven. ;-)

  6. Pat, you bring up some very solid arguements. Many are similar to ones I have read before, but put in a different light. I will chew on it for a bit. And for the record, I think longevity is huge and a HOF’er’s peak 3-5 seasons better be GREAT.

    Tom…Okay, let’s get rid of “We”…and put me…1970-1992 was Bert’s career…during that time (Let’s throw out the last 3 years to help him) we saw Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Bruce Sutter, Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer, Fergie Jenkins, Bob Gibson, Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Catfish Hunter…that is 10-guys, off the top of my head, that were better than Bert…the reality is, his luck as to when he pitched was not very good, which is astounding given that he pitched 22 seasons.

  7. Hunter and Sutter were not as good as Blyleven. Jenkins and Perry are too close to call (they’re in the Niekro/Sutton category). I’ll accept Seaver, Carlton, Ryan, Palmer, Gibson, and Clemens.

  8. Pat, you’ve convinced me, I’ll vote for him next time they ask me :>)

  9. 56: Again, you’re using Blyleven’s longevity against him. Just compare him to Gibson. Their careers overlapped for 6 seasons, 1970-75.

    1970 was Blyleven’s rookie year, and he was still really good, but you’re not going to see many rookies be better than one of the 5 best pitchers of all time.

    1971: Blyleven has the better ERA+ and he threw more innings. In short he was the better pitcher.

    1972: Gibson.

    1973: Blyleven has his best season by ERA+, beating Gibson and throwing 130! more innings.

    1974 and 1975: Blyleven clearly better, as Gibson was winding down.

    In the years they were both playing major league baseball, Blyleven was better than Gibson more often that not.

    It works the other way for Clemens. He broke into the majors as Blyleven’s career was ending. Bly was still a better pitcher than him in 84, 85, and 89. It’s like you’re using what Gibson WAS and what Clemens WOULD BE to say that Blyleven wasn’t great when he played.

    GY’s covered the pitchers who weren’t as good. For 20 of his 22 years, Blyleven was one of the 5 best pitchers in the majors. He might have only been the absolute best pitcher in 2 or 3 of those years, but he was always right there. 20 years is almost 1/5 of what we’d call modern baseball.

  10. re: Sutter

    No offense, CM, but if you think Sutter was better than Blyleven or Gossage or should be in the Hall of Fame, then that’s much worse than thinking Blyleven should be in the Hall of Fame.

  11. re: agreeing with Tom

    1969-93 is a baseball era.

    Many careers last 20 years or so.

    This era included one two divisions in each league and one playoff system. It also had a fairly constant style of play and many artificial turf stadiums.

    A player should spend most of his career in an era to be a part of that era. Clemens (although he was fantastic at the beginning of this era) and Gibson are not part of this era.

  12. Pat – nice job, thanks!

    A general thought … just as there are orthogonal parameters of peak-value vs longetivity, so there are absolute greatness vs relative greatness … by that I mean … should the HOF be reserved for only absolute greats? Or should the “Top 3-5 of each era” get in, no matter their absolute greatness?

    I think Blyleven qualifies for HOF along all 4 vectors … but I think some of them are what I’d call “borderline” … perhaps that’s where that sentiment is coming from …

    To me, calling someone “borderline” is not a negative … because I think I have high standards … there’s got to be a border somewhere … and someone / anyone above that border should get in … and Blyleven seems to be above the border, to me …

  13. 63: If you had a crappy era, then no, the best of that era shouldn’t get in just because they were better than their contemporaries. The 1970s and 80s were not a crappy era. Blyleven didn’t pile up 5 great seasons when most major leaguers were in the armed forces.

  14. Clayton, next time I get reallly bored at work, I’ll try to get into a bit more detail for you. :-)

  15. “Pat, you bring up some very solid arguements. Many are similar to ones I have read before, but put in a different light. I will chew on it for a bit. And for the record, I think longevity is huge and a HOF’er’s peak 3-5 seasons better be GREAT.”

    Cool, Mike! I appreciate you explaining your thinking on peak and longevity. It helps me understand your perspective better. I’m glad I brought some insight to you through the discussion, too.

  16. GY: Seaver without doubt. Gibson and Clemens without doubt as well, but as TW pointed out they overlapped but are not necessarily of the same era.

    Ryan, no way, not even close. Ryan is a one trick pony; it was a very good pony, but still only one. Take a look at his ERA versus the league and you’ll see he was not as much better as Bly. ERA+ also reveals he was not as much better. He led the league in BB allowed 8 times, was in the Top 5 15 times, and in the Top 10, 24 times! In other words, despite being the K King and being the most unhittable pitcher ever, he still allowed a ton of base runners, and by extension more runs than a guy like Bly.

    Carlton I think you could make an argument for him being too close to call like Perry and Jenkins. In fact, I think much of what I posted yesterday shows how close they are. Carlton’s peak three are undoubtedly higher, but Bly’s career value exteneded longer and later in some ways. I don’t have any heartburn giving the nod to Carlton, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.

    I would not give Palmer the edge at all. It’s easy to look at 8 20 win seasons in 9 years and think he’s the better pitcher, but Baltimore was a dynasty at the time. Now I know part of the reason they were was Palmer, but my point is he benefitted from great defense and great offense in those years.

    Take a look at their careers from 19 to 25. Palmer had one great season with over 200 IP and one with 181 IP, and nothing else. Bly had two great seasons with at least 281 IP and four very good seasons with at least 275 2/3 IP, plus one good season with 164 IP. Bly is much better over the first 7 years of their careers.

    Now look just at their age 24 and 25 seasons when Palmer was “finally” hitting his stride. ;-) Palmer puts together the first two of his big 20 win seasons while throwing 305 and 282 IP, ERA+ 134 and 125, K’s 199 and 184, BB 100 and 106. He started 37 and 36 games, threw 20 and 18 CG’s and 3 SHO in each season.

    Bly won just 15 and 13 (and had a losing season at 25 going 13-16), but he threw 275 2/3 and 297 2/3 (only 12 fewer IP), ERA+ 129 and 125 (essentially the same), K’s 233 and 219, BB’s 84 and 81 (big edge to Bly). He started 35 and 36 (essentially the same), threw 20 and 18 CG’s, 3 and 6 SHO’s (slight edge for SHO’s?).

    So what is the difference in those two years? Bly played for crappy teams who didn’t give him the support needed to get the wins and Palmer played for a great team who did. But Bly was the better pitcher for the first seven years of their careers, by far.

    You can do the same thing at the end of Palmer’s career. From ages 33 to 38 Bly is far better. Palmer was essentially done after that 9 year run. He was an effective pitcher in over 200 IP exactly once during the six years from 33 to 38 while Bly had three of his 130+ ERA+ seasons and was effective in two of the other three.

    That’s 13 of Palmer’s 19 year career where Bly is better (Palmer didn’t pitch in the majors at 22 so we’re actually looking at a 20 year period). What about the other seven years from 26 to 32? Palmer was at his peak, as one would expect at that age, and Bly ran into injury troubles from 29 to 32 (I’m going by IP and performance there, I haven’t looked it up to see if it’s documented, but it seems pretty clear). He still had one great season and two other effective ones (going by ERA+ on this), plus two other effective seasons albeit with only about 150 IP in each.

    So does Palmer’s staying healthy and dominant during the normal peak/prime years outweigh Bly’s big edge during the other 13 years? I don’t think so, especially when you look at how much Palmer benefitted from better offense and defense. Bly was clearly the more dominant pitcher in terms of K’s and BB’s; in other words, he allowed far fewer base runners and balls in play, but it doesn’t translate into a huge difference in ERA dominance and W’s versus Palmer. The reason being Palmer benefitted from a great D and a great O.

    Palmer only had one season in the Top 10 in BB/9, a 4th place in 1975, and he never had a Top 10 in K/9. In raw K’s he had just 3 top 5 finishes and 4 other Top 10′s. Bly had 13 Top 5 alone, including one season leading the league. The only way this adds up to me is Palmer had great D behind him which lent him the appearance of dominance while Bly really was dominant.

    Now maybe it’s not as extreme as it appears, and Palmer was undoubtedly a great pitcher and a HOF, but I don’t think he was better than Bly just because he had the good fortune to pitch for the Orioles while Bly toiled for the Twins and Indians by and large.

  17. LM: I lean toward absolute greatness, but I think I consider relative greatness to an extent. When push comes to shove though, it’s absolute which wins out. For example, Rice, Dawson and Murphy. Relative greatness says they’re in, but absolute says they’re out, and I say they’re out.

    I also think we should watch out for guys like Blyleven (and Raines) who are absolute greats, but suffer in comparison to peers due to circumstances such as a large number of greats at one time and/or playing for teams and in markets which mask their greatness.

  18. 67: Pat, you’re right about Ryan. I can’t be objective about him because he’s the most dominant pitcher I’ve ever seen, but the ERA+ numbers just aren’t that impressive. Main things working for him are the strikeouts, the no-hitters, and the extreme longevity of his career.

    I’ll still take Palmer, but it’s close. Blyleven lasted longer, but each of Palmer’s top 10 ERA+ is better than same for Blyleven. I could see arguments for either depending on how much weight one puts on peak vs career. Carlton is tricky because he has five completely lights-out seasons and a whole boatload of Chuck Finley type years. Off the top of my head, I’d put Carlton around where Perry is, with both of them ahead of Jenkins. But I have to admit, I haven’t given the question as detailed consideration as you have.

    Here, for grins, are the top 10 ERA+ seasons (min 162 IP) for Palmer, Blyleven, Ryan, and Carlton:

    169 158 142 182
    156 151 141 164
    152 142 138 162
    149 140 128 151
    143 135 124 150
    134 129 119 126
    130 127 115 119
    130 125 114 117
    125 123 114 115
    122 118 110 111

    I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in Ryan’s showing. His career is a great lesson in why it’s important to examine statistics — the right statistics — in making these evaluations. If I’m going just by my eyes and gut, I say he’s top 20 all time, but the evidence doesn’t support that. Not even close.

  19. Geoff, don’t feel too bad about Ryan. In one sense he is the most dominant pitcher ever. He literally is The Most Unhittable Pitcher ever. Career H/9 he is #1, and by a pretty good margin. 6.56 to Koufax’s 6.79, but he didn’t do a good job at preventing runners otherwise which somewhat cancelled out his unhittableness.

    ERA+ is cool and a good tool, but it doesn’t take defense into account, and if you’re going to be fair in comparing Palmer and Bly, you have to do that.

    For example, I looked further at the mid portion of their career where Palmer really blows him away, and I found something very interesting for the age 27 season (I’m not trying to make too big of a case out of one season, but it is illustrative of where I’m coming from).

    Palmer went 22-9 in 37 starts with 19 CG’s and 6 SHO. He threw 296 1/3 IP alowing 225 H or 6.83 H/9, 113 BB or 3.43 BB/9, struck out 158 or 3.4 K/9. His WHIP was 1.14 and his ERA+ was 156.

    Blyleven went 14-10 in 34 starts with 11 CG’s and 4 SHO. He threw 243 2/3 IP allowing 217 H or 8 H/9, 66 BB or 2.44 BB/9, struck out 182 or 6.72 K/9. His WHIP was 1.16 and his ERA+ was 123.

    So how did they differ in order to account for that 33 point spread in ERA+ since Bly walked a batter less and struck out a little more than 3 batters per 9 innings?

    Bly gave up 8 hits per 9 innings and Palmer a little less than 7, but that doesn’t mean Palmer was more unhittable than Bly, as the K record clearly shows. The difference lies in the defense behind them. When you calculate BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), which I did by subtracting HR from H and dividing by Batters Faced minus BB and HBP, you’ll see Palmer’s was .195 and Blyleven’s was .213.

    If we accept that a pitcher has no influence over whether a ball in play is a hit or an out, the difference between Palmer and Bly, in terms of ERA+, in this year is solely due to luck or better defense for Palmer or both.

    BP’s DERA stat supports that Palmer played in front of an above average defense throughout his career. I would still say Palmer was the better pitcher in this season, just slightly, for pitching more innings in more starts, but it’s not as big as the gap between ERA+ would show, and the peripheral stats also support this position I believe.

  20. Great discussion, everyone. Thanks to CM for starting it.

    Here are the top pitchers of all time according to The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, the top 10 plus the guys from 1969-93:

    1. Walter Johnson
    2. Lefty Grove
    3. Pete Alexander
    4. Cy Young
    5. Warren Spahn
    6. Tom Seaver (best of 1969-93)
    7. Christy Mathewson
    8. Bob Gibson
    9. Kid Nichols
    10. Sandy Koufax

    15. Steve Carlton
    17. Jim Palmer
    18. Gaylord Perry
    23. Ferguson Jenkins
    24. Nolan Ryan
    26. Phil Niekro
    31. Don Sutton
    32. Dennis Eckersley
    37. Goose Gossage
    39. Bert Blyleven

  21. I thinnk Bill James has a serious woody for Koufax. Granted he has an extraordinary peak, albeit a short one, but he has no career to go with it. I just can’t see him as a top 10 guy with no longevity whatsoever. To continue with the Bly focus, he has twice the career vallue by BP’s WARP3 than Koufax. Even if you shorten peak to three years, Koufax was worth only 3 more WARP3 than Bert. How does the higher peak over just a three year span offset all of that career value?

    It’s not just Blyleven who you can do this with either. Koufax’s 3 year peak is 24th all time, and of 23 guys in front of him the only two modern guys who are close in terms of short careers are worth 20 more WARP3, Dazzy Vance and Juan Marichal. Even if you throw out the two 19th century guys and the one dead ball pitcher, he’s still 21st. So put him in the top 20 if you want to give him a good time line adjustment and some bump for his WS pitching, but unless you have an enormous Man Crush on him, he’s just not a top 10 pitcher, even before you start taking Clemens, Maddux, and Randy Johnson into the discussion.

  22. Geoff, I get the feeling you’ll like the Knoxville area (even though they’re now a Cubs affiliate, and not a Diamondbacks affiliate. :) )

    I live about three hours from Knoxville, and I wrote a review of this park as part of my ongoing ballpark series. The sight lines are great in that park, and it’s a good place to see a game.

    I look forward to seeing your thoughts. :)

  23. Time to start stiring this pot a bit …

    I’m going to be flying into NYC (JFK) on Friday morning, July 27th … I’ve got all day to “play” … then I pick up my best friend on Saturday morning (also JFK) … we may do something “touristy” in NYC, but the basic plan is to drive up to Cooperstown and try to get into the museum before it closes at 9pm … we’re staying at the dorm at Hartwick in Oneonta … we’ve got blow out of Cooperstown either Sunday night or REAL early on Monday morning for my friend to make his flight from JFK back to SD … but then I’m planning to again spend a day at “play” in NYC … perhaps take in a Broadway play, perhaps just walk around Ground Zero or take the Staten Island Ferry or … maybe even take 2 days … when I’m done with NYC, I’m going to drive down to Washington, DC, perhaps stop in Philly along the way, perhaps detour from Philly out to the Jersey shore … but then I’ll be spending a couple of days visiting some cousins in DC, and then some more family in the Orlando area of Florida, before returning home to Oregon on Aug 9th … so that’s my mini-world-tour …

    What’s relevant here is if any of you DS’ers might be interested in any kind of meet-up in NYC either the Friday before or the Monday after? I’m pretty flexible still … the one mega-outragous-idea I have is to do take a “food tour” … … and I’m looking for other ideas :-)

  24. Did anyone consider getting a HOF membership, which supposedly lets you get closer to where the ceremony is going to be?

  25. 75 … Ya, I consider’d it … it seems like it’s $500 before you get “Exclusive Hall of Fame Weekend privileges” …

    I’m resigned to being there primarily so I can currently say that I’m going and in the future say that I went … me and 50,000 of Cal’s best friends from Baltimore … ’cause it’s gonna be a zoo.

    I’m going to be driving from NYC up to Oneonta/Cooperstown on Saturday … do you have a gut feel for best drive route? I’m considering 3 routes …

    1. I-87 to Albany then I-88 back down to Oneonta

    2. I-87 to Kingston then cut over thru Catskill Park to Oneonta

    3. I-87 to Monroe, then to Liberty/Roscoe and weave up to Oneonta

    I’m not really interested in views/scenary … just getting to Cooperstown as fast as possible … less than 4 hours? And I’m guessing that if I’m starting at JFK, then it might be fastest to cut over to New Jersey before heading north?