He believed the B-47 Stratojet was the most elegant machine he'd ever seen and insisted it was the crown jewel of the jet age. His fearless acrobatics trained the large jet to toss a nuclear bomb, and he logged more hours flying that swept-wing wonder than any other Boeing test pilot.
The All-Star game is the fans' game. They vote for who will take the field, and it's not always the players with the best stats. Yes, this can be frustrating at times, but democracy is a beautiful thing.
No team in sports talks more about their history than the New York Yankees and that is why the decision to honor Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill with plaques in Yankee Stadium is so puzzling. Honoring Martinez and O'Neill is an affront to Yankee history for two reasons.
Baseball is a game where teams are currently trying to innovate to gain a slight advantage over other teams. The Yankees failure to do this has become almost their franchise identity, but missing another opportunity this year is nonetheless unfortunate.
I was 10 years old as I stood in front of Mantle. I sheepishly walked up to him, did not say a word, and just handed him the ball. Now, as pitchers and catchers get ready to report to spring training, I ponder.
Beltran's post-season credentials are a product of his strong play, but also of the era in which he played. When baseball moved to the expanded playoff system following the 1993 season, it pro-actively sought to change how its past is viewed.
Kids are supposed to be learning to estimate from the start of elementary school so they can stop and say this cannot possibly be the answer, but estimation requires qualities that appear to be neglected in the test prep math curriculum.
The Yankees are in sufficiently bad shape that even a great year by Rivera will not bring them back to the World Series. Moreover, Rivera is not the only aging Yankee seeking to recover from an injury.
Keeping people out of the Hall of Fame because of suspected or real connections to steroids may or may not be wise, but keeping people out because the voting rules have not changed to fully recognize expansion is not.