Cedric Mullins left no doubt who is the most deserving all-star candidate to represent Birdland last weekend in Charm City. Mullins blasted four home runs in the first two games of a Father’s Day weekend series in Camden Yards against the Toronto Blue Jays.
While helping the Baltimore Orioles end an eight-game losing streak with a 7-1 win Friday night, Mullins had his third multi-home run game of the season and ended up having to tip his cap by the end of Friday night as the fans began chanting “M-V-P” for the effort.
The Birds centerfielder tied the 25-year old franchise record for most multi-home runs by a leadoff batter with Brady Anderson who set the standard in 1996 with three. After the series opener, Mullins was leading the American League in hits and batting average despite not having a murderous row protecting him in the lineup.
“He’s playing like an All-Star,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said . “He just walks around differently. He’s playing with a ton of confidence. He’s gotten better in every single way. His swing is so short right now … I’m really impressed with how far he’s come in two years. It’s amazing, the difference.”
On Saturday, Mullins would separate himself from Anderson in the O’s record books with two more home runs as Orioles Park became the launching pad for both teams once the heat of summer returned to Eutaw Street.
Mlbbro.com’s Mark Gray talks with Jason Schwartz (Heavy J Studios) whose quest to make a change in the world led him to birth the Art Card movement, which is now a driving force in the campaign to get Negro League icon, Josh Gibson, his due.
Negro League Baseball records have been added to the Baseball-Reference website, meaning players such as Josh Gibson can take his statistical place amongst his white legendary counterparts.
In a major boost to the legacy of Negro League Baseball, records of several leagues have been officially added to the history of the game’s statistics, vindicating the credibility of many great players who were denied the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues against white legends of the game.
According to the BaseballReference.com website, the statistical authority on the game’s records has expanded its coverage of the Negro Leagues Black major league players from 1920-1948.
Those statistics are now officially listed with the National League and American League as major league records. That now means the records of Josh Gibson and Satchel Page can be legitimately compared to their white counterparts such as Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson.
The historic announcement admits that the research is ongoing and that 28 years of statistics that have been incorporated into the record banks are “incomplete”
However, it does bring credibility to those who are looking to have Gibson’s name added to either the National or American League Most Valuable Player Award.
“The Negro Leagues are not less than the National and American Leagues,” reads the statement on the Baseball-Reference website. “They are different, and we recognize that our work must acknowledge those differences.”
This era and the Negro League teams they encompass don’t include the barnstorming teams that were ambassadors during their travels to play against Caribbean counterparts.
They also don’t include other independent teams many historians consider to be as good as the teams that have been included as major league Negro teams on their website now. The complete register of baseball history contains a significant record of Independent and non-major Negro Leagues including a page for the 1917 Chicago American Giants.
The research is ongoing and there has been no timetable for when it will be complete. Record-keeping was fractured because of what Baseball Reference acknowledges was systemic racism and the lack of media accounts and record keeping.
Jason Schwartz of Heavy J Studios is revolutionizing the world of baseball card collecting through clip art. Kids are learning about the legacy of Josh Gibson and the history of baseball while making their trading cards and embarking on a new hobby in creating their own collection and competing in a virtual tournament in cyberspace.
Mark Gray has the story which chronicles how this new hobby may land Gibson’s name on an MLB MVP Award.
Joe Ross is the forgotten member of the Washington Nationals starting rotation.
Ross hasn’t been overwhelmingly dominant this season, but even during bad outings, he’s pitched well enough to keep them in games and that kind of heart and dedication to the team can’t be quantified in this new world of analytics.
On Sunday, Ross was able to take advantage of an offensive barrage by Nationals standards early to win the matinee’ 5-0 in the District and capture a split of their four-game set against the National League West, division-leading San Francisco Giants.
D.C.’s all but forgotten MLbbro put the Bay Area bats on ice by shutting out the Giants on five hits while striking out nine before Davey Martinez pulled him going into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Ross also became the first pitcher to throw more than seven innings against the Giants this season. For his career, Ross is now 13-0 in 14 starts when he pitches at least seven innings.
“I felt pretty good commanding the ball,” Ross said. “I’m just glad I gave the bullpen a little more rest today.”
Ross was just what the doctor ordered for the Nats who split a seven inning doubleheader and put a strain on its bullpen Saturday. His 3-6 mark doesn’t adequately describe his season to this point. Ross entered with a 4.12 ERA. However, after Sunday’s performance, he has struck out 70 batters in 70.1 IP and has a WHIP of 1.25.
Washington was staked to a 5-0 lead with help from early fireworks which allowed Ross to attack the Giants aggressively throughout the afternoon.
Fellow MLBbro Josh Harrison helped Ross out with a lethal 4-for-4 day. Ross also helped himself at the plate with three sacrifice bunts.
Ross grew up in Berkeley, CA and played his high school baseball at Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland. His friends, family, and homies had to wake up early to enjoy the locally televised performance that started around 10am PT.
Those who woke up early to make the waffles and expresso will remember Sunday’s brunch with morning Joe Ross as a good spot.