Tag Archives: spring training

A STORY FROM FEB 15 IN BASEBALL HISTORY – BASEBALL PROSPECTUS PICKS NL DIVISION WINNERS FOR 2018

SPRING TRAINING 2018 IS UNDERWAY IN FLORIDA AND ARIZONA. THE NL DIVISION WINNER PREDICTIONS ARE COMING OUT TOO. Among the most eagerly awaited are the predictions from Baseball Prospectus (BP). Check out their in-depth analysis of every team and player in baseball. Here’s who BP predicts will win the National League divisions in 2018.

NL PREDICTIONS FOR 2018
EASTWashington Nationals
CENTRALChicago Cubs
WEST – Los Angeles Dodgers

How accurate was BP last year? As it turned, pretty accurate. Below are the teams Baseball Prospectus picked to win the National League Divisions in 2017 and who actually won (See Feb 13, 2018 story for AL 2017 predictions):

NL PREDICTIONS FOR 2017 
EASTWashington Nationals (CORRECT)
CENTRAL Chicago Cubs (CORRECT)
WEST Los Angeles Dodgers (CORRECT)

It’a quite remarkable that Baseball Prospectus batted 1000 in correctly predicting all six MLB division winners in 2017.

Contributing Sources:
Baseball Prospectus, February 3, 2018
Baseball Reference

A STORY FROM FEB 13 IN BASEBALL HISTORY – BASEBALL PROSPECTUS PREDICTS 2018 AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION WINNERS

SPRING TRAINING 2018 IS GETTING UNDERWAY IN FLORIDA AND ARIZONA. THE PREDICTIONS ARE COMING OUT TOO. Here’s who Baseball Prospectus (BP) thinks will win the AL Divisions in 2018.

AL PREDICTIONS FOR 2018
EAST – New York Yankees
CENTRALCleveland Indians
WEST – Houston Astros

How accurate was BP last year? As it turned, pretty accurate. Below are the teams Baseball Prospectus picked to win the American League Divisions in 2017 and who actually won:

AMERICAN LEAGUE PREDICTIONS FOR 2017 
EASTBoston Red Sox (CORRECT)
CENTRAL Cleveland Indians (CORRECT)
WEST Houston Astros (CORRECT)

BP batted 1000 predicting AL Division winners in 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at how well BP did with the National League.

Contributing Sources:
Baseball Prospectus, February 3, 2018
https://www.baseball-reference.com/

 

March 15th in baseball history-FRENCH LICK?

1945 | FRENCH LICK, INDIANA • More spring training camps opened on this date to prepare for the 1945 season, but not in the hot-spots you’d expect. The country was still in the midst of World War II. Travel restrictions forced teams to train close to home. Indiana turned out to be a popular place.

Here where spring training was for a number of teams:
The New York Yankees – Atlantic City, New Jersey
The Cleveland Indians – LaFayette, Indiana
The Chicago White Sox – Terre Haute, Indiana
The Boston Red Sox – Pleasantville, New Jersey
The Philadelphia Athletics – Frederick, Maryland
The Detroit Tigers in – Evansville, Indiana
The St. Louis Cardinals – Cairo, Illinois
The Chicago Cubs – French Lick, Indiana
The Pittsburgh Pirates – Muncie, Indiana

… Just to name a few.

Major League Baseball also drastically limited exhibition games at the urging of The United States Office of Defense Transportation. Teams could only play games with other teams if they were on a direct route to their home city. Side trips were not allowed. Some teams played very few exhibition games against other teams that spring.

Contributing sources:
Spring Training Notes, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1945
United Press, March 16, 1945
The Baseball Guru

 

March 5th in baseball history-YANK PITCHERS SWAP WIVES

1973 | FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDANew York Yankee pitchers Fritz Peterson and  Mike Kekich dropped a bombshell on spring training camp on this date in 1973. They announced to the world that they had swapped wives… and kids and a poodle and a terrier. “It wasn’t a wife swap,” they said, “It’s a life swap.”

America had lived through the turbulent, permissive 1960’s, but this was a shock on so many levels, not the least of which was that the swap was announced to the world.

Just like in baseball; you win some, you lose some and some get rained out. Peterson and Kekich had been close friends for years, and said there was nothing sordid about the “affair.” They and their wives began discussing the switch the previous summer and put it in effect in October, 1972.

Fritz Peterson was still living with Susanne Kekich and her two daughters, aged 4 and 2, at the time of the press conference, but Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson‘s relationship had already gone south. Their living arrangement with her two sons, aged 5 and 2, had been on-again/off-again. It also became apparent that the two left-handers had had a falling out over one affair working and the other not. Murray Chass wrote in the next day’s New York Times that, “…it was obvious they had bitter feelings toward each other.”

Fritz Peterson and the former Susanne Kekich eventually married and had four children of their own. The last that was heard they were still married and living outside Chicago. Peterson attended a Yankees charity event in Fort Lauderdale in January of 2013. The Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson affair was over before it started. Kekich eventually remarried and at last report was living in New Mexico.

Both achieved some success on the mound, but neither saw their careers flourish after the swap. Kekich finished his 12-year major league career with a 39-51 record. Peterson had career record of 133-131 over an 11-year career. He also did better on the domestic front.

Contributing sources:
The New York Times, March 6, 1973, pages 51-52, by Murray Chass
The New York Times, September 9, 2009, Fritz Peterson writes a book
Washington Times, March 7, 2005
The Palm Beach Post, January 26, 2013   
Jackson, MS Clarion Ledger
, by Rick Cleveland, August 29, 2000

Feb. 28th in baseball history-SPRING BUSINESS

2017 | FLORIDA & ARIZONA – Spring training 2017 is in full swing. At one time it was mostly a Florida experience. It began when the Chicago Cubs moved their training from New Orleans to Tampa in 1913.

The St. Louis Browns moved to St. Petersburg in 1914. According to the Tampa Bay Rays, more spring training games have been played in St. Petersburg than any other city.

Jump ahead to 2017…

Half the major league teams now train in Arizona, mostly in the Phoenix area. Phoenix suburbs such as Glendale and Peoria have gone all-out to lure teams to “The Valley of the Sun.”

After training in Florida for decades, the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers now call an elaborate state-of-the-art complex called Camelback Ranch home in the spring. It has fully equipped training, exercise, weight-room facilities for each team, in addition to 16 diamonds.

Contributing sources:
The Official Site of the City of St. Petersburg, Florida

Tampa Bay Rays