Rounders: A History of Baseball in America

Episode 20: The Tale of the Spitball

An episode of Rounders: A History of Baseball in America

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By Jeffrey A. Lambert
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Rounders: A History of Baseball in America looks at baseball's journey from a diversion played on the outskirts of small towns to a pastime continually shaping this country's cultural identity. This sport isn't just about a ball-and-stick. It's a snapshot of ourselves, our nation, and our world.
Rounders: A History of Baseball in America looks at baseball's journey from a diversion played on the outskirts of small towns to a pastime continually shaping this country's cultural identity. This sport isn't just about a ball-and-stick. It's a snapshot of ourselves, our nation, and our world.
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Episode 24: Pastgame Interviews w/ the Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League
I sit down with three team owners from the Mid Atlantic Vintage Baseball League to discuss vintage baseball East Coast style! Follow and Join the Mid Atlantic Base Ball League League Website League Facebook Page Follow Rick and the Brandywine Base Ball Club Follow Jeff and the Diamond State Base Ball Club Follow Tom and the Mutual Base Ball Club of New York Follow Rounders on Social Media Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
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Episode 23: Natural Disasters in Baseball History
As Hurricane Dorian made its way across Florida, I saw how life can just...stop in the face of a natural disaster. So when storms and unexpected disasters struck, how has baseball responded?  We’ll look at some examples throughout history on today’s episode of Rounders: A History of Baseball in America. Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
42:43
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Episode 22: Pastgame Interviews w/ the Central Valley Vintage Base Ball Association.
I sit down with some of the organizers of the Central Valley Vintage Base Ball Association from California to discuss their work in establishing and popularizing baseball according to 1864 rules. Follow the CVVB: Website: CVVBB.org Facebook: @CVVBB64 Instagram: @centralvalleyvintagebaseball Twitter: @CVVBB64 Email: CentralValleyVintageBaseBall@gmail.com Sacramento BBC Facebook: @sacramentovbbc Aetna BBC Facebook: @AetnaBBCD Woodland BBC Facebook: @AthleticofWoodland Oleta Davisville Facebook: @OletaVBBDavisCA
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Episode 21: Moe Berg: The Spy Who Gloved Me
A Linguist. An attorney. A professional baseball player. A war hero. The story of Moe Berg, the MLB catcher who also served as a spy in World War II. Today, on Rounders: A History of Baseball in America.   Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter “The Catcher was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg” by Nicholas Dawidoff Amazon Link "The Catcher Was a Spy" on Amazon Prime Video link
46:04
July 23, 2019
Episode 20: The Tale of the Spitball
Mud. Sunscreen. Saliva. Vaseline. One of baseball’s oldest junk pitches has survived rule changes, player accusations, and umpire searches to continue as a pitcher’s secret weapon. Where did this doctored ball originate, who threw it best, and what is it’s future in today’s MLB? The Tale of the Spitball. Today, on Rounders: A History of Baseball in America. Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter "Whatever Happened to the Spitball?" Article from Grantland
48:46
July 15, 2019
Episode 19: Baseball Terms from Yesteryear
Baseball, more than any other sport, has a rich history of slang and terminology that continues even to this day. Who needs Tolkien when you have linguists like Casey Stengel and Dennis Eckersley? So let’s learn about some familiar and forgotten terms throughout baseball history!  Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter Dickson Dictionary Link on Amazon 
32:16
July 7, 2019
Episode 18: Evolution of the Baseball
Baseballs serve as links between people - that’s never changed. But the physical baseball has. In size, weight, and material. So how is a baseball from 1899 different from a baseball in 2019? Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
30:04
April 12, 2019
Episode 17: Opening Days to Remember
Today is a special day everyone. It’s opening day 2019! Baseball is officially back, and our 162 game journey to the postseason will soon be underway. Fans have celebrated this moment in major league baseball for 143 years. Over that time, there have been memorable contests and storylines that emerged on opening days. Let’s look at some of them today on Rounders: A History of Baseball in America. Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
25:58
March 28, 2019
Episode 16: The Queen of Baseball: Lizzie Murphy
On today’s episode we look at a player who boasted a 17-year career in professional baseball, participated in multiple all-star team appearances, and was the first person to play on both American and National league teams. She’s also, most importantly, the first woman to play professionally. The Queen of Baseball. Today on Rounders: A History of Baseball in America. Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
22:43
March 15, 2019
Episode 15: Fans Behaving Badly
Learn about how fans have disrupted major league baseball games in...unique ways throughout the years on this episode of Rounders: A History of Baseball in America.  Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
38:26
February 11, 2019
Episode 14: Pastgame Interviews with the SoCal Vintage Baseball League
Chris, Travis and Wes from the SoCal Vintage Baseball League stop by to talk game differences between then & now, the roots of baseball in Southern California, and how you can get involved in supporting their league and vintage baseball across the United States! How to Follow: SoCal Vintage Baseball League Web: https://www.scvbb.com/ Instagram: @socalvintagebaseball Facebook: @SoCalVBB Twitter: @SoCalVintageBB Riverside Smudge Pots Instagram: @riversidesmudgepots Facebook: @riversidesmudgepots Blue Stockings  Instagram: @palmdaleblues Facebook: @palmdaleblues Twitter: @palmdaleblues Crestline Highlanders Instagram: @crestlinehighlanders Facebook: @crestlinehighlanders Twitter: @CrestlineVBBC Support the podcast by donating at anchor.fm/rounders
45:09
January 28, 2019
Episode 13: El Maestro: The Story of Martin Dihigo
Imagine I could put you in a time machine, transport you to 1927, and give you a ticket to watch one of the greatest baseball players ever: This athlete could play any position, thanks to a cannon arm and unnatural swiftness His combination of speed and control made him one of the most feared pitchers of his day. His bat was just as dreaded, most seasons he finished with a batting average over .300. His knowledge of the game was unrivaled, and he could manage a team with superior ability.  This player was eventually enshrined in not one, but five halls of fame around the world.  He was compared to Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente, and Babe Ruth.  You’d take that ticket in a second, right? Week if you grew up in the United States during thes time, you most likely never heard his name, because he never played a single game in Major League Baseball. But if you followed baseball outside of the United States during this time, you’d know exactly who this is. El Maestro. El Inmortal.  The Story of Martin Dihigo. Today on Rounders: A History of baseball in America’s. 
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Episode 12: Seattle's Home Run Battle
It's a warm Wisconsin summer evening in June, 1996. You and your family are sitting behind the plate to see your beloved single-A club the Timbler Rattlers play an exhibition game against their MLB affiliate, the Seattle Mariners. As you eagerly wait for the umpire to yell "play ball!" you notice storm clouds gathering in the distance. In the blink of an eye, the rain begins, and it doesn't let up. Before long the umpires decide to cancel the game. Disappointed, you begin to grab your belongings and head to the exit. But wait! The announcer declares a special 3 on 3 home run derby between the two squads. Out of the dugout comes Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. ready to compete in the slugging match. For your hometown Rattlers? The starting outfielder, their hitting coach, and an upstart rookie first baseman from the Dominican Republic. As the dust settles, one player dominates the event. And it's not A-Rod or Griffey. That award went to someone else. Seattle’s Home Run Battle . Today on Rounders: A History of Baseball in America.  Support the podcast! Go to anchor.fm/rounders and click the "Support this Podcast" button. Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
22:16
January 6, 2019
Episode 11: The Veeck Effect
What do cornflakes, nylon stockings, exploding scoreboards, baseball jerseys, and disco all have in common? Bill Veeck used them all to get fans into ballparks. And he changed baseball thanks to his visionary marketing and promotional strategies. But he wasn't just a showman. Bill's advocacy of African Americans in the MLB, along with his support for player rights, guarantees his status as one of the great baseball visionaries. Chapter 1: In His Father's Image (1:42) Chapter 2: Promoter Extraordinaire (5:53) Chapter 3: The Abe Lincoln of Baseball (20:02) Chapter 4: Baseball's Visionary (32:16) Support the show financially by going to anchor.fm/rounders. Follow the show on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @RoundersPodcast
38:26
December 14, 2018
Episode 10: Magicians, Marlins & Sun Sox
Florida has become a baseball Mecca, from it’s local amateur leagues all the way to the booming stadiums of their major league teams. They’ve become synonymous with one another, and baseball would be a very different sport without the influence of the Sunshine state. remk9b8t
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Episode 09: Pastgame Interviews w/ Sam Gazdziak
In a new segment entitled “Pastgame Interviews” I sit down with other members of the baseball community to discuss their contributions to the sport. On this episode I sat down with Sam Gazdziak, (@RIP_MLB) to discuss his work in chronicling the lives of deceased baseball figures. We had a great conversation about baseball history and some […]
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Episode 08: Dressed to the Nines
Uniforms, from their purpose to their design, have changed dramatically since baseball’s early days in the mid 1800’s. No more bow ties, collared shirts, or wool pants. But even with these changes, baseball uniforms are an always intriguing mix of design and functionality, a continual give and take of form and function.
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Episode 07: A Matter of Faith
Did you know all 30 Major League Baseball games host Sunday chapel services for players? Did you know many teams keep a chaplain on payroll to travel with the team, to look after the spiritual well-being of its players? Did you know, that littered throughout baseball history, we find examples of athletes, at great expense to their careers, put faith before fastballs? Find out more on today's episode of Rounders: A History of Baseball in America.
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Episode 06: Uncle Sam Wants You…to Play Baseball!
Last week’s episode highlighted baseball’s importance to morale for American troops, from the jungles of the South Pacific to the Nazi stadium in Nuremberg, where we saw an integrated world series take place far from American baseball parks.  Over 500 major league baseball players were drafted or volunteered to join the military. Because of this […]
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Episode 05: Home Runs Over Hitler
The year is 1945. Germany has surrendered. Thousands of Allied troops occupy Western Europe. A stadium in the heart of Nazi Germany,  where hundreds of rallies were once held, is filled to the brim again with 50,000 people. This time, no swatzikas or bronze eagles adorned the walls. Instead, finely crushed red brick formed an […]
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Episode 04: Four Strikes, You’re Out!
Baseball is a game of rules. 169 pages of rules to be exact. Three strikes, you’re out. Four balls? Take your base! The ball bounced in the outfield and went into the stands? Ground rule double. Arguing with the umpire about balls and strikes? Ejected.  Baseball’s long history means rules have been around for a […]
20:05
August 28, 2018
Episode 03: The Green Monster
Attending Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, has an almost religious feel for any baseball fan. These walls watched Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez fill it’s stands with loyal fans night after night. These base paths were home to eight World Series […]
31:19
August 20, 2018
Episode 02: Pitch Like a Girl
It’s the second inning and you’ve just been called from the bullpen as a reliever. The starting pitcher just gave up a double and a single to start the game, and your manager needs you to get out of the inning. As you take the mound you look at the upcoming batters for your opponent, the New York Yankees. Next up? The legendary Babe Ruth. If you somehow get around him, the great Lou Gehrig is on deck. An impossible situation for any reliever.  What to do? Pitch like a girl. The story of Jackie Mitchell, on today’s episode of Rounders: A History of America’s game. Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
26:19
August 13, 2018
Episode 01: Baseball’s Origins
The saying “as American as baseball and apple pie” illustrates how connected baseball is with the idea of being an “American.”  But how did baseball become the national pastime? Was it an American invention or an import from our “melting pot” nation of immigrants? And if baseball is indeed an established game from another country, what are it’s true roots? We’ll look at baseball’s origins on today’s episode of Rounders: A History of America’s game. Support the podcast financially by visiting anchor.fm/rounders Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter
21:47
August 5, 2018
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