Baseball

1:33am

Wed September 3, 2014
Sweetness And Light

You'll Never Walk-Off Alone

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:22 am

Yasmani Grandal is swarmed by teammates after hitting a walk-off single to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. But commentator Frank Deford wonders why "walk-off" has become such a ubiquitous term.
Gregory Bull AP

Along with the U.S. Open in tennis, early September means baseball's pennant race is in full swing ... and no sports term has become a more maddening cliche than baseball's "walk-off."

At first it was applied only to a walk-off home run — that is, when the home team would win in the last inning with a homer — game's over, so it's a walk-off, because there's no need to run. Then there became walk-off triples, doubles, singles, sacrifice flies — even walk-off walks with the bases loaded. It's creeping walk-offism.

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1:33am

Wed August 20, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

Between innings, racing sausages entertain Milwaukee Brewers fans.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?

Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot — tailgating.

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1:45am

Wed August 6, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Are NBA And NFL Rules Bush League?

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 8:35 am

Commentator Frank Deford says part of why we can't do away with college sports is history. Football and basketball have always been tied to college.
AP

If there's one rule in American sports that is universally despised, it is the National Basketball Association's stipulation that a player cannot be drafted out of high school, but must put in an extra year playing somewhere — invariably at college. It makes a sham of both education and teamwork, and when the best kids are picked up, the policy is properly ridiculed as "one-and-done."

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11:30am

Mon June 16, 2014
Sports

Dad Catches Rockies' Home Run With One Hand; Baby Is Safe

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:37 am

Rob Winner snags Colorado Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki's two-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco on Sunday.
Jeff Chiu AP

A San Francisco Giants fan holding a baby caught a two-run home run hit by Colorado Rockies player Troy Tulowitzki during a Father's Day game at AT&T Park.

San Francisco's ABC7 News reports that Rob Winner, a fire captain from San Rafael, Calif., calmly snagged the ball with one hand while holding his 1-year-old son, Thomas, in the other. He'd left his seat for a few moments to change his son's diaper.

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1:36am

Wed May 28, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Referee Mendy Rudolph officiates a Knicks-Pistons game in 1971. Refs often say it's best to go unnoticed, but an official who "makes a call with vigor and elan is really a beautiful part of the game," says Frank Deford.
AP

Not so long ago, while enjoying a libation in a decorous saloon, the proprietor — who happened to hail from the fabled Windy City — suddenly jarred the genteel assembled by turning on the Cubs game. Just at that moment, a Cubby was heading toward the plate when the throw came in, and the runner (spoiler alert!), being a Cub, was tagged out.

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