On Around the Horn

On Infield Dirt
Reds radio icon and broadcasting Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman’s Ask Marty segment offers fans an opportunity to ask him anything on any topic. Although some of them are a hoot, one episode had an interesting baseball tidbit. I didn’t realize the dirt around home plate is courser than the dirt on the rest of the infield skin: thus the reason why so many baseballs are tossed out of the game after pitches in the dirt. Here’s the Reds link to Ask Marty.

On ’08 to ‘09
The other day Lance McAlister (a local sports talk host) posted these points about the Reds.

  • 35% through the season
  • Above .500 and in the race
  • The primary starters have missed its share of games: Encarnacion (38), Votto (22), and Phillips, Taveras and Gonzalez also missed more than a few games
  • Scored 250 runs; six more runs than the Cubs; and just 12 fewer runs than a year ago at this time
  • Allowed 37 fewer runs than a year ago at this time (243 to 280)
  • The best road record in the Central (16-13)

On OF to Second
Cardinal second baseman, Scott Schumaucher, is the first Cardinal to move from the outfield to second basesince Red Schoendienst in the 1940s .

On Breaking an Unbreakable Record
The Nutball Gazette made a bold prediction about the possibility of someone breaking a record that some consider unbreakable: Cy Young’s 512 career wins. Baseball fans should read this one.

On College Baseball
Although this was several weeks ago, I’m still amazed: A 20-0 score after three innings – no less in the tournament – in a game between two well-known schools – and then 32-0 after five innings – you must be kidding? Nope, here’s the proof, plus you can follow college baseball at this site.

On a Pete Note
A trivia question: Pete Rose got more hits off this Braves pitcher than any other pitcher. Don Sutton was second on this list, but who is first? Answer at the bottom of the post.

On the Youngest Ever
Wednesday was an anniversary of not only a record setting event, but also the introduction to many Reds fan of someone who would become a local legend. On June 10, 1944, a fifteen year old lefty named Joe Nuxhall would take a bus from Hamilton (just north of Cincinnati) into the city to become the youngest to appear in the majors. He struggled: 0.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 BB, 2 H, 1 WP.

Hamilton Joe would return to the bigs in 1952 as a Red and retire as a Red in 1966 (including 2 years away as an Angel and an A). After retirement, Nuxy joined the radio broadcast team where we would remain a fixture through several lead announcers (1967-2004).

The Ol’ Lefthander “rounded first and head for home” for the last time on November 15, 2007; and Cincinnati mourned for days. Many outside of Cincinnati maybe didn’t know Joe Nuxhall’s story, but was loved by all. So popular, he would have beaten anyone for mayor – including Rose, Morgan, Bench, Perez, Paul Brown, Oscar Robertson, Bob Huggins, and any other local legend.

Note: Joe was never a teammate with Phil Niekro.