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A researcher on the Retrosheet mailing list had asked for the PBP and boxscore of Roger Maris's 61st home run. The PBP files for the 1961 season aren't ready yet, but Retrosheet guru David Smith pulled it out in a flash. It's posted here as a historical curiosity - in the knowledge that the best Batter's Box discussions often come from unlikely sources.
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After a horrible start, Russ Adams has really turned it on in the Arizona Fall League, raising his average 150 points and drawing 9 walks against just 8 strikeouts in 79 AB (3 steals in 4 tries, too). This profile of Adams by Jonathan Mayo at the MLB Website gives some interesting insight into the organization's appraisal of Adams: among other things, JP Ricciardi is quite happy with the skill set Adams has displayed and isn't yet ready to move him off shortstop. The AFL season itself is in its final week, and early returns on Jays prospects seem to favour the hitters: Adams, Dominic Rich and Tyrell Godwin have all had fine performances in the desert. Less fortunate are the pitchers: Cam Reimers (1-1, 4.44 ERA, 9 K in 24 IP), Pete Bauer (1-1, 5.59, 24 H in 19 IP) and Jordan DeJong (1-0, 7.41, 11 BB in 17 IP) have enjoyed themselves rather less. Gabe Gross impressed in his brief sojourn with the we-hardly-knew-ye USA Olympic Squad, .343/.395/.686 in just 35 AB.
Roy Halladay won the AL Cy Young Award. No details yet.
There will be a lot of talk today, from people who were far too young to remember the valour and sacrifices of the Great War and the Global War, about how young people of today aren't up to the task of defending their country like their grandparents and great-grandparents were. Scott Radley of the Hamilton Spectator, interviewing Global War veteran and former Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup winner Gaye Stewart, injects some posionous commentary of his own on that topic today [no link available, website is subscribers-only].
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At this writing, the announcement of the 2003 American League Cy Young Award is less than 10 minutes away ... and according to Jayson Stark, Toronto's Roy Halladay is primed to win it.

There's been a bit of discussion on that point here on Da Box this year. To review:

March 11: Cy's the Limit?
March 11: Why Roy Halladay Won't Win the 2003 Cy Young Award
July 31: Is There a Cy for Doc?
September 22: Cy Guys
September 23: Cy Halladay? Baker, Griffin Offer Thoughts

And here's the late-breaking news ...
Halladay Wins! Interesting to note that the headline on's story mentions Loiaza ... but not Halladay. Headline at this writing: Loaiza a Distant Second
Surprise, surprise. With the elimination of the mighty Americans, the door opened a crack and Canada took advantage. They destroyed the Mexicans 11-1, who had edged out the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

The utter injustice of selecting only 2 nations from the Americas to participate makes the Olympic baseball tournament a sham. It would be like the World Cup (of soccer) including only 6 European nations (presently about 17 make it). After Cuba and Japan, Canada must now be considered a favourite for a medal with Australia, Taiwan and Korea the only other likely candidates.

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Congratulations to Team Canada, which qualified for the Athens Olympics next summer. Our home and native land took part in 1988 when baseball was a demonstration sport in Seoul, but this will be our first chance at a medal. I hope their major league teams allow some of our key players to participate next summer. In the Sun this morning, Bob Elliott has a game report; pitcher Mike Johnson was backed by four home runs to an 11-1 win over Mexico. Twins prospect Justin Morneau of B.C. had five of Canada's 17 homers in the tournament.

There has been considerable recent discussion of international baseball in our Big Games? They're All Big Games thread, including the news from Jabonoso that MLB is planning the first World Cup of baseball in 2005. I'd also like to thank our Panamanian correspondent Evair Montenegro for live reports on the key games from the qualifying tournament.

The reaction in the U.S. to the American team's failure to advance is interesting -- "baseball's homeland does not regard Olympic baseball as much of a priority, or any priority at all," says Mike Bauman on, which hasn't bothered to post a report about Canada and Cuba earning Olympic berths. For them, the tournament seems to have ended with Mexico's upset victory on Friday.
In addition to promoting Tim Huff to national cross-checker, the Jays have expanded their scouting department. Here's the press release from the Official Site. Thanks to Jeff Geauvreau for the heads-up in another thread this weekend.

Huff, you may recall, was credited in our Jon Lalonde interview for the drafting of Jamie Vermilyea. Tim is just 28 years old; youth is also the common denominator among the new hires, but you can be sure they buy into the organizational philosophy. Only longtime Angels employee Tom Burns, 48, among the new amateur scouts, is over 35. Kimball Crossley, 40, is a pro scout, which could involve "advance" scouting of opponents, in addition to evaluating potential Rule 5 and minor league free agent bargains. The others have seven busy months ahead to prepare for the draft.

Free agent season is officially open. Well over 200 players who have filed can now talk to other teams, and there will probably be a hundred or more non-tendered players added to the mix on December 20. Plus you have some very interesting and tradeable guys in their walk years. It will be a very busy offseason, and with the general managers getting together in Phoenix this week, there could be early activity. Last year, J.P. and his pal Beane made the Cory Lidle trade at these meetings.
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Here's the wire story. Flame away, fans.
Time for another Hall of Names installment. This is a good Hot Stove activity... and something quick for me to post from work. :)
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Kelvim Escobar will be going straight out to test the free-agent market next week, says JP Ricciardi, one of the items contained in Jeff Blair's excellent preview of what should be a very interesting off-season. Blair has accurately sensed the downturn in the market, and says that only Guerrero and Sheffield are going to get Jim Thome money this off-season. I think that's right, although I can see some team with money to burn going too long and too expensive on a Kevin Millwood or even an Escobar; pitching almost always seems to sell above its real value. Todd Helton's available, if anyone feels like taking on the $100M+ still owed to the John Olerud of Colorado. The Astros were smart to clean out the Phillies and save $9M in the process of the Wagner trade; that may end up being the best haul of the winter. Money, which was no object as recently as two years ago, is now the scarlet letter for many useful ballplayers who are simply too expensive to keep or to acquire. The barometer is dropping in baseball, and everyone is suddenly realizing how far in debt they've gone. By the time this off-season is over, the financial landscape of the game may have changed for good.
It's the season of change, and not just in Manchester (seriously, who names their team after a month-long quadrennial event?). The San Diego Padres, who once wore uniforms directly modelled on those sported by McDonald's employees, unveiled their splashy new look yesterday, just in time to bring Trevor Hoffman back as their closer. Hoffman's injury was a massive blessing in disguise; it allowed the team to buy out the ridiculous $10M option in his contract for $2M and bring him back instead for one year at just $2.5M. Speaking of good money after bad, the Pat Meares Era in Pittsburgh finally came to an end as well, as the worst contract extension in history expired along with the running feud between the useless ballplayer and the idiots who signed him. And hey, get your hot stove cranked up: the GM meetings, the annual precursor to baseball's transaction-filled winter meetings, start Monday In Phoenix.
A short interlude from Jays baseball to comment on the sports world at large. If you're looking for the latest odds on a Cy Young for Doc Halladay or a clarification on the waiver rule that will bring David Wells back to Toronto in 2004 -- there, that got your attention -- then frankly, there's nothing to see here.

It will have changed by the time you read this, of course, but right now as I look at the front page of, I find myself ... a bit sad.
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There's no asterisk beside this honour. Voting for the Hall of Fame's prestigious Ford C. Frick Award, "presented annually to a broadcaster for major contributions to the game of baseball," is open to the public for the first time. Fans will select three of the 10 nominees on the final ballot, and you can vote once per day until December 1, selecting up to three candidates.

Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth are on the ballot, which is restricted to active or retired broadcasters with at least 10 years of continuous service. So Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez aren't there yet, but Dave Van Horne, Don Chevrier and even (gasp) Fergie Olver are on the long list, which features a brief biography of each candidate. I wish there was a way to vote for Tom and Jerry as a partnership; it seems unthinkable to split them up, but I'd also like to mention Van Horne on my ballot. Remember, every vote against Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan counts.

I'm definitely voting for Jon Miller, who deserves to join the previous recipients including Mel Allen, Red Barber, Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully and other legends. Bob Uecker was last year's winner. Remember, every vote against Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan counts.