Mark Townsend

  • Mike Piazza reflects on memorable post-9/11 home run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 mins ago

    We’re all looking forward to the many great stories Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will share during Sunday’s Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown. Before we get there though, the two soon-to-be Hall of Famers addressed the media on Saturday during the annual press conference.

    While they may not have revealed the talking points for their anticipated speeches, they did give us a taste of the emotion we should expect to see and feel once they hit the stage. That was especially true of Mike Piazza, who has already gone on record saying he expects to cry during his speech.

    His emotions nearly started flowing one early as he spent a moment reflecting on his memorable home run hit 10 days after terrorist attacks rocked New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on Sept 11. 2001.

    Mike Piazza talking about his 9/21/01 home run… pic.twitter.com/oXPwSuDOaQ

    — Breanna N Morello (@BreannaMorello) July 23, 2016

    Piazza also added:

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  • Matt Adams ends 16-inning marathon with homer, ferocious bat flip

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    As soon as Matt Adams connected, the remaining fans at Busch Stadium erupted.

    The St. Louis Cardinals slugger blasted a majestic walkoff home run in the 16th inning on Friday to give St. Louis a much-needed 4-3 victory over the wild card-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Adams’ big fly came against Bud Norris, a starting pitcher who was needed in emergency extra-inning duty, and it traveled an estimated 444 feet. Indeed, it was a no-doubter, and Adams drove that point home with a scream and a ferocious bat flip unlike any seen since Jose Bautista’s in the 2015 postseason.

    THAT BAT FLIP!!! #STLCards pic.twitter.com/aEUQKPEj2n

    — St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 23, 2016

    Yes, it was that epic.

    From there, both teams exhausted their options, leading to a matchup that one Dodgers writer wasn’t looking forward to.

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  • Danny Duffy draws inspiration from boy who died of cancer

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    As baseball observers, we often speculate what goes through the mind of a player in the midst of a brilliant performance.

    After pitching 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in the Royals’ 3-1 win against the Rangers on Friday night, Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy didn’t hesitate to clue us in.

    According to Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star, Duffy’s focus and motivation was a young fan named Liam Charles Shipley, whom he’d met months earlier at a charity calendar shoot. Recently, Duffy learned that Shipley had died at only 8 years old following a battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    After the game, Duffy made it clear he was determined to honor Liam’s fight and his legacy with a memorable performance, which he most certainly delivered.

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  • Jeurys Familia joins elite company by converting 50th consecutive save

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

    It hasn’t necessarily been pretty this week, but New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia continues getting the job done at a remarkable rate.

    In Friday’s 5-3 win against the Marlins, the first-time All-Star recorded his 50th consecutive regular season save dating back to July 30 of last season. That put him in some pretty elite company among closers, as he became just the fourth ever to convert 50 straight save chances.

    Jeurys Familia (@Mets) 4th pitcher in MLB history to convert 50 straight save chances (Eric Gagne, Tom Gordon, José Valverde)

    — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 23, 2016

    TOP PERFORMERS

    #Cubs in 2016

    Dexter Fowler starts: 43-18 (.705) Fowler does not start: 14-19 (.424)

    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

  • Sonoma Stompers make history again with all-female battery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    The Sonoma Stompers history-making season continued on Friday as they featured the first all-female pitcher-catcher combination in a professional baseball game since the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League folded in 1954.

    Kelsie Whitmore, who made history on her own earlier this week when she collected her first professional hit, served as the pitcher, while newly-signed Anna Kimbrell called the signals from behind home plate.

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    Here’s a look at the historic lineup card.

    — Sonoma Stompers (@SonomaStompers) July 22, 2016

    Kelsie Whitmore's first pitch was put into play for an out. Whitmore retired the side in order in the first. pic.twitter.com/Sm5yaLzDaB

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  • Create and share your own Hall of Fame baseball card

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    Before Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, you too can put a Hall of Fame stamp on your baseball fandom.

    Beginning on Wednesday, fans that downloaded the free Rookies app from the Apple App Store can create a branded and personalized “Future Hall of Famer” baseball card. Those cards can then be shared on social media using the hashtag #HOFWKND.

    There’s an advantage to doing that too, as a few lucky winners will receive a free pack of cards of their own creation.

    Create & share your “Future Hall of Fame” @BaseballHall card using #HOFWKND and you could win a free pack of cards! pic.twitter.com/15lHmWg8MT

    — Rookies App (@RookiesApp) July 22, 2016

    Here’s one example.

     

    Modern technology is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

    Fans can also have their created card printed and shipped to their homes to have as a keepsake or show off to their non-Hall of Fame friends.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Russell Martin falls, tweaks knee after relaxing too long in sauna

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    It’s never good news when an off day leads to a new injury.

    Unfortunately for Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, that’s the situation he’s in after suffering a knee tweak on Thursday.

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    Even more troubling is the manner in which Martin suffered the injury. What was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon in the sauna, nearly turned disastrous.

    Gibbons on Martin:Russ was in sauna yesterday, was in too long, got lightheaded, fell in shower & hurt knee. Needs couple days off #BlueJays

    — Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) July 22, 2016

    That sounds quite painful. Fortunately though, Martin appears to have avoided a major injury.

    Russell Martin had MRI today and shows no "structural damage" to his left knee. #Jays

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  • Summer league sluggers launch homers into Lake Michigan

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It’s a new era for home run-hitting contests, and we’re not just talking about the faster paced and infinitely more exciting Home Run Derby format in Major League Baseball.

    We’re talking about a pitcher not only entering the Japanese League’s annual Home Run Derby, but actually winning it. Perhaps that’s a sign of things to come in MLB?

    Beyond that though, we’re talking about contests being taken to unique locations, such as the California League holding its derby on the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego. That decision may have inspired another league to take its Home Run Derby from the conventional surroundings of a baseball stadium to the lakefront in Wisconsin.

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  • Mariners are making history with last at-bat magic

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

    On the day Felix Hernandez returned to the hill, the Seattle Mariners offense stole the spotlight again with another dramatic walkoff victory.

    With the game tied in the 11th inning, Leonys Martin connected for his second home run of the game to give Seattle a much-needed 6-5 victory against the Chicago White Sox.

    The walkoff home run was the third of Martin’s career and his second this season. As for Seattle, that’s two walk-off home runs in their last three games and six already this season, which ties the franchise record.

    .@Mariners lead MLB with 6 walk-off HR. Their 6 ties franchise record set in 1986

    TOP PERFORMERS

    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

    THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD

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  • Hanley Ramirez recreates iconic Red Sox moment on memorable night

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Boston Red Sox slugger Hanley Ramirez was on the cusp of joining elite company on Wednesday night.

    In the Red Sox 11-7 win against the Giants, Ramirez connected for three two-run home runs. He then had one opportunity to become just the 17th major-league player to hit four home runs in a single game, but grounded out in the eighth inning.

    Ramirez’s big game featured home runs to all three fields, and was highlighted by a home run into Boston’s bullpen that was reminiscent of one of Boston’s most iconic postseason moments. That would be David Ortiz’s grand slam during Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS, which propelled them to a memorable victory in that game and in that series.

    Those elements put together added up to one of the most memorable moments not only in Red Sox history, but baseball history.

    That brings us back to Wednesday, where all those elements somehow came together again.