When I Fell in Love with Baseball

John ArmstrongBaseball

I am a baseball fan, as regular readers know. With all the attention given to soccer (football elsewhere) in the FIFA competition in South Africa during June I realized again that baseball is the truly American game that has spread its influence to Latin America and Asia. There are many reasons for loving baseball but most are simply lost on … Read More

The Boys of Summer Are Back

John ArmstrongBaseball

Spring is finally here and baseball is back. For me the two have been synonymous for as long as I can remember. Spring begins with "Play Ball" and winter begins when the World Series is over. I know many of you think that is crazy but it is me and I love this time of the year. For almost every … Read More

Where is the Fault Line in Sports and the Church?

John ArmstrongBaseball, Pastoral Renewal, The Church

I read Sports Illustrated for several reasons. One is, of course, my love of sports. But there are a lot of magazines and papers that cover sports. Few do it with the journalistic excellence of Sports Illustrated. The March 29 issue brought this out in a remarkable way, with a fantastic story (“True Confessions”) written by one of the best … Read More

The Sounds of Baseball and Spring

John ArmstrongBaseball, Personal

I have spent the last few days in Florida and have a few more to enjoy. This has become an annual ritual designed to recharge my batteries and to rest. I usually come with my daughter and son-in-law and this year we are enjoying five Atlanta Braves spring training games. I have to admit nothing gets me ready for the … Read More

World Series 2009

John ArmstrongBaseball

The New York Yankees are the definition of the greatest franchise in all of professional sports. They just won their fortieth American League championship of all time. If you are a historian of the game you know how truly amazing this number is. No one else is remotely close. This year the Yankees dispensed with the Twins and the Angels … Read More

Baseball: And Then There Were Four

John ArmstrongBaseball

  Now we know the four teams that will vie for the pennant in their respective leagues. I have said that the Dodgers would win the National League since early in the season. I stand by that prediction more than ever. In seven games their pitching, overall, will beat the Phils. The wild card here is pitcher Cliff Lee, who … Read More

The Dog Days of Baseball Are Here

John ArmstrongBaseball

For the die hard baseball fan the month of August is the "dog days." I am not sure where this term comes from but it suggests the idea of hot, sticky, hard and challenging. These are the days that set baseball apart from all other sports because it comes down to perseverance and a strong mental attitude that can endure … Read More

The Greatest Baseball Pitcher I Ever Saw

John ArmstrongBaseball

Greg Maddux, clearly one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, was honored last Friday by his reception into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. In four more years Maddux will be chosen by the writers for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. The only reason it will take this long is because the rules for induction require a … Read More

The Sad Legacy of Sammy Sosa

John ArmstrongBaseball

The breaking Chicago news, on Tuesday evening, was: “Sammy Sosa took performance enhancing drugs to become a superstar slugger.” Surprise, surprise! And this is the same guy who told the U.S. Senate committee that he never took drugs. But the June 16 New York Times report on baseball players who tested positive included Sammy's name. Now we know. Anyone who … Read More

The Big Unit Wins His 300th

John ArmstrongBaseball

The player known to fans everywhere as simply "The Big Unit," 6'10" pitcher Randy Johnson, became only the 24th Major League pitcher to win 300 games last Thursday evening in Washington D.C. He is only the sixth left-hander in that select group. He's also the first pitcher to win his 300th game on his first try since Tom Seaver did … Read More