Category Archives: International

How many major league ballplayers died serving their country in World War II?

On this Memorial Day, I awoke early, wondering how many major league baseball players lost their lives in the service of their country. The son of a World War II veteran, I was most curious about that conflict, and a Google search quickly pointed me to the Baseball in Wartime site.

The site reveals that only two men with major league experience died in WWII, Elmer Gedeon of the Washington Senators and Harry O’Neill,¬† who played just one game with the Philadelphia Athletics.

The site has a long list of minor league players who gave their lives in the European and Pacific theaters, and it has long lists of pro baseball players of all levels who served in the military throughout U.S. history.

The site is well worth a visit for anyone who loves America and its national pastime.

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Adios, Carlos Delgado. Thanks for a great career.

Overcome by injuries, Carlos Delgado has retired from baseball. Even though he’s been inactive since early in the 2009 season, his departure still resonates. There’s a nice farewell piece on Carlos in the Globe and Mail¬†that summarizes the man and his career.

Delgado piled up some impressive numbers on offense during his years with the Toronto Blue Jays and later with the Florida Marlins for one season and a few more with the New York Mets. From 1996 through 2008, he played in at least 138 games and hit 24 home runs or more – a remarkable string of productivity in a career that lasted 17 big league seasons.

Playing all those years in Canada, Delgado didn’t get the American media attention he surely would have received had he played on an American team. But he left his mark.

I always had a soft spot for Delgado, in large part because the only bobblehead I own is one of him that I got at a game at Skydome in Toronto. I went to the game with one of my good friends at The Canadian Press, and it’s the only ballgame I’ve seen outside the U.S.

Thanks for the memories, Carlos, and good luck.

Saluting the Devils’ Martin Brodeur

This is a great day for the Irish — and for hockey.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, Martin Brodeur of the New Jeresey Devils will will try to become the winningest goalie in National Hockey League history. Brodeur, who spent much of the season off ice with an injury, has been almost superhuman since his return to net a few weeks ago. He tied Patrick Roy for the most goals at 551 the other night in Montreal, and Brodeur will be on home ice in Newark tonight as the Devils face the Chicago Black Hawks.

I’ve had the privilege to see Roy and Brodeur for real, the former late in his career as a member of the Colorado Avalanche and the latter in the middle of his terrific career with the Devils.

So here’s a tip o’ the cap from this Irish American to the French Canadian Martin Brodeur. May the puck never be behind ye.

Barack Obama, president-elect and Chicago White Sox fan

Here’s some great exposure for a baseball cap: President-elect Barack Obama wearing a White Sox cap. See more examples of how the photo played at the Innovations in Newspapers blog.

Pretty cool Canadian Olympic cap, eh?

As the whole world watches the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, I couldn’t help but trot out one of my most unusual caps. This is a Canadian Olympic team cap from the 2000 summer games in Sidney.

The photo hardly does justice to the cap, one of the most unusual and stylish in my collection. The crown is shallow, and the bill is so tightly wrapped that its underside is springy to the touch. The Olympic logo is on the right side, and on the left is the brand mark for the Canadian fashion house Roots.

So why am I displaying this Canadian cap on an American flag? This cap was given to me by my good friend Scott White of The Canadian Press. The photo honors our cross-border friendship — and that’s right in keeping with the Olympic spirit.