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Betting on baseball; at the ballpark
101 years later; Black Sox scandal left in the dust
Hello all, and welcome to my weekly newsletter. Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend.
You may have noticed a new format. I am switching my newsletter to a new content management system, Substack. Wish me luck and spread the word. The more subscribers the better.
Now to one of the amazing stories to come out of baseball last week that really did not receive much coverage: a sportsbook is opening at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In other words, fans attending a Chicago Cubs game will be able to bet on the game or place a wager on any other game in any sport. The Cubs have cut a deal with DraftKings. And when all is said and done, the Cubs will not be alone.
Maybe it is the ultimate irony that a betting parlor will open in a Chicago ballpark, after all isn’t that the city where the 1919 World Series was thrown? Any baseball fan knows the White Sox threw that series to the Cincinnati Reds and later many players from the White Sox were banned for life from the professional game by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
You can now throw all of this out the window. Cash strapped states - many of them already soaking in red before the pandemic - need the money and sports, particularly baseball, where some games drag on for more than four hours, need wagering to maintain interest. And don’t think just the game’s outcome will be up for a bet. You will be able to wager on pitches or an at bat - sort of like the daily number in the lottery - and much, much more.
At this point, the game might as well reinstate Pete Rose and the late “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Baseball is nearing post time, and it is just the beginning.
Minor League changes major
If you follow this newsletter, regularly, you know I have written about the major changes about to be inflicted on minor league baseball. In fact, minor league baseball as we have known it for decades, is history. The paradigm is about to change in a major way, with major league baseball calling all of the shots. In some cases, the changes will render the value of these minor league franchises, almost useless - although I believe such a move might pave the way for legal recourse by the aggrieved parties. Rather than drone on about the new minor leagues, I will link to an ESPN piece from last week. Take the 10 minutes it requires to read it and you will be much more informed on the dynamics at play.
Remembering Tom Seaver
We lost a great one last week, when Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver passed away at the age of 75. Who would have thought that this erudite man, who brought glory to the New York Mets, would someday be linked with the zany broadcaster of the New York Yankees Phil Rizzuto? But the two formed quite a tandem in the Yankees broadcast booth, as I write about in this piece.
It is behind a paywall, but Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, another Hall of Fame member - wrote a great column about Seaver and how the Red Sox would have won the 1986 World Series, if he did not get injured. It’s worth the read.
What a season
It was one of the greatest seasons in baseball history: 1967. In the American League, there was a four-way race for the pennant, going right down to the wire, among the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins. On this date, 53 years ago, as you awoke to check the standings in your newspapers, there was a four-way virtual tie for first place in the AL:
Oh, to be able to turn back the clock and relive that season!
Well that’s it for the latest newsletter. As always, thanks for your support and have a tremendous week.