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MORIBUND BALLPARK FINDS NEW LIFE WITH JERSEY JACKALS
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Charlie Morton has 196 strikeouts and is trying join rookie teammate Spencer Strider with 200. The Braves haven't had two pitchers reach that plateau since 1886 with Old Hoss Radbourn (218 in 509 1/3 innings) and Bill Stemmyer (239 in 348 2/3 innings) . . .
Strider’s rate of 13.65 strikeouts per nine innings leads all pitchers with 60+ innings . . .
In his first 15 appearances for the Astros, lefty reliever Will Smith has a 2.63 ERA . . .
The defensive shift, on pace to be deployed 71,000 times this season, will be consigned to the dustbin of history after major rules changes take effect next season . . .
Players on the Rules Committee were unanimous in opposition to elimination of the shift and imposition of a pitch clock . . .
Late-starting postseason games, which invariably end too late for the typical East Coast resident, will still have ridiculous between-innings waits of three minutes and ten seconds — a minute longer than regular-season games . . .
More ridiculous is the apparent survival of The Manfred Man, the runner placed on second for every extra inning in total defiance of baseball tradition.
Jackals Shift to Hinchliffe, Plan to Bring Baseball Back To Paterson
By Dan Schlossberg
The last bastion of Negro Leagues baseball will return to life next spring as the new home of the Jersey Jackals.
Hinchliffe Stadium will have 10,000 seats, a parking garage, a museum, and many other amenities when a current $95 million facelift is finished.
It was a rusting relic, with weeds growing between the wooden seats, when restoration began last spring.
When completed, it is expected to be the glittering cornerstone of Paterson, the third-largest city in New Jersey. The stadium is located a short walk from the scenic Great Falls that once powered the city’s silk mills. Paterson was the nation’s first planned industrial settlement in 1792.
According to Jackals owner Al Dorso, a Paterson native, Hinchliffe will not only be home field for the Frontier League team but will also be utilized for concerts, kids camps, shows, holiday events and perhaps even an annual major-league game, such as the Field of Dreams game and Little League Classic.
Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who also grew up in Paterson, was among the stars who played there before they reached the major leagues.
The Jackals had played in Little Falls, where their Yogi Berra Stadium was adjacent to the Yogi Berra Museum near the campus of Montclair State University. But Hinchliffe is larger and more accessible, with good rail and bus connections plus proximity to I-80 and Routes 46, 20, and 21.
“We’re thrilled to have the Jackals in Paterson,” said Mayor Andre Savegh. “This development is another watershed moment – pun intended – with the Great Falls [so close] to the stadium, for the city. It will surely act as a catalyst for new expansion, entertainment, and jobs in the area.”
Dorso agreed. “I still know this town like the back of my hand and have many fine memories,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to give back and add to the rich history of this region.
“We have approached this effortwith a community-first mindset, starting with working with Mayor Savegh and other local officials and business leaders. We plan to create a true ecosystem of opportunity in the months and years ahead.”
Along with Birmingham’s Rickwood Field, Hinchliffe is one of two ballparks remaining from the Negro Leagues, which gradually ceased operating after Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color barrier with the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Jackals are one of 16 teams in the Frontier League, an independent circuit.
Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg covers baseball for forbes.com, Latino Sports, USA TODAY Sports Weekly, Sports Collectors Digest, and other outlets. A 40-time author and popular speaker, he can be reached via email@example.com.
“Tino is amazing. He brings people together. We love to surprise people.”
— Cleveland GM Mike Chernoff on manager Terry Francona’s ability to keep the Guardians on top of the AL Central despite a bottom-feeding $70 million payroll
If Freddie Freeman wins his first batting title, can a second MVP await him too? . . .
Ed Sprague’s claim to fame: the Toronto infielder was the only baseball player on two consecutive world champions after winning consecutive NCAA baseball championships . . .
George Kell, who hit .343 in 1949 to lead the majors, fanned only 13 times — fewest of any major-league batting king — in 613 plate appearances . . .
Before managing the New York Giants for 33 years, John McGraw was a contact-hitting third baseman who learned to hit to the opposite field because he didn’t want to break windows in a church that hugged right-center field . . .
McGraw lost more World Series than any other manager . . .
Goose Gossage, an All-Star with four different teams, got his 308th save by preserving Nolan Ryan’s 308th win . . .
Jeff Torborg never reached the postseason with any of the five teams he managed but reached the World Series three times as TV color man with Vin Scully.
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HERE’S THE PITCH is published daily except Sundays and holidays. Brian Harl [firstname.lastname@example.org] handles Monday and Tuesday editions, Elizabeth Muratore [email@example.com] does Wednesday and Thursday, and Dan Schlossberg [firstname.lastname@example.org] edits the weekend editions on Friday and Saturday. Readers are encouraged to contribute comments, articles, and letters to the editor. HTP reserves the right to edit for brevity, clarity, and good taste.