An Interview with Hall of Famer Tony Perez

Hey baseball fans!

It’s time for another Hall of Fame interview!! This one is with Hall of Famer and RBI machine (1,652 in total), Tony Perez!  Perez was a seven-time All Star and three-time World Series champion who played mainly for the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s (the legendary “Big Red Machine”). He played first and third, and is the only Major Leaguer in the Hall to be born in Cuba!! If you want to watch the interview on YouTube, just click here.

Thanks so much for watching the video and I hope you enjoyed it. Please check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

And if you want to read up some more on the Reds and baseball history in general, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers. 

The Immaculate Inning

Hey baseball fans!

One of the coolest things that a pitcher can achieve in baseball is an immaculate inning. What is an immaculate inning, you ask? Well, an immaculate inning is simple: nine pitches, all strikes, three strikeouts. It’s one of the rarest occurrences in baseball history; it’s only happened 80 times in baseball history!

Coincidentally, the four pitchers who have pitched multiple immaculate innings currently reside in the Hall of Fame: Lefty Grove, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, and Randy Johnson. No one has ever pitched more than two immaculate innings in his career, except for Koufax, who has three immaculate innings on his resumé, and Ryan is the only one to do it in multiple leagues. His first perfect inning came on April 19, 1968 with the Mets and the second came on July 9, 1972 with the Angels. Other notable pitchers who have pitched immaculate innings include Rube Waddell, Jim Bunning, Ron Guidry, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Felix Hernandez, Dazzy Vance, Robin Roberts, Bob Gibson,  Bruce Sutter, and Orel Hershiser.

How cool would it be to throw an immaculate inning? I would be jumping out of my seat if I did that in a video game, let alone on an actual baseball diamond. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

And, if you’d like to read about other great pitching feats in baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers.

Save the Date!! I’m Doing a Book Signing at the National Baseball Hall of Fame!!!!

Hey baseball fans!

As most of you know, I’ve written a book about baseball history called Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers published by Summer Game Books. The book’s foreword is written by none other than Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, and I’m giving all of my proceeds to four charities: ALS, Turn2, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Hall.

I’ve been very fortunate to have done a bunch of book signings, including at Barnes & Noble, Words, the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, and the Teaneck Doghouse.

Well, guess what??!! I’ve been invited to do a signing on August 22nd at probably my favorite place on Earth, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Here’s a screenshot of the actual web page and here’s a link to the HOF web page:

I hope some of you can make it to my signing.

And check back again real soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

MLwwB: What if Babe Ruth Wasn’t Sold to the Yankees?

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up another ML”what would”B post on More Than A Fan! In every ML”what would”B post, I discuss what would have happened if a famous event in baseball history had gone differently than it did in reality. For my latest post, I wondered what would have happened if Babe Ruth wasn’t sold to the New York Yankees. If you want to know the answer, just click here.

Thanks for reading the ML”what would”B and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

And if you want to read about some more baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction to Baseball History. Babe Ruth has his very own chapter, “Booming Babe.”

An Interview with Roy Oswalt

Hey baseball fans!

The 2015 Hall of Fame Classic interviews are still coming your way and this special interview is with retired MLB All Star pitcher, Roy Oswalt! Oswalt was a three-time All Star who played his career with mainly the Astros and Phillies. He totaled 163 wins and a 3.36 earned run average in a 13-year career from 2001-2013. I remember Roy as one of the five starting pitchers of the Phillies’ juggernaut pitching rotation of the early 2010s, which also included Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Vance Worley, but many people remember him for helping the Astros win their first NL pennant in 2005. Anyway, if you want to watch the interview, just click here.

Thanks so much for watching the video and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

And if you want to read about some more baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction to Baseball History.

The 1960 World Series MVP Award: What Do You Think?

Hey baseball fans!

Many people believe that LeBron James should have won the 2015 NBA Finals MVP Award instead of Andre Iguodala, even though James was on the losing side of the Finals. “But how could they think that?” you might be asking yourself, “His team lost.” Well, to answer your question, I have for you a blog post. This post is about the only hitter in baseball history to win the World Series MVP as a member of the losing team: Bobby Richardson of the 1960 New York Yankees.

Bobby Richardson played his entire career with the Yankees and went to eight All Star Games, but his numbers during the 1960 regular season were pedestrian: just a .252 batting average and 26 RBIs in 150 games played. But, his teammates were good enough to get the Yanks into the Fall Classic to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bronx Bombers finished with a regular season record of 97-57 (it was only a 154-game season back then) and the Buccos finished the 1960 campaign with a record of 95-59.

The 1960 World Series ended on a walk-off World Series-winning home run by Bill Mazeroski in the seventh game, giving the Pirates the Series victory, four games to three. However, the Yankees dominated Pittsburgh on the scoreboard, outscoring them 55-27! Because of this huge margin, the people at MLB voted to give Richardson the World Series MVP trophy; Bobby batted .367 during the ’60 Fall Classic with a homer and 12 runs batted in. His six RBIs in Game Three of the Series set a record for the most RBIs in a single World Series game. Bobby also scored eight runs and even tripled twice. I guess the voters saw that he needed to be honored for his amazing play, even though the Yankees didn’t get World Series rings in ’60.

If I were part of the voting committee for the 1960 World Series MVP, I would have voted for Maz to win it because of his late game heroics in Game Seven. But alas, I can’t change the past, so Bobby Richardson will remain the only World Series MVP to win it as a member of the losing side. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

An Interview with the Incomparable Mike Schmidt!!!!!

Hey baseball fans!

Now, as most of you know, my favorite baseball player of all time is Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, which is why I am absolutely elated to tell you that I just interviewed him! Shoutout to my principal at Golda Och Academy, Mr. Adam Shapiro, for making this possible. Anyway, I can’t produce words that explain how honored I am to have interviewed such a great hitter! But as always, before I get to the interview, click here to read a quick bio on Mr. Schmidt.

Now that you know a little bit about one of the greatest players ever (and a member of my all time Dream Team), here’s the interview!

Matt: How’d you get into baseball?
Mike: Baseball was always my best sport. I started hitting a tennis ball with a broomstick at age 3. I played all sports, went to college and walked on in basketball, and became a freshman starter only to be told the school wouldn’t insure my knees. Both knees had surgery in high school from football injuries. Then I walked on in baseball and made the team, eventually got a starting job as a sophomore, and the rest is history.

Matt: Describe the experience you had while playing in Veterans Stadium.
Mike: Veterans Stadium was the coolest thing going in 1970 when it was first built as a multipurpose AstroTurf stadium for all sports. It was my home for 18 years.

Matt: Going into the 1980 World Series, were you confident that you and the Phillies could beat the Royals?
Mike: In 1980, we believed we could beat anybody, especially after going into Montreal and winning two of three, and Houston three of five to get into the Series.

Matt: How’d you get so good at playing third base?
Mike: I played shortstop my entire young life and 2nd base in triple A. I had a middle infield mentality and quickness, so playing 3rd base was easy.

Matt: Who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced?
Mike: Nolan Ryan.

Matt: The 1983 Phillies are comically known as the Wheeze Kids because of the stars’ ages. Did you and your teammates take offense to that?
Mike: No, that was one of my favorite years. In fact I thought we’d win it all that year, but the Orioles had a different idea.

Matt: What’s your most memorable home run and why?
Mike: My most memorable HR came in Montreal in 1980, number 48 that year. It won the game that got us into the NLCS.

Matt: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Mike: Play with my two granddaughters and be on my boat.

Thank you so much to Mike Schmidt for taking the time to answer my questions. I’m so grateful to have interviewed my favorite player ever! Anyway, thanks for reading this interview and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

By the way, if you want to read about other Hall of Famers or just learn more about baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers – An Introduction to Baseball History.  All of my proceeds go to the following four charitable foundations: the Hall of Fame, ALS, Turn 2 and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The Many Faces of Bobby Valentine

Hey baseball fans!

Just a few days ago, on June 9th, Major League Baseball celebrated an amazing anniversary. It wasn’t the anniversary of a special hit or pitching performance and it wasn’t the anniversary of the last or first game of a Hall of Famer’s career. June 9, 2015 marked the sixteen-year anniversary of when Bobby Valentine went incognito.

Bobby Valentine managed a few teams from 1985-2012, but his real success came while managing the New York Mets in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In fact, he even led the 2000 Mets to the World Series (which they lost to the Yankees in five games). But arguably his most notable moment in baseball was during a wild extra-inning affair between the Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays at Shea Stadium.

It was the top of the twelfth inning with the score tied at three. Mike Piazza, one of the best hitting catchers in baseball history, was called for catcher’s interference, which allowed Blue Jays second baseman Craig Grebeck to reach first base. This call was very questionable, which is why Valentine came out of the dugout to argue the call. He was eventually thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Randy Marsh and was forced to watch the rest of the game from the clubhouse. However, he had a better idea.

Just minutes after being ejected, Valentine returned to the Mets’ dugout, wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache, and watched the rest of the game live. As creative and funny as this was, it didn’t go unnoticed by MLB executives. The disguised skipper was fined $5,000 and was suspended from his regular managerial duties for two games, but the Mets still won the game in 14 innings, 4-3. So why is this so “important” in baseball history? Well, it’s the only time such an event has ever occurred in baseball history, making Bobby V’s change of appearance a whole lot more hilarious.

I hope you enjoyed this little anecdote. Thanks for reading it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

Matt Nadel’s Live Hall of Fame Classic Interview with Ozzie Smith

Hey baseball fans!

The Hall of Fame Classic interviews are still coming your way and this special interview is with MLB Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith! If you want to learn more about him before you watch the interview, just click here. If you want to watch the interview, click here. And here’s a link to the video of the play that Ozzie mentions in the interview.

And here’s a picture of Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith, Phile Niekro and me!!

Thanks so much for watching the video and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

By the way, if you want to read about other Hall of Famers or just learn more about baseball history, please check out my book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers – An Introduction to Baseball History.  All of my proceeds go to the following four charitable foundations: the Hall of Fame, ALS, Turn 2 and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. My book was even written up recently in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as one of four new baseball books for younger readers, and it was “very highly recommended for baseball enthusiasts of all ages” in The Sports Shelf of the Midwest Book Review.

An Interview with Softball Legend, Jennie Finch!

Hey baseball fans!

Who’s ready for the first ever Baseball with Matt interview with a former softball player? I hope you are, because today I have an interview with Jennie Finch, the best softball player ever according to many people! But in case you aren’t familiar with Finch’s credentials, here’s a quick biography on the Olympian.

Finch started playing softball at a young age and hasn’t given up the drive since. She played the sport at  La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California and was the captain of the team in her senior season. Finch then went to play ball at the University of Arizona. As a sophomore and junior, she was named an All-American and totaled 119 wins and just 16 losses in her entire pitching college career! Did I mention that her college ERA was 1.08 and her WHIP was a minuscule 0.84?? She also led Arizona to a Women’s College World Series championship in 2001.

After college, Finch went on to play with the Nation Pro Fastpitch’s Chicago Bandits. She had a great career in Chicago from 2005-2010, posting a career record was 36-8 with a 1.08 ERA! She also helped the Bandits win the 2008 NPF championship.

Most importantly, Finch also participated in two Olympic Games on the Women’s Softball team, winning the gold medal in 2004 and the silver  medal in 2008. She didn’t allow a single earned run during her Olympic career! in fact, her overall U.S. national team record was 36-2, with 19 shutouts,  397 strikeouts in 239 innings pitched,  a 0.42 ERA and a 0.44 WHIP!! How insane is that?!

By the way, as you will hear in the interview, Jennie has also written a bestselling, very inspirational book called Throw Like a Girl: How to Dream Big & Believe in Yourself.  The book is a bestseller on many lists and I expect it to be so for a long time, so check it out.

So now that you know a little bit about Jennie Finch, click here to listen to the interview. Thanks so much for listening to it and I hope you enjoyed it. And special thanks to Jennie for the interview and for Erin Kane’s help in arranging it. Check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

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