I love the old commercial with the guy from the Hair Club where he says I am not just the owner but I am a member too. I mention as often as possible that I check out things John Leonard posts at his site http://allthingsvalleyleague.typepad.com/ . I use all of the info that appears on the screen and that was never more true than last night...
Back on August 9TH, John posted a story about a young man that had pitched for New Market back in 2000. Brad Ziegler was a Rebel before my time in the Shenandoah Valley so I was UN-aware of his ties to the VBL until I read John's story on his amazing start with the Oakland A's.
Now fast forward to last night here on the West Coast. Our Padres game was a day game so there was plenty of time to watch all of the highlights on ESPN over and over again. You could see the Chi-Sox go yard four straight times on ESPN-News and then there was the diving catch as the lone highlight from our game.
Then they show two clips from the Rays @ A's game up in Oakland. They show a pitch being lined for a RBI base hit by Oakland of Ziegler and the second clip was a Home Run by Carlos Pena to win the game for the Rays in the top of the 12TH inning. They tell you there is more to come on Ziegler and boy they weren't kidding. I must admit that if I had not read the story from John I would of kept flipping channels but I wanted to learn more...
Ziegler gave up an earned run and it warranted a tease on ESPN! Brad had just tied the major league mark for relievers by pitching his 39TH consecutive shut out inning on Thursday by pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Ziegler matched the all-time relief record set by Clevland's Al Benton in 1949.You have to go all the way back to Grover Clevland Alexander*** (This just in- he was pretty good!) in 1911 for the overall rookie record of 41 innings.
John had already told us that Ziegler's work had earned him the MLB record for scoreless innings to START a career and he was just getting warmed up. Now that he has allowed 1 run in the majors his ERA jumped from 0.00 all the way to 0.22. I think it is a sign that you have got game when ESPN does a tease because you allowed a single run!
That is the beauty of the work that John does with his site. The Ziegler story is just another one buried in the Sports section for me if I am unaware of his ties to both the VBL and the New Market Rebels...Thanks for keeping me informed!
*** Alexander sits in the #3 spot in the History of MLB with 373 victories... Good Company to be in for the 28 year old rookie!