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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

1969 Cubs in Hall of Fame

The 1969 Chicago Cubs have a dubious place in baseball history — holding a five-game NL East least on Sept. 3 but finishing a distant second, eight games behind the New York Mets — who went on to unlikely glory by winning the ’69 World Series. However, with Monday’s election of Ron Santo, the 1969 Cubs now have five members in the Hall of Fame, which is three more than the ’69 Mets (Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan): 1969 Cubs in… Read More »

Lincecum, Halladay and Nolan Ryan

No question about it, Tim Lincecum has been pitching in rotten luck. He’s 11-10 but his 2.53 ERA should reflect a won-loss record more like Roy Halladay’s 15-5, no? After all, Philadelphia’s Halladay also has a 2.53 ERA. But when it comes to tough luck, when it comes to a stellar ERA not being rewarded with an impressive won-loss record, look at Nolan Ryan in 1987 for the Houston Astros. Ryan’s 2.76 ERA led the National League in ’87. His… Read More »

A thrill, not The Thrill

It was nice for Giants fans to see first baseman Brandon Belt get an infield hit in his first big-league at-bat Thursday night. Some Giants fans might have been flashing back to April 8, 1986, when another first baseman had his first big-league at-bat. I’m talking, of course, about Will Clark. In his first big-league at-bat, 25 years ago, The Thrill hit a home run — off Nolan Ryan, no less — in the Giants’ 8-3 opening-day win over the… Read More »

Dubious ‘proof’ of steroid use

Bashers of Barry Bonds often point out his statistics past the age of 35 didn’t coincide with the normal decline of athletic prowess. Well, at age 35, when he should have been slowing down, Hank Aaron hit 44 homers. At 37, he hit 47 homers — his single-season high. At 39, he hit 40 homers. During the 1957 season, during which Ted Williams turned 39, he hit 38 homers and batted .388. During the 1960 season, in which he turned… Read More »

Nolan Ryan: good, bad and ugly

Nolan Ryan is back in the spotlight as a co-owner and team president of the Texas Rangers, who take on the Giants in the World Series, beginning Wednesday in SF. Ryan, whose 27-year big-league career already established him as a rare breed, turns out to be an even rarer breed — a Hall of Famer-turned-owner. I know Hank Greenberg, the Tigers’ great power hitter of the 1930s and ’40s, became a part owner, but I know of nobody else. Anyway,… Read More »