Somebody I know very well writes a blog about applying for jobs in the computer industry. If you know me, you almost certainly know the author. The blog is at:
Check it out if you have time.
Since 2016, at the end of the year, I have posted a once-a-day-per-person tribute to people who have passed away whose work has had some kind of influence, or for whom I have had a personal connection. This year, that's too depressing. I will still post that for personal friends, but here is the list of others for this year:
David Lee Hayes
Allen Thomas Richberg, Jr.
Fred “Curly” Neal
Olivia de Havilland
Max von Sydow
Richard Wayne Penniman
Eddie Van Halen
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Robert Adair, Jr.
John le Carré
Stadia I visited before 1994:
Stadia I visited on my trip and are still around:
Stadia I visited on my trip no longer used for baseball:
Stadia I have visited since my trip:
Stadia I missed:
New stadia in service I have not been to:
These players are in the Hall of Fame as of 2020 (in order of induction):
What a joy to see all of these guys play.
June 8, 1994 - New York Yankees at Texas Rangers - Game started at 6:05 and it was 96 degrees. Ugh. Bernie Williams went 3-5 with two doubles and a home run. And he's a good jazz musician, too! My favorite Yankee (admittedly, I don't like too many of them!). His team still lost. Melido Perez gave up 5 runs in 6 innings, and the Yankees had a sloppy 7th where there was a balk, an error, and a bases-loaded walk. No individual Ranger had a standout offensive performance. Dan Smith came in with two Yankees on and one out and got a strikeout and a fly ball. He then pitched himself into a bases loaded situation and got a popup. Really fun game. TEX 6, NYA 5
June 11, 1994 - Cleveland Indians at Milwaukee Brewers - Cleveland had their way. Alomar and Thome both homered. Jason Grimsley pitched a complete game, giving up 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, and striking out 7. Cal Eldred shouldn't feel too bad giving up homers to two future Hall-of-Famers. CLE 5, MIL 2
June 13, 1994 - Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox - Maybe the best pitching performance on the trip, the St. Louis-Atlanta game later may be an exception. Jason Bere struck out 14 in 8 innings, giving up 2 hits and walking 6, with Roberto Hernandez pitching 1 1 hit inning for the save. Ron Darling also pitched a whale of a game, with 8 innings, 8 hits, 1 earned run, walking 3, and striking out 6. CHA 1, OAK 0
June 15, 1994 - Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians - This game was electric. The fans were phenomenal. They were pumped on the subway to and from the game. For Toronto, Roberto Alomar went 3 for 5 with only run scored and no RBI, and reached on an error. Joe Carter went 3 for 5 with no runs scored and one RBI. But the Blue Jays hit into 4 double plays. At least Alomar scored on one of them! It was a pretty dismal offensive showing. Todd Stottlemyre pitched 8 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, and struck out 6. Not bad, but not enough. Both pullpens pitched well in extra innings, but poor Scott Brow, with a total of 107 major league innings, allowed the mammoth walkoff to Jim Thome.
On the other side, Charles Nagy threw 9 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned), walking 2 and striking out 5. Erik Plunk, Derek Lilliquist, and Jose Mesa shut the door. Cleveland was down 3-0 going into the eighth, when Omar Vizquel doubled, Kenny Lofton doubled, and Wayne Kirby hit a homer.
Jim Thome's home run in the bottom of the 13th was a thing of beauty. Opposite-field, into the left field trees just left of center field. The fans in their shiny new, beautiful ballpark, were delirious. This was a fun, fun game. CLE 4, TOR 3, 13 innings
June 17, 1994 - Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles - Baltimore laid a whuppin' on the visiting Twins. The venerable Dave Winfield hit a double, and Shane Mack hit a dinger, but those were the only Minnesota highlights, as the Orioles had lots of base runners against Kevin Tapani, Brett Merriman, and Carlos Pulido. Ben McDonald pitched a complete game, allowing 8 hits, 2 earned runs, walking nobody and striking out 5. Chris Sabo went 3 for 4 with a double, Rafael went 2 for 5 with a double, and Leo Gomez hit a home run, but there were hits up and down the Baltimore lineup. BAL 9, MIN 2
June 19, 1994 - Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers - Lots of pitching. Toronto loser Juan Guzman pitched an 9 inning complete game, but he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits with 3 walks. He did strikeout 9. Greg Gohr pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run, walking 2, and striking out 7. Buddy Groom came in with a runner on 3rd and two outs in the eighth and got Jon Olerud to fly out, and Mike Gardiner pitched the 9th for the save. Home run by Mickey Tettleton. DET 3, TOR 1
June 22, 1994 - San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds - Another game full of pitching, with Barry Larkin hitting a home run in the bottom of the 8th to give Cincinnati the one run lead that it needed to win. The starters, John Burkett, and John Roper, pitched at least 7. Burkett pitched into the eight, but was pulled after he gave up Larkin's home run and he walked another better. The Red's bullpen got both the win (Chuck McElroy) and the save (Jeff Brantley). CIN 2, SF 1
June 24, 1994 - Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins - Jim Deshaies did not have a good year in 1994; he led the league in both home runs allowed (30) and earned runs allowed (107), and finished with an ERA of 7.39. He also, inexplicably, let the league in game started (25). This night, though, he was great, allowing 4 hits, 1 earned run, walking 3 and striking out 8 in 8 innings pitched. Rick Aguilera had a rocky 9th, but closed it out with a save. Vince Coleman, of all people, hit one of his 2 home runs in 1994 off of Deshaies, but that was all of the offense the Royals could muster. The Twins had a 2-hit games from Chuck Knoblauch, Shane Mack, Pedro Munuz, and a 3 hit game from Jeff Reboulet (including 2 doubles). Kent Hrbek had one hit, but it knocked in two. MIN 4, KC 1
June 27, 1994 - Atlanta Braves at Montréal Expos - According to the Expos fans I know, this game will forever be known as the Cliff Floyd game, as he hit a 3 run bomb off of Greg Maddux to take the lead in the bottom of the 7th. Maddux lost only four games in 1994; this was one of them. The best team in the National League managed 4 walks and 9 hits off of the future Hall of Famer. Marquis Grissom was 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. The Expos stole 6 bases, 5 off of Maddux. Even defensive replacement Tim Spehr knocked in a scored a run. Ken Hill pitched 7 and 1/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 3. He did walk 6 batters. Which meant there were always men on base. 45289 fans, my wife, and I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent game in this miserable excuse of a ball park.
I don't expect many people to actually read this, but I wanted to capture it.
First of all, the raw data is here in this Google sheet.
Overall, 26 years later, I am looking at how little offense there were in these 31 games. Batters had a batting average of .261, on-base percentage of .343, slugging of .389 (!), and OPS of .732. According to Baseball Reference, the slash lines for 1994 overall are .270/.339/.424, but an OPS of .763. 2010-2015 had lower OPS numbers, and the baseball stathead community certainly noticed. However, 1994 and 1995 (.755) were the lowest production overall until 2010. The interesting thing that is was the highest OPS to that point since 1930. Amazing how our perception of baseball changes over time. The nineties were where I really paid attention, and 1994 was a blip on the graph of rising offense. Overall OPS was .758 last year. 2006 was .763, and 2000 was .782.
As far as home runs, there were 43 home runs hit during these 31 games, or .72 home runs/game. 1994 overall had 1.03 HR/Game, so I missed out. 2019 had 1.39 HR/game (!), which is the highest ever. The last few years had a higher rate, but before 2017 or so, the home run/game rate were fairly constant.
Now, time for the summaries.
|5||SFN, NYA, STL|
|3||BAL, CHN, TOR|
|2||ATL, BOS, CIN, CLE, HOU, KCA, MIL, MIN, PIT, SDN|
|1||CAL, CHA, DET, FLO, LAA, MON, NYN, PHI, SEA, TEX|
|Name||Team||Batting Average (>1 AB)|
|Name||Team||On-base Percentage (PA > 1)|
|Name||Team||Slugging Percentage (AB > 1)|
|Name||TEAM||OPS (PA > 1)|
|Name||Team||Runs Batted In|
|Name||Team||IP||ERA - Starters
Memories and other notes about the games on the trip. Not all games will have memories. I listed the retrosheet links in my posts, but you can find them if you really want to.
April 9, 1994 - St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants, double-header - Cindy Crawford, representing Old Navy threw out the first pitch. She had quite the entourage on the field with her. I actually taped it, but it's on the missing tape, so I couldn't post footage. The second game, I actually touched a foul ball. It came up to where I was and stopped near me, but the crowd quickly gathered and grabbed the ball after I almost had it.
April 30, 1994 - New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics - Jim Leyritz (who crushed the Astros hopes playing for the Padres in the 1998 NLDS) hit two home runs for the Yankees. Stan Javier went 4 for 5 for the A's with 2 doubles. NYA 7, OAK 5
May 1, 1994 - New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics - A's scored 8 runs without a home run. Geronimo Berroa when 2 for 4, including a triple, driving in 3. Troy Neel (who?) went 2 for 5, both singles, but drove in 4. Bobby Witt pitched 7 and 2/3 innings, giving up 8 hits, 1 earned run, and 3 walks, while striking out 8. OAK 8, NYA 1
May 3, 1994 - Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics - Jeffrey Hammond went 3 for 4 with a triple and 3 runs scored. Hall of Famer Harold Baines (really?) went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI. and Mike Devereux hit 2 home runs and a single, driving in 3 more. Ben McDonald pitched a complete game, allowing 5 hits, 1 earned run, walking 3, and striking out 8. BAL 9, OAK 1
May 24, 1994 - Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers - Willie Banks pitched a complete game shutout, allowing 4 hits, 3 walks, and he struck out 7. They had a no video policy in Dodger Stadium; I wonder what they do now with that everybody can take video all of the time? CHI 2, LAN 0
May 25, 1994 - San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres - It was Law Enforcement Night at Jack Murphy Stadium. Pre-game had the outfield wall lined with mounted police and motorcycle cops. These days, that image is chilling. I had amazing seats; the Padres were bad and their owners told the fans that they would be. And Bonds put on a show. And that home run is on that missing video tape. Sigh. SF 5, SD2
June 3, 1994 - Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies - So, we got to Mile High Stadium, and my seats were in the highest deck behind home plate. I walked up all of the ramps and almost passed out. The mile high air triggered my asthma. At least I wasn't alone; there were dozens of people huffing and puffing at the tops of those ramps. Our first seats' view was blocked by a railing (probably why you could get them), so we moved after a while. Dante Bichette put on a mile-high show. He went 3 for 4 with a double and a home run. Joe Girardi went 3 for 3 with a home run of his own, and he got hit. The Pirates were reeling from their second year without Bonds; they wouldn't be good again for another 20 years. The Rockies had their first playoff appearance the next year; they were up and coming and talented. And in this absolutely monster stadium, it looked like a good crowd, but the count was 53737. There was a ten year period where this team just printed money. COL 6, PIT 4
June 6, 1994 - Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals - Ahh, Mike Mussina. 7 and one-thrid innings, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts. I had great seats, and that was fun to watch. BAL 4, KC 2
More game notes later.
Going down the Grapevine. This is fun at 2x!
I started this effort in 2012. At the time, I was being paid, but the company I was working for was a zombie company waiting for its death blow, and I had no idea what I was going to do. In 2014, I setup the company, the website, and the github repo, and started working on the side, as I had a good full-time job at this time.
I have not been able to devote enough side time to make this work. And in the meantime, a website came along which captures the spirit of what I was trying to do. It’s not exactly aligned, but it’s close. Please checkout:
It’s really good.
Am I disappointed? No. I learned a lot about IOS, and Swift, and SwiftUI, and that has served me in my rejuvenated career as a software developer.
Could I have made this a full-time venture and got this off the ground? Maybe. The real problem is cost of healthcare for my family, and especially, me. I have some major health concerns which don’t affect me day-to-day, but which makes insurance very expensive or impossible to get. I had a potential investor, and Austin is a great place to startup a company. However, I love my full-time job, and the benefits are awesome.
What’s going to happen to the assets of Bone Jarring? I am assigning the ownership of the copyright to myself, Syd Polk. I am making all of the repositories on github public. Nobody was looking at this, but still… The website is paid for until July, at which point it will disappear.
Honestly, there isn’t much there, which is one of the problems I have. I have to pay to maintain the LLC and all of the digital assets, and I don’t want to do that anymore. If I had something close to being ready for the App Store, or if I had a service people were using, I would have explored selling the company to Roll20 or Paizo or Wizards of the Coast, but there is not enough to sell here.
For those few of you who have read along with me the past several years, thanks!
But most of all, keep playing table-top RPGs. Support your local game store, Roll20, Paizo, Wizards, DriveThru RPG, and any game companies that you love their products. It’s a great hobby!
But in this time of COVID-19, checkout Roll20. It’s really good.