Archive for the Baseball Category

Frank Evans, R.I.P.

Posted in Baseball, Kentucky History, Louisville History, Louisville News, Obituary, Sports with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by othersideoflife

(undated picture of Frank Evans from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.)

The Courier-Journal is reporting that Frank Evans, former Louisville Redbirds coach and Negro League phenom, has died:

Frank Evans, a former coach for the Louisville Redbirds and a former Negro League Player, died Aug. 3 in Auburn, Ala. He was 90 years old.

Evans worked under manager Jim Fregosi in 1984 and 1985 when Louisville won consecutive American Association championships.

Evans’ playing career spanned from 1937 through 1965 as an outfielder, first baseman, and catcher. He played for the Memphis Red Sox, Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, Cleveland Buckeyes, Birmingham Black Barons, and Philadelphia Stars.

Some choice quotes from Evans about his career in baseball are at his player profile page at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum site:

“We took a lot of abuse, stuff that people wouldn’t know about these days, but we were one family. We were the nice guys who finished last except on the field.”

Evans said that the big losers in those days were the white baseball fans. “They didn’t know what they were missing. They talk about all the great hitters – Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. They don’t ever talk about Josh Gibson, the greatest home run hitter of all time. Josh could hit a home run with one hand. I was there. I saw him do it. They talk about the great base runners, but they don’t talk about “Cool Papa” Bell, the greatest of them all. They talk about the great pitchers, but most of them never saw Satchel Paige . I admired him because he threw strikes. He was always around the plate. He had absolute control, and he did it for more than 50 years.”

Evans was a journeyman who played catcher, first base, outfield, and, occasionally, pitcher. However he was well-known around baseball for being one of the best hitting instructors of his day.


Park Place and Browning’s To Close

Posted in Baseball, Development, Drink, Economics, Food, Labor, Louisville News, Obituary on October 13, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

(above photo of Browning’s Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout from Chicagoist)

In a related development to our post about West Main Street from last week, Consuming Louisville is reporting this morning that Saturday was the last night of business for the Park Place and Browning’s restaurants and microbrewery, located in Slugger Field on East Main Street:

I got a press release over the weekend saying that Saturday night (October 11, 2008) was the final evening in business for both Park Place and Browning’s down on Main. This is really sad news for an area that’s already taken some big hits recently in terms of food (Primo, Market on Market) and just general business (Baer Fabrics). The key quote in the press release was from the general manager of both restaurants who said:

“Although we have seen a steady increase in business, we feel the current state of our national economy will prove to prohibit the sustainability of our success. We are extremely grateful to all of our supporters and will miss them at our tables.”

This is bad news for Main Street east of 2nd, as well as for beer lovers in the Louisville area. We had a couple pints of Browning’s She-Devil Imperial Pale Ale on Friday night at the Zeppelin Cafe in Schnitzelburg, but still hadn’t had the chance to dine at the Slugger Field restaurants. We work just a block away (full disclosure: for one of Park Place/Browning’s vendors), and we’re saddened by this abrupt and jarring news. We really wanted to try the food out, as well as the other beer selections.

Cardinals Roll On Through To Semis

Posted in Baseball, Happenings, Sports on May 22, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Cardinals Baseball

(above photo courtesy of

The University of Louisville Cardinals baseball team continued their journey in the Big East tourney (hey, that rhymes) with a 14-3 stomp-athon of the eighth-seeded Villanova Wildcats (story from the Courier-Journal):

The University of Louisville’s top five hitters combined for 10 runs and 12 of the Cardinals’ 15 hits as they whipped Villanova 14-3 yesterday in the Big East Conference baseball championship.

Big East co-Player of the Year Chris Dominguez went 2 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs for third-seeded U of L (39-19), which advanced to tomorrow’s semifinals. Justin McClanahan was 3 for 5 with three RBIs.

Starting pitcher Justin Marks (8-1) allowed the three runs and struck out seven in six innings.

The Cardinals never trailed as Phil Wunderlich opened the scoring with an RBI single to left-center field and Drew Haynes followed with a double in the right-center gap in the second inning.

Louisville added four more in the third, highlighted by McClanahan’s RBI triple and a two-run home run by freshman Stewart Ijames.

Wow, that’s pretty fierce, dudes. On Friday the Cards will face the winner of today’s game between Seton Hall and Villanova in the double-elimination tournament.

Cardinals Baseball Team Opens Big East Tourney

Posted in Baseball, Sports on May 20, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Cardinals Coach

(The C-J keeps running this photo of Cardinals baseball coach Dan McDonnell with every baseball article online. We think it’s great and all, and sorta reminds us of Marky Mark Wahlberg, but c’mon Courier, stop being stingy and send a photographer out to a ballgame!)

The University of Louisville Cardinals baseball team plays in the opening game of the Big East tournament today at the early, odd hour of 10 AM. They’ll enter the tournament as the fourth seed, and will play fifth seed Seton Hall (who have a 30-23 overall record). This morning’s C-J article previewing the game features no boastful predictions from Cards coach McDonnell:

The Cardinals and [Seton Hall] Pirates did not meet in the regular season. Seton Hall owns the league’s second-best team ERA (3.64) and second-best opponent’s batting average (.247).

McDonnell expects to see junior lefthander Corey Young on the mound today [for Seton Hall]. Young was among the league leaders with a 2.91 ERA and 77 strikeouts this season. Seton Hall usually needs good pitching to win, because it ranks 11th in the conference in team batting average and runs.

“Everybody is known for something, and their strength is definitely pitching,” McDonnell said.

Louisville will counter with right-hander Matt Lea (4-0, 2.93 ERA) today. Lea transferred from Mississippi State last year while rehabilitating a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. He didn’t face live batters until January and began the season in the bullpen before moving into the rotation April 29. U of L has won all three of his three starts.

…A win today for the Cards would likely mean a matchup against top seed St. John’s tomorrow in the double-elimination tournament. Beating the Red Storm, which is ranked No. 18 by Baseball America, could do wonders for U of L’s NCAA Tournament hopes. Louisville went into last year’s Big East Tournament with 38 victories, won two games and earned a trip to the regionals on its way to the College World Series.

McDonnell has said 40 wins is usually the magic number to get into the NCAA Tournament, but he’s not making any predictions.

“Nobody really knows,” McDonnell said. “That’s the nature of this business. You’re always trying to be greedy. Every coach probably wants one more win than he has.”

Let’s wish the Cards luck!

Additionally, Cardinals third basemen Chris Dominguez was named the 2008 Big East co-Player of the Year last night:

Dominguez hit .363 with a league-leading 18 home runs, driving in 65. He enters the postseason as the league leader in total bases (151) and is 10th in the Big East in batting, second in slugging (.677) and RBI, third in runs (60) and fifth in hits (81).

Wow! And one final note: all of the Cardinals postseason games will be broadcast in Louisville on WAVG 1450 AM.

UPDATE 9:15 AM, May 21: The Cardinals defeated Seton Hall 12-3 yesterday, and will play Villanova at 5 PM today.

Final Cardinals Baseball Homestand Begins Tonight

Posted in Baseball, Happenings, Louisville News, Sports, Uncategorized on May 13, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Cardinal Baseball

The final homestand for the University of Louisville Cardinals baseball team begins tonight at Jim Patterson Stadium at 6 PM. Our Cardinals (34-18, with a 14-10 record in the Big East) take on the Ball State Cardinals tonight, then finish out the season against conference rivals the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all games except Saturday start at 6 PM; Saturday’s game begins at 1 PM). All games are of course free to the public, so this will be the last chance for the fans to catch the baseball team before the Big East tournament, which begins on the 20th in Clearwater, Florida.

Cardinal Softball

In additional not-quite-baseball-but-still-really-cool news, the Louisville Cardinals softball team is once again heading to the NCAA tournament (from the Courier-Journal):

The University of Louisville softball team earned its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid yesterday.

The Cardinals (30-21) will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., and play Virginia Tech (44-15) on Friday. Tennessee (47-14) will face Winthrop (36-17) in the regional’s other first-round game. Times have not been determined.

Congratulations, Cardinals!

Louisville Over Thunder(ing Herd)

Posted in Baseball, Food, Happenings, Sports on April 10, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Thundering Whiff

Just got home from Jim Patterson Stadium, where the Louisville Cardinals baseball team beat the visiting Thundering Herd of Marshall. Nope, despite our great seats right behind the plate (see our cellphone photo of a Herd player whiffing at a pitch above), we didn’t hear anybody yell out “WE ARE MARSHALL!” So that was kind of disappointing. But the Cards won, 12-8, despite giving up four runs in the first inning, and we had a good time at our first (but definitely not last) baseball game of the season. Read more about it from the University of Louisville Athletics site:

Josh Richmond, Justin McClanahan and Chris Dominguez went a combined 10 for 15 at the plate with eight RBI and scored seven times, leading the University of Louisville to a 12-8 win over Marshall on Wednesday evening in The Ville.

The Thundering Herd (14-16-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first when Kurt Lipton, Tommy Johnson, Jeff Rowley and Tyler Oliver each plated runs in consecutive fashion for Marshall.

After Cardinal (17-13) starter James Belanger set down the Herd in order in the top of the second, the UofL offense ignited in the bottom of the frame, taking a 6-4 lead.

Andrew Clark, Jeff Arnold and Alec Lowrey hit consecutive singles to load the bases for Kyle Cheesebrough. The junior catcher, pressed into duty due to an injury to senior receiver Derrick Alfonso, lifted a deep fly ball to center that scored Clark and put the Cards on the board.

An RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Drew Haynes cut the lead in half, and after John Dao singled, Richmond and McClanahan hit consecutive RBI singles to tie the game at four.

Dominguez then drilled a double to center that plated two and gave the Cards their first lead.

The win was particularly sweet since it came after the Cards’ extra innings loss, 7-6, to the Kentucky Wildcats the day before. The Cards and Cats have a rematch scheduled for April 22nd at Jim Patterson Stadium, and hopefully we’ll be there. And speaking of sweet, we had a waffle cone of butter pecan ice cream from Ehrler’s at the Stadium today, and it was awesome! Yeah!

What’s In the Weeklies? Week of Apr.9

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Drink, Food, Kentucky News, Louisville News, Media, Music, Politics, Sports, What's In the Weeklies? on April 9, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means!

LEO April 9

LEO Weekly, April 9, 2008 issue:

Overall Score: 34 points

Velocity April 9

Velocity Weekly, April 9, 2008 issue:

Overall Score: 27 points

This might be the closest in score the two weeklies have been to each other since we started this column. Frankly, we might have weighted the Jay Bruce cover story in Velocity a little too much, but hey, what can we say? We love baseball. And clearly, LEO‘s cover story this week was the alt-weekly equivalent of a grand slam. Interestingly enough, Velocity published a story involving the 930 Listening Room — the music venue inside Sojourn — a few weeks ago, but it didn’t go nearly into as much depth on the fledgling Baptist church’s philosophy as Stephen George does in LEO. George’s article gives us great pause as to whether we’d bother going back to the 930 — unless we’re on the guest list.

As with last week, please feel free to comment! Especially as regards stuff we don’t cover that’s in the weeklies:

And one final note about our weekly tabulation: we know we don’t really take art, dance, theater or film coverage or criticism into consideration by either LEO or Velocity. If you’ve got a preference between the two, please let us know in the Comments section below. If, in a particular week’s What’s In the Weeklies? post, you’d like to call out either weeklies’ coverage (for either positive or negative reasons), please by all means, be our guests!