Ryan Thomure – Cubs Insider: There’s never been a time in my life when I didn’t think of a baseball field as a good place to be. I’ve never gone to a baseball field and felt unwelcome, and that includes going to other teams games in Chicago Cubs gear from time to time. Baseball is the great unifier, but I’m not a member of the LGBTQ+ community or a minority in any manner. I’m a straight white male, and thus I am lucky enough to approach baseball from a privileged place. Others aren’t so lucky, and sometimes they find baseball fields a pretty unwelcoming place. Luckily almost every Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball team hold at least one Pride Day event per year. It’s only one day, but on that day members of the LGBTQ+ community know they can go to a game and experience the true joy of baseball. One day hopefully every game will be that way for every baseball fan.
Jim Allen – jballen.com: Nippon Professional Baseball doesn’t operate under the same guidelines and laws as MLB and its teams do. A big example of this is the fact that NPB has never been granted any sort of anti-trust exemption or immunity from any anti-monopolization laws. However, NPB teams are currently able to hold on to young talent for longer periods of time because they can make them wait much longer to gain free agency. A recent commission ruling about another sport could have ramifications that would allow NPB players to be granted free agency much earlier in their careers. This would be great for the players, and really when labor wins we all win.
Josh Jackson – MiLB.com: I love me old-time baseball stories. I especially love me some old-time minor league stories. Those are the leagues that had players doing the most interesting and sometimes wacky things. The minor leagues are also where you would get players setting records that didn’t seem like they should exist. Joe Bauman and his 72 home runs in his 1954 season with the Roswell Rockets are one of those records. His 72 long balls stood as the professional record for many years until Barry Bonds broke it in 2001. Bauman’s accomplishment always seemed greater though, not because it was, but because it took place in the middle of nowhere in a field where fans gave him money through the outfield fence for the home runs he hit. The minor leagues are great for lore and hard to believe stories, it’s a big reason why I’ve always loved minor league ball.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Los Angeles Dodgers Twitter