#11– Bill Mueller

Coming in at number 11 is a true honor for ‘The Future Blog of the Red Sox’ and I can only thank the people who take the time to read my blog, and your thoughts are always appreciated as well. I still find it funny that #10 went to an advertisement. High school baseball is starting, so maybe that explains it. 

Bill Mueller 1.jpg
I have decided to dedicate number 11 to Bill Mueller, who played for the Red Sox from 2003-2005. In 2003 he won the American League MVP with a .326 batting average, 85 RBIs, 19 home runs, and 171 hits. He played third base for the Red Sox, as he did the majority of his career. He actually had his start with the Giants in 1996, and finished his career with the Dodgers in 2006. He actually contributed almost half of his career home runs during his three years with the Sox. On July 29, 2003, he became the only player in major league history to hit two grand slams in one game– from opposite sides of the plate! 
Remember that Yankees vs Red Sox fight on July 24, 2004? Mueller hit a walk off home run to show the Yankees whose boss :). 
In Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS he hit a single in the bottom of the ninth off of Mariano Rivera, which batted in Dave Roberts who had memorably stolen second base. 
Bill Mueller 2.jpg
It is an honor to be able to dedicate my ranking to Bill Mueller. 
Jed Lowrie 3.jpg
A lot of you know about one of my “player projects”, Jed Lowrie, who I became a huge fan of last year during Spring Training when he autographed a baseball for me. I said all year long that he would come up and be the Red Sox shortstop, and I loved watching him play everyday and doing a great job of it too.
Little did I know that he was playing with a wrist injury. In fact, it was a sprained and fractured wrist!! Did he complain about it? No. Did he blame his declining average on it? No (although it was probably the predominant factor). While Manny Ramirez was faking injuries, he was playing through one! He mentioned that he couldn’t even touch his wrist during the playoffs, it hurt that badly. Yet he still provided that clutch hit in Game 4 of the ALDS that brought us to the ALCS. No worries about striking out with the bases loaded in Game 7 buddy, I know you can’t do everything– yet. 
The fact that he was playing with a broken wrist (in baseball, that classifies as broken) makes me gain even more respect for him than I already had, and believe me I had a lot. He opted out of surgery and took the ‘road less traveled by’ (if that even applies…) and perhaps that will “make all the difference” (okay, I’ll stop with the Robert Frost puns). The fact that he feels even healthier now, gives me a strong feeling that he will be the best option for the Red Sox’s staring shortstop, even before the games have begun! 
As many of you know, I have a research paper that I have been working on. I only have the preliminary introduction paragraph, but I’ll give you a brief overview on what I plan on writing about. 
I will be talking about how interest in baseball was rekindled after the Civil War during America’s Gilded Age, and how it provided new spaces and liberties for both spectators and players. It provided new jobs and industries as well as a new space in itself (the stadium), and it provided liberties for the players and the fans because they could get away form the factories. 
But what I didn’t realize was how perfectly baseball mirrored what was going on in America. There were monopolies in baseball, just like there were monopolies in the railroad industry. There was scandal, and there was reform. There was conflict between workers and owners, the reserve clause was basically slavery, and unfortunately there was racism and segregation. 
Here is my introduction paragraph:

 During America’s Gilded Age, many new institutions emerged
that provided new spaces and liberties for the workers, immigrants, and the
middle class citizens who inhabited the crowded cities. However, very few institutions
have had the extraordinary longevity that what many consider to be, “the
national pastime” has had. Town ball, cricket, and base were three of many
forms of pre-mature baseball, but it wasn’t until the New York Knickerbockers
crossed the Hudson River to get to Elysian Fields on the Jersey shore, that
baseball was born. The Civil War halted baseball’s rapid evolution, and while
the North and South were fighting over slavery, states rights, and the
government’s rights, the one thing that they had in common was baseball. Its
popularity was revived during the Gilded Age and many of the events in baseball
mirrored the events that were going on in America. Although baseball provided
many new spaces and liberties to the players and spectators, it also reflected
the age-old tensions and traditions such as racism, the conflict between
workers and owners, the struggle between the individual and the collective
group, and the consequences of scandal and reform.

I would love to hear what you guys have to say about this, and how I can improve it. I’m working on an outline tonight, which I will share with you in my next post. 

Check out this MLBlog… it’s going to be an interesting project, let’s all be part of it!

Thanks for everything!!

-Elizabeth

32 comments

  1. junojen

    Hey, Elizabeth –

    Today must be Bill Mueller day for our blogs! Good dedication for #11 and congratuations!

    I really like your opening paragraph on baseball in the Gilded Age. Drawing the parallels between baseball and the country’s social and business struggles… Good job. The game was evolving and so was our nation. I guess you could say the game continues to evolve today as does our nation. Hey – maybe that’s your closing paragraph?!

    Keep the faith –
    Jen
    http://faithful.mlblogs.com

  2. Elizabeth D.

    Jen: Thanks for your help, and I like the idea of the closing paragraph!!

    Mark: I have no doubt that he works hard :). It’s a great way to advertise!

    -Elizabeth

  3. mlbmark

    Great…and I agree with Jen. The important thing to note, as you have, is that baseball always has been a mirror held up to American society since the mid-1800s, and we see ourselves in the national pastime. It always evolves and polices itself and grows stronger each time it endures much heart-wringing. You could also close out with the famous line from “Field of Dreams” about baseball as the “constant.” It will always be there, long after we are gone.

    Mark/MLB.com
    http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

  4. mlbtribefan

    First of all, Bill Mueller was one of my favorite Red Sox players. I hated to see him go off the Sox. I just wish Cleveland would have gotten him.

    Your opening paragraph looks well. I can’t wait to see the outline. Keep up the great work, Elizabeth.

    Aaron
    http:.//mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

  5. jacobylvr

    Elizabeth,
    It’s obvious you’re a good writer! I agree with Jen about the hypen in pre-mature and I don’t think you need the quotation marks around “national pastime” (that expression has been around awhile). I’m looking forward to your outline and I think it’s great that your teacher would approve of such an awesome topic. Also, I loved Bill M. and still miss him. I’m not sure how you have such a wide knowledge of the Red Sox at your age, but that only shows that you’ll be amazing at the MLB table!

  6. Elizabeth D.

    Aaron: After he left the Sox, his career was ended with knee surgery so in a way, you’re lucky that he didn’t go to the Indians. Thanks for the help

    Jacobyluvr: Thank you so much!! I will definitely put up the outline once I get it finalized. Thanks for all your help and support!!

    -Elizabeth

  7. Elizabeth D.

    Caroline: Thank you so much!!

    Kyle: I love Dave Roberts, and that pinch steal he gave us, but if we’re benching guys like Rocco Baldelli and Mark Kotsay, I don’t know what we’d do with him!

    Bob: Thanks!

    -Elizabeth

  8. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Elizabeth …

    “Congratulations” on your #11 ranking on the latest “Leader’s List” … You continue your move up to the top of the list !!! … Nice dedication in honor of #11 Bill Mueller, with many interesting facts and stats that you have listed, including, his “gem” in 2003, as the “only player to hit two grand slams in one game — from opposite sides of the plate” [great stat] !!! … Regarding Jed Lowrie, I agree, I think, the Red Sox will be fine with him at shortstop !!! … And, finally, your introduction paragraph: sounds great the way you have written it !!! … I would say it is “excellent” !!! … Keep up the great work on your mlblog, and have a great day !!! ….. Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” ….. http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

  9. rrrt

    Elizabeth – great dedication to Bill Mueller, and I also enjoyed the part about Jed Lowrie. It’s so refreshing when a player doesn’t whine about his injuries!
    I really liked your opening paragraph for your report. If anything, instead of “premature”, which to me sounds like something that happened before it should have, maybe substitute something like “nascent”, meaning beginning to develop or recently come into existence. Just a thought :-).
    I look forward to seeing the rest of it once you have it done – keep up the good work!
    Sue
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  10. Elizabeth D.

    Hyun Young: Thanks!! I’m sure that we’ll see you back up on the leaders soon!!

    Jimmy: Thanks!!

    Jenn: I will definitely post my rough draft (if I get around to it lol), and then the final one!

    Mets Main Man: No problem, and good luck with it.

    Kaybee: I know, he truly wanted to play. It’s a refreshing attitude– he didn’t take it for granted because he truly had to earn it. His spot wasn’t guaranteed.

    Sue: Thanks for the suggestion! I like ‘nascent’, it’s very fitting.

    -Elizabeth

  11. rockymountainway

    Nice first graph. I can’t wait to see the outline and meat of it all. I love history and it’s never boring to read up on it. Maybe I remember something I forgot and maybe I learn something new. That was an interesting time in history and it’ll be great to see your look at it : )
    Tom
    http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

  12. raysrenegade

    Bill Mueller,

    Now there is a name I have heard for a while. In 2003 he was stroking the ball so well they must have looked like beach balls coming into the plate.
    Awesome dedication to a guy who made Red Sox history on and off the field.

    Rays Renegade

    http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

  13. Elizabeth D.

    Tom: Thanks, I’ll post it later tonight!!

    Rays Renegade: I know, it seems like he disappeared off of the face of the earth after he left Boston.

    -Elizabeth

  14. flairforthedramatic

    Congrats on being #11 Elizabeth 🙂 [Sorry I’m a little late lol]
    You’re introductory paragraph sounds really good. You sound way more intellectual than I even attempt to be.. My current events teacher would probably love you.. He’s always harassing us about using “intellectual traits”.. but no one ever cares lol. Unlike him, I will not critique you. Seems you’re doing a good job 🙂
    – V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

  15. Erin Kathleen

    Elizabeth,
    Congratulations on being number 11! It’s nor really surprising, though, look at all the people who read this blog! And I know I’m probably too late to offer any feedback on your paper (sorry about that) but I think you have a really good start 🙂
    -Erin
    http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

  16. welikeroywelikeroy

    Good luck on your paper Elizabeth,

    I would love to write a paper like that on baseball. When you go back that far, baseball has a lot unusual and stange occurances. The outfields didn’t have fences, glove were not worn and players tend to aim their hits in spots that were unplayable (rather than slugging the ball like we see today).

    You are right about the Racism, alcoholism and inequality in those days. On the other hand, baseball was more pure than it is now The game was free from the grips of money. People played for the love of the game, not just because they got paid well (in most cases players were not paid at all). Ball clubs were just that, clubs. Groups of friends that enjoyed their time off playing a game. Baseball was in it’s innocence, and so was America. They’ve grown together, I believe.

    I always love talking baseball history. Good luck on your paper, I’m sure you will do fine, as you write extremely advance for a 15 year old.
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  17. Elizabeth D.

    Vanessa: LOL thanks, but I think that this “intellectual trait” only works when it comes to baseball topics

    Jeff: lol thanks!

    Erin: No, feedback is still great!! Thanks!

    Homer: Thanks, and isn’t it beautiful how baseball perfectly mirrors America?

    Emily: Thanks!! Jed Lowrie never complained once which was incredible.

    -Elizabeth

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