Tagged: Bill Mueller

#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. 

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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. 
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It is an honor to be able to dedicate my ranking to Bill Mueller. 
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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!!