Monday, September 19, 2016


Now that the Bills' season is over, Rochesterians can focus on baseball.  The national pastime is a good fit for Rochester, a musically inclined city, but not in a top 40 sort of way.  While football is like pop music (catchy, immensely popular, and possibly overrated), baseball is more like classical music (painful at times, yet occasionally exhilarating and unrivaled).  In any event, here are a few interesting tidbits about our region's contribution to baseball:

  • Baseball was invented in Upstate New York (Cooperstown).  Apparently, this story is not actually true, but as the current election cycle shows, the truth is unimportant.
  • Many of the baseball scenes of one of the best baseball movies of all time, The Natural, were filmed in Buffalo's old War Memorial Stadium.
  • Traditionally, baseball bats have been made from ash trees (now seriously threatened by the emerald ash borer).  Where are these ash trees located? Upstate New York, of course.  Rawlings obtains its ash wood from the Adirondack region.  Louisville Slugger bats have largely originated from 6,500 acres of timberland in northern Pennsylvania and across the border in New York State.
  • Alumni of the Rochester Red Wings include Bob Gibson, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Cal Ripken, Jr., Frank Robinson (manager), and Earl Weaver (manager).
  • The upcoming Major League Baseball postseason looks to feature many teams genuinely longing for a World Series.  The Chicago Cubs haven't won since 1908, and the Cleveland Indians last won in 1948.  The Texas Rangers and the Washington Nationals, both somewhat younger franchises, have never won.  The Baltimore Orioles last won in 1983.  At the time, the Orioles were managed by Rochester Red Wings alum and Rochester resident Joe Altobelli.


  1. And let’s not forget that Rochester has produced baseball players like Johnny Antonelli, Tim Redding, Andy Parrino, Cito Culver, etc.

  2. Absolutely true. Despite having a long winter, Rochester has produced some solid homegrown baseball talent.

  3. The baseball bat your great-great-grandfather used may have been flat, and it was probably made from hickory. Today's bats may be lighter and the bat you use may even be made of metal, but they still reflect the spirit and competition of baseball!