Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
John U. Bacon writes a short introduction to the attached video highlighted in this month's Michigan Today profiling civil rights pioneer Branch Rickey and his relationship with the immortal Jackie Robinson. Rickey was a 1911 graduate of Michigan Law School.
Like so many great Wolverines, he was born in Ohio but shook it off. Interesting that Charles Thomas, a black player on Rickey's Ohio Wesleyan team (at that point Rickey was Wesleyan's coach) was a catalyst for Rickey's focus on discrimination in baseball. The incident in particular - a not unusual story of a hotel refusing to lodge a person of color - took place in South Bend, but sadly could have occurred virtually anywhere in the U.S. at that time.
This is well worth 25 minutes of your time, and as "42" hits the theaters, remember that Branch Rickey was a law school alumnus and a model representative of UofM in many ways.
There is also a related story by Bacon regarding the impact Rickey had on Fred Wilpon (Mets owner, Michigan man, and namesake of the baseball-softball complex) that's worth a look. LINK. Money quote? Money quote:
He practically invented Ladies' Day—which integrated an almost entirely male domain—spring training, and baseball's minor league system. Former St. Louis Cardinal great Stan Musial said, "An all-star team of our top farm clubs probably could have finished third behind the Cardinals and Dodgers. This was Branch Rickey's masterpiece."
The spring signing period begins tomorrow for baseball and many other sports, and perhaps the Michigan program will be issuing an official release on their 2013 signees later this week or soon thereafter. In the meantime, late last month, Erik Bakich and his staff secured their ninth 2014 commit, Ty Kiafoulis.
Hello: Ty Kiafoulis
OF, Birmingham Brother Rice (MI) — 6-5, 230 lbs.
Committed: March 2013
- Perfect Game: grade of 8 ("potential draft pick and/or excellent college prospect")
- Prep Baseball Report: not known
- Michigan Baseball Prospects: ranked #14 in the state
Scouting Report: from his PBR profile, posted Feb. 2013:
Kiafoulis is a hulking presence, checking in at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. He showed extremely well overall in the outfield. His throws were accurate and showed some carry. But Kiafoulis excels at the plate. He is athletic and has a swagger in the box. And for a big man, he has a very short compact stroke. Kiafoulis also showed that he can run well for his size (7.03).
And here's a bit more on Kiafoulis and his commitment from a MIPrepZone article:
“Getting the decision taken care of this early is exciting and takes a lot of pressure off for the next two years,” said Kiafoulis of accepting his offer from the Wolverines. “Michigan is a great school with a great tradition and the baseball team is on the way up, so to be a part of all that is an awesome feeling and something I’m extremely looking forward to.”
In Brother Rice’s season-opening doubleheader sweep of Grosse Pointe North on Tuesday, Kiafoulis showed off his power and quick bat, clubbing three hits and four RBI in the set of wins, highlighted by a towering three-run homer in the first game of the day.
His head coach Bob Riker is fast to compliment his rising batsmen and his college selection.
“Ty has big-time potential, we’re talking a very high ceiling with the kind of player he could end up becoming,” Riker said. “He’s a natural hitter with pop in his bat and a good eye at the plate. I think it’s a great fit for both of them. They’re (Michigan) fortunate to get his commitment.”
2014 and 2015 Commits
Below are charts listing the known Michigan baseball commits for 2014 and 2015. There are a number of links in the PG and PBR columns to profile pages at those sites. Cursoring over the underlined text in the rightmost column will cause boxes to pop up with a scouting report on the player (taken from one of the sites linked).
EDIT: The charts wouldn't display properly here, so I've inserted them as replies below.
Michigan knocked off PSU today at Ray Fisher Stadium, 8-1. Michigan earned their second straight B1G sweep of the season and continues their amazing 9 game winning streak.
They now sit at the top of the B1G standings. Next up is northwestern on the road. The saturday game is at Wrigley Field.
The Michigan baseball team scored 5 runs in the 8th inning to sink Penn State today. They managed just 2 hits off PSU starter TJ Jann today despite striking out just once. Jann left after the 7th, and with 2 out in the 8th PSU proceeded to walk the bases full. M then got consecutive hits from Michael O'Neill, Zach Zott, and Kevin White.
Trent Szkutnik was outstanding, walking just 1 and striking out 12 over 6 2/3 innings. Matt Ogden finished the 7th and pitched the 8th, and Jacob Cronenworth finished up.
The team's record is now 18-14, 5-2 in conference.
I received an Email from a Spartan fan of mine ranting about how he's sick of hearing about the officials and how he heard from someone else this week that the officials from Monday's game had Big East affiliation.
I decided to look into it further (statsheet.com):
The refs who worked Monday night's game (Tony Greene, John Cahill, John Higgins) have done 3,500+ games since 1997
- 559 were Big East games (16%)
- 72 were Big Ten games (2%)
- This season neither Greene or Cahill worked a UM game, they collectively worked 14 UL games
- Since 1997, Cahill & Greene have done 52 UL games, and only 6 UM games (Greene had never officiated UM prior to Monday night).
EDIT*: Michigan wins its sixth-straight game, defeating Notre Dame in South Bend, 4-1. As Center Ice pointed out, Notre Dame went into the game ranked in the top 25, ranked between #16 and #24 by the various polls.
James Bourque went 5 1/3 to get the win and is now 3-4 on the season. Matt Ogden went the rest of the way in relief to earn his first save.
The Wolverines next play host to Penn State for a three-game series this weekend.
*This originally was sort of a baseball open thread with a live video embed. Just thought I should explain for people coming to this late and seeing the "replies" below.
EDIT2: Link to the mgoblue.com piece on the game: Six Pack: Michigan Knocks Off No. 18 Irish to Continue Win Streak