Haverford College’s “Unlikely Pipeline” to Major League Baseball

Tommy Bergjan, No. 15, pitches for Haverford. He is the only current baseball player to come out of Haverford, which has also given Major League Baseball many of its executives, scouts, and employees in other roles, per the New York Times. Photo| David Sinclair

Tommy Bergjans pitching for Haverford. He is the only current pro baseball player in the major league system to have come out of Haverford, which has also given Major League Baseball many of its executives, scouts, and employees in other roles, per the New York Times. Photo| David Sinclair

When you think baseball, you think … Haverford College, right? That tiny little Quaker liberal arts bastion out on the Main Line?

Well, it turns out you should, according to the New York Times. It has a story about the school serving as an “unlikely pipeline” to the Major Leagues despite the fact it’s an NCAA Division 3 school and can’t grant athletic scholarships.

What it does have is alums peppered throughout the baseball world, including the Dodgers’ senior vice president for baseball management, the COO of Major League Baseball, the assistant general manager of the Rangers, and “two of the most influential sports agents in history,” according to the Times. The paper estimates that in total, 15 to 20 Haverford grads have prominent jobs as “front-office executives, agents and talent evaluators.” Read more »

Phillies Push Back Cole Hamels’ Next Start

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Photo | Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Photo | Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors about where Cole Hamels might end up are only intensifying as Friday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline approaches. Yesterday, we told you that the Rangers and Dodgers were the frontrunners in the chase for the Phillies ace. Today, there are new developments. Read more »

Today in Cole Hamels Trade Rumors

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

As the Major League Baseball trade deadline approaches on July 31st, there is increasing speculation among media and the fans as to which players will wear a different uniform come August 1st. This past week alone, several teams have sprung deals sending impactful players to playoff contenders — most recently, the Toronto Blue Jays are said to have acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies in exchange for shortstop José Reyes and prospects.

But so far, nothing has happened in the Cole Hamels derby. Just three days in advance of Friday’s 4:00 p.m. trade deadline, rumors are zipping through the Twittersphere and the ether, all revolving around Hamels’ future destination, if there is one. Here are what some sources have to say: Read more »

Have You Noticed? Phillies Playing Better (But Still Very Bad)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Seen through the eyes of a New York Mets fan (yep, I’m one of those), the Phillies owe the Mets some wins, wins they stole so brazenly at the end of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Now, stuck in last place in the National League East, the Phillies are doing their part to help the Mets’ postseason odds by defeating other teams in the hunt for October, namely the upstart Chicago Cubs. Read more »

Cole Hamels Throws a No-Hitter: Social Media Reaction

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

If that was the last time Cole Hamels pitched for the Phillies, it was a hell of a way to go out.

The longtime Phillies pitcher — the 2008 World Series MVP — has been on the trade block all season long. On Saturday afternoon, he pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs, winning the game 5-0. It was the 13th no-hitter in team history.

Oh, and he hit a double to help his own cause.

Phillies fans — who have suffered mightily this awful season — celebrated on social media. (And they speculated about the future, too.) Read more »

What They’re Saying About Aaron Nola

Jul 20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

He lost the game. But he gave up just one run. But that one run was a home run given up to the other team’s pitcher.

Aaron Nola’s Tuesday night debut for the Phillies — and all the hopes for the future he represents in an otherwise-lost season — was a slightly mixed bag (he lost 1-0) but it gave many observers more reasons for optimism than pessimism about the team’s future.

Here’s what they’re saying: Read more »

10 Things to Know About (Aaron) Nola

Lehigh Valley IronPigs pitcher Aaron Nola (10) delivers a pitch during a game against the Rochester Red Wings on July 4, 2015. Lehigh Valley defeated Rochester 4-3.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs pitcher Aaron Nola (10) delivers a pitch during a game against the Rochester Red Wings on July 4, 2015. Lehigh Valley defeated Rochester 4-3.

Tonight’s the night, Phillies fans.

In what could be the best night for the Phillies in recent memory, their second-ranked prospect — and highest-ranked pitching prospect — Aaron Nola will leave the bullpen, step on the mound, toe the rubber, wind up and throw his first pitches in the big leagues against the Tampa Bay Rays. (He pitches tonight at 7:05 p.m. against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park.) Read more »

Philly’s Anderson Monarchs Taking Trip of a Lifetime

Members of the 2014 Taney Little League-Anderson Monarchs teams pose for a photo with their team bus in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Pitcher Mo'ne Davis is fourth from left.

Members of the 2014 Taney Little League-Anderson Monarchs teams pose for a photo with their team bus in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Pitcher Mo’ne Davis is fourth from left.

This summer, a group of Philly 13-year-olds — including phenom Mo’ne Davis — will board a nearly 70-year-old bus and embark on a three-week trip through history. Starting in Washington, D.C., the Anderson Monarchs — a Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Philadelphia Youth Organization-sponsored baseball team — will hit cities including Richmond, Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma, Memphis, Little Rock and New York as they learn about the Civil Rights movement and play baseball.

This trip, lauded in Frank Bruni’s most recent New York Times column, will be the fourth the Monarchs have taken, said coach Steve Bandura, a Parks and Recreation employee who founded the team in 1989. Past summer tours have focused on the legacy of Jackie Robinson and on baseball’s Negro Leagues. The bus the team uses is from 1947, the year in which Robinson, while a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke baseball’s color barrier. When deciding on the focus of the trip, Bandura first chooses the educational itinerary, then gets in touch with local teams to organize the ballgames. Along the way, the group attends Major League ballgames as well. And on this trip, the Monarchs will play a game at Wofford College, where one of their former players, Demetrius Jennings, attends and plays Division 1 baseball. Read more »

What They’re Saying About Cornelius Randolph

The surely-they’re-rebuilding-now Phillies picked 10th in the MLB draft Monday night and came away with Cornelius Randolph, said to be the best high school hitter in the country. Here’s what else they’re saying about him. Read more »

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