- WLKY-TV in Louisville reports as usual Louisville Slugger will play a major role in the World Series.
- Courier-Journal columnist Rick Bozich looks back on Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s 11-game rehab appearance with the Louisville Bats in 2007.
- Hamilton isn’t the only person with Kentucky ties participating in the World Series. Former Eastern Kentucky University baseball player Sam Holbrook will serve as an umpire during the series.
- Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal reports University of Kentucky outfielder Brian Adams is likely to see an increase in playing time on the football field this weekend at Mississippi State.
- Nick Craddock of the Kentucky Kernel profiles Adams’ return from a life-threatening medical ailment before he arrived at UK. Adams tells Craddock he plans to continue to play both baseball and football as long as he can.
- Morehead State University senior right-handed pitcher Trey Smith pitched four scoreless innings to lead the Gold Team to a win in game one of the Eagles’ fall scrimmage series.
- Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 2-3 with a RBI and two runs scored for the Peoria Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League.
- Robert Emrich, writing for MiLB.com, named one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis to the Cleveland Indians’ MiLB all-star team.
UPDATE 11:19 p.m.: Pedro Feliz just tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Joba Chamberlin. The home run ensures that UK alum Joe Blanton will get a no-decision in the game.
Joe Blanton has left the World Series game with the Phillies trailing 4-3. Blanton surrendered four runs in six innings and struck out seven while walking two. Chase Utley has hit a home run since Blanton left the game, but the Phillies still trail 4-3. The best Blanton can hope for in the game is a no-decision, and Philadelphia will face a tough climb if they lose tonight.
UK alum Joe Blanton will try and even the World Series at two wins each for the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in game four of the Series. Blanton pre=”Blanton “>won game four of the 2008 Series en route to the Phillies winning the championship. It’s a big day for Philadelphia sports with the Eagles and Phillies playing across a parking lot from each other, but it’s also big for baseball in the Bluegrass. I’ll pass on some links later today, but for now break out your UK baseball gear to route on the Phillies tonight.
I’ve written several times about the Kentucky connection to the World Series in the form of Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, but that’s not the only Bluegrass connection to the series. As columnist Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier Journal reports, the Louisville Slugger Factory was busy Monday morning printing the commemorative New York Yankees bats for the World Series. The Phillies’ bats were finished last week, but weather and a Los Angeles Angels win pushed the Yankees’ series-clinching victory back to Sunday.
Eight Yankees position players will used Louisville Slugger bats during the series, while just five Phillies will. The company’s stranglehold on the bat market isn’t what it once was, but it still provides 60 percent of bats to Major League Baseball. Each Yankees pitcher gets two bats while position players with a bat contract get three to start the series. Every player, front-office worker, coach and even clubhouse attendant gets a commemorative bat. (Read more)
Crawford closes with this excellent summary of Kentucky’s most important role in baseball:
“As workers hustled to put finish on the bats — some are painted black, others are run through a flame to bring out the grain, and all are branded or decaled — company spokesman Rick Redman noted that even as they were waiting to see whether their bats would be shipped to New York or Los Angeles, everyone in this building knew Louisville would be in the World Series. It always is.”