This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning, Nation. We’re back with our weekly installment of “This Week in Baseball”, where Taylor, Matt, and Jeff will highlight interesting and/or important stories happening throughout baseball. As always, hope you enjoy – and let us know what you’ve been reading by posting in the comment section below.

The True Story of Tim Fortugno, the Man Once Traded for a Bucket of Baseballs by Danny Knobler via Bleacher Report

Some people have stories that just have to be told, and in the case of Tim Fortugno, his story is finally out there for the world.  This is perhaps my favorite article I have posted since we started the This Week in Baseball series…and incredible, in depth look at an incredibly unique life.  Sometimes the title of an article tells the whole story, but in this case, even with a title so gripping, it falls short and doesn’t do the article justice.  This is a longer read than most articles I have posted, but it is certainly worth your time as you get to know Tim Fortugno (Korte).

Hessman Ties All-time Homer Record by Sam Dykstra and Josh Jackson by

Move over Crash Davis…this week a milestone was reached by a man that many of us have never heard of; Mike Hessman of the Toledo Mud Hens hit his 432nd career home run in the Minor Leagues catching Buzz Arlett as the all-time leader in homers for a minor league player.  As you can expect, Hessman is a journeymen, who has played for a number of teams since being drafted 20 years ago.  He had his cup of coffee in the bigs, but the vast majority of his time has been spent in the Minors.  One thing is for certain…I don’t care where you hit them…what league you play in…432 home runs is an impressive number.  So congratulations are in order for Mike on reaching this milestone…next up, the North American Minor League home run leader, Hector Espino who hit 484 home runs in Mexico.  Good luck Mike…here’s to many more dingers! (Korte)

Before Gomez and Flores, Other Baseball Trades That Never Were by Victor Mather, NY Times

The images of Wilmer Flores, with puffy cheeks and red eyes, crying upon learning of his pending trade to Milwaukee while still trying to finish a game for the Mets, really struck a chord with me. Here’s a guy who’s been with the Mets since he was 16 years old…can you imagine what was going through his head while he was out there on the field, trying to do his job? As we all now know, that trade fell through. What a wild few hours for Flores. Here are some other trades that were oh-so-close to happening. Teddy Ballgame for Joltin’ Joe? Almost… (Ballinger)

The Forgotten Story of … the world’s best baseball stadium – that was never built by Les Carpenter,

My family and I went to Montreal during our vacation this summer and caught a Women’s World Cup match at Olympic Stadium. That place is a dump. It’s obvious why a new stadium is crucial to Montreal’s hopes for another big league team. Here’s the story of the stadium that never was. In the late-90s, plans were developed for Labatt Park – a contemporary, downtown stadium for the Expos. Slated to hold only 35,000 fans, it would have provided fans an up-close view of their beloved club. As you know, plans fell through and the Expos left Montreal in 2004. However, this stadium plan sits at the ready if/when talks heat up about bringing baseball back to Quebec. (Ballinger)