Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America's daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
The Little League World Series is going on, and Major League Baseball is jumping on the bandwagon with the MLB Little League Classic.
But what about the Junior League World Series? The what, you ask? The Junior League World Series is an international tournament for players 13-to-15 years old and held annually in Taylor, Mich., around the same time the better-known LLWS is held in Williamsport, Pa.
Well, if you didn’t know the tournament was going on, you might have missed one of the best catches this year. Kennett Square (Pa.) center fielder Jack Regenye scaled the wall and went over it to rob a home run by a player from Taiwan.
Despite the catch, Taiwan still rolled the boys from Pennsylvania 12-1 in five innings for its fifth straight title.
LET’S HAVE MORE OF THIS
You gotta love two pro baseball teams shaking hands after the game pic.twitter.com/fJIoBvxr8k
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 21, 2017
The NHL receives consistent praise for its handshake lines following the end of a playoff series, often despite hard feelings that arise during the series. The Cardinals and Pirates showed some graciousness following Sunday’s MLB Little League Classic. Hopefully, this will become a tradition in pro baseball.
The Cubs used an improbable rally that included two batters reaching base on strikeouts and a wild pitch that scored Kyle Schwarber to beat the Blue Jays and sweep the interleague series. Alex Avila capped Chicago’s three-run 10th inning with a two-run single.
MANFRED AS MEDIATOR
To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wrist bands pending the requested meeting.
— MLB World Umpires (@MLBaseballUmps) August 20, 2017
Umpires who were wearing wristbands in support of fellow ump Angel Hernandez agreed to end their protest after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with them today.
Most umpires wore white wristbands Saturday after Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for saying that Hernandez is a bad umpire and “just needs to go away.”
— Petar Hood (@PetarWFFT) August 20, 2017
Want another reason why minor league ball is so cool? Scenes like the one above when a player gets promoted. Accessibility decreases as players move up, but in low Class A ball, you can still get to know players. Fernando Tatis Jr., who was tearing up the Midwest League, obviously made an impact off the field as well.
SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM?
Before he became the well-known televangelist, Billy Graham had one passion: baseball. Who knew? The preacher, now 98, was honored in absentia by the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Sunday.
Tracy Ringolsby wrote a moving column on the late Don Baylor. It’s worth your time.