Baseball

Spokane Indians Baseball Club

Football season has kicked off another round of scrutiny over how professional sports teams use Native American mascots. But in eastern Washington, a minor league baseball team has earned the approval of its native namesake.

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

R. A. Dickey is a phenomenal pitcher. He's also a lone wolf.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAMES)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: 1-2 to Davis...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #2: In the air. Strike three. Whoa. Back-to-back one-hitters for R. A. Dickey...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #3: The phenomenon that is Robert Allen Dickey continues to get more and more unlikely.

Mariano Rivera has been called baseball's greatest closer. He was the relief pitcher the New York Yankees called in from the bullpen to get the final outs, typically when they held the lead. If the lead was small — and the Yankees won — Rivera was credited a save. In fact, he retired after last season with more career saves than any pitcher in Major League Baseball: 652.

He is revered for what he did and didn't do. He didn't behave scandalously, pick fights, take drugs, throw at batters' heads or chase big contract offers to other cities.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

There's an age-old tension between honoring tradition and embracing innovation. A family-owned sporting goods company in suburban Seattle is confronting that tension in the sport of baseball. This company is going to market with what it calls a "better" baseball bat.

There are great ballplayers, and then there's Ted Williams. In a 22-year career, Williams accomplished things that give him a legitimate claim to being the greatest hitter who ever lived; but he was also a tormented soul who hurt a lot of people, including himself.

We don't often think of professional athletes improving with age, but Jamie Moyer was a better pitcher in his 40s than he was in his 20s. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game when, in April 2012, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he pitched the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.