Thursday, 29 September 2016

7th Inning Stretch

With all that's going on in our world, I enjoyed taking a breather this evening (yesterday, now) by reading a story about a memorable moment in modern-day baseball.  It was a good one, among a number of such moments over the years.

The story:

from ‘Wow! The most moving baseball moment ever’ - September 28
(A young speedster, leading off for the Miami Marlins after they tragically lost their ’superstar’ pitcher in a boating accident over the weekend, hit an uncharacteristic-for-him home run after taking two pitches.  “I ain’t never hit a ball that far, even in [batting practice],” said Gordon.  “I told the boys, ‘If you all don’t believe in God, you better start.’  For that to happen today, we had some help.”) 

Stan says
September 29, 2016 at 2:56 am (still September 28 PDT)
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I stopped following major league baseball many years ago, when other things took over in my life. But baseball is in our blood as a nation. I want to thank the AP and the Horn News for this story. It made my day.

And Dee Gordon: Well done, fella. What a tribute you played. A memorable moment in a sport that has had a number of them, over the years. This will go down with the best of them.

Now excuse me. I have to blow my nose.


Stan says
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P.S. I meant to say: “What a tribute you paid.”

A little overcome, there.

Also, because it brought back to my mind so many great memories of baseball. Ted Williams. Mickey Mantle. Stan ‘The Man’ Musial. ‘Bullet Bob’ Feller. Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal in a tight, legendary duel…

Good moments, all. And now, this one, to add to them.

But excuse me. I seem to have something in my eye…


Ah, baseball.  Excuse me while I reminisce for a moment.  It helps...

I think my mother knew she wasn't going to have to worry about me getting into any trouble in my younger years (as opposed to my brother; another story) - if the thought ever crossed her mind - when she came into my room one day and noticed that what I had on my walls, over my desk, was the weekly posting of the batting averages of the players of both major leagues.  From which I would keep close tabs on my favorites, and monitor their progress; cheering them on silently from my home in Southern California.  (This was before the Dodgers and the Giants moved out to my state.)*   

Did you know that Ted Williams was the only player ever to hit more than .400 in a season?  Granted, he was out with some injury or other some of that year; but he was still at-bat enough times to qualify for the honor.  And as for 'the honor': I had that one time when I was in a large park in our city one fall season for something-or-other, and happened to walk by an area where there was a fly-casting competition going on, and someone pointed out to me: "Hey - do you realize?  That's Ted Williams over there."  

Whoahhh.  And it was.  The legendary Ted Williams.  The Splendid Splinter.  Who was also a fly-casting champion.  And who had also been a Marine fighter pilot in the Korean War.  

That's the kind of man he was.  And to us impressionable kids.  And for years.  A real man's man.

I had the inestimable pleasure in my life to have seen the great Ted Williams in live action one day, whilst living in New York City for a year after dropping out of university and going out on what has turned out to be a lifelong search for answers to life.  I traveled up to Yankee Stadium on the subway one day and took in the game between that illustrious team and the Boston Red Sox, and thus had the pleasure of seeing both Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle in action.  I think Ted got 1 for 4 that day.  No matter.  It was a treat.  And to see even the Yankees have to resort to 'the Ted Williams shift' against the legendary lefty, putting their shortstop between first and second base whenever he came up to bat. 

That's the kind of ballplayer he was.  

That's the kind of world that we kids grew up in.  

Clean.  Exciting.  Inspiring.

Now where was I..................

...oh yes.  The feds are getting involved in local police departments...

...the feds are getting involved in local gun control measures......

...the feds are getting involved in the voting systems of the states..........

...the feds have stored up a huge amount of ammo.  And have nearly 3,000 MRAPs.........

...And the banking system is about to collapse; seemingly putting us at the mercy of the money people, to help us get out of the hole that they dug in the first place...

...well.  As the kid cried happily, when opening the door to a room that was full of a huge pile of horse manure:

'Hallelujah!  With all this shit -

there must be a pony!'


* Which spelled the end of the Pacific Coast League; and my following of the L.A. Angels and the Hollywood Stars.
   Johnny Ostrowski.  Billy Schuster...
   Those were the days, my friend...

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