This morning I awoke with visions of “67” dancing in my head. It happens once in awhile, the year, the magic. My son tells me I give too much reverence to baseball’s bygone days and he may, in fact, be correct; as last night I was lamenting the “state of the game” today.
I’m not a fan of interleague play, I don’t like the idea that batters put on suites of armor, hang over the plate and the pitcher can’t take back the inside part of the plate. The genie is out of the bottle and only an act of Congress, signed by the president will change that. Oh, and don’t get me started on presidents, candidates and Congress.
The new “rule” on sliding into second and breaking up a double play is, well, one more indication of the softening of America. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that guys should be trying to hurt each other, but breaking up the double play has been one of baseball’s ten commandments since Alexander Cartwright brought baseball’s stone tablets down from Mt. Elysian Fields.
Chase Utley upending Reuben Tejada.
You want to “protect” players from getting injured? How about this for a concept? If a player is determined to have deliberately “injured” a player; said player is “suspended for as long as it takes said injured player to return to the lineup. This would apply to pitchers hitting batters as well.
The immediate reaction may be “no way”, “can’t be done”, “how could you do it”, blah, blah, blah. I’m not unaware of the potential difficulties in its implementation, however would it be any more difficult than all the administrative red tape involved in todays decision making process regarding such matters?
Oh and I HATE, absolutely HATE instant replay. Strong word hate, not one I use much but very applicable here. I simply offer this; has it sped up the game? Made it more entertaining? Nope! A close play takes place, manager comes to the top step of the dugout, waits for the call from his replay people, walks out to the ump, everybody stands around while people miles and miles away watch a screen and call back. AND, very often leaves those of us watching along on TV puzzled, and scratching our heads.
Would you rather that? Or this?
Earl Weaver and Ken Kaiser going nose to nose.
Billy being Billy.
What’s more entertaining?
Oh and by the way, this or waiting for replay takes at least the same amount of time.
Anyway, I digress….Back to my musings.
On April 23, 1967 Boston had a most unusual day. Temperature in the 40s with thunder and lighting. Mickey Mantle had his last Fenway Park RBI. Yaz homered on his way to his Triple Crown and he and Dick Williams were both ejected. The Sox lost, but a new energy force arrived at Fenway, hailed by lightning and trumpeted by thunder. An energy force that would ignite a city, transform a franchise and the Greater Boston area would never be the same.
A lot of interesting events mark April 23rd. At Fenway, Ted Williams’ first career homer was struck on April 23rd 1939. In 1954 Hank Aaron hit his first career homer at Sportsman Park and at Ebbetts Field Jackie Robinson stole second, then third and then home leading the Dodgers to an extra inning victory.
Jackie, Hank and Ted.
Warren Spahn of 363 career wins (more than any other southpaw in history) and World War II combat service, was born on April 23, 1921.
Spahn was a 14 time All Star, four time NL shutout leader and nine times he led the league in complete games. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973.
Spahn played a German soldier in a cameo appearance on the TV Show Combat in 1963. He fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded as part of the force taking the Remgen Bridge.
And this guy was also born on April 23rd, a few years earlier than Mr. Spahn.
Willie also died on his birthday and something tells me that if he were alive in America today he would have written a great tragedy involving baseball.
On this day in 1989, this guy…
passed this guy…
as the all time major league strikeout leader. A position he still holds!
I woke up this morning with visions of “67” dancing in my head. My son tells me that I give too much reverence to baseball’s bygone days and in fact he may be correct.
So I got up and went to the baseball field to practice with these guys…And to revel in the hope of their dreams…The hope of their tomorrows.
And then I went to the golf course with these guys to revel in the hope that lives over each golf shot, each swing, each putt. The hope of now.
I woke up this morning with visions of “67” dancing in my head. My son tells me that I give too much reverence to baseball’s bygone days and in fact he may be correct. Maybe it’s time to just let it go…
But damn, that song was so sweet…
So very, very sweet….
And so it is on this day…April 23rd the day someone once told me was, “the best day evah.”