Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

On This Day

September 28th, 2010

On Sept 28, 1960 my family changed irrevocably. It would be almost three years before I was born, another six months or so before I could utter the phrase, “changed irrevocably,” never mind grasp it’s subtle implications. None the less, the family changed in a way that would affect me dramatically: my older brother was born. The first born, he was rambunctious almost from the get go. An active boy, he would later find sports in a big way. In fact, the way I am with music, he is with sports.

A story: When I got Led Zeppelin tickets in 2007 he was the one guy I figured could afford to go. He did, and more than once while we were in England he compared seeing Led Zeppelin to the Super Bowl he had a chance to see a few years earlier. I disagreed, on two points: 1) Football sucks, Led Zeppelin doesn’t. 2) 80,000 people get to go to the super bowl annually; 20,000 people got to see Led Zeppelin once since 1980.

He is, to make a long post somewhat shorter, a sports guy. So it is appropriate that he should share his day with two significant sporting events.

It was his twelfth birthday when Foster Hewitt made the most famous call in Canadian sports in 1972:

Henderson has scored for Canada.

He is aware of the date of that goal, and has mentioned before it was on his birthday. He even has a picture of that moment hanging in his basement.

The second event occurred the day he was born. While he was entering the world in Ireland, across the ocean in the Irish-American stronghold of Boston, Ted Williams was finishing his career. Fourty-two year old Williams played his last game 50 years ago today, hitting a home run in his final at bat in the major leagues.

Williams played 21 years in the major leagues, hit 521 home runs and had a career batting average of .344. A brilliant career, capped off 50 years ago today.

Jim Pagliaroni shakes Ted Williams' hand after his final at-bat in 1960

Jim Pagliaroni shakes Ted Williams' hand after his final at-bat in 1960

Baseball, Birthday Wishes, Hockey , ,

Honesty in Baseball

June 21st, 2010
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I haven’t spent a lot of time at baseball games the past ten or so years. Any parent will tell you, kids interests often become the parents interests. From a sports perspective, there’s been a bit of volleyball, the odd hockey season, but mostly basketball and football, neither of which has ever been a sport I like much. So this year for fathers day, I decided I wanted my son to take his dear old dad to a baseball game.

fat-cats-logo-150x191None of that overpriced professional stuff – $60 for a halfway decent seat? OR I can sit five miles away and be treated like shite? Gee thanks for the options Blue Jays – for me. Instead I got him to take me to the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League.

It was a beautiful day. The Panthers play in take-whatever-seat-you-want stadium, had hot dogs and sausages off the BBQ, and Dad his son and his friend got in for a purple Sir John. The weather was baseball perfect, hot not roasting. The sun was bright and the snowbirds were flying overhead from the nearby Waterloo airshow. It was Bull Durham without the sex.

The opponents. My new favourite team name, The Ottawa Fat Cats. It’s not the Macon Whoopie, I acknowledge, but neither are they anymore.

The Ottawa Fat Cats, now that’s truth in advertising.

Anyway, thanks to the boy for the best fathers day, I’ll turn you into a baseball fan yet.

Baseball , , , , , ,

Richard Blumenthal is Morally Unqualified…

May 18th, 2010
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to manage the Toronto Blue Jays:

johnsonAt a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam”…

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

Back in 1999, Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson was dismissed from the Jays for an markedly similar offense:

The lies Tim Johnson told about his Marine service in Vietnam cost him the trust of his team. Now, it’s cost him his job.

Johnson was fired Wednesday as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays…

Johnson never saw combat, but supposedly made up stories – including one about shooting a young girl – to inspire the club. He taught mortar training to recruits going to Vietnam, yet never served there.

What does it say that Tim Johnson, out of baseball because of his Vietnam stories, could run for the Senate, but not a job with the Minnesota Twins?

Perhaps if Blumenthal loses, he could become a utility infielder with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos.

h/t Kate

Baseball, Politics American Style, Silly Politicians , ,

Bob Uecker

April 30th, 2010

“Mr. Baseball,” Bob Uecker is scheduled for heart surgery today to repair an aortic aneurysm. Uecker, 75, has been the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers for almost 40 years, as well as being nationally known for his Miller Lite commercials and acting roles.

Best wishes to Bob Eucker for a speedy recovery.

Baseball , ,


April 12th, 2010

magnoliaand the living is easy.

The signs are all around. The Masters is over and, thankfully, Tiger Woods didn’t win. The magnolias in bloom at Augusta always remind me that my own magnolia will bloom in the next week. The garden, in fact, is in half bloom this afternoon, the beginning of a summer of colour and flavour coming out of the very ground I own.

But summer really starts when those boys of summer get around to throwing a baseball in anger, hitting one with authority. Tonight, the 5-1, first place Toronto Blue Jays return to the Wok by the lake to begin the 2010 home season.

Go get em boys, and thanks for bringing summer with you.

Baseball , , ,

Baseball and Fascism

May 21st, 2007
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Back on April 2nd, Gerry Nicholls offered what he opined to be the best five baseball movies:

  • The Natural
  • 61*
  • The Rookie
  • The Sandlot
  • For the Love of the Game

Then, for good measure, he threw in a link to Abbot and Costello’s who’s on first.

I piped in that he missed Bull Durham, and offered a couple of routines to back me up:

And talk about great comedy routines, the meeting on the mound:

Larry: Excuse me, but what the hell’s going on out here?
Crash Davis: Well, Nuke’s scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man’s here. We need a live… is it a live rooster?
[Jose nods]
Crash Davis: . We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose’s glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present.
[to the players]
Crash Davis: Is that about right?
[the players nod]
Crash Davis: We’re dealing with a lot of shit.
Larry: Okay, well, uh… candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she’s registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let’s get two! Go get ’em.

This ones not bad either:

Skip: You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Larry: Lollygaggers!
Skip: Lollygaggers.

Then yesterday the Toronto Sun ran this quote in a small caption they call Say it Again:

Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring; besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some more ground balls. It’s more democratic.

Strikeouts are fascist; ground balls democratic. You would think that would be the kind of line Gerry Nicholls and myself would remember. Considering the nature of our blogs, you would think that this might have been mentioned.

Aand you would think wrong. Consider the record straightened.

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