Archive for the ‘baseball’ Tag

09/15/2022 “Americas Pastime”   Leave a comment

I’m a huge fan of baseball primarily because I played it for so many years. It’s the best! However, I will continue to poke the baseball bear in the eye whenever possible. The game is sacred to me, but the individual players are not. So, let’s have a little fun today.

“Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a Communist.” Alvin Dark, New York Giants Infielder

“Even Napoleon had his Watergate.” Danny Ozark, Philadelphia Phillies manager

“Folks, this is perfect weather for today’s game. Not a breath of air.” Curt Gowdy, sports commentator

“All I said was that the trades were stupid and dumb, and they took that and blew it all out of proportion.” Ron Davis, Minnesota Twins pitcher

“I am throwing twice as hard as I ever did. It’s just not getting there as fast.” Lefty Gomez, New York Yankee pitcher

“I prefer fast foods.” Infielder Rocky Bridges, when asked why he wouldn’t eat snails

“I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf.” Tug McGraw, National League pitcher, when asked whether he preferred grass or Astroturf

“Raise the urinals.” Darrel Chaney, Atlanta Braves infielder, on how to keep the Braves on their toes

“Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean.” Pedro Guerrero, National League player

“I lost it in the sun.” Billy Loes, Brooklyn Dodger pitcher after fumbling a grounder

PLAY BALL!

07/19/2022 ⚾FOR BASEBALL LOVERS⚾   1 comment

I’ve been a lover of baseball since the age of six. I’ve played in the LL Minor Leagues, LL Major Leagues, Pony League, Senior Little League, High School (4 years), and American Legion ball. I figure that gives me the right to have a little fun at the expense of some of my favorite players. I remain respectful of these men, but I still think some of the things they say in front of the microphone are hysterically funny. Here are a few . . .

  • “Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a Communist” Alvin Dark, NY Giant infielder.
  • “If Jesus were on the field, he’d be pitching inside and breaking up double plays. He’d be high-fiving the other guys.” Tim Burke, Montreal Expos pitcher.
  • “I am throwing twice as hard as I ever did. It’s just not getting there as fast.” Lefty Gomez, NY Yankee pitcher.
  • “I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf.” Tug Mcgraw, NL pitcher, when asked whether he preferred grass or Astroturf.
  • “The doctors x-rayed by head and found nothing.” Dizzy Dean, NL pitcher, after being beaned in the 1934 World Series.
  • “I was the worst hitter ever. I never even broke a bat until last year when I was backing out of the garage.” Left Gomez, NY Yankee pitcher.
  • “Well, that kind of puts a damper on even a Yankee win.” Phil Rizzuto, Yankee broadcaster, upon hearing that Pope Paul had died.
  • “His (Dwight Gooden’s) reputation preceded him before he got here.” Don Mattingly, NY Yankee infielder.
  • “It would take some of the lust off the All-Star game.” Pete Rose, REDS infielder when asked about inter-league play.
  • “I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me.” Andre Dawson, Cubs outfielder on being a role model.

No, I haven’t forgotten about quotes and sayings by Yogi Berra. I would have to write a short novel to include all of his silliness. I’ll post something on Yogi eventually but it’s hard to choose just ten out of the hundreds available. LOL

PLAY BALL!!!

05/15/2022 Sports Cont’d   Leave a comment

I was pleased to see that yesterday’s post on sports trivia was well received. I thought I’d expand it a little more today.

  • In 1994 NY Giant’s linebacker Lawrence Taylor played his last game. He took a small but poignant souvenir from that game which was the referee’s yellow flag. He felt that he deserved it because the refs “throw it against me often enough”.
  • Walter Payton the famous Chicago Bears running back missed only one game during his 13-year career. He carried the ball more often (3838 times) for more yards (16,726) and scored more rushing touchdowns (110) than anyone else.
  • In 1925 the Dartmouth football team contained 22 members of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
  • Golfing great Ben Hogan is also known for his famous reply when asked how someone can improve their game. It’s short and simple answer is still true today, “Hit the ball closer to the hole.”
  • After retiring as a player, Babe Ruth spent one year as a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
Roger Bannister
  • In 1912, at the Stockholm Olympics, electric timing devices and a public address systems were used for the first time.
  • Famed fullback Jim Brown while attending Syracuse University in the mid-1950s also played lacrosse. and made All-American.
  • In June 1938 the Cincinnati Reds southpaw pitcher John Vandermeer pitched two no-hitters. They were the only two he ever threw, and they were consecutive. He pitched the first one against the Boston Braves and then his next game he pitched one against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Ty Cobb was the only major league baseball player to have a brand of cigarettes named after him.
  • In 1979 New York Yankee manager Billy Martin had a confrontation with a marshmallow salesman and lost his job.
  • In in 1954 Roger Bannister, was named the Sports Illustrated magazines first Sportsman of the Year for breaking the four-minute mile.

BACK TO WORK TOMORROW

05/14/2022 More Sports!   1 comment

Deion Sanders

Since I was talking about Little League baseball in my last post, I thought a little more sports trivia might be interesting. Here are a few tidbits from baseball and football that you might be aware of, and you may not. Enjoy . . .

Baseball

  • In the early days of baseball, players were permitted to throw the ball at a runner for an out and pitching underhanded. Balls caught on one bounce were considered outs.
  • The team who won the first recorded game of baseball was the New York Nine. They beat the New York Knickerbockers 23 to 1 in 1846. By 1857, 16 New York area clubs were playing baseball under the auspices of the National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP), the sports first governing body.
  • 1903 was the first year in which a World Series was played. The Boston Americans (American League) beat the Pittsburgh Pirates (National League) in a best-of-seven nine-game series. Five years later, the Boston Americans rebranded themselves as the Boston Red Sox.
  • It is commonly believed that Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers, gets credited for the invention of the high-five. During the final game of the 1977 regular season, Dodger player Dusty Baker hit a home run and was greeted in the dugout with the high-five slapped by teammate Glenn Burke. The rest is history.

Football

  • President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with instituting the forward pass rule in football. He demanded a change to footballs rules in 1905, after 18 players were killed and 159 injured that year. The forward pass was intended to open up the game and minimize the chaotic dog piles associated with lateral passing. The rule was adopted in 1906.
  • The original name of the Oakland Raiders was the Oakland Senors. It was the winning entry in a 1959 test sponsored by the Oakland Tribune to name the new franchise.
  • The Chicago Bears are the only current NFL team playing in its original city, under its original name. They’ve been the Chicago Bears since 1921.
  • It is estimated that 78% of professional football players are bankrupt or in severe financial trouble after retiring from the NFL. That’s after just two years of retirement.
  • Deion Sanders in 1989, played in the Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons and in the World Series for the New York Yankees. He’s also the only person to have scored a touchdown and hit a major league home run in the same week.

GO PIRATES

(Sarcasm Off)

04/08/2022 Hammering Hank   Leave a comment

I thought I’d start this post with a look-back to April 8, 1974. Being the baseball fan that I am, I’d like to remember “Hammering Hank”.

Hank Aaron Breaks Babe Ruth’s All-time Home Run Record

On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Al Downing.

As a follow-up to that story, I like to make a comment about my hometown team. Just to let everyone know (including JB), the Pittsburgh Pirates still suck. They’ve taken sucking to a new level, and it pains me to even watch a game they’re playing. It’s the beginning of another season and I refuse to get my hopes up. Bring back Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Dick Groat, Rocky Nelson, Dick Stuart, and Willie Stargell and then play some real baseball. I think I sound a little bitter but that’s all right, because “I am”. It’s time for that organization to start spending some money and getting some quality players or it’ll be another 30 years before we see a World Series appearance.

GO BUCKS . . . PLEASE GO!

11/29/2021 X-mas 2021   Leave a comment

I’ve written many postings about the Christmas season over the years and as I recently read back through them, they appeared varied, somewhat interesting, and some even boring. I hate to admit that I was ever boring but there are times when Christmas can be a huge pain in the butt. I just don’t get the “buzz” like I did when I was a kid and it still amazes me that some people (without kids) turn into Christmas fanatics and go wild over it. I loved Christmas as a young child but each year I lost a little of the holiday magic everyone seems to be searching for. It saddens me a little but “it is what it is”. The only real enjoyment for me now is when the young grandchildren are running through the house wearing Christmas apparel and having a grand old time. I thoroughly enjoy living vicariously through them.

After my last two years of medical problems, I didn’t feel things would ever be getting any better. The years, 2019 and 2020, drained away what little fun I had left in me. If not for my better-half and a few other close family members I might not have survived to enjoy Christmas 2021, for that I am eternally grateful.

All of that being said, it’s time to prepare for the holidays once again. With the pandemic still gumming up the works I’m not sure what direction to take. Now that I’m cancer free you’d think I’d be ready to celebrate the hell out of just about anything. After the experiences of the last two years I’ve entered a phase in my life that was totally unexpected. I’ve become calmer, more thoughtful, and seriously introspective.

The grandchildren are no longer toddlers and are becoming actual people. They now can speak their minds and voice their feelings like never before. While I find that refreshing it makes my preparations for the holiday a little more troublesome. My education continues but now they are the teachers and I’m the student.

I now know more about Pokémon and the thousands of cards involved with that experience. It’s supposed to be a game but I have no idea what the rules are. I think he’s just messing with me because he seems to win every game. Which cards are rare and which ones are crappy, who knows?

I’ve seen the Alvin & the Chipmunks movie a hundred times and have been hearing that theme song in my head for five years. I find myself humming it at the oddest times, in the shower and while I’m cutting grass. Don’t even get me started about “Lady and the Tramp”.

I’ll bet you any amount of money that I know more about the cartoon “Larva” than anyone you know over the age of 15. I actually found myself purchasing a “Larva” tee shirt three years ago that the grandson wanted to give to his grandmother. Apparently, it was a bigger hit than I anticipated since she still wears it occasionally in odd moments.

I’ve also been coerced into becoming a soccer fan. I’ve hated soccer with a passion and have avoided it for most of my life. Not anymore unfortunately. Both grandsons have decided that soccer is a great game but it’s always much more fun when family members come to the games to cheer them on. So, my newest job is the official family sports photographer. I get to sit and watch groups of five-six-seven-eight-year-old boys and girls playing “at” soccer. Just shoot me now. It’s finally improving this year since they’ve added a real game to their curriculum, baseball. This I actually enjoy watching.

I guess I should be happy. Those boys have enough energy for us all and I think it’s rubbing off on me a little. They now have me looking forward to a Christmas I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to celebrate.

HO! HO! HO! ONCE AGAIN

09-01-2013   Leave a comment

Not being a huge football or sports fan has distinct advantages for me.  I can ridicule any team at any time for any reason and I do as often as I can.  It’s difficult because so many people admire, desire, and worship these football heroes (I use the term loosely) that they’ll attack anyone who isn’t awed by the mere sight of them.  My hero worshiping days were short lived after all of the scandals: cheating, lying, steroid use, and criminal activities.  No more sports heroes for me thank you very much.  I’ll stick to the real heroes, our servicemen and women who sacrifice so these hulks can make millions of dollars and be praised by the masses.

Here are a few notable quotes, past and present, by some of those sports heroes.  Thank God all of their colleges found a way to help them graduate.

* * *

Shaquille O’Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: "I can’t really remember the names of all the clubs that we went to."

Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me."

New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season…"I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." Joe Theismann

Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for four years, not Princeton."

Shaquille O’Neal, on his lack of championships: "I’ve won at every level, except college and pro."

Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."

Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team’s 7-27 record: "We can’t win at home. We can’t win on the road. As general manager, I just can’t figure out where else to play."

Tommy Lasorda, Dodger manager, when asked what terms Mexican-born pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela might settle for in his upcoming contract negotiations: "He wants Texas back."

Steve Spurrier, Florida football coach, telling Gator fans that a fire at Auburn’s football dorm had destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet."

Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, ‘Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ‘Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care.’ "

* * *

What more needs to be said?  The more they insist on standing up and talking to the media the more material I’ll have for postings like this.  Keep close tabs on your sports programs for those pregame, half-time, and post game interviews.  They’re almost as entertaining as the games.

06-04-2013   8 comments

I’ve always considered myself to be an ambidextrous person which has made it necessary for me to read anything I can find on the subject. There are arguments and discussions both pro and con as to whether a person is really ambidextrous or just cross-dominant.  Cross-dominance apparently is defined as the ability to use either hand for specific tasks but not being able to use both hands for all tasks. That sounds confusing I know so further discussion is required.

As a child in elementary school I began writing with my left hand almost immediately.  Teachers in those days actually discouraged left-handedness and required those children to write with their right hands.  I was chastised enough that I soon learned to write right-handed and have been doing so ever since.  Oddly enough I can still right with my left but not quite as clearly.  This was just the start of right-handed people attempting to change me.  To a young kid it was a bit traumatic and created a great deal of confusion for me.

I was heavily into sports and the problem was again raised almost immediately.  As I began training I wasn’t sure which hand I wanted to throw with.  Attempts were made to force me into right-handedness but I fought against it this time.  The end result was a successful career as a baseball player who threw and batted both ways.  I pitched a number of Little League games over the years using either hand.  In one game I actually pitched a portion of a game right-handed and when my arm tired, finished the last few innings left-handed.  I felt good about it since it caused people to finally leave me alone to my mixed abilities.

Growing up our family was not wealthy or well-to-do so I was forced to make other compromises.  My father was an avid golfer and started me golfing at an early age.  I was taught to golf right-handed because the cost of left-handed clubs at that time was out of our reach.  Many years later as a joke I rented a set of left-handed clubs at a local course and actually shot a reasonably decent score much to my Dad’s surprise.  It took a while for me to make the adjustment back to left-handed but I was thrilled I was able to pull it off.

There are a few real benefits to being ambidextrous.  I can hammer and nail with both hands and I can paint with either hand (artistically or house painting).  It makes painting and hammering less tiring when you can switch off when necessary.  I also found I had an unusual ability to write with both hands simultaneously.  With my right hand I write normally and with the left I am able to write backwards.  It’s a useless talent but has won me me a lot of drinks in a lot of bars over the years. Also being able to pick one’s nose with either hand is an ability your all probably jealous of. I still have no answer as to which category I fall into but that’s okay,  it’s taken years but I’ve adjusted to it either way.

I only hope that kids with the same abilities aren’t still being manipulated to be something their not.  Whether your a lefty or a righty doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that you be permitted to be what you are, not what someone else thinks you should be.

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