Sunday, August 01, 2021

When baseball was fun and not woke





A few days ago, I exchanged an email with a friend.  We are both big baseball fans but have not attended a game this year.  Wonder whether we are the only ones?  I don't think so.

The beauty of baseball is its history.  For example, I never saw Joe DiMaggio play but I know just about everything about his amazing 56-game hitting streak of 1941.  How does a human being get a hit against major league pitching for 56 games in a row?  Well, Joe must have eaten a lot of good lasagna growing up.

Then there was Carl Hubbell throwing his famous screwball to strike out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in the 1934 All Star Game.  Who said that the All Star Game was just an exhibition?

I do recall Bob Gibson's magical 1968 season.  The historians call it the "year of the pitcher."  I call it the "year of Gibson": 22-9 record, a 1.12 ERA, the lowest earned-run average of any pitcher since the Deadball Era.  He had his own streak of 47 scoreless innings.  He threw 28 complete games, including 13 shutouts.  I remember running home from school listening to my little radio as Gibson struck out 17 Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series.  Then we had a nice teacher who let us watch Game 7, but this time, it was Lolich, not Gibson, who celebrated the last out.

By the way, the nice thing about afternoon post-season games is that kids could watch them.  My three sons usually didn't make it to the end of the night game.

Before he got kicked out of baseball, Pete Rose kept us busy every night in the summer of 1978.  His streak ended at 44 games on this day in 1978.  We didn't have the 24/7 news cycle back then.  Therefore, most of us had to follow the streak on the nightly news or morning box scores.  I followed some games on WLW out of Cincinnati, especially when the Reds were playing in the West Coast.

Rose's streak is one of my favorite baseball memories.  It also reminds us of how much fun the game was before the woke stole it and the commissioner decided to become a mouthpiece for the Democrats.

So I'm avoiding the game this year as much as I can.  I get my baseball fix by turning on my personal time tunnel and recalling the game before it got woke.


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