Saturday, August 28, 2004


Skinny, hairy guys in polyester

Two notes on 1980s baseball:

1) In thanks for my participation in his wedding, my brother got me a copy of the October 25, 1982 Sports Illustrated, which featured the Cardinals/Brewers World Series on its cover. The issue went to press after the Brewers took a 3 games to 2 Series lead. Whitey Herzog come across as pretty grouchy, even petty, making excuse for his team’s sloppy play and attempting to lower expectations. Herzog was without a doubt a good manager for that team, but I think I prefer LaRussa’s straightforwardness, combativeness, and arrogance, at least when it comes to talking about losses.

There’s a photo from the end of game 5 in Milwaukee showing County Stadium’s scoreboard reminding fans, “Last week, Ben Oglivie was injured because fans were on the field. Pleast stay off the field.” The bottom half of the photo is of the field covered with happy fans.

In the article, Gorman Thomas, talking of the Brewers being down two games to one, is quoted, “We were in the same boat in Baltimore at the end of the regular season, the same boat when we went to California in the playoffs, the same boat when we went to St. Louis to play on their rug. We’re still riding the same boat whether it’s PT-109 or the Love Boat or whatever. When the ship is in the harbor, they try to bomb it. And the submarines are always out there waiting for us.” After the Brewers tied up the series at 2, Thomas said, “The submarines have drawn back, submerged. They’ve been struck by our depth charges.”

And one last thing about the article. Sports Illustrated style in 1982, apparently, called for fielding positions to be capitalized. So you get Shortstop Robin Yount and Center Fielder Willie McGee. Might as well hyphenate “base-ball” while you’re at it.

2) At Fenway Park, the scoreboard showed a baseball blooper reel . . . from the late 80s. I assume they've been showing the same reel for nearly twenty years. Surprisingly enough, Bill Buckner does not make the blooper reel. I guess the traagedy+time=comedy equation is still a little short on the time side.

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