Sunday, April 03, 2005

On The Mark -- There's Nothing Like the Smell of Baseball in the Afternoon

Misanthrope, who said it? “Baseball is the closest man has ever come to perfection?” Because he was right.

If I ever have a child, and have the opportunity to see him/her born, I’m sure that will be the greatest thing I’ll ever see. But, in the meantime, baseball will have to do, and with great delight. Sitting at a baseball game is like watching an artist at work. You know the final piece will be completed, but you don’t know what it will look like, and you don’t know when it will be done. I had the wonderful opportunity to see some great (live) baseball. Here are only a few:

Koufax vs. Marichal
Maury Wills (Go! Go! Go!)
Fernando Valenzuela’s no-hitter (with The Misanthrope)
Fernando vs. Righetti in the ’81 World Series (ditto)
Sitting in the dugout seats, front row, behind the plate with my dad, watching the Dodgers play the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that had drafted him when he was an 18-year-old pitching star (he chose to go into the FBI instead)
Jack Clark’s playoff homerun where everyone in the park (except manager Tommy Lasorda) knew he should have been walked intentionally and he hit a home run to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs. Yelling “Oh, no!” as soon as the ball hit the bat. Looking at the empty seat next to me because The Misanthrope was pinned down at work.
Opening day at Yankee Stadium, filled with excitement, only to see and hear the fans, with bullhorns, yelling expletives at the players as they were running out to the first base line while being introduced. A pitch had yet to be thrown that season.

My picks for 2005

American League West

Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics

East

New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Central

Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians
Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals

Wild Card: Red Sox

National League

West

Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres
Dodgers
Colorado Rockies

Central

St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros
Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates

East

Florida Marlins
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals

Wild Card: Braves

World Champs: Angels

3 comments:

The Misanthrope said...

The full quote is: Ninety feet between home plate and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection. ~Red Smith, sports columnist

On The Mark said...

Ah, yes, of course...Red. Who else?

Jack Steiner said...

Jack Clark....Grumble, grumble.