Re: 250,000th Home Run hit last night
It's amazing really. I'm old enough and heard so many stories from my Dad and Gramps about old time baseball that the history of the game seems somehow foreshortened - as if all those memories and of my Dad and Grampa and my own of old Crosley and the late fifties and early sixties game somehow compress the span of the game for me into a shorter span of reckoning. My grandad actually barnstormed with among others, Lucien Hubbard the film producer, who was from Ft. Thomas and Frank Fennelly, a Reds infielder of the turn of century. Grampa was actually my mother's dad - Tommy Maddock, who played for the old Printer's League which was from the late 1890s until the twenties a pretty darn good league with a lot of guys who made it all the way. In big cities these "craft union" teams were the equivalent of the small town semi-pro teams. One or two stars got paid under the table and the rest were just really good amateurs. So I got the baseball bug hard from both sides of my family. My dad witnessed the 1940 Reds-Tigers Series with his dad, a blacksmith turned metallurgic engineer. He talked of playing street ball in the winter when the weather was mild enough and one of the Reds outfielders who boarded in their Oakley neighborhood at the time (I think it was Ival Goodman) would come out and join the kids for a while. Of course that was the days when players were pretty much just folks like everyone else and not as "pedestalized" off the field. Fact some people felt they were a bit shady, playing games for a living and all. Baseball is able to compress time for us. The older you get the farther away most things fade that happened to you long ago but you recall baseball moments like they happened yesterday. The crack of Vada Pinson's bat and his speed as he races in a blur around the dazzling green brilliance of Crosley's infield. The way the field seemed to explode out of the shadow of the stands, the contrast making it so much the brighter. The smell of beer and cigar smoke and old wood, and Juan Marichal's high leg kick and Willie Mays throwing the ball back making the play at third so much closer than it should have been - but Davenport missing the tag as Vada hooked around his glove. Wasn't that just yesterday? And Grandpa Maddock played when a thousand homers hadn't been hit yet - When Wahoo Sam was a slugger because he'd hit 8 or 9 homers a year - and now the game has amassed a quarter million homers. And a hundred times as many memories, and old men feeling young again when they catch a game.
Last edited by RedlegJake; 09-10-2008 at 06:44 AM.