In the midst of yet another tragic series with the ratbirds from St. Lou, a memory creeped in to my cramped brain.
It reminded me of what's good about baseball. That first time I saw and believed that this guy, this guy was IT. He was the be all and end all of the great game of baseball.
For me, amazingly, it wasn't Peter Edward Rose. Nor was it Mario Soto. It wasn't even one of my beloved Reds.
It was Nolan Ryan. I still have my 1971 Topps black border (favorite set) of him in his Mets uniform about to unleash a blurred fastball by a hopelessly overmatched hitter. (Hopefully not a Red). In fact, it was because of baseball cards that Nolan Ryan was my first favorite player. I love all the campy cartoon drawings on the backs of those cards and the fun stats they would highlight.
Anyhow, my first hero of this great game was the Ryan Express. My first Reds hero would have to be Hal Morris. (I hear those chuckles!)
What about you all?