Letters and Opinion

Baseball column was on the mark

July 16, 2011

Bill Benner’s [July 4] column “A love lost … ” was great—absolutely the way I remember it, plus the scoring of a double-header on the radio, knowing every batting average, home runs and RBI’s of the all-time greats.

Sewing my own baseballs after the stitching gave way from throwing the ball against the concrete steps; getting an autograph from a ball player out of uniform who visually castigated me for failing to recognize his name: Orestes. I thought his name was Minnie Minoso.

Remember when a pop fly was $1, a one-hop 75 cents, a double hop 50 cents and a grounder was a quarter? That was what you had to go through to get up to hit the ball. And who didn’t throw the ball over the roof to his buddy?

Playing baseball on our fields was truly a hazard to your physical well being.

Today I, like you, do a cursory check of the standings, but it isn’t a requirement. Most of the time I just skip right over those pages. Even my Detroit Tigers don’t garner my attention.

Incidentally, I attended three games in the 1968 World Series of the Tigers and Cardinals, when the Tigers overcame a 3-1 game deficit to win the series … and I got to watch from the press box my hero Al Kaline (I was a reporter for The Elkhart Truth) and watch Mickey Lolich out-duel Bob Gibson.

And, most interesting, hear a version of the Star Spangled Banner that I did not recognize. Right afterwards I appreciated Jose Feliciano’s take on the song.

Guess I need to get to an Indians game. (I’ve only been there twice. I do know, unlike Indiana University basketball, they have beer.)

____________

Michael Arnolt
 

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