Friday, April 09, 2010

Bad Call In A Great Hall

Except for having to see the Gerbil go in, what a fun year it'll be for the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Piersall played in my dad's day and came from a town right near his in Connecticut. I read his book, Fear Strikes Out, back in high school. Check it out, but just know if you opt for the movie version, you might think it's a comedy when you see Psycho playing baseball.

I was a fan of John Valentin, and Kim loves the guy. Here's my random John Valentin story: Around 1995, my dad and I were at Fenway, and we had some pretty sweet seats (the ones my uncle got us occasionally in that era) in the field boxes behind the Sox dugout. We noticed to our right a couple of guys who had the same face as Valentin. I mean, unmistakably members of John's family. We finally made the decision to say something to them, so my dad turns and says something like, "you guys gotta be related to the shortstop." And they looked at us with the blankest of stares. We kind of thought they were kidding at first, and my dad may have even tried talking to them in Spanish, but they just shook their heads as if we'd just asked them if we could buy them a penguin sandwich. I will always believe those guys were Valentins, and just didn't want to be bothered, which I can respect.

Tommy Harper went through a lot of shit. That's another one to look up if you don't know the story. So glad to see him honored. And he pointed out that even though Jacoby broke his stolen base record, he still holds the Brewers' franchise record, and he seems pretty content with that.

Eddie Kasko is also getting in, and in this year's memorable moment category, it's the Brunansky catch! This is one of my absolute favorite moments in the me-being-alive-and seeing-and-understanding-what's- going-on era. A great finish to a great division race, which happened when I was 15 years old--kind of the capper to the "childhood" portion of my Red Sox fandom. And while '86 and '88 were very special seasons, neither of those division races went down the absolute wire. The Bruno catch in '90 clinched the division on the last play of the last game, and since it was on ESPN, we actually got to see it. I remember my science teacher--a dude who'd never brought up sports before--asking about the game the next day. The play was mysterious in that Tom went out of view to make the play, but also that the highlight kind of disappeared for a while in the pre-Web world, along with me soon going off to college, and the new wild-card era beginning. For the rest of that decade it seemed almost like some obscure piece of trivia. Like, Hey, remember that guy who played Schneider on One Day at a Time? Yeah! Remember when that guy dove into the corner and nobody saw him catch the ball?? Yeah!!! What were those guys' names.... But I never forgot. I'm glad the play is "officially" being recognized.

So congrats to all involved. Except Zim, who can suck my butt. Fingers crossed what they meant to say was that Pedro's throwdown is going to be inducted as a memorable moment.

Comments:
If the only thing Jimmy Piersall had accomplished in his Sox career was brawling with Billy Martin under the Yankee Stadium stands, it would have been enough to merit Sox HoF induction. Piersall disowned the movie version of Fear Strikes Out for completely abandoning the facts. Who can blame him? The scenes at 'Fenway' were clearly filmed at some amateur diamond out in Los Angeles, Tony Perkins makes Tim Robbins in Bull Durham look like a convincing ballplayer, and the worst part: they used real looking Red Sox uniforms for all of his teammates, but inexplicably had Norman Bates wear one with different piping that was unlike anything the Sox actually wore.

The decision to honor the Gerbil is completely baffling. Failure as a manager, hasn't had any ties to the organization in twenty years, spent a decade sitting in the MFYs dugout, and was a member of about 15 other organizations. I remember heckling him in Pittsburgh from behind the dugout back in the late 80's when he was (mis)managing the Cubs...I remember how startled he looked to be getting crap from a pissed-off Sox fan in that setting.
 
I remember how startled he looked to be getting crap from a pissed-off Sox fan in that setting.

Further proof that he's a fucking idiot. He must have been hearing it ever since he got shit-canned from Boston.

But, honestly, what has he done to warrant this? Zero. And what % of Red Sox fans would NOT curse a blue streak at him if they had the chance? Somewhere between 0-5, I'd say.
 

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