10 3 mins 3 yrs

Spring’s here. Just barely, but it’s here. Let the boys of summer to take the field.

Today is Opening Day for most teams. The long 162 game season has begun.

Baseball has a much longer history than other US major sports. The National League was founded in 1876. Some of us have a keen interest in that history. I’ve made pilgrimages to old ballparks long gone, to where Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds once were. An English hippy in Liverpool actually asked me if there were any remnants of those parks standing, and I was actually able to answer the question.

There was some sad news the other week. Tom Seaver, maybe the best of a post Koufax generation of power pitchers that included Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton, has come down with dementia, a consequence of Lyme disease. He has withdrawn from public life.

Seaver was the ace of the great NY Mets pitching staff that won the World Series in 1969. That team was managed by Gil Hodges, the Brooklyn Dodger first baseman.

Both men were US Marines. Hodges saw combat service in Okinawa, Seaver was a reservist.

Seaver said that before he entered Marines boot camp he lacked any professional discipline. But after the cauldron of USMC boot camp, he was strong and focused. He quickly made the major leagues, where he soon was managed by the no nonsense Marine Gil Hodges. Who taught Seaver and the other Mets how to play the game right, how to play to win.

We lost Gil Hodges a long time ago. Seaver would often get choked up at the mention of Hodges, saying what a great man he was.

We won’t see Seaver in public anymore. Not even at the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the 1969 championship.

But we remember these men who brought their Marine attitude to our ballpark as we enter a new season, which follows on 143 National League seasons that came before it.

Play ball.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

10 thoughts on “Baseball’s Opening Day

  1. OT-ish but the business plan of (((Rachel Maddow))) has gone awry……..


    MSNBC host Rachel Maddow lost half of a million viewers in just one week after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report indicated that he did not find enough evidence to support collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    Maddow has been one of the most prominent voices on the collusion conspiracy, spending most of her programs over the past two years on allegations that President Donald Trump coordinated with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election. Maddow struggled to hold back tears as she delivered her opening monologue last Friday, clearly stunned that Mueller did not bring any indictments against the president or his family.

    The implosion of the Russian collusion narrative damaged more than just Maddow’s ego — it, at least temporarily, destroyed her ratings.

  2. I don’t mind you putting that comment here, but might not it be better suited for one of the posts critical of media?

  3. Interesting post Phantom. I am barely aware of baseball, but I know that it comes from the same games root as cricket. The main differences are the shape of the bat and the delivery of the ball. Baseball is straight from bowler to bat but cricket is via the pitch, which introduces a huge additional complexity which demands a big range of skill sets from both the bowlers and batters.

  4. I’m intrigued by cricket a bit

    I used to think that nobody in Britain Iiked it anymore, but that of course is not true

    A work friend from London took a leave of absence from work to see the Ashes cricket in Australia

  5. Yes Phantom, the Ashes is mega cricket, but sadly (for my generation) five day test cricket is in decline apart from that, even though most test matches now finish in four days.

    But cricket has re-invented itself several times in the last fifty years and most matches now are one day or even less than one half day. This has brought a big new audience into the grounds and of course big TV audiences. The centre of power is now in India and the 20-20 IPL where players from all cricket countries can earn huge salaries for a few months’ work. 20-20 consists of each side bowling 120 balls, which takes about four hours and can be played in the evening under floodlights:


  6. I can’t wait I haven’t been to a Phillies game the last 3 years but I already have tickets for a game later in April

  7. I expect to be at the Mets’ home opener this coming Thursday. Haven’t been to an ” Opening Day ” for a long time.

    There could be a competitive NL East this year. The Braves, Nationals, Phillies and Mets can all be contenders.

  8. -Black Reporters Only-

    Other reporters should have crashed the event and made the bastards throw them out on the grounds of race.

Comments are closed.