Thursday Open Thread 02-19-2015
Good morning 99percenters!
Today is the day we hear one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language: Pitchers and Catchers Report! It’s the official start to baseball spring training and the surest sign that spring is around the corner.
Without further ado let’s queue up “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” led by legendary Chicago announcer Harry Caray on the final day of the 1997 season. He passed away the following February so this was the final time he led the Wrigley crowd singing “America’s Song.”
MrLear and I grew up in the New York City area (if we looked out his bedroom window while in high school we saw the Twin Towers going up) so it was common to have friends and neighbors rooting for a variety of teams. Who you rooted for could be either very simple, or very complex.
The Yankees had been a fixture in the Bronx for generations as were the Giants at the Upper Manhattan Polo Grounds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. After the 1957 season the Giants and Dodgers abandoned New York for the West Coast. In 1962 the National League added an expansion franchise, the Mets, who made Queens their home.
Some folks kept their previous loyalties even though their team was now across the country. I have an uncle who to this day has never blinked about being a Dodger fan. Not so for my dad. He cheered for the Mets. When the Dodgers made the play-offs and World Series in the early ’60s he couldn’t have been less interested, or at least that’s the facade he put up. I asked him why he wasn’t rooting for the Dodgers like Uncle Stan. His reply: “They moved. The hell with them. I root for the Mets now.”
And so it was being a baseball fan in New York during the '60s.
I still keep my eye on the Mets and hate the Yankees but my heart has warmed to the Detroit Tigers since this is where I’ve lived most of my life. It was tough at first, partly because of that damn designated hitter rule. Even worse now, Tigers’ Team President Dave Dombrowski traded away pitchers Doug Fister last year and Max Scherzer this year to the Nationals for the equivalent of a bag of smelly socks.
But come on, help me bring spring to life. Tell us a baseball memory so we can smile for a few minutes. Did you ever catch a ball at the park? Get an autograph as a kid? Or maybe you’ve seen a great player make the winning catch or a game winning home run?
This is an open thread so anything else is fair game too.
The diamond is officially uncovered.