I’ve been watching sports a long time. On Tuesday, I started thinking about the only baseball team I ever coached. I could only remember one name. It’s no wonder. The kid’s 50 now.
I’m getting older and older writing about kids who are younger and younger. I attempt to span the broad desert between with my accumulated wisdom and … perspicacity.
Many years ago, I vowed to one day use that word.
Of course I’ve grown stodgy. I wrote about a gazillion games before these kids were born. I saw a gazillion more I never wrote about.
I saw Willie McCovey hit a home run into the right-field upper deck of Atlanta Stadium (Fulton County hadn’t bought its way in yet).
Based on two games two years apart against Clemson, the greatest college quarterback who ever lived was Jeff Grantz.
I saw Richard Petty win on dirt … twice. They were the only races I personally saw the King win.
Willie Mays hit a home run in the first major-league baseball game I ever saw. The same guy turned 90 on May 6.
Believe it or not, even in the face of this powerful body of evidence, there are actually people older than I.
My father spent parts of a couple summers visiting relatives in Boston. He was there in the summer of 1952 when Red Sox center fielder Jimmy Piersall had a nervous breakdown. Perhaps fittingly, my dad became a Red Sox fan, although he would have told you it was because of Ted Williams, just as I would cite Carl Yastrzemski. I know more about Yaz from reading box scores 50 years ago than I know about Xander Bogaerts from TV every night.
So learn how to read, kids. As a direct result, I can keep on writing.