Playing Hardball

January 27, 2022 0 Comments

Experiencing childhood during the 1960s, I never stared at the TV in the mid year. This was not by decision; we spent summers in New York’s Catskills in a leased cabin, which had neither a TV set nor the larger than average roof radio wire important to get a transmission from far away Manhattan.

So the very first baseball All-Star Game I saw was the extraordinary extra-inning exemplary that was played at Cincinnati’s pristine Riverfront Stadium on July 14, 1970. A Yankees fan at that point – what do 12-year-olds know, at any rate? – I was pulling hard for the American League, which took a 4-1 lead into the lower part of the 10th inning. In any case, the National League mobilized to tie the score, against Yankees ace Mel Stottlemyre no less, and the game went into additional innings.

With two outs in the lower part of the twelfth, Cincinnati’s old neighborhood legend Pete Rose singled. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Billy Grabarkewitz did likewise, sending Rose to second, and raising Chicago Cubs outfielder Jim Hickman.

Hickman came through with the third back to back fair hit against lefthander Clyde Wright. I actually recollect sitting in an obscured room at a cousin’s home, where we were visiting, watching the screen as Rose adjusted third and barreled full bore toward home plate and the Cleveland Indians’ capable youthful catcher Ray Fosse.

I realized what was going to occur. Everybody at Riverfront Stadium realized what was going to occur. A huge area of the American public realized what was going to occur; NBC’s transmission of that All-Star Game conveyed the most noteworthy TV evaluations of any such challenge previously or since.

The toss from centerfielder Amos Otis of the Kansas City Royals arrived at Fosse not long before Rose did, however Rose neither slid nor eased back. He just collided head-first with Fosse, thumping the ball free from the catcher’s hands and tumbling across home plate with the triumphant run, in a game that didn’t build up to anybody, with the exception of a specific 12-year-old watching in a dull room in New Jersey.

Yet, what occurred at home plate made a difference a ton. Albeit starting X-beams were misread as regrettable, Fosse, who was just 23 at that point, really experienced a wrecked and isolated shoulder. It never mended appropriately, and in spite of the fact that he was as yet a useful major association catcher for the following ten years, Fosse didn’t arrive at his true capacity, which may have matched 1970s stars Carlton Fisk and Rose’s partner Johnny Bench.

There were some who believed Rose’s forceful play was ridiculous, particularly in a celebrated presentation game. In any case, a great many people in and around baseball just said it was the way you played the game: as hard as possible. At age 12, you ingest these illustrations.

I played Little League baseball the following spring. In one specific game I ended up on a respectable halfway point when a partner punched a solitary through the left half of the infield. I took off, disregarding the frantic “stop” signs of the hapless father training at third base. I don’t think the game was on the line at that point, yet it didn’t make any difference to me. A contender is a contender, all things considered. I ran toward home, where a catcher who was about double my size was holding up with the ball in his glove.

I banged into that child with all of my 125-pound may. I could similarly also have rammed into a steel shaft or a bull elephant. He clutched the ball, I was out, and the following thing I recollect is my none-too-satisfied group director scratching me off the soil while posing inquiries to decide if I had a blackout. My responses persuaded him that I experienced just intense ineptitude.

Assuming you are a baseball fan, and particularly on the off chance that you realize that I presently mostly follow the New York Mets, you have sorted out that this is a wordy scrutinize of Chase Utley’s takeout of Ruben Tejada.

Los Angeles followed 2-1 in the lower part of the seventh inning, currently behind by one game to none in a best-of-five series with the Mets. With one out, the Dodgers had the tying run on third base and Utley, who had a subbed in single, on first.

The Dodgers’ Howie Kendrick hit a ground ball up the center, which Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy some way or another figured out how to catch. He flipped the ball to Tejada to begin what might have been an inning-finishing twofold play.