The only way to prove that you are a good sport is to lose.
The author clearly had some fun writing this piece. In it, you’ll find all kinds of allusions to both history and pop culture. It was first published in the Baseball Almanac in 2006.
Twas the night before Spring Training, when all through the clubhouse
Not a creature was stirring, except the managers.
The uniforms were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that the season soon would be there.
The rookies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of the Big League danced in their heads.
And Nuke in his garter, and Crash in his cap,
Had just been rewound before the players’ nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Cy Young was the pitcher, and Babe Ruth was the batter.
Away to the window the players all flew,
To see the ghosts on the evening dew.
Shoeless Joe was in left on that moonlit night,
Who was on second, oh wait, that’s not right.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Mighty Casey with a bat drawing near.
“Now Mickey! now, Willie! Now, Hammerin’ Hank!
On, Harmon! On, Reggie! on, Maris and Frank!
To the top of the leader boards! to the top of the Hall!
Show the young rookies how to play ball!”
They all admire the slugger named Roy
As he steps to the plate with his bat, Wonderboy.
They’ll pass him on the street, a tip of the hat they will give,
‘There goes the greatest player that ever lived.”
The rookies’ eyes will twinkle in their first at-bat.
The veterans will calm them and give them a pat.
For it is only spring training with so much to do,
Preparation for a season, a career to pursue.
The young ones will play their best through the spring,
With hopes of making the 40-man team.
They’ll play their careers ’til they finally say,
“Tell them I’m through for love of the game.”
On February 7, 1987, Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser signed for $800,000, a twenty-percent pay-cut from the year before. It was the second time since the practice of arbitration has been implemented that a player was forced to take less. After winning the Cy Young Award and leading the team to a World Series championship in 1988, however, the Hershiser became the highest-paid player in the big leagues.
A young ballplayer looks on his first spring training trip as a stage struck young woman regards the theater.
We’re getting closer! Spring Training is almost here.
One of the fun parts about the game for fans is listening to the variety of walk-up songs that players choose to have played. Here’s a collection of walk-up music from a couple of years ago, featuring a nice variety of pump-up songs that hitters use to get themselves psyched for their plate appearances. They certainly seem effective. Just listening to this mix this morning, I suddenly feel more prepared to face the day.
A couple years ago, I posted about Dock Ellis’s no-hitter, thrown while high on LSD on June 12, 1970 against the Padres. Last night I found this video from No Mas depicting the story in cartoon form. Artist James Blagden used the original audio from an interview Ellis recorded with radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel in 2008 to create this short, animated film. It’s quite amusing (and full of flashing colors, so be forewarned). Enjoy!