Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I still enjoy major league baseball’s All-Star game, even though this year’s bloated rosters feature a load of players not fit to carry Sandy Koufax’s jockstrap (a job I’d happily take on, by the way.)

I liked it better back in the old days, though, when the National League won like a hundred times in a row before these days, when, until last year, I think, the American League prevailed for about a century.

But this business of having the winning team garner home field advantage in the World Series for its league’s representative is lame. That’s like giving a head start in a track meet to a runner just because he comes from a town voted “Most Livable in the U.S.” by Rand-McNally. Or something like that.

I think my favorite All-Star game memory is in 1986 when Fernando Valenzuela struck out five batters in a row, although I also have a soft spot in my heart for Bo Jackson’s 1989 game home run, a contest I watched with my friend’s son, feeling, for the first time ever, that it might be interesting to have a kid of my own, a sentiment I didn’t act on for almost two decades afterwards.

I seem to recall listening to the 1966 game in which Koufax pitched; apparently, he wild-pitched in the one run he gave up. I would have been nine years old, prime baseball fandom time. It seems to me that I was at the swim club our family went to. I vaguely recall hovering near a radio in the covered dining area. I could be completely making that up, though; for all I know, I was glued to the TV set in my parents’ bedroom—although that seems pretty unlikely; I can’t ever really picture doing that other than to watch an Allan Sherman special that aired around that time.

My kid, of course, will have no such recollections: she’s watching Master Chef on the internet.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

My favorite(?) most vivid, anyways, All-Star memory is 2002, when it was in Milwaukee, and home town boy Bud Selig called the game when it was tied in the 11th inning, because no one had any relief players left. It was also bat night, and the next morning I had to put John & Al on the plane to go see their dad in CA, so there we were in the Milwaukee airport at 7:00 a.m. surrounded by irate baseball fans armed with bats.

12:42 PM  

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