Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, Feb. 25.
As spring training begins, it’s all about the young guys trying to make a name and the old ones (age 35+) trying to stay in the game. One of the young ones is a relative to a baseball icon. Joe Jackson of the Rangers is the great-great-grandnephew of Shoeless Joe Jackson of baseball infamy. He and 7 other White Sox became Black Sox by throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in the name of the almighty dollar. Shoeless Joe’s legend was revived in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” released 60 years after the debacle.
Baseball families aren’t new. The best known families are the Boones-Ray, his son Bob and Bob’s two sons Aaron and Bret; the Bells-Gus, son Buddy and grandson David; Ken Griffey and his son Ken Jr; brothers Hank and Tommy Aaron, the 3 DiMaggio brothers-Joe, Dom and Vince; now with the right luck there could be another Joe Jackson in the game-though presumably he’ll keep his shoes on and stay clear of gamblers. He was taken in round 5 in 2013 by the Rangers from the Citadel in South Carolina where the famous Shoeless Joe hailed from. He played AA ball in Frisco, TX a year ago.
Around the league today, most games will be broadcast on radio by both teams’ flagship stations. It will be easier to tell you the games that will be harder to locate. The Pirates play a split squad game. Half their team hosts the Orioles and the game is Internet-only on MLB.com. I don’t know who will call the play-by-play. The other Pirates team travels to face the Rays and WDAE the Rays’ station has it. KDKA will not cover either game for Pirates fans. Only the Mets’ station WOR has their game against the Nationals. One split squad game featuring the Cubs will be on WLS in Chicago. The other half faces Oakland and KGMZ the Oakland station will have the game. The Brewers-Angels game will be aired exclusively on KLAA in Anaheim. Unlike yesterday, every game today will be played under God’s own sunlight which is how spring training games should be played. I for one wouldn’t mind weekend World Series games going back to being daylight affairs.
The great former Yankee Paul O’Neill is 54 today. Former catcher, manager and broadcaster Bob Brenley is nearly a decade older at 63. Hall of Famer Ron Santo was born on this day in 1940 and died at 70. He was a Cubs’ icon as third baseman and broadcaster in spite of the devastating effects of diabetes. Another Hall of Famer, Monte Irvin was born on this day in 1919 and died just last year. He’s best known for his play with the Giants. Less well known is the fact that he and Bob Murphy broadcast New York Jets football games in 1963.
Any and all who read this forum are welcome (and would be well advised) to join the Facebook group Baseball as I See It. I will be writing more pieces there than I do here for the foreseeable future. When I do write here, I will be writing my takes on baseball in shorter form than I have up to now.
I wish to focus on my memoir which has been in the works for some time now. Also I am considering a move, and trying to focus on limiting what will have to go with me when I pull up stakes.