To the Editor…

by on October 28, 2014

Subject: Giant Memories

Enjoyed the story by Peter Dreier, that any good baseball fan could
tell was told by a real lifelong baseball fan.  No matter where you
grew up back then, baseball became part of your daily ritual of
checking box scores and following your favorite player’s stats. I
watch that 1954 World Series on TV and thought the Indians would win
since they won with an American League record of 111 games won during
the season. Until Willie’s great over the shoulder catch off Vic Wertz
bat…. Wertz was knocking the cover off the old horsehide almost
every time he came to the plate. There was no video tape back then, so
we had to wait to when it was part of the evening news and we were
treated to a slow motion replay. That catch seemed to break the
Indians back and they lost 4 straight games.

I remember reading a story about Giant’s pitcher Johnny Antonelli
signing his contract over a plate of spaghetti with a scout at his
parents home. It’s hard to believe that so many years and players has
come and gone since that series. I can imagine the pain Brooklyn
Dodger and New York Giants fans must of felt felt when their teams
went West, as conveyed by Peter.  Soon after the Boston Braves fans
found out too.  One of the great things about growing up in Chicago
(with the exception of Championship Pennants flying at the end of a
season) was the fact that I was able to see the great players of each
league either at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field or Comiskey
Park.

Somehow, in recent years stats have been tainted by steroid scandals
and the need of reviving the asterisk maybe needed. I’m not the fan I
used to be, and admit that I have not watched most of the playoffs and
World Series games. When I do, I find the need to put the Mute button
on… How lucky I was to be weaned on 8 team leagues, and talked the
official language of the Pritikin household BASESALL with my dad
Hank,and brother Allen and myself.  We kept up with the Official
Baseball Bible, the latest edition of The Sporting News, and always
had the current Who’s Who in Baseball book handy. When possible we
took in Double Headers, and able to buy a couple of hot dogs,frosty
malts and p-nuts and a coke without filling for bankruptcy.  Like
those Giant and Dodgers fan found out that nothing is sacred, and
today you spell B-A-$-E-B-A-L-L- with a dollar sign.

Somehow, I can almost hear Frank Sinatra singing… There used to be a
baseball park over here!

 

Jerry Pritikin

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