The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘LArry David’

The day that Dock Ellis beaned everybody

Posted by keithosaunders on April 15, 2016

Dock Ellis, who spent the better part of his career pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is mostly famous for having claimed to have pitched a no hitter while on acid.  He managed, however,  to compile some impressive stats in his 12 year major league career.  His lifetime ERA is 3.46, he has a record of 138-119 including 71 complete games and 14 shut outs.

A couple of days ago I read an article in Deadspin about Ellis that knocked me out.  I’ll summarize, but you really should check this out, if for no other reason than to see how differently the game was played 35-40 years ago.

According to Ellis the only team that intimidated the Pirates was the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds and Pirates had been alternating appearing in the World Series — the Pirates in 1969 and ’71, and the Reds in 1970, and ’72 – and the two had been meeting in the playoffs almost every year.

By 1974 Ellis had had enough and he decided that the next time he faced the Reds he was going to bean every batter.  Every batter!   On May 1st Ellis faced the Reds for the first time that season and he proceeded to make good on his threat.

He considered not hitting Pete Rose because he knew Roses would shake it off like it was nothing and charge towards first base like a bull. ( Rose was also a personnel friend) He thought better of it and hit him anyway.  He proceeded to hit Joe Morgan in the kidneys.  Then he beaned Dan Driessen.  He tried to hit Tony Perez but Perez was already backing up.  So he threw behind him, but Perez stepped forward, eventually walking.  He tried to hit Johnny Bench but once the count got to 2-0 manager, Danny Murtaugh, came out of the dugout and pulled him.  Ellis said that “[Murtaugh] looked at me hard.”  All I could think of was Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm when he stares down an adversary to detect if he is lying.

For those of us used to observing today’s pinkies-up style of baseball, in which the catchers are no longer allowed to block the plate, and pitchers are not allowed to complete potential no-hitters for fear of exceeding the magical number of 100, this is outrageous stuff.  The fact that Ellis was not ejected after hitting the third batter, and had to be pulled by his manager, is shocking!

I’m not advocating violence.  Obviously Ellis was a free spirit and his behavior was out of line to say the least.  But for crying out loud, is there a middle ground?!  Is baseball better off in this sanitized homogenized age?  Allow me to offer a response:

NO.

dockellis

 

 

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The baseball card collector from hell

Posted by keithosaunders on November 5, 2015

frank howard

Like a lot of kids I collected baseball cards. I remember having most of the 68-70 Topps series. This was the era when the players largely resembled marines.  Frank Howard’s card comes to mind because it was kind of scary –  he was this behemoth who for some reason wore frame-less glasses.  He looked like a combination intellectual and ax-murderer.  In a few years the hippie culture would catch up to baseball at which point long hair and fancy beards and mustaches would abound.  But in 1969, even though the rest of the world was turning on and tuning out, the average baseball players look was that of a buttoned down nerd automaton.  Kind of like today’s Yankees.

Did I save the cards?  Yes, but – and you knew there would be a ‘but’ –  they are far from mint condition.  In fact, is there a category below ‘poor’?  Well below?

You see, way back in 1945 during the war…what do you mean what war?  THE BIG ONE.  WW DEUCE.  Now where was I?  OK, my Dad was quarantined for two weeks after returning from Japan. Since Al Gore would not invent the internet for another 50 years, my Dad had nothing to do. All he had was a few back issues of Stars and Stripes and a deck of playing cards.  What did he do?  Why he invented the greatest card baseball game in the history of card baseball games!

Now we fast forward a few decades to 1970 at which point Dad taught the game to me.  Picture the Lion King without actual singing or drama.  I instantly loved the game.  I took to it like Lucas Duda to a called third strike.

So:  I had a card baseball game and actual baseball cards. What to do…

Here’s 10 year old Keitho:

Say, I bet I can use my baseball cards as my lineup for the card game!  Hmm…I but I don’t have enough infielders in my Braves deck. Think, Keitho, think…I’VE GOT IT!  I’ll write 3B in ink on this Hank Aaron card and voila – hours of unbound fun!

Suffice it to say that 80% of my remaining cards have been horribly defaced.

For years I would play entire seasons (there were card football and basketball games as well) and I still have my folder containing all of the season stats.  For some reason I remember that one of my World Series was the Dodgers vs the Bluejays, and this was when the Jays had only been around a few years and were still bad.

So there you have it.  I collected comics and baseball cards and all I ended up with were these lousy memories.  Just kidding — the memories are actually pretty good.  Prettyyyyyyy, prettyyyyy, good!

larrydavid

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