Monday, July 30, 2007

I'd be more excited if it was bobble-head night

I’m heading off to Dodger Stadium where I could witness baseball history if Barry Bonds hits one (to tie) or two home runs to break Henry Aaron’s all-time record. I couldn’t be more ambivalent. On the one hand it’s great to say you were there for a milestone. On the other, it’s Barry Bonds.

Besides, I’ve already been on hand to see some of the great moments of major league baseball.

I was in Anaheim Stadium the day Seattle outfielder, Kevin Mitchell (pictured left) ate a chili dog during a game and threw up in the dugout so violently that he went on the disabled list for two weeks with strained ribs.

I was in the Kingdome when Mariner pitcher, Eric Gunderson, made an illegal move to first base and a balk was called. Except there was no runner on first. He was on second. So he was balked to third where he scored on a fly ball to win the game.

I was in Tiger Stadium when Omar Visquel bunted into a triple-play.

I was at the LA Coliseum when Leo Durocher kicked umpire Jocko Conlin in the shin.

I was at Dodger Stadium the night Cincinnati pitcher, Pedro Borbon got so mad that during a bench clearing brawl he started swinging at his own teammates.

I was in Olympic Stadium in Montreal the night their paid attendance was higher than 3,000.

I was at Dodger Stadium on “Casey Stengel Night” when a foul ball hit his wife.

And I was in Yankee Stadium the day a fan fell out of the upper deck.

So yeah, what the hell? I hope the Dodgers walk Bonds every time he comes up.

Oh…wait. I forgot. I was also at Dodger Stadium the night Kirk Gibson hit the game winning home run in the opener of the 1988 World Series. It’s not Kevin Mitchell upchucking on his teammates shoes but it was pretty cool.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Rules of Cricket

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.

When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.

Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

When both sides have been in and all the men have got out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

maven said...

Hey, Ken: We were there that night with Kirk Gibson! For not being a baseball fan, I never screamed so loud and so long!

tommyB. said...

Go Barry! Hit a bunch out just to piss off the L.A. fans. It still say it's only a game - except for Cricket.

Murph said...

I've watched the following Giants-Dodgers games at Chavez Latrine:

* Steve Finley hits a walk-off grand slam.

* Nomar hits a two-run blast in the 8th to give LA an 8-6 win.

* Russell Martin hits a walk-off homerun after a great pitcher's duel between Greg Maddux and Jason Schmidt (LA 1, SF 0).

* Giants win 6-4 earlier this year; Bonds homers.

My psyche has taken a beating for the most part in these matchups, but watching Bonds break the HR record in LA on Thursday might fix all that.

Then again, being a Giants fan, there's a good chance I won't make it out of the parking lot alive. You will be the only ambivalent fan in attendance, methinks.

Anonymous said...

Earlier on ESPN, they ran a poll asking baseball fans what they would rather see tonight-Barry Bonds tying Hank Aaron, A-Rod hitting his 500th home run, or Tom Glavine getting his 300th win.

More people wanted to see Glavine get his 300th, which to me, says EVERYTHING that needs to be said.

steely dan said...

Just for the record, the Expos drew more fans in Montreal in 1982 and 1983 than the Yankees drew in New York those same two years.

NYLouOC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NYLouOC said...

So Ken, you actually stayed for the entire game that WS? That is still one of the funniest things I have ever seen watching a ball game on TV - the camera following the flight of Gibson's HR, and hundreds of brake lights coming on simultaneously in the parking lot....only in LA...

jimhenshaw said...

I was sitting on the third base line when Joe Carter hit a walkoff homer to win the 1993 World Series. I've never seen a ball leave a ballpark so fast or screamed so loud. I couldn't talk for days.

Graham Powell said...

Eric Gunderson? He played for the AA Shreveport Captains when I worked for them, along with guys like Royce Clayton, Mike Remlinger, and Scott Hickerson.

The Crutnacker said...

Rules of Cricket....

If there is one in your house, don't squash it. That's bad luck.

I've had these memorable baseball moments in my life....

1) Brooks Robinson Hall of Fame night at Memorial Stadium. I'm a wee lad (10 or 11). My uncle got us seats in the upper decks, while they sat down along the third base line about a mile below. It rained, and rained, and rained. The game finally started. The ending was a perfect, when Terry Crowley hit a grand slam to take the O's from behind to win the game. I don't think we left until 1 AM.

2) At Fenway when Dwight Evans made his return with the Orioles. The rabid Red Sox fans booed their own pitcher for striking him out.

3) Looking out the window to see the Goodyear blimp looking down at Fenway at the same time it was showing aerial shots. Being able to listen to the cheers live through my window as the game was played.

4) Watching the MassHoles leaving Fenway every year during the Boston Marathon and running in front of the marathon runners at Kenmore Square because they can't wait for a break. There's nothing like watching an a zoned out runner in his 25th mile freaking out because suddenly there's a fat guy with a foam finger in his path.

5) In a moment I'd pay to see on Family Guy, a drunken fan near the green monster was spotted by the roof spotters and security was called in. As they pulled him up, he said, "Get the F--- off of me!" broke free, and started running down the steps. He made it about 15 feet away and then went down face first, sliding for a sickening amount on his chest and face. He got up, his nose, head, face, and mouth bloodied, shoved his hands in a V and said, "F--- yeah!" Security carried him away to great applause.

dave said...

I was at the Indians - Rangers game in Cleveland when Indians 1B Carlos Martinez hit the fly ball that bounced off right-fielder Jose Canseco's head for a home run.

Anonymous said...

Most memorable by far for me: I was at Connie Mack Stadium for the last games of the 1966 season. The Dodgers lost game one of the doubleheader. Sandy pitched game two on two days rest. He pitched a complete game to clinch the pennant for the Dodgers in what would be his last appearance in the National League. I have never seen Sandy faster than he was that day. I'll go further than that: I have never seen anyone faster, and that includes Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan on full rest.

Stan from Tacoma

VP81955 said...

Ken, when you get home watch SportsCenter or Baseball Tonight to watch a replay of Ronnie Belliard's 360-degree flip to second base to get a force out. A thing of beauty; Bob Fosse couldn't have choreographed it better.

And the Nationals even won!

John said...

June 26, 1970 -- mid-week afternoon doubleheader at the stadium between the Yanks and the Indians. Sam McDowell and Cleveland win the first game going away, but it also features a bench-clearing brawl involving Tribe catcher Ray Fosse (two weeks before his collision with Pete Rose at the All-Star Game), Yank reliever Steve Hamliton's folly floater pitch to strike out Tony Horton, who then crawls back to the dugout (hey, you can do that with an 8-2 lead in the 9th), and Bobby Murcer, turning sideways to go in-between the monuments in dead centerfield (back when they were out at there at the 461-foot sign) to go after a shot to deep center.

Oh yea, Murcer also hit a home run in his final at-bat in Game 1, then hit three home runs in his first three at-bats in Game 2 to help the Yanks rally and salvage a split of the doubleheader. I was at the game with some Mets fans, a year after the '69 miracle, and they even said it was the greatest day of baseball they had ever been to (and made cutting school that day more than worth it).

Ken Levine said...

I have my scoresheet from the Gibson game framed.

Dhppy said...

Oh my God! I've been to Yankee Stadium exactly once. It was in the nosebleed seats. And that was so damned steep, I'm surprised every fan hasn't fallen from the upper decks.

benson said...

If you ever want to relive that experience, get some upper deck tickets at the Cell (US Cellular/ Comiskey Park II)in Chicago.

Not a bad seat on the lower deck, but up high is another story (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

I was there last night too, though I didn't arrive until the bottom of the third (TWO HOURS from Wilshire and Barrington!) and then had to wait another 20 minutes for a Dodger Dog. Pretty dull game, though always enjoyable attending a ball game with my daughter, the only gal I know who knows, and can explain in detail, the operation of the infield fly rule (which apparently was invoked for that popped-up bunt that Penny dropped, an interesting call on a kinda strange play in an otherwise meh game).

The Curmudgeon said...

I was at Comiskey Park for a Sunday doubleheader: In the second game Rod Carew went into the stands to stop a heckling fan.

And I was there again July 1, 1990, the 80th anniversary of the opening of the old park. What is now the Cell was already going up across 35th Street. Before the game they brought out four old people who claimed to have been at the very first game played at Comiskey. Then the Sox demolished them, too.

That was also the occasion of the last no-hitter at Old Comiskey: The White Sox got no hits... and beat the Yankees 4-0. You could look it up... although Richard Roeper claims, in his book on the Sox, that officially the game no longer counts as a no-hitter.

I hope he's wrong about that.

kracker said...

i skipped studying for a statistics final and ended up seeing nolan ryan pitch his seventh no-hitter.

Webs said...

I have two memorable moments, both from Olympic Stadium.

The first: Rick Monday's homer landed in my section.

The second was the sickening crack that reverberated through the stadium when Dave Dravecky snapped his humerus during a pitch.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken, I knew it was a big night, I ran into Jon Miller in the press box and he was wearing shoes.
The man is legendary for shorts and flip flops for the Giant broadcasts. But the Bonds appearance was worthy of ESPN coverage so break out the pink tie and jacket.

Funny how the fans jeered Bonds relentlessly while at the same time filling the stadium with flashing lights from 56,000 digital cameras.

Bill

The Minstrel Boy said...

i was at the murph sitting right there behind the visitor's ondeck circle to see steve garvey get kicked out of the only game in his career. including little league. even when he showed charlie williams his hand print on home plate (the tag was made off the plate after the slide), all charlie did was to sweep off the dirt. garvey was walking away and said to himself "we gotta bear down." williams threw him out. garvey didn't realize it and went to take the field. i also was there the very next day and saw that charlie williams had tweaked the normal crew rotation to be back at home. a couple other folks and i were hanging out by the rail before the game started and were commenting about it. i said "williams is probably still insecure about getting his first gig in the majors as a strikebreaking scab."

i promise i didn't say it all that loud. williams had me thrown out of that game.

i still hate that bastard. have fun in the ravine. i'm at petco tonight.

go padres.

DodgerGirl said...

So yeah, what the hell? I hope the Dodgers walk Bonds every time he comes up.


Music to my ears.

VP81955 said...

The Curmudgeon said...
I was at Comiskey Park for a Sunday doubleheader: In the second game Rod Carew went into the stands to stop a heckling fan.

And I was there again July 1, 1990, the 80th anniversary of the opening of the old park. What is now the Cell was already going up across 35th Street. Before the game they brought out four old people who claimed to have been at the very first game played at Comiskey. Then the Sox demolished them, too.

That was also the occasion of the last no-hitter at Old Comiskey: The White Sox got no hits... and beat the Yankees 4-0. You could look it up... although Richard Roeper claims, in his book on the Sox, that officially the game no longer counts as a no-hitter.

I hope he's wrong about that.


Unfortunateky, he's right. I believe the definition of a no-hitter has been subsequently changed so that a pitcher must go nine innings or more without issuing a hit under any circumstances (so giving up a hit in the 10th or later technically wipes out the no-hitter). Of course, in this situation, the Sox never got a chance to bat in the ninth, so I think it's rather unfair to Yankees pitcher Andy Hawkins. (IIRC, something similar happened in the early '90s involving a Cleveland pitcher.)

For those wondering how the Sox scored four runs without a hit, I believe at least two, possibly three of them, came on an error by Jim Leyritz in left field, a place where he obviously didn't belong. Of course, a few years later he would more than make up for that in Yankee lore.

Anyway, nice memories of old Comiskey; went to a number of games there and always enjoyed the place despite its decrepit status. All the ethnic food eateries (a legacy of Bill Veeck's second stint as owner), Nancy Faust on the organ playing "na na hey hey"...the place had real atmosphere, unlike its successor (although to their credit, the Sox have made some changes in the upper deck and elsewhere to create more intimacy), and people who went there were really into the baseball, not partying, unlike those Big Ten frat boys who go to games on the North Side.

Miles said...

The Gibson homerun was one of the greatest moments in baseball history and maybe the greatest Dodger moment.

I was a senior in college in Boston and watched the whole game (of course). When he hit it, I literally jumped so high I hit the ceiling, called my Stepfather in LA who hated the Dodgers and who then finally expressed is admiration for them and then called every single Yankees fan I knew in college to brag.

It was that good.

At the same time my then 79 year old grandmother forced my father and two others to leave the game early (as was her way) and they heard to homerun from the parking lot. My dad has never recovered.