Monday, August 16, 2021

HoraceClarke66: An' ANUDDER thing...

From the tundra of HoraceClarke's desk...

  So Tyler Kepner, the New York Times’ baseball columnist, made one of his rare appearances on Friday, to celebrate the White Sox win in the “Field of Dreams” game.

 You can rest assured that, had the Yankees hung on to win the game, no such article would have appeared in the Times, probably the first major newspaper in the history of the world to root openly against the most popular sports franchise in its home city. For a time, you’ll recall, the Times even owed a part of the Boston Red Sox.

 The most annoying part of this piece, though, was all the comments from players and managers about how wonderfully peaceful and bucolic Iowa was.

 For instance, Aaron Judge: “I know there’s a bunch of guys wishing we could stay here for a couple nights. Just because it’s so peaceful—getting a chance to get out of the city, stay in the country and see all this corn we’ve got out here.”


Or Ma Boone: “There’s something majestic about it. It’s cool, right? You see people outside their homes with their banners and signs, having lunch and waving with their phones out. Them videoing us, us videoing them. That was really neat.”

 Kill me now.

 Hey, I’ve been to Iowa. It’s a nice place, great history. But c’mon.

Back in the day, ballplayers couldn’t wait to get to the big town. It was where they could make some serious money, hobnob with celebrities, become famous themselves.

Mel Ott used to canoodle with Tallulah Bankhead. Joe DiMaggio met a certain Miss Monroe.

Reggie Jackson used to hang out at Studio 54—and with George Steinbrenner’s financial mogul friends, picking up business tips. 

And hey, if you didn’t have a date you could go down to Toots Shor’s, and pal around with Ernest Hemingway, or Jack Dempsey, or Earl Warren. Or play stickball in the street with the local kids, like Willie Mays AND Mickey Mantle.

It’s a game of the city. And as the old Yiddish saying goes—“Life is with people.”  

Now, they can’t wait to get to the lovely “quiet” of Iowa, with all the just-plain-folks there.

You’ll notice that, somehow, none of them live in Iowa in the off-season. Instead, they tend toward McMansions in Florida, or Texas, or SoCal. Could it be that it gets a little TOO quiet in Io-way, come December and January?

This all started, I think, with the ’86 Mets, who rather than explore the amazing possibilities of being a celebrity in New York City started hanging out at a generic Long Island watering hole called Finn MacCool’s, where the bartender would make them their favorite alcohol punch. 

Ever since then, it seems that all ballplayers prefer to live in a sort of moving bubble, where all they seek is quiet, and people waving at them from a porch as they pass by.

Blow me.

Few if any ballplayers today even live in the city they “play for.” That’s a pity. They should check it out—just as they should check out all the splendid cities where they play.

They can always retire to Iowa.


Anonymous said...

I really like "An ANUDDER thing" as your title. Great book premise. Seriously, Hoss. That's got legs.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

I am olde enough to remember when players lived local, esp. AAA players.
Joe Altobelli was the perfect example. Mr. Red Wing who made Rochester his home, even when he was winning the pennant with the SF Giants. I played ball with two of his sons and worked with one of his daughters.
What a doll. [In all senses of the word. She could probably still make me stammer 45 years later.]
they was good people.

The Olde Archangel

DickAllen said...

Iowa’s is a certifiable dump. But don’t take my word for it:

Cross-country Amtrak trains, heading west, always go through Iowa IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, just so you won’t actually have to see it.

Nuff said.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, guys.

I've been through on Amtrak, and also to Iowa City. I liked what I saw, and I liked Iowa City. The state was a stalwart during the Civil War, Grinnell College is a really interesting place with a great history, and they sure do turn out a lot of corn!

But if all these major-league players really want to live there...well, maybe they should.

TheWinWarblist said...

"Blow me."

So true, Hoss. T'is true.

TheWinWarblist said...

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU PUT JOELY IN TO FACE OHTANI !?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!