July 29, 2005


With Gammons, Hall makes the write call (Dan Shaughnessy, July 30, 2005, Boston Globe)

Our own Peter Gammons gets the J.G. Taylor Spink Award at the Hall of Fame tomorrow. On the day that Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg are inducted, Gammons takes his rightful place in Cooperstown.

It's about time. Gammons has done more to influence the way major league baseball is covered than any columnist or beat guy of the last half-century. He is, and forever will be, the de facto commissioner of baseball. He is to our craft what Ted Williams was to his: When Gammons walks through a press box, any scribe who knows history should point and say, ''There goes the greatest baseball writer who ever lived."

He can't carry Red Smith's lunch, but... Fisk's HR in 12th beats Reds (Peter Gammons, Oct. 22, 1975, Boston Globe)
And all of a sudden the ball was there, like the Mystic River Bridge, suspended out in the black of the morning.

When it finally crashed off the mesh attached to the left-field foul pole, one step after another the reaction unfurled: from Carlton Fisk's convulsive leap to John Kiley's booming of the "Hallelujah Chorus'' to the wearing off of numbness to the outcry that echoed across the cold New England morning.

At 12:34 a.m., in the 12th inning, Fisk's histrionic home run brought a 7-6 end to a game that will be the pride of historians in the year 2525, a game won and lost what seemed like a dozen times, and a game that brings back summertime one more day. For the seventh game of the World Series.

For this game to end so swiftly, so definitely, was the way it had to end. An inning before, a Dwight Evans catch that Sparky Anderson claimed was as great as he's ever seen had been one turn, but in the ninth a George Foster throw ruined a bases-loaded, none-out certain victory for the Red Sox. Which followed a dramatic three-run homer in the eighth by Bernie Carbo as the obituaries had been prepared, which followed the downfall of Luis Tiant after El Tiante had begun, with the help of Fred Lynn's three-run, first-inning homer, as a hero of unmatched majesty.

So Fisk had put the exclamation mark at the end of what he called "the most emotional game I've ever played in.'' The home run came off Pat Darcy and made a winner of Rick Wise, who had become the record 12th pitcher in this 241-minute war that seemed like four score and seven years.

But the place one must begin is the bottom of the eighth, Cincinnati leading, 6-3, and the end so clear.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 29, 2005 11:52 PM

Only a closet Yankee fan would quote Zager and Evans.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 30, 2005 1:56 AM

It only delayed the morose yelping from Red Sox Nation by one measly game.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 30, 2005 11:37 AM

Shaughnessy lauding Gammons. One nattering nabob of negativity singing the praises of another. Why am I not surprised?

I hope they're both happy that they've effectively run Manny Ramirez out of town. We can't hit lefties now, and the best batter in the game against lefties will soon be a Met. And that helps us defend the World Series precisely how?

But Shaughnessy and Gammons are both part of a long-standing tradition of Boston negativity. Perhaps it started with the Puritans, who lived in a quaking fear that someone somewhere might actually be happy and opposed any economic liberty squelching exploration of Western Massachusetts until well into the 18th century, or with the large Irish Catholic migration, where feudal attitudes that you cannot rise 'above your station' became ingrained in the culture, contributing to arrested economic development. Boston is all about what the Australians call 'chopping down the tall poppies'. Like Aussies, nothing makes Bostonians happier than when a successful man fails.

And when that successful man refuses to comply with what the local notables feel his role should be that hatred only gets worse. Manny doesn't always run out hopeless groundballs. Manny's mind wanders in the outfield. Manny doesn't speak good English. All of that is far more important than the fact that the guy has batted over .300 and driven in well over 100 runs every season he's been there. But then in an earlier generation, these same idiots nearly ran Ted Williams out of town, because he wouldn't kiss Col. Eagan's ring.

Posted by: bart at July 30, 2005 11:52 AM

in the year 2525

zagger and evans

Posted by: cjm at July 30, 2005 9:38 PM