Let’s See Three

I can remember the day I did this, only because I heard someone threw a no-hitter (Matt Young) and lost: April 12, 1992. On that day, I went to see three Florida State League games in one day.

Before we had the Devil Rays, and later the Rays, if you wanted to see baseball in the Tampa Bay area, you went to see minor league games. Several cities in my area had teams back then: Clearwater, Dunedin, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lakeland, and Sarasota. St. Petersburg would lose their team when the Devil Rays came to be, but all of the other teams are still around, hoping you can catch some FSL ball.

I drove from my home in Largo to catch a 2pm Clearwater Phillies game, as they played the Osceola Astros. From there, I drove down US 19 (long before it became the highway without traffic lights it is now down to Pinellas Park), hung a left on Central Avenue and entered Al Lang Field to watch a St. Pete Cardinals doubleheader with the Charlotte Rangers that began at 5pm, making it there about 5:30pm.

In minor league baseball, doubleheader games only go seven innings. The first Rangers-Cards game goes the distance, but the second game would go on and on into the night, tied after inning after inning, but I stayed and watch the game to it’s finish.

In the FSL, they used the designated hitter the American League uses, so pitchers don’t usually hit. But, the DH can go into the field and play a position, but in doing so, a team loses the “privilege” of having a designated hitter and the pitcher has to bat. This would happen to the Cardinals as the attrition of an extra-inning game takes its toll around the 14th or 15th inning or so.

The game would go 16 innings before the Cards finally won it. For hanging in there and watching the game conclude, the Cardinals handed me tickets to an upcoming game. Work would keep me from going to that game, so I gave the tickets to my mother who worked at Largo Medical Center. I’d figure she’d give the tickets to someone deserving of them.

By the time I made it home, it was almost 1am in the morning. Needless to say, I never tried to go see three games again.

A Batman In Memphis

In case you missed it over the weekend, Adam West, who played Batman on the ABC non-animated series back in the 1960’s, passed away at the age of 88.

Mostly known these days as the fictional mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island on the Family Guy cartoon, West once made an unusual appearance on the televised wrestling matches emanating from Memphis about half a decade before comedian Andy Kaufman frequently appeared there. The wrestling shows drew high ratings in the area for the hour and a half the matches are promotional material for bouts in the region, so it seemed a logical place for Mr. West to plug his appearance at a local car show.

Also making an appearance was a rising star named Jerry Lawler, still at this stage of his career quite the villainous heel. Lawler dons a Superman outfit to promoting the eventual arrival of a new character, Dr. Frank, made to look like Frankenstein. Long time wrestling announcer and local weatherman Dave Brown tries to make sense out of it all, and at times has a hard time keeping a straight face through all of this.

Just remember to use your left and right turn indicators.

Swing And A Miss

Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame, littered with resistance stickers.

It was said over the weekend that over 20,000,000 people took time out of their late morning and early afternoon routines to watch the James Comey hearings held by the Senate on Thursday.

Personally, I thought it was a big time swing and a miss, no matter what sauce the media has left over to cook with. You can’t have your guy with the “squeaky clean image” in Mr. Comey with his thumb on the scale. When he admitted he gave a memo to a buddy to leak to the media to Susan Collins of Maine, that’s exactly what happened.

I said a couple of weeks ago that if President Trump was going to be impeached, it’s more likely to occur later on in his presidency than in the here and now. He got help from Russia to build some golf courses, and that’s pretty much a fact to Eric Trump’s admission. That may or may not mean that he (President Trump) got help with his election. I still think it’s more likely the President gets in trouble over something that has yet to happen, or is in the process of happening, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

Then again, his boasts about having tapes and or recordings of Comey, that could get him into trouble. If there were never any tapes, how does he prove that? In other words, how can you prove something you say exists never existed?

In time, I can’t see him not messing up, but we’re just not there yet.

Twin Bill

In a couple of days, Tampa Bay and Oakland’s baseball teams play two games against each other in the same day. 

Two things make this doubleheader unusual. One, the games will take place back to back, with a half hour break between the games. These days, doubleheaders are usually played with a game in the early afternoon and a game at night, so that teams can charge separate admissions for each game. 

The other unusual part of this attraction Saturday is that this was a scheduled doubleheader, not something done for inclement weather. Plus, this is only the second such event at Tropicana Field, because usually domed stadiums prevent weather from interfering with the game. 

It’ll be interesting how well this regularly scheduled doubleheader draws. Tropicana usually holds 30,000 for baseball, though it can 40,000 if there is demand for it. If it draws well, maybe this becomes a yearly attraction. 

Rumble Fish

Ken Norton (left) is pummeled by George Foreman in their 1974 heavyweight title fight in Caracas, Venezuela. Foreman won by KO in the 2nd round.
I was reminded this last week of this group online called Worldstar Hiphop, who collect online videos of crazy things seen on the street sent to them by fans. One of the things they seem to aggregate often is a bunch of street fights from all over the world.

The combatants could be school classmates, coworkers, any two people who want to settle a dispute fight. It’s usually two fighters of the same gender, usually using fists to decide a winner, although there are usually exceptions with each rule that could apply. Sometimes UFC or wrestling like maneuvers wind up ending things, like an unscripted body slam or a chokehold.

From what I’ve seen, the more of a mismatch the fight is, the more memorable it winds up being. We all seem addicts to the spectacular failure, right?  If a fight ends in a one punch knockout, with the loser snoring on the concrete, we think it’s something funny, and not the damage done that is likely permanent to the defeated fighter.

But I guess everyone has their pornography, even if it isn’t pornographic.