Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Corner Boys.


George Brett and Brooks Robinson.


A generation or so ago Mr. Robinson came back to Vancouver, more than thirty years after he ripped his arm open on a metal hook sticking out of the 3rd base dugout while playing the hot corner for the Vancouver Mounties in what is now called Nat Bailey Stadium.

Brooks was here the second time, after his playing days were done (and probably only a couple of years after the photo, above, was taken), for a promotion of some kind.

At the time my PhD thesis was almost done and I was spending way too much free time at Nat Bailey (and it was, quite literally, mostly free to get into the ballpark back then thanks to the genius that was Stu Kehoe).

I was also doing a lot of sports-type writing for my then editor, a crotchety S.O.B. named Rusty, who had already gotten me a free breakfast on the Colorado Rockies and who would soon force me to break into Nat Bailey in the middle of night to play fungo grenades and make up stories with titles like "Mrs Sniderman's Doberman."

Which, now that I think about it, is probably why Bruno Kirby has never played him in a major (and/or minor league) motion picture.


The point of this little digression is that, because we couldn't get an audience with Mr. Robinson,  Rusty and I sent him a questionare with all kinds of bizarre stuff in it like 'What was the model of your first glove, ever, when you were a kid?'.

Which was all done on a lark - if I remember correctly we addressed the envelope to 'Brooks Robinson, Memorial Stadium, Baltimore Maryland'.

And then we forgot about.

Until a few weeks later when the darned thing came back  with each question dutifully filled out, in ink, in a tight-knit, barely legible scrawl.

Pretty cool, eh?

I've got the story I wrote based on the questionare buried in a box, printed on newsprint, somewhere...After all, these were the days just before the graphically interfaced interwebz became all the rage...In fact, when I first moved away, I actually sent Rusty stuff, late at night, via the lab's goddamned mojo-wire...It was almost fun, at least in the beginning, for historical reasons.
As for Mr. Brett...It's almost the 31st anniversary of the infamous  'pine tar game' in New York's Yankee Stadium...
Speaking of the big apple...A young Mr. Springsteen's 'New York City Serenade' was the impetus for both the header and the sub-header of this post.


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