Thursday, December 13, 2007

Say it ain't so...

And to the surprise of nobody except Roger Clemens' lawyer, the baseball world learned today that at least dozens of players over the past decade have been juiced to the gills.
Since there's absolutely no telling how many home runs, strike outs or early returns from injuries are due to the magic of chemistry, let's just figure that the pitchers and the hitters were more or less even, cheaters or not.
And rather than dwell on what's being called baseball's worst scandal since the Black Sox, or at least its darkest days since the 1994 strike, let's all just celebrate the game, music style.
But first, here's a photograph I have framed in my living room, of Jackie Robinson in the 1952 All-Star Game. Now that's baseball.

First up is a jumpin' swing tribute to Jackie:

Buddy Johnson - Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball

I tracked that one down from Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, which has a wonderful episode devoted to baseball. And the host even gets into it himself:

Bob Dylan - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

And let's not forget another Minnesota native singing during the Seventh Inning Stretch:

The Hold Steady - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Baseball ("the one constant through all the years...") doesn't do too bad in the movies either. The Natural and Major League are definitely two of the best, but my favorite has got to be Field of Dreams. It's baseball as magic, as a mythic America, a metaphor for fathers and sons and all that's good about life:

James Earl Jones baseball speech

And I was hoping to leave everybody with Vin Scully's call of the Kirk Gibson home run that won game one of the 1988 World Series, but I had no luck finding it online in audio or video, so instead here's Jack Buck's radio call:

Kirk Gibson - 1988 World Series


CICCI said...

Nobody realizes I've been "juiced to the gills," over the last decade as well. Although I don't think Kiltlifter is performance enhancing.

CICCI said...

...and everyone realizes it.