As I’ve noted on this site many times, I’m starved for baseball right now. So I’ve been watching some of the All-Time Games on the MLB Network, even though their listings and what they actually show don’t always jive.
F’rinstance, on Saturday, the cable guide said they’d show the Mets’ home opener from 1985 (which Gary Carter won with a walk-off homer in his NY debut). But they showed Tom Seaver’s 200th victory instead. Which was a fine alternatvie, except that Tom Terrific looked extremely strange in that hideous 80s White Sox uniform.
On Sunday, they showed a Tigers/Yankees game from 1976, where Mark “The Bird” Fidrych started for Detroit. I’d always heard that The Bird was a maniac who alternately delighted and annoyed crowds with his mound antics. But this sample from his only good season didn’t provide anything too exciting, at least to my eyes. Maybe people were more excitable back in them days.
What really piqued my interest were the pregame introductions. Each member of the two teams stated their name, position, and hometown, as is routinely done in nationally televised football games these days.
When they got to Yankees skipper Billy Martin, he said “Born Berkeley, California, died New York.”
Both Billy and the camera crew laughed heartily at this. Viewed with historical perspective, this statement is either eerily prophetic or possessed of the kind of doomed gallows humor found in most Alcoholic Literature (see: Under the Volcano, A Fan’s Notes).
It floored me so much that I wanted to rewind it, tape it, and post it to YouTube. And then I remembered that MLB is a total dick when it comes to posting video. So you’ll have to take my word for it. Or watch the game when they rerun it, which I’m sure they’ll do 900 times or so.