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Baseball panorama:  A NEW SERIES IN ONE MORE INNING:



CANDLESTICK PARK:  It was a disaster! The only thing it gave fans was the chance to guess when the winds would come to disrupt the game….and they did come ….and often.

As bad  as it was for  the  fans it  was worse for  the players.  Fly balls would do a ballet before coming to the outfielders,  ground balls would test the  ingenuity of the infielders, pitchers had to buck gusts of wind and pitch accordingly.

It’s incomprehensible that with all the money spent on the planning, development and construction of the Stadium that nobody was aware of what the winds were capable of doing at that site.

Some of the highlights in the history of the park include: Stu Miller getting blown off the mound during the 1961 All Star Game:  In 1963 an entire batting cage was thrown 60 feet by the wind during the Mets batting practice session:   Just before the third game of the 1989 World Series an earthquake struck the Stadium & play was suspended for 10 days:  

On the plus side we should mention that the Beatles performed their last live commercial concert there in 1966.

The Giants left there in 1999 and moved into their new Stadium, Pacific Bell Park. They haven’t missed it!

THE BABE RUTH STORY: Has there ever been a worse movie about the life of a baseball legend? Well maybe The Pride Of the Yankees (Lou Gehrig) or The Winning Game (Grover Cleveland Alexander) but the Ruth horror tops them all.

Almost all of the film is idiotic and on top of everything else not true and on top of that not even researched. Here are just a few of the bits of nonsense that can be found throughout the film.

Ruth promising to hit a homerun for a dying kid (never happened). His called shot (specious at best). His wife being a nightclub singer (never in a million years!). Ballantine beer being advertised on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard (during prohibition!). Brother Mathias never aging during a 34 year span. Suggesting that Claire Ruth was his first wife (he had been married before). Showing that his two daughters got along well (they hated each other). Portraying Ruth  as a caring and dutiful husband (HA!). An incredibly moronic performance by William Bendix who makes Babe look like an overgrown, oafish acting schoolboy in an adult body. There’s also a scene where Claire Ruth sings, “Singing in the Rain” 10 years before it was written and how can we leave out Ruth’s promised HR to a crippled boy and guess what – the boy walks again. If only promised HRs could work like that in real life.

Incredibly Ruth was an adviser on the film!


“I’m not here to discuss the past.” And with those words we were given a hint as to what the hearings would turn into.

If you love baseball then how could you not feel disgust as to what was going on with the testimony given by the players who participated in the hearings.

According to their statements nobody knew anything. Jose Canseco was lying and falsely accusing some of the best players of our day of being involved with Amphetimines and Steroids. Direct answers to questions were danced around with and pretty much ignored. The Canseco accusations were absurd and should not even be discussed.

McGwire’s full answer was, “I’m not going into the past or talk about my past. I’m here to make a positive influence on this.”  Mark, if you have nothing to hide why wouldn’t you talk about your actions in the past?

Raphael Palmiro and Sammy Sosa, when questioned by the panel, vehemently denied ever using Steroids. Days later when it was reported that he had failed a drug test, Palmeiro said he had no idea what he was taking.

What a sorry time this is for the wonderful game of baseball.


Editors note: As of this writing Cumberland Posey was just voted into the HALL OF FAME.

Two of the most important owners of Negro League Teams were products of the Numbers Rackets. Let’s talk about Cumberland Posey first.

His father was a  wealthy shippIng magnate who also was part owner of the Pittsburgh Courier, a black newspaper. Posey joined the Homestead Grays as an outfielder and later bought them with money he had made from the Numbers rackets. Under his ownership they became one of the finest teams in the Negro Leagues.

The depression forced him to sell his best players & integration made him leave the game & just concentrate on his very profitable numbers racketeering.

Gus Greenlee was a nightclub owner. A money lender, a political shaker and mover. A bootlegger, and a numbers racketeer. He was also involved in giving back to the neighborhoods he fleeced by buying groceries, paying rent, and building housing for the poor.

He bought the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1930. They are now considered to have been  one of the great Negro League franchises of all time. Among some of the players who were on the team were, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Oscar Charleston.

Like Posey and other Negro League owners, he was forced out of the game by integration.

TY COBBS FATHER: The rumors had been there for awhile and nobody knows for sure whether Ty Cobb’s father knew about them.

Ty Cobb idolized his father. During his formative years it was from his father that he drew inspiration and the competitiveness that spurred him on during his career.

A few weeks before Cobb was due to join the Tigers his mother shot his father as he was trying to come into the house through a window. During the trial (Cobb was there to testify for his mother) Mrs. Cobb claimed she thought that she was protecting herself from a burglar. After the trial,  rumors insisted that his father had heard what people were saying about his wife having an affair and he had come home early to spy on her.

His mother was acquitted but the rumors didn’t end and persist to this day. Neighbors did mention that they thought they saw a man leaving the house after the shots were heard, but did not testify to that.

Nowhere does Cobb mention his father’s death but after the trial he spent very little time with her.

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