Sunday, June 24, 2007

Baseball Musings

I hadn't planned on writing much for the next few days until I get things with work wrapped up. I haven't done the Friday feast, posted pictures of all of our tomatoes, food, or the going away party that my lab had for me.
However, I feel like I should write something today. I don't consider myself a hardcore baseball fan, I love sports and I don't mind going to a few games and keeping score. When it comes to following team standings or remembering many players names, that is not my specialty.
Today's sports headline on msn was that Rod Beck was dead at 38. Now I know that he was an All-Star and many people know him but he is one of those names and faces that always stuck with me. Everyone remembers the 1998 baseball season because of Mark McGwire's home run record.. some may have already forgotten the crazy race between McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Although I liked McGwire, the Cubs fan inside of me was cheering for Sammy. If my memory serves me correctly, the Cubs were a wild card team in 1998.... even though McGwire had hit so many home runs.. there wasn't much that could be done to boost the Cardinals into the postseason.
I can remember watching the end of the season (and the resulting postseason) and laughing to myself that Mark might have his record.. but at least Sammy still had a team to play on. And then there was this crazy pitcher who had a perfect mullet and mustache, the most intimidating stare from the mound in addition to this crazy arm swing before his pitch. I usually referred to him as crazy arm pitcher. He was entertaining and a great pitcher and then the season ended (as it always does) for the Cubs.
Then in 2003 I heard stories of Beck again.. granted I would see him play from time to time in games or ESPN highlights but Rod Beck was working his way back to the big leagues with the Iowa Cubs. Being from Iowa, I am familiar with the Des Moines area and Sec Taylor Stadium. Rod Beck became a legend in Des Moines. You see, instead of buying or renting a condo or apartment to live in, Rod decided to buy a Winnebago (also made in Iowa) and live in it in the Stadiums parking lot. He always had beer and loved his fans.. and the game. He was eventually signed by the Giants and moved from Des Moines but you still hear stories about Rod and his life in the Winnie. Maybe my sensitivity is heightened today because I watched "For the Love of the Game" this morning or maybe I am turned off by baseball's whining overpaid players and almost obvious blind eye to steroids... but the stories of Rod were always about a regular old guy just doing what he loved.. playing baseball. If we all could be so lucky.

As a disclaimer, I am no sports writer or baseball fanatic so if I have any details listed incorrectly, I apologize

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