Many know my sport is Baseball. I first noticed the sport when I 12 and heard Dizzy Dean sing “The Wabash Cannonball” At the time, he was the play by play man for the New York Yankees and when the Yankees were losing big time, he would sing that song. The Yankees played on national tv every Saturday on CBS. (at the time they owned the team) There was no major league baseball in the Northwest. Lots of minor league teams, though. Anyway, I heard this guy singing some weird song and went into my father’s room where he was watching the game. I sat beside him and watched the game. I was hooked.
Mickey Mantle. Roger Maris. Whitey Ford. Yogi Berra. Tony Kubeck. Billy Martin. Yeah, old school Baseball. I knew nothing of the history of the game. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were vying for the home run record set by Babe Ruth. I wanted Mickey to get it and because I didn’t realize that the Mick was injured and couldn’t play, I was mad that Roger got it. (61 homers in one season.) When I learned the game and its history, I forgave Roger for beating Mickey.
In the ’70’s I found Johnny Bench and the Big Red Machine. (The Cincinnati Reds) and saw the most amazing game in Boston against the Red Sox. So amazing in fact the apartment above me had a small fire and I didn’t even hear the fire fighters arrive. Yeah, I LOVE baseball.
In 1977 Seattle got an expansion team and called them the Mariners. I suffered with their new team losses and total bumbleness (if that’s even a word.) Put up with new owners wanting to steal the team away someplace. Put up with all of that for 17 years.
Then ownership brought in this man…..
Louis Vincent Pinella aka Sweet Lou.
He took this struggling band of players and stood them on their feet. Showed them how to win and in 1995 we came from 12 back to take the Western Division. We were winners at last! No more the laughing stock of the Major Leagues. We were winners!
Mention his name in Seattle and the Northwest and it’s like you have said a prayer. The man is that revered. Last Saturday night they inducted him into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
He’s retired now, but I will never forget his style of managing…. Old School.
Calma, Port Orchard, Washington, USA
(picture taken off the tv)