It’s World Series time again so I felt it only appropriate to post an article about baseball. When I was growing up it was baseball, rather than football that was the national sport in the United States. (Forget about soccer; that didn’t really make its way on the scene until the early to mid seventies.)
While admittedly I was not nearly as avid a fan as was my older brother and older sister, I enjoyed baseball nevertheless. Not merely for the game itself, but for the feelings of comfort it evoked. I have many fond memories associated with baseball. For example, I’m reminded of lazy, N.Y. Saturday afternoons, hearing the familiar voice of announcer Mel Allen as he relayed the plays of the Yankees. (I imagine that my kids, born and bred Angelinos, will feel the same way about the voice of Dodger announcer, Vin Scully). I think back to the small purple plums we ate every September and October while watching the Series. We came to refer to these plums as “World Series” plums. I remember snatches of conversation amongst my brother and sister and their friends. Conversations referencing names like Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, and Joe Pepitone.
I recall how enthralled I was when my brother took me to my first “live game” at the Polo grounds in the Bronx. The baseball diamond was so green! (Keep in mind that up until that point I had only watched the game on a black and white T.V.) Eventually, my sister took me to see the Mets at Shea Stadium, which was located directly across from the site of the 1964 World’s Fair.
I was a Mets fan (still recall where I was when they incredibly won the series in ’69) but became a Dodger fan when I moved to California. (Hey, they were originally from Brooklyn, weren’t they?) I attended games with my friend, Jane, who introduced me to her friends, Fran and Ron (the Penguin) Cey. Ron played third base for the Dodgers in the early eighties. (I had a ball signed by the team but it faded over the years because, foolishly, I didn’t realize until later that I should have encased it in plastic).
It’s apparent that football is the sport of choice for many in this country, but for me it’s baseball. (I even enjoy baseball movies like It Happens Every Spring and The Natural and the musical, Damn Yankees has always been one of my favorites.)
I thought that this week I’d offer up a small “baseball oriented” quiz. Mindful of the fact that players are free agents and often change teams, see if you can match the following pitchers to the team with which they are most closely associated.
1. Carlos Zambrano a. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Warren Spahn b. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Jim Palmer c. Atlanta Braves
4. Satchel Paige d. Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Roger Clemens e. Washington Senators
6. Sandy Koufax f. Cleveland Indians
7. Mark Buehrle g. Detroit Tigers
8. Whitey Ford h. Boston Red Sox
9. Juan Marichal i. Chicago White Sox
10. Nolan Ryan j. Philadelphia Phillies
11. Greg Maddux k. Texas Rangers
12. Bob Gibson l. Chicago Cubs13. Tom Seaver m. Florida Marlins
14. Robin Roberts n. Baltimore Orioles
15. Walter Johnson o. San Francisco Giants
16. Bob Friend p. N.Y. Yankees
17. Hal Newhouser q. Brooklyn, LA Dodgers
18. Michael Pineda r. Seattle Mariners
19. Randy Johnson s. N.Y. Mets
20. Leo Nunez * t. Milwaukee Braves
Bonus trivia question: Who was the only player to have played for the Boston Braves, the Milwaukee Braves and the Atlanta Braves?
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ANSWERS
l. l; 2. t; 3.n; 4. f; 5. h; 6. q; 7. i; 8. p; 9. o; 10. k; 11. c; 12. b; 13. s; 14. j; 15.e
16. d; 17. g 18. r; 19. a; 20. m
* Nunez was recently arrested for signing his contract with forged documents and playing under an assumed name. His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo.
Answer to trivia question: Third baseman, Eddie Mathews.
Enjoy the Series and thanks for joining me along,
RHODES LESS TRAVELED,