Old Longings

A day or so ago SportsPhd put up a little post on four things in baseball he wished he had seen, but wasn’t around for. It was a great list and I don’t disagree with any of it except for Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. I got home from school in time to see the last couple of innings. I’m going to shamelessly borrow his idea and give you four baseball moments I wish I had seen.

I’m going back to a period either before I was born or when I was so small I didn’t know what was going on. That makes me leave out things I heard on the radio, like Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, but didn’t actually “see.” It also leaves out those things that happened while I was watching something else and have now seen a dozen times on TV. So with those caveats, here we go.

4. I’d have loved to have been in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1871 to see the first ever major league game. Fort Wayne beat Cleveland 2-0 in a game that sounds as if it was well-played. There’s something about being there at a birth that is so special. If you have a child, you know the feeling.

3. I’d like to have been around in 1908 for the Merkle Game. It’s arguably the most famous regular season game ever played. It was apparently a heck of a game prior to the chaos of the ninth inning and might have been worth seeing anyway. Knowing what was going to happen (remember this is time machine stuff so I know who’s going to win already) I could now stay in the stands and watch the ball to see what really happened between Solly Hofman, Joe McGinnity, and Johnny Evers. And this is a two-for-one special. I also get to see the replay a few weeks later.

2. As I told SportsPhd I would like to be in Wrigley Field in October 1932 for game 3 of the World Series. That’s the game that featured Babe Ruth’s “called shot.” I don’t know what he did, but apparently he did something just before crushing the ball. I’d love to know exactly what he did. You can argue about the greatest player ever in the game, but Ruth is easily the greatest showman ever to put on a uniform (with apologies to Reggie Jackson). 

1. Here I agree with SportPhd. I want to be in Ebbets Field in April 1947 to see Jackie Robinson take up his position at first base. It was one of baseball’s finest hours and I’d love to be there to see and participate.

So that’s four things I missed and wish I hadn’t. Your own list?

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4 Responses to “Old Longings”

  1. Kevin G Says:

    Several months ago I was asked this very question. After thinking about all the great games that have been played in baseball, including the 4 that you mentioned, I went a differnt way. Instead of a well known game, I wanted to see a game that matched my criteria. 1. 1927 Yankees 2. At Yankee Stadium 3. Both Ruth and Gehrig hit a home run.
    After a little research I came up with Sept. 27, 1927. A’s vs Yankees. Gehrig hits home run #46, Ruth hits home run #57-a grand slam. And I would also get to see: Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Connie Mack, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Rube Walberg, Lefty Grove, Mickey Cochrane and Eddie Collins.

    That’s quite a field of dreams.
    I would also steal the time machine that would allow me to see this game.
    Kevin

  2. William Miller Says:

    My Top Four Baseball Moments (this does appear to be a top four list, right?) are, in no particular order:

    1. The last day of the 1941 season when Ted Williams went into what I believe was actually a double-header hitting something like .3997, which would round up to .400. He went something like 5-8 in the two games, making him the last man to hit .400. And I would get to see two games!

    2. The first night game in baseball history, back in the 1930’s. Can you imagine the ooohs and aaahs in the stadium as the lights came on, revealing a glowing cathedral of green?

    3. The game in which Tom Seaver (my favorite player of all time) set what was then a new record by striking out 19 batters in a game. He fanned 10 in a row at one point, which I think is still the record. (I was not yet a baseball fan when this happened.)

    4. Babe Ruth’s last game. He was a member of the Boston Braves, and I’m pretty sure he hit three homers in his last game.

    So that’s my list, Bill

  3. Kevin G Says:

    Ruth hit the 3 home runs against the Pirates on 5/25/35. He would appear in 4 more games without getting a hit. His last game was 5/30.
    I would love to have seen that 3 home run game as well.
    Kevin

  4. William Miller Says:

    Kevin, Thanks for clarifying about Ruth. I had a feeling that I was close, if not quite right. But yeah, it would have been great to see that game. Bill

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