Archive for September, 2020

And Yet Another Loss

September 8, 2020

This is getting awful. I have another loss to report. Glen Slater died on the 1st of September. He was 60.

Now Glen wasn’t some famous ball player, nor a great educator, nor one of those people who changed the world overnight with some special invention. Glen was simply someone I considered a friend. He was an early reader of the stuff I wrote here and was generally encouraging of my stuff (which may say something about his mindset, but I’m not sure what). He had his own blog that produced some of the funniest humor on line. He had some trouble finishing a story, but then so do most of us. But what he wrote was wonderful; full of life, fun, and a certain amount of tragedy.

I got a note from his sister this morning telling me he was gone. That in itself is a tragedy. Certainly it’s terrible for his family and my wife and I give our deepest condolences to his sister and her family. But for the rest of us it’s also horrible. Glen was fun, a heck of a person to know, even if it was only over the ether and through something as ephemeral as a blog. I will miss him, his intelligent commentary, his humor, his down right endearing humanity. Beth, I’m sorry for your loss. The world is a poorer place now.

So I’m heading off to lift a glass of wine in his honor. Somehow, I think he’d understand that. RIP, Glen, we will miss you around here.

v

Another RIP

September 8, 2020

Lou Brock with his Hall of Fame plaque

With the last entry here being a farewell to Tom Seaver, I hoped I wouldn’t have to write another one of these. But then Lou Brock died. So here we go again.

Brock was never as special to me as Seaver, but he was also a great player. On that Cardinals team of the 1960s, I gravitated more toward Bob Gibson, Roger Maris, and Orlando Cepeda. But Brock was one of the stalwarts of the team and a clutch World Series player (except for one non-slide). He’s known today for two things: base stealing and lousy fielding. Both are true. He was a superb runner whose percent of successful steals was around 67%. That combined with 486 doubles (tied for 77th all-time) meant he was in scoring position a lot. But as stolen bases have a limited value (the caught stealing and dying at second because no one else gets a hit can cut down their value) he only shot above 5.0 WAR three times (1968 being the last time) and was at 4.2 once (1965). He had trouble in the outfield, another reason his WAR is low. He could have a lot of assists (peaking at 17 in 1963), but also could commit a lot of errors (19 in 1966). No body cares much about fielding percentage anymore, but .959 isn’t very good.

In retirement he did a lot of things, including run a florist shop which seems to have been very successful. He made the Hall of Fame in 1985, had some health problems and died this week. RIP, Lou.

Now, I need a favor from whatever great spirit there is. Don’t make it necessary for me to do another one of these for a while. Deal?

RIP Tom Terrific

September 2, 2020

Tom Seaver

Just saw that Tom Seaver died at age 75. He was a great, great pitcher and, apparently, even better human being. He was a personal favorite of mine, and I suppose, of most people who watched him pitch. Although I was a huge fan of the great pitchers of the 1960s (Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson, and Marichal) if I were a manager and needed one pitcher to pitch one game for me, I might just pick Seaver over all of them.
RIP, Tom Terrific