Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jackie Robinson Day

Vin Scully told a great story about Jackie Robinson last night. The Dodgers were playing in Cincinnati and the FBI had received several death threats. Snipers were positioned on top of all the surrounding buildings. In the locker room before the game Dodger outfielder Gene Hermanski suggested that if the entire team wore number 42 the killer wouldn’t know who to shoot. Little did Hermanski know that years later his suggestion would come true.

This year for Jackie Robinson Day the Dodgers wore their new road jersey with “Dodgers” on the front instead of “Los Angeles”. I wish the Braves would put “Braves” back on their road jerseys. Every time the Braves all wear 42 it makes me think they’re honoring Rick Mahler. Though the Yankees had long ago retired Robinson’s number 42 like every other team, last September the Yankees retired number 42 again, for Mariano Rivera.

On the radio last night Don Sutton and Jim Powell also told several stories about Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby. Robinson spent a year in the minors to prepare himself for his debut, but the next July Doby came straight from the Negro Leagues to play for Cleveland. Sutton thought Doby had it every bit as tough as Robinson, since he didn’t have a year in the minors to acclimate. Every time we drive through Camden SC I see the city limits sign that honors Doby.

On the radio last night the Braves announcer Jim Powell said he followed two adages in life: (1) To love God and his family. (2) To NEVER watch a Yankees/Red Sox game. Don Sutton said that if he added #3 to bleed Dodger blue he’d match up with Tommy Lasorda. Powell said the Fredi Gonzalez had never before witnessed back to back to back home runs before Monday night. Sutton said that he had – up close.  In 1978 against the Big Red Machine.

Another great game last night. In the ninth when Chase Utley was batting it seemed like the umpire decided to not call anything a strike. In the ninth down one run with two strikes Jimmy Rollins did what I which more braves hitters would do: shorten his swing and just poke the ball over the infielders’ head to get on base. So many braves try to hit 500 foot home runs. The Braves’ starters’ league leading ERA continues to drop lower and lower.

Gattis goes 4-4 with another home run. Wish he would play in today’s day game since he hits so well in that stadium. Seems like every time he connects with the ball that he doesn’t hit it solid. Always seems like hits it off the end of the bat or the handle. When he finally connects on the sweet spot he really hits it hard. Gattis should follow Justin Upton as NL player of the week.

Over 200 players have enough plate appearances to qualify to be ranked amoung the league leaders. Of those 200 only one player has not struck out yet this year: Andrelton Simmons. What’s even more remarkable about that is that he’s batted eighth all year – not seeing many good pitches to hit because the pitcher is on deck. After I sent that email this morning, Andrelton struck out for the first time this afternoon. I jinxed him.

Worked til 6 pm last night then made a few stops on my way to Crabapple to pick Matthew up at 7:45. Went home and watched the Braves game. Anna went to art, and Ceil was out running errands – buying dog food and eating Chipotle since she had missed lunch. Chickfila told Ceil that Matthew could start working in May. Sunday afternoon we’re posing for a portrait, so Matthew will be pressured to shave his fledgling beard. Will has already shaved his beard, and will catch grief if he hasn’t shaved his moustache.     

Just realized I titled an email “Friday” when in fact it is only Thursday. Shows you the kind of week I’ve had.

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