A New Path That We Trod...
It was 1989, I was ten years old, & my fascination with baseball was at it's zenith. The Tigers made it to the playoffs two years earlier, when I first started to get really interested in baseball, they were in the pennant race in 1988. I remember Sam Patterson & I rented the highlight video of the 1984 World Series & watched it over & over. As far as I knew, the Tigers were always a decent team. Then 1989 hit & it all came crashing down. The Tigers were the worst team in baseball with no prospects, no good pitching, the remaining stars from '84 were either hurt or disinterested. They were old, & not very much fun to watch. To make things worse, the heart & soul of the team, my favorite baseball player of all-time Alan Trammell was injured for most of the year.
Around that time, my parents shocked us & the world around us by getting cable television. There was this channel called ESPN that propelled my love of baseball into an all out obsession. There was Baseball weekly, Baseball Tonight, & my personal favorite, the Home Run Derby from the 60's where they would have two major league sluggers have a home run competition on television. I was buying baseball cards by the skidload, & playing baseball every night, my baseball world was complete. All except for my Tigers. I was all dressed up for the prom, but had no date.
Then came the Cubs. My grandma was a huge fan, she watched all the games on WGN. I figured, if the Cubs were good enough for Grams, they were good enough for me. With this newfound television fortune I'd stumbled across, & with a summer in Waltz, I could watch all the games I could handle. It turns out the Cubs had one of the best years they've ever had (which ain't saying much) that year. My first loyalties were of course with the lowly Tigers, but now I had something I could be excited about. My favorite players were Jerome Walton, he was Rookie of the Year that year, Dwight Smith, his outfield partner who was second in the running for ROY, Mark Grace, Andre Dawson "The Hawk", & of course the great Ryne Sandberg. I liked Sandberg because he reminded me of Tram, he played hard, was softspoken & a team player. The Cubbies made it to the playoffs that year, I forget who they lost to, but they made for a great summer for me, listening to Harry Carey (God rest his soul) blathering on about whatever between sips of beer.
I never watched the Cubs after that year, they fell back into their losing ways. I saw them lose in 2003 in typical fashion. I always felt bad for that poor schlub who "interfered" with that ball hit into the stands during a play that supposedly lost the series for them.
I was happy to see Alan Trammell was involved in the pregame festivities at the World Series this year, he deserves to be there more than anybody. I was even happier to read today that the Cubs signed on Tram to be the bench coach starting in 2007. There's reason to watch the Cubs again. Read this article about Tram's thoughts. He is all class, all the way.
In other news, check out this setlist from a recent Bob Dylan show. I can't think of a better collection of songs to hear in Detroit next week.
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
High Water (for Charley Patton)
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (he can pass on this one, though)
Spirit on the Water
Highway 61 Revisited
Cold Irons Bound
Every Grain of Sand
Rollin' & Tumblin'
Workingman's Blues #2
Thunder on the Mountain
Like a Rolling Stone
All Along the Watchtower
Five Favorite Songs of the Day
Tangled Up in Blue-Bob Dylan Los Angeles, 10.20.2006
Rollin' & Tumblin-Bob Dylan, Los Angeles, 10.20.2006
The Long Cut-Uncle Tupelo, Anodyne
Arizona-Alejandro Escovedo, the Boxing Mirror
I'm Going on a Long Journey Never to Return-T Bone Burnett, The True False Identity
Happy Tuesday, friends! Keep your hands out of the pine tar!
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