Albert, The Babe and Jocko

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Being a staunch fan of any American League team, particularly those in the western division and most particularly the Anaheim Angels, I have watched this year’s World Series games very attentively. The Texas Rangers were representing the American League West in this 2011 matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals (I so slyly added the year of this event in here so that when I am a long deceased world famous author and your grandkids are reading My Compleat Works for a term paper in high school, they can at least zero in on a time frame).

It was game three, and I was beginning to get a little disgusted at the rout my Rangers were taking from this Wild Card National League team of overrated and under-talented millionaires. While my blood pressure slowly oozed to the top of my head, my wife relished at the thought that the Cardinals were hammering my chosen team. Albert Pujols, the Cards’ slugger hit another home run, and it was 11-6 by the time I decided to retire to my office to try composing the written word and to forget that travesty of a game.

It wasn’t long before Sammie came in dancing and laughing just to tell me that Pujols had hit yet another stupid home run. She was bubbling over with pure and unadulterated schadenfreude because if the Cardinals won the series, I had to take her on a shopping spree to Bath and Body Works and dinner at Olive Garden (I can’t mention here what she has to do for me if the Rangers won, but it will be equally enjoyable). But I cut her off: “Wait!” I said. “There have only been two others that have ever hit three homers in a single World Series game. They were Babe Ruth and…..” She cut me off.

“Jesse Jackson!” She announced with a proud nod.

I laughed. “Jesse Jackson? Are you sure it was Jesse?”

“Maybe it was Michael…I don’t know, but anyway they scored again.”

“Maybe it was Tito or Germaine?” I said.

“Don’t they play football?”

“Ever heard of Reggie Jackson?” I asked her.

“Yeah, he’s that guy that cussed you out when you asked him for an autograph.”

“He had just struck out. He wasn’t in a good mood. And he’s also the guy that hit the other three World Series homers in a single game.”

“Whatever. I don’t like him.”

“Whatever.”

Reggie, Michael or Jesse, it didn’t matter. The Cards were mopping the field with the Rangers. As for Sammie’s allegiance to the National League, it didn’t bother me. Living here in the Deep South has shown me that no self-respecting southerner would root for an American League team to begin with.

That’s why they have the Braves, and as bad as the Braves are, these people are loyal to their team. The late, great Lewis Grizzard, a renowned Southern journalist and lifelong Atlantan called the Braves “the joke of Major League Baseball”. He goes on to say “As an Atlantan, I wish we could have kept the Braves our dirty little secret, sort of like having an alcoholic uncle. If the Braves were a movie, they’d be playing at a drive-in theater where the speakers don’t work.”

I couldn’t agree more with Lewis, but I have learned not to express my opinion about the Atlanta team in front of any locals. They are a proud lot and no matter how terribly the Braves or the Falcons have played, they are the best thing to hit the South since shoes, toothpaste and indoor plumbing.

As far as Sammie’s position on baseball, she still has a chance, I can still convince her to come toward the light. She was actually born in the panhandle of Florida, albeit the “Redneck Riviera”, but nevertheless Florida is not considered to be part of the South, and that gives her some promise.

It is another beautiful crisp Lulawissie Fall evening. A gentle breeze is blowing, gently lofting the salmon and golden leaves of the hardwood trees into the air. I enjoy sitting on the back porch during these evenings, and most others, just watching the leaves spiral down to the ground, or floating out and falling into the lake. Seeing that reminds me of old Indian lore, of how the early local tribes believed that leaves that fell on the water eventually became fish and the leaves that fell on the land eventually became birds and flew away. What a pure and simple thought.

With that thought on my mind my friends, I bow out for now. Remember to keep a cheerful heart and do good deeds for people you don’t know. Work hard, give thanks to the Good Lord for everything, good or not so good, and stay healthy.

Until next time.

©2011 by Del Banks

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