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The Hero Of Seventh Grade Social Studies Class
The author lived for baseball at 12 years old
The author gets in trouble in class and ends up being the World Series hero
How My Teacher Turned My Passion FOR BASEBALL Into The Lesson For The Day
Well "back in my day" (as "they" always say) the World Series was played only during the daytime. This was torture to a 12 year old boy like myself growing up in Simi Valley, California that ate, slept, breathed and pooped baseball. So I thought I'd break a few rules (like THAT was anything new to me) and bring my transister radio with an earpiece to school.
That was fine on the playground because I could find a far corner of the big grass field while I and a few other baseball nuts like myself could listen to it. But then the bell rang to get back to class. I slyly slipped into my chair in the back of the room of Mr. Zemansky's Social Studies class still listening to the game in my ear.
I thought I was so shifty and cool listening to the 1970 World Series between the Baltimore Orioles and "The Big Red Machine" of the Cinncinnati Reds.
I Am Determined NOT To Miss The World Series
Well, there I was, staring off into space picturing Baltimore's magic fielding third baseman (later named MVP of the Series) Brooks Robinson scooping up rocks and dirt along with every batted ball that the Reds hit at him. I wasn't paying one bit of attention to what the teacher was saying nor the lesson for the day.
With the little beige earphone crammed into my ear and making sure my unexposed ear was facing the teacher I wasn't in Southern California. I was in Cincinnati at the series! I do remember at one point yelling out, "YES!" but it coincided with the lesson plan of the day as Mr. Zemansky was randomly calling on students to answer questions off the board.
Suddenly a voice that seemed to come from far, far away but got louder and louder until I could see Mr. Zemansky standing over my desk nearly shouting, "Mister Miller! Mister Miller! MIS-TER MILLER!" He always referred to his students as "Mister" and "Miss." This was before "Ms." Yeah, I'm that old!
The Goat Turns Out To Be The Hero - And It's ME!
I looked straight into his eyes with shock and terror as he asked, "MISTER MILLER! What ARE you listening to?"
After I found my voice, I said weakly, "Uh, the World Series, sir." He liked to be referred to as "sir" and you can bet I was going to do everything in my power to avoid going to the principal's office to get a swat on my butt from the his wooden paddle... with holes in it (supposed to hurt more.) Common practice in those days.
"The World Series, eh?" He said semi-sarcastically.
Oh God, I thought, here it comes. I'll be on my way to Pricipal Merriweather's office for some of his batting practice swings on my tender ass! Yeah, they did that back then. Totally legal! Sweat glistened on my forehead.
"I bet you'd like to SEE the World Series, wouldn't you, MISTER MILLER?!" He said sternly.
"Well, YES sir I would." I murmered.
All eyes in class on me were anticipating the next act in this scene. Then a curious thing happened.
"Well then, go down to the Audio Visual Room and get a television set right now so we can watch the Series! Hurry up!"
It took me a stunned one, two, three count then I blasted out of that room at supersonic speed down to the A.V. Room, signed out a T.V. and bolted back to the classroom with it! These sets usually had big 22 to 26 inch screens! It would be in black and white but that's what most of us had at home anyway.
I hooked it up in seconds and we all witnessed some of the greatest classic baseball EVER played! I was a hero to everyone in the classroom. Even the students that couldn't stand sports or baseball loved me because this was way better than actually learning something!
I approached Mr. Zemansky after class to thank him and to ask why he'd let us watch the World Series in class. He calmly stated with a smile, "This is a Social Studies class, Mr. Miller and what better social event than our National Pastime?"
Had to be seen to be believed: Brooks vs. The Big Red Machine!
And so it was fitting that the last out of the 1970 WS was made by the MVP Brooks Robinson!
- 1970 World Series last out - YouTube
Baltimore 9 Cincinnati 3