I know I’m old school, and at times all I can do is shake my head at what some ball players make, or what they do off the field, getting away with things the average man couldn’t, with seemingly no consequences. Charles Barkley once said he’s not a role model. Well I think athletes and movie stars are role models whether they like it or not. To many young kids are influnenced by them. Good or bad they want to be like them. Well on the eve of a new baseball season, I wanted to pay tribute to one of the games best ever, and a man who put up with alot of social steriotypes, constant heckiling from fans and hardships. Being Jewish was hard enough, but being a Jewish ball player in 1930s America made him even more open for criticism. Especially when he had a 0-4 day at the plate.
I’m talking about Hank Greenberg. One of the best ball players ever, during an era of many greats. Not only was Greenberg one of the best hitters in baseball history, he missed 3 full seasons and most of 2 others to military service during World War II, and missed most of another season with a broken wrist. Think about that….he missed 3 baseball seasons to go to WAR! Came back and still put up monster numbers.
A first baseman primarily for the Detroit Tigers, Greenberg was one of the premier power hitters of his generation. He hit 58 home runs in 1938, the most in one season by any player between 1927,when Babe Ruth set a record of 60, and 1961when Roger Maris surpassed it. The five time all-star was twice named the MVP of the American League, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956. The anti-Semitism Greenberg faced ranged from players staring at him because they had never before seen a Jew, to coarse racial epithets hurled at him. Particularly abusive were the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1934 World Series. Examples of this were: “Hey Mo,” referring to Moses and “Throw a pork chop he can’t hit that,” referring to laws of Kashrut. Greenberg always seemed to keep a cool head. He was a mans man. A real Pro. And Baseball was more than his “job”, it seemed to be his passion. In my opinion he was a great role model for kids in the 1930s and 40s, and even today. The culture of sports and even living in general is much different today than it was then, this I know, but somethings are timeless. Hank Greenberg is one of them.
Just a tribute to one of my favorite casinos in Vegas. The first hotel casino to let you gamble on sports. I know I’ll miss the Dust.
After I saw Shaq smiling walking off the court yesterday as the Heat destroyed the Bulls it hit me. The Heat stink. I mean they really do. They have to be one of the worst teams ever to win a championship. Which leads me to more thinking….(I know you can see the smoke rising!) Isn’t Dallas much better then Miami? How did they beat the Mavs in the Finals last year? Oh yeah D Wade. And some help from refs. Okay, alot of help from the refs. Even Mark Cuban will tell you that. The NBA, or any other sport for that matter would never admit this, but don’t you think sometimes they WANT certain teams to win? I’m a Pistons fan, but I can’t see them beating any of the teams from the West this year. But there always is D. Wade, putting off shoulder surgury so he can come back for the playoffs, hobble around, make faces when he barely gets touched and gets the foul call. Plus he’s the guy the NBA would like to hear say, “I’m goin’ to Disneyworld!!” Plus the whole shoulder drama will be brought up every 5 seconds by Doug Collins and that awful TNT broadcasting crew. (Except Reggie Miller and Sir Charles, their good.)
But back to my point about “bad” Championship teams. I know it’s an oxymoron, but aren’t the Miami Heat one? Without Wade they don’t have a chance. When I say “bad” champion, I mean there here then gone. Or a few years down the road you can’t even remember they were the winner. Kinda like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. No offense to speak of, but Superbowl Champs. Kinda boring football but they were the Champs. Then never heard from again. Not like the New England Patriots. I miss teams that form a dynasty. The Steelers in the 70’s, awesome. The 49ers in the 80’s. The Cincinnati Reds big red machine in the 70’s. The A’s in the 70’s. Now a days it’s all about money. No player usually stays with a team for years or for a carrer. Shaq did fulfill his promise to bring a championship to Miami, but like most sports teams of today, I think the Heat are one and done. Do you have a champion you think was “bad” or just weak from a sport? I’d love to hear some opinions!
Mets fans go crazy in the fall classic of 1969.
“With his daughter’s first birthday just days away and his parents staying with him at Caesar’s Palace, Jones didn’t come to Las Vegas looking for trouble,” Moss said. That’s Pac-man Jones’ publicist, Cheryl Moss. He wasn’t looking for trouble on the eve of his daughters first birthday, he just went to the strip club to blow off some much needed stress. Poor guy, life in the NFL must be so rough. I am sick of these athletes getting away with everything. Tank Johnson needed permission to play in Superbowl XLI because of all of the guns they found in his house. Maybe he was planning on going to Iraq after the big game to help the troops. If they found all those guns in my house, I wouldn’t even be able to WATCH the game, let alone play in it. Washington Redskin Sean Taylor some how got community service after he beat down and pulled a gun on a man. Do all athletes carry guns? Just ask the Cincinnati Convicts, I mean Bengals. Isn’t that whole team on parole?
Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels were taken straight from a win over Milwaukee to the police station to turn themselves in after charges were filed in a fight at a local bar. They claim they are innocent. Of course they are. Former Pacer Stephen Jackson was hit by a car during a fight outside a strip club last October. (another stripclub story) He faces felony and misdemeanor charges for, guess what, firing a gun. Something must be in the water in Indiana. Look I know athletes, movie stars, rock stars, rappers, they have different laws then the blue collar worker. I’m an ex-athlete who couldn’t make the pros and now I am a blue collar worker, and would love to have a shot at making millions. I think these guys lose perspective of not only money, but of life. Your daughter is going to be 1 Pac-man. Go spend time with her, so she doesn’t end up working at the stripclub in 17 years.
Today is February 26th, and tomorrow being my birthday I wanted to see what historical events happened over time on Feb. 27th. Well before I could get to the the 27th, I read about today. February 26th 1993. The first time some asshole tried to blow up the World Trade Center. Just after noon a bomb exploded in the North Tower parking garage. An Islamic extremest Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, drove a van containing a 1500 pound bomb and left it under the North Tower hoping to bring it down. More than one thousand people were injured and 6 were killed, but the tower stood. When Yousef was caught wondering through the sand in Packistan, he admitted to having a plot to kill Pope John Paul II, and blowing up 15 American Airliners in a 48 hour span. Him and his buddies all got life in prison, doesn’t seem like much of a punishment for killing six people and attempting to kill thousands. If that doesn’t deserve the death penalty (um…Tim McVeigh ring a bell) I don’t know what does. We all know that the ball was dropped alot on 9/11, but I’m still wondering how you get a 1500 pound bomb in the parking garage. Nevertheless, 9/11 was awful, but for the thousands injured and the 6 people killed on February 26th, lets not forget them. February 26th 1993, a terrible day in American History.