Another Great Stupid Moment
It’s a very good honour involving community dedication, named for the great ball player, and greater man, who died on New Year’s Eve, 1972, flying relief supplies from his native Puerto Rico to earthquake victims in Nicarauga.
So Jeter, who was born in June of 1974, makes a nice little acceptance speech and the first question he is asked is whether he knew Clemente.
Uh . . . .
There’s a story, which some swear is true, that after Don Larsen pitched his perfect game in the 1956 World Series, across the road at the original Yankee Stadium, the first question a breathless TV guy asked him was whether it was the best game he’d ever pitched. Different guy than today.
A guy with an hour to kill left the ballpark, crossed 161st Street and cruised the sports bars and T-shirt joints packed along River Avenue. There is some serious, beer-lubricated atmosphere out there on a pleasant fall evening, the music loud and thumping.
There were plenty more Phillies fans, clad in their team’s garb, than I would have expected to see and while there was some back-and-forth jabbering, it seemed entirely good natured. But the night was certainly young.
The only “special’’ T-shirt was entirely predictable: Written in Phillies script, you can guess what it said. Think of a rude verb that begins with F, spelled with “Ph’’ at the beginning. Not too difficult.
Here is culture clash. A very large stage is being erected behind second base, where Alicia Keys and Jay-Z are scheduled to perform a half-hour before the first pitch. While it is being set up, the stadium organist plays ‘’Over the Rainbow.’’ So there’s Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen’s greatest hit as a backdrop for these contemporary performers. Where else could this happen?