Milestones, births, deaths and a kid caddy doesn't screw up
We do like our sports stars to have a little bit of an edge to them, don’t we?
Especially when it comes to lionizing them for some significant career accomplishment.
We go gaga over Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit and the time leading up to it because he’s the captain of the Yankees.
We glorify, or have glorified, Tiger Woods, even though he’s a bit standoffish, because he was chasing Jack Nicklaus.
The Miami Heat are all the rage because of the manner in which they were put together and some hope a dynasty is building while others hope for a train wreck.
And then along comes a guy like Jim Thome, who has just reached one of the true pinnacles of major league baseball with as little fanfare as you can possibly imagine.
Thome hit homers No. 599 and 600 last night, becoming just the eighth player in major league baseball history (and we’re talking a lot of good baseball players in that group) to get to that plateau and I cannot think of something so significant being achieved to such little acclaim.
I don’t know Thome at all, not sure I’ve even ever been in a scrum with him, but by all accounts of people writing about him today, he’s a classy, thoughtful guy who goes about his business quietly and with none of the “hey, look at me!” antics of some other professional athletes.
All professional sports is dotted with massive egos, senses of entitlement and athletes who think the world revolves around them. We – the collective we of fans and members of the media – feed into it far too much, we want our guys to be a bit edgy, it feeds the media beast and fuels the hearts of passionate fans.
But maybe we should pay more attention to the nice guys and what they do on the fields of play and how they handle themselves off it.
There needs to be more room to learn about them, to appreciate them, to celebrate them.
I’m sure the tributes will come rolling in today for Thome (read this one from ESPN.com to get a sense of the guy) and that he will be recognized for the milestone he reached.
Too bad it kind of snuck up on us but I guess that’s just the way things are. Maybe it’s time to search out ways to change it.
I think we might be hitting the links tomorrow, it’ll be one of the rare appearances of the season. Seems the Mighty Rockies coaching staff – minus the one non-golfer in the group – will be guests of one of the Dads up at a company tourney in Kitchener.
We’ll be riding, that’s for sure, because if we didn’t, we might get a guy like a fellow who was one of the worst caddies in the history of the game:
Oh, yeah, story time.
It’s a Canadian Tour event, early ‘90s, in Ottawa and I find myself hanging out with Mike Weir and Dean Wilson at my sister-in-laws up there, helping a couple of struggling young kids with housing and having a wee bit of fun.
Anyway, it’s Saturday night, Mike’s, um, well off the pace and his regular looper, Crazy Stu, has to go to some wedding or something in London, I believe.
Well, because even if Mike shoots 59, he’s going to make about $80 (the Canadian Tour was hardly lucrative back then) and because Crazy Stu has tendency to have a rather good time wherever he goes, there’s no way he’s getting back from London to sweep the dew and carry the bag.
So, in a true moment of weakness, I volunteer, like a dope.
About the first hole, I’m on the green, holding the flag and minding my own business when Mike’s lining up about a five-footer for par.
Now, the only thing about reading putts that I know is that I can’t do it so I’m just standing there. Well, apparently I’m standing in the wrong place because the lefty can see me out of the corner of his eye and nicely gestures that I, you know, get the hell out of the way.
We get to about the 15th or so, we’re not on the way to shooting 59, and Mike kind of draws one in to the right rough. Sunday morning dew sweepers at Canadian Tour events don’t tend to draw huge galleries or forecaddies so we’ve got to try to find the ball in the thicket of rough.
I’m tired, a bit worn out, was probably a tad over-served on the Saturday night and the bag is damn heavy so I’m kind of listlessly walking the rough looking for the ball.
We can’t find it, I’m grumpy, Mike’s grumpy, we just want to go home and all of a sudden, I feel something by my foot. Oh, yeah, the ball and I came thisclose to kicking it, which would have been a very bad thing.
Sheepishly, I tell him I’ve got it, think we went on to make par after I didn’t incur a penalty stroke because I wasn’t paying attention and, shockingly, that was the end of my caddying career.
I blame Crazy Stu.
If I could remotely be interested in fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, I’d be all over them today in memory of this guy, who died this day back in ’77
And you know how, because most of us are of a Certain Vintage, we do lists here every now and then about music and where bands fit of long-ago eras, where do you put Elvis?
Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan. Didn’t mind some of it but wouldn’t be near the top of my list and I’m quite proud that the only thing of significance I’ve seen in Memphis is the Civil Rights Museum and I’ve lived a Graceland-free life.
Seriously, Hobbs homers and TOD ‘pen coughs up another one?
Talk about predictable.
Glad I didn’t stay up and only had to read Zorro’s piece about the carnage rather than watch it. Or write it ‘cause it sounds like a bit of a buzzer-beater.
We’ve got the national senior men’s team on the mind – rightfully so since they’re here – but checking in on the women, they’ve just come back from a 1-2 trip to China and now take a wee break before getting back to camp in early September for the final session before their Olympic qualifier later that month in Chile.
Finally, they’ll be in our neighbourhood, at U of T Hazelville, which is like a home game for me and a perfect chance to say hello.
Hey, may as well start it now, right?
Okay, one death duly noted, we may as well get to a birthday and I cannot believe Madonna’s the same age as I am now.
She a good one?
Changed the face of music as performance in some manner?
Again, not a huge fan but some toe-tapping ditties, for sure.