Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks For Men Like These

I'm constantly amazed at the men and women who are willing to sacrifice everything to serve this country. But this story about Dr. Bill Krissoff is one of my favorites. He gave up a thriving orthopedic practice to enlist in the Navy to care for wounded sailors and Marines. Take time to read the whole piece and give thanks that we have folks like these still willing to serve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Tribute to "The Man"

These days you don't hear much about one of the greatest hitters of all time, Stan Musial. Yesterday was his 90th birthday and the St. Louis Post Dispatch assembled this terrific list of 90 things to love about The Man. A sampling:

3 • A lovely man, with lovely symmetry. Musial stroked two hits in his first game in the majors Sept. 17, 1941. He ended his career with two hits in his final game Sept. 29, 1963, in St. Louis. And with those last two hits, Musial finished with 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 on the road. As the writer George Will once wrote, "baseball's rich in wonderful statistics, but it's hard to find one more beautiful than Stan Musial's hitting record. He didn't care where he was, he just hit."

11 • Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax: "In my rookie year, I got my first chance to face Stan Musial. I also gave up my first home run. The two events are not unrelated."

17 • While Ted Williams and other esteemed hitters of the day pontificated about their approach to hitting, Musial kept it refreshingly simple. "You wait for a strike, then you knock the tar out of it," Musial said.

41 • When Albert Pujols made his major-league debut on April 5, 2001 at Coors Field in Colorado, Musial unexpectedly showed up and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. It was almost as if he knew he had to be there to symbolically transfer his greatness to the young Pujols.

48 • Pitcher Don Newcombe: "I could have rolled the ball up there to Musial, and he would have pulled out a golf club and hit it out."

50 • Musial may have invented - or at least first popularized - the so-called "fist bump." Stan came up with it as an option to shaking hands. Musial was convinced that he was catching too many colds by picking up germs while shaking thousands of hands each year, so he adopted the fist bump as a friendly alternative.

82 • Joe Garagiola: "He could have hit .300 with a fountain pen."

89 • Bob Costas: "All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being."

Hat tip: Powerline

Friday, November 05, 2010

Another Legend is Gone

He was one of the best managers ever being the first to win a World Series title in both leagues. George "Sparky" Anderson passed away yesterday at age 76. He was sixth all-time in wins (although when he suddenly retired he had been third behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw having since been passed by Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre).

He was truly one of the game's greats and his retirement as well as his passing have come all too soon. Not long ago I had read Mark Frost's excellent book Game Six about the 1975 World Series and gained a new found appreciation for the genius and character of Sparky Anderson.

So long, Sparky. You will be missed.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A Matter Of Honor

I disagreed with many of the policy decisions of President George W. Bush particularly on domestic issues. But there has never been a question of his outstanding character or integrity. Last night at Game 4 of the World Series at Texas Stadium, the former president also showed that he hadn't lost his ability to throw a pitch:

Yes, I do miss him.

Hat tip: Powerline