Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Midweek Time Killers...Old School Baseball Style

(No, that is not the blogger known as Shedd in the picture to the right.)

Every year about this time, the Baltimore Orioles visit the District for a series the Nationals promote as "The Battle of the Beltways". Honestly, it's more like the "Contests of the Cellar Dwellers", but the series usually draws well and the fans seem to have a good time. When the Nationals were still playing at RFK, some friends and I would always take in the Sunday game of the series after a couple of hours of tailgating. On one of those Sundays, my friend "Drycleaner Chris" and I were approached by the weekend sports anchor for local channel 9. She wanted to interview Chris and me for a story examining the Nationals-Orioles rivalry. Weekend anchor girl was your typical nice bodied TV blonde type, so, in our buzzedness, we readily agreed to step in front of camera. Chris BS'd his way through what seemed to be a five minute answer, then I babbled for a while, hoping my drunkedness wouldn't show up on video. (Believe me, I have a face and a voice made for blogging, so if I would have been sober, there's no way I would have let myself go on camera.) Soon, interview time was over and we headed into the game. When I got home that evening, I set my DVR to record channel 9's late night sports show and then readily forgot about the entire incident.

A few weeks later, I was visiting my parents in West Va. when my mom told me a friend of hers had seen me on TV. I'm sure I had a puzzled look on my face, because I had totally forgotten the interview. (15 beers or so on the day of an interview will do that to a guy.) My mom went on to tell me her friend said it looked like I was "at a ball game or something". Then it dawned on me what she was talking about. I was truly expecting the next words to come out of my mom's mouth to be her friend said "and he looked like he was three sheets to the wind". But, I got lucky. Once I got back home, I watched the story on my DVR. My minutes of babbling was edited down to about 20 seconds for the story. And, geez did I look like a** in my drunkedness.

In honor of this weekend's "Contests of the Cellar Dwellers", we'll take a look back at some old school baseball items from the Washington and Baltimore areas. (I refuse to lump the two cities into one geographic region because the two cities could not be more different.)

First, there's the best ever of the buzzed baseball fans, Baltimore's Wild Bill Hagy. This Washington Times piece was written by Dick Heller shortly after Hagy's death in August 2007. But, even more interesting is this 1979 Evening Magazine story on Hagy.

Lastly, is this review of Stephen J. Walker's 1999 book A Whole New Ballgame. The book details the Washington Senators 1969 season, their first under the leadership of Ted Williams. Although everyone remembers the Senators as perennial losers, they actually had a record of 86-76 in 1969. Personally, my lone memory of the Senators was going to a game at the age of four with my dad and grandfather in 1971, the Senators final year in D.C., and spilling orange soda all over myself and being hot and sticky the rest of the day. I guess it could have been worse, I could have a memory of a loss.

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