Today's thoughts

Category: Kyle Schwarber (Page 1 of 3)

Retirement is not without Hassles: Hope #2460

There is a wealth of knowledge in my neighborhood. Retired accountants, bankers, lawyers, brokers, and doctors – men and women. I learn something new every day or benefit from their expertise when they assist the HOA on contract negotiations. They might help save money on insurance, zoning, or investments, for example, to keep our annual costs down. I often wish I had skills like this, but my media background doesn’t necessarily apply. What do I have to offer? 

Sadly, my chief interest and wealth of knowledge these days seems to be baseball cards, for what it’s worth. It’s like going full circle back to childhood and skipping all those years of doing business. In the back of my mind is the hope that I uncover something valuable, but maybe all that matters is that it makes me happy. I keep thinking of my childhood neighbor, who hit me square in the forehead with a rock, requiring stitches. He was a little older and had an impressive assortment of baseball cards and enviable knowledge. As he and his mother came to see me in bed after the accident, they brought me a box of unopened baseball cards as an apology. I’m sure it was the mother’s idea! It took all the pain away and made me want another hit in the head. The baseball cards are long gone but the scar is still there. 

Baseball cards tell a story and finding them like a treasure hunt. I have about ten massive binders of them, carefully organized by team and player. All of them are valuable to me, regardless of condition or worth. They bring back memories and inspire me to learn more about the history of the game. I have several neighbors that feel the same way. I spent yesterday afternoon with one of them, who made it his business. For many years, he was a distributor for Topps, the major brand in baseball cards that has bought out everyone else. They are currently capitalizing on the current resurgence of the hobby, that also extends to all other sports, video games, celebrities, and even Disney

He eventually established his own trading card business, having recently sold it, but keeping an active role while in his 80’s. I wanted to drool when he showed me a recent shipment of classic cards that he bought for resale. We’re headed to a local card show today, but just to look, and not as an exhibitor, as is his norm. He’s off to the National Sports Card Convention in Cleveland next week. I wish I had the mad money to attend and participate, but I continue to get satisfaction on a smaller scale, by hanging with neighbors like this. No different than when I was a kid. 

If I had an extra quarter growing up, I’d hop on my bike and head to the nearby grocery store to buy five packs of cards (5-cents each). All was right in the world, as I’d sit on the curb and open them like a Christmas package. Back then, they also contained a flat, pink, slab of bubble gum, so the scent became associated with the cards, as I’d begin to organize them once I got back home, sometimes putting together All-Star teams. Then, we’d get out the Whiffle ball and bat to play Home Run Derby as our favorite player. I’d imagine myself as Mickey Mantle, until I found a new hero, Sherm Lollar. These days, I’d be Kyle Schwarber or Shohei Ohtani at the plate. 

I’ve been striking out a lot recently while participating in what they call “Card Breaks,” sharing the cost of buying several boxes and paying to keep the cards of the team of your choice. I’m not willing to invest in the higher-priced Dodgers or Yankees, so I tend to stick with the lower-priced White Sox or Cubs. Naturally, all the more desirable autograph and relic cards never seem to come my way. I prefer the random draws, but luck is never in my favor, so I’m still stuck with the less desirables, but content with the Hope. 

Old Sport Shorts: Go Cubs Go! #2541

I’ve been to a lot of Cubs games in my lifetime, most at Wrigley Field but some at Sox Park during the Crosstown Classic. I’ve seen them in Phoenix during Spring Training and during Covid had tickets for games that were cancelled. Most importantly, I watched them win a World Series game in the Wrigley stands thanks to my wife and her ticket contacts. Since that time, I rarely got to see them play, living so far away and without access to tickets. Our retirement from the media business has limited our opportunities to see free concerts and games. However, my wife and I have been on a bit of a road winning streak these last few years. 

We saw them win in San Francisco with the entire family in 2017 and again in 2018 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Finally, in 2021 we all went to Pittsburgh for a 9-0 victory. Last night, it all came to an end in the bottom of the 9th against the Rays at Tropicana Stadium. A walk-off 3-run homer by Brandon Lowe sealed the loss, a first for my son in many years to going to Cubs games, even without me. I was privileged last night to watch the game with “Three Generations of Cub Fans,” including my grandson and my wife who bought us a brick with that inscription, embedded in the walkways around Wrigley Field. My grandson isn’t much of a baseball fan and in fact bought a new Rays cap just before that final blow. My son’s wife and two daughters did not join us, so their Cubs victory streak is still intact. 

I followed some other baseball last night while sitting in the stands, gorging myself on hot dogs, pulled pork nachos, and dip-n-dots. As you can see, not all was lost. We had good family bonding time and a 2-0 lead most of the game. Our area, after a persistent draught, has had a deluge of recent rainfall, while heavy showers made it challenging to get to and from St. Pete. I was glad my son was driving. Too many unknowledgeable neighbors and friends asked if the game was rained-out, not realizing that it is a covered stadium. It made for pleasant, dry and airconditioned conditions. In other MLB action, two of my favorite players, former Cub, Kyle Schwarber had two home runs for the Phillies last night, while Shohei Ohtani of the Dodgers also homered. Sadly, my White Sox lost too, their 51st of a season that’s not even half over!

“Take me out to the ballgame,” always makes a game memorable, as we all sang along arm-in-arm. “Root, root, root for the CUBBIES,” drowned out the home-team Rays chant, so a lot of fans went home disappointed thanks to the “L” rather than “W.” There are two games left in the series, but we won’t make the drive again this year, and it will be several more years before the Cubs schedule will allow them to return. Who knows when we’ll see the Cubs play again, but thanks to our Braves Spring Training facility next door, there will be much more baseball in our lives. Go, Cubs, Go!

Old Sport Shorts: Sell not Accumulate #2524

It’s the middle of May and the start of the WNBA regular season, while the NBA playoffs begin to wind down. The Indiana Fever and Caitlin Clark had a tough debut against the Connecticut Sun, while the Indiana Pacers failed to maintain their winning momentum and fell badly to the Knicks. Shohei Ohtani had another big night at the plate for the Dodgers, while the Cubs lost to the Braves and the Sox split with the Nats. The Phillies and Kyle Schwarber were the first team to 30-wins, while the White Sox joined the Marlins in the 30-loss club. I.U. baseball plays the final series of the regular season against Michigan. Alex Palou won the Indy Grand Prix, in preparation for the upcoming Indy 500. That’s about it for me in the world of sports. 

I just added my 250th item to the Sherm Lollar collection, a couple of more magazine clippings from 1947 and 1962. His #10 White Sox uniform hangs in my office, along with a photo/plague, catcher’s mitt, signed ball, and tribute cups. The rest of the items are organized from 1945-1970 in three big binders, the span of his career as a player, coach, and manager. It may very well be the largest collection of his memorabilia in the world – if anyone cares. I still contend that he should be in Cooperstown, but that includes a long list of worthy candidates. He’s been in my heart since childhood but died of cancer at age 53.

My other collection is baseball cards, also mainly in binders. I did get a bit carried away with my Topps Now purchases of Shohei Ohtani cards. I’ve captured his U.S. career starting with his rookie debut with the Angels and leading up to the more recent Dodgers. He’s wowed us with his pitching and hitting, often compared to Babe Ruth. This year he’s on a quest for .400 and the triple crown, taking a break from pitching after surgery. I’ve amassed about 125 of his cards, captured at various stages of his young career. They are for sale and on display at a local Venice card shop, Blue Breaks, and have even been to Japan in search for a buyer.

I maintain binders full of Cubs and White Sox cards, that follow the careers of Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez, Chris Sale, Joan Moncada, Luis Roberts, Elroy Jiminez, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and the 1959 American League Champion White Sox that began my interest in card collecting. I’m at the point in life now where I’m more in the mood to get rid of things rather than accumulate. 


Old Sport Shorts: I.U. World Series #2422

One Indiana University Hoosier made it to the World Series this year, although he didn’t fare so well in his quest to get there last night. With a two game and home field advantage, I fully expected I.U. alum Kyle Schwarber and his Phillies teammates to get there again, instead it was Andrew Saalfrank, also an I.U. alum and the Arizona Diamondbacks moving on for the first time since 2001, their 4th season in MLB and their only other trip to the Fall Classic, when they beat the Yankees in Game 7. It also took 7 games to win the NLCS. It will be a battle between two Wildcards!

Here’s a recap of the first encounter between Schwarber and Saalfrank, as described by Doug Haller of The Athletic:

“A rookie left-hander, Saalfrank had been with the Diamondbacks for six weeks, promoted from Triple-A Reno. Throughout the playoffs, he had played a key role in Arizona’s bullpen, avoiding trouble, pitching out of jams. Dating to his Sept. 4 promotion, he had not allowed an earned run in 14 appearances.”

“Saalfrank, 26, took the ball. Lovullo patted him on the leg. Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera did the same. Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber, the hero of the National League Championship Series through two games, stepped in. The two had a connection.”

“Saalfrank and Schwarber both attended Indiana University. Schwarber was four years older, but Saalfrank had met him early in his college career. Schwarber had been a star from the start, an offensive force. Saalfrank was more of a late bloomer, stuck in the bullpen until an injury to a starting pitcher forced him into the rotation.”

“It changed his career.”

“On the mound in Game 3, with the score deadlocked 0-0, Saalfrank started with an 83-mph curveball that sailed outside the strike zone.” 

“Saalfrank walked Schwarber.”

He then walked him again in Game 7 and the prior batter, allowing the potentially winning run at the plate with no outs. That was the end of his night, immediately relieved by Kevin Ginkel who preserved the victory with three strike outs, including Bryce Harper. It was Ketel Marte, the NLCS MVP, that turned out to be the real “Mr. October” instead of Schwarber or Harper. 

As a personal side note, I worked with the Saalfrank family in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, while I was in the radio business at WMEE/WQHK. They owned an advertising agency called Saal. Andrew is from nearby Hoagland and pitched for I.U. before being drafted in the 2019 sixth round by the Diamondbacks. 


Old Sport Shorts: I.U.’s Kyle Schwarber #2421

I found this Kyle Schwarber bio on from 2014. He wore jersey #10 for the Indiana Hoosiers before switching to #12 for the Cubs, Red Sox, Nats, and currently the Phillies. He might have asked to continue with #10 in Chicago, but the uniform number was retired in honor of Ron Santo back in 2003. 

“Selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft (fourth overall) by the Chicago Cubs, the highest draft pick in Indiana baseball history … Two-time First Team All-American and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honoree … In IU history, ranks fifth in slugging percentage (.607), sixth in home runs (40), eighth in hits (238) and tied for eighth in triples (12) and runs (182) … All-Big Ten honors all three years … for career batted .341 in 180 games played.”

2014 – JUNIOR

“Johnny Bench Award Finalist … First Team All-American (Baseball America and Perfect Game), Second Team All-American (Louisville Slugger, NCBWA and ABCA/Rawlings) … First Team All-Big Ten … Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and Big Ten All-Tournament Team on Big Ten charts, ranked first in slugging percentage (.659), on base percentage (.464), runs scored (66), home runs (14), total bases (153), walks (44) and total plate appearances (280), tied for first in triples (6), second in hits (83), third in batting average (.358), fifth in RBI (48), tied for fifth in doubles (16) and sixth in at bats (232) … In IU single-season history, ranked tied for tenth in runs (66) … Big Ten Player of the Week (March 3) … reached base in all five plate appearances in win at No. 9 Louisville … accounted for eight runs in two-game sweep in Louisville … team-high 23 games with multiple hits, including three contests with career-high four hits … in four NCAA Regional games, recorded 10 hits, seven RBI, one double, one triple and two home runs.”


” Selected as the best catcher in the country by Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earning First Team All-America honors from both entities … named a Louisville Slugger Second Team All-American by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper … chosen as the NCBWA’s District V Player of the Year … also picked up First Team honors for both the ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-Big Ten squads … paired with Sam Travis to become only college teammates to compete for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team over the summer … led the Big Ten with 18 homeruns (3rd nationally), 65 runs (13th), 152 total bases (16th), .647 slugging percentage (19th), .456 OBP and 42 walks … his .366 average, 54 RBI and 86 hits each ranked third in the conference … the 18-homer total is slotted sixth all-time in school history … fielded .989 on the season … earned a spot on both the All-Big Ten Tournament and All-NCAA Bloomington Regional teams …’s Central Regional Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week on March 11 after destroying Florida for 10 hits, four RBI and four runs scored in a road series victory … racked up seven hits, six runs and four RBI in series sweep at Iowa … blasted a no-doubt homer in the bottom of the 10th vs. Michigan, setting up a walk-off win for IU later in the inning … went on a 10-game postseason hitting streak which included four long-balls, 11 RBI, 14 runs scored and 14 total base knocks … clobbered a pair of cloud-scraping homers in an 8-6 win at Nebraska on the Big Ten Network … whacked homeruns in back-to-back games four different times, including twice in the postseason … Indiana went 46-13 (.780) in games he started and 3-3 (.500) in games an injury held him out of the starting lineup … an Academic All-Big Ten selection.”


“Tabbed as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper … voted All-Big Ten second team catcher … unanimous selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman squad … three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree (Mar. 5/Apr. 30/May 21) … ranked in the conference’s top-10 of seven offensive categories: five triples (2nd), 51 runs (t-4th), 47 RBI (t-5th), 118 total bases (t-5th), 15 doubles (t-6th), eight homeruns (t-7th) and a .513 slugging percentage (9th) … threw out 27 attempted base stealers, second-most in the Big Ten … added nine stolen bases, a .300 batting average and .390 on-base percentage … numbers exploded in Big Ten play; hitting .376, slugging .624 and reaching base at a .464 clip during conference action … stroked nine doubles against Big Ten foes, the seventh-most in school history … started all 60 games, 54 behind the dish and six in the corner outfield … second on the team with 21 multi-hit and 13 multi-RBI games … batted .364 (24 of 66) with runners in scoring position … drove in four runs three times, including a grand slam at East Tennessee State … scored one or more runs in 12 consecutive games during late April/early May … scored at least once in 35 of 60 games.”


“Led the Greater Miami Conference with a .474 batting average, eight homeruns and .643 on-base percentage as a senior … also recorded 28 RBI and 11 stolen bases in his league’s Co-Player-of-the-Year-winning season … four-time team MVP … a second team All-Ohio linebacker selection.”


“The son of Greg and Donna Schwarber … has a brother, Jamin, and three sisters, Alicia, Kelly and Lindsey … born on March 5, 1993 … majoring in Recreational Sports Management. He was born in Middletown, Ohio and played for Middletown High, same school as I.U basketball’s Butch Carter.”


Old Sport Shorts: Mr. October or November #2420

Jose Altuve has added to his postseason legacy, cracking his 26th playoff HR (a 3-run blast) in the ninth, leading the defending Champion Astros to a 3-2 series margin over the Texas Rangers. This was after Texas had won the first two games. Talk about “clutch” in his quest for “Mr. October” status. (See Post #2418). He moves within 3 of all-time post-season HR leader Manny Ramirez, tarnished by two suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs. Moments later, Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies put one over the right center wall to surpass fellow left-handed sluggers Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle in the post-season Home Run Derby, his 19th from that side of the plate and fourth of in this year’s NLCS, all in the lead-off position, another record. In addition, Kyle ties right-handers Albert Puljos and George Springer, surpassing Carlos Correa and Nelson Cruz, establishing himself as a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate.

Schwarber can it the long ball and the dribbler off the end of the bat that led to the first run in game 5. The question then became can the Phillies hold on to the early lead for once or will the DBacks stage another comeback? It’s an understatement that reliever Craig Kimbrel has been a disappointment as he was for the Cubs and White Sox whenever I watched him pitch. I would doubt he gets another chance in this series if Manager Rob Thomson wants to keep his job. 

In the top of the 6th, Kyle Schwarber, wearing uniform #12, hit another bomb, his 5th of the NLCS and 20th overall, tying Derek Jeter. Harper matched it later in the inning, after stealing home in the first and joining Randy Arozarena as the only two players in history to do both in the same postseason game. These are “Mr. October” feats above and beyond Reggie Jackson!

Before this historical moment, I never paid much attention to the #12 jersey that Schwarber wore, unlike my childhood fascination with Sherm Lollar back in the 60s who donned the #10 that I since favored. Both Lollar and Schwarber were catchers, by the way, although Kyle now serves a DH role, and was used by the Cubs as an outfielder. I looked back through some of Schwarbs baseball cards, dating back to the I.U. days (2012-2014 when he hit 40 homers for the Hoosiers and wore #10 like Sherm). His USA Baseball, collegiate national team number was 44 in 2014, the year he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. Schwarber may have requested #10 when the Cubbies called him up, but that uniform number was retired in honor of Ron Santo back in 2003. 

The Phillies held on to win game five 6-1 and will have two more chances for a World Series spot when they return to Citizens Bank Park. Unlike the previous night when Schwarber’s run-scoring walk should have been the game winner prior to Kimbrel’s blown save, the bullpen did its job. Hopefully, Philly will advance and likely get a second chance against the Astros, allowing Schwarber and Harper more chances to rewrite the record books and ultimately outdo Houston’s esteemed advisor, “Mr. October” Reggie Jackson. There could even be a “Mr. November should this year’s series lasts longer than four games!


Old Sport Shorts: Mr. October #2418

This is a post that I hope to continue to expand upon, as Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies becomes the second player to have his own category on my blog, along with Sherm Lollar. Neither of these guys are exactly household names, but they are near and dear to me. I’ve been following Schwarber since his playing days at my alma mater Indiana University. Lollar was a childhood hero. Both played for multiple MLB teams during their respective careers and have won World Series rings, while Schwarbs, as I call him, still has a lot of history to make. 

“Mr. October” was the title earned by Reggie Jackson “for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the Athletics and the Yankees. He helped Oakland win five consecutive American League West divisional titles, three straight American League pennants and three consecutive World Series titles from 1972 to 1974. He then helped New York win four American League East divisional pennants, three American League pennants and back-to-back World Series titles, in 1977 and 1978. He then assisted the California Angels in their two AL West divisional titles in 1982 and 1986 and served as an advisor to the 2022 World Champion Astros, his 6th title (at Kyle Schwarber’s expense).

There have been recent references to Kyle Schwarber as the new “Mr. October,” after he tied New York Yankees legends Jackson and Mickey Mantle with 18 post-season home runs following two dingers the other night in Philadelphia, “the most by a left-handed batter in Major League baseball history.” Plus, in his case, there’s more work yet to do with at least two more games yet this month. Plus, Reggie took 77 games and Mickey 65 to reach the 18-mark, while Kyle did it in 60. Schwarber also earned me free Taco Bell food with a rare stolen base in last year’s World Series. (See Post 2186). Kyle is an all-or-nothing hitter with too many strikeouts and a hitting average below the Mendoza level. 

Schwarber’s long-ball heroics started eight years ago when he hit a solo homer for the Cubs in his second post-season at bat back in 2015. He also is the sole owner for lead-off dingers with four, after struggling earlier this month in the Divisional round of the playoffs.  Jackson hammered three consecutive home runs at Yankee Stadium in the clinching game six of the 1977 World Series. So, the word “clutch” adds immensely to Jackson’s October legend, while Schwarber has been upstaged by his teammate Bryce Harper when it comes to game-winning efforts, so far. This is the downside of serving as a lead-off hitter. Plus, this year’s World Series run for the Phillies could easily extend into next month, so either of these stars could claim “Mr. November.”

Other contenders for “Mr. October” include Manny Ramirez with 29 post-season homers, Jose Altuve (25), Bernie Williams (22), Derek Jeter (20), Albert Pujols & George Springer (19), and Carlos Correa & Nelson Cruz (18), while Randy Arozerena totaled ten during the 2022 season alone. Bernie Williams tops everyone with 80 post-season RBIs, all according to Baseball Reference. To Tell the Truth, will the real “Mr. October” please stand up!

To be continued…..


Old Sport Shorts: Happy Birthday Sherm #2383

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Sherm Lollar. Today, August 23, 2024, would have been his 99th birthday. Sadly, he died at the very young age of 53, 46-years ago. I’m at the Louisville Slugger Factory today diligently looking for any signs of his existence but couldn’t find a bat or plaque anywhere. I checked the vault and the wall of signatures but to no avail. I did get to swing an Eloy Jimenez bat, the only current White Sox player with a stock of lumber at the factory. I also tested the weight of bats used by former Cub players Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant, but the heaviest by far was the Babe Ruth model. 

They gave us mini bats for taking the tour and we had a penny flattened with the Slugger logo. My wife bought a magnet and an “It’s All About The Wood” t-shirt as additional souvenirs. My good friend Peter Browning had me check out the first custom bat ever made there, with a “Pete” Browning signature from 1884. He was the original “Louisville Slugger” before the company trademarked the name in 1894 “to honor his patronage and capitalize on his fame.” He was also dubbed “The Gladiator” and played for the local semipro team, the Louisville Eclipse, but helped coin the “Pirates” nickname in Pittsburg due to an 1891 player strike when he and several other players were accused of piracy after signing contracts while theoretically under the control of other clubs. He is one of many famous players who should probably be in the Hall of Fame. 

I do have a #11 Luis Aparicio Louisville Slugger in my collection and a #35 Frank Thomas manufactured bat from Hoosier, both players enshrined in Cooperstown. I’ve seen bats autographed by Sherm Lollar from Adirondack and H&R (Louisville Slugger parent company Hillerich & Bradsby) for sale on eBay. It’s one of the few items I don’t possess in my Lollar collection of cards, photos, articles, mitts, balls, caps, uniform, and trinkets. Few can probably rival my extensive inventory of memories from his illustrious two-decade plus catching and coaching career with the Indians, Yankees, Browns, White Sox, Orioles, A’s, Iowa Oaks, and Tucson Toros. He’s surely crouched behind Heaven’s Home Plate – Happy Birthday, Sherm!

Old Sport Shorts: Opening Day “W” #2296

It’s baseball opening day, so I’m glued to the T.V. and free games from Apparently, it was the earliest ever opener for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, celebrating their 148th season. I have a ticket stub from April 3, 1998, one of the memorable openers for me. The Cubs won 6-2 over the Montreal Expos with Steve Trachsel as the winning pitcher and hitter with two hits while Rod Beck got the save. There were no homers but Sammy Sosa had two errors and got caught stealing. I’m sure the famous ivy vines were just as dead-looking as today with the temperature at 42 windy degrees. I stuffed napkins in my shoes to keep my toes from freezing.

Vladimir Guerrero played right field for the Expos. He was 23-years old that year, while his son, Vladi just turned 24 and is a designated hitter for the Blue Jays. Like father like son, both Canadian stars. I’m watching him play against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, another opening day experience in my life as a baseball fan. That was the inaugural opening of the downtown St. Louis stadium in 2006. However, as a White Sox fan, I can’t say I that I’ve ever started a season there. The Sox play the defending champion Astros this evening.

I drank the White Sox Kool-Aid last year, so I’m not falling into that trap again this year. Let’s just say I have limited expectations for the team, especially without Abreau. Plus, I have no idea how the Cubs will perform with a fully reconstructed lineup, but they did get off to a great start this afternoon by shutting out the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0. Dansby Swanson, former Atlanta Brave, ended the day with  three hits in his debut and Marcus Stroman was impressive on the mound, while Michael Fulmer was credited with the save. Fly the “W.” I’m not yet used to no Kyle Hendricks on the opening day roster or Willson Contreras wearing rival red. 

Aaron Judge was appropriately the first home run of the season in his very first at-bat, mimicking Roger Maris the season after his Ruth-besting power performance, with Judge ultimately topping both of them with the Yankee record 62-dingers. I have a few Judge cards in my collection along with Adley Rutschman of the Orioles who had a historic 5-5 opener, including a homer. Shohei Ohtani started perhaps his final Angels’ season with 10 K’s in six shutout innings. Another collection favorite, Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies, sadly went 0-5 against the Rangers. 

The Brewers and Cubs rivalry dates back to June 13, 1997. As of today’s victory, the series is now tied at 209-209. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have taken the lead on a Paul Goldschmit single, in their opening day matchup. I’m simply not a fan of the Redbirds after being caught in the midst of obnoxious central Illinois fans for the years we lived in Decatur. They haven’t won a championship in 12-years (I was there), while both the Sox and Cubs can claim more recent greatness (I witnessed both), even though neither team will ever get to that impressive 11-title-mark.

All in all, it was an outstanding Opening Day with the Cubs, Sox, Braves, and Orioles all with wins, while the Cardinals and Brewers lost. My kind of baseball. 



Retirement is not without Hassles: Time Change #2194

Another Wordle streak bit the dust this morning as there were just too many letters that worked instead of the “L” in STALE. STATE, STAVE, STAKE, and STAGE were all unsuccessful, so a new streak will have to wait until tomorrow. Bu the way, I’m not worried about revealing the answer or spoiling someone else’s fun with this daily word game because it will be several days before this gets posted. I’m still at my son’s house and writing this on my phone to be copied and pasted later.

I’m still recovering from my eye surgery, and spent a lazy day yesterday watching TV. It was also a bit lonely with no one home, no dog to take care of, and a cat on my lap. When my son got off work, I ordered Taco Bell for both of us on my new app, and he picked it up on his way home. The app was solely the result of a Kyle Schwarber stolen base in game 1 of the World Series. (See Post #2186). However, it came in handy to efficiently feed both of us last night.

After a sedate 12-hours of watching my favorites like I.U. and Purdue be soundly crushed, Alabama lose in O.T, Illinois fall to the Spartans, and unwanted victories by Notre Dame and Ohio State, I turned to the World Series for more disappointment. Dusty Baker finally won a ring as a manager after falling short leading the Giants, Cubs, Reds, and Nats. Schwarber, in a losing Phillies effort, belted another homer, walked, and gunned down a runner at second “after further review.” It was getting late, but I was not the slightest bit tired.

I tossed and turned in my grandson’s bed for hours before I finally figured out what was wrong. I had inadvertently ordered a large Mountain Dew Blast instead of a caffeine-free Sierra Mist on the Taco Bell app and was seriously buzzed! I stared at the ceiling, read my book, and worried about silly things that will probably never happen. Finally, I dozed off restlessly and felt out of sorts when daylight rudely forced me out of bed. As a result, I shortened my run and exercise routine to play a losing game of Wordle. I’ll now spend another day with frustrating football and go to bed early in anticipation of another disruptive time change.

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