By now, most WNST faithful have gotta be familiar with the “Baseball Memories Contest” …. which is an innovative and poignant concept of collectively honoring the “Great American Pastime,” as it relates to Baltimore. As a community, we have this opportunity to share our thoughts, feelings and devotions as baseball fans who have lived and loved this sport.
Earlier today, I dug through the “Snider Family” photo collection, and came across this pic of a buff and strapping 8 year old, wannabe ballplayer. Will you look at the guns on a “young” Rex Snider …. I was future WWE material. In fact, this photo was taken in the summer of 1975 …. when Carl Yastrzemski and the hated Boston Red Sox paid a visit to Memorial Stadium, on a mid-summer night.
As you can see from the view, I had a prime seat on the upper deck. On this occasion, I was actually participating in a youth baseball event, as my Little League team …. the Havenwood Indians converged on 33rd street. I recall Doyle Alexander was the Orioles starting pitcher, and he got hammered. As a team, we were intrigued by Yaz’s batting stance …. the bat held high above his shoulders defied everything we were taught as young ballplayers.
From that night forward, Carl Yastrzemski became my favorite player. He was cool …. a menacing look, a “3 letter” nickname and a “rifle” of an arm. In just one night, I was hooked on having a childhood hero. I recall looking forward to the Red Sox in the 1975 postseason …. as Yaz played the Green Monster like the “Hall of Famer” he became.
Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of Orioles’ favorites, as well. I always rooted for Gary Roenicke and Tim Stoddard. They weren’t stars, but they were representative of the “Oriole Way.” They both resembled pro wrestlers …. “bad guys” or “heals,” of course. I often wonder how they’re doing. It would be neat to get one of them on the show – I’ll effort that in the coming weeks.
My memory certainly holds a vast cache of baseball memories from 33rd Street, as well as Camden Yards. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share stories regarding “polite” ushers, competitive teams, 18 out of 20 opening days, sitting next to a girl with a SNAKE in her pocket and watching a drunk fall asleep – while holding a lit cigarette …. it was priceless. Stay tuned ….
Remember, get those fond tales of yesteryear into firstname.lastname@example.org by August 2nd. Let’s read your stories and share some laughs together. You can’t buy this stuff …. and you can only get it here, on the home of real BALTIMORE sports talk …. 1570-WNST.