Sunday, April 4, 2010

Opening Day Memories

Spring begins for me on the opening day of the baseball season. Warm winds are blowing across the plains today, and I am flooded with rich memories of Cardinal opening days.

In the early sixties I would rush home from school, flick on the large radio in my parents' bedroom, and hear the end of the opening game. I have always associated Harry Caray's voice (yes, Cubs fans he broadcasted the Cardinals games then) with the hope and heartbreak that comes with each new season. 1961 remains vivid for how the game ended. Daryl Spencer hit a long home run off Warren Spahn to beat the Milwaukee Braves in extra innings. Six days later the term Bay of Pigs became a topic of conversation in our house and on TV. I thought they were discussing the strange sounds farm animals make.

On a cold, gray day in 1965 the Cardinals and Cubs played to a 10-10 tie on opening day. The game was called because it was too dark to continue. St. Louis scored a run in the top of the eleventh to take the lead, but knuckleball reliever Barney Schultz blew it in the bottom of the eleventh. LBJ started sending ground troops to Vietnam the same year.

Back home from the Army in 1975, and high on an illegal substance, I attended opening day at Busch Stadium. I don't remember much, except the Cardinals lost to the Expos and I heckled our washed-up shortstop Eddie Brinkman. 23 days later, Saigon fell, and the war in Vietnam ended.

On April 11, 1981, a rainy Saturday in St. Louis, the Phillies beat the Cards to begin Whitey Herzog's first full year as manager. The players' strike shortened that year, and, though they had the best cumulative record in the National League, the Cardinals were excluded from the playoffs by a goofy split season playoff format. My daughter, born the previous autumn on a football Saturday, turned six months old in April 1981. We lived in a second-story shotgun flat in south St. Louis; not much of an apartment, but I remember it fondly now.

On a warm Easter Sunday in 1994, Ray Lankford lined a home run, which never got more than 10 feet off the ground, over the center-field wall at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cards won that night, but their season was doomed. And so was their manager, Joe Torre.

13 comments:

Jack Jodell said...

Tim,
It's GREAT to have the new season here at last! I went to yesaterday's game here at our new ballpark in downtown Minneapolis. As you undoubtedly know, your guys were in town, and we beat them, returning the favor they had granted us the day before. But now it's for real. I think we'll both have division winners, but it's anybody's guess after that!

BTW, I LOVE our new park. It's a real beaut, and they have thought of everything, accomodation-wise. My first regular season game will be the 15th vs the Red Sox, with many more to follow. Can't wait!

Tim Fleming said...

Jack--

I watched the game on TV here Friday, and your new park looked great. A lot friendlier than the Metrodome for visiting teams.

Our broadcasters were droning on about how it's a pitcher's park; then wind-blown popups started flying over the wall.

Jack Jodell said...

Haaa---that shows how much commentators know!The right field foul line is at 328 feet, and left field is 339. There are not huge dropbacks in right center or left center, so I would never consider it a pitchers' park. Sure do love it, though!

林昀睿 said...

當身處逆境時,要能忍一時之氣,吃一時之苦,並及早確立自己的目標,總有一天,你會嘗到那甘美的果實。 ..................................................

Michael T. Sullivan said...

Harry Caray in St.Louis... great summertime south St.Louis backyard memories for me "and there's a long fly ball...WAY BACK... it might be... it could be... FOUL BALL"

Wonder if there was truth to the rumor that ol' Harry was hitting Augie Busch III's wife at the Chase Park plaza, after which he got hit by a car crossing Kingshighway... he left St.Louis for good shortly thereafter

邱志誠 said...

馬丁路德:「即使知道明天世界即將毀滅,我仍願在今天種下一棵小樹。」......................................................

DexterSeibe2178 said...

視訊電話ggoo 視訊-愛情館 黑色豪門企業綜合娛樂論壇 8591論壇 avonline免費a片 xo7777net 貓咪論壇 視訊做愛 0951影片下載avdvd mobile01論壇 免費視訊ggoo 成人論壇 視訊聊天-成人網 plus論壇 交友網 bbs論壇 s383av730 香港論壇 月光論壇 一本道a片東京熱論壇區 aio視訊交友愛情館 78論壇 69成人視訊 伊利論壇 666成人網 bt論壇 禁地論壇discovery影片下載 無碼下載56com影片下載 壞朋友論壇 56com影片下載內衣模特兒寫真 台灣情色綜合論壇 拓網交友AV影城 34C正妹拓網交友 拓網交友視訊聊天室 拓網交友 黑色豪門企業娛樂綜合論壇 貓貓論壇 我愛78論壇 網際論壇 禁地論壇 上班族視訊情色小站 視訊情色小站 情色a片-情色小站 北台灣視訊sexygirlvideomovie sexygirlvideomovie animalsex 0401成人交友 情色論壇-情色視訊 34c視訊交友90739 天空交友 go2av-視訊網 蕃薯藤交友 視訊聊天sexygirlsgetfucked辣妹 視訊交友天堂90739 高雄視訊34c正妹 免費視訊34c辣妹微風論壇 月宮貼圖色妹妹嘟嘟情人色網 免費視訊gogo

明宏 said...

^^~~輕輕鬆鬆的逛部落格,多謝有您的分享哦~~~........................................

誠侑 said...

wonderful...................................................

佳穎盛卿 said...

你可以從外表的美來評論一朵花或一隻蝴蝶,但你不能這樣來評論一個人........................................

韋于倫成 said...

如此活躍的文字, 妳好棒哦! ....................................................

佳蓉 said...

5278成人色論 成人論壇,情色 成人交友 洪爺主播情人視訊 日本avdvd 1007視訊 1111無碼女優,美女圖,成人 光碟 網交聊天室 成人情色網站 0401免費視訊 成人資訊論壇 美女短片免費試看 免費a影片,性愛文學 免費影片蒼井空 日本a v短片 線上免費a片 網愛聊天室 919情色論壇 免費試看av 北台灣視訊援交影片 免費影片欣賞 34c視訊交友90739 線上視訊聊天 520聊天室meet520 85cc免費影片視訊聊天 極度色文學小說xxx383美女寫真 okav成人影城 雪之深戀 080聊天網水之浪漫 成人視訊交友 911成人 視訊交友ing 免費視訊mmshow av女優報報,性愛技巧 色情漫畫 ut聊天室90691 情色視訊交友 小老鼠咆嘯論壇分享論壇 聊天室入口 百事成人電影 ing影音視訊聊天室 aio免費aa片試看 lover99秘密情人網 視訊交友cleansing 18成人動漫畫 視訊av美女 情色視訊 av 成人動畫 18禁地戀愛遊戲 全民愛愛區 男同志聊天室

熙辰 said...

Time and tide wait for no man. ............................................................