OK, so this guy and his cell phone video camera probably won’t win a Pulitzer, but it’s still interesting to see it from the left field bleachers and the unmistakable energy of a fan.
Dear Mr. Aaron,
When I was two months old, you drove a pitch from Al Downing into left field to pass Babe Ruth and become the all-time career home run leader. I’ve always been happy that this event happened in my lifetime, but it has been bittersweet for most of my life, as I was not old enough to sit up on my own, much less appreciate the history made on that April evening. And, for most of my life, I figured the only way I was ever going to see the home run record broken was by watching the replay of your 715th.
I thought that the game of my lifetime wasn’t conducive to producing a home run career like yours. I thought it would stand for all time.
And then, Barry Bonds started to approach it. For three or four seasons, I eagerly anticipated the moment where your record would be brought before the public as a testament of your greatness as a ballplayer and as a man, and you would pass the torch to a new generation, a new man, a new home run king.
In the months leading up to last night, your refusal to discuss the impending passing of your record rang hollow, seeming more "bitter" than "sweet." I understood your reticence to discuss the topic and be there when your record was passed, but felt that maybe all the class you had shown in 1974 had faded a bit.
And then, last night, Barry Bonds hit home run number 756.
As the ball left his bat and went screaming into the right field stands, I jumped and shouted. I had seen something I never expected to see: A new home run leader. As he trotted about the bases, I thought that is was a shame that so many people in baseball, the press, and in front of their televisions across the country were doing so much to temper what should have been the greatest night in baseball in the last thirty years.
And then, as Barry Bonds crossed home plate, thanked his God and his dad and hugged his son, your message came across the screen at AT&T Park.
You had no half-hearted words of encouragement in the face of "innocent until proven guilty." You showed us all that it is not the man that matters, it is the accomplishment we should be celebrating.
Many, many people dropped the ball on this one. But you showed us why you are the home run king. You showed us class, Mr. Aaron, something that has been missing on all sides of this pursuit.
Excuse the title, but you’ll see why in a second.
There’s a new blog here that made the front page of MLBlogs with its first post (yes, I’m jealous), and for good reason: He’s the writer is in the minority and is cheering for Barry. Check it out at http://screweverybody.mlblogs.com/
The actual tagline of the site he links is "Screw Everybody – I Like Bonds." I’m not on that bandwagon, as I don’t think I like the man. But then, I’ve never been invited to dinner at his house, so I just don’t know. I can’t judge a man’s personality without meeting him, and just because he’s a jerk to the media doesn’t mean he’s a bad person.
But for this guy, I’m going to repost a blog entry I wrote more than a year ago over on my myspace page (yes, I’m ashamed to admit I have one of those), but I will reprint it here. (Of course, some language has been edited).
Friday, April 14, 2006
Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack
Alright, time to put on our imagination helmets. Prime your brain, and get ready to enter imagination land!
Now, with that, imagine you’re a NASCAR driver. Not just
Your career has been
Now, as I said previously, in the South you have a huge
You realize that
Then, one day, you learn something very interesting.
And these new guys are using it.
Do you use it? Of course you do.
Are you a cheater? Let Dictionary.com answer that.
Cheater: To violate rules deliberately, as in a game.
In other words, if it ain’t against the rules, it ain’t cheating.
But these are momentary
When it comes down to it, Bonds may
If this were Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa, the two guys who "saved baseball" in 1998, two of the nice guys,
I think most of us would.
You don’t have
On Bud Selig’s doorstep.
And I want to see this knowing that Bud Selig is responsible for it all.
You don’t have to agree with me on any of this, but I hope it gets you to at least look at it from a different angle.