Fan Submission

We have an update!  Fans of this site might remember Jim Babwe’s email submission about seeing Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series off of Dennis Eckersley.  There is nothing like a good post script to the story!

Thanks Jim!

Here’s an update on the World Series ticket stub. Last September, I was taking photos at San Diego’s Petco Park on behalf of the National Juvenile Diabetes Association–kids got to meet Alan Trammel on the field. A friend of mine and I told Trammel that if he could get Kirk Gibson to autograph my ticket, I’d donate it for the NJDA fundraising auction. You see the result. It’s doing way more good now than it was in a notebook on a shelf at my house. I’ve inducted Trammel and Gibson into the Jim Babwe Human Being Hall of Fame. The vote was unanimous.

Kirk Gibson autograph | 1988 World Series Ticket | Jim Bawbe | Baseballisms.com

 

Do you have a story like Jim’s? We would love to hear from you! Send a Tweet to @baseballisms with a quick message, send us an email or visit ourUpload page with a video message.  We look forward to growing a community of fans interested in the poetry of the game of baseball!

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The Pitcher in the Backyard

by on September 7, 2011

Topps 1971 Baseball Card | Ron Klemkowki | New York Yankees | Baseballisms.com

Baseball Fan Lou Di Lillo’s email submission to Baseballisms.com reprinted with permission.

I grew up in Westbury, Long Island in the 60′s and 70′s.

One day my brother and I heard noise in the back of our yard.

A man was in the adjacent yard breaking up wooden shipping pallets by pitching baseballs at them.  We pushed our faces against the fence mesmerized by his speed, accuracy and power. When he was finished he went inside his house for a minute than came back to the fence and tossed us each an autographed ball of our beloved Yankees.

That was Ron Klimkowski.  I still have the ball.

I live in Massachusetts now but will not give up my Yanks.

-Lou

Do you have a story like Lou’s? We would love to hear from you! Send a Tweet to @baseballisms with a quick message, send us an email or visit our Upload page with a video message.  We look forward to growing a community of fans interested in the poetry of the game of baseball!

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Baseball Fan Jim Babwe’s email submission to Baseballisms.com reprinted with permission. Readers of this site will remember Jim’s personal account of witnessing Kirk Gibson’s dramatic home run in Game One of the 1988 World Series, and presented in the first Legendary Game that we highlighted when we launched in 2008.

Jim’s submission today reminds us that the continuity and timelessness of the game of baseball has healing characteristics. Thanks for sharing this with the Baseballisms community!

In the summer of 1976, Bob and I decided on a “Four Corners of the USA Tour.” We started in Pomona CA, drove to San Diego, made a major u-turn and drove to Seattle in my 1965 Volvo 122S. From Seattle, we drove to Cleveland, then to Maine.

We drove to Ohio and picked up Bob’s brother Bill, who rode with us to Florida. We took Bill back to Ohio, then we toured parts of Pennsylvania and New York. Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame was one of our stops.

We drove back to California and made it just in time for the start of Fall Quarter at Cal Poly. Barely. 8 weeks. 16,000 miles. 75 cents in car repairs.

I’m still good friends with Bob and his family.

Last year, Louise (Bob’s mom) had a stroke and Bob called me, brought me up to date, and I met him at a hospice in San Juan Capistrano.

When I arrived, Louise was in a coma, surrounded by a small group of family and friends. These people were solemn, tired, worn out, frustrated with feelings of loss and helplessness.

One of my favorite things about Louise was her laugh, so after looking around the room, understanding that there was nothing any of these people could do but stand around and wait, I walked up to Louise and on the off chance that she could hear and understand me, I put my hand on her shoulder and said hello.

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It is hard to describe how great we feel to be a small part of this story!  If we can act as a conduit for baseball fans to connect with their memories, we have achieved what we set out to do. When Budd Bailey reached out to Baseballisms.com after finding the Cover the Bases interview we did with Tim Sommer, we immediately jumped at the chance to make the introduction.  The two were kind enough to include us in their correspondence, and we asked Budd if he would tell the story for the entire community, reprinted with permission.

Thanks Budd and Thanks Tim!

You’re never too old to connect with your childhood heroes. And you never know how it will happen.

I think that’s the lesson of a recent experience I had involving a former professional baseball player.

Earlier this year, I saw a book by Matt McCarthy called “Odd Man Out.” It’s something of a diary of his year-plus in professional baseball. By the way, it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year, and it’s on sale at Barnes & Noble for virtually nothing. If you like this site, you definitely should buy it.

When I looked up the book on Amazon.com to mark it as “read,” I saw a list of suggested books for someone who likes “Odd Man Out.” One of them was “Beating About the Bushes,” by Tim Sommer.

Tim Sommer? The former Elmira Pioneer?

Instantly, I was transported back to the late 1960′s. I lived in Elmira, New York, from 1965 to 1970. My father worked for American LaFrance, which made fire extinguishers and fire trucks, and the company had season tickets to the Double-A team in town.

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Baseball Fan Robert Harris‘ submission to Baseballisms.com reprinted with permission. We sometimes take our traditions for granted and fail to recognize the originator of the idea.  We thank Robert for reminding us, especially on this special weekend of inter-league play.

Boston Red Sox 1918 World Series Champs | Baseballisms.com

This weekend, an interleague series will recall possibly the most unique World Series ever played, the 1918 meeting between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs.

It’s true that these two teams played each other in Wrigley Field back in 2005. This was actually the first time the Red Sox ever visited Wrigley, since the 1918 Series was played in the old Comiskey Park on Chicago’s South side (how the times have changed!) But the backstory for this particular series is worth revisiting.

The United States had entered into the European war in 1917. The iconic Uncle Sam poster declared “I Want You,” and the patriotic call to arms was “Work, or fight!” It was determined, by the Secretary of War, that playing baseball did not fall into the “work” category. And thus, on Labor Day, 1918, the baseball season came to an end after the teams had played anywhere between 124 and 131 games. It was the shortest season on record in the majors, and would remain so until the strike-shortened 1981 season lasted just 118 games.

The early stoppage in play meant that the World Series was played entirely in September, for the first and only time. It was also a very low-scoring affair, with just 19 runs scored in the six games. The Red Sox used only 4 pitchers for the Series, and the Cubs used a two-man starting rotation. In four of the six games, both starters pitched complete games. Baseball was clearly a different game back then.

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