Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Baseball Update (1985)


Maybe I'll try to write this in character as 17-year-old me in 1985 ... no, I'm not going to do that ... I don't think ... comments flow ...

94 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. THIS IS HUGE! I'm so happy to be reading this -- it's a dream come true.

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  2. Damaso Garcia … Lloyd Moseby … Jorge Bell … Cliff Johnson … Jesse Barfield … Cecil Upshaw … Garth Iorg … Ernie Whitt … Tony Fernandez … OK, I feel like I have a personal relationship with each of these Toronto Blue Jays, and, yet, I remember actually watching only Ernie Whitt play baseball. I just looked at their baseball cards a zillion times in the 1980s.

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  3. Lonnie Smith, Willie Wilson, Darryl Motley, George Brett, Buddy Biancalana, Fred White, Steve Balboni, Bud Black and Jim Sundberg … Royals … same. Actually, I remember watching both Lonnie Smith and George Brett play baseball.

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  4. That's some Corey Hart song that's not "Sunglasses at Night" playing on the Exhibition Stadium PA system.

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  5. I feel like I hear less joy in Tony Kubek's voice than I did in the 1969 games. I guess that only makes sense, but, still, it kind of casts the early moments of this game with melancholy for me.

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  6. Scoreless top of the first for Royals ...

    RCA claims to be offering the first remote, programmable VCR. What the heck happened to RCA? They were huge.

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  7. Exhibition Stadium looks about 40-percent filled today.

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    1. I remember that this really annoyed me in 1985. Everyone kept making this big deal about the World Series possibly going to Canada, and the Canadians weren't even showing up for these games.

      I spent this whole series rooting hard for the Royals, mainly because I didn't want to deal with a lot of Canadian propaganda.

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  8. Bob Costas is talking about Dave Stieb, and I imagine the guys in the sports department at Channel 6 are taking notes--Stieb's an old SIU boy, you know.

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  9. This game is so smooth-jazzy, muddled-picturey, Astroturfy, gray-sky-y.

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  10. The third voice in NBC's broadcast of this game is Rick Dempsey, the Orioles/Dodgers catcher. Costas asked Dempsey if he had a "book" on Blue Jays starter Jimmy Key, and Dempsey says no--but that, "from reading the newspaper reports," it sounds like Key is a good baseball player.

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    1. At the time, Dempsey was known as one of those "colorful" players. He was always doing something wacky on "This Week in Baseball."

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  11. Willie Wilson homers. The Royals lead, 1-0.

    Sorry, Blue Jays fans ... as if you need more of this today.

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  12. Costas: "This is about a quiet as a postseason crowd as I've ever heard. ... This is like a golf crowd right now."

    Kubek: "Maybe they need a wave to get things started, even though we hate it so much."

    Costas: "If it takes a wave to get started, I would rather they just stay quiet."

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    1. In England, they call it the "Mexican Wave," because the English saw the wave for the first time during the 1986 World Cup, which was played in Mexico. But this clip proves that we were doing the wave before the 1986 World Cup.

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  13. Costas says the Toronto fans "might be the most mannerly in all of baseball." He tells a story that Yankee fans booed during the Canadian national anthem when the Blue Jays played in New York and then Blue Jays fans, in response, stood and cheered during the U.S. national anthem before a Yankee game in Toronto.

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    1. See -- Canadian propaganda. Back in 1985, this stuff drove me nuts.

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  14. Kubek says Garth Iorg "can be a redneck at times."

    This whole broadcast is so weird.

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  15. Replies
    1. Technically, he hates Americans. Say it was 1988, and the Soviets were playing the Canadians for the hockey gold medal. Bob would be telling all sorts of anecdotes about what great guys the Soviets are.

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    2. It's not fair to say that he "hates" Americans. It's more fair to say that in 1985, there were broadcasters like Bob Costas thought it was inappropriate to say or do anything that showed a bias toward Americans.

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  16. Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola will have Game 1 of the N.L. series tonight: Cardinals and Dodgers.

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    1. That series will be worth watching, boys and girls. Take it from me.

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    2. It always annoyed me to watch Scully do Dodger games on national television. I knew he was the Dodgers' announcer, and I wanted him to be for the Dodgers, but of course he never was.

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  17. I had forgotten that Danny Ainge started out as a Blue Jays third baseman before going to the Celtics.

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  18. Through three innings: Royals 2, Blue Jays 0.

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  19. Costas: "It is curious that two personalities as different as Bruce Springsteen and George Steinbrenner have the same nickname, 'The Boss.'"

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  20. Replies
    1. Bosses got better press in 1985 than they do now.

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  21. I definitely had a TV in my dorm room in late 1985, because I remember watching the Bears and Dolphins on Monday Night Football. But I didn't watch this game. I was probably trying to get other stuff done so that I could watch the Dodgers and the Cardinals.

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  22. Replies
    1. The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album was released on September 15, 1984.

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    2. I'll probably be listening to that Mannheim Steamroller album again by December 1.

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  23. Jim Sundberg doubles home a run to push Kansas City out to a 3-0 lead in this game.

    I once shared a house in Falls Church, Virginia, with two guys, and one of them had once dated Don Denkinger's daughter for a little while.

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  24. Shocking all of us who paid attention to Rick Dempsey's crack analysis of Jimmy Key's capabilities, the Blue Jays have already gone to the bullpen. The new Toronto pitcher is Dennis Lamp, and here's one of his best cards, from 1983. Pretty much every Dennis Lamp baseball card is a closeup of him with that giant mustache and looking in some direction other than directly at the camera, and the '83 Dennis Lamp is like getting two Dennis Lamps because it features two closeups of him with that giant mustache looking in some direction other than directly at the camera.

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  25. Replies
    1. I tried to watch SCTV with my kids one time. They could tell it was funny, but at least half the jokes refer to the sorts of things that used to happen on TV all the time, but have since been mocked into oblivion, so my kids didn't get them.

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  26. As we go to the bottom of the fifth, we get Bob and Tony in their ties and V-neck sweaters, talking about when Dick Howser might go to his ace, Dan Quisenberry.

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  27. THERE'S AN ERROR BY GEORGE BRETT! And, finally, the mannerly Toronto fans find something to cheer about.

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  28. Replies
    1. I always liked George Brett. He was one of my favorite players of the 1970's and 1980's.

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    2. By Wins Above Replacement, George Brett is the fourth best third baseman of all time. He trails only Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, and Wade Boggs.

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    3. Graig Nettles is the 12th best third baseman of all time. Sal Bando is 16. Ron Cey is 21.

      I grew up in a Golden Age for third basemen.

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  29. Replies
    1. Nicklaus, of course, is about to win the Masters next April.

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  30. Friday Night Videos, a very important show if, like me, you did not have cable in 1985, features music from Miami Vice, Stevie Wonder, the Thompson Twins, Roger Daltrey and Starship this week.

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    1. Nine days after this game is played, NBC will air "Out Where the Buses Don't Run," the very best episode of "Miami Vice."

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  31. Tony Kubek tells us that the Blue Jays made a strong play for Goose Gossage when he left the Yankees via free agency but lost him to San Diego.

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  32. NBC’s noon Central kickoffs Sunday: Pittsburgh at Dallas, Cleveland at Houston, Denver at Indianapolis and Buffalo at New England. At 3, it’s Kansas City at San Diego.

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    1. When I lived in Paducah, from 1973 through 1984, at least half of the games on NBC at 3 o'clock seemed to involve San Diego.

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  33. George Brett's big error last inning has really stirred up the Toronto batting order and crowd. The Blue Jays, now trailing only 3-1, have the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the fifth.

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  34. Replies
    1. Pete Rose played a lot of third base when I was growing up as well.

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  35. Sparked by George Brett's bad error a couple of innings ago, the Blue Jays put across two two-out runs, and now we have a 3-3 tie going into the seventh.

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  36. Replies
    1. I think my dad bought a computer in 1985.

      I totally remember when it was believed that the Steelers had Dallas's number.

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  37. Toronto has something cooking in the seventh, too. Everything started turning on the Royals with George Brett's error, and yet it is the third baseman who is headed to the mound to "settle down" Bud Black.

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  38. But Tony Fernandez rifles a line drive that Black traps against his belly and then throws to first for an inning-ending double play. Black immediately runs through the dugout and into the runway toward the clubhouse.

    And now here's Dave Stieb to tell us all to just say no to drugs.

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  39. Toronto reliever Dennis Lamp retired all 11 Royals he faced, and now Gary Lavelle is on to face George Brett, who was a .358 hitter in night games but only a .278 hitter in day games during 1985.

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  40. Brett got on base, but then Ernie Whitt throws him out trying to steal second. This game is fantastic!

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  41. And now in the bottom of the eighth, Al Oliver sacrifices in the go-ahead run for Toronto!

    Costas and Kubek continue their mentions of the Brett error in the fourth!

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    1. Costas will wear you out on something like that Brett error. He'll talk about that for hours.

      Al Oliver was 38 years old in 1985. This was his last season in the majors. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that he retired after the 1980 season.

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  42. Madonna's "Crazy For You" is playing as NBC comes back from commercial for the ninth inning.

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  43. The Blue Jays might still be interested in Goose Gossage. Their current closer, Tom Henke, gives up a leadoff, pinch-hit home run to Pat Sheridan, and now we're tied at 4.

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  44. Quisenberry strikes out two in the bottom of the ninth, and we're headed to extra innings.

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  45. The Royals get Willie Wilson on to open the 10th, but then George Brett strikes out swinging to go to 0-for-4 for the day (as well as the error that got everything cascading away from a blowout win for Kansas City).

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  46. But Wilson steals second and then zips around third toward home as Frank White loops a hit into short center. Blue Jay center-fielder Lloyd Moseby pursues, drops his giant glove to the ground and comes up with the ball in the netting. Wilson crosses the plate, and the umpires rule he's safe.

    "Oh, we're going to have a rhubarb now," says Costas, and, indeed, there's a bunch of back and forth about which umpire called the out, which one should've called it and who had the best view. The run stands, and we head to the bottom of the 10th at 5-4, Kansas City.

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    1. Great use of the word "rhubarb."

      There's a very good 30-for-30 documentary about the day that O.J. Simpson was being chased in the white Bronco. That was happening at the same time that NBC was about to air the NBA Finals. In the documentary, you see this footage of Costas talking to the folks at NBC about the impossible task of trying to report on a basketball game when everyone in the nation wants to know what's happening with O.J. It helped me appreciate just how hard Costas's job is, and how amazingly good he is at it.

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  47. Costas says the Toronto fans have been chanting "RE-PLAY!" during the break. They were absolutely chanting something in two syllables before they broke, but it didn't sound like "replay."

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  48. So then Tony Fernandez leads off the bottom of the 10th by beating out an infield single when Oníx (not Dave) Concepcion double-pumps on the throw to first. Moseby, the angry center-fielder, comes up with one out and Fernandez on second. He whips a hit to right field that brings home Fernandez to tie the game. Moseby then advances to second when Quisenberry and Steve Balboni, who looked a goodly amount like WPSD's Ron Beaton, fail to connect on a pick-off throw.

    Here's my favorite Steve Balboni baseball card. I have no Ron Beaton baseball cards.

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  49. Dick Howser comes to the mound to visit with Quisenberry with Al Oliver coming up and Jesse Barfield on deck. (Rest in peace, Dick Howser (1936-87).) "Here's what this is all about," Costas says. "'Who do you want, Oliver or Barfield?'"

    Quisenberry pitches to Oliver, and Oliver--"Mr. Ambassador" of Portsmouth, Ohio--singles to left to bring home formerly mad Moseby: 6-5, Blue Jays, and series headed back to Kansas City with the Royals down, two games to none.

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    Replies
    1. Howser was a very good manager. In 1980, he managed the Yankees to a record of 103-59, only to lose to the Royals in the ALCS. The Yankees fired him, and then didn't win the World Series for another 16 years. The Royals lost him in the middle of the 1986 season, and they didn't get back to the World Series for almost 30 years.

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  50. Up next on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 1985: NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. But, first, a word from Brut ...

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  51. Thank you so much, Eric. This was outstanding.

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