24 May 2011

Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain

This is the phrase and poem that is going through my mind as I watch the rain come down today for what seems like the 5th day in a row. Those of you of a certain age will know of what I am speaking and to whom I am referring. The rest of you can Google it easily.

Warren Spahn was one of my boyhood heroes, one of those guys who played before World War II, then went off and fought the Germans, and came back to start playing baseball again, missing three full seasons.

The poem referred to the remarkable performance by these two pitchers for the Boston Braves in 1948, when in early September—in those days the World Series started in early October—they managed to win 8 games in 12 days to win the pennant, and eventually the World Series. In addition to winning 363 games in 21 seasons—"hitting is timing, pitching is upsetting timing—Spahn was a pretty good hitter, knocking out 35 home runs in his career, before the onset of the designated hitter and the frequent use of the bullpen.

I saw him pitch in Milwaukee in the late 50s. There is a statue of him outside Turner Field in Atlanta but I remember his leg kick as being higher, enough to make runners stay close to 1st base.

The picture above left is taken of our back yard this afternoon. That water looks like it is heading toward our basement. The picture to the right is taken from the protection of our garage. The water is simply pouring down out of the skies and the gutters are full. All of this will probably wind up somewhere downstream. We had a flash flood warning on the TV. That could be serious as I remember a woman was carried away in her car on the road to Roundup, and drowned back in the 80s.

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