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Sentimental Mike Vacarro column re: dif. b/w Aaron and Bonds records

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by The Big Ragu, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member


    This column is going to get an eye roll from some people here as pollyannaish, but it struck a cord for me. My memories of Hank Aaron hitting 715 are not as vivid as Vaccaro's, maybe because I am a bit younger. I vaguely remember it. But I do have very vivid baseball memories from when I was the age he is describing. As with Vaccaro, my dad played a big role and I just naturally fell in love with it. I was a sponge, like he was. I don't have kids, but I do have young nephews I am very close with. And, for example, the 10-year-old, who is sports-obsessed and a baseball sponge, won't be staying up past his bedtime with anticipation, bargaining with his parents for more at-bats or innings to see Bonds break the record, the way I did for big games when I was that age. There is a reason for that. And as Vaccaro points out, it's a shame.
  2. It's a shame we didn't have a 24-hour news cycle and blogs and cable television to fill us in on all of the amphetamine and alcohol abusers in the 1970s.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I've always liked Vaccaro's work.

    His college journalism professor turned me onto "Emperors and Idiots: The Hundred Year Rivalry Between the Yankees and Red Sox, From the Very Beginning to the End of the Curse." The book is a good read, loaded with information.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Do you really think that is the big difference?

    I don't. I think it plays a part. But people believe that performance-enhancing drugs have effected the record book in ways amphetamine use or alcohol never did or could. Alcohol abuse would actually make a player play worse.

    More to the point of the column, though, PEDs and the all of the lies and dishonesty surrounding them, which are continuing right now as Bonds breaks the record, have created a cynicism that gives a moment like the one coming up a ho-hum feel instead of the once-in-a-lifetime feel Henry Aaron's accomplishment had. It's exaggerated by the perception that Henry Aaron is a guy with a lot of integrity--which was the point of Tom Verducci's story in SI last week.

    I posted this on another thread, but there was a quote in that story from Harry Edwards, the sports psychologist and sociologist that struck me: "You'll have the standard and the standard bearer. Then you'll have the record and the record holder. For the first time ever, they broadly will be acknowledged to be two different people."
  5. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    He's lucky he saw it all. IIRC, it was a Monday night game and was shown on Monday night baseball. If Aaron hadn't hit it that night, most of the country wouldn't have had the chance to see it live. Nor would they have gotten the chance to see highlights and interviews if they happened to miss the sports segment on the local news.

    The kids today have it better: you'll have ESPN breaking in for every Bonds at bat every night until he does it, and the chance to see the highlight over and over and over.

    The bigger issue for catching the moment live is really geographical/time zone related. If he breaks the record on a weeknight at home, most of the eastern and central time zones will miss it.
  6. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    Pick up a copy of 1941, then. You'll enjoy it just as much.

    True. Checked the sked, and 8 out of the next 11 San Fran games are 10pm (or later) starts.
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Totally worth sharing this one again: On the night of Apr. 8, 1974, my dad was babysitting me while my mom was at a grad school class. Lil' BYH, not even seven months old, starts crying and stirring in his crib and dad looks at the TV, sees Hank Aaron getting ready to come to bat, and decides to tend to what was then his only child. While he's changing my shitty diaper, he hears Aaron's 715th home run...and curses a blue streak.

    Story still gets a laugh back home.
  8. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Even then you were a shitty little dickhead :eek: ;D
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