Category Archives: Basebal

TIMES HAVE SURELY CHANGED

As every football fan is now aware, last Sunday night’s Hall of Fame tilt between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts was canceled due to poor field conditions.  The problem with the field?  The quality of the paint used for the logo at midfield and the lettering in the end zones.  To me this brings about questions of what seemed to be a string of gaffes by the people responsible for getting sports venues ready for play.

My first question is the obvious.  The NFL Hall of Fame Game originated in tn 1962. How is it that the grounds crew at Fawcett Stadium has prepared the field for play in each of the past 54 years and couldn’t get the right paint?  How does that happen?  Or is it a question of the NFL and other professional sports fine tuning events like this to the point of it being ridiculous.

The paint problem in Canton is another in a series of interesting gaffes in professional sports in recent years.

October 15, 2013, Comerica Park in Detroit:  During Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers  a power outage occurred causing a delay.  There was just one problem, the game was played at 4:00 PM with the outage occurring in sun drenched conditions.

June 6, 2014, AT&T Center in San Antonio:  Prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, the air conditioning system malfunctioned.  The game went on as planned with complaints from players, coaches and fans about such awful conditions.

Super Bowl XVLII, New Orleans Superdome:  Shortly after play resumed following halftime between the Baltimore Ravens and San Fransisco 49ers the game was halted due to a power outage.  About half of the lights overlooking the playing field went out, however the field was still lit by the other half.

On the surface, all of these events have an argument for being halted due to sub-par conditions, however I disagree.

First off, what happened in Canton on Sunday should have been inspected by the league, the Hall of Fame and the teams on Saturday  This would have allowed time for at the very least, the paint to be scrapped.

Having grown up in the 1960’s and ’70’s I look at the series of events that I discussed earlier through a different set of eyes.  Those of you in my age group might remember when sports was more game than TV production.

Consider the days when baseball and football were played in the same place.  Shea Stadium in New York was home to both the New York Jets and the New York Mets.  The Jets played on a field that ran from home plate to center field, leaving half of the gridiron in the infield dirt.  The same was true at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium which housed the Baltimore Orioles and the old Baltimore Colts.  It was accepted, that’s the way it was done.  In 1993 when the Florida Marlins joined the Major Leagues and called Joe Robbie Stadium home, it drew the ire of Miami Dolphins fans since the Fins had to play September and in 1997 and 2003, October on a field that had a dirt infield at one end.

Who remembers the old Boston Garden and Buffalo Memorial Auditorium?  Both buildings had no air conditioning.  The Boston Celtics played many NBA Finals games in sweltering heat and used it to their advantage.  The Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres played many playoff games in which fog rose from the ice.

Many might remember games at Wrigley Field that were suspended because the players could no longer see the baseball.  It was accepted, Wrigley was the last hold out for not having lights.

Sports has become such a network production that it may have lost some of its edge.  Imperfection is not necessarily a bad thing.

 

An Event That Binds Baseball Fans Together

For those who don’t follow me on Facebook I would like to let you know that there was a tragedy in my family this week.  It’s with a heavy heart that I am telling you, my son Justin, 23 years old, passed away this past Tuesday.  He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

I originally was not going to publish this week, but instead I would like to re-run the following blog.  Although the main subject of this piece is the 2016 Baseball Hall Of Fame inductees, I also talk about a father and son outing at a Miami Marlins game.  To make things even more disheartening, the Marlins pitcher that night was the late Jose Fernandez.

I hope you enjoy this blog from this past July.  I dedicate this blog to Justin Tyler Karpel (October 24, 1993-February 14, 2017)  Here’s to you my little Buddy, Daddy misses you more than you know.

 

Today’s induction ceremony in Cooperstown really made me reflect on my relationship with baseball that has existed throughout my life.  As Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza took their place among the games immortals I did a lot of looking back and reflecting.

Let me set the clock back slightly to last night.  My son and I were at Marlins Park in Miami enjoying a father and son evening of baseball as the team of my youth (New York Mets) played the team I have followed from day one (Miami Marlins).  Oh and by the way my son Justin, now 22, grew up rooting for the Marlins.  As we entered the ballpark, we grabbed the complementary programs, and Justin asked me if I wanted to keep a scorecard.

This took me back, you see well over thirty years ago,my dad also bought programs and kept scorecards when he took myself and my brothers to Shea Stadium to see the Mets.

Although there are many bonds between Justin and myself when it comes to baseball, this was the first time we kept a scorecard together. The scorecard scenario was a latecomer in my baseball relationship with my son.  I helped out his coaches during his Little League years and also spent a year as an official scorer.  Times I treasure and always will.  We also were season ticket holders when the Marlins played at the old stadium that currently has no name in North Miami. We went to 3 post season games in 2003, and spent so much time at the ballpark as he was growing up.

Now here is the connection to the Hall Of Fame inductions that took place today.  Last night in addition to father/son bonding at the ballpark we witnessed so much.  We saw a game with playoff implications between the Mets and Marlins who at the moment are part of a four-way dog fight for the two National League Wild Card spots.  Jose Fernandez and Jacob deGromm, two of the best pitchers in the game took the Marlins Park mound.  Giancarlo Stanton hit a 437 foot rocket off of deGromm that hit the auxiliary scoreboard in the upper reaches of left field.  To top off the night Ichiro, now only four hits from 3000 Major League hits made a pinch hit appearance late in the game.  He grounded to second, but you can feel the anticipation in the crowd while a legend was at the plate.

Today I reflected on all I have seen come and gone.  That first game my dad took me to was during that historic 1969 season in Queens.  A call up by the name of Jack DiLauro took the mound for the Mets that day against the Giants. His opponent was future Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry.  I also saw Willie Mays and Willie McCovey on that Saturday afternoon.  Since then I have seen so many players who now have plaques in Cooperstown, including my boyhood idol, Tom Seaver.

Although there are four major sports in this country, there is something about baseball that binds us together and Cooperstown seems to be Central Station of this bond.

Congratulations Mike and Junior!

 

To continue to raise awareness of suicide a dear friend has started a gofundme page in Justin’s honor.  Please go to http://www.gofundme.com and search Justin Tyler Karpel. The proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Any life that can be saved by awareness to the suicide rate in our world is worth it! Thank you.

I will resume with new material on Wednesday March 1st with Wednesday Baseball.  See you all then.