My one sports post for the year
I'm coming up on my second blogoversary, believe it or not, and I guess that means it's time I talk about sports, since my first post ever was about the Superbowl between the Panthers and the Patriots.
So today it's about the baseball Hall of Fame, and the selection today of Bruce Sutter.
It's a shame, in that limited world of sports, that it has taken the baseball writers this long to recognize Sutter's contributions to the game, and an even greater shame that Goose Gossage isn't in there yet.
Yes, I know that the save as a statistic is a joke in a lot of ways, and that there are lots of closers who have gaudy stats but don't belong in the Hall, but that's certainly not the case for either Sutter or Gossage. Scott Miller makes the case far better than I can, since he uses statistics and stuff, so here's the case I'll make for Gossage.
Gossage was the closer for the Yankees when I was a kid, and then, as now, I hated the Yankees. At the time, I'd glommed on to the Dodgers as a fan for some unknown reason--I was like 9 at the time and only saw baseball on tv, and it seemed that Dodgers were always on tv. Those were the years of Ron Cey and Steve Garvey and Dusty Baker, and of course, they seemed, to my ten year old self, to always be playing the Yankees in the Series. And the one name I hated hearing was Goose Gossage, because I knew the second he came to the mound, the game was over, and all the rooting in the world would be futile.
He was the whole package--tall, long-armed, and mean looking with that long mustache that framed his chin, and he made my baseball heroes look like chumps. He was a monster. I gave his baseball card away because I didn't want to be polluted by him--I think I thought his power would bleed my Steve Garvey card dry.
But what it really comes down to for me, outside the stats that I think make Gossage a lock for the Hall, is that childhood feeling of awe I got when I saw him stride to the mound in the pinstripes, a Goliath I wished some first baseman David would strike down, and who, it seemed at the time, always left David laying face down in the dust.