Saturday, October 04, 2008

Combo Post

The final week of the 2008 season had a number of things to note.

It included the 100th anniversary of Merkle's Boner, the baserunning blip that eventually cost the Giants the pennant and sent the Cubs to their most recent World's Series win.

It also included the 100th anniversary of back-to-back shutout wins in a doubleheader, both games pitched by the same man, Ed Reulbach. It's unusual enough to find a pitcher throwing two games in one day, well, in my lifetime it is though it wasn't unheard of during baseball's first century, but for a pitcher to start both halves of a doubleheader and win both games is incredible, but Reulbach shut out the opponents in both games, gave up only 8 hits total that day.

The final Friday of the 2008 regular season saw a slight irregularity that displayed appropriate respect and love when the Red Sox made an exception to their rules regarding retiring players numbers. Johnny Pesky's number 6 will go up on the right field roof along side his teammate Ted Williams (technically it will be beside Yaz's 8) to honor a man who has devoted his life to the Red Sox and Red Sox Nation. He began in baseball as the bat boy/clubhouse kid in the PCL, played through some wonderful years with the Saux, and to this day continues to work with the team.

The last week also provided me with a chance to see another of My Guys playing for the Saux. Gil Velazquez was a promising shortstop when he first arrived in Binghamton. In 2001 he lost his father, and struggled to finish that season. He played a couple more seasons with the B-Mets, during his final season there went through a slump which was broken when, at a friend's son's advice, he had the theme song from Sponge Bob Squarepants played when he came to the plate. When Gil returned the next season as a member of the visiting Fisher Cats, his first at bat was recognized by that song being played over the PA system. Last year I saw him playing for Rochester and was happy for him that he had finally reached AAA. I hadn't seen him at all in 2008 so I was pleasantly surprised when I turned on the final game, the final Sunday, as Gil was coming to bat for the Red Sox.

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