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RendZone

Sports memories

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Well during this time of idle baseball why don’t we all share some of our personal “I was there” sports memories. 

I grew up a hockey fan and spent many nights at the Fabulous Forum with my student ID $5 tickets before Gretzky was a thing. Go Kings Go was the chant. 

I was at Angels Stadium the day Reggie Jackson hit his 500th career home run.

I was in attendance for Weaver’s no hitter.

I watched a tall and skinny 16 year old amateur Tiger Woods play at the LA Open at Riviera. He was already out driving many of the pros. 

I shook hands with Andre the Giant at the Olympic Auditorium. He had hands as big as a baseball mitt.

I once attended a Clippers game at the old Sports Arena and sat right next to Jack Lalanne and his wife. I had three beers, two hot dogs and a pretzel while they ate carrots and celery. I got two and a half hours of getting schooled on healthy eating and exercise. The Clippers lost. 

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Can I give three "I wasn't there" moments?

1) When I was a kid, I loved college basketball just as much - probably more - than baseball, and UCLA was my favorite team. I got into a car accident that landed me in a coma. I missed most of UCLA's run to the national championship in '95. 

2) That summer, my attorney (I was a passenger in the accident) gave me use of his Dodgers tickets many times. He gave me my choice of tickets over my birthday weekend; I chose the Saturday game to watch Nomo instead of the Friday game - where Ramon Martinez pitched a no-hitter. 

3) The next summer, using those same tickets, I got up to use the pay phone (remember those?) at one point and a foul ball landed in my seat. My brother made a half-hearted grab at it but I have no doubt I would have caught it. I have never come closer despite I-don't-know-how-many major and minor league games. 

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5 minutes ago, SoPas Angel said:

Can I give three "I wasn't there" moments?

1) When I was a kid, I loved college basketball just as much - probably more - than baseball, and UCLA was my favorite team. I got into a car accident that landed me in a coma. I missed most of UCLA's run to the national championship in '95. 

2) That summer, my attorney (I was a passenger in the accident) gave me use of his Dodgers tickets many times. He gave me my choice of tickets over my birthday weekend; I chose the Saturday game to watch Nomo instead of the Friday game, - where Ramon Martinez pitched a no-hitter. 

3) The next summer, using those same tickets, I got up to use the pay phone (remember those?) at one point and a foul ball landed in my seat. My brother made a half-hearted grab at it but I have no doubt I would have caught it. I have never come closer despite I-don't-know-how-many major and minor league games. 

Wow you had some unlucky timing. Glad you did get through that accident healthy. 

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I was at game 1 of the 1988 World Series. 
An associate pastor at one of our churches ran an Adventist youth little league and was offered tix for the WS. He saw me after school one day and asked if I wanted a pair for game 1. Told him yes without even thinking. Paid $80 for the pair. A thrilling moment beyond belief.

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1 hour ago, SoPas Angel said:

 When I was a kid, I loved college basketball just as much - probably more - than baseball, and UCLA was my favorite team. I got into a car accident that landed me in a coma. I missed most of UCLA's run to the national championship in '95. 

Ouch. 

I went to the Final Four in Seattle that year to watch the Bruins defeat "40 Minutes of Hell"

 

hi @Adam

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6 minutes ago, Lou said:

I went to the Final Four in Seattle that year to watch the Bruins defeat "40 Minutes of Hell"

Years later, when I read about that Red Sox fan who missed the World Series in '04 because he was in a coma, I felt tremendous empathy.

Man, 2004 doesn't seem like that long ago, but when I remember feeling sorry for a Red Sox fan, it seems like a lifetime ago. 

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I don't know that these are necessarily "I was there" moments, but they were significant in my growth as a sports fan.

The first baseball game that my father ever took me to was a 1963 spring training game between the Phillies and the Cardinals. My father was a lifelong Cardinal fan, and his favorite player was Stan Musial. Musial played in that game in what was to be the final year of his career. I have Musial's autograph on a 1963 Jacksonville Suns program from that game.

I saw Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry and Tug McGraw pitch for my hometown team at AAA, and several members of the 1969 Miracle Mets were guys who passed through Jacksonville on their way to the majors. I also saw a young Johnny Bench catch for the Buffalo Bisons.

I saw Ryne Sandberg play at AAA Oklahoma City when he was in the Phillies organization before being traded to the Cubs.

I saw Hank Aaron play for the Atlanta Braves in a game against the Southern League All Stars.

I saw Tony Perez play first base for the Montreal Expos.

I was at the game in 1975 the night that Frank Tanana set a then-American League record of 17 strikeouts by a lefthander against the Texas Rangers. It was the first game of a scheduled doubleheader.

The first college football game that my father took me to was a game between Georgia Tech and Navy in October 1964. The game was played in Jacksonville because there are a lot of Georgia Tech alums in the area, and at the time there were three major Navy bases. Navy QB Roger Staubach had won the Heisman Trophy the year before.

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2 minutes ago, Vegas Halo Fan said:

The first baseball game that my father ever took me to was a 1963 spring training game between the Phillies and the Cardinals. My father was a lifelong Cardinal fan, and his favorite player was Stan Musial. Musial played in that game in what was to be the final year of his career. I have Musial's autograph on a 1963 Jacksonville Suns program from that game.

I remember you mentioning this quite a while ago and asking if anyone knew how to get a boxscore for that game. (I tried but failed)

Did you ever find one?

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9 minutes ago, Lou said:

I remember you mentioning this quite a while ago and asking if anyone knew how to get a boxscore for that game. (I tried but failed)

Did you ever find one?

No. The game was played April 6, 1963 (I found a scan online of the 1963 Grapefruit League schedule that gave me the date). I have a high school buddy who lives in St. Louis who offered to search newspaper archives there, but I don't know if he ever has. My sister still lives in Jacksonville, but she is a nurse practitioner and she doesn't have much time to do research.

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I’m old (Coronavirus high risk category) and my memory is bad but here goes:

My dad was originally from the Midwest and a major Cards fan. He was also a fan of baseball in general and hated the Dodgers so I went to a bunch of games with him as a kid.

I’ve seen Musial, Mays, Koufax, Aaron, Banks, Marichal, McCovey, Clemente, Drysdale, Gibson, etc.

Went to my first Angels game in 64 cause dad wanted to see some guy named Dean Chance pitch. Saw Mantle, Frank/Brooks Robinson, Killebrew, RYAN multiple times, etc at the Big A.

I was in the military for 20 years so went to games wherever I could.

Saw Salmon’s 299th HR. LOL

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3 hours ago, RendZone said:

Awesome!

That game was at Atlanta. As was the norm in the late 1970s, the Braves sucked, and I'm guessing that there were maybe 5,000 people at the stadium. Biff Pocoroba hit a pinch hit grand slam with two out in the bottom of the ninth to win it for the Braves 9-6. May 17, 1977. The program from that game contained the article Dale Murphy: Braves Catcher of the Future.

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9 minutes ago, Vegas Halo Fan said:

That game was at Atlanta. As was the norm in the late 1970s, the Braves sucked, and I'm guessing that there were maybe 5,000 people at the stadium. Biff Pocoroba hit a pinch hit grand slam with two out in the bottom of the ninth to win it for the Braves 9-6. May 17, 1977. The program from that game contained the article Dale Murphy: Braves Catcher of the Future.

I loved the Expos growing up. They had one of the best farm systems in baseball for years. Hated to see them move. 

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4 minutes ago, RendZone said:

I loved the Expos growing up. They had one of the best farm systems in baseball for years. Hated to see them move. 

If only the 1994 season had not been suspended. The Expos had a six game lead in the NL East when play was suspended. A deep playoff run might have saved baseball in Montreal.

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Just now, Vegas Halo Fan said:

If only the 1994 season had not been canceled. The Expos had a six game lead in the NL East when play was suspended. A deep playoff run might have saved baseball in Montreal.

That was extremely disappointing. They definitely had a shot to win it all that year. They had a very balanced roster. 

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7 minutes ago, RendZone said:

That was extremely disappointing. They definitely had a shot to win it all that year. They had a very balanced roster. 

They had a bunch of talent. I was looking over their roster - Pedro, John Wetteland, Marquis Grissom, Moises Alou, on and on.

1994 Montreal Expos roster

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In 1996, my brother and I were eating breakfast, getting ready to go to school, when my dad announced he was going to opening day at Dodger Stadium with his best friend. He left the room then came back in five seconds later and said "Do you boys want to skip school and join us?"

Glavine pitched 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 ER. Nomo pitched 9 innings, 3 hits, 0 ER. Dodgers won 1-0. 

Best pitchers duel I ever saw and one of the 10 best days of my life. 

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Just now, SoPas Angel said:

In 1996, my brother and I were eating breakfast, getting ready to go to school, when my dad announced he was going to opening day at Dodger Stadium with his best friend. He left the room then came back in five seconds later and said "Do you boys want to skip school and join us?"

Glavine pitched 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 ER. Nomo pitched 9 innings, 3 hits, 0 ER. Dodgers won 1-0. 

Best pitchers duel I ever saw and one of the 10 best days of my life. 

The Braves had such a solid staff with Glavine, Maddox and Smoltz (three Aces) it makes me chuckle when people get all excited for guys like Heaney. He’s a 3 or 4 on a solid pitching staff. Pitching is the single most important entity in baseball. Very few teams have what it takes to compete at a high level. 

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I was at a game in Boston in 2003. Trot Nixon caught a flyout with one out then threw the ball into the stands. 2 runs ended up scoring. The chowds booed him for the rest of the game, called him a "dumb faggot", as they do.

Also on the subway afterwards a drunk chowd called my entire family "bandwagon fans". 

It was a good day.

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1 minute ago, RendZone said:

The Braves had such a solid staff with Glavine, Maddox and Smoltz (three Aces) it makes me chuckle when people get all excited for guys like Heaney. He’s a 3 or 4 on a solid pitching staff. Pitching is the single most important entity in baseball. Very few teams have what it takes to compete at a high level. 

I don't even think he's a 3 on a "solid" pitching staff, but, whatever. I'm not holding my breath for an Angels rotation to ever feature three Hall of Famers like those Braves teams. 

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8 minutes ago, SoPas Angel said:

I don't even think he's a 3 on a "solid" pitching staff, but, whatever. I'm not holding my breath for an Angels rotation to ever feature three Hall of Famers like those Braves teams. 

When we discuss great pitchers like Glavine, Smoltz and Maddox I realize that Jered Weaver had only 150 career wins. Glavine 305 wins, Maddox 355 wins and Smoltz who started out as a closer finished with 213 wins. Those were true frontline pitchers. 

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When Randy Johnson got his 300th win in 2009, someone - I do not remember who but someone I respected - announced something like "Savor it folks, because we won't be seeing this again for a long time." It seemed like a Hot Take, but you look at the current pitchers and yeah, he was right. Verlander is at 225 and Greinke at 205, and they've been around a long ass time. 

It's true Weaver "only" has 150 wins, but then you look at Kershaw, who has been much better for longer than Jered, and he's "only" at 169 wins. 

We were lucky as baseball fans to get to see Clemens/Maddux/Glavine/Unit at the same time. 

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4 minutes ago, SoPas Angel said:

When Randy Johnson got his 300th win in 2009, someone - I do not remember who but someone I respected - announced something like "Savor it folks, because we won't be seeing this again for a long time." It seemed like a Hot Take, but you look at the current pitchers and yeah, he was right. Verlander is at 225 and Greinke at 205, and they've been around a long ass time. 

It's true Weaver "only" has 150 wins, but then you look at Kershaw, who has been much better for longer than Jered, and he's "only" at 169 wins. 

We were lucky as baseball fans to get to see Clemens/Maddux/Glavine/Unit at the same time. 

Yep and I also look at complete games pitched. Johnson had 100, Maddox 109, Glavine 56, Smoltz 53, Kershaw 25 and Weaver finished with 14. Big difference. I miss those days. Now we have openers. What a crock!

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In 1980, I was a freshman at the University of Arizona.   My dorm was right next to the football stadium and baseball field.   I used to drift into the baseball games for free whenever it fit my schedule.   We had an outstanding outfielder named Terry Francona and won the College World Series that season.   Ooo!  Ahh!  Sock-it-to-um Wildcats!

The next year, I transferred to Arizona State to be closer to my fiance....and the Sun Devils won it all my first year there.  A-S-U!  A-S-U!  A-S-U!

 

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