Saturday, June 23, 2007

Baseball (part 2)

Fortunately, Aaron has recently joined the world of coffee drinkers with his discovery of cafe breva. A breva is a cappuccino made with half and half instead of milk. Consequently, we started our Saturday with a stop at Starbuck's and were soon on our way to the Jake in Cleveland.

I like the city of Cleveland. I was there a few of years ago for our NATCA Convention. We parked in a downtown parking lot similar to what one might find in St. Louis and only had to walk a couple of blocks to the field. The ballpark is easy to get to and our leftfield bleacher seats were great. It was a beautiful day for a late afternoon game. John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves outplayed the Indians to give the National League another interleague win.

Just as the Cardinals have their bronze statue of "Stan the Man," Cleveland has their Hall of Famer Bob Feller immortalized outside of the stadium. As a kid, I remember hearing about Feller and wondering about could anyone hit a 100mph fastball! Today I wonder more about how they timed his pitch.

Feller owns some of baseball's great stats. He is the only pitcher to have ever throw an opening day no-hitter. He had three no-hitters in his career along with twelve one-hitters. At the age of 17, he struck out 15 St. Louis Browns in his first Major League outing. That same season, he set an American League record of 17 strikeouts in a game and two years later broke it by setting a Major League record of 18 strikeouts in a nine inning game. Two days after the attack on Pearl harbor (at the peak of his career), he enlisted in the Navy. The three and a half years of service to his country during WW II probably kept him from holding many of baseballs records. The year after returning to baseball, 1946, he set a Major League record of 348 strikeouts for the season.

We headed for the opposite corner of Ohio to Cincinnatti's Great American Ballpark. Actually our plan was to find a campground near Columbus to spend the night. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner and then managed to get the very last available site at a state park north of Columbus. The lady at the campgrounds was incredibly helpful and went out of her way to help us. Our site was near the bathroom/shower area and made for an quick and easy out in the morning. Aaron bought my Father's Day breakfast at the same Cracker Barrel and we were on the road again, hoping to see Sammy Sosa hit number 600--but that's a story for another day.


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