Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 15, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 16



Mountain View News Saturday, July 15, 2023 




There was a time when the Major League Baseball All-
Star Game was a special event.

Fans were eager to see the superstars of the National 
League and American League compete on one field in 
one special game. But interleague play, which began in 
1997, put the kibosh on that.

Here’s Philadelphia Phillies’ outfielder Ron Gant’s reaction, 
shared by many, to interleague play: “To match the 
Phillies and Orioles in the regular season is to store your 
milk in the cupboard. The game is curdling. It has already 
curdled! What once was a special pastime is now a soulless contrivance….”

Interleague baseball killed the All-Star Game, and the commissioner’s office buried it 
with pointless add-ons like the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby and poor taste’s 
nadir, the Red Carpet Show. None of the gimmicks that segue into the game help viewership 
which has been in freefall for years. The 2022 Midsummer Classic drew an all-
time low of 7.5 million viewers. During the 1990s, the television audience routinely 
exceeded 20 million.

Fans disappointed in Commissioner Rob Manfred’s heavy-handedness in altering how 
the traditional game had been played for decades – the universal designated hitter and 
the ghost runner in extra innings are two glaring examples – should brace themselves. 
Within the next few years, Manfred, determined to drive a stake into traditional baseball’s 
heart, envisions a complete MLB overhaul.

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers would no longer be in the same 
division. Ditto the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. Manfred’s scheme is 
dependent on the Oakland A’s moving to Las Vegas and Tampa Bay building a new 
stadium. Once those two steps are completed, Charlotte and Nashville will be awarded 
new franchises. They’ll be uncompetitive for years.

As Manfred sees baseball, revenue is everything, and the game’s rich history is inconsequential. 
The average team’s value is $2.1 billion; the New York Yankees’ value tops 
the list at $6 billion.

To appreciate lost history, turn the calendar back to 1946 when a baseball-starved nation 
welcomed back World War II heroes, many of them future Hall of Famers, who 
would play in Fenway Park’s All-Star Game, the site of the canceled 1945 tilt. The National 
League’s squad included Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter and Pee Wee 
Reese. On the American League roster were the DiMaggio brothers – Joe and Dom – 
Bob Feller and Ted Williams.

All 35,000 eyes were on Williams, a Marine Corp Naval Aviator. Fans wondered if “The 
Kid,” Williams’ preferred nickname, could pick up where he left off in 1942, his last 
year before his active service began. Williams went four for four in that All-Star Game, 
and became the first player to drive in five runs in a single game as the American 
League dominated, 12-0.

The Kid’s two home runs, two singles and a walk accounted for 10 total bases, a still-
standing All-Star Game record. One of Ted’s blasts came off of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 
Rip Sewell’s eephus pitch, a soft, parabolic lob that soared 30 feet off the ground before 
it floated back to earth. Sewell’s pitch and Ted’s homer provided the fans with comic 
relief during the rout.

Out in Ted’s hometown of San Diego, his mother May and her Union Street neighbors 
listened to Mel Allen call the game. When asked how she felt about her son becoming 
the first player to drive in five runs in an All-Star Game, the devoted Salvation Army 
volunteer said: “All my prayers were answered. The game was perfectly marvelous…
Ted’s a wonderful boy.”

May’s prayers, however, didn’t prevent 1946 from ending on a sour note for the Red Sox 
and Ted. In the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals bested the Sox 4-3, and in his only 
World Series appearance held The Kid to a measly .200 batting average.

A humiliated, humbled Williams looked back on the World Series as the lowest point 
in his otherwise glorious career.

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and Internet Baseball Writers’ 
Association member. Contact him at


Well, here we are in another summer. And about soon we'll be 
approaching another school year.

I want to talk this week about the people behind the scenes 
locally. The dedicated locals, you know, the people who coach 
Little League, Girls Softball,Soccer, Pop Warner, all of these 
sports that mean so much to our children and communities. 
Thanks who volunteer to help our kids from a very young age 
work with them through some of their most formative years. It's time to give them credit. 

We've just completed all of the extra curricula sports seasons for our youth and another season 
where parents were a part of either as a coach or a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, cheering 
on the kids. What a great foundation this makes for young children. 

Youth sports provide the opportunity for the kids to further associate with others (other than 
their classmates), get out of the house away from watching TV, and not playing with the computer 
or all these games, but learning how to communicate with people. The feeling of being 
a part of something, whether it's winning or losing, is always important.

We all, for the most part, try to always achieve our goals and you want to teach your kids to do 
the same. Sports do that. There's so much that's involved in competition today, which is taught 
at a young age in a happy atmosphere. Great start for dealing with the world today. 

Remember, kids really don't care that much about winning or losing. They care about having 
fun. Sing, dance, hit homeruns, strike out. Doesn't make any difference. But we all cheer for 
the same programs for children. 

You know, some people just show up at games, have a great time, walk away, yell at the ref, yell 
at the coach whenever they can get away with it, take their kid and say, “ know, you should 
have been playing more or the coach lost the game!” I hope you're not one of those. 

I think most adults are more involved in winning or losing, but they do have to walk that thin 
line of teaching youngsters the value of competition and embracing a positive foundation for 
team sports. 

I want to salute all of you who take the time to coach or help with coaching, hospitality, travel 
and all the other things that are necessary to make these activities available to our youth. It 
takes hours to put these programs together, and a lot of people really don't know how much 
time and effort it takes.

Volunteer efforts from adults form the foundation for those who go on to Major League Baseball 
or the NFL or the NBA. And let’s face it, theses parents and volunteers do so without making 
10 million a year driving fancy cars, flying on Lear jets, or doing all the other things that 
we learn about in the media.

And let's also salute all of you that support the PTA and all the activities, the fundraisers, the 
carnivals, all the things that are put on at the schools where these activities are available for 
the kids.

And remember that while it may be difficult for youngsters to understand your investment in 
them now, they will eventually realize what you how important you are to them when they're 
older. They will love you for cheering for them. They will love you for occasionally, maybe 
disciplining them because they know you really care. 

So again, thanks folks! Have a great week and a half and I'll talk to you soon. Buckle up. Follow 
me at for all of my broadcasts.

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