The pitch: The tip off to what this is all about is from Berger’s dedication: “For all those kids, like me, who grew up in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s and dreamed about being a major league baseball player but didn’t have the talent or ability to make it past Little League. Don’t ever let that dream die.”
Instead, go to a fantasy camp.
Berger got turned on by the idea back about 20 years ago when a friend, Lou Cohen, told him about the Dodgertown camp he attended in Vero Beach, Fla., a few years earlier. Another friend was telling Berger about his experience at a Yankees fantasy camp in 2009.
Would Berger ever get to scratch the itch and finally go to one? Or four? Continue reading “Day 29: 30 days of baseball books in April 2014 — A guy can still dream” »
The pitch: If you’ve got yourself a 1967 Topps #581 rookie card of Tom Seaver — which, on the collectors’ market can go beyond $1,000 — hang onto it. The value may have just gone up.
The guy on the left has a story to tell, too. Perhaps no two players appear on the same card but go opposite directions. Fast.
“Tom Seaver won 311 games with an ERA of 2.86, pitching himself into the Hall of Fame,” Denehy explains on page 6 of this book. “I, on the other hand, finished my career with a one-and-ten record and a 4.70 ERA.
“And yet, compared to Tom Seaver, my life was far more entertaining and interesting … With my career over in the mid-twenties, I had to figure out how I would live the rest of my life, and that hasn’t been easy. …”
It gets more heartbreaking from there. One page over, still in the first chapter: “I was a dreamer. And time after time I figured that if I could come up with some grandiose idea, some magical plan, I could provide my family with all the trappings of success for a person no longer in major league baseball. I felt driven and under tremendous pressure to succeed, in part because my ex-wife’s mother thought I was a loser. I suffered great agony having never been able to prove her wrong.”
He had anger issues, a “wicked temper,” as he puts it. He was self-destructive. He became addicted to the amphetamines that were prevalent in the ’60s for MLB players. He drank way too much. “The root of my anger and my trouble with women began with the nuns in Catholic school,” he confesses. “These sex-starved sadists never should have been allowed around children. I thought they were a menace to society.
“Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.” Continue reading “Day 28: 30 days of baseball books in April 2014 — Denehy’s rage against the baseball machine, in recovery mode” »
Blake Griffin, left, goes up for a shot next to Warriors’ David Lee during Game 4 on Sunday in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS: GAME 5: CLIPPERS vs. GOLDEN STATE Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., TNT, Prime Ticket:
Shelley Sterling, left, wife of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, watches from a court side seat during the second half in Game 4 at Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
By the time tip-off happens, the NBA may have tipped its hand on resolution in the Donald T. Sterling mess and fan reaction will be a focal point of the story as the Clippers regroup following the Game 4 sluggish loss that tied the series up at two games apiece. Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he understood how many paying customers may heed Magic Johnson’s advice and stay away from the game, even if they’ve already bought tickets. The Clippers have sold out their last 137 games. “We need (the fans), I can tell you that,” said Rivers. “We need everybody. We play for them. We always have. So we do need them. We’re going to need them bad on Tuesday. We’re going to need them there. We’re going to need them in our corner. But, listen, I get all of it.” What Rivers should be more concerned about is how Golden State shot 55.4 percent (to the Clippers’ 42.9 percent) in Game 4. That’s the best field-goal percentage allowed by the Clippers this season, and the highest by a Doc Rivers coached team in a playoff game since May 8, 2009. By the way, Sterling has already agreed not to attend this game, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Maybe that opens up a court-side seat for one of Billy Crystal’s pals? The series wraps up: Game 6: at Golden State, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., TNT, Prime Game 7: at Staples Center, Saturday at TBA