Thursday, June 7, 2012

How my world revolves around baseball

Another simple post during a very busy week (but it's almost over!)

A few days ago, someone I know made a reference to the year 1919. I don't even remember what she was talking about, mostly because when she said "1919," my brain immediately flashed to "Black Sox Scandal."

And then I started thinking about how weird it was that someone would talk about the year in another context outside of the Black Sox. You mean people actually think about years without baseball being the first thing that pops in their head?

So I did a little experiment. I decided to think of every year since 1901 and write down the first thing that came to my head about those years.

This wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. There are some years in which I couldn't think of anything, baseball-related or not. So I started giving myself a 30-second time limit. If I couldn't think of a year-related concept, then I just placed a question mark in there and moved on.

When I was finished, most of the years featured baseball-related topics, as I suspected. The distant years, especially before I was born, reflect what I've read and heard about -- mostly by reading baseball books. As I started getting to years in which I was around, some personal experiences began to appear -- some even unrelated to baseball (my unconscious attempt to avoid infuriating my wife, I'm sure).

The most recent years I skipped, just because it's too soon for those years to relate something to it. If the Dodgers had won the Series in the last four years, that would be different. But there's no way on earth I'm listing the Giants winning the Series.

This the list that I came up with:

1901 - debut of American League
1902 - ?
1903 - first World Series
1904 - McGraw skips World Series
1905 - Christy Mathewson
1906 - Hitless Wonders
1907 - ?
1908 - Last Cubs World Series win
1909 -  Honus Wagner T206 card

1910 - ?
1911 - Home Run Baker
1912 - Fenway Park opens/Titanic sinks
1913 - Yankees become the “Yankees”
1914 - Miracle Braves/Federal League debuts
1915 - Red Sox win World Series
1916 - Dodgers lose World Series
1917 - World War I ends
1918 - Last Red Sox World Series win for 86 years
1919 - Black Sox

1920 - Ray Chapman killed by pitched ball
1921 - Yankees first World Series appearance
1922 - Browns’ George Sisler hits .320
1923 - Yankees open Yankee Stadium
1924 - Washington Senators win World Series
1925 - ?
1926 - Babe Ruth tagged out to end World Series in Cardinals’ favor
1927 - Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs
1928 - ?
1929 - Philadelphia A’s come back from 8-0 deficit to score 10 runs in 7th in Game 4 of World Series against Cubs

1930 - Hack Wilson drives in 191 runs
1931 - Lefty Grove wins 30 games
1932 - Babe Ruth’s “called” shot
1933 - First All-Star Game
1934 - My dad’s birthdate/Gas House Gang
1935 - First MLB night game
1936 - Joe DiMaggio makes MLB debut
1937 - Hindenburg
1938 - Johnny Vander Meer pitches consecutive no-hitters
1939 - Ted Williams makes MLB debut

1940 - Bob Feller pitches no-hitter on opening day
1941 - Williams has last .400 season/Mickey Owen’s dropped third strike/Pearl Harbor
1942 - WWII
1943 - WWII
1944 - St. Louis Browns play in World Series
1945 - World War II ends
1946 - Enos Slaughter’s mad dash home in World Series
1947 - Jackie Robinson debuts
1948 - Indians win their last World Series
1949 - Preacher Roe throws 1-0 shutout against Yankees in World Series

1950 - Phillies Whiz Kids
1951 - Bobby Thomson’s home run
1952 - Boys of Summer
1953 - Carl Erskine sets Series record by striking out 14 Yankees
1954 - Willie Mays’ over-the-shoulder catch
1955 - Brooklyn Dodgers win World Series
1956 - Don Larsen no-hitter
1957 - Last baseball season in Brooklyn
1958 - First year of Los Angeles Dodgers
1959 - Dodgers beat White Sox in World Series

1960 - Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning HR to win 1960 World Series
1961 - Roger Maris hits 61 home runs
1962 - Twins, Mets, Colt .45s and new Senators debut
1963 - Dodgers sweep Yankees in Series
1964 - Beatles
1965 - Dodgers beat Twins in Series, night owl is born
1966 - Sandy Koufax’s last season
1967 - Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album
1968 - Denny McLain wins 30 games
1969 - Miracle Mets

1970 - Brooks Robinson’s catches in World Series
1971 - First World Series night game
1972 -Start of A’s dynasty
1973 - Dark Side of the Moon
1974 - Start collecting cards/Dodgers re-emerge, lose to A’s in Series
1975 - Game 6 of World Series/'75 Topps!
1976 - Mike Schmidt’s four-homer game
1977 - Reggie, Reggie, Reggie
1978 - Bucky &%^* Dent
1979 - We Are Family

1980 - George Brett
1981 - Walking through high school hallway of Yankees fans after Dodgers just beat N.Y. in World Series
1982 - Joan Jett
1983 - High school graduation
1984 - Working at Bradlees department store/1984 Summer Olympics
1985 - We Are the World/Live Aid
1986 - Game 6 of World Series
1987 - Road trip to St. Louis
1988 - Kirk Gibson
1989 - 1989 Topps baseball card set

1990 - get hitched
1991 -  Jack Morris
1992 - Nirvana
1993 - Joe Carter/Mitch Williams
1994 - Baseball strike
1995 - Hideo Nomo
1996 - buy a house
1997 - job promotion
1998 - daughter born/Mark McGwire
1999 - Y2K goofiness/Brett Hull's "no goal"

2000 - Subway Series
2001 - 9/11
2002 - rally monkeys
2003 - Start trying to complete 1975 Topps set
2004 - Red Sox win World Series
2005 - Nickelback (I’m sorry that’s what pops in my head)
2006 - Start collecting cards again
2007 - Topps black-bordered cards
2008 - Start Night Owl Cards
2009 - TBA

2010 - TBA
2011 - TBA
2012 - TBA

As you can see, there are some years in which I listed multiple things -- just because several events or people hit my brain at the same time.

The vast majority of items are baseball-related. And the closer you get to the present, the more it becomes baseball-card related (which actually seems kind of pathetic when I think about it for a second). There are also strange first thoughts, like for 1976, 2005 and 2007.

But that's who I am. Not going to apologize for it.

I actually DO do other things besides collect baseball cards, watch baseball and read about baseball.

Most of them aren't as fun though.

Therefore, not worth remembering.


  1. I wish some baseball related memory could intervene and displace that awful 2005 one.

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  3. Just a minor point: World War I didn't end in fact, that would be a surprise to those who were fighting until the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

    1917 was when the U.S. entered the war.

  4. Didn't say my brain was accurate.

  5. Nice. You got a lot more baseball events in than I'd have thought of. You get big negative points for the Nickelback reference though. :-0

  6. So you have the Browns instead of D-Day for 1944 and you have Nickleback instead of the White Sox for 2005.

    I think I need to find a new nightly read.

  7. Who thinks of the White Sox? Black Sox, sure, but not White Sox.

    As for Nickelback, they were so pervasive in 2005 that my day care provider (a very nice older lady) actually played "How You Remind Me" for her kids during their little dance period. Bizarre. And why I think of them any time anyone says "2005."

  8. A lot of the recent baseball events are the same for me. I always recall Eddie Gaedel as well as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" when I think about '51. I'd have to think about the pre-WWII ones a bit more.

    I know '76 for me would be a music one with the Ramones' first album. (Hence my profile pic.)

    Great post!

  9. 1998 - daughter born/Mark McGwire

    I'm glad you put you at least put your daughter first! That made me chuckle.

    I'll admit, when doing the same activity, I think "Padres first World Series" before I think of my own birth-year. I think all of my "baseball-related" thoughts also have a Padre tie-in, ('69 - inaugural team, '83 - Gwynn's rookie year, '93 - Sheffield and McGriff traded, '96 - division champs, '98 - 2nd World Series, '12 - Yonder Alonso NL Rookie of the Year (...ok, probably not).

  10. Sisler hit .420 not 320.

    that was the second highest in American League history and there has never been a higher AL batting average since