It almost that time when we celebrate the begining of a new year
and invariably a new era in the successes of our teams. Before we jump forward
to what could be in 2011, here’s a small review of how my blog saw the Phillies
Here’s hoping you all have a very happy and safe New Year….
The town of Gilmore had given me little to go on with regard to discovering
the man behind the name of the most coveted MLB pitching award. I shouldn’t be
surprised, the town was once a bustle of activity, now however it is populated
with no more than 100 people, the main square is no more than a place where a
chance meeting with another vehicle can sometimes occur.
Further research proved to be lacking in new information,
although I found out he was one of 5 children, although I got little or no
information relating to his siblings. Conflicting reports indicated the family farm
could have been almost anywhere in a 10 mile radius or beyond.
As reports indicated Cy Young’s final resting place was not
too far, in a town named Peoli, with a few screen touches, my iPhone was happy to
guide me in the right direction.
As I headed towards Peoli, a little ways outside Gilmore the
local church was on the left side of the road, with the cemetery in plain view,
front and center was a large granite headstone with the name ‘YOUNG’ engraved in
Knowing I was still some 4 or 5 miles from Peoli, I chose to
stop anyway to find out if there was any connection between this ‘Young’ and the
‘Denton Young’ I was researching.
my surprise the large stone had 2 smaller stones either side, the one was
engraved with ‘McKinzie 1843-1928’ the other was engraved with ‘Nancy
His Wife 1847-1915′ , my prior research had given me enough information to
know I had stumbled upon the grave site for Cy Young’s parents. It was late in
the afternoon and the sun was starting to set faster than I wanted it too. I
knew I had to move on and continue heading towards Peoli before daylight had
I knew at some point I would have to abandon my trek for another
day, I already knew where a Cy Young memorial was placed. The town that liked to
call themselves the home to Cy Young was Newcomerstown, although it is probably
the closest larger town the only official claim they can make is it is listed as
the location where he eventually passed away.
the light fading I eventually came upon the Peoli Cemetery, first impressions
gave you an eerie feeling. It sat on the side of the road, with an olden style
iron entrance, I guess it was only fitting. I was later to discover that
although the cemetery is still used as the final resting place to locals, the
small building, formally a United Methodist Church, had not been in use for
almost 20 years.
I parked along side the former church building, at the front was
a hand painted sign from 2003 indicating that this was the final resting place
of baseball legend Cy Young, I took a deep breath in anticipation of what I was
about to experience.
I took a slow walk around the cemetery, looking at every name,
every engraving in the hope of discovering the great Cy Young’s grave. In my
search I found my self standing up flowers or straightening some grave side
ornaments that had been left to subside. It was then I bent down to pick up a US Flag that had fallen over, as I firmly pushed it
into the ground I looked at the engraving on the stone it was….
….that of Cy Young and his wife Roba. As I stood there reading
the inscription on this, the stone placed to show the final resting place of
probably the best baseball pitcher that ever lived, I wondered what would he
think if he new pitchers today are honored with an award bearing his name, that
today recipients of the award are voted on by people that probably only know him
by the name of the award they are bestowing on others.
This has been an experience for me, I have learned more of
Denton True ‘Cy’ Young than I thought I would, facts that I didn’t know, but now
realize why the award carries his name. In part three, the final part of
visiting Cy Young, I found an official plaque and baseball field to honor him.
In closing, did you know this man pitched a double header,
pitched back to back complete games, on the same day, to close out the 1890
season, won both games of the double header, against Philadelphia.
History has a funny way of being written to portray the elements
and goals of those doing the story telling. It is over the most recent years,
the story of Guido Fawkes has been told by the world of movie makers and story
tellers alike, to portray an early form of terrorist as a hero, trying to
overcome oppression at the hands of a ruling government.
To most these days it maybe the plot behind a less than stellar
movie ‘V’ for Vendetta, but to others it was and is a part of the history taught in
early school years, as part of the history of the country. It maybe be the
actual events took place some 495 years ago, but they gave a youngster a reason
to be creative as the 5th of November arrive3d each year.
More commonly known as Guy Fawkes, Guido was the fall guy or the
one made famous for the attempted early 17th century destruction of the Houses of
Parliament and the then King of England. With barrels of gun powder located
under the building, Guy Fawkes was the guy left to light the fuse, the problem
was he was caught and the blowing up of Parliament and the King was thwarted.
This single event in English history has given youngster an
interesting challenge over the years, I remember making a ‘GUY’, this would
consist of some clothes stuffed with anything burnable to make the shape of a
person. We would then sit with this character on the street each day collecting
‘pennies for the guy’. These monies was turned into to ‘fireworks’ for
display at the bonfire event, most communities would have a bonfire built,
everything and anything burnable would be placed on it from the neighborhood,
everyone would contribute,
old and young alike.
Today, this type of event would cause nothing but problems, from
activists screaming for a ban to local government officials claiming safety
issues, but most of all from people not being able to play together without the
need to cause harm to one another, for no other reason than the senseless need
to do harm or would it be in the name of peace?
Now organized bonfires celebrate bonfire night in England, a far
cry from the community bonfires of roasting chestnuts, baked potatoes as the
young and old enjoyed a small fire work display. Remembering the good old
The good old times, in the Phillies recent years, would be when
Jayson Werth was happy to get some playing time, instead of nowadays when he
turns down a 66 million dollar offer from the team that gave him his lucky
break, in the hopes of a bigger 120 million dollar deal from the likes of the
Red Sox or White Sox or even maybe the Mets or Astros, who knows except given
the chance Werth would probably rather burn the house down in Philadelphia than
take less than Boras tells him he’s worth…
Those of us who are baseball addicts are engrossed in the events
of the Worlds Series and as it stands now the thoughts are varied, will the
Giants sweep the Rangers and force their total fade out or will the Rangers go 3 for 3 at home and take it back
to San Francisco, who knows, that’s the beauty of baseball.
While all this headlining play by play unravels the remaining 28
teams have their own soap operas going on, moves being made to set up an off
season of player movements, operations and I am sure controversies.
In Philadelphia some actions involving players have already
taken place and as always the right things are being said, the team says things
like, ‘in order to give the player a chance at free agency’, when they
really mean, ‘we don’t want you back so we’re letting you go as early as we
can’. The players say things like, ‘it was great playing with a good
bunch of guys and a manager like Charlie’, when they really mean, ‘I’ll
miss you guys it was fun and thanks for nothing Amaro’.
So in Philadelphia, we could see Werth buddy up with his new
agent and head to Chicago to try on some White Socks, maybe. We could also see
other players held in a state of frozen animation until the club finds it’s
off-season direction. They have already managed to get the Phillies
beat writer to plant the seed of a return to the Phillies uniform by Cliff Lee.
Pie in the sky? Maybe, but it’s baseball stranger things have happened.
There are obviously a few players in the World Series making
impressions on possible future teams, who’d have thought after his stint in
Tampa Burrell would have found a team willing to give him a shot, and when
Florida unloaded Ross, who would have said by accident the Giants would be
putting him in the outfield every game. So yes strange things do happen in
baseball more often than we realize, who would have guessed back in 1945 that
October 30th would see the Brooklyn Dodgers sign a player from the Kansas City
Monarchs and make a resounding change in history.
With Halloween a day away and mid-term elections 3 days away,
strange things will happen more than ever. Mid term elections actually tend to
bring out even stranger happenings than Halloween, scarier people come to the
surface, it just gets totally weird, all in the name of ‘Vote’ getting. So when
your at the polling booth remember the 5 key issues when making your selections:
There is no Santa Claus.
The WWE may not be real, but the t-shirt’s are and you
can wear them to vote.
You’re not choosing the Cy Young or MVP.
It’s not a Fantasy League.
Politicians LIE, again and again and again and
Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate, it was the bottom of the
9th, with 2 outs, A-Rod was the only thing that stood between the Rangers and a
visit to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
The scene was set, A-Rod who couldn’t take the Rangers there got
a chilling reception, the commentators called it poetic justice, A-Rod grabbed
his crutch and adjusted his cup as if to say ‘Suck This’, Neftali Feliz
the Rangers closer looked in, dug deep and threw 3 fast balls all around the 100
mph mark, with 1 strike away from celebration, again Feliz looked in got his
sign and threw, what must have looked like a soft toss to A-Rod, who froze then
flipped his bat from one hand to the other and walked back to the dug out head
held down, while the Rangers went into overdrive on the celebrations….
….there was no doubt the Rangers were happy with the win, they
can celebrate as much as they want, they deserved it. It’s a wait and see game
for the Rangers now as they contemplate their very first World Series, for the
travel manager it’s headaches ahead, as he has to make arrangements for both San
Francisco and Philadelphia, until he knows where they will be headed.
The Phillies host the Giants this evening in the hope of forcing
a game 7 Sunday. Mr. Durable Roy Oswalt takes the mound for the Phillies,
while the Giants counter with Sanchez.
seemed just like any other sporting Sunday in Philadelphia, this one was just a
little more special though. The Phillies had lost the first game of the NLCS to
the San Francisco Giants the day before and so desperately needed the win to
even the series.
The countries premier sporting complex in Philadelphia had
tailgating starting early, the Philadelphia Eagles would be hosting the Atlanta
Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field just a stones throw, or a long toss away from
Citizens Bank Park. Why was this different to any other Sunday when both teams
were playing at home, well the fact that Fox Sports decided the Eagles game
would be the main attraction for the 1 PM ET game slot.
If you didn’t watch the Eagles game or haven’t seen the news
then, you will have missed out on the fact that Ryan Howard made an appearance
at Lincoln Financial during the first quarter of the game. It sparked a flurry
of ‘tweets’ from Phillies fans complaining of his presence when they
thought he should be in the batting cages. Why was did Howard pick this day to
visit the Eagles?
According to inside sources, as part of Fox Sports promotional
efforts, they requested a Phillies player show up. Who’s decision to make it
Howard and not a less prominent player is still a mystery. There may however be
more underlying parts to this story, because while Howard took time out of his
busy schedule and made an appearance on the sidelines there was another prominent
person absent from the sidelines.
Vick the, on again, off again, QB for the Eagles was absent from
the sidelines, Andy Reid dodged the question at the post game news conference
causing speculation as to Vick’s absence. While reports from within the NFL
media and closely connected personnel indicated that it was nothing, speculation
grew about his avoidance of interaction with fans and his old club. In fact he
even kept his old manager waiting in the locker room area.
If the media wasn’t so narrow minded and spotlight focused on
their own sources within the sport they serve, they may have seen a broader
picture with more characters than their lack of multi-tasking NFL minds could
probably handle. Inner circles seem to have suggested that, the very pro animal
rights personnel connected to the Phillies team suggested that if a key Phillies
player was to attend the Eagles game, then that player couldn’t be seen to
interact with Vick, who was scheduled to be on the sidelines. If anyone has any
doubts that Fox Sports has no pull in what happens in the 2 biggest sports in
the country then think again, this was a mere minor manipulation for Fox Sports
to get their live on air promotion.
night finally arrived all the players in where they should be, there was no
Eagles player invasion, since there was nothing NFL related for Fox to reverse
promote. The ‘O’ from the Phillies 3 headed strike force, known as H2O, also
known as Roy Oswalt, was on the mound for the Phillies. The Giants countered
with their second ‘Ace’, Sanchez, who would try and put the Giants in a position
to take a 2-0 series lead.
Sunday saw a different look to the Phillies players, there
wasn’t a different line up, they hadn’t all had anything done to change their
appearance, but from the first at bat through to the final at bat, you could
tell they had the winning attitude. This attitude had been sorely missing during
Saturdays game, in fact it almost appeared like they new the outcome before the
game Saturday. Game 2 was different, they looked like they new there was no
outcome defined, they wanted this win and they did everthing they could to get
it. Oswalt turned in a performance worthy of the H2O status, the Phillies
players all played their part, with bats and gloves. In addition to an excellent
pitching display Oswalt showed he could hit and run the bases, for me he more
than made up for his previous start.
Now it’s off the San Francisco, with the series tied at 1-1, the
shift of home field advantage may well have shifted to the Giants, but if there
is one thing we have learned in this post season, home field advantage isn’t so
much of an advantage.