Some Baseball Thoughts

By Mick Holien

Are you like me easily being able to remember the entire roster of your favorite baseball team playing in the World Series that was completed by about the first week of October?

Now we’re in to November and quite fortunate that in Houston and Los Angeles games at least are being contested in warm-weather cities.

I guess you could classify me as a closet Dodger given that closely follow the Mariners bleeding with their every season, settling for the scattering of stars, many of whom go elsewhere and suffer with the failing vision of Dave Sims who has a tough time telling the difference between a pop fly and a long fly ball.

But I can’t give you their lineup either but at least I am not like the plethora of fantasy players who could care less how wins or loses as long as the team they fielded played well. I admit it is difficult for me to criticize them since I’ve never done a fantasy draft and know little about how it all works.

Thus the admonition by the NCAA that broadcasters couldn’t participate because they deemed it gambling.

But back to my first job – that is besides keeping score for Spokesman-Review sports editor Danny May at the old Ferris Field in Spokane.

I went to work selling concessions for the Spokane Indians in their spanking new Fairgrounds ballpark in April 1958 eventually working my way into the clubhouse for the Dodgers AAA affiliate.

Maury Wills, destined to steal I think 104 major league bases in a season, was at shortstop and Preston Gomez the manager on opening day April 17.

How one remembers that stuff but Steve Crooks was my boss, the concession manager, Spencer Harris was the GM and Nate Lien, who lived on my Cooper George apartment’s paper route was the business manager.

Bobby Bragan hadn’t yet arrived to teach Wills how to switch hit but while they didn’t win the league for a couple more seasons names like Larry Sherry and his catcher brother Norm, Jim Gentile, and the infield went Jim

Baxes at third, Wills at short, Tony Roig at second with Gentile handling first sack.

By 1960 the Indians swept to the PCL title by a mere 26 or so games and I was in the clubhouse washing’ socks and jocks and rubbing elbows with sometimes an entire lineup comprised of future major leaguers.

I still have most of the black-and-white team photos and autographed baseballs fading much like my memories of my first Boys of Summer.

I have to admit though that Wednesday’s series game exceeded all expectation and sent me looking for the box score to relive the record breaker.

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