So I’m obviously way behind on sharing interesting links with all ya’ll. Thus, I’m breaking them up a bit to clear out the queue. This edition focuses on the great Joe Posnanski.
Boy did I love this one. In My Favorite Year (Redux), Joe went through the entire sports calendar of 1986 and broke down, month-by-month, why it is his favorite sports year ever. That was indeed a pretty good year, even if my teams were different than his at the time.
Most significantly for me, that was the first KU Final Four that I was old enough to remember. Later, with the pressure off of the Royals after they won the World Series the previous year, I remember soaking up the ’86 playoffs and loving every second of them without having to stress about the results. I still recall the stunned reaction in my step-dad’s brother’s home in Jefferson City, MO as game five of the ALCS played out to its wild conclusion. It was also the year I learned how to play golf, so I watched PGA events most Thursdays and Fridays after school, and then through the weekend.
The big thing about Joe’s post, though, is it got me thinking about what my favorite sports year ever would be. I’m not sure I know the answer yet, but it’s fun to think about.
Next, Joe looked back on George Brett’s phenomenal summer of 1980. We moved to Kansas City right as Brett was kicking off his hottest stretch of the season. Each night I’d curl up in my beanbag chair and listen to Denny and Fred tell me about his latest 3–5 night.
When you look back on Brett’s numbers that year, they are staggering. He wasn’t a big power guy like Bonds, Trout, Cabrera, or Harper, modern guys who have put up insane numbers. He just hit line drive after line drive. He inspired me, when my next baseball season rolled around, to focus on hitting the ball into the gaps in right and left rather than swing for the fences. So I blame George for only hitting on over-the-wall home run in my Little League career.
Here is one of Joe’s personal posts. It’s about a drive with his 14-year-old daughter, just as she begins to slip away from him. It hits pretty close to home for a lot of us.
Last, and most recent, is the eulogy he wrote yesterday for the late Yogi Berra, which is utterly fantastic.
- I did hit two inside-the-park home runs. Both in the same game, no less! I also had two doubles that day. I was Willie Wilson for one hot, June afternoon. And, yes, that was 33 years ago but I can tell you just about everything about that game. We have to hold onto our rare moments of glory. ↩