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When My Sports Heroes Start Dying

by Tom King

There comes a time in life when a checking of the obituaries becomes the first thing you do in the morning. It's not a concious decision...it just sort of happens. I guess I'm at that point as people I know seem to be passing away on at least a weekly basis. Whether its parents of friends or even people I went to college with?!? Or the athletes you followed as a child.

I'm thinking about this today after attending the funeral of the mother of a good friend on Sunday and yesterday reading about the death of George Scott. Scott played first base for the Red Sox and Brewers. I first discovered him when I became a Red Sox fan in 1967. He was one of the young stars for the up & coming Sox of the late 60's. He was brash...he was colorful...and he could play. He was traded to the Brewers in 1971 and became their first legitimate star. He led the American League in RBI's and home runs in 1975. He won six Gold Gloves for the Brewers at first base. He wore a huge shell necklace around his neck that he claimed were 2nd baseman's teeth. He called his home runs "taters". And, as former Brewer owner Bud Selig relates..."during one stretch of bad games Scott was quoted as saying " the players have to play better, the manager has to manage better and the owner as to own better".

The homogenization of pro sports has left us with a majority of players who speak in cliches...who parse their words and try not to offend...who are friendly with opponents even on the field...gone is the fire of a guy like 'the Boomer" and that's something lost that may never return

It seems a piece of my childhood is ripped out almost every day as the guys who populated my youth fall away. It doesnt make me sad as much as it makes me feel old...knowing that my own mortality is getting closer every day.

It's day-night baseball today for the Brewers and Cubs. Pre game show for game 1 is 12:45 on WSAU.

The Woodchucks are back at it tonight as they host Thunder Bay. I'll be in the booth with Jim Sannes tonight and tomorrow on Foxsports 1390 & FM 93.9 at 6:15

I'll also be at the Fair today from noon-3. Stop out at our booth near the Youth Building on the East side of the fairgrounds.

Songs of The day  (from my I-pod)

The Man For All Seasons-Al Stewart (1978) another historical song from Stewart that comes from the "Time Passages" album.

The Man In The Long Black Coat-Joan Osborne (1995) from her breakthrough "Relish" Lp comes this Dylan cover that in my opinion is one of the finest interpretations of a Dylan song ever. She's going to be up at the Big Top Chatuaqua in Bayfield on August 18th and you know I'll be there.