Hobo v. Gehrig

March 30, 2007 at 1:06 am | Posted in baseball, whitney | 2 Comments

I can’t decide whether my favorite baseball player is Lou Gehrig or Pepper Martin. On the one hand, I’ve always been attracted to Gehrig as an alternative to Babe Ruth. Not that Lou was an underdog or anything, but I sympathize with the lack of support in his early career with the Yankees. He also gives one hell of a goodbye speech, if you ask me. Incidentally, he has a disease named after him. I haven’t decided whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Pepper Martin, on the other hand, was a former hobo. Playing for what appears to be the coolest team ever, the St. Louis Cardinals in ’34. Also in the Ken Burn’s documentary they say that Martin was so fast because he used to spend his childhood racing rabbits. (The quote on Wikipedia: “I grew up in Oklahoma, and once you start runnin’ out there there ain’t nothin’ to stop you”) If he were playing for BYU, I would get so many Deals for Steals I can’t even stand it. After his career with the Cardinals, he managed in Miami and got fined for choking an ump.

Here’s one problem: saying Pepper Martin is your favorite baseball player leads people to assume you know a lot about baseball. Beyond some sports articles focusing on the 20s-60s, the Ken Burn’s doc, and David James Duncan novels, I got nothing. As far as baseball today goes, I couldn’t give a shit…alright…maybe I could. But certainly not two. I still like The A’s since they have that whole fu manchu history going for them. And I still get really excited when the Red Sox play the Yankees (like any novice would, I guess). But as a whole, I enjoy baseball a lot more when I’m watching it in black and white. I haven’t fully explored that yet. Maybe it’s modern-day habits of commercial sponsorship, the steroids, or just the general ugliness of today’s players (what’s with that, by the way? Even The Babe looks handsome compared to these guys). There might also be something to said about seeking out the old baseball facts and figures. It feels much more proactive, whereas watching a modern baseball game just pisses you off because the Simpsons were cancelled again.

Anyway, I’m not trying to romanticize anything. After all, the best players in baseball are relatively unknown seeing as they were black and all.

So…Martin, right? He was a hobo!

JK. Ted Williams will always be number one. Never forget that Ted Williams refers to himself in the third person. As in “Ted Williams needs a DRINK!” Awesome.


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  1. This is such a good blog.

  2. luckily, the simpsons is no longer funny.

    and i watched field of dreams the other day and i think that movie is totally racist. it’s all about how baseball was better when they didn’t let blacks in the majors.

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