Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch


I'm watching the Giants-Dodgers game, for obvious reasons. I'm glad Joe Morgan is doing the color commentary, since he's a favorite of mine. He and Chris Berman, whom I also like, just had Al Downing in the booth, the man who surrendered Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run on April 8th, 1974. That was my first year of watching baseball with interest. And Al, partially because of what I saw that night, was one of the first players for whom I developed a fondness. Vida Blue was another. I'll write more about the experience of what it was like to be a five-year-old boy told he was going to be "watching history" in another entry, most likely after Barry stops trying to hit home runs so that he can actually some more. I also want to write about the reasons why all my favorite players seemed to be black in those days. For now, though, I just want to say how impressed I was by Downing's time on the microphone. He and Joe got a really good conversation going. Then, when Berman asked him how Bonds breaking the record will be viewed, Downing made an eloquent statement about the creeping cynicism in our society. He also had some interesting things to say about his early years on the New York Yankees of Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra. Maybe ESPN should hire him to do color commentary too. The world could always use some more color.
Tags: autobiography, sports

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