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McLain Has His 30th Victory Of The 1968 Season, However …..

July 11, 2021

In today’s break from the ‘offs (yesterday Ashleigh Barty copped her second major tennis tournament win, in about an hour “Mar” Djokovic is “top heavy” vs Berretini to tie Federer and Nadal in major wins and get a shot at matching Rod Laver. I like Djokovic, but in an already bad year, let’s hope he is denied, preferably, but it is not likely today. One can hope. Beyond hope is that the (dis)likes of Fowler and McEnroe, at least the latter played tennis–the former acted/is of such arrogance that I reveal his escorting of Julie “Who is Kelvin Bryant” Anderson. My knowledge of certain skeletons and an associative memory, that links Trump, the USFL, racism, reverse hiring, utter ineptitude and most of all, this “non spy,” left out in no A.C. heat and veritable, but seemingly permanent COLD is too much to take.)

One day I will be succinct on these matters as it does matter, not only to me, but to any hope of resolving the utterly hypocritical, who you know and yes in essence at least figuratively, whose butt you kiss (you thought I would evoke the great, classy Lauren Bacall, see I have a bit of class so I did not. I add that my bitterness at being a withered raisin, is at least somewhat offset by my dreamer/idealist/help others thoughts, if not ways.

“Make up” writing, it is Saturday September 14, 1968 and among the 44 thousand or so at Mr. Fetzer’s Tiger Stadium to witness if McLain can, as Ernie would eventually beautifully invoke, “get his 30th win of the 1968 season,” are Dizzy Dean, the last pitcher to do so, half of 68–34, as in 19″34,” which already virtually certain at game time also had a Cards/Tigers Fall Classic. The great Sandy Koufax, in his second year of arthritis forced retirement is there working for NBC television. Ditto, a lovebirds word in “Ghost,” are Julie Nixon, whose father would complete his comeback from the political dead, cited in David Krell’s superb book “1962 Baseball and America in the Time of JFK,” 2 months hence and I believe husband, David Eisenhower, whose father, (he preferred to be addressed as General), yet warned of the power of the U.S. Industrial Military Complex, a fact also cited in Mr. Krell’s book. A “feel good,” is over ten thousand kids were guests of the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club that historic day.

More on the game, perhaps, in the days to follow. McLain was far from great and he and the “Tigs” as the great Ernie Harwell at times, called them, trailed (4-3) headed to B9, as future great and then rookie, Reggie Jackson hit two homers/3 rbis (fellow game 7/’73 W.S. 2 run home run hitting, Bert Campaneris drove in the Oakland A’s, under Bob Kennedy (alas, the ’62 book, Eisenhower, Nixon and I add another Kennedy), which exceeded Norm Cash’s 3rhr by that one run.

Al Kaline pinch hit for Denny and walked vs eventual losing pitcher, Diego Segui. After McAuliffe could not bunt/sacrifice (I am, as are the way too powerful current day analytics crowd, vs a “sac” in that situation at virtually any time, but especially so that day as the needed goal for the Tigs, who entered play that DAY (day games abounded, including a second place Orioles’ win that still left them 9 or so games behind with precious few games remaining, was to “national tv” McLain’s 30th win if possible, thus not conceding an out), he popped to another future A’s star Sal Bando.

However, Mickey Stanley, soon to famously play shortstop in a winning 7 game W.S. vs the Cards (they “day’d” a win at Houston that day, another Jackson, Larry pitched a shutout win also in the glorious daytime), a reverse of the ’34 W.S. when Dean and the Cards (11-0)’d Detroit in #7 and “Hanging” Judge Landis removed Joe Medwick for his own protection, singled up the middle sending Mr. Kaline to third.

Ernie Harwell said his greatest “call,” at least moment was on the national radio broadcast of #7/’68 W.S. when Jim Northrup’s triple vs the great Bob Gibson put the Tigers up (2-0) T7 behind Mickey Lolich (Ernie hoped the audience would attend the next day’s “L”olich vs “L”ew Krause pitching matchup, that Sept. 14th), who went on to a (4-1) win.

That September 14th, Harwell called Northrup’s grounder or one hopper to Danny Cater, whose errant throw set up Denny’s 30th as Kaline scored beating Cater’s throw home and Stanley scampered to third.

Tears welled for many reasons, not the least of which being loneliness and this game at 2 A.M. but they were tears of joy as I heard again, Willie Horton’s single “over the head of Gosger,” and Mr. Harwell’s beautiful laugh when instead of hello this is Andy B, I started my call to his hotel room years later with “it’s over the head of Gosger and McLain has his 30th victory of the 1968 season.

Yes, in tragic 1968, that day with seeing Denny’s 30th and my subsequent Bar Mitzvah, 2 months later, some went well in this innocent’s/dreamer life, though I already knew bullying, anti Semitism and that I was no “magnet” for/to the opposite sex, but alas were not all our heads, especially mine, in the sand?!!

Sadly, they still are.

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