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Jim's Jottings


Renewing Detroit Tiger thoughts and dreams



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August 01, 2012 - Oxford Parks and Recreation transported a bus load of folks to the Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox game Sunday, July 22. Friends booked me for that game.

Other than my concern for descending steps, I looked forward to going to what Hall of Fame baseball announcer Ernie Harwell called "The Old Ballpark."

Between the time of booking and going, baseball was on my mind. Soon after becoming a teenager, I started to dream of becoming the world's greatest baseball pitcher.

At that age I pitched for the Owosso High School freshman team. They were five-inning games. I won two of my three starts.

Then we moved from Class A Owosso to Class D Morrice and from a "real" coach to a science teacher looking for extra money coaching baseball. He had a "pet" picked to pitch and put me on first base. My older brother told the science teacher-coach I pitched for Owosso. The "pet' pitcher pitched.

Then came a big war and I was on a big boat. There are no ball fields on a U.S. Navy landing craft. Time passed.

With the war and a wife won, I was newspaper career bound to Gladwin. And ah, ha! Wouldn't you know it -- all the area taverns sponsored baseball teams. Baseball dreams awakened and I tried out for one at Winegars Corners. That was May, 1951.

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Back to that Sunday in July. Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, one his 300th, as the Tigers won, 6-4. From where we sat I couldn't see the baseball travel, but the cheering crowd kept me informed.

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While furthering my young career in Gladwin, I found another baseball nut, and we started playing catch to get our arms in shape.

I don't remember if this Winegars team was in a league. It didn't matter. By late May or early June the colleges released their hordes, including several baseball players. Reality set in and I knew my arm would never be as strong as theirs.

The baseball hero dream was further dampened when I took a job with the Clinton County News in St. Johns. It was time to go to work, not play.

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Current Tigers Quintin Berry and Bennan Boesch also homered for Detroit. Jacob Turner started on the mound for the Tigers. In two previous starts he didn't last two innings. Sunday he stayed around long enough (barely) to get the win. Monday he was traded.

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My point in this Jottings is to show how just two events kept me from becoming the world's greatest major league baseball pitcher. My name could have ranked above Schoolboy Rowe, Dizzy Dean, Elden Auker, Tommy Bridges and this new guy, Justin Verlander.

If only that science teacher-coach had stayed out of my life, and the colleges didn't give semester breaks, I would have been in bronze at the old ballpark with Gehringer, Greenberg, etc

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When the sins of Coach Sandusky were first aired I distinctly remember Coach Joe Paterno saying he reported the incidents to the athletic director and Penn State president. Then, as you know, mouths stayed shut for quite a while. The first reports credited the coach with doing what he was supposed to.

Penn State still has the same president and the now deceased coach, his record, the school and his players are the major sufferers.

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Notice next time you see a car commercial where the vehicle is driven through a mud puddle, when you see that car again in the same sequence, it is clean.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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