Source: Sherman Publications

Jim's Jottings
Tying a couple of remotes together

by Jim Sherman, Sr.

May 18, 2011

• At age 13, I was going to be the greatest baseball pitcher of all time.

• April 20 my Jottings told of my soaking my pj’s as an urge made me trickle on a windy day.

• Read on and I’ll show how I can tie these two things together.

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At 13, the coach for the Class A Owosso High Trojans put me in as his starting pitcher for three games. I won 2 and lost 1, all by 2-1 scores.

Then we moved to Morrice and the coach put me on first base. Later, married and living in Gladwin I worked out with a tavern team.

Five months later we moved to St. Johns, and my baseball career ended. But, my love of the game didn’t. I became an ardent Detroit Tiger fan and pitcher stat follower.

I know that when a pitcher has a no-hitter going in the sixth inning every player on the team, all coaches and real fans do nothing to spoil the no-hitter. Players don’t change scratching practices, batters loosen and tighten their gloves the same number of times, manager Jim Leyland did not move from the dugout railing and I stayed glued to the tube. Superstitions were heightened.

That was the scene Saturday, May 7 in Tiger Stadium as Justin Verlander was hurling his second no-hit game of his career. The Sunday Detroit News had the 3-inch headline,”Two cool!” The Detriot News-Free Press reporter for the game was Shawn Windsor.

He started the story, “In the annals of no-hitter superstition, it’s hard to imagine a more uncomfortable sacrifice than the one (Tiger catcher) Alex Avila made for his pitcher Saturday afternoon at the (Toronto) Rogers Center.

“In the sixth inning, as Justin Verlander was throwing a perfect game, Avila realized he had to use the bathroom.”

“But, I was afraid to go,” Avila admitted.

Windsor continued, “Not until some 10 minutes after the game was finished, after Verlander had completed his second no-hitter, after the team had mobbed the pitcher on the mound and doused him with a cooler of water and sprayed him with beer back in the cluhouse, after the buzz and din of a transcendent performance had faded a bit, did Avila finally get to relieve himself.”

Avila was following baseball protocol, Windsor said.

This was all on the front page of the sports section.

On pages 8 and 9 there was total coverage of “the game.”

• So, there you have my connection. I’ve loved baseball all my life, but when it comes to writing about it, Windsor and I think readers first want to read about man’s “non-absorbance” experience.

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Following is a quote from a humor book given to me by Shirley Cook: “The idea for daylight savings time came from an old Indian Chief who cut off one end of his blanket and had it sewed on the other end to make the blanket longer.”

• I hope when our grandchildren get to be my age there are inventions in daily use that they can’t understand, just as there are in mine.

• Seems like all the promotions of President’s Day have pictures of only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Guess that tells us a lot about all the presidents since then . . . none better?

• We Americans need hard-fought elections to remind us we are a democracy, as a dog should have fleas to remind him he is dog.