Thursday, February 3, 2011

Countdown to Opening Day, by the Numbers...#3

I'm getting baseball fever.

Bought my 1st baseball magazine yesterday, the Sporting News, which I buy every year, as I have, for 35 years.

I'm really looking forward to today's baseball countdown, the #3.

The #3 is one half of an inning, 3 up, 3 down.

3 is the change-up,  the 3-bagger...the triple..."he's going for 3."

#3 is baseball lore, the Sultan of Swat, The Great Bambino, George Herman "Babe" Ruth.    

 #3 is Orioles manager Earl Weaver looking for that game winning 3-run home run.

#3 is the middle of the order, the 3 sluggers who power the offense.

#3 when keeping score...1st base, grounding out, third to first, in the scorecard, GO, 5-3.

#3 is the methodical, sure hands of Tigers Gold Glove shortstop Alan Trammell, and the power of the Atlanta Braves Dale Murphy, who has the honor of being the only #3 the Colorado Rockies have ever had, in 1993.

The #3 is Steve Sax, of the Dodgers, who, upon arriving in New York to play for the Yankees didn't know why he couldn't wear #3....uh, Steve, that was Babe Ruth's number.

#3 is three strikes...yer out!...maybe you were struck out by the Cubs Mordecai "Three Fingered" Brown.

3 is how many home runs my hero, Bill Freehan, hit in a game against the Red Sox, at Fenway Park, in 1971. I was listening on the radio, in the back of my uncle's car, on the way to playing baseball.

#3 is the sweet swing of Harold Baines, who wore #3 for the White Sox...3 times.

Baines #3 was retired by the ChiSox in 1989, even though he was still an active player with the Texas Rangers.

#3 is the power of Alex Rodriguez, a 3 time A.L. MVP winner, and the Killer, Harmon Killebrew, who won 3 HR titles in a row, in 1962-63-64.


#3 is hard nosed 2nd sacker Dick McAuliffe of the Tigers, and outfielder Brian Jordan of the St.Louis Cardinals...when he wasn't playing football.

Bill Terry, the New York Giants Hall of Fame 1st baseman wore #3, as did the Cleveland Indians Earl Averill while he was patrolling the outfield in the mammoth "mistake by the lake," Munincipal Stadium.

3 is the number of MVP'S for Yankee greats Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle.

3 is for the three straight World Series of the "Swinging A's" of Oakland in 1972-73-74.

#3 is how many HRS Yankee right fielder Reggie Jackson hit in Game 6 of the 1977 World 3 different Dodger got it...3 pitches.

#3 is the Cardinals Frankie Frisch, Chuck Klein of the Phillies, and Ducky Medwick, the last Triple Crown winner in the National League, for the Cardinals in 1937.

Double XX, Jimmie Foxx, wore #3, as did Black Mike, Mickey Cochrane, for the A's and the Tigers.

#3 is "Scrap Iron," Phil Garner of the '79 Pirates, and Bud Harrelson, the Mets shortstop who fought the Reds Pete Rose in the 1973 N.L. Playoffs.

3 is the number of Cy Young Awards for Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers, and Jim Palmer of the Orioles, and for future HOFer Pedro Martinez, with the Expos and Red Sox.

Three is for 3 straight RBI titles for "Big Daddy" Cecil Fielder, who drove in more runs than any other American League player in 1990-91-92.

3 is the number of N.L. East titles for the Pirates, 1971-72-73, and the 1976-77-78 Phillies, and the Pirates again, 3 in a row in 1990-91-92.

Well, that's 3 in the book, #'s 1-2-3 in our countdown to Opening Day.

I'm sure I forgot something, or someone, so leave a comment on your 3s in bog league baseball.

Tomorrow is the number four, #4, four baggers, 4 balls, and the players who have hit 4 HRS in a game.

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