Tuesday, July 08, 2008

An All Star Game and Old Timers Game All In One

Years ago, Josh Hamilton promised an old high school coach, Clay Council, that if he was ever invited to the home run derby, he'd take the coach with him to be his personal pitcher. Of course, Hamilton was also really, really high at the time. But Hamilton is a man of his word, and so it will be Council who is lobbing pitches to Hamilton during the derby. Did I mention that Council is 71 years old? Seventy-one. When I'm that age, I just hope that I can still operate the remote control on my virtual reality fantasy simulator, and yet this guy is still able to toss it around with the kids. That's impressive. Council has been throwing batting practice in North Carolina for over 30 years- which is just about as long as Trevor Hoffman has been doing the same thing in San Diego.

The All-Star game will be held at Yankee Stadium in honor of the Stadium's final season. Council has been at the stadium once before:

It will be the second visit for Council to Yankee Stadium -- he said the only other game he saw at the venerable ballpark came as a teenager when he watched Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

I have to admit, that's a pretty cool backstory. The next time Council is tossing the ball around with high school kids, he'll be able to talk about his two visits to the House that Ruth Built. Once, when a pitcher threw the only perfect game in World Series history; and once, when Chris Berman yelled, "back, back, back...gone!" after every home run swing.

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At Sat Jul 12, 04:58:00 PM PDT , Anonymous jason said...

A great story for now, not so great fifteen years from now when Clay is in the old folks home. "I remember the time I pitched at the All Star game. I threw okay, but not so good as the time I saw ol' Don Larsen throw a perfect game."

"That's nice old man. Now take your pills and Babe Ruth will come along and feed you some applesauce."


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