Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Elegy for the Baseball Season

If nothing else it's historic: two 100-loss teams playing a baseball game against each other. The Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros will have piled up 207 losses between them when they meet today for the season finale at Wrigley Field. That's 101 losses for the Cubs vs. 106 losses for the Astros. The last time such crappiness collided was in 1962, when the NY Mets - with a still-standing MLB record of 120 losses - whiffed against the, er, Cubs (103 losses). Attendance for the game was 595 fans.

On a related note: remember Adam Greenberg, the Cubs rookie who got hit on the head by the first - and only - pitch he ever saw? The concussion he suffered in his first at-bat derailed his career. That was 2005. Flash-forward to Oct. 2, 2012. Greenberg returns to the majors. Steps to the plate. Squares off against RA Dickey, the Mets' 20-win knuckle-baller. And this is the subsequent headline: Greenberg Strikes Out 7 Years After Beaning. And this: He's Back... And He Whiffs.

A white-haired gentleman named Fred van Dusen watched from the stands and felt the pain. Greenberg, you see, wasn't the only player to have his career halted by one hit-by-pitch plate appearance. Van Dusen is the other member of the dubious club, after he got nailed as a Philadelphia Philly in 1955.

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