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Showing posts from February 19, 2006

Oliver Twist

Though he probably won't get within a runaway No. 7 trainride of Shea Stadium, I like that Darren Oliver is in Mets camp, trying to make the team as a lefty specialist. I like the attitude that comes with someone who has made more than $27 million in his career saying he emerged from retirement because he wants a championship ring (see NY Daily News story from a few days ago). I also like that he reminds me of the Mets walk-off that took place on August 22, 1999.

There are little bits of minutiae that I seem to recall from each of my frequent trips to Shea Stadium. From this contest, there is much to remember.

I remember the game's beginning distinctly, more than anything, because I missed it. It's rare that I arrive at the Flushing ballpark late, as even though my trip is a lengthy one, I always afford myself plenty of time for the journey. Whatever the reason was, for this game, a doubleheader, between the Mets and Cardinals, my dad and I were a smidge slow getting out of …

Charles in Charge

I watched an auto race yesterday as part of my job, supposedly it was an important one, though I wouldn't know any better because that's not a sport I follow. Apparently hundreds of thousands of people gather in this section of Florida, one that's better known for this big event than for the former Met who was born there.

The story of Daytona Beach native Ed Charles is one of perseverance, dedication, and yes, walk-offs. Born in 1933, Charles signed with the Boston Braves in 1952, after they spotted him playing semi-pro ball, but since he was a third baseman for a team that had Eddie Mathews manning the position, Charles got stuck in the minor leagues. There's more to the story, as described in Maury Allen's book "After the Miracle" as Charles believed there was a quota for black players in the Braves organization and he didn't make the roster because of it.

The Braves traded Charles to the Kansas City Athletics in December 1961 and his career began the…