Skip to main content

Conn Job

So I spent nearly four hours Wednesday, prior to the ballgame, at the John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh's version of the Smithsonian Institution, combined with the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

While there, I learned about, among other things, Lewis & Clark, the history of ketchup, and the story of former light-heavyweight champion/Pittsburgh sports hero Billy "The Pittsburgh Kid" Conn.

Conn's story is a tale of woe, one in which he got the opportunity to fight then-heavyweight champ Joe Louis, and had the bout won, until he got greedy, went for the knockout punch, and got staggered by Louis to the point of crushing defeat.

That could have been the tale of Wednesday's Mets game (thank you Aaron Sele/where the hell are you, Pedro Feliciano?), one of the weirder games I've witnessed this season. From this game, I'll sing praises for Moises Alou and Jorge Sosa, laud the good fortune the Mets got on a ninth-inning error that led to the night's second five-run uprising, and praise the defensive work of Carlos Beltran who made one really nice catch by accident, as well as a potential game-preserver in the ninth inning. Among my other recollections.

* Pittsburgh could use a subway system that drops you off at the ballpark, a la the No. 7 train. It took an hour for the hotel shuttle to make our trip, for what normally should be a 25-minute-or-so ride. On our way, we had to drop a few other guests off at The Melting Pot, an apt name for this Mets team and also that of a fine fondue-serving restaurant in town. I'm not a fonduer (?) by nature, but if you're in Pittsburgh and like food dipped in cheese, apparently it's worth checking out.

* Speaking of food, I forgot on Tuesday to mention the best ballpark buy, a $5 hunk of fudge that could easily have served two, but in this case was quite satisfactory for solo dining. Definitely gonna give that another go on Thursday.

* Sat next to two baseball-savvy teens who informed me that the Pirates have quite the cool eight-pack ticket option. Not only do you get to choose your dates of games, but you get 10 games for the price of eight. Unfortunately, the hidden cost is that your team has to finish under .500 for 15 straight years for such a deal to become viable.

* These folks also informed me that Moises Alou has been one of the great Pirates-killers and they were not mistaken. If Alou plays Thursday that will give him 162 games (a full season equivalent) against the Pirates. He has a .318 batting average, 27 home runs, and 111 RBI against Pittsburgh. And did you know, Moises Alou had his first career walk-off hit against the Pirates, a 14th-inning grand slam against Roger Mason on September 23, 1992.

* Today's objects of derision, besides Pirates ownership and management, were Jason Bay and Ronny Paulino, who were a combined 1-for-8, and at least to Pirates fans, looked totally lost for the first eight innings. There's talk of Paulino being traded to the Mets this offseason. I get the feeling that Pirates fans would be thrilled.

Those truly conned by the Mets know...The reason that Heinz is listed as having "57" varieties is because company owners liked the number, not because it actually represents anything ... Lewis and Clark, at the urging of Thomas Jefferson, began their westward expedition (one repeated by the Rooney family, which owns the Steelers, a few years ago) in Pittsburgh ... Billy Conn actually fought Joe Louis twice for the championship, the second time losing by knockout in eight rounds, in the first televised heavyweight title fight.


Anonymous said…
Conn was a nice fighter, but a lot of blown-up light heavyweights had their problems when they faced a legendary champion a second time (see Roland LaStarza, second fight vs. Rocky Marciano; Floyd Patterson in both Ali fights; etc.)
Of course the worst effort by a light heavyweight taking on a heavy was Felix Millan picking on Ed Ott.

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls Profess

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13