The name of this blog is dedicated to my mother. Back in little league, my mother used to stand back behind home plate and give me that one, simple batting instruction: "get the bat off of your shoulder!"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thank You, Gary

I always enjoyed watching Gary Carter play baseball. He clearly loved every minute of it.

In 1986, when not only did the Angels win the AL West, but Houston took the NL West, I could not be happier. And when Game 5 was on TV, ex-Angel Nolan Ryan on the mound, I felt on top of the world and confident it would be an Angels-Astros World Series. 

Nolan Ryan was almost perfect that afternoon,but so was Doc Gooden. When they pulled Ryan in the top of the 10th for a pinch hitter, I couldn't really blame Lanier. Even with 2 outs and bases empty, I still thought, if this works, I'll forgive it. Terry Puhl did get a hit, heck he even stole second off you! But nothing came of it and that was the last hit the Astros managed.

A couple more 1-2-3 innings, and bottom of the 12th sees Wally Backman reach base, a failed pickoff and he's down at second... oh the shame. Then you come up, you slap that single out there, clean beautiful stroke of a single, scoring Backman, winning the game and basically putting the nail in the Houston balloon.
I know everyone loves a walk-off home run, but that single that afternoon was so perfect I could only admire you for it.

I will miss you Gary, thanks for the great memories! 

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