They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Why I Love Baseball So...

You've heard of a walk-off homer? It's when in baseball, bottom of the ninth or later inning, someone hits a home run resulting in a new lead by the home team. Because it is the bottom of an inning, the opposing team can't come up to bat again, so the game's over the moment the batter crosses home plate again. A walk-off home run.

But now I've got one better.

Tuesday night's news.

State girl's softball championship game. Don't know the team's or division. Bottom of the ninth, two out, two strikes. Last pitch. It's a strike. Game over. Except...

The catcher misses the ball. Batter runs towards first. Error first, ball thrown past. On to second. Throw to second bungled or maybe they can't get to the ball and throw to third. But the runner's gone. Play at the plate. Late. Game over. Championship decided.

On a walk-off strikeout.

Only in baseball.

A friend was discussing that there was more hockey to watch, musing on the game, the team's and why he cares. I posted a comment, some of which goes:
For us, it's baseball. There's no clock. There's skill. There's strategy. And in theory, you can be down 22-0 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two strikes, and still win the game.

Unless you're our beloved Cubs, where you'd come back from 22-0 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two strikes -- and fly out with bases loaded, losing 22-19.

And if you're a Cubs fan, it's the Evil Padres. (grin)
Then there's the matter of Shawon Dunston.

25 years ago tomorrow, David Cihla and some friends wanted to bring a sign to Wrigley Field, presumably for amusement and to get on TV. Thus was born the Shawon-O-Meter.
If there is one thing Shawon Dunston is distinctly remembered for, it was something a fan did for him in 1989. He was originally perplexed by it, but learned to embrace it — the “Shawon-O-Meter.” It was a man-made sign that had his batting average — .177. At first he thought it was to insult him. But the fan did it because he wanted to bring him luck, and it did. As his batting average increased, his popularity rose, like that of his teammates, Ryne Sandberg and Jody Davis. The sign became a big deal with Cubs broadcaster Harry Carey; now there's one in the Baseball Hall of Fame, another in the Smithsonian and a third in the Chicago History Museum. Hall of Famer Andre Dawson kidded his former teammate that at least his sign made it into the Hall — even if Dunston would not get there himself.
David Cihla was up in the booth tonight, where Harry Carey once held forth. He had one of the Shawon-O-Meters, explained that they had a solar powered calculator to recalculate Dunston's batting average after every at bat. One time the batting average on WGN showed one value and the Shawon-O-Meter another -- the meter was right. He was 25 then, 50 now. And we still remember.

Fitting that there's one in the Smithsonian.

Baseball. Players. Plays. Math. History.

Oh how I love baseball. Even if my team is the Cubs...

Dr. Phil
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