Friday, September 14, 2012

Sports heroes then and now


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH
Express Staff Writer

I arrived in Washington, D.C., in the winter of 1956 to attend my golden high school years. I was excited because I’d never lived in a town that had a professional baseball team—the Washington Senators—and a professional football team—the Washington Redskins. From the spring of 1957 to the winter of 1959, I listened to virtually every game on radio. During that time, I broke four radios and threw three out the window. My teen years hardened me for life, and I was able to get through the worst times by merely remembering the futility of these teams.
    The Washington Senators finished in last place in the American League throughout my high school years, losing 99, 93 and 91 games in succession. I was first drawn to the Senators because they had a center fielder named Albie Pearson who was shorter than me. Here was a diminutive man that made the Major Leagues. He gave me hope. Of course, while with the Senators, he never hit his weight. Cookie Lavagetto was the manager and Roy Sievers was the big hitter, while Eddie Yost used to get a walk every game, apparently because he was deathly afraid of the ball. In 1959, the Senators added Harmon Killebrew, Jim Lemon and Bob Allison, each of whom pounded out more than 30 home runs. They still finished last and the next year moved to Minnesota.
    The Washington Redskins ran off three seasons in which they finished 6-6, 4-7-1 and 3-9. Once again, I was sparked by a little man, quarterback Eddie Lebaron, another guy I towered over. Eddie’s problem was that he couldn’t see over the onrushing linemen of the opposing teams, thus creating the dismal records of his career. Joe Kuharich was the coach and was notable because he possessed absolutely no charisma and was hated throughout the metropolitan area. Don Bosseler was the big ball carrier and averaged a little over 600 yards a season.
    Now look at them! The Washington Nationals lead the league with the best record in baseball and how about those ’skins? Rookie sensation Robert Griffin the Third (RG3) threw for 320 yards in his first game. They actually looked great! Sure, now. If I had those teams when I was growing up, there’s no telling what a difference it would have made in my life. I blame everything on them. As a celebration tonight of those horrid teams of my puberty, I plan to throw my television out the front picture window right next to my neighbor’s living room set tonight.
    It’s just not fair! Nice talking to you.


Mr. Millspaugh still lives in a log cabin.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads





Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.