With pitchers and catchers reporting to training camps in Arizona and Florida, the 2017 Major League Baseball season is once again upon us.
For fans of the 30 clubs across the country, there is hope that sometime in late October or early November that their team will hoist the World Series trophy.
None of them – including fans of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs – will celebrate better than these Cubs fans did.
BASEBALL’S BEST PITCH CATCH MAN
Because he had a unique perspective on all things baseball and sometimes life – “Baseball is 90 percent mental; the other half is physical” … “It’s déjà vu all over again” … “When you come to the fork in the road, take it” … “No one goes there anymore; it’s too crowded” … “Pie à la Mode, with ice cream” … “You can observe a lot by watching” … “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” – there will probably never be a better
Madison Avenue pitchman than the late Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra.
YOGI FOR MILLER LITE
Notice the actor behind Yogi in this commercial for Miller Lite? That’s Jason Alexander, who would later play the assistant to the traveling secretary of the New York Yankees, George Costanza, in the comedy “Seinfeld” and go head-to-head with owner George Steinbrenner as Yogi did.
YOGI FOR YOO-HOO
Yogi once was a vice president and owned stock in the company that made the soft drink Yoo-Hoo. He appeared in a series of commercials for the drink and also got some of his teammates to endorse it. During intermissions at drive-in theatres, we wouldn’t go to the snack shed until a cartoon featuring a shuffling baseball player with Yogi’s head superimposed over it played out.
YOGI FOR AFLAC
Comedian Groucho Marx sometimes played second fiddle to the duck that appeared whenever someone spoke the secret word on his television quiz show, “You Bet Your Life.” However, the Aflac duck didn’t have an answer to some of Yogi’s logic in this classic commercial that was filmed at his hometown barbershop in New Jersey:
NOBODY SUNG IT BETTER
Carly Simon, who sang “Nobody Does it Better” in the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me,” can sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” anytime or anywhere. Sorry, Harry.
GO, CUBS, GO
Singer/songwriter Steve Goodman never got to see his beloved Cubs win the World Series, passing at the age of 36 during the team’s magical 1984 season when they clinched the Eastern Division title, their first pennant since the 1945 season. His “Go, Cubs, Go” has become the team’s anthem.
MEET THE METS
New York City was without a National League team after the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants left for Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, following the 1957 season, leaving New York to the Yankees. But soon, MLB awarded an N.L. franchise to New York to be known as the Metropolitans, later shortened to the Mets. The team’s first season was in 1962 at the old Polo Grounds and their primary colors – blue and orange – came from the Dodgers and Giants, respectively. The team already had a song written by Ruth Roberts and Bill Katz.
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE (BASEBALL) THINGS
4. NEW YORK METS WIN 1969 WORLD SERIES
The Amazin’ Mets become The Miracle Mets:
3. TAMPA BAY RAYS WIN 2008 A.L. PENNANT
On Oct. 19, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the Rays completely exorcise the “Devil” of their past:
2. CUBS WIN FIRST WORLD SERIES SINCE 1908
On Nov. 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Pat Hughes has the radio call on Cubs station WSCR:
1. ROGER MARIS 61st HOME RUN
With “The Old Redhead,” Red Barber, making the call for WPIX-Ch. 11 on Oct. 1, 1961 at Yankee Stadium: