Earl Averill, Jr., RIP: The streaking man

Earl Averill, Jr., who shared his father's intelligence but did what no Hall of Famer has done yet.

Earl Averill, Jr., who shared his father’s intelligence but did what no Hall of Famer has done yet.

No, silly, the son of the Hall of Fame outfielder did not shoot across the field with nothing on but the stadium public address system. But Earl Averill, Jr.—an outfielder-catcher who died 13 May at 83 in Tacoma, Washington—accomplished something in 1962 that neither his father nor any Hall of Famer managed to do.

The former Freak just roots, stays prepared . . . and waits

Lincecum roots his Giants on and stays ready for . . .

Lincecum roots his Giants on and stays ready for . . .

Madison Bumgarner is hogging the headlines around the San Francisco Giants these days. Particularly after he dominated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game One of the National League Championship Series Saturday. (Though he got away with a rather obvious balk in the seventh that should have meant a run for the Cardinals.)

A small truckload of aces fell earlier and more often in this postseason, Clayton Kershaw especially, and Bumgarner himself out-dueled an ailing Adam Wainwright among those aces. And lurking amidst the hungering Giants is another former ace.

A neglected golden anniversary: the punch that flattened Bo Belinsky

Bo Belinsky, the devilish Angel . . .

Bo Belinsky, the devilish Angel . . .

No, I didn’t think the 25th anniversary of Pete Rose’s banishment from baseball could possibly go unnoticed, unremarked, and unanalysed, either. The notices, remarks, and analyses seem infinite even a day after the actual anniversary.

Some of them are interesting, some of them are boilerplate, and now and then you bump into one that scores the way Rose once scored runs: unequivocal, a shade on the merciless side, a shade on the side of straining to understand, but unapologetic about the proper conclusion that, for all the time that’s passed, Rose hasn’t exactly earned reinstatement to baseball.

Boys Will Be Boys

Roger Clemens gets off the hook on a perjury rap because either the House Committee for the Sending of Swell Messages to Kids, the actual prosecution, or the original Mitchell Report bungled its way across the sticky wickets of actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances. It induces something of a giant sucking yawn, with only an occasional bleat against putting the Rocket into the Hall of Fame.

"Yeah, Baby! Believe It!"

As I suspect was the case for numerous Met fans—since the day they were born or otherwise—it took me over a week to process that what seemed so long impossible finally happened. It took a mere 8,119 games before a Met threw a no-hitter. And it couldn’t have been thrown by a nicer guy except, maybe, for Tom Seaver. Who just so happens to have lost one of the seemingly infinite Met no-hit bids when Jimmy Qualls, bearing no other reason for fame, broke up his bid in 1969.

A Devilish Angel

Fifty years ago, a rakish, flaky, and talented lefthanded pitcher, who thought he’d reached his final end in the Baltimore Orioles organisation, sat at his parents’ home in Trenton, New Jersey. He’d just returned from pitching winter ball in Venezuela, helping lead his team to the playoffs. Now, he pondered a meager, minimum-salary contract offer from the Los Angeles Angels, who’d plucked him from the Baltimore Orioles organisation in a minor league draft the previous November.