Daily Dirt: From ‘There’s no crying in baseball’ to Willie Mays Hayes, it’s that time of the year


Wesley Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes in "Major League"

Daily Dirt for Feb. 1, 2022

Today is a cause for celebration. It’s a major milestone for The Daily Dirt … welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 200.

1. Welcome to February, and baseball season is right around the corner.

Yes, yes, yes … the labor dispute will be settled soon and the players will be back on the field. To get in the mood for the upcoming runs, hits and errors, let’s watch some baseball movies. Here are my suggestions to help us all stay warm on these chilly February evenings:

Best baseball film of the 1940s: “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942). The life and career of Lou Gehrig, played by Gary Cooper. Babe Ruth appears in movie as himself.

Best baseball film of the 1950s: There’s a number to choose from, but I lean toward “The Winning Team” (1953), the story of Grover Cleveland Alexander, starring Ronald Reagan. (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: “Damn Yankees” is the correct answer here. JRG)

Best baseball film of the 1960s: Actually, not much to choose from in this decade. “Safe at Home,” featuring Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, is probably the best of an extremely thin lot.

Best baseball film of the 1970s: “Bang the Drum Slowly” (1973), featuring Robert DeNiro as a catcher with terminal cancer. (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Steve is right (for once), but “The Bad News Bears” deserves a shout out here. JRG)

Best baseball film of the 1980s: Arguably the best decade of them all. I have to list four films from this 10-year period in a dead heat: “Bull Durham” (1988), “Eight Men Out” (1988), “Field of Dreams” (1989) and “Major League” (1989) are all certified classics. These four films need no introduction, but let me remind you “Bull Durham” gave us Annie Savoy, “Eight Men Out” provided a new look at the Black Sox scandal, “Field of Dreams” introduced us to Moonlight Graham and “Major League” … well, “Major League” gave us Willie Mays Hayes. (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: FOR THE LOVE OF…HOW DO YOU NOT MENTION “THE NATURAL”??? JRG)

Best baseball film of the 1990s: “A League of Their Own” (1992), the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. This is the movie Tom Hanks uttered the famous line, “There’s no crying in baseball”.

Best baseball film since 2000: “61*” (2001), the Billy Crystal film that seems to add more fans by each passing year. (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: “MONEYBALL” is the correct answer here, followed by “42”. JRG)

2. We’re calling this new addition to The Daily Dirt simply “Stacey Says”.

Stacey O’Brien is one of my favorite Facebook posters, not to mention a longtime friend. I’ll think you’ll enjoy her wit and wisdom:

  • “It turns out that when you’re asked who your favorite child is, you’re expected to pick from your own. I know that now.”
  • “I’m at the age now where I can do a daytime activity or a night-time activity, but I can’t, under any circumstances, do both.”
  • “I just want you to know that whatever you’re going through, being a little bitch about it isn’t going to help.”
  • “Absentmindedly called by boss “babe” today, so I need to leave town and start a new life”.

3. Here are three more interesting license plates I’ve come across the past few days in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri:

Gold medal: JOE ZOE 2. Likely a husband and wife. I simply like the way it looks on a plate.

Silver medal: NET BUG. Probably a big user of the internet, or an entomologist.

Bronze medal: CPYCAT. Simple, yet worthy of a smile.

Steve Fact O’ The Day — If Steve had been worked as a cowhand in a previous life, he thinks his name would have likely been “Sheb”.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. His cowhand name would’ve been “Shemp”.

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