The sky’s a little bluer today, the pastries a bit tastier and visions of 90-foot baselines are dancing through my head … Welcome to today’s three thoughts and Vol. 235 of The Daily Dirt.
1. Yes, baseball is back.
Spring training games start later this week and the season openers are right around the corner on April 7. With that in mind, here are some thoughts that are currently running through my mind on this marvelous March day:
- The anticipation of Opening Day.
- The magnificence of Fernando Tatis Jr.
- Box scores.
- The perfectly manicured fields.
- Baseball statistics. No other sport compares.
- Spring training.
- Baseball cards, especially the classic models of the 1960s.
- 162 games. Repeat — one hundred and sixty-two games.
- The Green Monster.
- Best baseball nicknames in today’s game: El Nino (Tatis), Bringer of Rain (Josh Donaldson), Polar Bear (Pete Alonso), Thor (Noah Syndergaard), Sho Time (Shohei Ohtani), Nelson Cruz (Boomstick), All Rise (Aaron Judge), Kung Fu Panda (Pablo Sandoval)
- Baseball values its history, much more so than any other sport. And that’s no exaggeration.
- Birds on a bat.
- Trade deadlines
- An interwoven “STL”, “NY”, “LA” or “SF” on a cap.
- “Field of Dreams”.
- “Bull Durham”.
- The importance of Jackie Robinson, the class of Hank Aaron, the smile of Francisco Lindor, the legend of Babe Ruth.
2. First of all, I love former NBA gentle giant Shaquille O’Neal.
He’s a funny guy, seems to have a great personality, etc. But does he have to be in virtually every TV commercial on every channel?
3. I doubt if there are many people on this planet who do not of legendary pro wrestler, the late and oh-so-great Andre the Giant.
We recently passed the 29th anniversary of the passing of The Giant, who died of heart failure at age 46 in while visiting his mother outside of Paris in 1993. Andre was a native of France. The menytalfloss.com website recently featured a look back at this marvelous personality, who was as fun-loving as he was huge. he are a few of the highlights of that piece on The Giant:
- He was billed as 7-foot-4, but was actually “only” 6-9 3/4. He weighed as much as 560 pounds.
- He was born Andre Rene Roussimoff.
- Obviously, Andre needed custom-made clothing, including dress shirts because of his 71-inch chest. His shirts were custom-made in Montreal and Japan.
- Even the hangers for his clothing had to be custom-made, bu a friend who ran a dry cleaning company in North Carolina.
- Two of his best friends were Wilt Chamberlain and Arnold Schwarzenneger.
- He once played Bigfoot in a two-part series of ABC’s “The Six Million Dollar Man”.’
- In his latter years, Andre wore a back brace in his signature black singlet.
- Andre’s fingers were about three times the size of an average man’s fingers.
- Andre enjoyed farting on his opponents. Opponent Jake “The Snake” Roberts was victimized by one of The Giant’s famous forces of flatulence. “This went on for like 30 seconds,” Roberts said. “Giants fart extremely long periods of time.”
- When he wasn’t wrestling, he spent most of his time at his ranch in North Carolina. He was a big fan of QVC, the home-shopping TV network.
- One opposing wrestler who “really annoyed” The Giant was Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who liked to cover himself with baby oil before he wrestler. Andre did not appreciate that.
- Andre’s abilities to eat and drink were legendary. He once consumed 121 steaks and 15 lobsters during a single meal.
- He was the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1993.
Andre’s size was the result of acromegaly. He was 23 when Japanese doctors that he had it, but The Giant declined any surgeries. He was told at the time his life expectancy was about 40. He made it to 46.
Steve Thought O’ The Day — Never in all the years that Steve played baseball growing up did he manage to hit a curveball. Not once.
Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Now that baseball is back, we can let him be close to sharp objects and cliffs again.
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