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October 31, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-31

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10 The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 31, 1995
SPORTING VIEWS:
National pastime's season welcomes American fans back to The Show'

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
The 1995 season showed that base-
ball is our game. There, I said it, it's out
in the open, naysayers beware.
The American Pastime reestablished
itselfasjust that: a game for all America.
The human element is stronger and
more real than anything that could per-
tain to the average citizen. Stories
abound, making the impossible realis-
tic, not superhuman. This was what
baseball needed.
Baseball touches us on a personal
level as well. Did you ever stop to think,
what would America be without base-
ball? The void created would be cata-

strophic. Baseball touches us in the
heart. American children are weaned
on baseball.
In the second grade, the fixture of
learning to read from books is driven
into almost every seven-year old, but
not my brother. He used baseball cards
as his frame of reference and he grew up
learning how Rickey Henderson stole
130 bases in 1982, and about the small-
town roots of the game. He learned
about Cooperstown and the legend of
Alexander Cartwright, baseball's cre-
ator. That is how baseball touches
America.
And America touches back with
Little League and travelling teams.

Any kid can play baseball. Just a bat,
a ball and a mitt are needed to fulfill
this dream.
Where else could a man, tormented
yesterday by the same fans that cheer
him today, be recognized as a hero?
Just four years ago, Albert Belle was
Joey Belle, the man who couldn't
control his temper, would resort to
alcohol, wouldn't run out ground balls,
and was sent to the minors because he
was uncontrollable. He worked his
way back and earned the success that
has come to him.
After changing his name and atti-
tude, Belle had one of the finest offen-
sive seasons in the last 30 years. His 50

home runs and 52 doubles made him
the first man to have over 50 of each in
the same season. Ever. Imagine that,
126 years of Major League Baseball
and a hot-head makes history.
And Belle's team, the Cleveland In-
dians, won more games in the last in-
ning than any team in baseball. What
does that say for perseverance? This
squad finished with the highest win-
ning percentage in baseball -not only,
this year, but higher than that of any
team in 41 years (coincidentally, that
was the last time the Indians were in the
World Series).
Isn't this the American dream? The
team that has been stepped on for forty

years by the rest of the league, coming
through as the best team in the game
this regular season.
The average man, Greg Maddux, is
being compared with some of the
game's greatest pitchers. His 1.63
ERA and 19-2 record will undoubt-
edly win him a record fourth consecu-
tive Cy Young Award, which certi-
fies him as one of the game's all-time
winners. He led his team to a World
Series Championship and is the ace of
the "team of the '90's." His mastery
of the corners of the plate and of
making hitters miss is unparalleled in
baseball history. The best pitchers
have always thrown hard and tried to

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