Thursday, January 19, 2017

EXTRA: Just a thought – would you rather be Hank Aaron, or Bob Gibson?

Pure political nonsense and trivia to spew as we work our way through these final hours before a presidential transition many of us are dreading.
Obama a political Hank Aaron?

We’re going from President Number 44 to Number 45. A fact that does amuse some people with a baseball mindset.

FOR BARACK OBAMA is Number 44, which makes some think of ballplayers who bore the double-4 on their uniform backs. As in double-cleanup hitter.

A number with such aura that Reggie Jackson wore it with the New York Yankees and can’t say he’s the biggest star to bear it.

That would be either Hank Aaron or Willie McCovey (another reason why its perfect that Obama granted the one-time San Francisco Giants star a pardon earlier this week).

So does that make Hammerin’ Hank the political equivalent of the calmness and coolness of Obama? The sophistication and aura that he portrayed politically equates Aaron’s stints with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves?

OBAMA GOT THE baseball number with quite a punch.

So what does that make for President Number 45. Who does Trump get to claim for his image?

Looking at the website (which actually keeps track of so many minute details), there have been some 558 ballplayers who bore the Number 45 on their uniform jerseys.
Does Trump have Gibson-like brushback?

Listing literally from Don Aase (I remember him pitching when I was a kid for the California Angels, but he bounced around several different teams) to Oscar Zamora of the Chicago Cubs back in the mid-1970s.

I EVEN REMEMBER the Number 45 on the back of Bobby Jenks during that short stint he was the ultimate big and tall relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox when they won the 2005 World Series. Not bad. But also not as intimidating.

None of these people equate with Aaron. Until you stumble across the St. Louis Cardinals, which retired jersey Number 45 for pitcher Bob Gibson.
He may be Mr. Baseball, but he's NOT Mr. 44

Is he now the baseball image we’ll have to conjure up when we think of Donald Trump? That of a tough competitor who had a reputation of being willing to throw at hitters to try to intimidate them.

Which may account for the .215 batting average with only 8 of his 755 home runs that Aaron achieved against Gibson in some 163 career at bats.

BUT IT WAS another pitcher with a “headhunter” reputation off whom Aaron managed to hit the most home runs – 17 against Don Drysdale of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (for the record, he was Number 53).
Obama's baseball card; where's Trump's?

I’m also sure the fans who saw those home runs being hit recall them with a sense of delight – as opposed to just another strikeout or whatever at-bat in which the pitcher prevailed.

Just as I’m sure the sense of hope and inspiration that the Obama years brought to this country will not be matched by the sense of trepidation that many have these days about the uncertainly of what direction our nation is headed in these coming years.

As in the Affordable Care Act equating a Home Run! While its’ repeal being little more than the equivalent of a rally-killing strikeout.


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