Grateful Moments in Baseball History

Thanksgiving Cornucopia

Grateful Moments in Baseball History

  • 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings: Grateful that there weren’t any other teams alive in 1869 that could beat them.
  • 19th Century Baseball Historian Henry Chadwick: Grateful that SABR had not been around to invent the WAR statistic prior to his own inception of the basic game scorecard.
  • Albert Spalding: Grateful as a 19th century Hall of Fame pitcher could be that he later had the balls to become rich as any other industrial age robber baron by supplying the game with all of its equipment needs.
  • Johnny Evers: Grateful as any Chicago Cub 2nd baseman in that big 9/23/08 game at the Polo Grounds against the Giants could ever be when he noticed that runner Freddy Merkle had failed to complete his run to 2nd base on what should have been the winning hit for New York in the last of the 9th.
  • Cy Young: Grateful that his very name would become synonymous with “excellence in pitching” and that his lifetime total of 511 big league wins would be a figure that far exceeded the number of innings that most men who came after him would ever come close to pitching at baseball’s highest level of play.
  • Dickie Kerr: Grateful as any 1919 Chicago White Sox pitcher could be that he had an indomitable will to win and not a single chicken-wing bone in his body for any form of dishonesty.
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson: Grateful that he remains in the record book as a .375 hitter in the 1919 World Series for which he and seven teammates were banned in 1920 from the game for life for fixing the Series in favor of the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Babe Ruth: Grateful that he had been born with the pure and natural ability to hit a baseball so hard that he could take a bat and send a pitched ball soaring high into the faraway sky beyond the field of play in all of the two seconds it took to convert the sphere into a disappearing pea-sized object beyond the blue horizon.
  • Hank Aaron: Doubly Grateful – that racism could not stop him from moving the new modern mark for career HR by 1974 to 755– and also grateful later in the knowledge that steroids played no part in his incredible accomplishments.

And my special number (10) guy is Turkey Mike Donlin: Grateful that he died far earlier than today – and that he is most probably unable to hear the good-natured, holiday-fitting doggerel we’ve composed especially for him, on this 2015 “turkey day”. Mike, we’re also hopeful that you may be grateful to know that we love your story of trying, in spite of your forever-unhealed waltz with alcoholism. From all we can tell, you were a good man, a fine athlete, and a talented thespian. You simply couldn’t bear the weight of your compulsion and also hope to fulfill all your dreams:

Turkey Mike Donlin MLB: 1899-1914 Career BA: .333 Movies: 52, 1915-1933

Turkey Mike Donlin
MLB: 1899-1914
Career BA: .333
Movies: 52, 1915-1933

An Ode to Turkey Mike Donlin

By Bill McCurdy


He strutted like a turkey,

He gobbled like a Tom,

But when he grabbed a trusty bat,

His hitting was the bomb.


A dead ball guy a dozen years,

He got on base quite well,

And every third time he came up,

A hit would ring the bell.


But Turkey Mike had another love,

For movies and the stage,

He later moved to Hollywood,

To live his acting rage.


He stayed and made some fifty films,

But never found his star,

And his dreams crashed hard on Bacchus shores,

Drinking in an LA bar,


And then one night he went to sleep,

And never rose again,

The line ‘tween life and nevermore,

Is sometimes way too thin.


We like to think on Turkey Day,

Of Turkey Mike, the Man!

He went out chasing passion dreams;

I’ll always love the man!



















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