Cards and the Astros

Well, it was bound to happen. The Houston Astros, with their first ever post-season victory, will come to Busch Stadium Wednesday night for the second round of the playoffs. The Cardinals should be able to beat them. In fact, the Cardinals should be able to beat everybody this year. The first game as I said will be Wednesday night here in St. Louis, the same night as the third and last Presidential Debate.

Will anyone be sorry when this campaigning and election is over?

Remember my prediction from a while back? I said Bush would win with 278 electoral votes to Kerry’s 260. That’s a close race, but it could be even closer. And guess what, it could come down to Florida again! Don’t worry though, there’s lawyers from both sides already there ready to pounce on it.

I know I’ve been pretty boring lately. I’ve been watching the Baseball games and the debates and yada yada yada. If the Cardinals win the World Series, I promise I’ll be in better mood. Of course, the World Series is played right before Election Day. If the Cardinals and Bush lose, I may never get out of bed again.

Baseball and life

I was watching the 2nd game of the National League Play-offs tonight when Emily cracked, “Who could like baseball?” And when that didn’t work, she tried, “I can’t believe you like baseball better than Football.” She was trying to get me to turn the channel to E.R. and I wasn’t budging. But, that’s when it hit me, she wasn’t around during the days when I couldn’t be separated from a baseball game. She wasn’t there during the ’80′s to hear me yelling out in the middle of a grocery store, “Holy Crap!” as I listened over the headphones to Ozzie Smith steal home. She didn’t grow up in a house with Jack Buck’s voice drifting up from the radio as her dad watched the game on TV with the sound turned down. Like my father, I loved Baseball; but when the last player’s strike hit, I turned it off. Until now.

It was in the fall of 1982; I began courting Annette, and the Cardinals won the World Series. I remember the players from that team better than I remember who was at the wedding. Keith Herndadez, Tommy Herr, Ozzie Smith and Ken Oberkfell on the in-field. Lonnie Smith, George Hendrick and Willie McGee in the Outfield. Darrell Porter was behind the plate and Joaquin Andujar, Bob Forsch and Bruce Sutter were the pitchers of note.

They would play in two more World Series, once in 1985 and again in1987, losing both. Many people feel that the ’85 team was the best. But after the strike that ended the ’94 season, I just didn’t care any more. My dad has kept the faith through these years, but I confess to being a more fair-weather fan. But I’m ready now! This is a great team we expect them to go all the way and meet Joe Torre and the Yankees in the World Series.

Gordo wins the X-Prize

Gordon Cooper, last of the Mercury 7 to lift into space passed away Monday at the age of 77. He was among a group from a day gone by when the space race meant a life or death competition with the U.S.S.R. For those of you who lived through it, (I was just a kid) you may remember him as the “cocky” one. His famous line, immortalized in the book and the movie “The Right Stuff” was, when asked, “who’s the best test pilot you’ve ever met?”, he responded, “You’re lookin’ at him.”

How fitting that the day after he died, SpaceShipOne wins the $10 Million X Prize by making a 2nd trip into space, thereby (some think) launching space tourism. What’s so special about this SpaceShipOne? After all, it flew, just barely, into space and then came right back down. Gordon Cooper did that 40 years ago!

Well, again I didn’t get picked for a jury this week. They thanked us and sent us home. I don’t think they like me; I’ve reported for jury duty at least six times and I’ve been on exactly one jury. I did meet a very nice guy while there and managed to spend the better part of Monday and Tuesday with him. Though quite a bit younger than me, we never ran out of things to talk about, though most of it was Church and Bible stuff. I went to lunch with him and his wife on Monday and she was just as nice as he was. They have a baby due December 26! We exchanged emails and I hope to see them both again sometime.

The Cardinals beat up on the Dodgers this afternoon. I don’t think they’ll give us any trouble; it’s the Astros we have to look out for.

The Vice-Presidential Debates just finished and it was pretty much what I expected. Cheney was his usual staid, even toned self and Edwards came out swinging and in his closing argument, I mean statement, I felt like I was on a jury. That kind of made up for not being able to serve on a real jury so I felt better. I don’t think this debate will have any effect on the race at all, and as I mentioned in an earlier entry, the race has tightened up with Bush ahead by a few points.

Sunday Night Football

We just watched the Rams beat the 49ers on “Sunday Night Football” and the Cardinals start the first round of the play-offs this Tuesday against the Dodgers. (105 wins for the Cards this year!) My apologies to you Californians out there, but there’s always next year. If you follow football at all, we’re glad to see Kurt Warner doing so well in New York too. The Cardinals have a very good shot at the Worlds Series this year, though they’ll have to get by Houston, who just swept three games from us last week on their way to clinching the wild-card spot. This really is an historic team this year and the hitting in the line-up is just awesome. Anything can happen in a 5-game series though.

I report for Jury Duty tomorrow to the Civil Courts Building in Downtown St. Louis. The building has been recently renovated much to my dismay. I really loved the old building with its gigantic ceilings and light fixtures left over from a different time. I love to take a Robert Heilein book to read, because the Courts building always reminds me of the settings of his fiction. I’ll take either Revolt in 2100, published in1940, or Beyond This Horizon, published in 1948. I think I’ve read each of those books several times now, and I look forward to reading them again.

I’m going to try to liquidate my comic book collection. Well, some of my comic book collection. I’ve separated them into three piles. There’s a pile of about 200 that I’m keeping because I like them, and there’s a pile of about 100 that I have no attachment to nor are they worth anything. That pile is reprints mostly. Then there’s the pile of about 600 that, one way or the other, I’m going to liquidate. I’ve posted a few of them on Ebay just to get started; see if anyone bites. I’ve received a good bid on one of them already. These are all Marvel Comic Books ranging in dates from about 1960 to 1980. There all worth anywhere from $1.00 to $10.00 each. The ones I’m keeping include some that I paid good money or traded other valuable issues for. When the movie, “The Punisher” came out in 1989, I traded a Spider-Man with the Punisher’s first appearance in it for a small pile of very old Journey Into Mysterys, which is the title that Thor first appeared in. I’m keeping all of my Thors and Daredevils.

Getting back to normal

I’m slowly getting back to normal. It’s been a whirlwind month so far. Pretty much non-stop since the 1st. But, now I’m back to work and back to church and back to whatever else I was doing or supposed to be doing.

What am I doing?

Well us St. Louisans are ready for a World Series. We have possibly one of the best Cardinal teams in history. The 1985 Cardinals were in this category too. They lost the Series to the Royals that year. This year it’ll be the Yankees of course. The Cardinals are the only team that Joe Torre used to manage that he hasn’t beaten in a World Series. He’ll be disappointed this year.

I was just looking at Stats from 1985. Vince Coleman was earning $50,000 a year! In 1994, his last good year, he earned $ 3,312,500! He didn’t play in the ’85 series because he was run over by a tarp. Here’s an exerpt from the Baseball Library:

With light rain falling on the field, the Busch Stadium grounds crew
prepared to roll up the electronically-operated tarp that covered the Astroturf
surface during pre-game warm-ups. Unfortunately, the men didn’t notice that
Coleman was standing on the first base side of the tarp. Before Coleman knew
what happened, the cylinder rolled over his left knee and up his leg. He
screamed for help but was trapped for thirty seconds before assistance