03/18/2005: Realizing a childhood dream...
Over at the Cardinals Birdhouse (extensively revamped now that they've aligned with the scout.com sports webpage empire), Brian Walton realizes a boyhood dream as comes face to face with boyhood hero and fellow Omaha native Bob Gibson. And in the process, we finally learn the secret behind what seemed like an annual spring ritual in Florida:
"Spring training is just too long", Gibson volunteered. He replied to the affirmative when I asked him if that was partially because todayís players are better conditioned. But, he must have counted himself among those who come ready to play. "I used to hold out in the spring. Not because I wanted more money. I did it so I could avoid having to come down here so soon. I didnít need all that time to get ready."I can empathize with Brian a bit; when I was assigned to the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois shortly after joining the Navy JAG Corps (I was awaiting orders to Naval Justice School) I got the opportunity to meet Gibson's teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Lou Brock (who was the guest of honor at NTC Great Lakes in conjunction with the boot camp graduation of the annual St. Louis Cardinals Recruit Company). It's an experience I won't soon forget.
Len on 03.18.05 @ 07:36 AM CST