A Most Tragic Figure in American Sports Has Passed

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Barry
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A Most Tragic Figure in American Sports Has Passed

Post by Barry » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:18 am

Gene Mauch has died at the age of 79.

He was a long-time manager of various major league teams, including the Phillies, Expos, and Angels.

The tragedy comes in with Mauch having been the manager for two of the biggest collapses in baseball history.

In 1964, his Phils blew a six game lead with something like 10 or 12 games left to play in the season. I was conceived around that time and I still don't know how my father could focus on anything in the midst of that horror.

Then in 1986, his Angels were one strike away from winning the pennant when his pitcher gave up a home run that cost them the game, and eventually the series (incidentally, talk about tragedy, that Angels pitcher never got over that and eventually committed suicide).

Alas, Mauch never made it to the World Series.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:33 am

Mauch is a well-known figure around here. I remember that Angels game, which occurred after his years at the helm in Montreal. The announcer said, "you gotta feel for that man," after that last slip at the threshold of a lifelong dream.

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:52 am

I never heard of him and appreciate the information.

That someone would commit suicide over a lost game is totally beyond my comprehension.

I and colleagues have lost cases with results that terribly impact clients' lives and some of my friends have lost death sentence appeals. Never heard of someone killing him/herself over that.
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:10 pm

Ralph wrote:I never heard of him and appreciate the information.

That someone would commit suicide over a lost game is totally beyond my comprehension.

I and colleagues have lost cases with results that terribly impact clients' lives and some of my friends have lost death sentence appeals. Never heard of someone killing him/herself over that.
I'm sure he had problems beyond just that game (I think Donnie Moore was the guy's name). But I recall seeing a documentary on it a while back which led one to believe that his life started spiraling downward after that game. He became an alcoholic, etc. So the game probably started the ball rolling in the wrong direction for him.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by John Bleau » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:31 pm

I understand the pitcher's (Donny Moore) suicide, though I wouldn't opt for it under the same circumstances (on the surface - I'm not factoring in the mental problems this person allegedly suffered). The pitcher blows a save that will get not only him, but his entire team and his manager who has been dreaming of it all his life, into the WS. This is the essence of the meaning of competition in pro baseball - it is a goal to which people devote their lives to attaining and toward which they and others who depend on them are willing to play through severe pain and make herculaen efforts against others willing to do the same to achieve.

In comparing this to you (or your colleagues), are you implying that you essentially blew an otherwise successful year-long team effort, where you had to seal a nearly done deal, the most important and meaningful by far in your entire career and that of 35 others like you?

Ralph Branca faced a similar situation and was disconsolate when he gave up Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world," knowing he'd have to carry that weight for the rest of his life. His priest gave him comforting words when he said that God allowed this misfortune to befall him, because God knew he had shoulders broad enough to carry it.

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Post by Barry » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:41 pm

John Bleau wrote: Ralph Branca faced a similar situation and was disconsolate when he gave up Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world," knowing he'd have to carry that weight for the rest of his life. His priest gave him comforting words when he said that God allowed this misfortune to befall him, because God knew he had shoulders broad enough to carry it.
Not only did Branca move on with his life, but I believe he and Bobby Thomson have become life-long friends. I recall reading about this in Dick Schapp's autobiography. He would take the two of them out to dinner at his favorite restaurant every year.

And I understand and probably agree with your point, John. It's bad enough to blow something so big for yourself, but to blow it for so many colleagues who were counting on you had to have been just devastating. Not that he should have killed himself, but I don't think it's beyond comprehension that he did.

We have our own version of Branca and Moore in Philly. Mitch Williams gave up the home run to Joe Carter that won the 1993 world series for the Blue Jays. Williams seems to have moved on fairly nicely. I think he owns a bowling alley, and he pops up ocassionally at various local sports-related functions. He always seems to be a fairly happy fellow whenever I see him interviewed (although truth be told, I'm still pissed at Jim Frugosi for putting him in the game!!!......I think most Philadelphians blame Frugosi for making the decision, rather than Williams for throwing the pitch).
Last edited by Barry on Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:43 pm

John Bleau wrote:I understand the pitcher's (Donny Moore) suicide, though I wouldn't opt for it under the same circumstances (on the surface - I'm not factoring in the mental problems this person allegedly suffered). The pitcher blows a save that will get not only him, but his entire team and his manager who has been dreaming of it all his life, into the WS. This is the essence of the meaning of competition in pro baseball - it is a goal to which people devote their lives to attaining and toward which they and others who depend on them are willing to play through severe pain and make herculaen efforts against others willing to do the same to achieve.

In comparing this to you (or your colleagues), are you implying that you essentially blew an otherwise successful year-long team effort, where you had to seal a nearly done deal, the most important and meaningful by far in your entire career and that of 35 others like you?

Ralph Branca faced a similar situation and was disconsolate when he gave up Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world," knowing he'd have to carry that weight for the rest of his life. His priest gave him comforting words when he said that God allowed this misfortune to befall him, because God knew he had shoulders broad enough to carry it.
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John,

I simply don't understand the obsession with sports by either participants or fans. But that's from someone who never had the slightest interest in any sports.

And, incidentally, I never comprehended Vatel's suicide either.
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Post by John Bleau » Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:02 pm

Ah, Barry, with Toronto's success, there was happiness in the land...

Ralph, it doesn't take an understanding of sports to understand human disillusionment. Moore's suicide might have been reflective of a social sensitivity beyond that of most of us. And as long as we have whipped cream, Vatel's suicide was not in vain.

P.S., did you notice your use of the word 'understand' re sports and 'comprehend' re cuisine?

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:14 pm

John Bleau wrote:Ah, Barry, with Toronto's success, there was happiness in the land...

Ralph, it doesn't take an understanding of sports to understand human disillusionment. Moore's suicide might have been reflective of a social sensitivity beyond that of most of us. And as long as we have whipped cream, Vatel's suicide was not in vain.

P.S., did you notice your use of the word 'understand' re sports and 'comprehend' re cuisine?
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John,

I agree with you. I understand that ANY activity can deeply affect a person. It's just that sports are so unimportant to me. Now if someone killed himself because CMG went under...
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Re: A Most Tragic Figure in American Sports Has Passed

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:53 pm

Barry Z wrote:I was conceived around that time and I still don't know how my father could focus on anything in the midst of that horror.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Barry wins Post of the Day award.
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Re: A Most Tragic Figure in American Sports Has Passed

Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:32 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I was conceived around that time and I still don't know how my father could focus on anything in the midst of that horror.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Barry wins Post of the Day award.
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There's gotta be a PRIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:53 pm

I'll take a root-beer float at the Hires Big H Drive-In if I ever make it to Utah :P.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:31 pm

Barry Z wrote:I'll take a root-beer float at the Hires Big H Drive-In if I ever make it to Utah :P.
If you ever make it Utah, I'll kill the fatted calf and import the finest wines I can afford, I'll be that pleasantly surprised. Root-beer float indeed. You can have that too, but it wouldn't be nearly enough. :D
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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:39 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I'll take a root-beer float at the Hires Big H Drive-In if I ever make it to Utah :P.
If you ever make it Utah, I'll kill the fatted calf and import the finest wines I can afford, I'll be that pleasantly surprised. Root-beer float indeed. You can have that too, but it wouldn't be nearly enough. :D
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You're making visiting you irresistably attractive.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:50 pm

Ralph wrote:You're making visiting you irresistably attractive.
Yeah, yeah, yeah! 8) :lol:

What happened to "What desolation!"?
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:28 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I'll take a root-beer float at the Hires Big H Drive-In if I ever make it to Utah :P.
If you ever make it Utah, I'll kill the fatted calf and import the finest wines I can afford, I'll be that pleasantly surprised. Root-beer float indeed. You can have that too, but it wouldn't be nearly enough. :D
Don't be so shocked if it happens :wink: .

I was in Arizona (and not just Phoenix) less than two years ago. True, while standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, I couldn't help but think, "This is nice, but I prefer the New York skyline." But I can see myself out there again some time. And my girlfriend likes nature and hiking, so she could lobby for a place like Utah.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:07 am

Barry Z wrote:I was in Arizona (and not just Phoenix) less than two years ago. True, while standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, I couldn't help but think, "This is nice, but I prefer the New York skyline."
You guys with angoraphobia! I'm a little skeptical of you "children of asphalt" when you say you've actually been out of the city. I'm glad you didn't try to convince me you enjoyed it! :wink: I think of Joel Fleishmann lying in the forest looking up thru the trees at a gorgeous full moon and asking, "Is this all there is?"
But I can see myself out there again some time. And my girlfriend likes nature and hiking, so she could lobby for a place like Utah.
Are you a John Ford fan? Probably not. I could take you to Monument Valley, where Ford shot many of his best films. There's lots to see and do here in Utah if you're a nature lover. But there's also the lodges with big picture windows where you can sit and admire the industry of people who like to get out in nature. Me, I like sitting in the lodge with a good book. My only experience with skiing when I went to Montana in 03 was to borrow someone's ski lift pass and ride up and down on the lift for hours with my camera taking pics. The only way to fly if you ask me.

There's also the Loop Tours, which you may have seen on PBS' tours of the great Lodges in North America. It takes in Bryce, Zion, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Plenty of hiking and beautiful views all around.
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:45 am

A child of nature I most definately am not. I'm very comfortable when I see big buildings. If I get a hankering for something green, there are a few squares in Center City that are sort of mini-parks. That's plenty for me 8) .

But in spite of that, I was happy that I did get to the Grand Canyon at least once, and can see making it back out to that region at some point. My only requirement is a plumbing in a private bathroom :wink: .

A friend of mine was just out west and raved about Utah. He's much more comfortable roughing it than I am though.

Muggers I can deal with. It's the damn wildlife that scares the hell out of me if it's anywhere but my TV screen.

My mother and stepfather, on the other hand, head out west to commune with nature at least once every couple of years. I guess I fell far from the tree.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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