Tony Smeraglia is Anniston’s Thurman Munson. Granted, he didn’t hit like Munson, a career .292…
I thought I knew all of the major stuff about Memphis baseball. (I’m obsessed with it, after all.) But when I saw that orange Astros-styled cap and Blues shooting-star jersey themed after the Astros’ iconic 1960s look, I was stumped. Were they real?
In the late spring of 1975, something weird happened: Hank Aaron hit a 200-foot home run in a football stadium in his first-ever appearance against his long-time former team, the Atlanta Braves.
Back in the day, before eBay, before Fanatics.com, before the seemingly endless online options to buy branded merchandise of your favorite baseball team, I wanted a jersey of the St. Louis Cardinals. Bad. It was 1978. I was about 12. So I made my own.
Back in the spring of 1987 — I think it was the spring of 1987, could be 1988 — I was covering Memphis State baseball for the university’s school newspaper, The Daily Helmsman, and needed to write a preview of the Tigers’ upcoming season.
I obsess about baseball. My dad didn’t. But for some reason, my virgin baseball memory is watching the Oakland A’s in the World Series with my dad back in the 1970s. Don’t ask me which World Series it was, ’72, ’73 or ’74. I haven’t a clue.
I called Tommy Lasorda.
No, let’s clarify that.
Tommy Lasorda took my phone call.
I’ve written about baseball in Anniston, thought about baseball in Anniston, researched baseball in Anniston, lamented the lack of baseball in Anniston, and I’m too young — translation: not old enough — to have watched a game during the heyday of Johnston Field.
One of the quasi-mysteries about Ty Cobb’s overhyped weeks spent in Anniston, Alabama, in the summer of 1904 is the park where his team played. Its location isn’t a secret. But there are no known photographs of Cobb in an Anniston uniform or on the Anniston field. You want a holy grail? Find me a picture of Cobb wearing an Anniston jersey.