Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My Two Favorite Shortstops
I won a great photograph on EBay earlier this month. I think I like this photo because it represents the greater part of my personal baseball history. If only Rico Petrocelli were standing between Aparicio and Banks, it would be complete. It would also be very unusual to find Rico Petrocelli in this picture that was most likely taken around 1960. Petrocelli only became a fulltime player for the Red Sox in 1965.
When I was 9 or 10 living in central Indiana, I began to follow the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox had many heroes on the roster - Early Wynn, Jim Landis, Nellie Fox, Sherm Lollar and Billy Pierce. But my favorite player was Luis Aparicio. When I saw my first major league game at Cominsky Park around 1960, Aparicio hit a home run to win the game. I am not certain which game was my first major league experience, although it is much easier to narrow this down as Aparicio only hit 83 home runs during his 18 year career. I have most of his cards during the White Sox years plus a couple of autographs in my collection.
As a high school student, I switched my allegiance to the Red Sox. Yaz, Rico and Sparky became my favorites. This lasted for a few years until I met the love of my life and married in 1969. My wife's father was a die hard Cubs fan. I attended a number of Cubs games during the mid to late 1970's. Unfortunately, I never did get to see Ernie Banks play ball in person. I soon switched my allegiance a final time. I have followed the Cubs since the 1970's. "Its a beautiful day for a ballgame, lets play two" not only represents everything that is great about baseball but just is a great attitude to carry with you every day of your life.
So as you can see, this photo depicts Luis Aparicio which is the beginning of my love of baseball. Ernie Banks is the other end as I now follow the Cubs avidly. This photo will take a place of honor on the walls of my office.