In 1954 the New York Giants swept the World Series from the vaunted Cleveland Indians in four games. By that time I had fallen in love with the game of baseball – then the National Pastime. I was seven years old. Willie Mays made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder catch of a ball hit by Indians first baseman Vic Wertz to deep center field at the Polo Grounds. It is one of the greatest plays ever filmed. Dusty Rhodes, a left-handed pinch-hitter for the giants, hit three home runs in that Series. He became a hero of mine – until I heard my dad talking about Mickey Mantle.
In 1956 I was nine. My father took us one warm Spring night in May to see the New York Yankees play against the Indians at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. Mickey Mantle (pictured above on Time magazine cover) hit two home runs that night, one against the Indians’ starting pitcher Bob Lemon, and the second one against the great Hall of Famer Bob Feller. The first homer went so high that we temporarily lost sight of it as it soared above the stadium lights before it landed about twenty rows back in the right field seats. I can still name the starting lineups for both teams, and for several of my favorite major league teams thereafter.
Yesterday President Barack Obama, who claims to have become a Chicago White Sox fan when he moved there in the 1980s, (click the next link for the video and subsequent audio) threw out the first pitch in Washington, D.C. – then went to the broadcast booth for an interview. Asked by the announcer to name one of his favorite White Sox players, Obama dodged the question. Not to be fooled, either, NRB’s Paul Cooper caught this one here.Obama talked about growing up in Hawaii, about also liking the Cubs, about being a one-time fan of the Oakland As – but he did not, or could not, name one White Sox player from his favorite team. This is not an American President. During the interview he called Comiskey Park, where the White Sox used to play their games, “Kaminsky Park”.
The first White Sox players that came to mind for me were Hall of Famers Nellie Fox, who played second base, and outfielder Minnie Minoso – and I was not a Chicago fan. I saw Fox and Minoso play in Cleveland against the Indians.
What I’m getting to with all of this baseball talk here is, who is this man Barack Obama? If you think back to your favorite professional sports team, and I don’t care which one it is, how old you were, or what the sport is, some player’s name will immediately pop into your mind, the one who was your favorite. You don’t have to think about it. It’s a part of who you are and what you remember about your life in America.
Some of you may be thinking that this is trivia – that it’s not fair to make any kind of decision about who this man really is because he cannot name any baseball player from his favorite team. I say it is one more pebble upon the mounting pile of evidence that we have elected a man to be the leader of the Free World who is not an American in his beliefs, his background and in where he is taking our nation.
So, who are you, Obama?