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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

October 22, 2010


This is my a Annual “Ode to the End Of  Summer.”

Summer ends with school starting. Summer ends with Labor Day. Summer ends with September 21. Summer ends with the end of the Baseball Season.

This year, for me, it was extended an extra (painful) weekend as the Cincy Reds made it to the Playoffs for the first time in many years. I barely had time to turn up the volume on my TV and the Reds were out in three quick games. Few hits, fewer runs, but yet a season of which to be proud.

I got to see the Reds twice this year thanks to my longtime (very longtime) friends who have Season Tickets. It’s great to sit in the stands, talk to my friends, see the athletes display their considerable skills, hear the Star Spangled Banner and eat a Brat and drink a cold one, watching the Ohio River, facing Kentucky on a hot afternoon.

But this year the Reds did something a little different with their season ticket stubs, something that took me back quite a few years and frankly was an extra treat for me.

Each of the tickets had some “Old Time Reds” star player from years and years ago.  In the Spring I got a picture of Jim O’Toole, a fine pitcher from the early 1960’s, on the Season Ticket stub. I recall even having met him in person at the Lima VFW Post mid-winter Baseball Clinic many years ago.

The Baseball Clinic was really 4 or 5 Reds who traveled to Lima for an afternoon of talk and tips about hitting and pitching. All the local baseball-playing boys (and in that era it WAS all boys) would go hear the Cincinnati Reds Stars talk about their craft.

I wasn’t a pitcher (and frankly, wasn’t much of a hitter, but could turn a pretty good double play from second or short).  One winter, Jim O’Toole came to the Clinic. He spoke of his pitching technique. He probably collected in 1962…what?...$200 for the appearance? I got his autograph and kept it in a box for many years, and would pull it out and look at it from time to time.

When I was boy playing Little League, I read about all the “Old-Time” players who played long before my time; Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio and on and on. (I even recall where I was when I read about the death of Ty Cobb. How many others can say that?)

Today I still think about and read about the “Old Timers” of baseball; it’s just that now I can actually claim to have been around when those Old Timers were New-Timers.

I’ll tape Jim O’Toole’s picture/season ticket to my office door. Take a look. (Thanks Don & Laima!)

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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