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Sparky

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  November 3, 2010 01:36 PM

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Seems like bad news everywhere once you pass the Berkshires, although I am thankful to the voters of the Third Congressional District in New Jersey for taking such a strong and obvious public stand against the Dred Scott decision. (And congratulations to Shawn Bradley, who lost, but who decided to pay some legitimate dues as a politician, running for the state legislature in Utah. I predict big things for the long fella.) However, if you want the apotheosis of celebrito-politics, look not to the jocks, but to Wisconsin, where the moon was altogether in moron last night.

That said, this is infinitely worse. Back in the days when I was following sports teams around on a semi-fulltime basis, a baseball trip to Detroit meant more than simply a visit to Tiger Stadium, the greatest of all the old ballparks. It meant getting to hang out in the office with Sparky before the games. It was there that I learned that Sparky always would consider John McGraw the greatest manager of all time, simply because McGraw never got himself fired. (Being part-owner of the team helped there.) We also talked about his way-cool stint on WKRP In Cincinnati. But the best moment came when a Tiger journeyman named Jim Walewander invited to the ballpark his favorite band -- The Dead Milkmen, who then were playing a steady gig at -- I believe -- Paycheck's Lounge in Hamtramck.

("Bitchin' Camaro" is still a great song, BTW)

Sparky got one look at Jimmy Jack Talcum and the lads and said, "Geez, them boys don't get much sun, do they?"

As it happens, I am more than sadly familiar with the journey of which Sparky and his family are now embarked. I wish them all the strength they will require to see it through.

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