Monday, November 27, 2006

Sports Heroes and Inaccuracy

Charlie, at Another Think, has a beautiful post about childhood sports heroes. His was Johnny Unitas.

Reading it stirred again the memories of my devotion to Bob Gibson and his St Louis Cardinals. And those memories brought back a more recent memory, one I must have repressed for a short time, of having been traumatized at the Champions Sports Bar during my recent trip to the National Missionary Convention in Indianapolis.

A group of us crossed the street from the Convention Center to eat lunch at Champions. While we were waiting to be seated, I glanced at all the official plaques on the wall. To the left of where the hostess stood were all the Super Bowl winners' plaques. To the right were the World Series winners. These said "World Champions" and had the year and the winning team listed, with the team logo.

Naturally, and because I couldn't help myself, I looked down to find the 1967 World Series winner. I saw '68 first: Detroit Tigers. Just to the left of it, I read "1967." But it said, "Boston Red Sox," and it had a red logo that was definitely not a cardinal.

I told the girl their 1967 plaque was wrong, that the Cardinals won that year (as if she even cared). She said those were the official plaques from the official World Series people. "Well, they're wrong. The Red Sox did not win in 1967."

But I started to wonder if my memory was failing. After all, it's been almost forty years since then. But I had a baseball card when I was a kid with all of Bob Gibson's 1967 stats, including the World Series. He won the World Series MVP, for cryin' out loud! Losers don't win the MVP.

When I got back to my hotel room that night, I checked Wikipedia, and they confirmed that my memory was correct and the World Series plaque-making people are either sloppy in their research, or they have it in for the Cardinals. Either way, it's a disgrace the way they're misinforming the world about Bob Gibson's greatness.

If you ever eat at Champions in Indianapolis (they're attached to the Downtown Marriott), the food is good, but don't believe what the walls tell you. It's a lie.

3 comments:

All_I_Can_Stands said...

The maker of that plaque went later to work for Associated Press.

Charlie said...

Great story about the Cardinals, Skye. Indianapolis, for me, always reminds me of the treachery of owner Bob Irsay slinking off to Indy by dark of night back in 1984, drawn by a better stadium and more money. I can finally watch these Colts pretenders play without bitterness, but it isn't the same. Thanks for the link!

Malott said...

Charlie,

I do hope you enjoy our Indianapolis Colts. And yes, Baltimore should have been allowed to keep the name. Stealing the team was bad enough.

But if you're old enough to appreciate Johnny Unitas - surely you see how much Peyton Manning resembles him... always looking downfield... the same courage and poise... all that's missing are those high-top shoes.

I was nine years old when I first followed the NFL... the Chicago Bears was THE team in Indiana back then. The Bears beat Y.A. Tittle and the New York Giants that year for the Championship. I'm a Colts fan now, but I will always pull for the Bears.