While FJM’s Ken Tremendous tackles the more timely issue of whether or not Stuart Scott intended to out D-Wade, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick recalls ESPN’s telecast of the Cards’ 10-0 win over the Phillies last Sunday night.
The Phillies were about to become the first Major League Baseball team to 10,000 losses. And Joe Morgan, ESPN’s No. 1 baseball analyst, a fellow whose wisdom is often laced with convoluted, confounding and contradictory nonsense, was moved to tell a national audience about the significant role he played in Phillies history.
The year, Morgan told us, was 1964, that calamitous season when the Phillies blew a 61/2-game lead with 12 games left by losing 10 straight. Morgan said he made his major-league debut late in ’64, against the Phillies. And it was in that game that his RBI single beat the Phillies, extending their infamous losing streak to eight or nine.
Morgan added that Phillies manager Gene Mauch was so upset he threw over the buffet table in the clubhouse, hollering that his club had just been beaten by “a Little Leaguer!”
Great story. But unless Morgan was confusing himself with Reds rookie infielder Chico Ruiz, it never happened. As several readers were moved to write, the Phillies played the Reds, Braves and Cardinals during that losing streak; Houston wasn’t in the mix.
Furthermore, Morgan, though called up in 1964, did not have an RBI that season for Houston.
And he did not make his big-league debut in ’64, either. That came Sept. 21, 1963, when he went 0-for-1, pinch-hitting against the Phillies. The next day, Morgan did have an RBI single to beat the Phillies, but those Phillies were well out of the race and not in the throes of a historic collapse; they’d actually won four of their previous five games.
Can you confuse such significant and presumably memorable facts about your career? It hardly seems possible, but I suppose you can.