“A Goosebump Day” for Jeremy

    Opening Day
    BobLee
    April12/ 2016

    Jeremy HazelbakerYou all know about Jeremy Hazelbaker because I told you about him and his Wonderful Odyssey last week… LINK.   Guess what?  IT GOT BETTER!

    Recapping, ten days ago Jeremy Hazelbaker figured he was headed back to Memphis and The Cardinals’ AAA team for year eight of his ignominious pro baseball career…. and another 150 or so games “in the minors”.  It had been a blast being “with the big leaguers” in Spring Training but he knew the roster math was not in his favor….  It would surely be back to very long bus rides, 2-star hotels and $25 meal money…. being “the old guy” at 28, on a roster of fuzzy-cheeked phenoms.

    When Manager Mike (Metheny) told him ten days ago “you’re going North with the ballclub” it had to be about as good as it gets …. but OH BOY….“it” would get better…. muey better!.   In seven years of “pro baseball” he had never worn an MLB uni much less run out of an MLB dugout or….. or….

    “Living the dream”…. Jeremy saw action in both of the Cards’ first two series in Pittsburgh and in Atlanta and did really well hitting in the #2 spot behind Matt Carpenter.   Wearing “The Birds on The Bat” greys and getting real-live MLB at-bats…. AND THEN:

    Monday was Opening Day in St Louis.  Ever MLB club, of course, has an opening day…. but, with all due respect, NONE of’em DO IT Like St Louis does Opening Day each Spring.Clydesdales

    The Clydesdales…. “The Arch” Rising High Beyond Centerfield…. each player riding out in a Cardinals Red pick’em-up truck/float…. The whole Wonderful KMOX-lovin’ corny Middle America, Fly-Over-Country Shebang…. Ted Drew’s Custard …. Budweiser …. Stan and Red and Enos and Marty and Dizzy and Gibby and Tim and Ozzie and Lou and Whitey and Tony and Jack Buck and (yes) Albert and (yes) McGwire and Freese’s walk-off in Game Six and Yadi and FredBird and those 48,000+ pouring out Love for OUR Cardinals…

    Now Jeremy Hazelbaker was wearing The Holy Vestment: “The Birds On The Bat” Home Whites.  ..Goosebump City! Did I mention The Clydesdales?  Yes, I did.

    Jeremy Hazelbaker

    Jeremy Hazelbaker had to be thinking…. “Take me now Lord, ‘cause it canNOT get any better than this.”

    Sitting high atop The Arch by the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, The Good Lord – with #6 StanTheMan at his left hand – just smiled and said “Ya wanna bet, Jeremy?”

    In his very first game in Busch III amid all the hype & hoopla, with his folks on-hand from Muncie..

    Jeremy Hazelbaker WENT FOUR-For-Freakin-FOUR !!!!

    as the Cardinals Nuked The Brewers 10-1.  Jeremy was an HR short of “the cycle” plus a diving catch in centerfield.  Raising his batting average over .500 after eight games “in the big leagues”.

    Who knows what next week, next month will bring?  Maybe opposing pitchers will find his weakness …. low and away…. high and tight…. off-speed…. et al.   Maybe Jeremy Hazelbaker will “wake up”; be back in Memphis or back home in Muncie this time next year “selling Lady Kenmores”.   The Baseball Gods are fickle indeed.

    Whatever.   But for… NOOO BobLee.  DON”T SAY IT.  NOOO!

    For One Shining Moment (Aaaarghh!)

    Jeremy Hazelbaker of Muncie Indiana is Living The Dream of every tow-headed kid that:
    …. ever played whiffle ball in his backyard.
    …. ever played Strat-O-Matic Baseball on a rickety card table…. and
    …. ever slept blissfully with his “ball glove” clutched to his chest.

    Now I’m getting goosebumps too!

    ###

    Cardinals ride Hazelbaker’s hot bat …..

    Jeremy’s Amazing Day….

    ###

    NOTE:  I am The Maytag Repairman of Sports Fans….. a very lonely type of fan.  I can love “My Team – The St Louis Cardinals” – WITHOUT “Hating” any other team including The Cubs.   My Ying of Love for My Cardinals does NOT need A Yang of Hate for _________.

    Even before my official estrangement from my alma mater UNC-CH, I never “hated” Duke or NC State.  That Ying-Yang combo has always seemed “dumb” to me.  Of course “how you choose to do it” is your business.

    ###

    Several Most Excellent QUIRKIES Await You ….

    CLICK

     

    BobLee
    • Tom the Wuff Reply
      3 years ago

      Aaahhhhhwww! Ya gotta love stories like that regardless of the ending! Drove with my then 22 YO son up to the College World Series in 2013 to see Carlos, Tre et al. Went north then west going up and stopped over for a Cincy game; then south and east coming back for a Cards game. Both games won by the home teams in bottom of the 9th! Loved both the pro games, but must say you are correct, Cards stadium and view is very impressive! CWS however was awesome and a must on bucket list for anyone who loves baseball. In case one did not notice, all my fav teams colors were red!!!

      • BobLee Reply
        3 years ago

        I’m fine with “favorite colors”. It is when one develops a base aversion to any color “not their favorite” that makes me wince. … When Jeremy meets Kershaw, Baumgardner, Greinke, Harvey et al… there may not be many “goosebumps” but “they” can never take away His Day. 🙂

      • CNR Reply
        3 years ago

        Fun trip. Good advice regarding CWS. There was a day when families followed their favorite reams around the circuit (Giants, Dodgers, Braves, Phils, Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Cards) East/West. Today it is a hodge-pod of uneven scheduling.
        Families visited museums, legitimate theatre, historical locations.

    • TJ Reply
      3 years ago

      Fun column. If anyone has visited St. Louis and not had a “concrete ” at Ted Drews they have missed a treat. By the way old Red Schoendienst is still alive and active at 93.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 years ago

        If I’m not mistaken, Red still comes to every home game. St. Louis LOVES it’s Cardinal Heroes of Yesteryear!

    • RC Reply
      3 years ago

      Been following Jeremy since you mentioned him last week. Saw the 4 for 4 this AM in the box score and thought of you. He really is a great story. Hope the pitchers don’t find a weak spot!

      • BobLee Reply
        3 years ago

        MLB pitchers are the best on the planet. They will “chart him” very soon and he will have to adjust accordingly. .500 is “probably” a bit much to expect !!! …. I’m sure Mike & Moz & Jeremy would love a .280 / 18-20 dingers / 85-90 rbis at least for Year One. Fun to watch him “live the dream”.

        • CNR Reply
          3 years ago

          He has plugged a hole in his bat. Amazing that some hitting coaches are blind to a simple correction. If so, J could have a nice career with the Cards. Bob Hazel had an amazing year with the Braves in ’57, then the hole returned the next year. You got it cold regarding pitchers and their unions. If someone cracks J’s next weakness….,,.,they will all have it quickly thanks to their battery mates.

          • BobLee Reply
            3 years ago

            Regardless, he will always have His Day. 🙂

    • BOG Guy Reply
      3 years ago

      Baseball is about the only professional sport I care about any more. College is pretty great, too. Ran into our mutual friend Mr. Kennel last night at The Doak as our Wolfpack completed a three-game sweep of the visiting Demon Deacons (and keeping their Monday night tradition alive. It’s truly a great game”

      Go Cards!

      • BobLee Reply
        3 years ago

        BK has already told the World about “your meet”…. “your version” might be just a tad different. 🙂 … BK’s version involves replacing 31 of the 32 BOGers (all of’em but YOU) with Trany Commies from his Best Friends list. 🙂

    • BP Reply
      3 years ago

      To quote Harry Caray – HOLY COW! BobLee. You “hit for the cycle” this time. It’s a “walk-off”! Unplug that keyboard and pop the top on an ice-cold Budweiser. This one is Field Of Dreams GOOD! …. and I’m a Cubs fan!

      • BobLee Reply
        3 years ago

        “Field Of Dreams GOOD”? Never heard THAT metaphor but it sure sounds like something “to wanna be”. Thanks. 🙂

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.