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Rickey Henderson

 
"But my mom thought I would get hurt playing football, so she chosed baseball for me. I guess mom do knows best. Thanks mom."

Rickey Henderson made the best speech in his life, at Cooperstown over the weekend.

After a long 25-year career, Rickey Henderson got elected into the baseball Hall of Fame at the first year of eligibility, at age 50. Some writers joke about one of the reasons that Rickey got so many votes at the first round is because people want him to stop thinking about going back to play once for all. His last major league game was with Dodgers at 2003. However, he did not stop trying out at spring training until couple years later.

Being the all-time leader in runs scored and stolen bases, he is the best leadoff man in baseball.

He is not famous for his choses of words. The H.O.F. induction speech is probably the first time in public that he didn’t refer himself as the third person. He is not famous for his intelligence off field either. Here are some of the stories:

  • In 1996, Henderson’s first season with San Diego, he boarded the team bus and was looking for a seat. Steve Finley said, “You have tenure, sit wherever you want.” Henderson looked at Finley and said, “Ten years? Ricky’s been playing at least 16, 17 years.”
  • After Henderson was released by Red Sox, he called San Diego GM Kevin Towers and left the following message: “This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.”
  • Henderson once fell asleep on an ice pack and got frostbite – which forced him to miss three games — in mid-August.
  • The morning after the Sox finished off their 2004 World Series sweep against St. Louis, Henderson called someone in the organization looking for tickets to Game 6 at Fenway Park.
  • Rickey was asked if he had the Garth Brooks album with Friends in Low Places and Henderson said, “Rickey doesn’t have albums. Rickey has CDs.”
  • When he was on the Yankees in the mid-1980s, Henderson told teammates that his condo had such a great view that he could see, “The Entire State Building.”
  • To this day and dating back 25 years, before every game he plays, Henderson stands completely naked in front of a full length locker room mirror and says, “Ricky’s the best,” for several minutes.

This one is for my statistics savvy friends:
  • A reporter asked Henderson if Ken Caminiti’s estimate that 50 percent of Major League players were taking steroids was accurate. His response was, “Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there.”

Just to be fair, this is for my account friends:
  • In the early 1980s, the Oakland A’s accounting department was freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received. Then he found out that Rickey was so proud of making the $1 million, he framed the check and hung it on a wall at his house.
But you know what? After I get more and more used to talking to people who love to use big words instead of being able to hit a baseball, run the bases, and score for the team, I realize I would rather being associated with people like Rickey Henderson. Or Maria Sharapova, of course.

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中時觀念平台: <白忙一場的血襪生涯>

二○○四年十月十九日,波士頓紅襪隊的冠軍夢又在破碎的邊緣。在這個美國聯盟冠軍的七戰四勝系列戰裡,洋基勢如破竹先拿下三場勝利,紅襪好不容易追回來兩場,稍微帶來了一些希望。可是,這天的比賽回到了洋基球場,如果說惡夢有劇本,這該死的紐約,這該死的第六戰,先發的又是第一戰因為腳踝受傷被洋基打爆的席林(Curt Schilling),一九八六年紅襪國度的心碎,似乎已經冥冥註定要在十幾年後重現。

還好,先發的是席林,還好紅襪隊的隊醫在賽前史無前例地替他動了特殊的手術,把他右腳踝的腓短肌用手術縫線暫時固定起來,這場比賽席林的表現跟第一戰判若兩人,七局的投球僅僅失了一分,讓紅襪隊成為季後賽史上第一次從三比○的勝場落後,追平而後終於贏得系列戰的球隊。在這場比賽,跟幾天後總冠軍戰的第二場比賽裡,席林腳上的襪子都因為縫線的摩擦而明顯滲出血跡,這個影像成為紅襪破除魔咒的艱苦過程裡,最動人心弦的畫面。那雙血紅的襪子,也因此進入了名人堂的展覽室。

席林,征戰二十個球季、三千多局、兩百多勝的巨投,有將近六成的勝率,三枚總冠軍戒。他在三年前退休,生涯光是來自球隊的薪水就超過三十億台幣。退休以後,他還是經常出現在鎂光燈前,除了擔任球評之外,身為忠貞的共和黨員,他在選舉期間總是以保守派大將的姿態為自己的陣營助選,也吸引了不少的目光。十幾天前,席林又出現在媒體的面前,不過,這次的宣布卻讓許多人嚇了一跳。

「什麼都沒有了」,他說。38工作室,席林一手創立的遊戲軟體公司,在幾年以內把他所有的錢全部賠光。不只是這樣,他跟羅德島州政府貸款了二十幾億台幣,也完全還不出來。運動畫刊曾經估計,將近八成的職業美式足球員,在退休兩年以內就會破產或是遭受財務的危機,職業籃球員也有六成球員,會在五年之內破產。相較之下,席林遭遇的結果雖然相同,過程卻是情有可原。他並不是因為揮霍或是炫富而失去自己的財產,而是因為錯估了市場跟自己的能力,如果吳宗憲要在美國找個跟他一樣轉投資把錢賠光的難兄難弟,席林就是不二的人選。

當然事情發生以後,來自各處的冷言冷語嘲諷不斷,最多的批評就是席林的保守派政治立場一向主張縮減政府的權力跟降低稅負,他卻拿政府的大筆貸款毫不手軟。媒體也對他公司旗下的四百名員工感到不值,許多人因為公司遷居,卻在無預警的情況下失業,生計因此遭到困難。

事實上,勝敗乃兵家常事,席林贏了兩百一十六場大聯盟的比賽,也…

聯合報名人堂:<川普政權的震盪效應>

近年來越來越多醫學實驗,證明美式足球對選手可能造成永久性的腦部傷害。比賽當中球員互相撞擊的力量,跟被車撞到沒什麼兩樣,經年累月的結果,脆弱的大腦當然不禁折磨。最後,輕微的影響是感官或認知能力的衰退、或是失憶的症狀;嚴重情況包括阿茲罕默症、帕金森氏症,因而致命的案例也不少。 二○一五年由威爾.史密斯主演的電影「震盪效應」,片中他所飾演的法醫病理學家奧瑪魯,就是現實世界裡揭開美式足球黑幕的腦神經醫生。聯盟首先嚴重否認,不過證據快速累積,最後當然不得不低頭。 來自選手的集體訴訟案,目前已經進行到登記索賠階段。美式足球聯盟答應負擔生病後的醫療與保險,整體賠償金額可能高達三百億台幣,有望創下職業運動的另類紀錄。此外,聯盟已數次更新球場衝撞的規則,比賽中出現腦震盪徵兆的球員,再度上場前也需依照新規定,接受醫護人員評估。 就算如此,當選手們知道此項運動對身體造成嚴重傷害危險後,近兩三年有好幾位因此提前退休,或是拒絕高額薪水,決定另謀高就。這個月邁阿密海豚隊廿八歲邊鋒卡麥隆宣布高掛球鞋,「不值得冒這種風險。」他說。卡麥隆在過去四個球季裡,至少有四次嚴重腦震盪紀錄。 這一切改變是正面的,球員更懂得保護自己,從數據上能看出比賽時頭部衝撞的機會開始降低,腦震盪數字也顯著減少。更重要的是除職業選手外,各級學校聯盟都採用新標準,改善孩子們受傷情況。許多州甚至以立法方式,嚴格規定各種學生運動在腦震盪出現後,需要經醫生許可才能回到場上。 可是,去年總統大選,川普代表的保守勢力獲勝,情況卻又變了。 北卡州共和黨議員率先開砲,提出法案要讓家長有權許可自己小孩,在腦震盪後繼續比賽。法案裡把家長決定放在第一,排在醫生評估前面。對不少捍衛傳統價值的人來說,衝撞是比賽一部分,不能輕易改變。那些保護球員的措施讓「美式足球變得軟弱,跟美國一樣!」說這些話的不是別人,正是美國第四十五任總統川普。 選前在佛州的造勢晚會上,一位女性川粉突然昏倒,不過在接受現場醫療後恢復意識,回到會場繼續替川普加油,如此舉動馬上引起全場歡呼。川普在興奮之餘,不忘提醒現場支持者,美國已經被自由派搞得軟弱無力,「連她都可以回來,職業足球員被輕輕敲到頭卻不准上場?」後來選上總統的他譏諷地說。果不其然,選後黨內同志沒有放過挽救美式足球的契機,用新法案支持總統的理念。 正如川普首席策士班納所說,新政權將帶給美國全面而整體的改變:教育、環保、…

FM91.3 【方祖涵的運動筆記】:60. 無所不在的泰勒絲魔咒

美國歌壇天后泰勒絲(Taylor Swift)的一九八九巡迴演唱會,是二○一五年度全球歌壇最成功的演出。八十五場演場會,吸引兩百廿七萬名觀眾,總收入將近八十億台幣。泰勒絲能唱能寫,跟巴布狄倫同被滾石雜誌列為史上百大詞曲創作人,雖然兩者名次有點差距,不過年輕的天后如果再進步一些,也可能比村上春樹先拿到諾貝爾文學獎。

二○一五年十月,北美巡迴接近尾聲,泰勒絲抵達加拿大多倫多,在藍鳥隊的羅傑中心球場連續開唱兩天。這座球場是可開啟式巨蛋,建築一部分是豪華的萬麗酒店,能夠從房間的落地窗看球賽,應該是許多棒球迷的夢想。兩天的演唱會,球場五萬個座席被一掃而空,天后魅力果然不同凡響。

有些球迷卻因此不開心。為什麼會這樣呢?答案,就在今天的節目裡。
雲端重播網址:
http://bravo913.com.tw/index.php?route=choice/program_detail_song&choice_program_song_id=13999

0-1 All You Had To Do Was Stay
演唱者/演奏者:Taylor Swift/Big Machine/2014

1-1 Simple Twist of Fate (Bob Dylan Song)
演唱者/演奏者:Diana Krall/Fontana/2012

1-2 Seven Curses (Bob Dylan Song)
演唱者/演奏者:Joan Baez/Fontana/2012

2-1 Only Superstition
演唱者/演奏者:Cold Play/Fierce Panda Records/1999

2-2 Black Cat
演唱者/演奏者:Janet Jackson/A&M/1989

3-1 Superstition
演唱者/演奏者:Stevie Wonder/Tamla/1972

3-2 Don't Think Twice It's All Right
演唱者/演奏者:Bob Dylan/Columbia Records/1963