Guest commentary: Some political “inside baseball” | AspenTimes.com

Guest commentary: Some political “inside baseball”

Chad Klinger
Guest Commentary

In the final three games of the 1956 World Series, the aging, soon-to-be-extinct Brooklyn Dodgers managed to score a total of just one run.

But that run was good enough for a Game 6 victory, thanks to a 10-inning shutout thrown by “Oh, my darling” Clem Labine — ordinarily a late-inning relief pitcher who, in a stroke of managerial genius, or desperation, was chosen by Walt Alston to start.

As for the game’s only run in the bottom of the 10th, it was delivered by a line drive off the bat of Jackie Robinson, which Yankee left-fielder Enos Slaughter momentarily misjudged, only to watch it sail over his head. It was Robinson’s last hurrah at the end of a storied career.

One reason you don’t know or care about any of this is that Game 6 occurred in the penumbra of Game 5, when Don Larsen pitched the Perfect Game that is the only thing anyone remembers about the ’56 Series.

So where am I going with this? Have patience, there’s some analogous reasoning on the way.

If you’re a person who deems yourself to be a “traditional” American — which is like trying to be a traditional Catholic when the Catholic Church and Christianity in general are either self-destructing or being persecuted every time you look around — if, as I say, you’re a traditional American, then you know that you’re in Game 6 of a World Series that you are losing. All around you, people under 40 sound like neo-Marxists, while your older, fat-cat Republican neighbors are cosmopolitan globalists who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a MAGA hat.

Like the fabled Bums of Brooklyn up against the New York Yankee juggernaut, you feel outmanned and outclassed at every position. None of the trends look good. The wind is not at your back.

But, hey, it’s Game 6, and right now Clem Labine is on the mound, in the form of a 70-year-old who came down an escalator in Trump Tower, with his best years clearly behind him.

Except that they weren’t. For now he’s keeping a vaunted offensive lineup at bay, and it’s starting to look like he might be good for extra innings, in the form of a second term in office. And, who knows, perhaps he has a teammate or two who will eventually remember how to swing a bat.

You’ve noticed, of course, that I haven’t mentioned Game 7. Nor will I.

But I will say that the last time I laid eyes on Don Larsen was some 15 years ago in a sports bar in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he was a regular and still scoring free drinks in recognition of his shining moment in the October sun some 45 years earlier.

Some guys have all the luck.

Or not. It may well be that Donald Trump will wind up in a few unread pages in the history of the world, noted as being just an anomalous bump in the road on the way to the New World Order.

But, for now, it’s still Game 6, and hope springs eternal.

Chad Klinger lives in Basalt, land of the free — at least when it comes to getting a plastic bag at the local City Market.


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