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rites and wrongs of spring
Frank Deford
February 25, 1974
As baseball heads south for the annual invigoration, a fan with a trove of sacred memories mourns the end of an age of wonderful innocence—when hot air from the Grapefruit League wafted up to melt the northern snows
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February 25, 1974

Rites And Wrongs Of Spring

As baseball heads south for the annual invigoration, a fan with a trove of sacred memories mourns the end of an age of wonderful innocence—when hot air from the Grapefruit League wafted up to melt the northern snows

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The other nodded in the sun. "Yes sir," the colonel continued, "if the President just had the guts to let us fight a war, we could have gone right in and shown those Commies who was boss."

"No halfway wars."

"You bet," said the colonel.

"If Truman would have just let Doug chase 'em over the Yalu, we would have mopped up those Reds in a week."

The scene, like the dialogue, was timeless. The pitchers were ahead of the hitters. Outside the park, a Ford from Ohio pulled up. An old man was driving the Ford, and his dutiful wife sat next to him. He leaned across her and asked out the window of a man walking by, "The boys in yet?"

"A few. The advance guard," the pedestrian replied.

"Where are they?" the man asked, getting anxious.

"Well, they've gone for the day."

"Shoot," the old fellow said, and his wife grimaced in regret, too. "Who's here, anyway?"

"Oh, a bunch of them. Freddie Patek and Kirkpatrick and...."

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