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I guess my fondest memory of Calfee involved football: As an eighth-grade defensive lineman for the Pulaski Middle School Orioles, I snatched a handoff from the opposing 5'3" quarterback and lumbered 50 yards for a touchdown—on my 12th birthday.
Joe McNally's picture brought back some great moments and reminded me that baseball is still just a game. Thanks for the memories.
When I was a 10-year-old tomboy, my dad and I used to go to Calfee to see the Pulaski Phillies play. I don't recall much about the games, but I remember that we kids chased after foul balls that went over the backstop and into the bushes and trees on the hill behind home plate. If you were lucky enough to find one of these foul balls and grab it, you then had to avoid the teenager who had been hired by the team to retrieve them. I don't remember ever coming up with one of these prize baseballs, but the thrill was in the chase.
Today, Calfee Park is home to the Pulaski Braves, who have helped launch the careers of such major league players as Steve Avery, Jeff Blauser, Dave Justice and Mike Stanton.
The Star Quality
Which was the last horse we could put in a class with War Admiral, Citation, Count Fleet, Native Dancer, Swaps, Ruffian and Secretariat? Probably Spectacular Bid, who hasn't run for 10 years. In the sport's halcyon days, there were more good horses who competed for more seasons. Today most of the best horses race only through their third or fourth year. This is like a human athlete retiring at 20 or 22. Anytime a great horse is prematurely retired to stud or to become a broodmare, horse racing suffers because it loses more of those fans who primarily want to see star horses.
Another sad development is the virtual disappearance of the 1�-mile race in this country. In my book, a horse can't be considered great unless he or she has won at that distance.
When I visited Mike in Cluj-Napoca in March, I spent a delightful evening trying to catch him up on some of the recent developments in his favorite sport. He had trouble believing that the Dodgers now play in Los Angeles and the Giants in San Francisco and that two recent World Series-winning teams were from Minnesota and Oakland. He was more than bewildered when I told him about the designated-hitter rule in the American League. And his reaction to my description of the current prominence of the relief pitcher was "It isn't fair!"