Monday, October 8, 2012

Time in a Bottle

Time In A Bottle. One of my favorite Jim Croce songs.

October 8, 1973. 

The place:  Shea Stadium. The NY Mets and the Cincinnati Reds were playing for the National League championship.

There was a fight, considered one of the "best" brawls in major league baseball history.  Pete Rose vs. Bud Harrelson.  And my now spouse and I were there.

 39 years ago today.....

I realize that a lot of my readers may not even have reached the age of 39.  Or were babies or young child on October 8, 1973.

When I look back at those pictures, I sometimes can't believe I was there, either.

My memories in some ways are so sharp.  We were both in college, and had been able to find time to stand on a long line to get those tickets.  No internet to order tickets from. The game was a day game because in those days most championship games were played during the day.

We were sitting on the first place line, not far from the foul pole.

Pete Rose was some 200 lb.  Bud Harrelson was maybe 140 pounds soaking wet.   When you look at the players, they seem so thin, don't they.  It was a different world, 1973.  We never dreamed there would be a place called the Internet, where we could share memories of things that happened 39 years ago.  We never dreamed of a "You Tube" where we could see those memories.

But in some ways, things don't change.  When the two players fought, both benches jumped into the fray.  And then the Mets fans got into it, throwing things onto the field.  The game stopped, the field littered with the fans' displeasure.  Near us, a Reds fan had his Reds cap snatched from his head.  Someone tried to set it on fire, but didn't succeed.

It was scary.  On the first base line, we were half a stadium away from the action in left field.  The Reds pulled their team off the field.  The PA announcer begged the fans to stop, to avoid the possibility of forfeiting the game.

Finally, a delegation of manager and players:  Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones and Rusty Staub, came out to left field to appeal to the fans. Order was restored, and the Mets ended up winning the game, 9-2.

Catching time in a bottle, the way video can, doesn't prevent us from aging.  Harrelson is 68.  Pete Rose is 71.  I saw Pete Rose's son play in a minor league ball game several years ago.

And Jim Croce?  It's spooky, when you listen to the lyrics of this song.  I guess, when it comes down to it, and we think of our growing up memories, we wish we could save time in a bottle.  But, despite You Tube, and the Internet, we really can't.

 If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away.....

Jim Croce died, at the age of 30, in a plane crash.

1 comment:

  1. I remember this all, too. Only, I was rooting for the Mets... Saw Jim Croce shortly before he passed. I even remember where I was when I heard the news... It is scary in a way, to think that in our heads we are still those people, and yet we are more. Love you!!!


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