Tuesday, January 20, 2009

#9 -- Stan Williams

Stan Williams

When I was preparing for this post, I was going to write about how it would make a good night card for a certain ball card blogger. Well, the Night Owl has already let us known it's his favorite night card. His post is excellent and I'd recommend it to you.

Stan had the good/bad fortune of being behind Koufax, Drysdale and Podres with the Dodgers in the late 50's-early 60's. It was good fortune because he didn't have to face the other team's aces as often, but at the back end, he'd see his starts diminish to give a younger guy a chance, as happened in 1959 when the Dodgers wanted to see what Danny McDevitt could do.

Stan had to recreate himself as a reliever and did a good job. He was a big part of the Twins winning the AL West in 1970, but he got shipped off to the Cardinals in late 1971 and only had 3 appearances with the Red Sox in 1972. That was it for Stan as a player, but he had a long career as a major league coach.

1972 Feature

Today is Inauguration Day. I always love to watch the news coverage, especially when there's a change in leaders. History tells us that leaders don't typically give up their positions easily. However, we've never had that problem here. Even when it's a situation of political enemies, we've always had an orderly succession of office. In my lifetime, I've seen 3 situations where one President handed off to a man who beat him in an election (Ford to Carter in 1976, Carter to Reagan in 1980 and Bush to Clinton in 1992). In each of those instances I'm sure it had to absolutely suck to sit out there in the cold for an hour, smile and be patient, knowing the guy up there that everyone's fawning over just beat you and took your job. Still, this is the United States of America and we set the example of orderly transitions and adhering to the rule of law.

I had a chance to attend Reagan's second inauguration in 1985. I'd taken a semester of college and was doing a program at American University where I could get 16 hours of credit by writing a paper and going to seminars around DC 2 days a week and work as an intern for Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana. I wanted to work for Congressman Jack Kemp, but the only offer I had was full-time and I needed part time.

Fortunately for me the 1985 inaugural parade was cancelled because of bitterly cold weather because I'd have been out there on Pennsylvania Avenue for 2-3 hours with a wind chill of -10 or so. They also moved the inaugural ceremony to inside the Capitol building because of the bitterly cold weather. Too bad nobody looked out for William Henry Harrison. He delivered the longest inaugural address ever, on a cold wet day. He died a month later from pneumonia believed to have been caused by his exposure that day as did outgoing First Lady, Abigail Fillmore.

Whether you were a supporter of Barack Obama during the election or not, he's now your President. You don't have to agree with him, and you can respectfully dissent, but he does deserve your prayers and support. I hope you watch the inauguration and appreciate the history and design of our political system and the respect we should have for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment