This is fun: NBA and broadcasting legend Bill Walton is going to call a Chicago White Sox game for NBC Sports Chicago next weekend. It’ll be the White Sox-Angels game from Anaheim next Friday, August 16 at 9PM Central, 7PM Pacific. He’ll be providing the color alongside Jason Benetti who handles play-by-play duties.
Benetti offered high praise of Walton, saying doing a game with Walton will be “a gift,” and calling the opportunity “an honor and a treat.” He also added, “His mind is a playground, an orchestra and a volcano all rolled into one.”
Walton — who is not wired like you and me — had this to say in response to Benetti’s praise, as reported by the official White Sox blog at MLB.com:
“This epic, monumental and historic upcoming event of the double millennium. Whoa! The pressure is on now, but please, set your standards higher, Jason. And here I thought all along I was a trembling and exploding rainbow, morphing into a bus stop. I guess I’m going to have to reinvent myself one more time.
“Anyway, take me out to the ballgame, put me in Coach, I’m ready to play today. California, preaching on the burning shore, California, knock, knockin’ on the golden door. Please, where is the game, what time does it start, who’s playing, what sport is it, and what’s your name again? Give me a chord, and I’m on my way. I hope the noise in my head is not bothering you.”
Yeah, I’m gonna be watching that. You had better be watching that.
I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.
While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.
There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.
Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.
Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.
Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice. And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.