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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Big and Strong......Naturally

It is a terrible shame that the sudden passing of a great baseball figure like Dick "The Monster" Radatz will likely be overshadowed in today's media coverage by the Congressional hearings being held today on steroid use in baseball. Radatz, a certified member of the Old Bastard Baseball school, was a fearsome and dominant player in his day, and he did it the old fashioned way - without steroids. Actually in the lore of Old Bastard Baseball, Dick did it despite being a heavy smoker and substantially overweight. The last several years, Dick had served as the pitching coach for the Can-Am League North Shore Spirit. Dick played hard, and never shamed the game, his team, or the fans.....and shame will be on display in Washington later today.
When Radatz was called from the 'pen, he generated the kind of fan anticipation and excitement that we seldom see today, like Mariano Rivera perhaps only more so. For those that forget, the Red Sox teams Radatz played with were bad teams, and only a few players - including Dick and Yaz - made watching those games worthwhile.
R.I.P. Dick, and thanks for the memories.