Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Don Cardwell

Saw in the news today that former Cubs and Cardinal pitcher Don Cardwell died yesterday.

Cub Fans of my age are probably well aware of Cardwell's claim to fame (being the firt pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first start after being traded). Even though Cardwell's gem came more than six years before I was born, I knew the last out of the game like the back of my hand.

Why? Because back in the day, whenever there was a rain delay and the guys in the TV booth got tired of gabbing, the folks at WGN TV would pull out highlight films to fill the time. Cardwell's no-hitter (complete with Jack Brickhouse's impassioned plea "Come on, Moose!" as Moose Moryn lumbered after the line drive he caught for the last out), Ernie's 500th home run, Ken Holtzman's no-hitters, and the 1948 World Series were on heavy rotation when the weather turned dodgy.

Rain delays also gave fans a chance to catch a rerun of that week's This Week in Baseball -- the good one with Mel Allen, not the half-hour of pablum they pass off as TWIB nowadays.

Nowadays, as soon as the tarp goes on the field, WGN cuts to a rerun of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Charles in Charge or whatever crappy show they have lying around. And that's too bad. Kids today should have an opportunity to see the stars of yesterday. Give 'em a sense of history and all that.

But enough of "back in my day." Our condolences to the Cardwell family and all his friends.

Another mournful note -- Johnny Podres also died yesterday. Saw a lot of him, too, when Channel 44 in Chicago would show the highlights of the 1959 World Series during White Sox rain delays. Our sympathies of Podres' family and friends as well...

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