Chances are, if you’re a baseball fan, you have a player or two you admire. I admit that I don’t follow the major leagues very much anymore (this is a long story I won’t tell now) but I was an avid fan for most of my life. I can still name the starting nine and most of the starting rotation of the 1983 Baltimore Orioles (the last year the team won the World Series). I don’t have a favorite player, but if you were a professional color announcer and you had me in your broadcast booth on Opening Day I could probably name a few players I loved to watch play. This is true for anyone who professes to be a fan of America’s Pastime, whether they were born and raised a fan or adopted a favorite team later in life.
So you’ll understand why I’m a bit confused why, when Washington Nationals color announcer Rob Dibble asked President Barack Obama who his favorite player was when he was a kid, the President rambled on for over a minute without mentioning any player’s name.
At least he corrected the fib he told right at the beginning of his answer. He wasn’t a “Southside Kid” because he was never a “kid” in Chicago. As he said, he grew up in Hawaii and followed the Oakland A’s. But don’t you think he might have mentioned some of the great Athletics players from the mid to late 70s and into 80s like Ricky Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers (the moustache!), Dennis Eckersley, or Catfish Hunter? What about the great championship teams the As fielded?
In Chicago, Obama would have seen the White Sox current manager Ozzie Guillén win the American League Rookie of the Year award. He would have seen Frank Thomas win back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards, something that hadn’t been done in the American League since the early 1960s. If he had immersed himself in history at all, he could have named Harold Baines or Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, both of whom he would have seen as a youngster watching the White Sox play the A’s.
Of course, there’s the possibility that the President has been feigning his baseball love all along and the only reason he started following the White Sox was because he needed to appear close to the south side of the city for political reasons. But he wouldn’t be that obviously cynical, would he?
I heard that his favorite White Sox player is a Polish Korean by the name of Kaminsky Park.
UPDATE 2: Linked by Michelle Malkin, who I bet could name more White Sox players than the President and I”m not even sure if she likes baseball.