Forget baseball's dirty laundry

December 26, 2007|By Peter Schmuck

In a perfectworld, the perfect sports momentwould look something like Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World" in 1951. The suspense. The ball disappearing into the disbelieving crowd. The announcer going insane.

Nothing like that capturedmy imagination this year, because thiswas not like any other year,especially in Baltimore. The most important things affecting sports happened off the field, and the one that ismy favorite isn?t going to be very original.

When Cal Ripken strode to the podium on July 29 to acknowledge his induction into baseball's Hall of Fame, the only thing I could think ofwas the title of a great Don Henley song: "The End of the Innocence."

While Cal and Tony Gwynn were being applauded for theirwholesome accomplishments, the rest of thesportwas trying to wipe away the stain of the steroid era. That stainremains even after the recent release of George Mitchell's famous report on the scandal.

The induction of Ripken and Gwynn at Cooperstown wasn't the last true thing to happen in sports. It just felt like it at the time.

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