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Catch the fever

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Summer Wildcat
August 9, 1999
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

Dan Rosen

How fitting is it that in the glory days of the home run, a singles hitter like Wade Boggs gets his 3,000th hit by crushing the ball over the wall in his hometown of Tampa Bay with his entire family - minus his daughter - on hand to witness it?

Tony Gwynn, considered the greatest hitter since Ted Williams, got his 3,000th by way of the single, which was expected, but he did it in a Montreal, a city out of the baseball spotlight, just as Gwynn has been his entire career.

And of course, Big Mac. He reached his latest milestone the same way he has accomplished every other milestone in St. Louis - in front of thousands of flashing lights, making Busch Stadium look like a Pink Floyd concert.

These three milestones epitomize what baseball is all about. Three good guys (maybe an exception can be made for Boggs) all doing it at the same time of the year, the "Dog Days of August."

With the first regular season football game just days away, baseball has again decided that it is going to rise to the top and dominate the back pages, even when faced with adversity (umpires).

It comes as no surprise that baseball has once again taken the country by storm. That is what baseball is all about. It is an unpredictable sport and everyone is shocked when something happens.

So, while all the milestones for the season have been achieved, some would think there is no reason to watch the game any more and it is time to turn our attention to football.

Well, while the public is allowed to do what it pleases when it comes to sports, think about what you would be walking away from.

Pennant fever, baby!

Plenty of questions about this season still linger.

Did the Indians peak too early? Do the Yankees have what it takes to repeat? Are the Braves finally discovering they have been playing way over their heads? How about them Mets, can they ever lose? Where did the Reds come from, and can they take the top spot in the central? Will the Astros let them? When, if ever, will Jay Bell stop hitting home runs? Will it be the Giants or Diamondbacks that finally decide to take the western division by storm? Sammy or Big Mac? And of course, who (the Dodgers) will have the fire sale after the season comes to a close?

Milestones may have been set this past weekend, but the season is just heating up.

So, while everyone should get ready to fire up the 'que for some great burgers, football and beer, remember that it's baseball that is just starting to get interesting.

Can you feel it? Can you feel that pennant fever?