Friday, June 13, 2008

They used to be giants

Frank Robinson was at Tropicana Field on Friday night.

The hall of famer popped into the Rays clubhouse before the game. His surprise appearance stopped a conversation by Carl Crawford and Cliff Floyd in the far corner.

It is good to see today’s players show signs of respect like that to the old-timers, especially when this old-timer is a two-time MVP and took his 586 home runs to Cooperstown.

But what struck me more was Robinson’s size, or lack of size.

He was listed as 6-foot-1, 195 pounds during his playing days. Somehow I expected him Robby to be bigger.

For some reason I usually do when I run across a player who was a star during my childhood.
It was the same with Reggie Jackson.

I remember sitting in the right field seats at Yankee Stadium during 1980 and watching a ball hit by Jackson sail over my head and into the upper deck. I couldn’t believe someone standing that far from me could hit a baseball that was still climbing as it soared by.

I was at Legends Field before a spring training game a few years ago when this man who looked like Reggie Jackson walked by. Couldn’t be Reggie, I thought. Too small.


Jackson was listed at 6-0, 200 during his playing days. That body generated 563 home runs?

Believe it.

I guess when you are a kid you think all the sluggers are 6-5, 250 pounds.

Some where but not all.

Still, they were giants in my eyes.

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