Sunday February 16, 2014
Times Snodgrasses Fregosi Obit
This was the New York Times headline on the death of Jim Fregosi:
At least they got the “All Star” in there first.
It's not just the sentiment of the second part, it's the awkward construction. It's the passive voice. A man should never get the passive voice in his own obit.
And of course the headline recalls the Times hed from 1974 on the death of turn-of-the-century ballplayer Fred Snodgrass, which Ken Burns' “Baseball” documentary highlighted as part of the cruelty of baseball's long memory:
You live your life, make the Majors, go .300/.400/.400 in your first full season, become a banker and a rancher and a mayor, and what are you remembered for? Your Charlie Brown moment.
I wonder what Jim Fregosi would have said if you'd asked him what he remembered most about his career. Being a six-time All Star? Hitting .290 in the pitching-centric year of 1967? Leading the league in triples? Hitting for the cycle twice? One Gold Glove, some MVP votes, five different teams. But he gets no say in the matter.
At least he's remembered, which is more than most of us can say. There's comfort in that, Ernie Broglio.