12 July 2011


11 days to go/day 3 of the countdown.  that means it's war.  u2's third album.  it was released in march of 1983, and thanks to some savvy friends, i was quickly made aware of it.  to be honest, i didn't think too much of it at the time - i was instead focused on the internal war going on within my baseball fandom.

steve garvey was no longer a dodger. 
i was truly confused.  i had been a dodger fan for the past 5 years and, like most other boys in my neighborhood, steve garvey was my favorite player.  i was in a baseball card shop in santa barbara the day he officially became a free agent, and the shop owner was the one who told me.  i had avoided the morning newspaper even though my dad told me not to get my hopes up, hoping that if i didn't know about it, it wouldn't really be true.  thanks baseball card shop owner.

that meant that this guy, greg brock
was going to get his shot filling garvey's shoes.  we had heard all about brock, and mike marshall, and candy maldonado, and all the other studs down at albuquerque waiting for their turns in the big leagues.  now, with garvey gone and ron cey traded as well, i had a decision to make - do i cheer for the name on the front of the jersey, or the name on the back?  i chose the front.  i recalled how quickly i had warmed to the idea of steve sax at second instead of davey lopes, and i figured what the heck.  it's only a game.  kidding. i did choose to remain a dodger fan, but i still mourned the loss of garvey and made sure my dad got us tickets to the first series that the padres played in la in 1983.  that was when i got my only garvey in person autograph while getting to see him break billy williams' nl consecutive games played record.

brock had a tough road to hoe in 1983, but he managed to hit 20 home runs and drive in 66.  he walked 83 times which was unheard of for a dodger first baseman (meaning garvey).  my apathy towards him waned as the season went on and the dodgers were in the pennant race.  by the time they clinched the nl west, i was openly cheering for brock.  once he got into the postseason, brock struggled as did the rest of the team, but he had shown me that there would be life for the dodgers after garvey.  he had won the war.

a couple of years ago, i sent some cards to brock and asked him to sign them.  he did so on two separate occasions.  here's his 1983 fleer
complete with the news van in the background (or is that spicoli's van?) on the dodger stadium field.  here's his 1985 topps
1986 topps,
and 1987 topps
thanks greg!

1 comment:

night owl said...

War is first U2 album I owned. They started playing New Year's Day on the area AOR station and it seemed new and edgy just like other songs on that station.