I was looking at my Facebook account the other day and I saw that someone had posted a picture of a couple of old cars from the 40’s and he stated that he wished that time travel existed so that he could see some of those beauties when they were in their prime.
That mention of time travel got me to thinking about it and how cool it would be to be able to travel backwards or forwards in time in relation to baseball. Assuming that was possible, but you could only revisit the past or go into the future, what would I choose? Would I revisit the past and see some of baseball immortals in their prime or would I choose to go into the future and see what is in store for baseball 50, 100, or 200 years from now?
I guess for me that would be relatively a simple choice as I love history so I would be off to revisit the past. I have seen the entire history of the Minnesota Twins so there is nothing more for me to see there, but to be able to see and interact with players in their prime like Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Roy Campanella, Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean, Jimmy Foxx, Roger Hornsby, Jackie Robinson, Honus Wagner and oh so many more would be fun. What about all those great Negro League players like Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Satchel Paige and those great barnstorming black teams. How cool would it be to watch the 1919 World Series and learn what really happened. How great would it be to see all those players in their prime and really understand how they compare to the players of today. How about equipment and technology, what role have they played in baseball history. Would the players of today just be a shadow of themselves if they had to play with the ball, gloves and bats of yesterday? How about the reverse, would the great players of the past still be the stars of today with modern-day equipment? What impact did the difference in travel from trains to planes have on baseball? Who wanted to win more, yesterday’s players or today’s players or has that not changed at all with the big bucks being paid today.
As I said, I love history and I think if I could travel back in time I would not be too disappointed in what I saw. Traveling to the future however; might pose more of a risk, maybe baseball does not survive, how disappointing would that be. A world without baseball and spring arriving every year but with no spring training? As Twins skipper Tom Kelly would often say to someone who asked him a question that he deemed stupid, Oh My!
What if the game has been changed so much that I would no longer recognize it. What if the game gets taken over by technology to make sure there is never a bad call, how boring would that be? What if someone with a robotic arm wants to pitch, and the technology is there for him or her to throw it 150 MPH, what then? What if pitchers injuries became so frequent that live pitching was outlawed and pitching machines replaced them and pitching machine mechanics that had the skills to make these machines throw pitches never seen before and now these mechanics were now being recruited and signed for huge dollars.
What if baseball priced itself out of existence? What if the cost of going to a game became so prohibitive that fans just quit going? Could major league baseball survive if they played their games and no fans showed up at the ballpark to watch?
What’s that sound? Oh crap, it is the alarm going off and it is time to get up. I slip out of bed and look out the window and I see that the thermometer reading just 11 degrees, snow covering the back yard and the pond is frozen over except for a small circle of open water around the aerator that keeps chugging along trying to keep the ice from taking over. The alarm keeps playing and now I hear Derek Falvey being interviewed and he says the Twins need pitching, particularly a front of the rotation type of starter and some bullpen help. Wait, I think I have heard that before from Calvin Griffith in 1961. Some things never change, all talk and no action. Who would have thought that baseball and politics have so much in common. But there is always hope, the baseball winter meetings start in a few days.
Back to my thoughts on time travel, where would you go? Visit the past or the future and why?