In lieu of actual baseball, I’ll be posting snippets that were cut from The Baseball Codes as a way of amusing myself and, hopefully, you. Today’s theme: showboating and celebrations These old stories help show just how far baseball has come.
Outfielder Darrin Jackson: “I’ve got an interesting story from 1988. At that time, Goose Gossage (I’m giving you names here because it was a learning experience) was closing for us with the Chicago Cubs.
One of the unwritten rules you learn the tough way as a rookie is, when you hit a ball off a veteran like Goose Gossage, either fair or foul, if it’s going to be way out of there, you don’t stand there watching it. You don’t stand there and say, “Is it fair or is it foul, fair or foul … oh, it’s foul.”
That’s bad luck for you as a young hitter, because someone like Goose Gossage is standing right there staring at you while you watch the ball. If it’s that close, you run. Well, that’s what Ron Gant [then in his rookie season, with Atlanta] did, and Ron Gant didn’t run. The next pitch was in his ribs. That was definitely a learning experience for Ron Gant, I would have to say.
If it’s foul by 100 feet, you stand there, that’s fine. Admire a foul strike. But when it’s on the border, veterans will frown upon it, especially if it’s some young kid standing there watching the ball. Run the bases.