The holiday season brings with it two universal truths. One, regardless of work ethic, everyone falls into the old routine of running out the clock on company time when any medium-length vacation approaches. Two, the best things in life are free — even as the avalanche of empty commercialism suffocates from all directions. Because there is no gift like a memory and no more rewarding gift-giving experience than creating a new one with someone special.
This is all preamble to explain that the other night my son and I had an hour to burn before the bedtime process began in earnest. A holiday miracle enabled me to convince him to explore something on YouTube other than Dude Perfect. His five-year-old brain is programmed to appreciate the surface level stuff, so the quest for blooper-based cinema began. My much older, much smoother brain thought me back to when I was his age, or perhaps slightly older, and the nirvana that was Blockbuster Video.
I remembered — or thought I remembered because one can never be too sure about these type of things when you begin to lose cognitive control — going to the store and renting baseball blooper films. Lo and behold, this is something that does exist.
Reader, believe me when I say the 42 minutes we spent howling over Super Duper Baseball Bloopers, produced by MLB in 1989, was magical. A long walk down memory lane for me and new introduction to the lighter side of hardball for him.
The laughs-per-minute were off the chart. Fun for kids of all ages.
There's the added bonus of remembering some guys. And remembering some things.
Here is a brief list of observations, a truncated list of names and places and incidents.
A pre-Skydome Toronto. Umpires in sweaters. Dan Gladden. How so many teams wore some variant of a light-blue uniform at one point.
Roger McDowell has his own segment and steals the show. Tom Paciorek does a John Wayne impression. Dennis Lamp becomes Gaylord Perry. Everyone was so damn skinny. Nothing will prepare you for the closing credits choice.
It is so pure. And still so funny. A snap-shot for so many of a certain age still so fond of this era of ball and the characters it produced. I would never tell you how to spend your valuable free time. But a person could certainly do worse than firing this up and leaning into the nostalgia.