Archive for the ‘Ron Cey’ Category

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Ron Cey

October 20, 2016

ron-cey

California Sun

II.

While I was attempting to write something poetic about the California sun, my elderly cat here in Chicago made a strangulated sound nearby. I got up from my desk and discovered that he’d just taken a shit on the carpet, actually our new carpet, which we recently had installed at notable expense to replace the old one, which had incurred sewage damage from a broken ejector pump. I rushed to pick my cat up and move him to his litter box around the corner—why I did this I don’t know; the shit was already out of the cat, to coin a phrase—and he started puking. I cleaned up all his excretions as best I could, wondering what the hell we were going to do with this cat, this carpet, this unending series of costs and disappointments and defilements and declines, and then I sat back down here at my desk to try to write about the California sun again.

O California sun!

Is this the California sun reflecting off of Ron Cey’s helmet? Could be stadium lights, I guess, but what good are facts when you’re trying to channel your lifelong longing and dissatisfaction through a baseball card? Anyway I think of him in the context of the California sun (though he too eventually found himself in Chicago). I’m blinded by, bathed in, swept away by, and finally cast out of the California sun once every few years.

It all began with Ron Cey.

There he was one day, on This Week in Baseball, in April 1977, as freezing rain came down outside my window in Vermont. I was locked inside, my favorite thing, baseball, impossible, but there on the television was Ron Cey racking up a record-breaking barrage of home runs and RBI to lead the Dodgers to an astounding start, catapulting them to another apparent impossibility: dethroning the Big Red Machine. Pellets of ice drilled the windows of my house as Ron Cey blasted home runs and waddled around the bases and beamed as he reached and then stomped home plate and then disappeared into a roiling jumble of teammates also beaming with wide white smiles and crisp white uniforms. Ron Cey was somewhere else, somewhere better.

“Wally shit again?” my wife just said.

I got up from my desk again to tell her the story, to show her where the deed had been done. Now she is down on her hands and knees cleaning the areas more thoroughly than I did. Now I’m looking at this Ron Cey card and thinking of the California sun one late afternoon in San Diego, the day after my meeting at Sony Pictures Studios. My wife and I had driven south from Pasadena earlier in the day and were in the room of a nice hotel walking distance from the baseball stadium where we were going to see a Padres game later that day. What could be better? The California sun was streaming in through the windows. I got a call from an agent who’d talked to the other attendees of my meeting at Sony Pictures Studios. His usually ebullient manner was ratcheted up beyond ebullience. When the phone call was over I looked at my wife. To her I surely looked crazy, but it felt to me like the California sun was beaming out of me from within.

“Our life is going to change,” I said.

To be continued.

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Ron Cey in . . . The Franchise All-Time All-Stars

July 1, 2008
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Be warned: the following further installment of The All-Time Franchise All-Stars is both derivative and ill-informed, probably more so than the earlier installments, which were focused on teams, the Expos and Mets, that I know a little better than the team profiled here. Though I have, in an effort to retain some semblance of originality, lately avoided looking at Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups, which is a multi-acre amusement park compared to the tangled yo-yo of this ongoing feature, it’s a good bet that whatever I get right in my picks for the all-time teams of any franchise owes to earlier readings of that book.

But who knows, maybe all we can ever really claim as our own is what we get wrong. So on that capitulatory note, here’s how I see the Dodgers all-time team. (In parentheses after each player mentioned is their positional ranking, if available, from The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.) If it seems to you at any time that I’m in way over my head, please feel free to throw me a Dodger blue lifesaver.

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