It’s Monday, but more importantly it’s Opening Day of the 2008 baseball season. For 162 of the next 180 days, I’ll have something positive to focus on — no matter what else goes wrong. The steroid scandal notwithstanding, baseball has been an American icon for more than 100 years. And it’s been a central part of my life since Bill Mazeroski hit that 9th innning homer to beat the Yankees in the 1960 World Series.
I was only 7 when Maz put the Pirates on the map, and I’ve been in love with this game ever since. Now, if we could only persuade the baseball gods to dump the designated hitter rule — one of the great injustices of the 20th century, along with “lite” beer.
While I should have been in church Sunday morning, I was instead online catching up on the feeder and answering email. I’ll probably go to hell for that, huh? Anyway, I’ve always been a sucker for a girl with a beautiful smile. But before someone accuses me of blasphemy or worse, I’d best move on.
Ohio & Kentucky are fighting over a rock. For more than a century the 8-ton boulder known as Indian Head Rock was an Ohio River tanning spot for locals. In addition to catching some rays and sharing a beer or two, IHR visitors also carved initials, messages and even artwork into the stone. Some of the art is rumored to have been carved by Indians, but no one really knows.
When a dam raised the water level in the Ohio River near Portsmouth, Ohio, Indian Head Rock disappeared under the surface for decades. Last September, local history buff Steve Shaffer and his merry band of scuba divers located IHR, raised it from the river bottom and donated it to the city of Portsmouth.
Shaffer’s salvage operation stirred up a whole lot more than river muck. Seems the legislators in Kentucky are upset that Shaffer stole their boulder, claiming it was fished from the Kentucky side of the river. They’re mad as hell in Frankfort, and they want their rock back now.
It’s nice to know that amid high crime rates, impending economic collapse and other societal chaos that our elected officials can still find time for important matters like river rocks.
Maybe they all need to go see a baseball game.