- Steve Etheridge, ESPN Playbook
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Your girlfriend just got up to go to the bathroom, and you’re left alone with her dad. She took her purse with her, so you know it’s gonna be at least five excruciating minutes. You can’t talk to him about your job — because it’s humiliating — and you can’t discuss how you like to do kisses with his daughter. Really, your only safe option is to look at the ground and quietly mutter a bunch of fascinating baseball trivia facts.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage used to play ball in the Cardinals organization.
Chuck Knoblauch once hit Keith Olbermann’s mom in the face with a wild throw.
Bobby Valentine claims to have invented the wrap sandwich.
He once struck out 25 hitters in a single game on an estimated 300 pitches. To top it off, he drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 15th inning with a short bloop to left.
It was in 1948 -- I believe the same year Jamie Moyer was born -- and Lasorda was just back from the Army, pitching for the Schenectady Blue Jays under manager Lee Riley (father of Pat Riley -- no joke). They were playing a team called the Amsterdam Rugmakers who, as suggested by their name, were an intimidating bunch.
But no matter to Lasorda, who threw approximately 300 pitches to get the W. Can you imagine that? If Stephen Strasburg or Chris Sale tried to throw 300 pitches, their arms would shrivel into tiny reptilian claws, good for only picking up peanuts and pecking through the new Miller Lite punch top cans. Either that or they’d just spontaneously combust.
Lasorda also walked 12 and beaned a guy, but let’s not dwell on the ugly. Let’s just celebrate the fact that your girlfriend’s finally back from the bathroom, and her dad thinks you’re a cool dude for knowing so much about sports. You now have permission to ask his daughter’s hand in marriage.