Tidbits - April 12 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



TWILIGHT ZONE..

  Every now and then, we have those “Da Da Da Da, Da Da Da Da, Twilight Zone” moments that defy logical explanation.
  A few Tuesdays ago, I was shopping while the paper was being printed, and saw a good looking pink plaid shirt on sale.
  I found my size, went to the counter and paid.
  This was the Tuesday before Easter.
  Easter Eve I went to my clothes-junk room to get the shirt and take the wrappings off and the pins out.
  I was stunned.
  Not only had my shirt turned green, it was the wrong size!
  How did that happen?
  Last Tuesday, I put the shirt in the bag, complete with saved receipt, and went back to the store.
  I left the shirt in the van to begin with, because I wanted to check to display to see if I had completely lost my mind.
  I found my pink plaid shirt in my size right on top of the stack. Aha!
  Three sections over was the green plaid shirt. There is no way I would have grabbed that shirt by accident.
  I walked back to the van to get the shirt for the exchange and figured out what might have happened.
  When I took my shirt to the counter, the clerk took it and put on the shelf behind the counter. The green shirt must have been back there, too, and he put it in my bag by mistake, and later put my shirt back on the shelf.
  That was a little spooky, but, I admit I do forget things every now and then.
  Last Friday, I was about to leave for the Post Office, and Jackie said we needed some stamps.
  I reached in my pocket and discovered I had left my money clip at home.
  I got in my car and started home, and realized I had left the key to the Post Office box at the office.
  No problem. The other key was in my van at home.
  When I got home, I discovered I had not only left my money, I had also left my billfold! Wouldn’t that have been fun in the drive-thru? I wonder if I have $7.00 worth of change in the car?
  Speaking of the drive-thru, my Friday routine is to go through the drive-thru, then drive to Carolyn Langford Merchant’s house and leave her the Sunday church bulletin and choir music.
  Last Friday, I decided to change my routine.
  I took the bulletin and music by Carolyn’s first, then went through the drive-thru.
  When I got my food, I pulled onto Travis Avenue and drove back to Carolyn’s house and pulled into her driveway....
  Since I had already done that I few minutes earlier, I turned around.
  It doesn’t pay to change.....

NOT HIM

  A few years ago, after Patrick Reed won his first tournament, he told the interviewer, “I consider myself one of the top five players in the world.”
  What did he just say?
  From that moment on, I decided to dislike Patrick, and Sunday I was pulling for him NOT to win the Master’s.
  But, he did. A few more major wins and he might reach those lofty goals he bragged about.
  But I still don’t like him. From what I’ve read, neither does anyone else. He doesn’t even speak to his parents, and they live in Augusta!

SHOHEI OHTANI

  Remember that name!
  I read an article in “Sports Illustrated” a few months ago on the next “Babe Ruth,” Shohei Ohtani of Japan.
  Right. Where have I heard that before?
  Don’t  get me wrong. Japan has supplied some outstanding hitters and pitchers to the Major Leagues, but none of the hitters have been power hitters anywhere near Babe Ruth.
  Ohtani’s comparison to Ruth, it not just based on his power hitting, but on his pitching, as well.
  Many forget Babe began his career as a pitcher and won 20 games twice in his career. Along with his 714 home runs, he had a 94-46 career pitching record and a 2.27 ERA.
  Pretty impressive. Could Ohtani come anywhere near this?
  Ohtani was signed by the California Angels. Last week he hit home runs in three games in a row as a designated hitter, and struck out 12 batters in the game he pitched.
  That has been done only two previous times in Major League history, 1919 by Ruth, and 1973 by Ken Brett.
  Brett was Hall of Famer George Brett’s brother. When he wasn’t pitching, he was used as a pinch hitter. Brett came along before the designated hitter was implemented in the American League, or he would have put up some great career hitting numbers.
  There are many good hitting pitchers in baseball, but none of them bat four times in a game as a DH. I watched Ohtani play the other day as a DH. He hit a homer and a single! Oh, did I mention he is 6-4 and weighs 205 lbs.?
  Unless a Major League pitcher began his career as a Major League pitcher, he had to bat on a regular basis from little league through high school.
  There are a few college pitchers who also hit well. If I remember correctly, former Braves star pitch Tim Hudson hit 19 home runs when he played for Auburn.
  From my youth, I remember Braves pitching legend Warren Spahn, most wins by a left handed pitcher at 363, also hit 35 home runs is his career.
  I also remember a season from my childhood, when Dodger’s Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale hit seven home runs.
  I’m anxious to see how this season’s goes with Shoheir Ohtani. If you get a chance to watch him play, do it!

THIN BLUE LINE

  When I posted on social media  a video of Johnston Police Officer Eric Chapman’s funeral procession,  I wrote I hoped I would never have to see anything like that again.
  Eric died in a line of duty vehicle accident on Dec. 8, and almost exactly five months later on April 6, Saluda Deputy Sheriff Dale Hallman died in a vehicle accident, responding to a call.
  Eric was 30. Dale was 29. Both were the fathers of young children. Dale also had a daughter on the way.
  The Chapmans and the Hallmans are well known Saluda County families, and everyone who knows them, hurts for them.
  Since Dale’s death, I have read descriptions on Facebook, ... “like my brother,” “like my son,” “like a member of the family:...
  Angie Black wrote how Dale responded to her son’s terrible four-wheeler accident, and held his hand and encouraged him, while EMS worked to stabilize him.
  Dale was  in a severe accident before he became a law enforcement officer. The way he was treated by EMS and law enforcement, made him want to devote his career to helping to others.
  I watched most of the funeral on WIS’s stream, and was so impressed by the ceremony and the words.
  As the funeral was winding down, I parked on the Chappells Hwy., the way I always go to Shiloh, and waited for the processional.
  Unfortunately, the processional went down the Newberry Highway. 
  Rev Burton Campbell told me this route was chosen, because officials were concerned the traffic might spill out into the Chappells Highway if they went that direction.
Burton was good enough to share the video he took of the processional with me on Facebook. It was very touching.
  My sympathy to Brandi, their boys, his parents, Naomi and Winfred, his sister Letha and family.
  Someone started a GoFund me page for the family over the weekend with a goal of $10,000. By the end of the third day, $17,191 had been contributed by 305 people.
  That shows how much the community cares.