Sunday, July 16, 2017

What I Actually Remember About Bill Nahorodny's Career

Over the years I've become social media friends with Bill Nahorodny.  I'm an amateur sports blogger and fan, and I remembered Bill from his days as a major league player.   Eventually I found out we have common interests in music and many other things, so I consider him a friend.  But I wish, I wish I could remember more of the events of his career.  It would nice if I could remember all sorts of details, but it's just not in the old memory banks.

In a general way, I remembered that he came up as one of the bright prospects of the White Sox in the circa 1978, and Indians broadcasters chatted him up on the radio a bit. At that time I was in college and in ROTC training camp in the summer and didn't follow sports quite as faithfully as in high school. Anyway, the White Sox at that time had been purchased by Bill Veeck, who had been the owner of the Indians in the 1940's and 50's.  They had some modest success by recycling veteran players like Eric Soderholm and player-manager Don Kessinger, and Bill Nahorodny was one of the few young players on the team.    I vaguely remember Indians radio broadcasters Herb Score and Joe Tait chatting him up a bit when he was at bat.  Not just a catcher, but a good young hitter....

Flash forward to July 3, 1982.  My Air Force friend, Vic Slaboszewicz and I drove up to Cleveland for the ball game, with fireworks after the game.  At that time Toby Harrah was playing at an MVP level, batting way over .300.  Toby did not disappoint, ripping  three hits including a triple, and getting a standing ovation while all of us fans chanted his name.  The Indians blew the game, however, getting outslugged by former Indians like Oscar Gamble and Graig Nettles. 

OK, so back to Bill Nahordny.   I was surprised to see him shagging balls in the outfield before the game.  I remember thinking "Hey! I remember that name.  He was considered to be a great prospect wasn't he?  Maybe he can help the team..."   

That's it.  That's the only event I can definitely remember distinctly. It seems like an almost infinitesimal fraction of a man's like and an incredible achievement.  Bill played nine years in the major leagues, which is an enormous accomplishment. Really, I think everyone who makes it deserves a plaque in the Hall of Fame, and they should record everything that you do on the field, and  people should remember every play you made, because it was so intensely important at the time.  But really, most of us can only remember a sliver of shared experiences.  

The only thing I really remember for sure from his entire career is that he shagged fly balls in the outfield on July 3, 1982.    

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