John Lowenstein and the need for baseball on YouTube

Today is John Lowenstein’s birthday and I was going to do a little tribute to a classic late 1970s player with great hair and ubiquitous in my packs of Topps cards.

He had the classic 1970s stache, the hair that poured out of his head and wore not only the bright orange Orioles uniforms from the great 1979 World Series but the ugly red unis worn by the mid 1970s Indians.

He was a colorful character who didn’t want a fan club but an apathy club while with Cleveland. A write up of that club (and a lot of elements of Lowenstein’s cool career) can be read at Urban Shocker’s blog.

He was a fan favorite in Baltimore where he was a part time player but managed to come up big in two different post seasons.

One of his most beloved moments as an Oriole was in 1980 when he was hit in the neck by a ball thrown by an infielder. The deflection allowed the winning run the score but Lowenstein was on the ground. As he was being carried out on a stretcher, he sat up abruptly and pumped his fists to the screaming fans.

But his single greatest moment happened in Game 1 of the 1979 ALCS. The game was a tense battle between the favored Orioles and the upstart Angels. Both teams threw a future Hall of Famer (Jim Palmer for the Birds, Nolan Ryan for the Halos) and it became an extra innings battle of the bullpens.

In the 10th with a runner on and two outs, Angels reliever John Montague walked Al Bumbry to face Lowenstein. Lowenstein then hit an 0-2 pitch over the wall for a walk off homer. Memorial Stadium went bananas. So did Lowenstein as the Orioles were on their way to winning the pennant.

Seeing it is Lowenstein’s birthday, I thought it would be cool to post that clip on a blog page.

You know, embed it here on the blog, have a few hundred people see it and maybe have Oriole fans pass it around.

Guess what?
I can’t find the clip on line. And I LOOKED!

Why is that the case?
There are so many wonderful clips and memories about baseball that are sitting gathering dust in a vault. And they should be passed around and made available for fans to share their memories and have new fans get caught up in their teams history.

Imagine a young Oriole fan who has never seen a good team in Camden Yards watching a clip of the Orioles jumping up and down after a walk off homer by a guy with Juan Epstein’s hair and a porn stache!

I made a joke on MY YouTube video about the Giants about how baseball needs to be on the Internets. And in a previous post I brought up how Susan Boyle, the Chocolate Rain guy and all of the other internet sensations have probably been seen by more people than most of the best plays in baseball.

Baseball should be the pioneers of making their clips available to be seen by new generations. And shared by fans who want to celebrate not only the major events, but fan favorite moments.

Why isn’t the Lowenstein home run available for fans to see?
What good does it do sitting in a vault? What does it cost to upload a video?
My video cost exactly $0.00 to put on line. And a few thousand people saw it so far.

I think a lot more people who love the Orioles would be thrilled watching a Lowenstein homer this morning.

Maybe some people haven’t seen it for a while and it gets them (and brace yourself for impact) thinking positive thoughts about baseball in the off season!!!

I shouldn’t be the one saying this out loud!
Get on it, baseball! Start posting those clips.

And as I said before, you can stick an ad for Tide or Holiday Inn Express in front of it to make a few bucks.

Lowenstein has a birthday next year.
I want to post that clip.

And since baseball doesn’t have a YouTube page, I’ll just post MY video again and get a few extra hits.

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The Yankees are turning back the clock to 2005

Seriously, is it 2005 again?
Is Brokeback Mountain playing in the theaters?
Is Hollaback Girl popular again?
Is Lost a new show?

Because if you looked at the moves the Yankees have been making, you’d think the clock was turned back 6 years.

I know losing the 2005 Division Series to the Angels must have been painful, but the Yankees look like they haven’t gotten over it!

The Yankees need pitching depth and maybe some outfield help.

So bring in Mark Prior… who actually pitched 166 2/3 innings in 2005 and was still an ace.

Bring in Justin Duchscherer… who made the 2005 All Star team

Bring in Andruw Jones…who hit 51 homers, won a Gold Glove and was the MVP runner up in 2005.

And, most impressively, bring in Bartolo Colon… who won the AL Cy Young in 2005.

Seriously, 6 years ago these moves would have made people scream “It isn’t fair! The Yankees get ALL the superstars.”

In 2011, these moves look like what the Pirates would do followed by the phrase “They are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.”

Let’s review how they’ve looked since 2005.

Prior threw just 43 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 2006. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in a Major League game since. The Yankees are hoping the last 4 years of not pitching will make him stronger.

Duchscherer made the All Star team again in 2008, but has appeared in only 5 games in the last two seasons.

Jones has seen his stats deteriorate since 2005, hitting the low of his dreadful ’08 season with the Dodgers where he was cut after being a sub .160 hitter. The Yankees will be his fifth team in the last 5 seasons.

Colon hasn’t thrown 100 innings in a season since the 2005 campaign. He left the 2008 Red Sox somewhat unexpectedly to handle “personal matters.” He resurfaced in 2009 with the White Sox but missed the entire 2010 season. Fat, broken down and having personal matters is a great combination for New York.

Also turning back to 2005 is Brian Cashman not having control of the team. The bizarre public contract negotiations with Derek Jeter. The conflicting stories about the Cliff Lee pursuit. (Did he meet with him or what?) His not wanting Soriano and publicly trashing the signing in the press conference.

It all seems like the Yankee brass is making moves over Cashman’s head. And what other kind of move seems more Steinbrenner like than bringing in big names people have heard of, even if the move doesn’t really make sense of help the team.

The team is old and has injury issues. Better bring in a bunch of guys who have combined to miss 6 entire seasons recently!

Ironically do you know who was ALSO good in 2005?
Cliff Lee.

I’m just saying.

Cue up Hollaback Girl!

(I still don’t know what a Hollaback Girl is.)

Justin Duchscherer has been courted by the Yankees but not signed yet.
The point still stands

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My video has passed Tris Speaker on the hit list

Thanks to a bunch of very cool links (including this one from Off the Bench at my video The Giant Alternative now has 3,574 hits.

That’s more hits than Tris Speaker.
Next on the list?

Stan Musial with 3,630.

I wonder if it will pass Stan the Man!

Either way, here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it.
And if you liked it, pass it around.

I am making a new one tomorrow.

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