Friday, May 08, 2009

Kids Are Smarter Than You Think

I just received a press release from Sports Illustrated Kids that is very timely.
In a survey conducted by Sports Illustrated Kids and C&R Research, 86% of kids between the ages of 8 – 14 agree that athletes proven to have used performance enhancing drugs should not be allowed into their sport’s Hall of Fame. More than 1,000 kids were polled last month as part of a broad examination of kids’ views on sports, entertainment and the world around them. Full results of the poll will be highlighted in Sports Illustrated Kids “Kids Take Over” issue, on newsstands in early July.

Directly from the poll:

Question: If it’s proven that an athlete has used performance-enhancing drugs (such as steroids), should that person be allowed into their sport’s Hall of Fame?
· 86%: No, they should not be allowed in
· 10%: Depends on who it is
· 4%: Yes, they should be allowed in

Further, 30% of the kids polled volunteered that steroid, drug and alcohol use is the biggest problem in professional sports today, followed by criminal activity and arrests (9%).

The survey was conducted online in April, 2009, among a sample of 1,004 U.S. children ages 8-14. The sample was balanced and weighted to match 2007 U.S. Census figures for online households with children. The survey has a margin of error no worse than +/- 3.2%.

Children appear to have a pretty good handle on this. Cheaters should never prosper.

Collection: 1984 Union Oil Most Memorable Moments: 1977 League Championship Series

Above is the 1984 Union Oil Most Memorable Moments commemorating the 1977 League Championship Series. From the description on the reverse.
Two grand slams, a dramatic ninth inning rally and a stellar pitching performance in the rain were all part of the 1977 National League Championship Series as the Dodgers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, three games to one.
Click the pic below to read more.
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Artwork by Richard Farrell.

Check out the rest of the set here in my photoalbum, or the following link with my post about each sheet.

Rickey Scouting Drysdale

(Click photo above to enlarge)

Dinged Corners has found something great. She searched through the Library of Congress American Memory website and came across a old scouting report on Don Drysdale written by Branch Rickey. At the time, Rickey was General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but we all know him as the pioneer who signed Jackie Robinson to Brooklyn in 1945.

The report was written on June 15, 1954 while Drysdale was still an 18 year old kid in Los Angeles. Rickey writes:
A lot of artistry about this boy. Way above average fast ball. It is really good. Direction of the spin and the speed of rotation the same on all fast ball pitches, -angle of delivery the same, stride is wide, and his body is in all pitches. Fine pitching hand, and placement on fast and curve ball needs no coaching. Let him alone on all his fingering. He is good. I don't know about his agility or whether or not he has the body control or can field his position, but his work on the hill itself has an unusual amount of perfection.
The letter goes on to discuss his pitches and then when he might be ready for the big leagues. The most fascinating part is the contract talk. Rickey's level of interest was high as he was willing to dole out a Major League contract. Of course, he shouldn't get paid more than $4,000 if he plays in the minors. Major League minimum salaries at the time was $6,000.

Alas, Branch's pursuit was fruitless. As noted in red on the bottom left, "signed with Brooklyn, Father is bird dog for them." In other words, we had a ace in the hole. A "Bird Dog" is a local scout.

Check out Dinged Corners for more great finds at the Library of Congress.