The OAG Inbox: Minor League Baseball Memories And Controversy In Russia

Download Audio
The fast approaching Winter Games have gotten attention for a anti-gay stance taken by the Russian government. ((Mikhail Metzel/AP)
The 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia have been getting attention this summer because of an anti-gay stance taken by the Russian government. (Mikhail Metzel/AP)

Our entertaining yet tasteful celebration of the 20th anniversary of Only A Game in last week's show provoked lots of posts on our Facebook page.

"I listen on my way to work, and it always puts me in a good mood," wrote Audrey Kramer. Thank you, Audrey, and I'm sorry you have to work on the weekend.

Helene Mayer, who characterizes herself as "not much of a sports fan," posted a message about how the program "humanizes sports" in a way that captivates her, which was gratifying.

Several folks wished us 20 more years. I love the optimism there.

Last week I spoke with Lucas Mann, the author of a book titled Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, and we invited you to send us your memories of minor league baseball. A listener named Ed, who hears the program on WRVO in Upstate New York, wrote as follows: "Back in the day, the Mets had a short season team in Little Falls, N.Y. My son was about 8 at the time and used to hang out by the bullpen during games. A relief pitcher, Butch Wallen, offered to trade a baseball for a chocolate chip cookie. My son ran back to me, asked for a quarter, took it to the concession stand, bought the cookie, and returned it to Wallen for the trade. That exchange happened a couple more times during the season. My son is 33 now and we still tell the story."

A couple of weeks ago I spoke with Dan Okrent, the editor of a collection of the best of Red Smith's writing titled American Pastimes. In response to that interview, Jenifer Weiss emailed to say, "Still the best. Smith's writing is used to teach writing in high school and college - not just about sports. He was and is a master craftsman and should continue to be honored and celebrated as one. A national treasure."

Finally, we heard from Kirill Shkovsky, a WBUR listener, who wanted to weigh in on the proposed U.S. boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which Charlie Pierce and I discussed a couple of weeks ago. Though Mr. Shkovsky agreed with Charlie that boycotting the Olympics on the basis of Russia's sheltering Edward Snowden would be foolish, he argues that perhaps "a boycott should be considered, since the 2014 Olympics will bear the dubious distinction of being hosted in a country which just passed a slate of laws allowing imprisonment of a large portion of Olympic Games attendees based on a characteristic such persons have no power to change.

For the record, that "characteristic" is sexual orientation.

Do Russia's new laws against so-called "gay propaganda" merit a boycott? Another response? Follow us on Twitter and tweet your thoughts to us @OnlyAGameRadio.

You can also leave a message on the listener line at 617-353-1860.

This segment aired on August 3, 2013.

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



More from Only A Game

Listen Live