It was not just another day. No, it was June 21, the first day of summer and, yes, Father's Day. It was also a Sunday, and in baseball season that's always a special day. The calendar tells us that Sunday starts a new week; baseball confirms that it ends an old one. It is the day the important weekend series come to a climax, when the star pitchers take the mound, when the best players are at their best, when the crowds are the biggest and the noisiest. It is the day when the whole baseball world seems to be paying attention. And that's why we took ourselves out to the ball games on June 21. We went to 13 ballparks and watched 14 games—they played two in Oakland. We sat in the stands and on the rooftops, inside a scoreboard and alongside a bullpen. We rooted and we booed and we ate hot dogs. We saw 44 home runs, including a one-day record of 30 in the American League, a record-tying seven solo shots by the Twins and White Sox in their game in Minnesota and an unusual inside-the-park grand slam in Oakland. We saw the beanballs and a brouhaha, the fun and the foolishness, the little tragedies—a struggling young pitcher sent down to the minors, for one—and a hundred little triumphs. We were even there at dawn when Whitey Herzog began putting on his game face for the showdown between his Cardinals and the ascending Expos by...going fishing. It was summer, after all. And it was that kind of day.
RONALD C. MODRA
At 6:15 a.m. Whitey Herzog was more concerned with lines than lineups.