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August 8, 2013

What Would Charlie Keller Say?

Harry M. Covert

Is it any wonder lots and lots of people want to live longer, a century-plus perhaps, that modern medical wonders offer opportunities to not look our ages, that telecasting has become a constant barrage of believe-it-or-not cockamamie schemes?


Talk about profiling, those of elder years have become victims of too-good-to-be-true scams. Well, there may just be enough small threads of truth, but the free market is simply not free.


Frederick has had a long and healthy sports history. The Keys' baseball team has long been a major community asset; local high schools have produced terrific athletes; the American Legion, Babe Ruth and Little Leagues have long been bastions of first-class sports on all levels. Hopes and aspirations for careers have been born and grown.


Charlie Keller, for one, became one of the areas greatest professional players, starring as both player and coach for the fabled New York Yankees – and the University of Maryland.


The Yankees of today have changed from the historic days. The glow of that franchise has dimmed considerably. The glittering days are gone of such performers as Bobby Richardson, Tony Kubek, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Bauer, Phil Rizzuto, Gil McDougal. I almost forgot George Herman Ruth and Louis Gehrig.


The age of PEDs has nearly ruined the game. The initials are for "performance enhancing drugs."


The greatest PED is youth. Who could demean "truth, justice and the American way?" This should not be passé. It is not hokey.


I wish Charlie Keller was around today to comment on the drugs assault on The Game.


Society today is totally difference from years past without question. While major league baseball has suspended – without pay – some 14 players for drug use, the entire matter involves more than the poor and down-trodden rich players. The agent-exploited game should consider some old time rules and fear such a commissioner as Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis.


Today, though, the pastime is a money-game. Nothing wrong with earning as much as the owners are willing to pay, but both the players, agents, team owners, the sports networks, stations, advertisers and those who manage major and minor leagues need to get a grip on what is f-a-i-r.


Frederick is indeed a hotbed of sports. That's excellent. The youthful boys and girls and their parents, while dreaming of successful futures, must be aware of the pitfalls.


Sports airways are bombarded with advertisements – “as always drink responsibly," and other such encouragements, not only about the Clydesdale's, but Mr. Daniels. All these years and Marylander Ogden Nash's poem is still accurate, "candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."


Today, though, it seems like the messages are drugs, drugs and more drugs. Not funny for anybody including athletes of all ages and genders.


Another thought, why not some jail terms for the baseball miscreants or gag orders on any and all of their comments?


Still wish I could interview Charlie Keller. For now I'll enhance my keyboard performance with strong black coffee.


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