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September 6, 1998
Homeric Justice

So, Mark McGwire hit home run number 62.  Did you cry?  So far, my personal count is at least three people, either close friends or family members, teared up at the historic moment.

And after all the speculation, and the positioning, and several hundred dollar scalper tickets ... after all that, the ball landed in the hands of an employee of the St. Louis Cardinals, who made the 100 percent right decision.

Within 48 hours of screaming over the wall at Busch Stadium, the Mark McGwire home run ball was on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

So, does every homer from here on out draw the same million-dollar attention?  I mean, every time McGwire homers from here to the rest of the season, itís a new record.  Will only the last of his blasts be worth millions?  Will all of those balls find their way to the Hall of Fame?

And, more importantly, what about Sammy?  Cubs first baseman Mark Grace has pointed out an unusual dilemma facing his team.  When Sammy Sosa launches number 62 in to the right field bleachers at Wrigley Field, what then?  Does the team pour out of the dugout and celebrate?  Does the nation stop to watch a second man break the record?  Can Sosa catch McGwire?  What if Sosa finishes with more homers than McGwire, but Markís the one who first broke the record?  I suppose Sammy would be the new record holder, right?

Picture this:  Last week of the season, McGwire sitting on 65 homers, Sosa just behind at 64.  Sosa blasts a pair of dingers.  Thereís a ceremony after the game, congrats for Sosa, the new record holder.  That night, McGwire hits two out of the yard.  After the game, a ceremony, curtain calls ...

Baseball is back!  People are talking baseball all over the nation.  Now all we need is a great post season, and perhaps the national pastime can once again regain its rightful place in the sports hierarchy.

Cubs versus Red Sox in the World Series, anyone?

Let the debate continue.


Editor's note:  This column was "back-dated" for consistency.  Of course, McGwire didn't break the record until September 8th.  Thanks for hanging with us so we could include it as part of this "week."

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©1998
Colin Campbell - jenolen@earthlink.net
Last updated September 6, 1998