He is Legend

If you saw a headline that read “Cubs legend visits devoted fan,” who would you think the article referred to? Ernie Banks would be my first guess, though if I were in a good mood I’d probably accept Ron Santo, Billy Williams, or Ryne Sandberg. Heck, if it was a local Chicago paper and the “devoted fan” were a sick kid or something, I’d also grant you Mark Grace, Sammy Sosa or someone like that. Legends? Other than Banks not really, but we’ll let it pass if it’s for a good cause.

But no matter how good the cause is, Milt Pappas doesn’t seem to qualify:

Gewerth, now a 91-year-old patient at Manor Care in Palos Heights, had a dream fulfilled yesterday when he met and talked baseball with former Cubs pitcher and Beecher resident Milt Pappas as part of the nursing home’s Hearts Desire program, which grants wishes to dying residents.

“When I told John that Milt Pappas was coming, his eyes just lit up,” said Chris Raciti, an assistant administrator at Manor Care who worked with Gewerth’s hospice nurse, Barb Briarton, to bring the ballplayer to the nursing home. “He had a big smile on his face. He was speechless. He didn’t know what to say.”

Kudos to Pappas for making a dying baseball fan’s day and everything, but man, I can’t help but think that someone at the Southtown Star needs to recalibrate their adjective use.

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Comments

  1. johnMcG said...

    Funny thing about Pappas is that, at least for my generation of fans and later, he is known for two things not related to himself:

    * Being traded for Frank Robinson
    * Bill James’ assessment of Don Drysdale’s Hall Of Fame case that used Pappas’s similar statistics as a foil.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Crap, Rob.  There you and your adherence to accuracy go and mess up some perfectly adequare snark.

    /I’m an idiot.

  3. BillyBeaneismyHero said...

    Here’s what I was going to say…

    “Don’t you have to spend more than three and a half seasons with a team to be considered a “team legend”? 

    Then I remembered Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.  Maybe Pappas did something pretty memorable during his time with the Cubs.  If he did though, I would think someone would’ve mentioned it by now.

  4. Melody said...

    Craig, this is a commonly-used headline technique!  If the “legend” were Banks, the headline would have said “Banks.”  For example, if you see a headline reading “Red Sox Pitcher Arrested for Public Urination” you click excitedly on the article expecting it to be Daisuke Matsuzaka… but of course, it turns out to be Devern Hansack.

    If the name were enough to attract attention, it would be in there!

  5. hermitfool said...

    So if you were lying on death’s door in a nursing home which baseball guy would you most want to visit?

    If he’s still kicking it would have to be Rocky Bridges. If not, Bill “Spaceman” Lee. Either one of those guys would be a more interesting visitor than most “legends.”

  6. Beanster said...

    How awesome that 91-year old John was so excited!  I can’t help thinking the story (or the visit) wouldn’t have worked as well if his reaction had been, “Who the f*** is Milt Pappas?”

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