Thursday, August 03, 2006

 
August 3rd, 1959


Jim Gott Born


"In many ways Gott offers a complete contrast with [Orel] Hershiser. Hershiser is intergalactically famous. Gott is not. No Bob Hope specials for him. Hershiser works in one of the nation's two biggest media markets. Gott worked in one of the smallest of the 26 major league markets. Los Angeles is synonymous with glitter. It should not be. It is as much the home of gang as Hollywood. (Gott, by the way, was born in Hollywood.) Pittsburgh is synonymous with sweat and soot. It should not be. The image of Pittsburgh as the Steel City is more than a generation out of date. No steel is made within the city limits. There is only one producing steel mill in the metropolitan area. The city's largest employer is the University of Pittsburgh. But the biggest contrast between Hershiser and Gott is what they do. Hershiser has a star's job: starting pitcher. Gott's job is to prevent disasters and sometimes tidy up messes that other pitchers have made. Hershiser has the glamour of a surgeon. Gott is one of those harried doctors you see--and are mighty glad to see--coping with crises in busy emergency rooms. When major league managers reach for the dugout phone to call the bullpen they should dial 911. The Book of Job--the relief pitcher's handbook--got it right: Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward."

~George F. Will, Men at Work

[Editor's Note: That quotes comes from Job Chapter 5, Verse 7 if anyone is curious. Gott would join Hershiser and the Dodgers in 1990 and pitch several good years--notably 1992 and '93--before leaving the game after a season in Philly in 1995]



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