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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Livingston: To his credit, Jim Thome approaches 600 home runs the old-fashioned way

So Thome stood both on the brink of history and of suspicion. The former he earned, the latter he did not.

As in track and field with doping, so with baseball: Awe yields to doubt. Genuine accomplishments are more tainted than they would have been had a ball-and-chain of asterisks clattered after them. It is hard to prove a negative, that Thome did not take steroids. That is particularly true because his body thickened during his first years with the Tribe.

The rebuttal is to look at a photo of a Thome family reunion. They are all big men and women. His father, Chuck Jr., all but tanned the leather covers of pristine white softballs with his bat on the playing fields of Peoria, Ill. His aunt, Carolyn, was such a prospect that the hometown Caterpillar Tractor Co. gave her a mail room job at the age of 15 so she could slug away for their women’s team, the Dieselettes.

Thome was raised in that era, when tortured diminutives like “Dieselettes” were used in women’s sports and sluggers were naturally corn-fed and brawny.

Think I once saw a poster for The Dieselettes playing a rumdown NY punk club.

Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:22 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, indians, sabermetrics, steroids, twins

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   1. TerpNats Posted: August 14, 2011 at 01:46 AM (#3899434)
There are still some places where those type names are used for girls' or women's teams. Culpeper County High School in Virginia, whose boys' teams are called the Blue Devils, call their girls' teams the "Devilettes." And I would think that much of that is also true in the Deep South, especially in states where girls' teams in sports such as basketball predate the 1970s.

The women's teams at Maryland are sometimes, but not always, called the "Lady Terps." Thankfully, "Terpettes" never caught on; it sounds like a type of candy ("Here, have some Terpettes!").
   2. Craig in MN Posted: August 14, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#3899436)
I went to school with a kid that had a bad case of Terpette's.
   3. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:17 AM (#3899439)
Our high school mascot was the Rams and our girls' teams were the Lady Rams.
   4. Ginger Nut Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3899456)
The University of South Carolina women's teams are the "Lady Game Cocks." Awesome.
   5. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:49 AM (#3899463)
The University of South Carolina women's teams are the "Lady Game Cocks." Awesome.


Do they chant "We love our Lady Cocks" at games?
   6. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#3899466)
"Terpettes" never caught on; it sounds like a type of candy ("Here, have some Terpettes!").


No, it sounds like a battleship.
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 14, 2011 at 03:00 AM (#3899474)
My favorite variant of this was when the Cardinals took out ads in The Sporting News trying to appeal to "fanettes" to come out to Sportsman's Park.

Of course the all-time low (though I admit it cracked me up) was when Esquire ran a parody issue on women's liberation, and led with a mock editorial that was addressed to "Vagino-Americans". Strangely enough, I never found too many women who saw the humor in it.
   8. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: August 14, 2011 at 03:41 AM (#3899510)
My high school mascot was the steer. Our women's teams...the Lady Steers. Figure that out, if you can, and let me know what you learn.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 14, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3899781)
The rebuttal is to look at a photo of a Thome family reunion. They are all big men and women. His father, Chuck Jr., all but tanned the leather covers of pristine white softballs with his bat on the playing fields of Peoria, Ill. His aunt, Carolyn, was such a prospect that the hometown Caterpillar Tractor Co. gave her a mail room job at the age of 15 so she could slug away for their women’s team, the Dieselettes

As opposed to ...

Barry Bonds, son of HoVG and power/speed pioneer Bobby Bonds, nephew of an Olympic hurdler (Bobby's sister) and an NFL draft pick (Bobby's brother) and spent his childhood around Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. But other than that, no reason to think he came by his talent "naturally."
   10. Jack Keefe Posted: August 14, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3899795)
Hey I used to say Vagino-Americans but Ozzie Guillen says we must say Midol Munching Americans.
   11. ray james Posted: August 14, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#3899862)
But other than that, no reason to think he came by his talent "naturally."


I think the writer was reporting to physical size of the Thome family, not to its athletic ability.
   12. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 14, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#3899870)
My high school's teams were the Governors and the Lady Governors. The girls' teams were sometimes shorted to Lady Guvs, which was frequently misspelled as Lady Guys. Of course, the school was built on a landfill.
   13. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 14, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3899898)
I've kept the scorebook for an NCAA Div I women's basketball team since 1978, so I've seen one heck of a lot of women's team nicknames. The term Lady ______ is very common among Southern teams, and almost non-existant outside of the South. For years, the USC team insisted on being called the Women of Troy rather than the Trojans, but they now use both nicknames.
   14. Greg K Posted: August 14, 2011 at 10:20 PM (#3899904)
Women of Troy

The team that launched a thousand free throws.
   15. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 14, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#3899908)
My alma mommy's mascot was female (Sagehen); our men's teams were referred to, colloquially, as the Sagecocks. The school across the street had men's teams called the Stags, and women's teams called the Athenas, which always seemed a little weird to me.
   16. DanG Posted: August 14, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#3899910)
Thome approaches 600 home runs the old-fashioned way
He URRHNNS it!
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 14, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#3899915)
My high school mascot was the steer. Our women's teams...the Lady Steers. Figure that out, if you can, and let me know what you learn.


Better than the women's team being the Heifers.
   18. Psychomasochist Posted: August 14, 2011 at 11:57 PM (#3899969)
Barry Bonds, son of HoVG and power/speed pioneer Bobby Bonds, nephew of an Olympic hurdler (Bobby's sister) and an NFL draft pick (Bobby's brother) and spent his childhood around Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. But other than that, no reason to think he came by his talent "naturally."


But was he corn-fed?
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#3899994)
Barry Bonds, son of HoVG and power/speed pioneer Bobby Bonds, nephew of an Olympic hurdler (Bobby's sister) and an NFL draft pick (Bobby's brother) and spent his childhood around Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. But other than that, no reason to think he came by his talent "naturally."

Don't look now, but Michelle Bachmann just demanded to see Bonds's birth certificate.

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