Bobby Thomson died last week, and Roger Clemens was indicted. No juxtaposition could better capture the way we used to feel about our sports heroes, and the way we feel about them now.Now, I think Roger Clemens is a first rate jerk and I will shed nary a tear for his indictment. But Ross' column actually illustrates the opposite point he thinks that it does because Bobby Thomson and the 1951 Giants were world class cheaters themselves. Here's an ESPN article from 2003,
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday quoted Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin, catcher Sal Yvars and pitcher Al Gettel as admitting they stole catchers' signs to overcome a 13½-game deficit and win baseball's most famous pennant race.
"Every hitter knew what was coming," Gettel said. "Made a big difference."
Far from being a puritanical model of all which is righteous Thomson instead proves that our sports heroes have always been sought a competitive edge and would gleefully disregarded rules and norms in pursuit of that edge.