Baseball – The Tenth Inning – 2010

This latest entry covers the period from the early 1990’s onward. Labor relations deteriorated badly in the early part of that decade leading to the players strike in August 1994. The Montreal Expos were the best team in baseball at the time but when a Federal judge blocked the owners from unilaterally imposing a contract- which would have let them use replacement players it quickly came to an end and the players returned to work under the old contract. Attendance dropped after that but the game recovered quickly with the heroics of Cal Ripkin Jr. By the end of 1990’s, fans were caught up in the home run derby presented by Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. There was also the first whiff of scandal when McGwire was accused of using steroids. It was also an era when new baseball stadiums were built in many cities, evoking an earlier age when the parks were built specifically for the sport. The curse of the Bambino finally came to an end with the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004. Bobby Bonds broke McGwire’s three year-old season home-run record and later Hank Aaron’s HR record. The issue of drug use eventually led to Congressional hearings after the BALCO scandal and the Mitchell Report, which named many stars as having used performance enhancing drugs. This inning is dedicated to the late, great Buck O’Neil.
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