Sunday, September 02, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2181, September 2nd, 2012

Whitey Ford and Vernon Law at the 1960 World Series. 


Vern Law was having a career year for the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates. That 1960 team was an underdog all year round. It was the pitching of “The Deacon” as he was nicknamed by team mates that kept the Pirates in contention. Law was having a career year. In 1960 his record was 20-9 and the 6 foot 2 hurler was well on his way to winning the Cy Young Award. On September 25 in Milwaukee, the Pirates clinched their first pennant in 33 years. After the game, Law and his team mate Smokey Burgess showered and declined to join the party that started in the locker room and then gravitated toward the team bus. The 1960’s Pirate team were a conglomeration of characters and baseball roustabout who liked to have a good time. On the team bus, that good time got out of hand. The players were running up and down the bus and a few, at the instigation of broadcaster Bob Prince started to bust Law about his Mormon faith. A struggle ensued when a few of the players ripped Law’s shirt causing the buttons to fly off. The mob mentality of the team then kicked in because they wanted to see the Mormon undergarment that is a part of their religious code. Law fought back to preserve his right to not have that garment displayed. In the process he injured his ankle which caused him then to change his pitching mechanics. Although Law won 2 games in the ’60 Series, his subsequent seasons were below par because of the injury. Law pitched in the Series despite severe pain and for at least part of his career his balance was off. Plus he favored his other leg which messed up his rhythm. Law bounced back after four bad seasons and won 17 games in 1965 becoming The Comeback Player of the Year. It is said that Law, who was 30 at the time of the Championship and injury might have won more games. In the book “Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates” the author John Moody interviews Law who said that the players who were jousting with him had personal problems they were dealing with. Law says that he holds no ill will toward them and even blamed himself for trying to fight back so furiously. He said his struggling might have caused him more of an injury. But Law did say that it was part of his Mormon faith and was something (his garment) that he felt strongly about. Much has been made about the mystery involving some of the Mormon ways with the nomination of Mitt Romney. The story of Vernon Law and his reaction to what happened to him in 1960 might shed some light on the commitment he had to his faith and his will to defend it at a high cost. So for those who worry about a Mormon faith being any different than others, all they need do is look to Vernon Law.


Too many times we tend to lump religions together and make certain assumptions. We hear about a prominent person being of one religion and we think everyone in that religion does the same thing. A friend of mine used to work with Mormons in Salt Lake City. One of the characteristics you hear about Mormons is that they shun caffeine. My friend who was friends with a Mormon said that was not the case with his buddy. This guy would drive at least thirty miles when he was camping with his family to get a fix. Another friend of mine who was raised as a Baptist said that no one in his family touched a drop of alcohol. He told me this over a bunch of drinks at a cocktail mixer. I reminded him he didn’t need to make up for the rest of his family at this event. So if you can find a Mormon who will drink a huge coffee, and if you can’t find a Baptist who drinks people under the table, I’m thinking you can find a lot of Catholics who use contraceptives. Every person has a religion but they follow it in different ways. It’s called religious freedom. And it is not being threatened by this President or his party.  


The corruption trial of former State Senator Ray Musto has once again been delayed. The trial was supposed to start in October but it was delayed by Judge Richard Caputo because of the ongoing illness of the former lawmaker. We are now closing in on two years since Musto was charged in the ongoing investigation. Musto’s Attorneys say his health problems have caused the delay. Developer Robert Mericle has to be thrilled about this development because his fate, if any, will be decided after his usefulness to the federal government as a witness ceases.


At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't have a lot of exposure to Mormons, but when in the army in the 70's a guy was drinking & doing drugs, a fellow Mormon was always trying to get him back on the streight & narrow. He wasn't successful, but he kept trying. And on the Baptists- I drank with quite a few of those teetotalers(sp)when stationed in Alabama.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about the Mormons. Why just the other day a salamander
was telling me...
To be fair the virgin birth is a pretty hard one for some of us to deal with. As you know it is not even original to Christianity. I always felt the individual with the greatest faith was Joseph who doesnt get much attention.
A very wise man likened the Catholic religion to idol worship, in later years, but allowed his wife to raise the children Catholic. He was the most Christian man I ever knew and eventually his kids found their way to his way of thinking, thank God. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. Be always respectful if at all possible and tell the truth as a first option. Such men were and still are rare and virtually non existant in politics. Mitt Romneys faith should have no more bearing on his efforts at the Presidency than John Kennedys did in 1960.

Pete Cassidy

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great picture. Did not know the story about Law's injury. Whatever drinking the Preacher didnt do you can be sure Whitey made up for it!
Ralph Terry and Bill Mazerowski both had a beer after that one.

the Bronx Bomber

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bomber

The Yanks had their own preacher in Bobby Richardson who had a helluva series as I recall.

Gotta wonder just how loaded Whitey and Mickey got after that afternoon in Pittsburg. Most likely a cab took them home to New York with the two of them barfing out the window all the way. It was a great day for Pittsburg and the National League!

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Ryan doesnt lie. He MISSTATES!
He lied about running a marathon in an hour less than he actually did, but now calls it a simple MISSTATEMENT. Pretty close to legimate rape if you ask me. I wonder if he can lie about something as unimportant as his time in a race what he might say about more important things. This creep is a real creep!

Carey Avenue Jack

At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Joe V said...

Dave - This debate is about religious institutions being MANDATED to provide birth control and the morning after pill which clearly violates their faith from the top down.
Joe V

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Valenti, if the GOP and the blue dogs had allowed for a public option in the Affordable Care Act, then the religious insititutions you speak of would be able to specially tailor their health care coverage for their employees regarding birth control, or nix the policies all together, which would have been alright because those employees would still have health care through that public option, which would include womens health services, such as birth control.

Personally, I think that since over 90% of Catholics either agree with or have used birth control in their lives, but if there is a sincere objection over this one specific policy, then why didn't the Catholics lobby harder for the public option, so this wouldn't be a problem?

Instead of complaining and whining about having to provide a pill that's commonplace in everyday health care and completely normal in our soceity, and attacking a health care law that ensures that people that need health insurance and can't afford it to finally be able to (something they claim to be for), perhaps these religious institutions should be lobbying for a public option, or a straight up single-payer system for all Americans. That way, services like birth control aren't their responsibility, and their employees will still have access to them.

And before its brought up, if a Catholic employee chooses to use birth control, that's their private business, and not their employers'. We must recognize (as we did for decades before this recent, ridiculous debate over birth control began) that birth control is a normal part of a daily health care routine for women. That cannot nor should not be taken away from them.

So, I look forward to a post, perhaps from you or one of your guest writers on PittstonPolitics, advocating for a public option in the Affordable Care Act. I think you'll find me an ally in such an advocacy!

Casey Evans

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Bluto said...

And if it's my "legitimate faith" to discriminate on the basis of race or torture all brown cats, is that also religious freedom?

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Joe V said...

Casey - With all due respect, can you please tell me how and why "birth control is a normal part of a daily health care routine for women?" And, I never said it should be taken away from them. Mandating religious institutions cover this, not to mention the morning after pill, is a clear violation of their religious freedoms.
Joe V


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