'Ole Diz had a funny way of looking at things

By Staff
When it was a game by guest columnist Jim Grammer
"Ole Diz" was a classic.
Dizzy Dean was one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball and became one of the most well known sports announcers of all time.
He and his brother, Paul (or "Daffy") are Hall of Fame pitchers who led the powerful St. Louis Cardinals through the 1930's.
The "Gas House Gang," as they were called, were all hard-nosed, hard-playing, hard-hitting, hard-sliding, old-fashioned baseball players. They were the type that didn't mind getting dirty. The type that gave you 110 percent.
And Dizzy led them.
It was said that Dizzy was the wise cracker and Paul was his best audience. Dizzy talked all the time and Daffy always listened.
Dizzy capitalized off his ability to destroy the English language. He caused great amusement for most, but concern for others.
He was challenged for his misuse of the spoken word during his sports announcer days, but won the hearts of so many with his down-home style.
Young baseball fans copied Dizzy's misuse of the language, and from this came a whole new baseball jargon. Such as "He slud into second base," instead of slid. A "Texas leaguer" was a single to left field, and so on.
Dizzy once gave a lecture at Southern Methodist University entitled "Radio Announcing I have Did." He was a funny one that's for sure.
Simplicity was a way of life with Dizzy. The simple the better, whether it be playing the game or announcing it on the radio.
An example of this could be summed up with his view of the Cold War.
"I'd get me a bunch of bats and balls," he said, "and sneak me a couple of empires and learn them kids behind the Iron Curtain how to tote a bat and play baseball … And if old Joe Stallion knowed how much money was the concessions at a ball park, he'd get outta politics and get in a honest business."
Maybe we all need to take a lesson from an "uneducated" man.

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