“Campy” Campaneris proves that so called reality isn’t always truth.

campy psychedelicWhen people try to figure out what to believe and explain why they do, they don’t spend much time thinking about the fundamental nature of truth, knowledge, or reality. As Shakespeare said, ‘there’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so’. Truth is difficult to define because as soon as you think you have it pinned down, some case or counterexample immediately shows deficiencies.

Bert “Campy” Campaneris is largely heralded in the baseball community for being the first player in modern baseball history to play all 9 positions in one game on September 8th, 1965. The feat was admired so much that comedian Will Ferrell even tried his own bombastic and barely funny version in Spring Training last year.

Now here’s where things get tricky: if Campaneris hadn’t “achieved” this feat the Athletics would have won the game that they eventually lost 5-4 in 13 innings. One run scored when Campy dropped a fly ball in right field, another scored when he pitched the 8th inning, and yet another scored when the smallish (5’10, 160) player was crashed into at the plate leading to another run and the D.L. for 5 days. If this accomplished anything in my mind it certainly wasn’t admiration from a baseball standpoint. It begs the questions: What is real? What is true? And is the reality of the world different from how we perceive and experience it in our minds?

18 Comments

Great post. I never knew about that. I take it that was the KC Athletics and that they were far out of contention when he tried that. Can you imagine the hype is a player tried that today? There would be an entire reality show about it. Wait a minute — you already mention Will Ferrell. I think you hit the nail on the head — barely funny, probably because of how contrived it was.

Thanks for the compliment Keith. I think you are right about the KC Athletics being out of contention at the time. They were a terrible team.
I actually used to like Will Ferrell during his SNL days, but his movies have been getting on my nerves lately and I can’t quite put a finger on it.

I never saw the baseball playing show with Ferrell. I read and heard about it (you couldn’t avoid it) but it had the whiff of a made for TV event.

Very thought provoking post. I think that there is an objective reality that is independent of our perceptions – but in practice the “truth” is ultimately subjective and based on how we choose to view something. Maybe I need to stare at that trippy graphic some more. Interesting post as always. 🙂

Thanks Maria…I think I’d have to agree. The strongest substance I use these days is coffee so perhaps I can’t experience these “alternative universes” that sages like to profess.

LOL! Yes me too – and I even went to (gasp) DECAF….:0

Who was managing that game?

It was either Mel McGaha orHaywood Sullivan

Great post, thought provoking post. It must have been one messed up beautiful scorecard and probably a good day to bring out one of those nine-in-one pens with many colors.

I think it’s pretty sad that I rarely ever see anyone scoring a game anymore. When I see someone doing it (usually they are much older than me) I want to buy them a beer or chat or something.

I’d known about this game for many a year, but I got curious and looked up the boxscore on Baseball Reference:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KC1/KC1196509080.shtml
It’s fun to look at the “Play By Play” at the bottom and see just how all the shuffling was done. 24 players made it into the game… Which is why it was done during September. 🙂

The opponent was the 7th place Angels, so nobody was complaining about the A’s “throwing” a game against a contender.

Here’s something interesting… Attendance was over 21,000 for a Wednesday game between two bad teams in a city that was a couple of years away from losing the A’s. I’m guessing the Campaneris thing was publicized ahead of time. By comparison, the following day’s game between the same teams had attendance of 1,271. I did not leave out a digit… Twelve-hundred and seventy-one. Yikes!

That’s more research than I was intending to do… I guess I must be in a trance caused by your trippy artwork.

Great research! This adds something to the mystique of the game.

Oof… I’m having to force myself not to look at that photo too closely. The whole psychedelic effect is pretty dizzying.

Ontology, with baseball–nicely done, sir.

Thanks for the compliment and thanks for stopping by.

Good question. I think maybe we create our own realities through our perception. Group perception of the same thing just makes for a stronger reality.

Great story and commentary. I remember Campy throwing his bat at some pitcher but I can’t remember who ! He didn’t get to play every position that game as the ump gave him the old heave-ho !

Thanks…glad you enjoyed it. The pitcher you speak of was Lerrin LaGrow and it was during the ’72 ALCS. Tigers manager Billy Martin had this to say about the situation, “I don’t know what that idiot was thinking. He may have to talk to his psychiatrist to find out. You can bet your ass I was going out there for him. I’m not going to get after him now, but if there’s ever another fight out there, I’m going out there and find him and beat the shit out of him.”

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