By Joe Becker
It rained a lot at Goss Stadiium in Corvallis today....and they called Game 1 of the Beavers Super Regional with Michigan. It was still a good day. OSU Head Coach Pat Casey just smiled...and his team took it all in stride. Plus, I had a chance to visit with The Governor Ted Kulongoski and talk baseball.
Let me tell you...The Governor has a passion for the game. The Governor walked into the press room at Goss Stadium and we struck up a conversation about baseball.
As it turns out, Kulongoski and I both grew up in Missouri...and we both went to High School in St. Louis.
The Governor had a St. Louis Cardinals hat on...and he knew Cardinals Baseball. I was very impressed. I asked Governor Kulongoski where his passion for the game came from. He told me he thought it was from growing up in the midwest and Missouri. "There was a time when I was younger that baseball was all about radio." The Governor said.."You actually had to have the imagination to actually love the game...because you were only listening to it on the radio and you knew that you were in that ballpark, wherever it was.
In St. Louis it used to be old Sportsman's Park. It was a great place to see baseball." said the Governor. He is so right. My dad took me to Cardinal games at the old park when I was a kid.
Given the Governor's love of baseball....I asked him if he thought Oregon might get a Big League team some day. he said, "I think we will be...one of these days. I actually am very, very supportive of it. I keep holding onto the appropriation for bonding that we made. We will see what happens. I don't think it's ever been a question of whether Oregon would be able to get a team. I know it's going to come. I think the challenge for us...is once we get one, to be able to hang onto it over a period of time. Remember Seattle, when they had thier first ball club, the Pilots? They couldn't hang onto it and the Mariners were their second attempt at it, but I think there is a great passion for baseball in Oregon and I think we can do it."
And he thinks the Beavers can do it again as well. "There's a piece of this season that I actually like better than last year..." said the Governor..."They won last year, but what happened this season, they stumbled a couple times, but they never quit. Coach Pat Casey has these kids in a state of mind that in fact, they can do this." Kulongoski added..."we win two of these three and we're going to be back in Omaha and anything can happen."
I really enjoyed talking with Kulongoski, who is very nice and has a good sense of humor as well. In fact, he did a little tongue in cheek trash talking. "It must tell you something about these guys from Michigan. Here in Oregon we play in this, but I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow."
Yes, for a baseball fan like The Governor...how could it be much better. OSU is defending National Champion...and his St. Louis Cardinals are defending World Champions. Something to smile about...for both of us.