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Ever have one of those days where you learn stuff about people you know that blows your mind?

Growing up pre-Internet, I played high school baseball with a kid whose dad had Major League experience, but being young and dumb and without Baseball-Reference, I had no idea about Fred Scherman’s background in the sport. Fred was Fred Jr’s quiet dad that you respected, but you didn’t go asking him about his 1971 season with the Detroit Tigers when he saved 20 games, good for 6th in the Majors. We had no idea Fred was sitting on all this baseball history. He was just the really soft-spoken former baseball player who would give pointers to the high school baseball players and a dad who would let us play pool in his living room here and there.

I didn’t have Fred Scherman baseball cards laying around. We didn’t have game logs that told us Fred knocked down Reggie Jackson twice in the 1972 ALCS and pretty much set the stage for Bert Campaneris launching his bat at a different Tigers pitcher later in the game. It wasn’t until maybe 15 years ago I dug into Fred’s stats to learn he had more than a cup of coffee, but I still didn’t fully appreciate his baseball life story — until Friday when I came across a 2018 interview Fred did where he spent a half-hour telling it.

Here was Fred talking about his relationship with Billy Martin, those moments facing Reggie Jackson and breaking down Tigers rosters that included Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Norm Cash, Bill Freehan & Mickey Lolich. Mind-blowing stuff, especially now that I can respect what he’s talking about. Would 16-year-old Joe understand the significance of what I was being told? Of course not. I did have a deep love of baseball, but I didn’t know about the Tigers. We lived in Reds country. Big Red Machine yearbooks were passed down like family Bibles.

What does it all mean? I have no idea other than I guess we have plenty to learn about people that might not go around throwing it out there that they had 346 MLB appearances and had a role in one of the more memorable moments (for a few generations) in MLB playoff history.

Tim in Friendswood, TX sent an email with what sounds like an incredible football league:

You’re like everyone’s favorite local radio sports talk show host. I know a lot about you but not the other way around. Yet, to me, we’re dear friends. 
File this one under “what weird things are you guys doing out there that you think other people should know about.”
I love fantasy football and always play in multiple leagues. However, there is a new, better, more approachable game. We call it the Gauntlet. 
8 guys get together, eat Texas barbecue, drink local brews like Lawnmower (shoutout TNML), and we auction off all 32 NFL teams. Each player ends up with 4 teams. Whoever’s group of 4 teams ends up with the most regular-season wins wins the pot. 

It’s awesome because every year I end up rooting for teams I hate (like the Cowboys, because I’m a human being and all human beings hate the Cowboys) and I follow them all year. Unlike fantasy football, which requires weekly maintenance, the Gauntlet requires no adjustments. It’s just you and 7 guys you can’t wait to tell about how wrong they were when you snagged the lowly, surprise team from the AFC East and they overpaid for the overhyped, returning NFC champion.

I have a waiting list to get into this league. It’s not season tickets to Lambeau, but I can tell you no one is leaving this league any time soon. I hope to spread the word, so people can find another group to latch onto, and leave me alone about joining my group. 

Brian J. has a TNML question:

Is mowing barefoot a foul in the TNML?
I visited my parent’s house as my dad (73 who can shoot his age on the golf course), got a bit banged up while working on his house when he had a ladder misstep. He’s fine but sore. I went to visit this week and noticed his yard was a bit shaggy, and rain was in the forecast for the rest of the week. I showed up in flip flops and shorts and told him I’d mow. He lives in a 120 year old house on Main St in a small town and the yard is maybe 700 sq ft. It’s important it looks good as all the locals drive by and will see it.
So I was wearing flip flops on my visit and decided to kick them off and mowed barefoot. My dad watched from the front porch drinking a Busch Light, appreciating my services. My mom came out and saw me and freaked out that I was going to cut my foot off. Her blood pressure was probably 300 over 200 it seemed like. My dad calmed her down and I continued to mow barefoot and then hosed of the mower and my feet after. The feeling of a nice freshly mowed lawn on your bare feet is a wonderful feeling. Think I may do it at my house going forward if approved by the Commish.
Keep up the good work!

Commish response: TNML has a rule that states “…you do you.” What’s it mean? Well, it means you’ve busted your ass to buy property and a house. You’ve saved up for that down payment. You pay the taxes. If you want to cut barefoot, you do you. Personally, I have mulch everywhere and going barefoot would risk wood spears launching into my feet which probably wouldn’t feel good. Now, Brian might have a lush field of grass free of foreign objects. Go for it. Free those toes. Dig them into the turf. Be one with nature.

James writes:

I don’t have an article to share as much as an observation that the entirety of our sports media is missing a great sport. That sport being rugby. So here’s the idea: cover rugby. Be the guy who covers this beautiful sport and introduces William Webb Ellis to America.

Be that guy.

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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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