I was listening to a couple of guys talk about sports, and they happened to be talking about San Francisco sports in particular. The topic was kind of the "Face of San Francisco" in the sports world. Stephen Curry was in that discussion. Someone mentioned Barry Bonds. Then someone mentioned "old school" and Barry Bonds and Joe Montana.

When the name Willie Mays was brought up, the reply was "Whoa! My gosh, now you're going ancient!"

So it's confirmed. I'm no longer old school, I'm ancient. Insert "sigh" here.

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Mays was perhaps a bit past his hey-day when I was a kid, but he was still one of the best ballplayers on the planet. And there were others, names like Koufax, Gibson, Aaron, and many others. In basketball, there was Chamberlain and Russell and Havlicek and West. Oh, a college kid named Alcindor, too. Football had Starr and Sayers and Page and Eller.

Apparently, that's no longer old school. That's ancient.

According to the conversation, old school is Joe Montana and Michael Jordon, Dan Marino and Charles Barkley. Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek are old-school baseball guys. Gretzky? He may still be the greatest, but he's slipped into old school on his way to, well, ancient at some point, along with hockey's Hull and Howe. I don't know a whole lot of soccer names, but I'd guess Beckham is "old school" while Pele is, well...you know.

One of my "ancient" heroes was Tony-O, Tony Oliva. He will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Tony was my second favorite player growing up, right behind Harmon Killebrew, who's already in the Hall. I listened to a lot of games that Tony played in for my Minnesota Twins. Yes, I said listened. Very few Twins games were on television back in the day. But they all were on my 6-transistor radio.

So if you're an "old school" kind of sports person, get ready. About day-after-tomorrow, you'll be slipping into "ancient". Welcome to the club!

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.




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