Tiger Judged Against Impossible Standard

Tiger Judged Against Impossible Standard

I am told I watched on TV as Don Larsen pitched his perfect game in the 1956 World Series, but I was six years old and have no memory of it.

I have vague recollections of the 1957 and '58 Series between the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Braves -- Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford et al.

And I know that the headline in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after Game 1 of the 1959 Series was "An Early Wynn," a play off the name of the winning pitcher for the Chicago White Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But my real memory of sports begins in 1960.

That was the year my local guy, a superintendent's son from Western Pennsylvania by the name of Arnold Palmer, won the Masters and the U.S. Open and I watched all of the limited coverage on TV. It was also the year the Pittsburgh Pirates upset the Yankees in an epic seven-game World Series as I snuck listens in on a transistor radio in school.

Through the next decade, as a 10-year-old boy awkwardly evolved into a 20-year-old young man and processed the assassinations of two Kennedys and a King, I saw Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas play football, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson on the basketball court, Muhammad Ali box and many other remarkable athletes.

Later, as the deputy sports editor at The Associated Press, I attended the Olympics, the NCAA Final Four, heavyweight title fights and championship games in baseball and football. My takeaway from a life around sports is this: Winning a golf tournament is one of the most remarkable of all athletic achievements.

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