‘To a Boy of the 1970s, the Line Between Comic Books and Real Life People Was Hopelessly Blurred’

Joe Posnanski, writing about Mets phenom Matt Harvey, compares him to Mark “The Bird” Fidrych of the 1976 Detroit Tigers:

He was like a superhero in a Detroit Tigers’ uniform. I’m semi-serious about that. You have to understand that to a boy of the 1970s, the line between comic books and real life people was hopelessly blurred. Was Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, real or fake? Fake? Well, then, how about Evel Knievel jumping over busses on his motorcycle? Oh, he was real. The Superman ads said, “You will believe a man can fly,” and Fonzie started jukeboxes by simply hitting them, and Elvis Presley wore capes, and Nolan Ryan threw pitches 102 mph, and Roger Staubach (who they called Captain America) kept bringing the Cowboys back from certain defeat, and Muhammad Ali let George Foreman tire himself out by leaning against the ropes and taking every punch he could throw. What was real anyway?

Yes yes yes to all of the above. I’ll toss in Reggie Jackson hitting four home runs on four consecutive swings of the bat in the 1977 World Series.

Monday, 29 April 2013