What Are Baseball Players Celebrating? Certainly Not Winning The World Series.

New York Giants Celebrate Winning The National League Pennant September 30. 1937

Or, How To Put Celebrating In Perspective

The way baseball players celebrate or more accurately carry on when they win a regular ball game makes me scratch me head. It also makes me a little nauseous.

C.J. Abrams gets a Gatorade shower after delivering a tenth inning game winning single over the Atlanta Braves for the last place Washington Nationals. photo: San Diego Union Tribune

On September 28, 2022 the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves in extra innings. The dismal Nationals who have had little to celebrate this year came streaming out of the dugout and proceeded to jump all over C.J. Abrams who had the winning it. The Nationals then did the traditional Gatorade dousing to Abrams during his post-game interview.

The chasing down and manic jumping upon the player responsible for delivering the winning blow has become all too common. If it seems extremely excessive, that’s because it is.

These are grown men playing a kids game, albeit for an enormous amount of money. In most common”walk off” games where the team wins in the last inning, the players act like they won the World Series.

They’ve won a regular season game. Big deal. It’s apparently not enough to exchange some high fives or give handshakes and walk off the field like a professional.

Maybe the over-enthusiastic players enjoy acting like idiots. Maybe they wouldn’t mob one another if there was a serious consequence to their festivities. Like a player getting hurt “celebrating.”

Oh that’s right. It has happened.  More than once.

Kendrys Morales’ blossoming career was derailed by this.

And then in the 2020 playoffs a simple slap on the butt or hand shake would have spared Cody Bellinger from dislocating his shoulder.

Did the players of yesteryear have a little bit more composure?

We know baseball has changed dramatically over the intervening years, but below is a study in contrasts,

Let’s go back 85 years ago. On this date the New York Giants were photographed in their clubhouse celebrating winning the National League pennant which would take them to the World Series to face the New York Yankees.

Bring On Them Yanks

Phila., PA – Dressing room whoopee is made by New York Giant players after they returned to their dressing room following the opening game at Philadelphia today, which they won, 2-1, to clinch the National League pennant. With the league flag practically nailed to the mast of at the Polo Grounds, they coasted thru the second game to a 6-3 defeat. photo: International News Photos, September 30, 1937

Of course this celebration was during the Great Depression and nobody could afford parties or champagne. But beyond some players smoking cigarettes, wide smiles and hat waving this is the extent of the celebration. They would congratulate one another, shaking hands on the field and then return to the clubhouse.

Why? The Giants had not won the grand prize.

And they would not.

The Yankees would defeat the Giants four games to one in the World Series. The winning player’s share: $6,471.  The Giants or losing player’s share: $4,490.

How important was that World Series money? To an above average player like Giant catcher Harry Danning – a lot. Danning’s salary for the entire 1937 season was $7,500.

Maybe the Giants didn’t win, but that’s something to jump up and down about.

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