Since You Asked

Two updates, one coming with my thanks, one with a touch of silliness.

Several times in the comments I’ve been asked about my father’s health. He’s now been hospitalized for more than five months and he continues to struggle against a somewhat-compromised immune system, but he’s been on the upswing for a couple of weeks, and given all he’s conquered, the doctors are very optimistic and he remains in inspiringly good humor. Your interest in him – and that of my tv viewers – is a great source of comfort to him, and on his behalf, I thank you for it.

Sharts.jpg

Now the silliness. A week ago I mentioned the Springapocalypse of 1995, when major league teams filled their camps with retreads, hasbeens, neverweres, wannabes, and UPS drivers (no offense to UPS drivers). I ran through the line-up the Dunedin-Toronto Blue Jays would’ve trotted out on the field on Opening Day in defense of their consecutive World Championships of 1992 and 1993 and a commenter giggled (appropriately, I guess) at the prospect of owning a card of the would’ve-been-Jays closer, Steve Sharts. Ask and ye shall receive. 
Sharts, as we see at Baseball Reference, had a six-year career climbing up the ladder in the Phillies system, after being their 17th Round draft choice out of Cal State Northridge in 1985 (Tom Drees, who threw three no-hitters in the PCL in 1989 and had a cameo with the White Sox two years later, went earlier in the same round). There is a youth baseball program in Florida called, of all things, the The Tampa Terror, which identifies its top coach as Steve Sharts but there is no mention made at its website confirming it’s the same one. The card is a 1990 CMC, there’s apparently also a ProCards issue from the same year.
So there.

189 comments

  1. kattdrakken@yahoo.com

    It’s good to read that your dad is getting better. It’s amazing how much a positive attitude helps when going through this crap. I have two family members who are immuno-compromised. Thank the powers that be that vitamin C is water soluable! Getting sick sucks enough. Having to stay away from the ones you love because you could kill them…
    This is a sports blog but I’ve got nothing to add to the sports topic. My UPS driver rocks? Does it count that I’m watching the Super Bowl and waited for the half time show? It’s the best I can do today.
    Thank you for putting yourself out there and helping so many people. This last year has been rough all around. Your special blend of humour and OMG with the onside kick! Saints recover. Sweet! Wrap up time…
    You’ve helped me get through the year just by being you. I’m a fan girl. You read it all the time. It’s amazing that you are able keep both feet on the ground. We gush.
    Take care and all my best to you and yours. Give your dad a kiss on the cheek from me. 😉

  2. olympictrees@aol.com

    Thank you, Keith!! I’m really glad to know your father is doing better, and the update is truly appreciated. I’ve been wondering for a long time… I know it’s none of my business (and that you don’t know me) but I really do care. 🙂 Love your sense of humor, by the way. It’s so much like mine that it makes watching Countdown (and reading you here) just that much more fun. Thanks again, and have a great weekend, what there is left of it!

  3. historymike

    Keith, we’re glad to hear that your father is doing better and hanging in there. Good news!

    As to replacements, I always think of Arnold Zenker, the forgotten anchor of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. When Cronkite joined the AFTRA strike, Zenker was the management guy who filled in. At NBC, Chet Huntley crossed the picket line, saying he was a newsman and not an actor, and David Brinkley wouldn’t, and Brinkley said he always thought that’s what ultimately sank their ratings because both of them made somebody mad.

  4. hartbreak

    Yay! I’m so pleased that your father is doing ok, and delighted that you would go that extra step to entertain your less mature readers (myself included). You’re the bomb, man.

  5. danish.hanish@gmail.com

    Thanks a lot for the update because we where waiting for a word from you and I hope that we did not bother you with our nagging questions and concerns about Daddy?s health conditions. Please extend our best wishes to him and speedy success and triumph on the illness and tell him that he is going to stay in our minds and hearts, if he does not mind, until he is out of the hospital and back into his house.

  6. chris_garrison@projectcomp.com

    As a long suffering Phillies fan, I can only say…I’ve got a Billy Champion 1969 rookie card I could trade you…or a Randy Lersch? Johnny Briggs? Larry Hisle? Seriously, having lived through so many bad Phillies teams over the years, it gives me a different perspective…like, this Shartz guy, how old is he now? What is he throwing, 85, 86? Think he could learn a split-finger?

    The Phillies recent escape from futility, and the brief but ecstatic joy it gave a couple of million people, had me rooting hard for the Saints. If it couldn’t be the Eagles, well…once in a while, the good guys win one.

    Good luck to your father with his health, I have been through similar for the past couple of years with my father and I know how hard it is to see man you’ve loved and respected your entire life decline physically.

  7. mike.veve@gmail.com

    Thank you so much for locating the Steve Sharts card. I can only imagine the call in the highlights if he’d blown a save.

  8. bcxists@gmail.com

    I remember meeting Sharts after a game in Scranton-Wilkes Barre from 1990. I may be wrong, but I think the Red Barons played the Columbus Clippers that night, with Kevin Maas playing first base, prior to his call-up to replace Don Mattingly. It’s always sad for me to read about some of the scabs of the 1995 spring training season.

  9. chancdo@aol.com

    I watch your show every night Keith, I think you are great. I wish your father the best and you are a good son for taking good care of him.

  10. edavisfan

    Hi Keith,

    I really enjoy your stories about baseball card collecting. I read your Tommie Reynolds story on the Topps website and found it fascinating. His cards were a little before my time so it was a truly new discovery for me.

    Add my name to the list of those thankful for his upswing. I have always been impressed by the respect and value you have placed on your upbringing. I remember a quote you gave once, I don’t remember the exactness, but it went something like, “my parents would talk about how this or that person or thing was wrong… and they were right!” They must been convincing and sound in their logic because you are your father’s son. God Bless,

    Aaron

  11. gktuss@comcast.net

    Hi Keith,
    I’m not a baseball fan, but my husband has a baseball card collection, and I’m sure you would love it. So put me in the best person’s in the world list.

  12. gktuss@comcast.net

    Hi Keith,
    I’m not a baseball fan, but my husband has a baseball card collection, and I’m sure you would love it. So put me in the best person’s in the world list.

  13. jsharts@tampabay.rr.com

    Hey Keith,
    I must say i have no idea on how or why i found this article…but i guess it was suppose to be. Yes…Steve Sharts is alive and well, living in Tampa Fl. He coaches and owns travel baseball teams…and yes Keith the name of our teams is the Tampa Terror. Steve and I have to chuckle a little too..at the baseball card you have put up, (Danny Terrio look alike) and at the comments left by some who only wish they could of played a day of minor league ball. So thanks Keith…u took us back on a trip through memory lane…

    FYI to the guy who asked how old Steve is..my husband is 45 and still throwing in the mid eighties!

  14. samjag622@yahoo.com

    Keith,
    I find very few reasons to miss Countdown. I even have my 97 year young aunt hooked on you. LOL We are so sorry for what you are going through with your Dad right now. We know how much it hurts.

    I have a ‘ton’ of Topps cards that my son left with me when he passed. He had been collecting between the years 1967-2002. Most are in unopened box sets. Can you reccomend a fair and honest trader for me to work with in order to cash these in for my grandchildren?

  15. geraldderec@gmail.com

    Glad to hear that Steve Sharts, despite his unfortunate name, is still alive and well in south Florida, ready for permanent retirement!
    I read more posts on your father’s hospitalization, where you stated that his illness has finally overtaken him, and would like to send my condolences.

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