Personal Prose

Dwight Anderson: A ghost from hoops past

He’s a ghost – somebody who remains among us, haunting us the way he once did when his life brimmed with youthful zeal. You can take the basketball out of the boy, but how can you dare take the boy out of basketball?

You can’t.

So on an autumn Saturday in Cleveland, here was Dwight Anderson, the reed-thin apparition from basketball yesteryear, inside a rec center. Wearing green-and-white basketball uniform, his black-and-white Nikes laced tightly, Anderson stood near midcourt and waited for the opening tipoff.

It’s a sight people here, those old enough to remember his glory days, haven’t seen since the 1980s. Yes, three decades removed from the basketball landscape, that’s how long it’s been for this ghost. Forever might be the apt way to describe how many years have rolled by, because when a 51-year-old man judges his worth in hoops years, three decades are a lifetime.

“He was the No. 1 player in the country,” a man in the bleachers said, nodding his head toward the wiry, weathered Anderson. “Not No. 1 in Cleveland. No. 1 in the country.”

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BASKETBALL

Cavs voice wins an award

Joe Tait stood with his back against the wall Tuesday, taking friendly fire from a band of male journalists who were there to celebrate his successes and not lob verbal broadsides the man’s way.

But what criticism could any of them level at the easy-going Tait, the longtime radio voice of the Cavaliers?

“How much longer are you going to do this?” one of them asked.

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BASEBALL

Ernie, thanks for the memories

Wait awhile, and bad things will happen. And one of those bad things happened yesterday: Ernie Harwell died.

If one man’s death made this a lesser world, Harwell’s would rank high on anybody’s  list. Harwell, 92, was all that was good in a human: kind, generous and unpretentious. The adjectives select themselves.

And, oh, could Ernie Harwell call a baseball game.

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BASEBALL

Tribe has shallow pool of talent

I wish the total numbered 10 instead of two. But on EPSN the Magazine’s list of the 100 best ballplayers in the bigs, the Indians had Grady Sizemore (No. 27) and Shin-Soo Choo (No. 69) make it.

Two Indians, not 10.

It wasn’t important that neither man made the Top 20. With a roster of players in Goodyear, Ariz., it would have been nice to see more than two current Indians and maybe one or two fewer former Indians on the list.

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OTHER SPORTS

Black apathy toward baseball

I’ve heard this shrill refrain before, so much so that it sounds as off-tune as O.J. Simpson’s claims of innocence in his wife’s murder. What more is there is say about the obvious?

Yet nothing seems to derail some discussions — obvious or not. Here’s one of them.

I continue to hear the moaning about the declining numbers of blacks in baseball.

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