Back in the late 80s, when I was a sports crazed 17 year old kid growing up in former Yugoslavia, I knew the holder of every single track and field record in the world. I could recite top 10 NBA players in any statistically relevant category, as well as the winner of every single tennis tournament played, no matter how small. I would often engage in discussions whether Lemieux is having a better season than Gretzky. I won’t even mention how much useless soccer, water polo or handball information a seventeen year old brain can absorb.
Yet, I knew of only two baseball players, which was on average two more than anyone else around me. One was Joe Di Maggio, whose claim to fame was not his hitting streak nor his MVP titles, but the fact that he was once married to one Norma Jean. That’s it. If anybody knew of him, he was Mr. Marilyn Monroe, not someone who had a job or achievements of his own.