Archive for the ‘St. Louis Cardinals’ Category

Play Ball, Not Politics, fer Crissakes!

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Florida’s Tampa/ St. Pete area is rich in baseball tradition, hosting great minor league teams over the decades, as well as the present day Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The current major league team has been celebrating their heritage by wearing throwback jerseys of those teams of the past that brought great joy to the Florida fans. The St. Petersburg Pelicans, St. Pete Saints, and the Tampa Tarpons have all been represented on throwback days, wearing replicas of their original jerseys.

Now this year’s throwback day game is coming up on July 2nd, as the Rays take on their National League rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. And the team of the past being celebrated is the The Tampa Smokers who played in the 1951 Class B Florida International League – a team whose outstanding season record of 90-50 took them all the way to a championship.

-1Everyone knows that cigar making has been the backbone of the Tampa/St. Pete area for well over a century, as the industry has employed many of central Florida’s population. And even in light of the cigar industry’s role in the area, smoking has become a horribly dirty word as many smoke-free groups, including the Devil Rays players have spoken out against tobacco use of any kind…. which leads me to this particular upcoming throwback day. There will be a noticeable change to the Tampa Smokers uniform, one that has baseball fans and historians pretty damned mad. You see, the jersey design for the July 2nd game will be minus the cigar that was emblazoned across the original 1951 team’s chest. Yes, people, political correctness has reared its hideous stench in the face of our national pastime.

Picture 3The team issued the following thoroughly asinine, bulls shit statement about the cigar omission:

“We have chosen to wear the Smokers jersey to celebrate the rich heritage and traditions surrounding baseball in Tampa Bay and this version of the logo is intended only to be a slightly more contemporary version of that wonderful history.”

South Florida history professor and co-director of the Florida Studies Program, Gary Mormino spoke openly about this politically correct hypocrisy. “It’s kind of embarrassing, I mean, embrace the past! Tampa’s love affair with the national pastime is equaled by its passion for making and smoking fine cigars.”

Right on, bro, you tell him!…

“Tampa still is known as Cigar City,” Mormino said. “Prior to the 1950s, dignitaries who came to Tampa got the key to the city along with a box of fine cigars, he said, and mayors always were out in public, chomping on foot-long cigars. If you were a banker, you didn’t smoke a machine-made cheroot,” he said. “Cigars were a mirror of one’s standing.”

1930s-El-LectorYou know, while these fear-mongering morons are taking things far beyond the norms of reality, I have to ask, why stop at changing the logo? Why not change the name of the team, all together? I mean, their name is the SMOKERS! Dear God, man, what if little Johnny turns to dad in the middle of his giant sugar laden sodie and nitrate loaded, fat infused hotdog and asks, “Hey pop, what’s a Smoker?” Can you imagine how dear ol’ dad will have to scramble thru the depths of his brain to think of a lie in order to suffice the obese child’s inquisition! They are called the smokers because Tampa has long been the cigar making capital of the United States and cigars are what everyone smoked! I personally believe that omitting the cigar from the team jersey is similar to the people who want any mention of racism stricken from Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. What, are you gonna deny that it existed? It is a part of our history, no matter how it affects you emotionally. But the difference with the scenarios is that, yes, racism is an ugly, and horrible truth. Now some out there feel the same about smoking, while so many others relish in their daily taste of tobacco, and profess their love for premium handrolled cigars.

Removing the cigar from the Smoker’s team logo is nothing short of grotesquely hypocritical. They will keep the name of the team, but remove the image of the cigar to prevent children from streaming out of the stands and clamoring for the nearest smoke shop. The blatant idiocy is simply appalling and a sample of the direction the country’s politico suck-ups are taking us.

We will continue to fight the good fight, people – a constant battle where there is truly no end in sight.

God Bless Us, Everyone,


Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

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