Price: Apollo 11 moon landing date also memorable for Gaylord, Jim Perry

From S.L. Price at Sports Illustrated on July 11, 2019:

“If you want to know what aspect of the moon landing was discussed most in the bullpen it was the sex lives of the astronauts. We thought it a terrible arrangement that they should go three weeks or more without any sex life. Gelnar said that if those scientists were really on the ball. . . .”
—Jim Bouton, Ball Four

Back when former PGA golfer Chris Perry was a kid, the world could pretty much be divided up into sun people and moon people. Sun “worshippers” embraced the outdoors and sported permatans; moon people were flaky night owls, happiest cavorting in a cool lunar light. As one who spent his youth striding fairways, Perry, 57, figured to be the former. Yet it’s not even close: On clear nights he can still find himself full-on moonstruck, stirred nearly to tears by wonder, awe and 50 years of persistent connections that he can’t begin to explain.

“It just goes on and on and on,” Perry says. “What are the odds? Give me a lottery ticket. It’s bizarre.”

Moon love these days is hardly rare, of course. Rising temperatures, not to mention drought and skin cancer fears, have seriously dented the sun’s image; meanwhile, nothing recharges a romance like a nice, round anniversary. Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to land on the moon. Commemorations have been under way for months now and are sure to last deep into fall. The first reason is because it remains a spectacular human achievement. The second is because of the 1969 Amazin’ Mets.

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Originally published: July 11, 2019. Last Updated: July 11, 2019.