Picture perfect

Babe Ruth at Twin Lakes. The White Sox and Cubs christening the Dodger Stadium baseball field. Frank Gotch. Dick Tighe. Duane Twait. Dallas Clark. Lisa Koll.

When it comes to the history of sports in our area, the stories are legendary – the figures and venues, iconic.

We are now in the stretch run of our ”Sports Remembered” project, which includes photo submissions from all walks of the Messengerland’s athletic life. Readers have until Aug. 1 to send in pictures that will potentially be printed in our 144-page hardcover book this coming fall.

The publication is a fitting tribute to the athletes, coaches, fans and schools who have literally defined The Messenger’s sports section for decades. So many memorable moments have come to life through the pages we’ve printed – our area’s timeline deserves to be revered accordingly.

So dust off those albums, yearbooks and frames. We still have the opportunity to relive the days of yesteryear. I have always been amazed by what our readers’ collective eyes have witnessed; this is your chance to share those experiences with us.

Photos may be dropped off or mailed to our office for scanning. E-mail and on-line submission options are also available.

Thank you for helping us pay a proper pictorial tribute to the Messengerland’s historic past.

NO FAVORS: There will be no Class 4A championship rematch in baseball this season – unless it happens in a substate final.

Defending state champion Ankeny (22-5 overall) and 2012 runner-up Fort Dodge (21-10) were inexplicably paired together in the 4A-2 bracket for the upcoming substate tournament, which also includes Waukee (21-10) among the six participants.

I’m not sure who should feel more disrespected – the Dodgers, who have been in the large-class semifinals three times in the last four seasons; or the Hawks, who are back and as strong as ever this summer.

Even if one of the programs had been decimated by graduation losses, the matchup would be peculiar given the track record of both programs. Instead, when the brackets were announced, Ankeny was ranked No. 1; Fort Dodge, No. 3.

Substate 1, in contrast, offers prohibitive favorite Sioux City East (19-7) next to Sioux City North (15-12), Council Bluffs Lewis Central (14-12), Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (12-17), Sioux City West (7-19) and Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson (6-17). Not a ranked team in site.

If the Dodgers beat Mason City in the opening round on July 19, they would theoretically have to get past both the Warriors and Hawks just to reach state – opponents FDSH went a combined 0-4 against during the regular season. Waukee has won seven of eight and 10 of 12 overall. Ankeny hasn’t dropped consecutive games all year long.

While I appreciate the concept of having to beat anyone and everyone without excuses to test a ballclub’s mettle, the Dodgers’ order of business is a bit tall given their recent history. There seems to be no rhyme, reason, balance or justice here. Excessive and unnecessary is more like it.

Eric Pratt is Sports Editor at The Messenger. He may be reached afternoons and evenings at 1-800-622-6613, or by e-mail at sports@messengernews.net