For me, one of those came in the form of a passing remark from long-time NBC baseball color analyst Joe Garagiola, who was my generation's Tim McCarver.
During a Saturday NBC Game of the Week which featured the Mets and the Reds in the late seventies, the fairly rotund New York pitcher Mickey Lolich was chugging towards second base on a clearly botched hit-and-run play. In other words, the hitter missed the sign. Everyone in the ballpark, including Reds' catcher Johnny Bench was stunned to see Lolich taking off towards second. Bench paused as if he was frozen by the site, before throwing a bullet down to Joe Morgan to easily erase Lolich at second base.
The forever witty Garagiola's take: "The Reds were completely taken by surprise! It's like seeing the mailman coming to your house at 10 AM!"
Garagiola seemed to have thousands of those gems ready at his disposal to describe any play that came his way while broadcasting ballgames. The broadcasts were as entertaining to listen to as they were to watch. He also had a pretty good supporting cast over the years, working with the likes of Curt Gowdy, Tony Kubek, and finally with Vin Scully. For me, it was must-see TV.
To be honest, I didn't realize Garagiola occasionally worked as a part time color analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks in recent years. Only after he resigned yesterday after 58 years of broadcasting did I know about that. What a treat for those younger fans in Arizona to experience a little bit of what millions of us enjoyed in the seventies and eighties.
A little more of my childhood ended yesterday. Enjoy retirement Joe! You've earned it!