Even immortals aren't immortal

Well, this was unfortunate:

    Willie Mays was sick and missed throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the World Series opener.

    Mays was announced earlier Wednesday on a list of six Hall of Famers to throw out first pitches before Wednesday night's game against the Texas Rangers.

    With Mays absent, Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry went on without the Say Hey Kid.

This reminds me of how many of the immortals are still with us.

When Bobby Thomson beat the Dodgers in 1951, almost 60 years ago, Willie Mays was in the on-deck circle.

Henry Aaron played for the Indianapolis Clowns. Ernie Banks played for the Kansas City Monarchs. Monte Irvin -- a teammate of Thomson and Mays on the '51 Giants -- played for the Newark Eagles.

Stan Musial won his first MVP Award during World War II.

Yogi Berra ... Well, Yogi's Yogi.

Bob Feller pitched against Lou Gehrig.

They're all still around, remembering what baseball was like before Jackie Robinson, before television, before players could choose where they wanted to play.

Immortal or not, they won't be on this earthly plane forever. We do a pretty good job of appreciating these guys, I think. But there's always room for improvement.