Cramer was also heralded as a sports writer, and for that we do have excerpts, below the fold:
On Cal Ripken and Baltimore, for SI in 1995:
And the town? Well, that's a complicated story—one that goes well beyond the Camden Yards theme park and the surrounding Inner Harbor theme park, with its rows of shoppees selling $20 T-shirts or crabs at $35 a dozen. None of that is meant for the man on the swing shift. In fact, there is no more swing shift. Crown Cork and Seal closed up its plants, like all the other big manufacturers.On Ted Williams, for Esquire, in 1986:
The ball yard, Harborplace, the gleaming insurance and banking towers looming over the gleaming water—they were all designed (with forethought, control) to replace the blue-collar Baltimore that was crumbling like an empty row house. Or at least to distract attention: Here the rulers of the town would build the Baltimore you're supposed to see; they would stock it with family attractions—the shoppees, tall ships, an aquarium (Hey! How 'bout baseball?)...and plenty of parking, so the white people could jump into their cars and go back to the suburbs to sleep. They wanted the kind of place that Good Morning America would visit. If you build it, Joan and Charlie will come! And so they did! That worked like a charm. In fact, that's what they called Baltimore: Charm City.
But somehow that name never really stuck. See, the schools still didn't work, crime's a problem, taxes are murder. And even those new towers shining out there, beyond the centerfield fence, they're going empty. This town is literally shrinking up. Somehow, all the Disneyfication of the downtown didn't win for Baltimore the label that the rulers really wanted: big league. Now they've given up on the catchy nicknames. They've just mounted Cal up front, like a hood ornament, to symbolize what Baltimore's all about.
Ted Williams can hush a room just by entering. There is a force that boils up from him and commands attention. This he has come to accept as his destiny and his due, just as he came to accept the maddening, if respectful, way his opponents pitched around him (he always seemed to be leading the league in bases on balls), or the way every fan in the ball park seemed always to watch (and comment upon) T. Williams's every move. It was often said Ted would rather play ball in a lab, where fans couldn't see. But he never blamed fans for watching him. His hate was for those who couldn't or wouldn't feel with him, his effort, his exultation, pride, rage, or sorrow. If they wouldn't share those, then there was his scorn, and he's make them feel that, by God. These days, there are no crowds, but Ted is watched, and why not? What other match could draw a kibitzer's eye when Ted, on the near court, pounds toward the net, slashing the air with his big racket, laughing in triumphant derision as he scores with his killer drop shot, or smacking the ball twenty feet long and roaring, "SYPHILITIC SON OF A BITCH!" as he hurls his racket to the clay at his feet?
And who could say Ted does not mean it be seen when he stops in front of the kibitzers as he and his opponent change sides? "YOU OKAY?" Ted wheezes as he yells as his foe. "HOW D'YA FEEL?...HOW OLD ARE YOU?...JUST WORRIED ABOUT YOUR HEART HA HA HAW." Ted turns and winks, mops his face. A kibitzer says mildly: "How are you, Ted?" And Ted drops the towel, swells with Florida air, grins gloriously, and booms back:
"WELL, HOW DO I LOOK?...HUH?...WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TED WILLIAMS NOW?"