Sunday, September 6, 2020

Out at Home



Well, today is the day when, theoretically, we would have been able to say, with all the usual fine print, that we had seen every affiliated baseball team, in both the major and minor leagues. We’d be in Las Vegas, watching the 51s and the Salt Lake Bees. We’d also be melting, as it is currently 427 degrees Fahrenheit in Nevada. Just imagine what it would be like if climate change was real! (Note: it is real.)

We had four trips planned: a short one that I was calling the Piedmont trip; yet another Appalachian trip; a Great Plains route; and then the oft-plotted northern California–Nevada finale. I had visions of inviting everyone we’d ever seen a game with to the big closing day, today. Of course, that’s not how things turned out. More reflections over the jump.

 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Baseball In the Time of Coronavirus

At the end of July, into early-August, I took a trip that included a couple of baseball games and destinations in-between. It was a weak substitute for the four or five trips Melvin and I once planned for the 2020 season.

dinosaurs everywhere, not just in Florida

For one, Melvin wasn't there. And this wasn't professional baseball but a collegiate summer league. Finally, almost every stop I made that weekend was by necessity outdoors and isolated from other people.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Jon Meacham on Jackie Robinson

In yesterday's book review section, the New York Times published an essay by biographer Jon Meacham on Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson, the Dodger first baseman who broke the color barrier in modern-era major league baseball.

Jackie Robinson, 1952. Carl T. Gossett Jr./The New York Times

Meacham contrasts the "redemptive and transporting" tale of Robinson as "secular saint" with the "vastly more complicated" truth told in the player's 1972 memoir “I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography” and his earlier book, “Jackie Robinson: My Own Story,” published in 1948.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Glory Days



On this day in 1952, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported,

“Few sandlot hurlers can boast more than one no-hitter, but Fred Wilpon of the unbeaten Blue Jays turned in the rare feat of tossing two Hall of Famer performances in a row in the Senior National Division of the Kiwanis Baseball League. Wilpon, a right-hander who hurled at Abraham Lincoln High, twirled his second no-hitter at the expense of the Bengals, 11-0.”

Do players from the Kiwanis Baseball League go to the Hall of Fame?

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"What follows contains no opinion. It is merely a catalog of media reports from publicly available sources, many of which cite sources of their own...."

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dinosaurs and More Along Interstate 4

Before the Coronavirus put major and minor league baseball on hold (at best), Melvin planned to return to Florida on his own this weekend to see the Dunedin Blue Jays and Florida Fire Frogs at, respectively, their renovated and new stadiums.

When Melvin told me about his planned jaunt, I thought that might be a timely occasion for me to revisit my 2013 solo trip to the Sunshine State. The fact that he ultimately stayed home seemed insufficient reason for me to abandon the concept. After all, everyone else is broadcasting games of yesteryear.

Happy they were; April 17-21, 2013

It was a compact trip; seven games in five days and four nights. It was also a very enjoyable itinerary, which made me hesitant to write about it at the time. Questioning if there was anything in Florida worth seeing, Melvin opted out. How awkward, then, to report that those five days were pretty awesome.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Jackie Robinson Day 2020


Today is Jackie Robinson Day. Like so many events right now that are usually celebrated in person, we will need to go online to collectively observe the date when Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke into the major leagues in 1947.

Like Jackie in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series, lots of you are safe at home, preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. And if you are an "essential worker," thank you for your service. You don't need to wear a hospital gown or a uniform (or 42 on your jersey) to be a hero.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Joe Henry is not dead

Or, the Baseball Byways winter meeting.

Yorkville

Melvin, Watson and I met in Chicago to see singer-songwriter-producer Joe Henry at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Joe performed half of his new album, The Gospel According to Water. From memory (and not in this order) we recall hearing "Famine Walk," the title track, "Mule," "Orson Welles," "In Time For Tomorrow," "The Fact Of Love" and "Bloom."

He also played the title track from Trampoline (1996), "Odetta" from Reverie (2011) and for his encore, "Gentle on My Mind," the 1967 Grammy award winner made popular by Glen Campbell, and "Don't Let Your Baby Down" (John Prine, 1980). Of course, what mattered is not what Joe played but that he did.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Moving the Goal Posts at the Jackie Robinson Museum

Originally announced to open in 2010, the anticipated debut of the Jackie Robinson Museum was revised a year ago to December 2019. I recently went to the Jackie Robinson Foundation's website and the museum is now—


Sunday, November 24, 2019

PDX & PHX

At the end of September, I visited my father outside of Portland, Oregon, where many people refer to the city by its airport code as if coming and going by air was the Number One recreational activity. (I already know their favorite pastime isn't going to see professional baseball.) Maybe it's the "iconic" carpet.

"The iconic PDX Carpet in December 2014," by Travis Thurston, used through Creative Commons license.

As Dad gets older, the visits get shorter, too short now to justify the indignities and cost of cross-country travel. I invited Melvin to meet me in Phoenix to round out the trip with some Arizona Fall League action. And while I am making music for airports, there is no harbor in the sky or anywhere else at PHX, which is of course in a desert.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Word Is Not "Playoffs"


Well, it came to an end for the Mets today, eliminated from the hunt in the last week of the season—which really is not a shameful condition, all told. It reminded me of the more positive (albeit somewhat generic) prognosis that we got from a Mets semi-legend back in July. While he was here, he also helped us explore the wonderful regions of Port Said.... As the man says, peace out, Flushing!