Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Modern World


In the modern world, All-Star Game balloting begins 18 games into the season and lasts for 68 days. Fans (or whomever) can vote up to five times in a 24-hour period, so a particularly obsessive and well-organized voter can cast 340 ballots. As if the whole production wasn't absurd enough already.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Editorial Statement

NEW YORK — Baseball Byways responded to an article that appeared today on the front page of the Business section of the New York Times. Reacting to "Media Websites Battle Faltering Ad Revenue and Traffic," Melvin admitted, "Baseball Byways has no revenue."

"No traffic either," added Rob, who noted a September post that made reference to Suicide Girls—"a website that features pin-up photography and profiles of alternative female models," according to Wikipedia—is averaging 100 page views per month. "We should include some soft porn in every post," he observed wryly.

Image, "Fisher Face Snow," by ForestWander used through Creative Commons license.

Melvin agreed. "The Suicide Girls are even more popular than fisher cats," he said, recalling an earlier generator of misdirected search engine traffic. "We just want to be loved for ourselves," Rob concluded wistfully.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Less Obscura by the Day

Today is Obscura Day 2016, a collection of tours and other events serving as "grassroots marketing" according to David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura, an online atlas (duh!) that encourages people to discover "curious places—in your neighborhood and around the world."

In New York, there are 14 events planned, including a "Coney Island Creek Excursion" with Underwater New York. Melvin was intrigued by the tour of the FAST Corp Fabrication Facilities and Mold Field, but not enough to drive eight hours.

Image of "Burnt, sunken barges in Gravesend Bay mouth"
by Jim.henderson and used through Creative Commons license.

In recent years, Atlas Obscura has joined Roadside America and the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) Database as tools for our trip planning. On #ObscuraDay, I thought I would highlight three potential destinations on this year's Baseball Byways.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Million Dollar Questions

Today is Jackie Robinson Day, held annually on the anniversary of opening day of the 1947 baseball season, when Jack Roosevelt Robinson made his major league debut and became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) since the 1880s. On this day, all players, coaches, managers and umpires wore or are wearing #42 on their jerseys, Robinson's otherwise universally retired uniform number.

Image by Keith Allison, of Orioles players observing Jackie Robinson Day
at home in 2015, used through Creative Commons licence.

This morning, I (and many other people) received an email from MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr., "Honoring Jackie Robinson, 'a true hero'." Manfred notes that he and his wife watched Ken Burns' new documentary on the ball player, which premiered on PBS on Monday and Tuesday.

Image courtesy Google Street View.

The commissioner's email reminded me of a blog post I started a couple years ago about a planned Jackie Robinson Museum, on Canal Street in Manhattan. I never finished the post for all the usual reasons plus one: a reporter I know, Kate Briquelet, had already written the story. It seems little has changed.