I visited the FDR Home in Hyde Park with my wife and mother-in-law a couple of months ago. It was right after the Bowash earthquake of 2011 and right before Hurricane Irene (why don’t they name earthquakes, too?)
I picked up a souvenier in the gift shop. It was a set of documents relating to presidents and our national pastime. I think it has something from everyone from Hoover to Clinton. My favorites are the JFK telegrams regarding Jackie Robinson and the memo from Donald Rumsfeld recommending that Gerald Ford call Sparky Anderson to congratulate him on the Reds 1975 World Series win. Ford was more of a football man and I know he opted to watch Michigan-Michigan State instead of Game One of the World Seires. (Check out my post from last week about the presidential diary.)
Take a click and enjoy!
I have piece over at Baseball Past and Present about Harry Dalton’s Cooperstown credentials. I feel it is rather timely, seeing how the Brewers are trying to make the World Series and he was their GM 29 years ago when they once made it all the way to Game Seven but lost to the Cardinals.
I did a piece on Joe DiMaggio and Stephen Jay Gould for the Hardball Times annual (which should be out soon.) To give their readers a taste of my stuff I also sent them Gashouse Hillbillies for their website. It ran today.
Never heard a word of this broadcast. From MarquetteWatch:
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Even in the earliest days of televised baseball, the late Ernie Harwell understood that less could be more.
On Oct. 3, 1951, Harwell was working Game 3 of the National League pennant playoff between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants for WPIX-TV in New York, a telecast that was seen nationwide on NBC. When Giants third baseman Bobby Thomson hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” to win the NL pennant, Harwell simply said “It’s gone” and sat silent for several moments while Giants fans at the Polo Grounds erupted.
Harwell’s call has largely been lost to history — obscured by Russ Hodges’ familiar radio call (”The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”) — because no recording of the WPIX-NBC telecast has ever been found.
Sure, there are filmed highlights of that game. But to purists, the loss of the original television broadcasts of such classics — there is no recording of the original telecast of Super Bowl I, to name another — creates an unsettling void in the pantheon of sports memorabilia
I got back into basketball pretty organically. It just sort of happened one summer. Once it took over my life, it wasn’t long before I wanted — or saw that it made sense to be — a generalist. Year-round sports, more material to mine, and the ability to hold my own in any basketball convo that, you know, veered off into another pastime. Comparisons are the devil, but if it weren’t for parallels, life would have no movement to it. If I’m being totally honest, and tired, I’ll have you know that the rush of fantasy sports had something to do with it, too. But I was lazy, uninspired, and it didn’t stick. I don’t think I got that every sport was special in its own way — perhaps too special.
I don’t always agree with Beth Shoals, but I like him as a writer more than any other sports guys. Someone should do a Free Darkoesque blog on baseball. I’ve tried, but failed. One could argue that baseball used to be more Free Darko in it’s glory days, but became less so as athletes with Willie Mays like qualities veered towards other sports. (Mays was a triple threat back in HS. He was a QB not unlike a Vick or Pat White and his best sport may’ve been hoops.) Why did this happen? This wouldn’t be the whole reason, but maybe the AFL and ABA bidding for the services of players showed high school stars that they could make more money playing those than baseball. Joe Namath was a more pivotal figure in sports labor history than I think folks give him credit for.
I’m really fatigued by steroid arguments. How long has this been a hot button issue in baseball? Feels like years. To me, the most important part of this Bill James essay is the mention of his soon to be published new book. Soon, that is, if you consider next May soon.
A new, clearer, Free Darko Manifesto? This was an aside in an entry on Ray Lewis.
There’s a misconception floating around that FD likes underdogs. We don’t. We like star players, weird players, and players who aren’t afraid to be candid. We are also huge snobs who all cut our teeth in various realms of music snobbery. When players we jock, like Julian Wright, turn out to suck, it’s an embarrassment. We’re looking to catch the next big thing before you do, celebrate the unjustly ignored forces, or pick up on the glorious outliers who just might sneak in and transform the sport in small ways. We love potential. But potential, as it should be, is a burden — for players in real life, and in terms of the way this blog views them. We don’t root for lesser souls; we’re all about those who deserve to be, or become, something rare and cunning. A screw-up or drop-out isn’t FD, he’s the antithesis of it. This isn’t Slackerball, it’s about making sure we’re up on the best the league has to offer. J.R. Smith? He’s not a patron saint, he’s the prodigal son.
The bolded part was sort of where I was going with regards to Maranvillains. I guess I am not enough of a music snob to pull it off like these guys, though. Been reading more James Burke lately, though. He’s probably a better role model for me. Sports aestheticism is a tricky thing to write about.