Any opportunity to watch an interview with Buck O’Neil is always a treat, and this is no exception. I really love how Buck talks about Jackie Robinson in this, and the interview as a whole is so enjoyable.
A Face in the Crowd has been available as an ebook since 2012 and became available in a hardcover physical format just this year. The protagonist of this story/novella is Dean Evers, an elderly widower living in Florida, having moved there with his wife before her passing. Originally a Red Sox fan, Evers has “adopted” the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as his second team and now whiles away his evenings in front of the television watching Rays games.
One evening, Evers notices someone in the seats behind home plate — Young Dr. Young, as Evers’s mother used to call him — Evers’s dentist when he was a boy. But Evers is aware that Dr. Young had passed many years ago, so how could he now be attending a Rays game?
After convincing himself that he’s not going crazy, Evers flips on the television the next night for more baseball, only to see another face in the seats behind home plate. Once again, it is someone from Evers’s past whom he knows to be dead. And it is the same the next game he watches. And the next game.
These appearances understandably affect Evers’s sleep, and he resorts to a cocktail of ambien and scotch to fall asleep each night. Through the story and his reminiscences, we learn a bit about each of the individuals who Evers sees in the stands and, of course, a bit about Evers himself. Finally, a face appears in the stands that leads Evers to finally understand what is going on.
I won’t spoil the ending here, though anyone with a twisted enough imagination can easily deduce the conclusion of this tale. I enjoy Stephen King and, of course, I enjoy baseball, so it’s always a lot of fun when I get the opportunity to read a baseball story written by King. The story is short, only 58 pages in printed format, and it reads quickly. I knocked it out easily in one evening. It’s a worthwhile piece of brief entertainment if have an hour to fill sometime.
While I do have an appreciation for it, hip hop is not my preferred genre of music, so this is the first time I’ve come across this song. I find that I enjoy it quite a bit, and I find the video both disturbing and amusing simultaneously. We’ve all had umpires about which we’ve had these kinds of feelings, which makes this tune very relatable.
It’s too bad the Red Sox aren’t doing as well these days as they were when this song first came out, but it’s pretty catchy all the same. And William Shatner’s cameo as home plate umpire adds a fun touch to the video.
This piece by Lillian Morrison is short and sweet, and, at first, I admittedly found it confusing. Each line reads like something you’d find printed on an elementary school valentine, which I later realized might be intentional. In the 1960s, Morrison published a book titled Yours Till Niagara Falls: A Book of Autograph Verses, an anthology of poetry intended for children.
Yours till the pinch hits Yours till the 7th inning stretches Yours till pennant races Yours till pop flies Yours till the home runs Yours till the line drives Yours till the double plays Yours till batters box
I love this arrangement of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” performed by The Ball State University Singers. Apparently this was recorded thirteen years ago, but the video has only been viewed a little over 1100 times, and I feel this deserves to be higher. It’s a bit showtune-ish, but it’s a fun arrangement, and they even sing the full 1908 version, not just the bit we hear at the ballpark.