Happy Memorial Day

A sincere thank you to all who serve!


This day in baseball: Bradley’s four-game streak

On May 24, 1902, Cleveland third baseman Bill Bradley became the American League’s first player to hit a home run in each of four consecutive games.  This record would not be matched until Babe Ruth accomplished the same in June of 1918.

Bill_Bradley_Baseball

Library of Congress


Quote of the day

I have played baseball on a summer day starting at eight o’clock in the morning, running home at noon for a quick meal, playing again till six o’clock in the evening, and then a run home for a quick meal and again with fielding and batting till it was too dark to see the leather spheroid.

~Carl Sandburg

Carl-Sandburg-by-Dana-Steichen

thirteen.org


“The Idea of Florida During a Winter Thaw,” by Gail Mazur

This piece makes me want to go back in time a few months — back to the last days of winter as Spring Training was just getting underway and the threat of the coronavirus still seemed too far away to be of any concern.

*sigh*

We’ll get it back next year.

*

Late February, and the air’s so balmy
snowdrops and crocuses might be fooled
into early blooming. Then, the inevitable blizzard
will come, blighting our harbingers of spring,
and the numbed yards will go back undercover.
In Florida, it’s strawberry season—
shortcake, waffles, berries and cream
will be penciled on the coffeeshop menus.

In Winter Haven, the ballplayers are stretching
and preening, dancing on the basepaths,
giddy as good kids playing hookey. Now,
for a few weeks, statistics won’t seem
to matter, for the flushed boys are muscular
and chaste, lovely as lakes to the retired men
watching calisthenics from the grandstands.
Escapees from the cold work of living,

the old men burnish stories of Yaz and the Babe
and the Splendid Splinter. For a few dreamy dollars,
they sit with their wives all day in the sun,
on their own little seat cushions, wearing soft caps
with visors. Their brave recreational vehicles
grow hot in the parking lot, though they’re
shaded by live oaks and bottlebrush trees
whose soft bristles graze the top-racks.

At four, the spectators leave in pairs, off
to restaurants for Early Bird Specials.
A salamander scuttles across the quiet
visitors’ dugout. The osprey whose nest is atop
the foul pole relaxes. She’s raged all afternoon
at balls hit again and again toward her offspring.
Although December’s frost killed the winter crop,
there’s a pulpy orange-y smell from juice factories….

Down the road, at Cypress Gardens, a woman
trainer flips young alligators over on their backs,
demonstrating their talent for comedy—stroke
their bellies, they’re out cold, instantaneously
snoozing. A schoolgirl on vacation gapes,
wonders if she’d ever be brave enough
to try that, to hold a terrifying beast
and turn it into something cartoon-funny.

She stretches a hand toward the toothy sleeper
then takes a step back, to be safe as she reaches.


Moses’s autograph

This is a lot like that Abraham Lincoln quote about not trusting quotes you find on the internet.

Dilbert Moses autograph


“The Baseball Song,” Tim Flannery

This song makes me feel sad and nostalgic at the same time.  I sometimes wonder if baseball deserves all the negative sentiment that it receives today, and if the game’s past really was as great as songs like this make it seem.  As with anything else, no doubt there is a tendency to place the past on a higher pedestal than it deserves, but it does make for some pretty good music.


Quote of the day

There are a few guys in baseball fortunate enough to be able to bring it late in their career: Roger Clemens was one, and Nolan Ryan was another one.  And I’d like to be that kind of a writer, who’s still able to bring the fastball.

~Stephen King

stephen-king