Now is the Time for All True Seasons

February 24, 2015
The passionate pursuits of humanity do not so easily reduce to seasonal compartmentalization.

The passionate pursuits of humanity do not so easily reduce to seasonal compartmentalization.

 

About a year ago this coming spring, a month or so prior to the NFL draft, one fairly otherwise ordinary day found a crisp way into the memory bank that starts all thoughts on this subject. With the car radio turned on to a Houston sports talk show, what came through the air from the voices of callers was hardly a surprise. This was during the time of year in which most local callers wanted to register their two cents on who the Texans should draft with their first pick above all others.

Would the Texans draft someone who could be the answer to their long-term QB needs – and should it be Johnny Manziel? Well, the second part of that question has now died and gone to the land of no longer relevant, but the first part already is popping up on the air in pre-March Madness time in college basketball and during the start of spring training for the Astros, but it should really hit high gear again with talk show callers once the round ball insanity finds its wrap in early April. The difference now, of course, is that the Texans no longer have the range of candidate choices and a pick in the order of things to even have a shot at either of the two strongest QB candidates. The price of improving from terrible to mediocrity in one season is the damage it does to the Texans’ position in the draft in an even less fertile field of choices.

All that aside, the thing that comes to memory this morning is the caller I heard that ordinary day who innocently, unconsciously, but most sincerely made this evaluation of the pre-NFL draft period in 2014. “This is the toughest part of the football season,” the man said.

That’s right, the man said it for the millions, probably most of whom are heavily NFL fans, but we feel fairly certain that there are some deep-blue basketball fans – and we know first hand that there are some dyed-in-the-wool baseball fans – who feel the same 24/7 year-round connection to their own favorite sports and teams.

The only thing seasonal about sports today are the generally same times of year that the “Big Three” play their overlapping game schedules, but, as rings truer by the day for almost all we do in our culture, sports too are wired in to the same 24/7 consciousness of them by the always consuming technological advances in media coverage that fan any question of shocking possibility into a consuming flame of almost ceaseless public media discussion – until some other shocker comes along and knocks it off the road of mass attention.

The Ray Rice Punch Out of his then girl friend in the elevator last year rang a very loud bell about the much larger national problem of partner abuse in relationships. From its 24/7 media coverage, however, it rippled open other specific questions about how our relevant institutions handle these matters. In the Rice case, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL quickly became poster children for the way their initial “once over lightly” treatment of Rice was the perfect example of how the very entities we expect to handle tough social issues like partner abuse may actually transform themselves into enablers of the problem by their unwillingness to “know” the facts or take tougher actions. As a result of the immediate media heat that fell directly upon Godell and his “taking on water fast” first position of “I never saw the actual punch; I didn’t know how bad it really was” rhetoric, Goodell reversed course in time to partially save face and put in motion a position that may help work against ignoring the problem in the future through an aggressive program of public awareness that the NFL is opposed to men beating up on women and children. The Adrian Peterson case, of course, also fed into this change of course in the NFL’s former soft policy on abuse.

Media. Media. Media. – That one public service message for TV that the NFL put together has the look of a classic. A baker’s dozen of some of the meanest looking guys in the NFL staring angrily at the camera – all expressing a simple message – “No More – Abuse of Women” – to all the abusive men out there sitting around, clean, neat, and sober – or just on the couch in their tidy-whities, drinking beer and getting drunk by half time – was altogether pretty powerful stuff.

Everything is about change and our adaptability to undeniable forces in our lives. In today’s multi-media world, none of us may any longer even  go to the grocery store without making an appearance on someone’s security camera – and cell phone cameras? Wow! Have you ever wondered how many stranger crowd shots and selfies also include a few incidental images of you, as well? – George Orwell was right when he wrote “1984” as his future piece. He simply underestimated the timeline by not understanding how the personal computer and this thing we call the Internet and a plentiful supply of digital cameras and portable phones would change our world forever.

People still exist who write pen and ink letters. Some still use typewriters – the modern kind – the ones that run on electricity. And all these people still have land line phones, but absolutely will not get anywhere near a cell. Home phones often lack “call waiting” and “voice mail” features because – after all – we can only talk to one person at a time and – who needs a message? – If someone really wants to talk with us, they can call us back when we are “picking up”! Right?

Most of these people are called “seniors”, but not all of us seniors are so change resistant. It’s like this example. When the then younger people of my generation once bought their tickets for the train ride through life, many did not buy passage to a future they could not see coming. So, when we got here, those who didn’t like what they saw just decided to treat everything that was new, scary, or intimidating as something that didn’t exist. Computers were too out of the picture from the future they once imaged.  s

Some of us, however, only regret that we will not be around long enough to see the really great further changes that are on the way. In the meanwhile, we will just burrow into the joy of the only time zone that really exists, anyway – the here and now – and soak it all in to the best of our adaptive abilities.

The talk show caller was right. There is only one season – and that season is the present – and our involvement in the here and now with whatever fires our passion for living without harming the health of others or ourselves. I guess I’m still “old-fashioned” in that regard. If we cannot find our passion-calling in life without our actions bringing  intentional or collateral damage to others or ourselves, whatever we are doing to cause these harms is not a passion course, but a call to evil and insanity by the human ego.

The things are really important to us everyday are confined to seasonal interest only – and there’s no better example of that than Rogers Hornsby. When someone once asked him what he did during the winter, when there were no baseball games to be played, he supposedly answered, “I just stare out the window and wait for spring.”

Too bad old Rogers didn’t have access back then to a personal computer and the Internet. That little window is a lot more interesting during the winter time than the one that only peers out to the yard and today’s sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pecan Park Eagle Baseball Movie Quiz

February 23, 2015
(1) Left to right above, who are the two actors decked out here as Chicago Cubs personnel?

(1) Left to right above, who are the two actors decked out here as Chicago Cubs personnel?

Since The Pecan Park Eagle is now charged with the responsibility for developing the March Meeting of SABR’s Larry Dierker Chapter Baseball Trivia Quiz, we thought it would be fun to get a little spring training here with a practice run for all our readers to take on as free agents. This time we will stay with the baseball movie theme and again post the correct answers as the first post in the column section which follows this piece. Give yourself a point for each correct item of information you are asked to supply and please demonstrate here that your self esteem has nothing to do with test results by posting your scores and other feedback as comments on this column.

And remember, the quiz began with the question posted under the above featured photo!

(2) What mid-20th century character actor played both a St Louis catcher in “It Happens Every Spring” (1949) and a Pittsburgh manager in the original “Angels in the Outfield” (1951)?

(3) In the re-make of “Angels in the Outfield” (1994), who played the manager of the angel-infested outfield? And what team suffered the blessing this time? Was it the Pirates again? Or some other club? Name it. (Hint: If you struggle over the club’s precise name for that season, getting the location and nickname of this remake site club will get you a correct answer, anyway.)

(4) In “The Stratton Story”, pitcher Monty Stratton lost a leg in a hunting accident. Name the city and alleged ballpark where Stratton made his rather limited “comeback” as a pitcher in an organized baseball game.

(5) In “The Pride of St. Louis” (1952), who played Dizzy Dean and his brother, Paul Dean?

(6) In “The Babe” (1992), Babe Rut started hitting home runs in bunches during the dead ball era of Wee Willie Keeler and his “hit ‘em where they ain’t” batting philosophy. In that context, what did Babe Ruth supposedly say (at least, in the script) to defend his power approach to the press? (No exact words are required here. Expressing enough to get the gist of his remarks generalized will earn you credit.)

(7) All right. All right. All right. What currently still hot actor had a minor role in the 1994 version of “Angels in the Outfield”?

(8) Name the actor from “Bull Durham” who played catcher Crash Davis?

(9) In the silent movie, “Speedy” (1928), what famous baseball player actually appeared as a frightened rider in the cab of Harold “Speedy” Lloyd on a sinus-clearing drive from downtown Manhattan to Yankee Stadium?

(10) Who played outfielder Jimmy Piersall and his impossible-to-please father in “Fear Strikes Out” (1957)?

(11) In “The Babe Ruth Story” (1948), Babe Ruth signs a player contract with the Boston Braves under the mistaken impression that he eventually will move up and become the manager of the club. When he generally fails as a player, and in spite of his famous last hurrah 3-homer day in Pittsburgh, he learns that he is being released and there never was a clear guarantee of his future as the manager. When someone suggests he should “sue baseball” over this issue, the movie-Babe makes a statement that we invite you to finish:

“Sue Baseball? No. That would be like _____ ___ ______ !” (Finish the statement.)

(12) In “The Winning Team” (1952), what was Grover Cleveland Alexander’s day job before he became a professional baseball pitcher”

(13) Who played Rogers Hornsby in “The Winning Team” (1952)?

(14) When Ronald Reagan  (as Grover Alexander) in “The Winning Team” (1952) comes in to face Tony Lazzeri for that famous bases-loaded real moment in the bottom of the 7th of 1926’s World Series Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, he replaces Cardinal starter Jesse Haines on the mound. Question: What famous and excellent MLB pitcher played the role of Jesse Haines in this movie?

(15) At least ten (10) then current or former big leaguers also appeared in “The Winning Team” (1952) in minor roles. Name as many as you can. Right answers are all worth a point each.

(16) The mother of actress Jamie Lee Curtis played the female lead in the original “Angels in the Outfield” (1951) movie. Name her.

(17) Who played the dual role of Professor Vernon Simpson and Pitcher Mike “King” Kelly in “It Happens Every Spring” (1949)? And what actress played his always worried girl friend?

(18) In “It Happens Every Spring” (1949), what was the secret quality of the formula that allowed a college professor to become a virtually unbeatable pitcher until his magic elixir ran out?

Here’s where the quiz gets really easy. Nobody goes home with a zero on one of our quizzes. On these two, you get 1 point credit for each – but only if you post these answers as comments below – along with your test score, including these two potential points added in advance because you did post your results. – Got it? – Good! – And many thanks for your participation.

(19) Auto Point 1): Who is your pick for the most credibly athletic actor to ever have played a baseball player in a movie?

(2o) Auto Point 2): Who is your pick for the least athletic actor to ever have played a baseball player in a film?

… You say you want more? Here’s one final BONUS POINT, but only if you get it right! Finish the following quote by manager Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own” (1992):

“There’s no crying in ——–!”

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Thanks for spending the time with us. Hope you now have the few extra minutes left to post your results for bonus credit in the comment section.

Thanks,

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

Larry Dierker’s 18th Birthday 1964 1st Start

February 22, 2015
Larry Dierker's 18th Birthday Party September 22, 1964 ~How many people in the world ever got to celebrate their 18th birthday by striking out Willie Mays before they blew out the candles on their cake? ~

Larry Dierker’s 18th Birthday Party
September 22, 1964
~How many people in the world ever got to celebrate their 18th birthday by striking out Willie Mays in a big league game before they blew out the candles on their cake? ~

The Pecan Park Eagle apologizes to our friend and SABR colleague Larry Dierker for the absence of a kinder, more local source we surely would have found at the downtown Houston library, but on a late Saturday night column writing streak, we had to settle for the golden gate grist that flavors the tone of this writer’s reporting for the Oakland Tribune.

This newspaper account was the most detailed game report we could find through our digital newspaper resources that are available to us through our Newspaper Archive subscription service. The Tribune’s game story headlines bypass the storyline of Larry Dierker’s first start of his MLB career on his 18th birthday at old Colt Stadium on September 22, 1964. The header goes straight to the blaring shout that Juan Marichal will be going for his 20th win of the season in today’s game against World Series “Perfect Game” hero, also a former Giant and now an aging, but new starter for the Houston Colt .45s.

As all of who have followed his career from his incredible start on his 18th birthday to this very moment already know, Larry Dierker’s accomplishments and contributions to baseball are among the greatest in Houston MLB history – and far too numerous to bear repeating this morning in a brief first game focus.

Safe to say, Dierker was far more than good enough to have earned that retired #49 jersey number that will continue to hang forever in whatever venue survives as the future home of the Houston Astros. No one else has contributed so broadly to Houston baseball as “Dierk” has done either. As a player, columnist, essayist, book author, playwright, broadcaster, historian, community volunteer, Astros club manager and SABR Chapter namesake – nobody else in Houston baseball comes to mind who has done it better in so many important different ways.

Thanks for all you’ve done, Larry! You are very much loved, admired, and appreciated by all of us deep-orange and dark blue Houston baseball fans.

A lot of us too were breaking into our new fields of endeavor around the same time that Larry Dierker was making his 18th birthday MLB debut back in 1964. Those of us who started our careers  out of the bright public limelight that quickly found Larry in baseball had a big advantage on the “Kid from LA”. True, we also had to start our new life jobs by acting as though we already knew what we were doing before we actually did, but here’s where any similarity ends. Nobody put our daily learning curve results in a box score – and then wrote a daily public news story on how things were going for us on the job.

People like Dierker – and all other truly successful athletes – have to have owned the hides of a buffalo and the focus of an eagle to get through that crunch of media attention and still be able to play the game unfettered, if that’s even possible.-  Now it’s even worse. Today it’s 24/7 media attention. How crazy is that?

At any rate, here’s that Oakland sportswriter’s story of Larry Dierker’s first game, warts and all. The box score comes to us courtesy of that wonderful source we know as Baseball Almanac.com.

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JUAN SEEKS NO. 20 AGAINST DON LARSEN

By Emmons Byrne (Oakland Tribune, September 23, 1964, Pages 39 and 41)

 

Over time, Larry became famous for his Hawaiian shirts and his "hang loose" personna.

Over time, Larry became famous in Houston for his Hawaiian shirts and his cool “hang loose” persona.

In contrast to Wednesday (It actually was Tuesday) when they started 18-year-old Larry Dierker, the Colt .45s will send Don Larsen to the post tonight against the Giants’ Juan Marichal.

Larsen’s chief claim to fame is the no-hitter he pitched in the 1956 World Series but he is also well known to Candlestick fans as a relief man the last two seasons.

The Giants sold him to Houston on May 20 and at the age of 35 he has reblossomed as a starting pitcher.  In seven starts since he moved into (the) rotation Aug. 18 he has an earned run average of 1.71.

So it would appear that Marichal will have to work for his 20th victory.

It was amateur night last evening and the 5,609 fans who turned out to see Dierker make his debut after a brief schooling in the Florida Instructional League left early.

It was just as well for the lack luster contest dragged far on into the hot and humid night before (Giants pitcher) Dick Estelle was credited with his first big league win by a score of 7-1.

Dierker, a bonus baby from Los Angeles, hit the backstop with his first pitch to Harvey Kuenn and eventually walked him.

Hal Lanier followed with a single but the 6’4″ right-hander kept on firing. Mateo Alou fouled to the catcher and Jim Hart and Willie Mays struck out.

Orlando Cepeda greeted the Kid with his 31st homer of the year, a blast into the left field seats, to open the second round.

Tom Haller and Jim Davenport singled and both advanced on a wild pitch. Haller came home on Kuenn’s sacrifice fly to right and Davenport also scored when Rusty Staub’s throw went through catcher Jerry Grote.

In his inexperience, Dierker failed to back up the play and he was well on his way to an early shower in the next inning.

He tried to pick Mays off first, but the throw was wide and Willie didn’t stop running until he reached third. He then scored on a wild pitch and Larry Yellen, another rookie just recalled from Oklahoma City, relieved.

Larry sailed fa ew balls over the batters' heads by accident, but he has been known by his wry sense of humor to also float a few punchlines over his listeners' heads at times..

Larry sailed a few balls over the batters’ heads, but rarely by accident, and he also has been known by his wry and playful sense of humor to float a few story punchlines over his listeners’ heads.

(The balance of the article is largely about the Giants’ faint pennant hopes, but the writer does note that Harvey Kuenn picked up his 2,000th hit on a 9th inning single, further noting that the ball then was retrieved by umpire Jocko Conlon for Kuenn’s souvenir case. The Giants went on to win the game, 7-1, but let’s allow writer Emmons Byrne to finish his game account.)

The lone Colt run came in the fourth on Grote’s triple against the center field fence.  Mays’ throw was up the line and Grote kept on running to score as Willie was charged with an error.

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Baseball Almanac Box ScoresSan Francisco Giants 7, Houston Colt .45s 1
San Francisco Giants ab   r   h rbi
Kuenn lf 4 0 3 1
Lanier 2b 6 1 2 0
Alou rf 5 1 2 0
Hart 3b 4 1 1 0
  Pagan ss 0 0 0 0
Mays cf 4 1 1 1
Cepeda 1b 4 1 2 3
Haller c 4 1 2 0
Davenport ss,3b 5 1 1 0
Estelle p 4 0 0 0
  Murakami p 0 0 0 0
Totals 40 7 14 5
Houston Colt .45s ab   r   h rbi
Kasko ss,3b 5 0 2 0
Morgan 2b 1 0 0 0
Aspromonte 3b 4 0 3 0
  Jackson pr,ss 1 0 0 0
Bond 1b 5 0 0 0
Wynn cf 3 0 0 0
Staub rf 4 0 0 0
Beauchamp lf 4 0 0 0
Grote c 3 1 1 0
  Bateman c 1 0 0 0
Dierker p 1 0 0 0
  Yellen p 0 0 0 0
  Giusti p 2 0 1 0
  Gaines ph 1 0 0 0
  Jones p 0 0 0 0
Totals 35 1 7 0
San Francisco 0 3 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 7 14 2
Houston 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 3
  San Francisco Giants IP H R ER BB SO
Estelle  W (1-1) 8.0 7 1 1 6 4
  Murakami  SV (1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals
9.0
7
1
1
6
4
  Houston Colt .45s IP H R ER BB SO
Dierker  L (0-1) 2.2 5 4 2 3 3
  Yellen 1.0 2 3 3 2 0
  Giusti 4.1 5 0 0 0 3
  Jones 1.0 2 0 0 0 2
Totals
9.0
14
7
5
5
8

E–Pagan (20), Mays (5), Kasko (14), Bond (12), Wynn (7).  3B–Houston Grote (3,off Estelle).  HR–San Francisco Cepeda (31,2nd inning off Dierker 0 on, 0 out).  SH–Estelle (1,off Jones).  SF–Kuenn (2,off Dierker).  Team LOB–13.  Team–13.  WP–Dierker 2 (2).  U-HP–Lee Weyer, 1B–Jocko Conlan, 2B–Doug Harvey, 3B–Tony Venzon.  T–3:02.  A–5,608.

Baseball Almanac Box Score | Printer Friendly Box Scores

 

 

Presidential First Pitches

February 21, 2015
# 1 William Hoard Taft USA President # 27 Republican Term:: 1909-1913

# 1 William Howard Taft
USA President # 27
Republican
Term:: 1909-1913

Presidents of the United States have been throwing out documented first pitches of the baseball season in Washington or elsewhere since the administration of William Howard Taft. If any chief executives before Taft ever did the same, it occurred in eras in which there either were no cameras to record it or it simply was an earlier time in which the art of photography was considered too complex and cumbersome to do outside a studio.

A few of these first pitch presidents shown here were pretty knowledegeable of baseball, with Nixon, Reagan, Eisenhower and the two Bushes probably ranking at the head of the class and most likely to have been members of SABR under different life circumstances. The rest ranged from avid home town fans to casual fans to indifferents who understood the potential loss of political support from baseball fans had they chosen on the basis of apathey not to throw out a first ball somewhere voting support was critical.

Ronald Reagan is the only former president to have been a former baseball radio play-by-play guy and later an actor who had portrayed the life of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the movies. Reagan played the lead role of Grover Cleveland Alexander in the 1952 film, “The Winning Team”. Coincidentally to his appearance in that role, Reagan also became the only United States President to have made a co-starring movie with actress Doris Day.

Incidental to this population of 18 presidents are these two basic facts: 10 were Republicans and 8 were Democrats. 14 were right handed and 4 were lefties.

Here is our pictorial on the 17 remaining “first pitch presidents”:

# 1 Woodrow Wilson USA President # 28 Democrat Term:: 1913-1921

# 2 Woodrow Wilson
USA President # 28
Democrat
Term:: 1913-1921

# 3 Warren G. Harding USA President # 29 Republican Term:: 1921-1923

# 3 Warren G. Harding
USA President # 29
Republican
Term:: 1921-1923

    # 1 Calvin Coolidge     USA President # 30     Republican     Term:: 1923-1929

# 4 Calvin Coolidge
USA President # 30
Republican
Term:: 1923-1929

    # 4 Calvin Coolidge     USA President # 31 Herbert Hoover     Republican     Term:: 1929-1933

# 5 Herbert Hoover
USA President # 31
Republican
Term:: 1929-1933

    # 6 Franklin Delano Roosevelt     USA President # 32     Democrat     Term:: 1933-1945

# 6 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
USA President # 32
Democrat
Term:: 1933-1945

    # 7 Harry S. TRUMAN     USA President # 33     Democrat     Term:: 1945-1953

# 7 Harry S. TRUMAN
USA President # 33
Democrat
Term:: 1945-1953

    # 8 Dwight David Eisenhower     USA President # 34     Republican     Term:: 1953-1961

# 8 Dwight David Eisenhower
USA President # 34
Republican
Term:: 1953-1961

    # 9 John Fitzgerald Kennedy     USA President # 35     Democrat     Term:: 1961-1963

# 9 John Fitzgerald Kennedy
USA President # 35
Democrat
Term:: 1961-1963

    # 10 Lyndon Baines Johnson     USA President # 36     Democrat     Term:: 1963-1969

# 10 Lyndon Baines Johnson
USA President # 36
Democrat
Term:: 1963-1969

    # 11Richard Milhous Nixon     USA President # 37     Republican     Term:: 1969-1974

# 11 Richard Nixon
USA President # 37
Republican
Term:: 1969-1974

    # 12 Gerald Ford     USA President # 38     Republican     Term:: 1974-1977

# 12 Gerald Ford
USA President # 38
Republican
Term:: 1974-1977

    # 13 Jimmy Carter     USA President # 39     Democrat      Term:: 1977-1981

# 13 Jimmy Carter
USA President # 39
Democrat
Term:: 1977-1981

    # 14 Ronald Reagan     USA President # 40     Republican     Term:: 1981-1989

# 14 Ronald Reagan
USA President # 40
Republican
Term:: 1981-1989

    # 15 George H.W. Bush     USA President # 41     Republican     Term:: 1989-19893

# 15 George H.W. Bush
USA President # 41
Republican
Term:: 1989-1993

    # 16 Bill Clinton     USA President # 42     Democrat     Term:: 1993-2001

# 16 Bill Clinton
USA President # 42
Democrat
Term:: 1993-2001

    # 17 George W. Bush     USA President # 43     Republican     Term:: 2001-2009

# 17 George W. Bush
USA President # 43
Republican
Term:: 2001-2009

    # 18 Barack Obama     USA President # 44     2009 to Presentt Time, 2015 Projecte  Term:: 2009-2017

# 18 Barack Obama
USA President # 44
Democrat
Projected Full Term:: 2009-2017

 

Have a nice weekend, everybody, and lick your chops, fellow game action starved baseball fans! – Spring training has begun and the first pitch of the regular 2015 season in professional baseball is only a little more than a month away. In the meanwhile  and beyond too, Houston fans, try to catch some of the  great amateur level ball that is already underway for the #3 ranked Houston Cougars and the always highly regarded Rice Owls. – Consider throwing some of that “love of the game” you possess toward the idea of also actively supporting college, high school, and youth baseball fully this season. These younger people aren’t (yet) playing for the big bucks and most never will, but their own love and drive to play the game at a high level will be rapidly apparent to you at the various ball fields around Houston – or at your own home town.

It’s our game, friends! Let’s do all we can to enjoy and support the game as actively as possible. And, Houston area folks, please don’t forget the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters while your window shopping for baseball fun. That place is good baseball in a beautifully nostalgic ballpark and a lot of good clean fun for the whole family. Between the Skeeters and our resurrecting 2015 Houston Astros, this season could well see winning move through possible on its way to probable at Minute Maid Park – and with a possibility of UH and Rice both reaching Omaha for a NCAA college baseball crown.

It’s spring. Hope springs eternal.

Another Blair Witch Hunt Photo: Guess Who?

February 20, 2015
Who Are These Guys? And how many of our column guesses are right?

Who Are These Guys?
And how many of our column guesses are right?

 

The above photo is simply the latest of mysteries submitted by The Brothers Blair, Bob and Daryl. It actually works this way. – Daryl Blair finds these little items of historical inquisitiveness and sends them to his brother Bob Blair, who then forwards them on to The Pecan Park Eagle with few words and no solicitation either way. Here at the Eagle, we then have to make the decision each time on the merits of sending them on to our readership.

So far, the Blair Brothers are batting 1.000 with their ability to hit our dedication to sharing news and mysteries from baseball’s past, no matter how arcane the specific subject may be – and today’s submission is no exception. Bob Blair’s only guess on the identities of the men in this picture found expression in a single e-mail sentence: “Daryl sent this photo and for the life of me I can only pick out the Babe and the commissioner.”

Bob Blair was right about Babe Ruth, but he apparently mistook the always suited Connie Mack for “the commissioner”, and whomever specific he had in mind.

Here are our Pecan Park Eagle picks on all featured individuals in two columns, left to right. Our absolutely certain picks are embellished in bold type. Our considered guesses and possibly incorrect identifications are not. – Now all we need is for you readers, or someone like SABR photo expert and colleague Bill Hickman, to swoop in here and clear up any wrong guesses – and maybe even tell us what, where, and when this stadium gathering of greats even occurred. It appears to be an old-timers’ all star game.

Here are our conclusions ~

The Pecan Park Eagle Picks (Bold Type for Certainty), Left to Right:

Back Row: Jimmy Collins, Eddie Collins, Frank “Pancho” Snyder, Connie Mack, Al Barlick, George Kelly, and George Sisler.

Front Row: Honus Wagner, Travis Jackson, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and Tris Speaker.

Come on, Bill Hickman, or somebody, step up to the plate and clear the bases of all ambiguity!

____________________________

Ongoing Box Score of Incorrect Photo ID Corrections to Certainty (Or as Close as We get):

Through 1st Corrections, near 1:00 PM, CST, Friday, February 20, 2015.)

Latest Reconstruction Published Below, Followed by Order of Contributor Submission per Correct Subject Identification ~

Back Row: (Duffy Lewis), Eddie Collins, (Roger Bresnahan), Connie Mack, (Bill Klem),  (Red Murray) and George Sisler.

Front Row: Honus Wagner, (Frankie Frisch), Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and Tris Speaker.

All bold type names above in this latest list were correct in the first place. All corrected identities names are also shown in bold type, but enclosed in parentheses in notation of the work our readership contributed to getting all identities right.

Here too is our List of Contributors on Solving the  Identities for All Five of the originals we were not sure about and guessed wrong in naming. All seven of our original certain picks proved just that. They were correct. But all five of our doubtful picks in the first place proved to be  wrong. The list includes the in photo order appearance the corrected identity figure in parentheses, followed by the Internet or personal identity of the person or persons who conatcted us by e-mail or comment post with the correct information:

(Duffy Lewis) by Shinerbock80

(Roger Bresnahan) by Shinerbock80

(Bill Klem) by (1) Larry Dierker; (2) Fred Soland; and (3) Shinerbock80

(Red Murray) by Shinerbock80

(Frankie Frisch) by Shinerbock80

If anyone wants to confirm or challenge our 12 picks as now all accurate, which we think they now are, with objective proof of support or contradiction, please feel free to so.

Thanks too to Shinerbock80  for offering that an unnamed Internet source relates that the photo was taken in 1943. We are still some chump change short of knowing what specifically brought these aging greats together in uniform to have their picture taken together in their old MLB uniforms.

Editor, The Pecan Park Eagle.

_____________________________________________________

Imprimatur. Near 2:00 PM, Friday, February, February 20, 2015:

Bill Hickman has checked in. Let’s pull his verbatim from the comment section as the cork on this little bottle of historical baseball identity search, leaving room, of course, for where and what this convocation of greatness was all about.

Bill Hickman Says:

“shinerbock80, you completed the work for me. I had already identified Klem instead of Barlick and had determined that the fellow in the back row, far left was not Jimmy Collins (ears stuck out too much). The player with the chest protector bore a substantial resemblance to Frank Snyder, but Snyder was 6’2″ tall, so he should have appeared taller than Connie Mack. Roger Bresnahan was 5’9″, which was the same height as Eddie Collins, so I’m satisfied that he was the right identification. I checked all the other names in shinerbock80’s posting and agree with them as well.

Because Rogers Hornsby’s coaching career with the Pirates spanned from 1933 to 1951, I was assuming that he was wearing a contemporary uniform, and that would date the photo in the 1940’s, so the 1943 year reported by shinerbock80 makes sense to me.”

_____________________________________________________

– Thanks, Bill Hickman,, shinerbock80, Larry Dierker, and Fred Soland for your participation and contributions here today. – The Pecan Park Eagle.

“Texas Chicken Game” in Houston Ship Channel

February 20, 2015
The object of "Texas Chicken" in the Houston Ship Channel apparently is to create a brief water wall between two large ingoing and outgoing ships that otherwise could not pass each other.

The object of “Texas Chicken” in the Houston Ship Channel apparently is to create a brief water wall between two large ingoing and outgoing ships that otherwise could not pass each other.

Holy, Moses! As one of those neighborhoods that teemed with longshoremen and merchant marines as residents, we never heard anything that comes to memory of this “Texas Chicken Game” back then. The Pecan Park Eagle has just learned that it is now going on in the Houston Ship Channel. We learned of it accidentally on a short drive to the dog groomer with our little male Shih Tzu “Morti” when I reached to the radio to punch in the 610 AM  sports talk show at the same time our car was hitting a pot hole. Because of the jar, I accidentally hit station 700 AM as some regular political host guy was talking about and explaining what the “Texas Chicken Game” on the Houston Ship Channel is really all about. I heard just enough to get a very insufficient education on the subject as we turned into the Tiffany Kennels grooming service.

Here’s the gist and the narrow, shallow depth of what we learned. – It seems that even with all the widening of the ship channel that has continuously taken place forever out there, that it is still a passing problem when a very large incoming ship encounters a very large outgoing ship in certain  parts of the narrow 50 mile strip of water that connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico and every other large seaport in the world.

The problem often is that there simply isn’t enough flat-water width for the two ships to pass each other unless …. unless they each can do something to generate a temporary wall of water between themselves that creates an angular brief area of space that is sufficient to make passing each other possible. We don’t completely get all the physics and geometry involved here, but we do wonder how they know the details of their individual ship hull clearance needs to make it work. Surely all large ships are not of a universal size, but, as the two captains engaging in this little act of scientific resourcefulness, they would each need to be pretty sure it was going to work with their particular crafts before lunging “had on” into this particular solution.

Here is the essence of how it works, according to the guy on the radio:

Aware of their impending passage problem, the two oncoming ships take dead aim at each other from some unspecified distance away from contact and go full throttle, straight  at each other like James Dean and some other hot rod teen driver in a game of “Rebel Without a Cause” car chicken-  only this challenge is between two monster vessels of the sea. (Maybe they should have called this game “Chicken of the Sea”.)

At any rate, as the two ships near contact with each other, both captains simultaneously veer right, creating an enormous temporary wall of water that manages to expand the hull water space enough for each ship – just long enough to make safe passage possible.

That’s all we got from our brief exposure, but we have found a number of “Texas Chicken Game” links” on Google that look pretty informative, if anyone has the time and interest in learning more. The following link from Bloomberg Business pretty well supports the explanation we described here.

http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-02-27/houston-ship-channel-congested-by-u-dot-s-dot-oil-and-gas-boom

Maybe ship channels have something in common with our freeways. Maybe widening a ship channel would simply be a trillion dollar waste of money that solved nothing. After all, making our Houston freeways wider doesn’t resolve our auto congestion problems. Widening freeways just seems to create wider traffic jams.

But do we simply settle for “The Texas Chicken Game” as our ship channel limited width solution for the passage of two big ships in the night? What happens if one of these “Texas Chicken Game” captains goes over the line in an oceanic version of “road rage” and then fails to veer right when he is supposed to turn?

Maybe the rest of you already know about this rather high stakes risk solution they call the “Texas Chicken Game”, but we sure had not heard of it until a couple of days ago. It seems like a potential disaster just waiting to happen, especially if two freighters carrying highly combustible cargoes collided anywhere near a few of those large hydrogen tank storage facilities that exist at certain points along the way.

T.G.I.F, Everybody! – Even though, these days, every day is pretty much Friday for your humble publisher, editor, and staff writer of The Pecan Park Eagle. Otherwise, where would I find the time to write about a subject like this one? I do find it very interesting that we haven’t heard more about this practice from the mainline local TV stations and the Houston Chronicle, but maybe those folks don’t have car radios.

 

 

Eagles Soar, But They Fly Higher with Angels

February 19, 2015

 

Angel Norma

Once Upon a Time in Rockport, Texas …

Angel Norma 2

A gazillion years ago, when our only child Neal was still a little kid, we used to love our late August annual week stays at the Sandollar Motel on the beachfront of Copano Bay in Rockport, Texas. The Sandollar actually is in Fulton, Texas, but the state of mind there is all Rockport, with all the windswept growing oaks along the beach road into a little sleepy Texas coastal town that used to pretty much roll up its sea shell shop sidewalks at 5:00 PM, leaving the night to a few cozy and informal seafood restaurants, cafes, and bars and a sky bursting with a trillion stars to gently lead all visitors through the early part of the night.

The whispering warm winds, the calming of the mind, the chattering screech of the seagulls, the olfactory cachet of sea creatures in the air, and the promise of another beautiful dawn did the other tranquilizing special effects of service to the good night goals of all who came here with one universal desire – to be vacated from the cities – and the face of the world we briefly had left behind on those now departed freeways of congestion and the ugly daily face of the world that we had regularly watched over the media of that day, which was then a much milder version of the 24/7 soaking we may today choose to either endure or ignore on what we now call “social media”. We just called it “television” back in the 1980s. – Remember?

The two versions of this featured photo reappeared for me this morning while I was going through old image files in pursuit of greater digital archives order. This photo is so special to me that the challenge of imposing upon you with another two-column publication day won out over a more tempered option of waiting until summer and a more seasonal time for its message.

The message of this column knows no seasonal boundaries.

My wife Norma is the angel of my life. She isn’t much of a baseball or research and writing fan, but she really “gets” how important those things and the people I love – who are the heart of each area – are so important to me. As a result, this brilliant medical endoscopic nurse – the loving heart who gives of herself to God, family and friends in bonds of words and actions that defy my meager capacities for articulation, she – well, she always seems to be “paying it forward” to life as we live it – and she consistently has given me wide berth in our marriage to do my passion things also – with and without her – with no worry. Our loyalty, fidelity, and commitment to each other is mutually unshakeable.

So, years and years ago, with the serendipitous help of a little seagull that just happened to be flying by and turning toward the back of Norma as I took the image that produced these two copies, I received my early confirmation of the identity of this wonderful woman who had decided (perhaps, daily) to put up with me for the rest of her life.

With or without wings, Norma is the love of my life.

MA2DAY 01

Thanks, God! – And thanks too for our terrific son Neal – who almost got snuffed out of this last summer “selfie” photo by yours truly – and my ineptness at the latest vogue in social photography.

Of course, given a second chance at the "selfie", I was ablt to give up half of me and Norma's chin for more of Neal. - Just further proof that the angel wings shot was either a billion to one shot accident or a divine sign of everything that Norma was to mean to both Neal and me.

Of course, given a second chance at the “selfie”, I was able to give up half of me and Norma’s chin for more of Neal. – Just further proof that the angel wings image was either a billion to one shot accident – or else – a divine sign of everything that Norma was to mean to both Neal and me.

 

Have a nice Thursday, everybody! – I promise not to write any further columns that will be datelined to February 19, 2015.  Of course, at WordPress, the new publication date begins at 6:00 PM on the previous actual date. – Please keep that in mind.

 

 

Astros 2005: A View from Afar

February 19, 2015
Astros World Series A Celebration Poster by Steven V. Russell In Pennsylvania, 2006

Astros 2005 World Series Team
A Student Educational Poster
by Teacher Steven V. Russell
At Bellmar Middle School, 2006, 30 miles South of Pittsburgh

 

Based on our general experience, sometimes we Houston sports fans are locked into the idea that championships for us in any sport are decidedly improbable and infrequent, if ever, and likely to disappear from our joyous grasp as they anomalously and briefly come to visit, but never to take up dynastic residence in our fair city. Were it not for the 1994 and 1995 NBA champion Houston Rockets, a few minor league hockey titles, a couple of Little League baseball crowns, Wayne Graham and the Rice Baseball Owls, whatever it was the Houston Dynamo soccer team once won, and the quickly squashed flirtation of the Houston Astros with a World Series title in 2005, we may as well otherwise conclude that “it’s just never going to happen”. – But it has. – So we are forced to see it for what it is – a long shot at best, if ever. – We are stuck with the weak hopeless reach for the improbable and unlikely event of getting a local sports championship that is as rare as the valuable pearl that sometimes may turn up in an order of oysters – as some now long forgotten and distantly past coastal waters expert once predicted to our great-great grandparents.

The “pearl in the oyster” metaphor is especially discouraging. Most of us who have grown up near the gulf coast, at least, have known that story since we could first remember anything, but how many of us actually have heard of it happening in reality? – Not me.

Another local belief, one which probably every large city not named New York or Los Angeles can embrace, seems even stronger as a verity: If Houston ever wins a World Series or a Super Bowl, nobody outside of the city is going to give “a flying fish” that we’ve done so – and viewers elsewhere probably will hit the remotes at home to keep from watching the TV report on our victory parade.

Guess what? The Pecan Park Eagle has received a report this week from friends in Pennsylvania that not everyone living afar from our little corner of the universe is that inattentive to our record of near accomplishment. Steven V. Russell, the Executive Director of the Mid Mon (Monongahela) Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in Donora, PA, who in 2006 was also then close to winding up a 42-year career as a teacher,  had prepared the above featured school poster for his students on the 2005 NL Champion Houston Astros.

Thank you for sending this piece to us, Ron Paglia. Ron is an excellent veteran sports writer from the home country of Stan Musial and both Ken Griffeys – and a dedicated student of the game. And Steven Russell is no less of a voracious baseball man, we are told – and as we have concluded from his work, his contributions, his accomplishments, and his baseball genes. You may recall that we did a column on Steve’s father, Jim Russell, a player with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Braves back in the late 1940s.

Here’s a link to the Jim Russell column, if you haven’t seen it:

https://bill37mccurdy.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/jim-russell-a-baseball-life/

We aren’t sure if Steve Russell has any deeper reasons for remembering the Astros as he did back in 2006, but it is nice to have evidence that someone from elsewhere gave one of our Houston clubs that much post-event attention. Perhaps, Steven Russell had some other driving motive to teach his students a year later about the NL champs from far away Houston, but we would prefer to think that Steve, as an NL guy whose father had played for the Pirates, was simply being fair and measured in his attention to the accomplishments of another NL club, even if it were the work of a team based in Texas.

Of course, if our guess is true, Steve Russell will never write about Houston again. – The Astros are an AL club now. – Ouch.

We will conclude with some of the displays identified only as “over the years” that Russell sent to us himself since the Paglia Astros poster contribution. There’s much we don’t know about these Russell displays, but one thing is for sure. – The students of Steven V. Russell were not likely to miss out on the fact that there is such a game as baseball.  Which means that any student from Bellmar – those who could not explain why Bill Mazeroski was important to Pirates history from 1960 forward – should never have been issued a diploma. :-)

Thanks too for injecting a little show of outside support for something from Houston, Steve. Knowing we have outside support raises our championship hopes mode – just a tad.

The 1982 Beer City Series by Steven C, Russell (left) 1982

The 1982 Beer City Series
by Steven V, Russell (left)
1982

 

Has anybody in this class ever heard about the game of baseball?

Has anybody in this class ever heard about the game of baseball?

 

Coming Attractions by Steven V. Russell (lower left)

Coming Attractions
by Steven V. Russell
(lower left)

Early Happy 91st Birthday, Ed Mierkowicz!

February 18, 2015
Get Well, Ed Mierkowitz! And an Early Happy 91st Birthday on March 6th, too!

Get Well, Ed Mierkowicz!
And an Early Happy 91st Birthday on March 6th, too!

Earlier today, our Houston Babies buddy and baseball history explorer colleague, Bob Blair, sent me a  most heartwarming story about nearly 91-year old Ed Mierkowicz, a former almost career minor league outfielder and first baseman/outfielder. Ed’s not doing all that great on the health front these days, but his spirit and memories apparently have not been stilled for baseball, the game he loved and played for 13 seasons in the minors (1944-46, 1948-57) and 4 part-time service years in the majors with the Detroit Tigers (1945-48) and St. Louis Cardinals (1950).

Mierkowicz now bears the singular distinction of being the only surviving member of the 1945 World Series Detroit Tigers Championship Team. At age 21, Ed made his only brief appearance in ’45 Series as a bottom of the 9th left field substitute in Wrigley Field for the great Hank Greenberg. The Tigers held a 9-3 lead at the time. Manager Steve O’Neill had decided to give “the kid” of actual combat as the Michigan club prepared to wrap and celebrate their new crown.

“Mierkowicz! – Left field!” came the manager’s shout.

Mierkowicz responded in shock as though the call were routine. He grabbed his glove and trotted out to left field to walk and run in the big foot steps of the man he had just replaced.

“”What the hell am I doing here? My knees are shaking.” Ed Mierkowicz finally whispered quietly to himself amid the sight of distant figures moving around near home and the crowd buzzing with the sounds of disappointment in preparation.

Future Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser is on the mound, ready to bring home the bacon, but Roy Hughes of the Cubs lines a single to left, which Mierkowicz fields cleanly and throws back in. It turns out to be his only play of the day. Newhouser retires the next three Cubs in order: strike out, fly out, ground out. – Game. Set. Match. Tigers.

Mierkowicz joins his great senior mates in celebration and joy. He will always have the memory. Once upon a time, the kid from Wyandotte, Michigan got to live out for real the dream of every boy who grew up playing baseball in Michigan and the total sphere of fan commitment to the Detroit Tigers. – He got be an active part, regardless of how small it may have been, of helping the Tigers win the World Series.

Now Ed’s a very old man with a very young heart, living with the a small treasure trove of ancient, but realized major league dreams: He is the last living member of the 1945 World Series Championship team, as we previously mentioned. He only hit one big league homer, but it came off future great pitcher Ed Lopat, then of the White Sox. And he also vividly recalls the longest home run he ever hit as a minor leaguer.

“The longest home run I ever hit,” Mierkowicz said, “was for Milwaukee at Nashville in the minors. It went up, up, up. I never saw it come down.

“Sometimes I think it’s still going.”

(Funny you should put it that way, Ed.  All of the miraculous homers of my imagination have always been like the one in your actual, or embellished, memory. They are all out  there in orbit somewhere – still going – from here to infinity.)

A link to the wonderful story about Ed Mierkowitz by Tom Gage of the Detroit News that Bob Blair sent me is as follows. Read it. We think you will be glad you did:

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2015/02/15/tigers-world-series-one-play-one-ring/23480245/

 

“Now Here’s the Rest of the Story….”

Ed Mierkowitz, Age 28 Ht: 6'4"  -  Wt: 205 lbs. Batted Right; Threw Right OF/1st Base Houston Buffs, 1952

Ed Mierkowicz, Age 28
Ht: 6’4″ – Wt: 205 lbs.
Batted Right; Threw Right
OF/1st Base
Houston Buffs, 1952

Bob Blair most probably didn’t this  know this part when he sent me that link, but my memories of Ed Mierkowicz are a little more fan personal. In 1952, at age 28, Mierkowicz was assigned to the Houston Buffs by the parent club Cardinals as an outfielder/first baseman. Coming off a great 1951 season in which the Buffs were in the St. Louis rotating talent assignment wheel for a good year, the Buffs won the straightaway and playoff Texas League championship before falling to the Birmingham Barons in a six-game Dixie Series that they also “shoulda” won.

1952 was a deep six talent assignment year for the Buffs and – guess what? The same brilliant manager from 1951, Al Hollingsworth, couldn’t scrape together enough baseball savvy and people wisdom to coax the dismal Buffs up from their self-made grade as occupants of the 8th and last place position in the Texas League at season’s end.

In my 14-year old Knothole Gang member’s perspective and living memory, Ed Mierkowicz was one the bright stars in that mostly dark night year. As an outfielder and once in a while substitute at first base for my now deceased old hero and later life great friend, Jerry Witte, who was then playing his last year at age 36, Ed acquitted himself well at the plate and was no embarrassment in the field. He batted .271 in 538 times at bat as a ’52 Buff, collecting 28 doubles, 4 triples, and 11 home runs on the year – even though they most often were launched as shots fired in pursuit of an already lost cause.

As an all around player, “Mierk” was good in the AA Texas League in 1952. He had a great level swing and, as he recalls in the linked article from Detroit, he was a prototypical line drive hitter. When Ed did hit a homer for the Buffs, it most often left the playing field like a rife shot – leaving our company at an elevation point that was usually only inches to a few feet higher than the section of the outfield wall from which it was departing.

Thank you, Bob Blair, again – and this time for awakening this now fairly ancient Houston fan to the memory of a childhood Buff hero who played for Houston during one of the bleakest local seasons in ancient local baseball history.

Get well, Ed Mierkowicz! – We all need your great heart and presence in a world that hungers for good people to hang around longer. – You’ve got more fans out here who remember you fondly than you probably realize. - Happy Birthday! – And God Bless too!

And, as Paul Harvey also always used to conclude his radio essays, this seems like a good time for borrowing his parting salutation.  …

Good Day!

 

 

A Tony Cavender Baseball Movie Quiz

February 17, 2015
Tony Cavender, SABR Larry Dierker Chapter Houston Baseball Movie Quiz Writer

Tony Cavender, SABR
Larry Dierker Chapter
Houston
Baseball Movie Quiz Writer

The February 2015 monthly meeting of our Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR met last night, Monday February 16th, at the Spaghetti Western on Shepherd Drive. Our featured speaker, thanks to program planner Jim Kreuz, was Joe Brennan, a nationally known sports agent with the Legacy Agency who currently represents a number of current major leaguers, including C.C Sabathia, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, Vernon Wells and Scott Kazmir. It was nice, laid back presentation which touch on myriad subjects, including the history of sports agency representation in baseball, the ins and outs of the business, and the specific evaluative efforts that agents going through in scouting and signing the players they hope to represent all the way to success in the major leagues.

In addition, Tom White of our SABR chapter reported on the trip he made as an 11 year old kid with his father to the 1953 MLB All Star Game in Cincinnati, providing us also with copies of the gazillion player autographs collected, and mostly during the pre-game period in which he made a self-authorized appearance on the field to meet, greet, and collect the signatures of all he could reach. Tom says that he lasted a good half hour before he was detected and removed back to the stands by security. We think that Tom White may have established the unofficial record for the most all-star autographs collected by any individual at a single mid-summer classic game – and that it probably is a record that will never be challenged because of the much greater security that now surrounds fan contact with the players, even at regular season games.

Wow! I’m still blown away! The young Tom White 1953 auto-grab took place at the blankety-blank  All Star Game, for Selig-Sake! – Wow again!

Tom White also showed us two photographs of the NL club in their dugout that also inadvertently captured clear images of Tom and his dad standing on the rail behind the dugout as image hitchhikers into the visual galaxy of baseball history. – What a wonderful day that must have been for our very knowledgeable SABR member and his father.

Stan “The Man” Curtis of SABR also read us a speech on “How Long is a Minute” that he had written way back in 1958. Stan’s provocative early life discourse on the way we should all value and use our time in life led me to a personal, no-offense intended, conclusion about the probable answer to this question when it comes to public presentations:

“How long is a minute? – It depends on who’s speaking.” :-)

Tony Cavender’s baseball movie trivia quiz was a blast of good fun – and it is presented below for your own enjoyment. The correct answers are contained as the first item in the comment section which follows this column. Please feel free to leave your own comment, score, or opinion about the test as a comment too.

Again, as we expressed here the first time we presented one of our quizzes, If you really love baseball, SABR may be the place for you too. Give some thought to joining SABR, (The  Society for American Baseball Research) by contacting our Larry Dierker Chapter President, Bob Dorrill @ bdorrill@aol.com

SABR isn’t very costly – and the baseball fellowship – the talks by players and people in baseball, – and the numerous  other publication benefits are the greatest.

Now, for your enjoyment, here’s The Tony Cavender February 2015 Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR Houston Baseball Trivia Quiz:

 

(1) Who played Babe Ruth in:

(a) The Babe Ruth Story? ___________________

(b) Pride of the Yankees? ___________________

(c) The Babe? ____________________

 

(2) Who played “The Whammer” in “The Natural”? ___________________

 

(3) Which ballplayer is said to have introduced Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio? ____________________

 

(4) Who served as their host during the DiMaggios’ honeymoon trip to Japan and Korea? ____________________

 

(5) Who player Grover Cleveland Alexander and his wife in “The Winning Team”? ____________________

 

(6) Who played Monty Stratton and his wife in “The Stratton Story”? ____________________

 

(7) Who played Dizzy Dean and his wife in “The Pride of St. Louis”? ____________________

 

(8) These Hollywood figures had ownership interests in major league ball clubs: Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Name the clubs. ____________________

 

(9) The son of which Hollywood figure became a major league general manager? ____________________

 

(10) The leading roles in “Bang the Drum Slowly” were played by two young actors just beginning their careers. – Name them. ____________________

 

(11) A former minor league infielder starred in “Escape from New York” and “Tombstone”. Who is he? ____________________

 

(12) Which former Dodger farm hand starred in major Hollywood movies and a long-running action series on television? ____________________

 

(13) A well-known silent movie featured Mike Donlin, Irish Meusel and Tony Lazzeri, The movie is:

  • (a) Safe at Third?
  • (b) Slide Kelley Slide? or
  • (c) Three O’Clock Lightning?      (Circle correct answer)

 

(14) Which players share a dugout with Cary Grant and Doris Day in “That Touch of Pink”? Were they:

  • (a) Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Yogi Berra?
  • (b) Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese? or
  • (c) Willie Mays, Hank Thompson and Alvin Dark?

(Circle correct answer above)

 

(15) A blond Hollywood bombshell was engaged to a hard-throwing, hard-living pitcher for the Los Angels. Can you name both the bombshell and the ballplayer?

____________________ and ____________________

 

A total of 23 answers are requested in the above listed Cavender Baseball Movie Quiz. Give yourself one point for each request you get right. And please remember to check the first entry of Bill McCurdy in the comment section that follows this column for the correct answers and then overcome your own modesty or temerity and leave a comment with your own scores and experience from the quiz. Nobody gets everything right – and sometimes – we find ourselves getting very few things right. Nobody’s perfect. We are all in this boat ride of life together.

Hope the rest of your Tuesday is like a super cool cruise day!


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