Month: June 2010

Happy 60th, Helen and Tom

Today – June 30, 2010 – is the 60th anniversary of the wedding of my mother and father:  Helen and Tom Brown. Mom passed away on January 1, 1998, but my father is getting ready to celebrate his 85th birthday next Monday, July 5th.  I spent a day with him last Sunday and was reminded again of how much Mom and Daddy (I am from the South) loved each other and how that has affected my view of the world. My Mom was generally considered to be a saint, and dying at a relatively young age from cancer only cemented that view in all our minds.  I wrote her birthday greetings on what would have been her 78th birthday a couple of years ago, and that pretty much sums up how we all feel about her. My father is a bit more complicated…which also makes him very interesting. Mother once described my father as having a mouth “always turned up in a perpetual smile” but apparently it wasn’t always so.  Several years ago Daddy sent …

Ouch!

I usually love to listen to baseball on the radio. Tonight was not usual. On the drive home from BWI Airport following a quick trip to Nashville, I tuned in to the 7th inning of the Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves game.  According to the announcers, the first six innings were well-played and scoreless. The seventh was neither (well-played nor scoreless). For all the T-ball aged readers of More to Come… here are things you’ll learn when you make it to Little League.  (Apparently the Nats skipped that level of baseball development.) First, when the #6 hitter has a lead-off double and you are the #7 hitter, you do not sacrifice bunt.  By bunting you put all the pressure on the #8 hitter because the pitcher bats in the #9 hole.  Of course, for the Nats tonight the #7 hitter bunts for a sacrifice in that situation, then the #8 hitter makes an out (a likely occurence for all #8 hitters – there’s a reason they are there) and all of a sudden the pitcher – who is throwing …

Playing Favorites

I picked up Top of the Order:  25 Writers Pick Their Favorite Baseball Player during the Politics & Prose sale a couple of weeks ago.  Only a handful of the writers were familiar and the inclusion of Michael Jordan (yes, that MJ) and the fictional Crash Davis in the list of favorites indicated this anthology was going to take a different tack from the typical list of baseball’s greatest hits. Top of the Order is, at best, uneven.  I couldn’t wait to get through some of the self-indulgent essays (see Pat Jordan on Tom Seaver) which were more about the author than I cared to read.  At their best, some of the essays captured the special nature of fandom (see the obsessive Darin Strauss on Mariano Rivera) where you didn’t mind the intrusion of the writer.  Steve Almond leads off with a strong piece on Rickey Henderson that hooks the reader into this quirky collection.  Neal Pollack writes a terrific essay on Greg Maddux that demonstrates how dominant Mad Dog was through so many years …

An Act of Human Failing Followed by Colossal Grace

The June 4, 2010 posting from Baseball Musings entitled An Umpire’s Perspective led to an article on umpire-turned-poet Herm Card. The full article is worth reading, but the ending is simply sublime: We live in a time, Card said, in which people want instant replays, “do-agains,” the quick fix. But baseball has never lent itself to painless answers. “You’ve got to step back,” Card said, “and appreciate the larger sense of what this was.” It was an act of human failing followed by colossal grace, which Card sees as proof enough of a perfect game. Perfect indeed. More to come… DJB