Baseball, Observations from..., Random DJB Thoughts
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So long, summer

With the arrival of fall, let’s catch up with recent Observations from the road that don’t merit a full post.

Why use an old-fashioned blog

I am not on social media. I like to write and the blog format seems to work best for me. But over the summer I came across data that reinforced my decision. Social media posts have a shelf life.* In ascending order, the shelf lives are:

  • Twitter – 18 minutes
  • Facebook – 5 hours
  • Instagram – 21 hours
  • LinkedIn– 24 hours
  • Videos – 3 months
  • Blog post – 2 years

The July and August trending posts on MTC tell me that many of the older pieces still attract readers. I’ll stick to blogging.

Small surprises

This little signpost, with a saying from Brian Andreas, is a moment of grace along my morning walk.

Driving down 16th Street one morning, Andrew asked, “Dad, have you ever seen Washington’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral?” Why no. We took a turn and over on 17th was this sublime brick church topped with the familiar onion domes characteristic of Russian churches. St. John the Baptist was certainly a small, and welcomed, surprise.

St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church, Washington, DC

Speaking of churches, while we were in Parkersburg, our hosts said, “Let’s drive by Frank Wade‘s old church.” Frank — our long-time and much beloved rector at St. Albans parish — was a native West Virginian who served in Parkersburg before moving to Washington. After a few turns, up pops this pink Episcopal Church in the heart of West Virginia!

Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd in Parkerstown, WV

I took a picture and immediately sent it to Frank, who responded:

“I know that place! There are not many pink Spanish style churches in West Virginia.

The architecture reflects the fact that WV’s first bishop William Peterkin had visited South America.…we were always glad the good man never visited Tibet. Hard to tell what it might have looked like. The pink color came many years later at the hands of a painter who misunderstood his directions. The mistake flourished and the parish takes great pride in it. When I left the paper announced I was leaving the town’s Pink Church.

Cemeteries are cool. Really!

Cemeteries don’t get much love. While many see them as places full of sadness and longing, they can also be places of history, beauty, and celebration. Take the Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark in the heart of Brooklyn, for instance.

Henry Chadwick grave at Green-Wood Cemetery

Former colleague Tom Cassidy was in the city over the summer while his son Sean — a minor league umpire — was calling games in Brooklyn. Tom visited Henry Chadwick’s grave and sent along a picture showing more than a dozen baseballs left as memorials from fans. Why baseballs?

No man did more to popularize baseball than Henry Chadwick (1824–1908). A British-born newspaperman, Chadwick immigrated to America as a youth, and made Brooklyn his home. In 1847, at Elysian Fields in New Jersey, Chadwick played his first baseball game, then dedicated the rest of his life to the promotion of the sport which he helped to become the national pastime. . . . He persuaded The New York Times and other dailies that baseball was news fit to print…

Chadwick assigned numbers to positions, creating the game’s scoring system, and introduced the box score.

He coined many of baseball’s most-enduring phrases, including ‘assist,’ ‘base hit,’ ‘base on balls,’ ‘cut off,’ ‘chin music,’ ‘fungo,’ ‘white wash,’ ‘double play,’ ‘error,’ ‘goose egg,’ ‘left on base,’ and ‘single.’ He…chaired the Rules Committee of the National Association of Base Ball Players and supervised the annual game, at the beginning of every baseball season…where rules changes were demonstrated.

In Marietta, Ohio, we visited The Mound Cemetery — also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the center stands a 2,000-year-old burial mound of the Adena culture, surrounded by graves where it is believed more Revolutionary War officers are buried than at any other cemetery in the country. Marietta was part of a land grant given to soldiers in lieu of pay by the new nation, explaining how so many ended up in this beautiful Ohio-river community.

Stairs to the top of the mound.

The blossoms have been exceptional this summer…as have the bugs

Finally, we have seen a profusion of beautiful blossoms in the region, but also an invasion of oak leaf itch mites, which find the billions of recently laid cicada eggs very tasty. When they aren’t eating cicada juveniles, however, they are biting people. Like me! Where did I put that cortizone?

More to come…


*Most sources credit an IT services company, Mamsys, for these stats.

Image: One of the beauties from nature in downtown Silver Spring

1 Comment

  1. Unbelievably, in tonight’s Nationals vs. Reds game, Nats announcer F.P. Santangelo gave a little history lesson about Henry Chadwick and the scoring of a baseball game. F.P. and Bob Carpenter were showing the audience at home how they scored each at bat during the game. Very timely!

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