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Posts Tagged ‘baseball history

Let the games begin…

 

 click here for larger interactive version

If every state in the union had to choose an official sport, what would they pick? Football, football, lacrosse, football, skiing, football, football … and Alaska gets the one with sled dogs. But what if you had to assign one sport to each state, and could use each of those sports just once? How would you disperse our favorite pastimes among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.?

Now that’s a more interesting parlor game. Only 12 states have bothered to name any kind of “official sport,” which leaves a lot of room to impose one’s sporting will on the American people…

And that’s exactly what Josh Levin, executive editor at Slate, has done.  Read the rules he followed and explore the results in detail at “The United Sports of America- If each state could have only one sport, what would it be?

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As we oil our wheels, we might recall that it was on this date in 1845 that the first known baseball box score appeared in the New York Morning News, a month after the first set of rules were written by Alexander Cartwright and some his fellow Knickerbockers.

 source

 

Written by LW

October 22, 2013 at 1:01 am

“Altering life by holding it still”*…

 

The first of a series of multimedia essays on photography and photojournalism; quoth Leica…

Building on their shared history, Magnum and Leica agreed to collaborate on a series of projects that continue their longstanding dedication to independent documentary photography. Beginning in the spring of 2011, Leica will sponsor the creation of a series of independently-produced multimedia essays that will highlight the personal journeys and insatiable curiosity of Magnum photographers. The stories will be published at the homepages of Magnum Photos, LFI Magazine, and Leica.

And for readers who are inspired, some riveting advice from the extraordinary Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, the photo-documentarian of the underside of New York life in the 30s, 40s, and 50s…

* “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”- Dorothea Lange

 

As we adjust our f-stops, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that player-manager Mel Ott of the (then New York) Giants hit his 511th and final career home run.  Ott, the first National League player to hit 500 home runs, managed the Giants from 1942-48, during which stretch the Giant’s best finish was 3rd place.  It was in refeence to Ott’s easy-going stewardship of the Giants that then-Dodgers manager Leo Durocher made his oft-quoted (albeit somewhat out-of-context) remark, “Nice guys finish last!”

Baseball card on which Ott struck an uncharacteristically-fierce pose (source)

 

 

Matchbox History…

A retired farmer has spent more than 30 years building an enormous scale model of a Biblical temple. Alec Garrard, 78, has dedicated a massive 33,000 hours to constructing the ancient Herod’s Temple, which measures a whopping 20ft by 12ft. The pensioner has hand-baked and painted every clay brick and tile and even sculpted 4,000 tiny human figures to populate the courtyards…

Mr Garrard, from Norfolk England, spent more than three years researching the Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans 2000 years ago and deemed to be one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient times. He then started to construct the amazing 1:100 scale model, which is now housed in a huge building in his back garden. “Everything is made by hand. I cut plywood frames for the walls and buildings and all the clay bricks and tiles were baked in the oven then stuck together,” he said. Mr Garrard sculpted and painted 4,000 figures, measuring just half an inch and all wearing their correct costumes including 32 versions of Jesus…  “I have been working on it for decades but it will never be finished as I’m always finding something new to add.”

More photos and background at Life to the Full Church.  [TotH to Presurfer]

For similarly amazing miniatures, see “This one makes you smaller…” and “Pencil it in…

 

As we clean our magnifying glasses, we might recall that it was on this date in 1989 that Orel Hershiser’s streak of consecutive scoreless innings pitched ended at 60, a record that still stands.  The streak began on August 30, 1988 and spanned mostly the end of the 88 season– in which Hershiser turned in one of the best single seasons in pitching history. He was unanimously selected as the Cy Young Award winner, with a record of 23–8 and a 2.26 ERA; he won (his first) Golden Glove; and he became the only player to receive the Cy Young award, the Championship Series MVP award, and the World Series MVP award in the same season.

Hershiser on the mound (source)

Meditations on First Philosophy/The Love Below…

So, it turns out that Rene Descartes and Andre Benjamin of Outkast have in common rather unconvincing proofs…

From (medical student and nice guy) Sanjay Kulkarni’s wonderful web comic Cowbirds in Love.

As we ponder the the depths of demonstrability, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that Izvestia informed its Russian readership that baseball had actually been invented by Russians (and transmitted to the U.S. by emigres who’d brought a 14th century game, lapta, with them).

A  game of lapta, c. 1900 (source)

Looking back…

…if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word: “dentistry.”
– P.J. O’Rourke,
All the Trouble in the World

Still, nostalgia has its uses.  The economy seems poised for another dip in the tank; the weather is delivering hotter, wetter warnings of the wages of climate disruption; health care costs are reaching escape velocity; education and infrastructure are (literally) crumbling, as state funding implodes…  one could go on.

Instead, one turns one’s gaze to the past; one conjures up the remembered comforts of times gone by:  “it didn’t use to be this way”…  As P.J. O’Rouke suggests, it’s more often that not the flimsiest kind of illusion– out-of-context features of a whole-cloth past, selectively recalled (indeed, too often imagined), then amplified by the need for consolation.

Still, one does it– one “remembers”– because…  well, because it’s what one does.

And so, Dear Readers, three “seed crystals”– three blasts from the past– that can, your correspondent hopes, help one (as they’ve helped him) spin stories that amuse, even as they help us find our way past the challenges that are the stuff of our days…

First, from the ever-informative Brain Pickings, “7 Must-See What’s My Line Episodes“:

The premise of the show was simple: In each episode, a contestant would appear in front of a panel of blindfolded culture pundits — with few exceptions, a regular lineup of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, actress Arlene Francis, Random House founder Bennett Cerf, and a fourth guest panelist — who would try to guess his or her “line” of work or, in the case of famous “mystery guests,” the person’s identity, by asking exactly 10 yes-or-no questions. A contestant won if he or she presented the panel with 10 “no” answers.

Over the 17-year run of the show, nearly every iconic cultural luminary of the era, from presidents to pop stars, appeared as a mystery guest…

Indeed, over it’s 17 year run through the 50s and early 60s, WML was basically the only media property that could “have” any celebrity or cultural figure. (Sullivan could out-book WML on the entertainment front, but only there.) This was perhaps largely due to the involvement of Random House founder Bennett Cerf who, through his deep connections in the journalism and media world, was but a Kevin-Bacon’s-breath away from essentially any public figure.  In any case, no one said “no” to WML.

BP has curated seven of the very best examples of this pull:  Alfred Hitchcock, Lucille Ball, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jean Desmond (a girdle tester), Walt Disney, host John Daly (in an early example of meta-comedy), and…

See them all here.

Second, for somewhat younger readers, from our old friend The Selvedge Yard, a look back at The Rolling Stones when they were still “The Rolling Stones.”  TSY muses on the theme of this missive:

When I’m feeling roadworn, forlorn, or the subject of scorn– nothing takes me to my happy place faster than great old pics of guitar porn.  I came across the below Stones’ porn pic sifting through the internets and became mesmerized by the artfully haphazard array of axes.  You can almost smell the sweat, smoke  and stale beer as you gaze at the overturned cans, ash, and listing guitars.

The late ’60s – early ’70s was an epic time for the Rolling Stones, and Rock & Roll as a whole.  It was a time I largely missed (being born in 1970), but feel like I experienced, partially at least, vicariously through my mom.  She was a music junkie, went to Woodstock, worshipped Janis Joplin.

The Stones' Guitars

Berlin, 1965

Many more here.

And finally, for younger readers still, a glance back at the 80s and one of that decade’s indelible icons:  from Walyou, “16 Cool Mr. T Themed Designs.”

For those who grew up on the A-Team TV Show or are big fans of Rocky, Mr. T will always be a memorable personality which is simply larger than life. Although you do not see him as much in TV or movies these days, he is still a personality to be reckoned with.

This collection of 16 Mr. T designs includes various pieces of art, design, products and more which prove that Mr T is still popular today, and if you don’t agree…then I pity the fool.

Mr T Cookie Jar

Mr. T Infographic

See the rest here.

As we stroll down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1905 that Ty Cobb, “The Georgia Peach” made his major league debut; playing for the Detroit Tigers, he doubled off the New York Highlanders’s (later Yankees) Jack Chesbro, who had won a record 41 games the previous season.

Ty Cobb

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