Tag Archives: United States

Opening Day 2012! Woo Hoo!

MLB All Star Game

Woo Hoo!   Today’s opening day for Major League Baseball and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by re-posting this great blog by Bill Miller, “The On Deck Circle”.    Couldn’t have said it better myself Bill!

Take  a look at one of our previous blogs that shows  George Carlin expressing this same sentiment.

“Ten Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football”

Written by:  Bill Miller, April 4, 2012.  “The On Deck Circle”

I have to face the fact that football seems to have brazenly overtaken baseball as the de facto national pastime.  Even in its off-season, football news and gossip (usually the same thing), often intrudes itself into our lives with depressing regularity.  The bi-weekly drug arrests, revolving quarterback soap operas, and mind-numbing stories about which draft picks will break camp hold about as much interest for me as my aunt’s wilted cole slaw on Easter Sunday.

Still, I won’t go down without a fight.

So, for the record, here are ten reasons why baseball is better than football.

1)  Baseball is not constantly interrupted by little men throwing their dainty little yellow flags all over the field every time they have a conniption fit because they saw something that offended their hair-trigger sensibilities.

2)  Baseball players do not wear helmets that make them look like anonymous Terminators bent on the destruction of the universe.  They look like actual, you know, people.

3)  When a baseball player hits a home run, peer pressure causes him (generally) to put his head down while circling the bases, cross home plate, and quietly receive the accolades of his teammates.  When a football player scores a touchdown, he (generally) responds with an epileptic seizure in the end zone.  It’s not something I enjoy watching, and it makes me wonder why they don’t regulate their medication more effectively.

4)  Baseball fans embrace their sports history and mythology in a way that football fans are incapable of understanding.  Baseball’s lineage is practically Biblical.  To the average football fan, football history goes back to last weekend.

5)  A father playing catch with his son is an emotional bonding experience, passed down through the generations, an unspoken acknowledgement of love, mortality and hope.  A father throwing a football at his son is just a guy suffering from low self-esteem who needs to occasionally pretend that he is an N.F.L. quarterback so he can justify the ongoing emasculation he suffers every Monday morning at work.

6)  Baseball has induced tremendous social change in America.  Jackie Robinson is one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.  His personal bravery and talent greatly improved our civil society by challenging us to re-examine our personal values regarding fairness, race, and what it means to be an American.

Football teaches us that there is nothing bigger in life than immediate success and personal gratification.  Winners are loved, losers are vilified, and none of it means anything three days later.

7)  Baseball gave us Tommy John surgery so that young men with injured arms could rejuvenate their careers.  Football has given us Post-Concussion Syndrome in numbers so large that it is now becoming a virtual epidemic.

8)  A baseball diamond is a pastoral throwback to a time when most of America lived on or near farms and in the countryside, and understood man’s proper relationship to his world.  The football grid-iron, by contrast, resembles the endless modern suburban sprawl that disconnects us from our natural environment as well as from ourselves.

9)  Baseball has “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a fun, carnival-like song that kids and grownups alike can relate to.  Football has “Are You Ready for Some Football?” an unimaginative, annoying pseudo-country song written by a man who has forever been trying to simultaneously emerge from and cloak himself with the shadow of his much more talented father.

10)  Every baseball at bat boils down to one man facing another, and may the best man win.  It is Achilles vs. Hector, Burr vs. Hamilton, Doc Holliday vs. Johnny Ringo.  An N.F.L. quarterback, by contrast, has no correspondingly singular opponent.  The protagonist has no antagonist.  He wields his sword dubiously against the faceless masses before him, a Roman Legionnaire lost amidst the swirl of the barbarian horde.

And that’s why baseball is better than football.

A SABR Day in Sunny San Francisco!

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I’ve been a member of  the Lefty O’Doul Chapter of SABR,  Society for American Baseball Research, for a year now and this was the first function I’ve been able to attend.   I mention this because I wish I’d attended all the functions this past year and I had this thought that,  if you were exposed to the idea, you’d probably like to do the same thing.

Our day included a tour of AT&T Park, a video conference with the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,  special guest speakers Henry Schulman, sport writer for the SF Chronicle and author Michael Duca, Chapter President, Marlene Vogelsang  and SABR National Director, Paul Hirsch giving us lots of good timely information.  It was a very good day in San Francisco!

So in recognition of  SABR Day in America 3″ this is an open invitation to anyone interested in finding out more about SABR to please check it out.   You’ll meet some really great baseball fans and be able to talk baseball all you want without having to deal with eyes rolling back in the head indicating “oh boy, here we go again”.  These guys get it! And so will you!

Veterans Day and Every Day ….. Thank You!

Note:  This is a repost of my 2010 Veteran’s Day Blog.

Arlington National Cemetery

“But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

This and the following list of Hall of Fame Members Courtesy of  Baseball Almanac.

Baseball Hall of Fame Members  who Served in the Armed Forces.
The Civil War  
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander  United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army Continue reading

Veterans in the Baseball Hall of Fame …..God Bless America!

I’m currently on vacation in Central America but didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to salute our Veterans, and especially those Veterans who were named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.   We know that freedom isn’t free and we’re privileged to honor all Veterans everywhere, on this your special day!Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans

Listed below in alphabetical order by conflict are members / inductees (including non-players) of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown who are officially classified as Veterans – each having served in the United States Armed Services during wartime.

 

  “But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

 

 
Hall Of Fame Veterans Members Who Served in the U.S. Armed Forces
Name [Link to Stats] Branch of the Service
The Civil War
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander (bio) United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army
Oscar Charleston United States Army
Ty Cobb United States Army
Eddie Collins United States Marines
Jocko Conlan United States Navy
Red Faber United States Navy
Warren Giles United States Army
Burleigh Grimes United States Navy
Harry Heilmann United States Navy
Waite Hoyt United States Army
George Kelly United States Army
Larry MacPhail United States Army
Rabbit Maranville United States Navy
Rube Marquard United States Navy
Christy Mathewson United States Army
Herb Pennock United States Navy
Sam Rice United States Army
Branch Rickey United States Army
Eppa Rixey United States Army
Bullet Rogan United States Army
Joe Sewell United States Army
George Sisler United States Army
Tris Speaker United States Navy
Casey Stengel United States Navy
World War II
Luke Appling (bio) United States Army
Al Barlick United States Coast Guard
Yogi Berra United States Navy
Nestor Chylak United States Army
Mickey Cochrane United States Navy
Leon Day United States Army
Bill Dickey United States Navy
Joe DiMaggio United States Army
Larry Doby United States Navy
Bobby Doerr United States Army
Bob Feller United States Navy
Charlie Gehringer United States Navy
Hank Greenberg United States Army
Billy Herman United States Navy
Monte Irvin United States Army
Ralph Kiner United States Navy
Bob Lemon United States Navy
Ted Lyons United States Marines
Larry MacPhail United States Army
Lee MacPhail United States Navy
Johnny Mize United States Navy
Stan Musial United States Navy
Pee Wee Reese United States Navy
Phil Rizzuto United States Navy
Robin Roberts United States Army
Jackie Robinson United States Army
Red Ruffing United States Army
Red Schoendienst United States Army
Enos Slaughter United States Army
Duke Snider United States Navy
Warren Spahn United States Army
Bill Veeck United States Marines
Ted Williams United States Marines
Early Wynn United States Army
Korean War
Ernie Banks United States Army
Whitey Ford United States Army
Eddie Mathews United States Navy
Willie Mays United States Army
Ted Williams United States Marines
Name [Link to Stats] Branch of the Service