A few minutes ago, my iPhone altered me that Vida Blue had passed away. Vida Blue in 1971 gave me one of those days that I think about from time to time. My passion for baseball was passed on to me by my day. But baseball left his heart after the Brooklyn Dodgers left after the 1957 season for LA. Vida Blue was the must-see ballplayer of 1971. The Oakland A’s was letting the home teams on their road trips when Vida Blue was scheduled to start. The A’s were coming to Yankee Stadium, and Dad called me and asked if I would get tickets for the August 15, 1971, Oakland A’s game. Vida Blue was scheduled to pitch. I cannot tell you how many times I said Dad would you like to go to a ballgame this weekend. The Yankees lost, and I had one of the best days of my life.

Vida Blue June 6, 1976, Yankee Stadium

Gordon Lightfoot’s passed away yesterday. For a while now have been revisiting folk music in my Vynly collection; Gordon Lightfoot is in that mix.
On one of our cross-country trips from the west coast, we drove back on I-94. I wanted to stop in Fargo, ND, and visit the Roger Maris Museum; a trip to Fargo is worth it. Leaving Fargo, we decided to drive to Duluth, Minnesota; after all, it was a road trip. We booked two nights for our stay in Duluth, and it was a pleasant surprise. On the second day, we drove north along Lake Superior to the Canadian border. On the drive back, I turned on the radio (Sirus), and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald started to play.

Daily, in my inbox, I receive MLB Daily Dingers. If you’re not a baseball fan, dingers stand for home runs. MLB Daily Dingers currently features each MLB team, Single-Season HR Leaders at Each Position. A few days ago, the Los Angeles Angels were featured. In 1962 their second season, left fielder Leon Wagner hit 37 dingers. Today, his 37 home runs are still a left-field team record. In September 1962, Leon Wagner was honored with a vinyl record, the Leon Wangner Wiggle.

Today February 2, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. It scared him, and he ran back into his burrow. Thus 6-more weeks of winter weather-no early spring. Then again, spring is 46 days from now. Let us do the math 6 (weeks) x 7 (days per) equals 42 days. I don’t know how all of this forecasting works.
Another prediction tied (who knew) to Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow; according to Market Watch if Phil sees his shadow and it’s bad news for stocks. I don’t know about this prediction, either.
What does all this mean? I don’t know. But let us cut Punxsutawney Phil some slack. He’s not a meteorologist or economist.

Grandpa started as a chauffeur around 1905; it was the early days of automobiles. The car was large, and the driver sat in the open. I recall seeing a few pictures of him wearing a fur coat and boots.

In the 1920s, grandpa was now driving a taxicab for a living. By 1930 had become an owner of a small taxi company. He worked long days inside the garage and still drove a taxi. Then after World War II, he sold the company.

But grandpa was a car guy. 1951-54, his car was a Green Cadillac with whitewall tires. He always washed that car, and the white walls on the tires were painted white for that bright, clean look. After cleaning the car, I often would ride in the front seat to the Mobile Gas Station; they had the flying red horse.

He would pull into the gas station, and three or four guys in blue uniforms would start working on the car. Each one would have a task, pumping the gas, checking the oil and water in the radiator, checking the tire pressure, and cleaning the car windows. All that for about 25 cents a gallon. Between 1951-54, mom would ask her father, grandpa, to babysit my sister and me. We loved it, and off into the back seat of the Cadillac we would go. It always seemed enormous. It was.

3Rd Ave JULY 1944 © by Andreas Feininger Life Magazine

Next, we would head down to Manhattan. From his taxicab days, grandpa had his favorite places. We would stop in businesses all over New York City where he knew people. Many would give us candy. He especially liked 3rd Ave. Back then, the 3rd Ave still had elevated subway tracks, commonly referred to as the 3rd Ave El. Real estate under the elevated subway lines was not considered a prime location. On 3rd Ave, there were many bars, and grandpa took my sister and me to them. We would sit in the big (we were little) booths drinking sodas and eating bar food. Mostly what I remember of those places is they all smelled terrible. I don’t know what prompted this, but grandpa once bought us red cowboy boots. My sister and I still remember wearing them and often bringing them up. When we arrived home wearing our red cowboy boots, I could still see a mom staring at them and saying, “dad, why are they wearing red cowboy boots” and grandpa leaving as fast as he could. I like to think he just wanted to buy them for us.

Through my work, I had daily meetings with clients on 3rd Ave. As I walked up and down 3rd Ave, often eating at some well-known places on 3rd Ave, I would think of grandpa, my sister, his big green Cadillac, and those red cowboy boots.

Why this post—A few days ago, through an ongoing email between friends, I saw this video:

This video reminded me of fond memories of grandpa, who passed away in 1962.

Paul Plaine

David McCullough’s family announced today that he passed away yesterday August 7th.

My work had me out of the studio daily. I would dash from Ad Agency to Ad Agency and other clients that populated the world of media. Mid-town Manhattan is a small city of these companies and people like myself that service them. I often found myself standing next to a well-known person on any given day. One such day it was David McCullough with his wife on 43rd and Madison Ave. I was waiting for the walk sign (I did not dash between moving traffic). David McCullough and his wife came up next to me. Generally, I never spoke to anyone. But, during this encounter, I did. I have just finished reading his latest book, Truman. I loved it like so many of his books, but the Truman book I especially enjoyed. I slightly turned to him and his wife and said I admire your work. He glanced back and said, “ThankYou.” The walk sign appeared, and like all New Yorkers, I quickly dashed off.

Vincent Edward Scully passed away on August 2nd. For 67 years beginning in 1950 and ending in 2016, he was the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers. 

From the first to last baseball game of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I heard the voice of Vin Scully. Whenever I listened to the voice of Vin Scully, it would take me back to the Bronx apartment that was home. It was as if he lived with us. Here are a few of his ‘Greatest Calls,’

There’s a line in the movie Field of Dreams “The one constant through all the years, Ray has been baseball.” That line today:

The one constant through all the years, Ray has been baseball and the voice of Vin Scully.

Today millions of his friends like me mourn the passing of a family member, Vince ‘Vin’ Scully.

1961 is my favorite New York Yankees baseball season, Mantle, Maris home run chase, and Detroit Tigers battling the Yankees for first place. I followed the 1998 Sosa, McQuire home run chase ending with McGuire hitting 70, and Bonds in 2001, hitting 73, home run seasons. Now we have Aaron Judge chasing all of them.

It’s August 1, the start of “The Dog Days.” On this day in 1961, the Yankees had played 102 games, and Roger Maris was sitting on 40 home runs.

July 31, 2022, the Yankees just played game 103, and Aaron Judge hit home run number 42.

The talk is whether Aaron Judge will match or surpass Roger Maris 61 in 61.

Today’s question: Is 61 in 61 the defacto home run record?