Our last spring training road trip to Florida was from February to March 2020. That ended abruptly on March 15th, with the outbreak of COVID-19, with MLB canceling spring training. In 2021 we decided to stay home.
Today, January 7th, 2020, we were greeted with winter’s first significant snowfall. Up till today, except for a few days, the weather has been mild.
Looking out the window and taking this picture of the snow reminded me of a famous quote.
In December, the MLB owners voted unanimously to enact a lockout upon the expiration of the 2016 collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union. The MLB owners and MLB Players Association have yet to hold talks on resolving this current labor dispute.
Will there be a Spring Training 2022 or even a season?
Willard Scott was a legendary radio and TV personality who passed away on September 4, 2021.
Around ten years ago, we were with some friends one afternoon at The Breakers in Palm Beach for drinks as we were leaving incomes, Willard Scott, in his best cabana outfit. He approached the young receptions and made a reservation. She tells him they are booked up. He is staying at The Breakers. He’s not happy and starts playing the part of a celebrity. After a brief back and forth, he walks away without a reservation for dinner. I said do you know who he is, and she replied, no. I tell her that’s Willard Scott. She looked at me and said, who’s Willard Scott. I explain he’s a TV personality, Today show weatherman, etc. I get the blank look, and I never heard of him. I realize she is young, and I get it. Then It dawns on me, and I said he was the first Ronald Mac Donald Clown, and then she was impressed.
September 1, 1961, the Yankees, with a 1-1/2 game lead over the Detroit Tigers, were now going to face off for the first time since a one-day July 4 doubleheader. On that day, the Tigers held a 2-game lead over the Yankees. The Tigers won the first game, with the Yankees taking the second. Resulting in no change in the American League standing. For the next eight weeks, the heavy-hitting Tigers and Yankees keep pace with each other leading up to this first of a 3-game showdown.
Seeing these photos of young fans wanting to get an autograph brings up fond memories of days after school and weekends chasing down ballplayers arriving at Yankee Stadium before a game, asking them, please sign.
“Mantle, Maris and a Few Others Stir a Potpourri of Fan EmotionThe players arrived at Yankee Stadium last night in bright, new automobiles. Dozens of small boys rushed toward them and pleaded, like supplicants, for autographs or for some word, some recognition”.
Foot Notes: Main NY Times Article Written by, Robert L. Teague 1929-2013. Bob Teague joined WNBC-TV in New York in 1963 as one of the city’s first black television journalists and went on to work as a reporter, anchorman, and producer for more than three decades
Mantle, Maris and a Few Others Ítir a Potpourri of Fan Emotion Written by Gay Talese: Gay Talese -1932- is an American writer. As a journalist for The New York Times and Esquire magazine during the 1960s, Talese helped to define contemporary literary journalism. He’s written 15 books, most noted for Honor Thy Father 1971, and Frank Sinatra Has a Cold with Phil Stern.
The Negro Leagues East, West All-Star game was played at Yankee Stadium 60 years ago on August 20, 1961, and is considered by baseball historians the final game of the Negro Leagues. It was an all-star contest of players selected from East and West teams. The Improved Benevolent Protected Order of Elks sponsored the game, which was having its national convention in New York. More than 30,000 members attended the convention, only 7,245 fans were at the game.
Through the New York Times —Time Machine archives, I have been re-telling that season on my Twitter page. On August 14, 1961, John Drebinger, The Sports Of The Times, wrote of the Negro League All-Star game coming to Yankee Stadium on August 20. The players will be selected from the last four Negro American League teams. The last four teams are the Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, Birmingham Black Barons, and Raleigh Tigers. They play everywhere, keep old minor league ballparks alive. Discovering Negro League All-Star scheduled game at Yankee Stadium was the last Nergo League game played, I searched through Google and Newspaper Archives for additional information about the All-Star game, to no avail.
Leading up to the All-Star game The New York Times published Satchel Paige interview on pitching to hitters. Some who ate very famous
Note: This was originally scheduled to post August 20, 2021. Do to an unforseen event I was not able to meet that schedule. Paul Plaine
I have more subscriptions than most. But I do have a pet peeve. Regardless of the search engine one uses, for me, it’s google. You are reading a story on a website or looking up something to read the rest of the article, you are directed to the linked source, and what pops up, you have to buy a subscription to read this article. Annoying!
After the extreme heat, we had last week, we headed out for a lovely walk this morning. The temperature was 68°, the humidity was 51%. Mixed in with the walkers are the bicyclist. I am also a bicyclist. As an adult bicyclist, I understand the rules, unlike growing up in the 1950s. So, bikers put a bell on the handlebars, slow down, say on your left, and wear a helmet! August 2019, I’m riding on the Bronx River Park path. I’m slowing down as I see a walker off in the distance. As I veer left, the walker veered left. I veered further left, and he also does, and now he’s directly in my way. He and an older person so I crashed my bike. I hurt myself, but it would have been far worst if I was not wearing my helmet. My head hit the pavement and snapped up, and my head hit the pavement again. I do not want to think about where I would be today if I did not have a helmet on.
I start my day at the gym next breakfast and The New York Times Time Machine to the year 1961. This year on Twitter, I’m tweeting the daily history of the New York Yankees 1961 season. The 1961 Yankees season is recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s greatest teams. Propelled by the Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris home run chase of Babe Ruth’s 60 home run record set in 1927. An as great as the Yankees were that season, the Detroit Tigers kept pace and the pressure on the Yanks into early September
On July 3, I opened Time Machine to the 1961 New York Times, and on the front page was ‘Hemingway Dead of Shotgun Wound; Wife Says He Was Cleaning Weapon.’ This headline is not the first one from 1961 that stirs up the memory bank. Other than astronauts, political, and sports events, Hemingway’s death influenced my reading habits at that time.
We like visiting Key West Florida. We love the drive getting there. On our first visit and subsequent visits, we tour Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home. After the official tour, we revisit the house and the grounds. Around the grounds are burial markers for the six toe cats that roamed the property from the 1930s’ to this day; six-toed cats still roam grounds. All of Ernest Hemingway’s cats in Cuba also had six-toes. The Key West cats have one other distinguishing trademark. All were and still are named after famous people.
Both of Hemingway’s homes have many stores and unique touches. At Key West, it’s the pool. Ernest Hemingway himself planned the pool. Construction on the pool began while Hemingway was in Spain, covering the Spanish Civil War writing dispatches for The North American Newspaper Association. In Spain, he traveled with fellow reporter Martha Gellhorn. Hearing rumors of an affair with Gellhorn have been attributed to Hemingway’s wife Pauline’s extensive pool construction cost. Upon Hemingway’s returned from Spain in May 1938, he started complaining about the $$20,000 cost to build the poll. As the legend goes, he tossed a penny onto the patio, saying, “you’ve taken all my money; you might as well have my last penny, too.” Accounting for inflation $20,000 in 1938, translates to $381,836.88 in 2021 dollars. That famous penny is encased at the pool for all to see. Hemingway, after divorcing Pauline, married Martha Gellhorn in 1940 and left Key West foreve
Hemingway’s Cuban home has two features the first one is his fishing boat. After Hemingway died in 1961, the family donated or gave the house to the Cuban government. In 1962 it became a museum. The home was preserved intact. Hemingway’s fishing boat was an American flag, and it was the only American flag on display in Cuba for decades.
The second feature is in his bathroom. Every morning while visiting his Cuban winter home, he weighed himself and recorded his weight on the wall in pencil.
Mom and dad would let me stay up on Friday nights when I did not have school the next day and watch The Jack Parr Show from 11:30 pm till 1 am and in the summer months. I believe this took place after Hemingway’s death. Jack Parr had on four Brooklyn Dodger players as a guest on the show. One or two were still playing for the LA Dodgers. In 1947, the Dodgers held Spring Training in Havana, Cuba. It was Jackie Robinson’s rookie year, and the Dodgers were building Dodger town at Vero Beach. The Dodgers did not want Jackie Robinson segregated from the team.
So, the four players tell of their night out and meeting Ernest Hemingway. Lots of drinking telling of stories. As the night grew on, Hemingway invites the players to his home. The drinking and story tell continued. The players did not recall precisely how it started, but Hemingway and one of the players got into it. Hemingway then announces, let us settle this with a duel, and gets up and leaves the room.
The four players now realize this is out of control and gone too far. They immediately open the window and run away, never to reencounter Ernest Hemingway.
Whenever I walk past the door of the Charles Scribner and Sons, building on 5th Ave, N.Y. City I think of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
Putting this together inspired me to reread A Moveable Feast and read Ernest Hemingway; A Biography by MaryDearborn.
Our first stop was Santiago de Cuba. Is the regarded as the root of the Cuban Revolution. It streets were teaming with people, motorbikes, and cars, lined by colorful building and shops.
We walked the neighborhoods, and to my regret, we do not speak Spanish, but we were able to communicate. There is much see in Cuba, and not doing some ot the tourist attractions would be a mistake.
Castillo de San Pedro del Morro is one of the best-preserved Spanish fortresses of the 17th century. It is situated at the entrance to the Bay of Santiago, and the fortress lies about 10 kilometers southwest of Santiago de Cuba.
Everywhere we traveled we were greeted warmly by the Cuban people.
In 2017 photographing MLB Spring Training in Florida, the idea of going to Cuba seemed the thing to do. So reshuffled the luggage, off to Cuba, we went. A fantastic journey. You can feel the time warp; time stopped January 1, 1960. We will return to Cuba
Our first game back without COVID-19 restrictions started out the way we have traveled to the games for over thirty years on Metro North. Mask are still required on Metro North, and we are okay with that. The station platform was full of fans waiting for the train. It was good hearing the conductor say next stop 153rd St Yankee Stadium.
We treated as opening day with a few opening day ritualized,leaving Metro North; one is we walk over to River Ave to see what has or has not changed. Stan;s Sports Bar history goes back to 1976 under its old name, the Scoreboard. Always loud but not out of control. It’s been a few years since being inside, but I remember the days when the patrons would stand on the bar leading crowd in Yankee cheers.
For the past forty-two years, we have had a New York Yankees ticket plan. However, it’s our first game back in our seats since October 18, 2019.
After our first and only hotdogs, we eat at the stadium during the regular season. If the Yankees make the playoffs, we eat another hotdog first game. Yesterday, some of our other favorite foods were not available. Maybe the next game. After all, the teams are also adjusting to getting back to normal.
The most significant adjustment for us was the noise level. Life has been quiet for the past 15 months. This video is from first inning of the game. In the last three innings, I was thinking baseball not my iPhone.
For us getting back to normal started this past week.