Category: Uncategorized

A Life Full of Changes and One Final Hurrah!


Every once in a while I wander out of my library on the blog and become just an everyday baseball fan.  Content with enjoying the baseball world around me and taking in the sites, sounds and smells of the game I love.  Tonight is one of those times there are no books involved with the post but still about the game I love.

Life is ever evolving and changing.  Nothing stays the same for long and part of life is adapting those changes.  Some changes are better than others, but this is easily one of the better ones that comes along.  My wife and I are expecting our first little future big leaguer or ball girl in August, and yes he or she will be rooting for the Phillies………no exceptions to that rule!

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We are very excited about this new chapter of our lives, honestly a little nervous and sometimes overwhelmed at the thought of it all.  But on the bright side, people have been doing these for a long time, so how bad can we screw it up?  We both decided we wanted to take a final vacation before our little Phanatic arrives and thought of all the usual spots, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, but nothing was saying this is truly the last real vacation you will have for the next decade or two…………but then it hit us.

We could pull off the ultimate baseball vacation.  Eight days, six MLB stadiums and one Minor League morning game, mostly because I want to say I went to a baseball game and ate an egg mcmuffin while watching it.  We have an itinerary that is a little aggressive but I think we can pull this off, as long as the woman next to me who will be six months pregnant at the time keeps a sense of humor about this trip.

The plan is as follows:

Sat 5/21-Braves @ Phillies (Citizens Bank Park)

Sun 5/22-Rockies @ Pirates (PNC Field)

Mon 5/23-Indians @ White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field)

Tue 5/24-Off Day-Every team needs at least one

Wed 5/25-Phillies @ Tigers (Comerica Park)

Thur 5/26-Toledo Mud Hens-10:30 a.m. game (If you are going to a minor league game it just should be the Mud Hens.  Maybe Klinger will be there)

Fri 5/27-Phillies @ Cubs (Wrigley Field)

Sat 5/28-Orioles @ Indians (Progressive Field)

This is as of right now our trip, hopefully it will be fun and memorable.  Of course three Phillies games in one week was not by accident either. It is a lot of driving between cities, but nothing too over bearing I think.  Now if anyone who is reading this has stuck with me this far, I thank you for hanging in here, but I need your help.

If anyone out there has any ideas of something we shouldn’t miss in these cities on this trip, drop me a line.  If anyone has any ideas or lives in any of these towns and wants to meet the book blogging guy, let me know maybe we can meet up somewhere.  If anyone knows anyone who works for any of these teams that we are visiting and help us add to this experience and wants to reach out to them for us it would also  be appreciated.

I am going to do a daily blog on this trip to give everyone an update on each of the stadiums we are visiting.  Perhaps by doing this we can inspire some other fans to take the same journey.  Hey, if I can do this with a pregnant woman, you don’t have much of an excuse now do you.  This is our farewell journey in this part of our lives, so before we open the door to the next chapter we figured one last hurrah was in order.

If anyone has any ideas please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and thanks for the help folks.  Baseball is what brings us all together and hopefully makes our own worlds a little brighter.

Happy Reading……….or travelling

Gregg

 

 

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Back in Business…….I think!


Well it looks like I solved the computer dilemma.  Back up and running I am.  I have no idea why I just wrote the sentence like Yoda from Star Wars, but I will roll with it.  The last few days has given me lots of time to catch up with reading, so hopefully by the end of this weekend, I will be caught up on reviews as well.

 

cATJIM

Change the word callers to books, and you have the updated state of the bookcase!!!

 

I have found it amazing how much we rely on your computers.  I knew I relied on it, but I did not think I did as much as I now know I do.  So all that being said, thanks for being patient, and onward we roll.

 

Happy Reading

Gregg

Houston………We have a problem!!!!!!!!!!


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Well………long story short, this is how my weekend went!

The bookcase has encountered technical difficulties to say the least.  So with that problem now to the forefront, and having no computer for the foreseeable future, the bookcase is going on a brief hiatus.   Until I can buy, find or mooch another computer in the next few days, posts will be a little light.  I could do my posts off my phone, but even doing this post on my phone has proven an extreme challenge!

Don’t worry anyone that has submitted a book you will not be forgotten, we just have a small delay until I can beg/borrow/steal another computer.

Hopefully I will be back in business very soon, until then…….

Happy Reading

Gregg

Everyone needs a hobby I guess ????


I always say everyone needs a hobby.  Whether it is to relax in your free time, to add fulfillment to your life or just something to do until you find something better to do.  Baseball falls into the category of hobby in most of our lives.  Mostly because there are very few of us that can ever make any real money from what we do with it.  You can watch baseball, collect cards, collect autographs, write about it or make road trips with your friends to visit historical  stadiums.  There are countless other things that you can do with baseball that would be considered a hobby including today’s book…..

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Baseball Burial Sites

By:Bob Bailey 2004-St Johann Press

Yes, you can visit burial sites.  I also think this is considered a hobby to many.  Now regardless of what the rest of the world thinks, this is a viable hobby to many folks.  I myself never understood the interest of visiting the grave site of a baseball personality.  Perhaps it is to pay respects or something of the sort but I still don’t really get it.  But to each their own because as the title says, everyone needs a hobby, and this is still better than collecting lint.

 

Bob Bailey has done a very nice job of organizing an “interesting” subject.  The book is broken down into several different sections depending on specialty.  All field personnel including umpires are included in the book.  As well as owners, broadcasters, writers and other lesser known personalities.  For each section it gives an alphabetical listing along with date of death, cemetery name and location.  I see this as a somewhat herculean task to try to find these sites to write a book.  I know from my own work trying to find a former player it can sometimes be a tall task, and that’s for the living people.

 

The final section of the book satisfies even the most casual of the burial site seeker.  It is an alphabetical state listing that then breaks it into individual counties.  Under the county section it then gives you the cemetery name and which players are buried there.  For me, I now know that Smokey Joe Wood is buried down the road from me.  Until I looked at this book I never knew that.  Which in turn I found odd because the town I live in (Shohola, Pa.), he is their only claim to fame and they mention him whenever possible.

 

In no way am I  intending to look down on anyone that enjoys this.  If this is how you enjoy the hobby then so be it.  To each their own.  I just don’t get it.  But to someone out there who enjoys this, Baseball Burial Sites is a great book for you.  The author put a lot of work in to and provides you with great information.  It’s basically a map to the burial plots.  Its well-organized and detailed so even the novice plot chaser should be able to locate who they are looking for.

You can pick up this book from the nice folks at St Johann Press.  www.stjohannpress.com

Happy Reading

Gregg

Fred Merkle……Vindicated


I will admit my Baseball knowledge does have a very specified range.  While that range does cover many eras, it does by nature exclude some parts of the sports history.  The area I feel most comfortable with is from the end of World War II to the current day.  So you may be wondering where I am going with this?  My point is it excludes the Deadball Era.

The point of this blog for me was to share my thoughts on books and also expand my knowledge of the game’s history.  I figured that by expanding my reading horizons I would expand my knowledge base as well.  So that brings me to today’s book……

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Public Bonehead, Private Hero The Real Legacy of Baseball’s Fred Merkle

By Mike Cameron (2010-Sporting Chance Press)

I was not really sure what to expect from this book.  Honestly Fred Merkle has never really been a household name for me.  But I will say I was surprised at this story and even more surprised that I had never heard of it before.

In a nutshell the entire basis of this story revolves around one game ending play between the Cubs and Giants in a regular season game in 1908.  Unfortunately this outcome of this game affected the entire pennant race between these two teams.  Without revealing too much about the story to those who have not read this one, Merkle made a play in the game that was normal practice in 1908.  It was a widely accepted play and as it was interpreted in game play, acceptable.  In the end the Giants lost the pennant due to the outcome of that one game.

My gut feeling after getting about halfway through this book was “Hey, they are going to make Fred Merkle the scapegoat for that whole season”.  In the end that is exactly what happened.  That one play on that fateful day followed him his entire career and the rest of his life.  The somewhat sad part is he just accepted his fate and never did anything to either defend himself or escape his fate.

This book does an in-depth summary of the 1908 season and the way society reacted to baseball in that decade.  It goes almost daily recapping the race and the outcome of each game.  It also chronicles Merkle’s career and the haunting of the one play that earned him the unwarranted name “Bonehead”.  The only thing I wish this book did more was delve further into Merkle’s life after Baseball and how he handled the pressure of being Bonehead Merkle.  It does go through his life after Baseball but I have a feeling that due to the age of the story and it now being 100+ Years later time may have eroded some of the information and this was all that was available.

In my opinion this is a sad story in the fact that one play on a baseball diamond that was not out of the ordinary, haunted this poor guy until the day he died.  He should not have been judged on that one play and it certainly should not have followed him forever.  Honestly have we not forgiven Bill Buckner for 1986?  Have we not forgiven countless others for breaking our hearts on the field time and time again?

I think after reading this book I have a new found respect for Fred Merkle and his unwarranted nickname.  The amazing part to me is he played for almost 20 more years even after the fateful game but still let it eat away at him.  As I said above I would have like to read more about the man and his thoughts versus the player but it was still a very good book that I had trouble putting down.  Sometimes when you step out of your reading comfort zone you can be amazed.  After all a history lesson sometimes can be a good thing.  For fans of the Deadball era you will really enjoy this one.

This book is available from the good folks at Sporting Chance Press http://www.sportingchancepress.com

Happy Reading

Gregg