“The Pitcher,” by Harry Hildebrand

I love discovering these independently written and produced baseball songs.  They have a ring of genuine appreciation for the game that you are hard-pressed to find otherwise.  You also realize that there’s a lot of undiscovered talent out there in the world.


June 28th, Royals vs. Cardinals

royals cards

The Royals-Cardinals series, also known as the I-70 Series thanks to the interstate that connects Kansas City and St. Louis, is generally touted as a big rivalry.  It is a showdown between the two MLB teams who call the Show-Me State home.  Ticket prices are generally pretty outrageous for this series (this year, the cheapest tickets available were $42).  As a result, I had never attended one of these games in person.  So when I was offered a free ticket to attend last night’s game between the two teams, I naturally jumped on the opportunity, expecting a high-energy and intense experience.

Boy, was I disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the game.  I have a hard time not enjoying any Royals game that I attend, and I’m always willing to cheer them on.  I felt sad that the Royals lost, but really, it was the crowd that proved so disappointing.  Admittedly, it’s hard for the average fan to stay involved in a game in which the home team isn’t doing so well.  The Royals’ struggles of late haven’t been very easy to swallow.  But when you have a crowd of almost 33,000, and it feels like none of them are paying attention to the field… well, that’s just upsetting.  The sound guys kept playing all kinds of pump up music and prompts, trying anything to get the crowd fired up, and most of it fell flat.  The Hot Dog Derby brought on more cheers than most innings.

There were a few bright spots.  The Royals rally in the sixth inning to score a couple runs did raise the energy level a bit.  And when they managed to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, the whole stadium — those who stayed, at least — was on its feet.  The rest of the game, though, felt pretty blah.  I’m not a very loud person, but for much of the game, I was easily one of the loudest folks in our general area.

I realize that much of this post is pretty whiny, especially considering that I don’t have any solutions to offer, other than asking folks not to attend a ballgame they intend to ignore.  We live in a world where everyone is plastered to their phones, even at the ballpark, which is the whole reason stadiums are expanding their protective netting — to protect those who won’t see that foul ball coming as they focus on their next selfie.  In the last couple years, attending a Royals game for most folks has been more about showing off to others their presence there than it has been about watching the actual game.  It seems that you can either have a winning team with a crowd of bandwagon fans, or you can watch a losing team surrounded by fans who actually care about what’s going on.  You just can’t have both.

In any case, here are pictures!

george brett bat

George Brett pine tar bat

royals trophy

Managed to get that picture with the 2015 World Series trophy — I just wish it wasn’t so dang dark!

royals bullpen

I had never seen the bullpen from this perspective before, so I had to be a nerd and snap a picture.

royals cards 2

royals cards 3

royals cards 4

Game over.


Quote of the day

Never hit a man with glasses.  Hit him with a baseball bat.

~ Author Unknown

sunglasses


This day in baseball

On June 27, 1930, A’s pitcher Jack Quinn became the oldest player in Major League history to hit a home run, at the age of 46 years and 357 days.  He held the record until April 20, 2006, when Julio Franco hit a home run at the age of 47 years and 240 days old.  Julio Franco continues to hold the record of oldest player to hit a home run, set on May 4, 2007 at the age of 48 years and 254 days old.

1921_Jack_Quinn

Jack Quinn (Sporting News)


T-13 Beano Grenade

beanogrenade

Beano Grenade (about.com)

The T-13 Beano hand grenade was an experimental hand grenade developed during World War II by what was then known as the “Office of Strategic Services” (OSS) which later became the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  I mention it in this blog because  the Beano was designed to be a spherical grenade the size and weight of a common baseball.  The idea, developers thought, was that any American boy should be able to properly throw the grenade with distance and accuracy.  While I do like the concept of America’s Pastime permeating society so thoroughly as to inspire this kind of thing, it’s also awfully presumptive to design a weapon based on this thinking.

The Beano grenade was designed with a pressure trigger and intended to detonate and explode on contact with hard surfaces.  American soldiers were taught to hold and throw the grenade like a baseball.  The original design called for the grenade to weight approximately the same as a traditional baseball (a little over five ounces), however, the final model weight approximately twelve ounces.

Once the final design was approved, several thousand Beano grenades were shipped to Europe, and they were supposed used (in limited quantities) during the Normandy invasion in June 1944.  However, several of the grenades detonated prematurely and, as a result, killed more American troops than enemy troops.  At the end of World War II, the U.S. military’s supply of T-13 Beano Grenades was ordered destroyed and files pertaining to the weapon were classified.  Some Beano grenades do remain in existence, and they continue to be coveted by military history buffs.

Beano_grenade

Beano grenade and compass (CIA Museum)


Quote of the day

As I grew up, I knew that as a building (Fenway Park) was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation’s capitol, the czar’s Winter Palace, and the Louvre — except, of course, that is better than all those inconsequential places.

~ Bart Giamatti

Bart Giamatti

Getty Images


“Anthem,” by William “Sugar” Wallace

I read a note that this poem is most fun when it is read aloud, and after doing so with a few stanzas, I have to agree.  I love the pace of it, and it’s obvious that the author had some fun writing it.  I’m going to have to look up some of these nicknames; I’m sure there are some great stories there.

*

Catfish, Mudcat, Ducky, Coot.
The Babe, The Barber, The Blade, The Brat.
Windy, Dummy, Gabby, Hoot.
Big Train, Big Six, Big Ed, Fat.

Greasy, Sandy, Muddy, Rocky.
Bunions, Twinkletoes, Footsie, The Hat.
Fuzzy, Dizzy, Buddy, Cocky.
The Bull, The Stork, The Weasle, The Cat.
Schoolboy, Sheriff,
Rajah, Duke,
General, Major,
Spaceman, Spook.

The Georgia Peach, The Fordham Flash,
The Flying Dutchman. Cot.
The People’s Cherce, The Blazer. Crash.
The Staten Island Scot.
Skeeter, Scooter,
Pepper, Duster,
Ebba, Bama, Boomer, Buster.

The Little Professor, The Iron Horse. Cap.
Iron Man, Iron Mike, Iron Hands. Hutch.
Jap, The Mad Russian, Irish, Swede. Nap.
Germany, Frenchy, Big Serb, Dutch,
Turk. Tuck, Tug, Twig.
Spider, Birdy, Rabbit, Pig.

Fat Jack, Black Jack, Zeke, Zack. Bloop.
Peanuts, Candy, Chewing Gum, Pop.
Chicken, Cracker, Hot Potato, Soup.
Ding, Bingo.
Hippity-Hopp.

Three-Finger, No-Neck, The Knuck, The Lip.
Casey, Gavvy, Pumpsie, Zim.
Flit, Bad Henry. Fat Freddie, Flip.
Jolly Cholly, Sunny Jim.
Shag, Schnozz,
King Kong, Klu.
Boog, Buzz,
Boots, Bump, Boo.

King Carl, The Count. The Rope, The Whip.
Wee Willie, Wild Bill, Gloomy Gus. Cy.
Bobo, Bombo, Bozo. Skip.
Coco, Kiki, Yo-yo. Pie.
Dinty, Dooley,
Tuffy, Snuffy,
Stubby, Dazzy,
Daffy, Duffy.

Baby Doll, Angel Sleeves, Pep, Sliding Billy,
Buttercup, Bollicky, Boileryard, Juice.
Colby Jack, Dauntless Dave, Cheese,
Gentle Willie,
Trolley Line, Wagon Tongue, Rough,
What’s the Use.

Ee-yah,
Poosh ‘Em Up,
Skoonj, Slats, Ski.
Ding Dong,
Ding-a-Ling,
Dim Dom, Dee.

Famous Amos. Rosy, Rusty.
Handsome Ransom. Home Run, Huck.
Rapid Robert. Cactus, Dusty.
Rowdy Richard. Hot Rod, Truck.
Jo-Jo, Jumping Joe,
Little Looie,
Muggsy, Moe.

Old Folks, Old Pard, Oom Paul. Yaz.
Cowboy, Indian Bob, Chief, Ozark Ike.
Rawhide, Reindeer Bill. Motormouth. Maz.
Pistol Pete, Jungle Jim, Wahoo Sam. Spike.
The Mad Hungarian.
Mickey, Minnie.
Kitten, Bunny.
Big Dan, Moose.
Jumbo, Pee Wee; Chubby, Skinny.
Little Poison.
Crow, Hawk, Goose.

Marvelous Marv.
Oisk, Oats, Tookie.
Vinegar Bend.
Suds, Hooks, Hug.
Hammerin’ Hank.
Cooch, Cod, Cookie.
Harry the Horse.
Speed, Stretch, Slug.

The Splendid Splinter. Pruschka. Sparky.
Chico, Choo Choo, Cha-Cha, Chub.
Dr. Strangeglove. Deacon. Arky.

Abba Dabba. Supersub.
Bubbles, Dimples, Cuddles, Pinky.
Poison Ivy, Vulture, Stinky.
Jigger, Jabbo
Jolting Joe
Blue Moon
Boom Boom
Bubba
Bo