Sunday, December 31, 2006

We remember Rick Nelson (1940-1985)

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Rick Nelson died in a plane crash in Texas in 1985.   He was flying to Dallas for a concert.   Nelson recorded many songs, from "Traveling man" to "Hello Mary Lou" to "Young emotions".    My favorite is "Fools rush in", a tune from the 1940's that Nelson brought back in 1963.    

You can get his music HERE.
 
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Saturday, December 23, 2006

1972: Immaculate reception and Franco Harris

The AFL and NFL merged in 1970.   The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns moved to the AFC.     

The first big game of the new post-merger era took place on this day in 1972:     

The historic play took place during the semifinal playoff game of the American Football Conference (AFC), in Pittsburgh. Ken Stabler of the Raiders scored a touchdown with 73 seconds left in the game, putting Oakland up 7-6. Things looked dark for the Steelers, a struggling franchise that had finished 31 of the previous 39 seasons with a losing record. Bradshaw’s pass, launched from the Steelers’ 40-yard-line, was intended for halfback Frenchy Fuqua. 

When the Raiders safety Jack Tatum collided with Fuqua at Oakland’s 35-yard-line, the ball bounced backwards in a huge arc for a total of seven yards, where Harris scooped it up before it hit the ground and ran 42 yards into the end zone."

The victory put the Steelers on the football map.   They won 4 Super Bowls in the 1970's and became one of the greatest teams in NFL history. 

It all started with a crazy play in an AFC playoff game.

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1972: Franco Harris made Immaculate Reception

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Who remembers this catch?  Every Pittsburgh and Oakland fan remembers it well:

"On December 23, 1972, in a controversial play that is known as the "Immaculate Reception," rookie running back Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers grabs a deflected pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw to score a touchdown, winning the game for the Steelers 13-7 over the Oakland Raiders."
The Steelers would go on to win 4 Super Bowls in the 1970s.  It all started when they drafted well and gave their young players a chance to grow up. 

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 2006: A word about Nathan Aguirre's funeral


Our community came together yesterday and said goodbye to Nathan Aguirre

As I wrote before, Nathan was a very popular young man who died in Iraq.

The church was full. The streets were full of school children and others. It was a wonderful sight.

Remember him on Memorial Day.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

We remember Ninón Sevilla (1921-2015)




Friday, October 27, 2006

We remember Nathan Aguirre (1984-2006)


Army SPC Nathaniel Aguirre
We remember Nathan Aguirre, the young man from our church killed in Iraq

This is from the obituary:   
Nathan was born December 11, 1984, in San Antonio, Texas. His family later moved to Carrollton, where Nathan met his best friend, Joseph Posenecker, at a church gathering. Joseph described Nathan as a leader and a responsible person. “Always keeping us in line,” Joseph said of his friend, “He was very outgoing and wanted to be the best at everything.” Nathan’s family remembers his always adventurous spirit. 
He enjoyed rock climbing so much so that he volunteered at his local climbing gym in order to climb for free. He later became a rock climbing instructor at the gym. Nathan was also passionate about being a Boy Scout, said his mother, Mary. He even designated the Boy Scouts as one of his life insurance beneficiaries. “Boy Scouts presented him with structured adventures and learning along with teaching him leadership skills, responsibility, integrity and loyalty that he embraced with such happiness,” his mother said.
Nathan always longed to serve his country. He joined the Army Reserves while still in high school, putting off plans to attend Texas A&M University to study architecture. 
“He didn’t want to wait four years to go into the service,” Nathan’s father, Louis, said about his son. “He wanted to serve.” 
SPC Aguirre blogged about his experiences in Iraq on his MySpace page. Since his death, his page on the social networking site has turned into an online memorial. 
Nathan's death reminds us that we live in a dangerous world. We are grateful that young men like Nathan are willing to serve their country.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

1966: Orioles clinch the AL pennant in KC



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------------------------------
On this day in 1966, the Baltimore Orioles clinched their first AL pennant with a 6-1 victory over the A’s in Kansas City.   It was an amazing year for a very good team, as remembered by The Sun:   
Yet when they formally clinched the pennant in Kansas City on Sept. 22 — Palmer beat the Athletics, aided by a sensational diving catch by outfielder Russ Snyder — they did not take the moment for granted.    
The victory touched off a celebratory food fight that lasted more than an hour. Egg salad, chocolate milk and shaving cream filled the air. Players tossed fully clothed teammates, and owner Jerry Hoffberger, into streaming showers and swirling whirlpool tubs. A champagne-addled Johnson, who’d go on to manage the Orioles 30 years later, nearly drowned in 8 inches of water.
Powell cut off announcer Bill O’Donnell’s pants at the knee. An upended buffet table landed on reserve Charley Lau’s head.
“Most outlandish thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Watt says.
Baltimore swept the LA Dodgers in October.   They returned to the World Series in 1969, 1970 & 1971.   The same team won the 1973 & 1974 AL East but lost to the A’s in the ALCS.    
The 1966 Orioles started something that lasted over 10 years.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The story of World War I with Barry Jacobsen, part 4


CLICK TO LISTEN:

The story of World War I with Barry Jacobsen, part 4 08/28 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Guest: Barry Jacobsen, military historian and blogger. This is our 4th show about World War I. 


We remember Jim "Mudcat" Grant (1935-2021)

  

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James Timothy Grant was born in Florida on this day in 1935 and quickly became known as Mudcat.   He died in 2021.

Grant broke with the Indians in 1958 and did quite well:    10 wins and 11 complete games.   In 1964, Mudcat was traded to Minnesota and pitched the Twins to the AL pennant in 1965:   21-7, 6 shutouts, 14 complete games and 3.30 ERA.   
Overall, he won 145 games and the critical game 6 of the 1965 World Series.   Folllowing that great season, he was named The Sporting News American League Pitcher in 1965.  To my knowledge, he is still the only black pitcher in American League history to win 20 games in a season and a World Series game.    (I think that Bob Gibson did it in the National League!)
Happy birthday Mudcat!
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Friday, August 11, 2006

We remember Rev. Jerry Falwell (1933-2007)




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We remember Rev. Jerry Falwell who was born on this day in Virginia on this day in 1933.

In 1985, Rev. Falwell came to Dallas for an anti-abortion rally. He spoke for about 10 minutes and shook many hands later. I was lucky enough to meet him and chat for a bit. I was impressed with his sincerity and willingness to chat with anyone.

Jerry Falwell started preaching in 1956 in Lynchburgh, VA.   Later, now Dr. Falwell founded Liberty University in 1971.  Today, there are 15,000 students on campus and over 90,000 taking courses on line.    

In 1979, Dr. Falwell founded "The Moral Majority" and became a huge player in the politics of the 1980's.    

Falwell died in 2007 but his influence continues.   He lived a wonderful life and we miss him.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

August 3, 1923: Calvin Coolidge became President of the US


Calvin Coolidge | Miller Center
On August 3, 1923, VP Calvin Coolidge became the 30th president of the US.   It followed the passing of President Harding.    He was sworn in by his father, who was a notary public.   Mr. Coolidge learned of President Harding's death in the middle of the night!

By he way, President Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter. If you like our posts, drop a dime here.  A few years ago, Amity Shlaes wrote a good book about President Coolidge:




World War II: The great military leaders with Barry Jacobsen


CLICK TO LISTEN:

World War II: The great military leaders with Barry Jacobsen 07/23 by Silvio Canto Jr | History Podcasts:

Guest: Barry Jacobsen, military historian and blogger.......we will remember the Allied and Axis commanders: Ike, MacArthur, Nimitz, Monty, Zukov; and on the Axis side, Von Manstein, Guderian, Rommel, Kesselring, Adm. Yamamoto, General Yamashita.......and other stories of the war............


Saturday, July 29, 2006

A new book about The Beatles for a rainy day






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Rain and more rain!  So we have a little time to discover a good book about The Beatles:   






The defeat of The Spanish Armada and its consequences with Barry Jacobsen

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1957: Chuck Connors in "Tomahawk Trail"

Chuck Connors, known to most of us as "The Rifleman" made this pretty good western in 1957.     He played Sgt Wade McCoy, a veteran of the West.    I had a chance to catch this movie again.

Frankly, I kept waiting for the rifle or young Mark to come into the story.   

Nevertheless, it was a good movie and Connors was great as always.    

Great actor!

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Friday, July 28, 2006

July 28 1991: Dennis Martinez and a perfect game

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Where did so many years go? Dennis Martinez was perfect on this day in 1991.   
Dennis was born in Nicaragua and came up in the Orioles’ farm system in 1976.   
Before signing with Baltimore, Dennis caught the eyes of scouts with masterful pitching against Cuba and the US in 1974.  He beat the US, 1-0, pitching 10 innings. Then he beat Cuba, 4-3, by throwing 7 strong innings.  
Dennis won 108 games with Baltimore, including playing in the 1979 and 1983 World Series.   In 1987, he was traded to Montreal and that was really the prime of his career, including an ERA title and the aforementioned perfect game.
Dennis finished with 245 wins and a 3.70 ERA in 3,999 innings! 
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July 28, 1994: Kenny Rogers and the perfect game in Arlington

On This Day In Baseball History: July 28, 1991 & 1994 | The ...

As they say, I heard it on the radio!    Kenny Rogers pitched a perfect game before a sellout crowd at the ballpark in Arlington.   He beat the Angels with one great catch by Rusty Greer in center field.    

Kenny played with Texas, New York Yankees, Oakland, New York Mets, back to Texas and then Detroit.   He won 219 games and 133 of those were with Texas.
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“Shane” the 3rd best Western ever?

Had a little time and watched “Shane”, a movie that I had seen bits and pieces of many times before.    
It was great.    
Shane is played by Alan Ladd.  He meets Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) and his wife, Marian (Jean Arthur) who are small farmers in Wyoming.    He learns that there is a campaign of intimidation against the farmers.    
What a great movie.    The rest is up to you.    Watch it!  
“Shane” is # 3  in the American Film Institute’s Top 10 Westerns.     By the way, # 2 is “High noon”, another one of my favorites.
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 1991: Natalie Cole reached #1 with an album of her father's songs


Personality Photos | Nat king cole unforgettable, Natalie cole ...
It was a great musical moment.  Natalie Cole used modern technology to sing with her late father:  The result was a #1 album.

Natalie died on December 30, 2015, after a long and very successful career as a female vocalist.  In my opinion, this album was her greatest accomplishment.


Click here for a digital version of the wonderful album.


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"Cuban-American, Dancing On The Hyphen" by Amarilys Gacio Rassler




This is one of our favorite books about "growing up in the US".     Amarilys writes a lot about her family and recalls little things about Cuban culture.   Lots of fun!

 P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send, and drop a dime here.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

July 26, 1953 turned out to be an ugly day for Cuba


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On this day in 1953, Fidel Castro and his followers attacked the Moncada Barracks in eastern Cuba.
In fact, the attack was a disaster since more than 60 of the 185 "rebels" involved were killed. Castro and the survivors escaped and were eventually discovered and captured.
Castro was tried a few months later and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.  He defended himself and turned it into a book.
While in prison in Isla de Pinos, he wrote letters and continued to plot Batista’s overthrow.  He also enjoyed prison benefits later denied to the men and women that he executed or locked up.
After having served less than two years, he was released in May 1955 due to a general amnesty.  My guess is that Batista regretted that amnesty to the end of his life.
Castro left Cuba and went to Mexico, met Che and the rest is the history that we are all too familiar with.
Today, Cuba is a dictatorship: Thousands of executions, no one knows for sure how many died leaving the country in rafts and many are still sitting in political prisons. 
The Castro regime never allowed fair trials, free election or had a general amnesty to empty the prisons.
In short, Castro devastated a beautiful country and a prosperous island.
What are Cuba’s political prisons like?  Read Armando Valladares “Against all Hope”.  You will learn all you need to know about the legacy of July 26.
In retrospect, July 26 turned out to be a very bad day for Cuba.

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"El Moncada 1953" and a few other thoughts with Jorge Ponce

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2013: The story of The Vikings with Barry Jacobsen & Leslie Eastman



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Andy Garcia's "The lost city" was a great movie

Let me issue a disclaimer.   I am not a movie critic.  Frankly, I don't watch movies with a critical eye but rather to be entertained.  

In recent years, I enjoyed "Gods and Generals" because I love anything about the US Civil War.  

"March of the Penguins" was well done.  
I liked "The Rookie" because it is such an uplifting story.   "I walk the line" was fun and informational about Johnny Cash.

"The Lost City" tells a story that most Cuban exiles can relate to.  This is not a pro-Batista movie or presents Cuba as a pre-Castro paradise.

This is a movie about the betrayal of Cuba by Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra.

This is about the young men who died to restore the 1940 Constitution rather than impose a communist dictator.

This is about the Cuban middle class who stood up to Batista.

This is about Fidel Castro canceling elections and bringing the Soviets into Cuba.

This is about Che Guevarra's firing squads.

I was there but too young to remember most of it. 
Yet, our home in the US was always full of Cuban stories.  My parents always reminded us of what we left behind.

I won't spoil it but the movie is about a family caught up in the turmoil of 1958-61.

Want more? Watch the movie!

The music is spectacular. The choreography of old Havana is stunning. Close your eyes and you will feel back in the elegance of La Habana.

You need to watch or download "The Lost City" by Andy Garcia.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

July 25, 1956: Roberto Clemente inside the park walk off grand slam!

Roberto Clemente | MY HERO
Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest players in major league history.     

Clemente broke with the Pirates in 1955 and was killed in a plane crash at the end of 1972.  He was travelling to Nicaragua to deliver supplies for the victims of a terrible earthquake.

Clemente won 3 batting titles and left the game with 3,000 hits and a .317 career average,

On this day in 1956, Clemente hit the only walk off inside-the-park grand slam in the history of Major League Baseball.   

According to news reports, the fans at Forbes Field went crazy.    No one had ever seen this before or since. 

Amazing Clemente!

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"Brief encounter" is intense but very nice

A few years ago, I caught a portion of Noel Coward's "Brief encounter" on TCM.   It is a movie from 1945.

It is the story of a married woman who meets a doctor at a train station.  It's a chance meeting and they begin to see each other.    She is Celia Johnson and he is Trevor Howard.

I had no idea that the movie is considered a romantic classic.    

Also, the movie's soundtrack is fabulous, or Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto exquisitely dropped in at different moments of the story.

Very nice movie.     What happened to the married woman and the doctor?   Watch the movie and find out!

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July 2009: Cubans in the major leagues, from Adolfo Luque to El Duque!


Image result for old cuba baseball images
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Back in July 2009, we had a special show about Cubans in the major leagues.

Our panel included Jose Reyes and Vinnie Puente.


P.S. Don't forget to check "The pride of Havana":





Monday, July 24, 2006

We remember Willie Davis (1934-2020)





We remember Willie Davis who was born in Louisiana on this day in 1934.

As a teenager growing up in Wisconsin, I had to learn about pro football.  

We did not play it in Cuba.  Nevertheless, I fell in love with the Green Bay Packers, the dream team of the pre-Super Bowl days. 

Before the Steelers, 49ers and Patriots won Super Bowls, the Packers won a bunch of NFL titles.

They had a great coach in Vince Lombardi, a great QB in Bart Starr and a great running back in Jim Taylor. The Pack even had great rookies, like Donny Anderson and Jim Grabowski. I remember Leroy Williams, who used to run back kickoffs. He ran one back for almost 100 yards against the Rams!

What a great team. It was easy to fall in love with a team like the Packers.

Willie Davis was also on those teams and a great fan favorite.    After football, Davis became a successful businessman, author and speaker.

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1958: "La violetera" with Sara Montiel




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In previous posts, I've written of my love for Spanish songs and traditions.

To be honest, I didn't like this movie the first time around.  Years later, I saw it again and appreciated Sara Montiel's voice and acting skills.

"La Violetera" was released in 1958.   

Sara died in 2013 and left behind quite a legacy of movies and recording, including "Vera Cruz" (1955) with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster and "Run of the Arrow" (1957) with Rod Steiger.


It's a nice movie.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Boone baseball family

Ray Boone joined the fathers & sons list when his son, Bob Boone, made his Major League debut on September 10, 1972.
Bob Boone joined the fathers & sons list when his son, Bret Boone, made his Major League debut on September 19, 1992, then added another name to the sons “column” when his second son, Aaron Boone, made his debut on June 20, 1997.
The Boone family was the first in baseball history to be included in the Baseball Grandfathers, Fathers and Sons section of the Baseball Almanac Baseball Family Tree.
Ray Boone was an All-Star in 1954 and 1956Bob Boone was an All-Star in 197619781979, and 1983Bret Boone was an All-Star in 19982001 and 2003Aaron Boone was an All-Star in 2003.
The Boone family was the first in baseball history to send three generations of players to an All-Star Game.    
A few years ago, Bret Boone wrote a book about his baseball family.
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We remember Pee Wee Reese





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Harold Henry Reese was born in Kentucky on this day in 1918.   We know him as Pee Wee Reese, the great shortstop of the Brooklyn Dodgers who won 7 NL pennants.   


Pee Wee Reese hit .269 with 2,170 career hits & 1,338 runs scored.   He missed 3 full seasons to military service.

Reese's greatest contribution was his leadership in bringing Jackie Robinson along as the first black player in major league baseball.    In 1947, Pee Wee embraced Jackie in front of Cincinnati fans who were yelling obscenities at him.    It showed everyone that Pee Wee was also a great player and a man of character.

Reese was inducted to The Hall of Fame in 1984 and died in 1999.

By the way, one of the greatest books about those legendary Brooklyn Dodgers is "Wait till next year" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.



World War II: The great military leaders with Barry Jacobsen


CLICK TO LISTEN:

World War II: The great military leaders with Barry Jacobsen 07/22 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts:

Guest:

Barry Jacobsen, military historian and blogger.......we will remember the Allied and Axis commanders: Ike, MacArthur, Nimitz, Monty, Zukov; and on the Axis side, Von Manstein, Guderian, Rommel, Kesselring, Adm. Yamamoto, General Yamashita.......
and other stories of the war...........




1964: Campy's super debut in the big leagues


Image result for bert campaneris images
On this day in 1964, A's rookie Bert Campaneris hit 2 home runs in his Major League debut.

This is how SABR remembered the day:
After an overnight plane trip, he arrived in Minneapolis the next day two hours before the start of the A’s game against the Twins, and had an unforgettable major-league debut. Playing shortstop and batting second, he sent a pitch by the Twins’ Jim Kaat over the left-field fence in his first at-bat. In the seventh inning he hit another home run. He turned in a brilliant defensive play, singled, and stole a base in the A’s 11 inning victory. Campaneris became the second major leaguer to hit two home runs in a debut game, after the St. Louis Browns’ Bob Nieman, who did it in 1951.
Campy became one of the best players in the AL and a key component of the A's who won the World Series in 1972, 1973 & 1974.

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July 23, 2009: Mark Buehrle and the perfect game



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Mark Buehrle was an outstanding pitcher:  214 wins & 3.81 ERA.
 
He threw a no-hitter against a very tough Texas lineup in 2007.
 
 
Every perfect game has its moments. (In 1994, I remember watching Rusty Greer saving Kenny Rogers' perfect game with a diving catch!)
 
Around the 7th inning, one of the Rays hit a shot down the left field line. It was foul by an inch!
 
In the 9th inning, Dewayne Wise made one of the greatest catches in major league history.
 
How in the world did this guy catch-up with the line drive, jump over the fence and hold on to the ball?
 
Congratulations to Mark Burhle for pitching the 18th perfect game in MLB history on this day in 2009.

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"Gentleman's Agreement": A very nice movie from 1947

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We remember Gregory Peck who was born in California in 1916 and died in 2003.

God for the retro movie channels.   It has connected people like me with the movies made before I was born or too young to watch.    

Let's add "Gentleman's Agreement" to that list of movies.   It was released in 1947.   

The plot goes like this:  
A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on Antisemitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.
The  cast was Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and John Garfield.     Peck played the journalist and McGuire the pre-school teacher.     

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