Saturday, June 24, 2006

Happy # 74 Mick Fleetwood and great music



She Regrets Her Affair With Mick Fleetwood | 20 Things You May Not ...
Happy birthday Mick Fleetwood who was born in London on this day in 1947.  We remember Mick as the founder and drummer of Fleetwood Mac.

Back in the summer of 1982, or many years ago, we were in the early days of MTV and VH-1.  We used to hear our songs on the radio, LP's, 45's and cassettes in a car player.  We had no idea that DVDs would replace VHS videos or that CD's would do away with tape and vinyl.

Yes, the summer of 1982 seems like a long time ago.  Nevertheless, the music was great, specially Fleetwood Mac and "Hold me".

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Monday, June 19, 2006

The Battle of Waterloo 1815 with Barry Jacobsen


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June 1972: "The reserve clause" and the story of Curt Flood

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Curt Flood was a pretty good baseball player.  He was a career .293 hitter and an important piece of the St Louis power team that won 3 National League pennants in 1964, 1967 and 1968.   

Flood played on a team that included Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Orlando Cepeda, Tim McCarver and quite a few others.
“On June 19, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against Curt Flood in Flood v. Kuhn, denying Flood free agency as a baseball player. Flood was trying to break the reserve clause that had tied baseball players to one franchise since the establishment of professional baseball.”
In other words, he was denied an opportunity to become a free agent and negotiate with several teams.
Eventually, the players’ union won the “free agency” fight in 1976 after 2 strikes and several court appeals.  The net result is that “Free agency” changed the game and blew up the owners’ monopoly.  
Flood never got to make the big bucks but he had a lot to do with the benefits that the players enjoy today.  He was the one who challenged the system and took a bullet for the union.
Flood died in 1997.
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The great "girl groups" and a few other ladies!


Like most baby boomers, I'm a huge fan of those "girl groups" from the 1960's.  They were great.  They had great harmonies.  I won't say anything about their hairstyles.

Let's start with the biggest "girl group" or The Supremes.   At one point, Diana Ross and her two friends from Detroit competed with The Beatles for the top of the charts.   My favorite was "Come see about me",

The Marvelettes had a great name and some big hits like "Too Many Fish In the Sea", "I'll Keep Holding On" and "Don't Mess With Bill".  My favorite was "Beachwood 4-5789", a catchy tune and one of the greatest song titles of all time.

The SHIRELLES were a very close second to The Supremes. They recorded songs like "Soldier Boy", "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", "Dedicated To The One I Love" and "Mama Said". I did not know this: The Shirelles were the first all girl group of the Rock and Roll Era to score a number one record! It's hard to pick one but I liked "Foolish little girl"

The Shangri-las were from Queens, New York. They were sisters Betty and Mary Weiss and twins Margie and Mary-Ann Ganser. They met at Andrew Jackson High School. These girls had a very unique look. Their biggest hit was "Leader of the pack".

The Ronettes were also from NY City. Their biggest hit was "Be my baby" but I liked "Walking in the rain".

Leslie Gore was not a part of a "girl group". She had songs like "It's my party", "Judy's turn to cry", "She's a fool", "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" and "That's the Way Boys Are". Most of her songs were about "teen boy-girl" issues. My favorite was "California Nights", a song recorded at the end of her career.

Let me say a word about Petula Clark. She was my favorite female vocalist from this period. My parents enjoyed her songs because they were so polished. Petula Clark had an amazing voice. She had hits like "Downtown", "My love" and "I know a place". My favorite song was "Kiss me goodbye".

Let me add Carole King. She was a great songwriter in the 1960's. In 1971, she released her own album called "Tapestry". She recorded several songs in the 1970's. My favorite song was "Sweet seasons".

Barbara Lewis was a hit machine. She recorded "Hello stranger" and "Baby I'm yours". My favorite was "Make me your baby".

Let's go back to the Supremes. As I wrote before, they were the top girl group. This is "Stop in the name of love".

The girl groups were great. They were one of the most interesting chapters of the pop-rock era!

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We remember Lou Gehrig (1903-41)

Image result for lou gehrig cartoons
Lou Gehrig was born on this day in 1903 in New York.    We remember Lou because of the consecutive games streak, i.e. 2,130 games from 1925-39.   He was also one of the greatest hitters of all time:  .340 batting average, 494 HR,  1,995 RBI in 2,164 games.    He walked 1,508 times for a .447 on base pct!  
Lou died in 1941.    

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Saturday, June 17, 2006

June 17, 1941: Joe DiMaggio reaches # 30


1885: The Statue of Liberty arrived in NY


Send Lady Liberty back to France? - CNN Video
On this day in 1885, The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York.  It came by ship from France in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases.  

A year later, President Cleveland dedicated the Statue.
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1972: We remember the Watergate break‐in

(My new American Thinker post)

The Watergate break-in happened this week in 1972. It always gets a lot of coverage from reporters every year. It's becomes a day for liberal morality rants. Nixon this and Nixon that!

To be honest, President Nixon made mistakes, from defending his staff to participating in a cover-up. He admitted many of these mistakes in his memoirs published in 1978.   

Let me add that RN is a great history book going back to Nixon's first campaign in 1946, his close relationship with fellow House member John F Kennedy, the Alger Hiss case, his run for the U.S. Senate, getting selected by President Eisenhower, the Checkers speech, the vice presidency, his loss to the aforementioned JFK, his comeback in 1968 and the almost two term presidency. It reads like a postwar history class!

Over the years, I've recommended one book for those hoping to learn about Nixon.    I am not saying that you are going to fall in love with Richard Nixon. At the same time, you will learn that he was not some kind of a monster.

The book is Tom Wicker's One of Us. This is one of the best books about Mr Nixon because Wicker was a liberal journalist. Mr. Wicker related that Nixon was a mainstream type of politician. 

His presidency was not some right-wing movement. Nixon signed the executive orders that gave us affirmative action and the EPA. It was Nixon's pen that signed Title IX, which opened up college sports for women.

Indeed, thousands of young blacks got into elite schools because of Nixon's affirmative action executive order. Robert J. Brown, Chairman and CEO of B&C Associates and former Special Assistant to President Nixon, wrote that he was very proud of President Nixon's commitment to civil rights.

Wicker also reviewed Nixon's foreign policy. He found that he had a lot in common with JFK, Humphrey and LBJ. In fact, Nixon, JFK, Humphrey and LBJ would find Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders as weird as I do.

Wicker reminded us that Nixon went to China, perhaps one of the boldest foreign policy visits in history. Only a conservative like Nixon had the domestic credibility to make that trip.

Let me repeat it. June 17th has turned into a day to hear morality rants from the liberals. However, there was a lot more to Nixon than Watergate!

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Friday, June 16, 2006

We remember Frank “Pancho” Herrera (1934-2005)


Juan Francisco (Villavicencio) Herrera was born June 16, 1934 in Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba.   He was known as Frank or Pancho or even Panchon.

Herrera began his baseball career in 1954 with La Habana in the Cuban Winter League.    His manager was the legendary Adolfo Luque, a major leaguer from the 1920’s.


The Philadelphia Phillies signed him in 1955 (their first black Latino player) and he spent the next few years between the minors and the Cuban league.    He played with fellow Cubans, Tony Gonzalez, Tony Taylor and Octavio Rojas in the Phillies’ organization.


His major league career was short but he hit .281 with 17 HR & 71 RBI in 1960.    He was second to Frank Howard in the 1960 Rookie of the Year vote!


He came back with 13 HR in 1961.   


Herrera was sent back to AAA in 1962 and hit 32 HR but never got another chance to play in the big leagues.    In retrospect, that’s hard to believe because Herrera proved that he could hit and expansion brought 4 new teams in 1961-62.


After the majors, Panchon played for various seasons in Mexico.  He led the league with 39 HR in 1969.   They remember him as one of the great power hitters in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico!   He was a big favorite there with Mexican baseball fans.


Herrera died in Miami in 2005.    We remember him as one of the last Cuban players to play in the US and the old Cuban Winter League.
 
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1965: Bob Dylan recorded "Like a rolling stone"


Image result for bob dylan like a rolling stone images
On this day in 1965, Bob Dylan recorded "Like a rolling stone".    It included electric guitars and an organ.    

The song (almost 6 minutes long) peaked at #2 in early September behind The Beatles’ “Help".

"Rolling Stone", a magazine that has nothing to do with the famous group or Dylan, chose the song as # 1 in its compilation of the 500 most influential songs of rock.

It was quite a song.

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1858: Lincoln warned about a “house divided”

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On this day in 1858, US Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln addressed the Illinois Republican Convention in Springfield.  
As you remember from your US history class, the country was bitterly divided and there was talk of secession and even a war between the states. The primary issue was slavery but it was more complex than that.  
Lincoln looked at the audience and said this: 
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” 
It became one of his most profound messages and speeches.   Two years later, he was elected president and the Civil War followed. 
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A word about Eric Segal (1937-2010)


Remembering Erich Segal, Novelist And Sower Of Sorry-Saying Boomer ...

We remember Eric Segal who was born on this day in 1937.

He died in January 2010 at age 72.


Who remembers "Love Story" or the book that became a hugely popular movie?  It was the love story of Oliver Barrett IV, a rich kid at Harvard law school and Jenny Cavilleri, a pretty working class girl studying music at Radcliffe.


Segal also wrote the screen play for The Beatles' movie "Yellow Submarine". Wonder how many people know that?    

"Love Story" also made huge stars of Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw.  It was probably the biggest "date movie" of 1971.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 15, 1941: Joe DiMaggio goes 1-for-3 to reach # 28 on the way to 56



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We remember Harry Nilsson (1941-94)




Harry Nillson was born on this day in 1941 in Brooklyn, NY.   Someone reminded me that Harry Nillson died in 1994 or years ago.   He was 52 and died from heart complications.


Nillson recorded "One" in one of his early LPs and then it was a huge hit for Three Dog Night.    
After that, he released "Everybody's talkin", the soundtrack of The Point and "Without you", perhaps his biggest top 40 hit.

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We remember Mario Cuomo, (1932-2015)

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1938: Johnny Vander Meer and back to back no-hitters



On this day in 1938, Johnny Vander Meer became the only pitcher in baseball history to throw two back-to-back no-hitters.
Vander Meer went on to play 13 seasons with a 119-121 record.     He won 49 games and led the NL in strikeouts over a 3-year span before going off to World War II in 1944-45. 
His record of back to back no hitters will be very difficult to match or break.    
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Monday, June 12, 2006

We remember President George H W Bush (1924-2018)


Image result for george and george bush images
We remember President George H. W. Bush who was born on this day in 1924.  He died in 2018.

To my knowledge, President John Quincy Adams never wrote a book about his father, President John Adams.   

Our generation is very lucky.    President George W. Bush, the 43rd president, wrote a book about his father, President George HW Bush, the 41st president.

It is historic and about the special relationship between a father and son.

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1965: "Satisfaction" is another year older!


The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (1965, Vinyl ...
Let's remember a landmark moment in pop/rock history.

We are talking about The Rolling Stones and "Satisfaction", their first big hit in the US and moving up the charts quickly this month in 1965.

It was voted by Rolling Stone (the magazine not related to the group) as the # 2 rock song of all time.

"Satisfaction" clearly put The Rolling Stones on the music map. However, I think that "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is the group's greatest song.

Nevertheless, we look back at one of the big moments in rock history.

The Stones were Mick Jagger on vocals and Keith Richards on lead guitar. The other 3 were Charlie Watts on drums, Bill Wyman on bass and the late Brian Jones was the other guitar.

What would rock music sound like without "Satisfaction", Mick Jagger and Keith Richards? It wouldn't be the same!

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We remember Anne Frank (1929-45)

We remember Anne Frank who was born on this day in 1929.    

In 1942, she received a diary as a birthday present.      

A bit later, her family went into hiding in German occupied Holland.   Later, her diary was found and published.  

It is one of the greatest books of the 20th century.  

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June 12-1987: It was a great day for freedom!


Berlin Wall" Speech - President Reagan's Address at the ...
Time flies.   On this day in 1987, or many years ago today, we watched President Reagan call on the USSR to tear down the Berlin Wall.    

According to Peter Robinson, a speechwriter, the "line" was discussed and argued about in the US State Department.  Some of President Reagan's advisers thought that the line might be seen as provocative by the Kremlin. 

At the end, President Reagan said it anyway. 

What a great moment it was. 

I can still remember holding our 3-week old son and watching it on TV back then. 

Did President Reagan see the future?  We will never know but he definitely knew that the USSR and the Berlin Wall were doomed for failure.  As we know now, The Berlin Wall eventually came down 30 months later! 

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June 12, 1987: The Berlin Wall & President Reagan



Time flies.   On this day in 1987, or many years ago today, we watched President Reagan call on the USSR to tear down the Berlin Wall.    

According to Peter Robinson, a speechwriter, the "line" was discussed and argued about in the US State Department.  Some of President Reagan's advisers throught that the line might be seen as provocative by the Kremlin. 

At the end, President Reagan said it anyway. 

What a great moment it was. 

I can still remember holding our 3-week old son and watching it on TV back then. 

Did President Reagan see the future?  We will never know but he definitely knew that the USSR and the Berlin Wall were doomed for failure.  As we know now, The Berlin Wall eventually came down 30 months later! 

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We remember Reg Presley (1941-2013)

Image result for reginald presley
We remember Reg Presley who was born on this day in 1941.  He died in 2013.  Reg was the lead singer of The Troggs, a British band that had several Top 40 hits in the late 1960s

Reg's songs take me back to those days when we used to listen to AM radio and catch the top 40 every week.  

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

We remember Vince Lombardi (1913-70)

Vince Lombardi was born in Brooklyn on this day in 1913.  He died in 1970.

My brother and I fell in love with Packer football when we moved to Wisconsin.  

We landed in Wisconsin in 1964 or in the middle of "the Lombardi run" that culminated with winning the first 2 Super Bowls.  Lombardi also won several NFL titles before the merger in 1971. 

Between that first game that we saw on TV and Super Bowl II, we caught just about every game.  

I remember the famous "Ice Bowl"!    


Bart Starr was my first football hero.  I wore # 15 because of my admiration for Starr.  

We also watched the Lombardi TV show discussing the last game and looking forward to next Sunday.  I loved the films, the strategy discussions and never missed a show. 

Thinking of Lombardi brings back many good memories.

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1990: Nolan Ryan no-hitter # 6

On this day in 1990, the amazing Nolan Ryan pitched his 6th no-hitter in Oakland.  
Ryan pitched a no-hitter for 3 different teams (Angels, Astros & Rangers) and 3 different decades.

On a personal note, I did not watch the whole game.    It was a Pacific time game, or it started in Texas at 9 pm.   I fell asleep after 3 or 4 innings and did not watch it.  
I heard about it the next morning when when the alarm went off at 6 am.   It was one of the leading stories on the radio!    
Ryan flirted with no-hitters a couple of times in 1989, or his first year in Texas.   In fact, I was at one of those games when he took a perfect game into the 9th, or 25 outs!  Then he gave up a single!  
The amazing Mr Ryan!
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John Wayne died in 1979


His career goes back to the 1930’s:  "Fort Apache" (1948), "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949), "Rio Grande" (1950), "The Quiet Man" (1952) and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" (1962).
The shootist” from 1976 is my favorite movie.  It was ironically the story of an old cowboy dying of cancer.
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

We remember Judy Garland (1922-69)

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# 25: DiMaggio went 1-for-5 to keep the streak going.



We remember Chuck Thompson (1921-2005)


Image result for chuck thompson orioles images

The great Chuck Thompson was born in Massachusetts on this day in 1921.

A few years ago, I heard the news that Chuck Thompson died in Baltimore.   He was 83.  

Thompson was the Orioles radio announcer for a generation.   He also did the Colts!

Chuck was a Vince Scully kind of announcer. He had that golden voice and sounded like he was having a one on one chat with the listener.

I remember staying up all night listening to Chuck Thompson call an Orioles' game from the West Coast. 

Or driving around on a Sunday afternoon tuned to a Yankee-Oriole September pennant race game. 

Or listening to my shortwave radio in Mexico City catching up with baseball on American Forces Radio. 

I remember Frank Robinson's 500th home run! 

Brooks Robinson's last home run, a game winner in '77!

It was great. So many memories courtesy of Chuck's wonderful voice!

It was so good that I would turn down the TV volume and listen to Chuck.  

I never met Chuck Thompson personally but he touched many of us with his baseball play by play.

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We remember Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952)

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Joe Nuxall, the answer to a great baseball question


It was the week of D-Day 1944 and most of the players were fighting the war.

The Cincinnati Reds brought up a 15-year old rookie named Joe Nuxall.  He became the youngest player in baseball history when he appeared on this day in 1944.

After baseball, Nuxall was the Reds' broadcaster on WLW. I remember catching a few Reds' games on the Ohio Turnpike.

Nuxall was a great announcer and a pretty good pitcher as well:  135 wins & 3.90 ERA.  

So remember. Who was the youngest man to play major league baseball? The answer is the late Joe Nuxall.


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June 1944: The summer when a 15‐year‐old played ball

Joe Nuxhall Debuted 75 Years Ago On June 10, 1944 | WVXU
Most Americans were consumed with World War II in June 1944.  It started with D-Day and the daily reports of Allied forces marching into France.  It was personal for most families, because every street had one or two young men fighting in Europe or the Pacific.    

The baseball season went on, as President Roosevelt desired.  However, the teams had to get very creative to fill their rosters.  They could not rely on Latin players as they do today, and African Americans could not play anyway.   I should add that a lot of Cuban young men served in World War II in support of U.S. forces.

On June 10, 1944, the Cincinnati Reds gave the ball to Joe Nuxall, and history was made:
In 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt wrote to Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to ask that baseball continue even though the United States was going to war: 
“I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going. There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before. And that means they ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before.” 
Landis obliged, and play continued even as the stars of the era left to enroll in the armed forces. Detroit Tigers first baseman Hank Greenberg was among the players who had enlisted even before 1941, in the prime of his Hall of Fame career. 
After the 1942 season, more than 500 big league players enlisted, including stars Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Dom DiMaggio and Pee Wee Reese.
Meanwhile, the major leagues had to make do with whoever was available, and the 15-year-old Nuxhall was just one of many new players who normally wouldn’t have come close to a shot at the big leagues. 
Others included Pete Gray, a one-armed outfielder who hit .218 and drove in 13 runs in 77 games with the St. Louis Browns in 1945, and 16-year-old Carl Scheib, who pitched for the Philadelphia A’s in 1943. 
Eighteen-year-old Vern Benson got to hit twice for the A’s that year, while 17-year-old Cass Michaels began his 12-year major league career many years ahead of schedule playing third base for the White Sox. 
Older players also got in on the act: Mike Ryba and Al Simmons were among the former major leaguers who returned to fill in for their younger counterparts overseas.
As for Nuxhall, though the June 10 outing was his only appearance in 1944, he rejoined the Reds in 1952 when he was 23 years old and pitched 15 seasons in the big leagues. He ended his career with a 135-117 record and a 3.90 ERA. 
Nuxall went into the radio booth after baseball and worked on Reds games for a long time.   In fact, I remember catching Reds games on WLW out of Cincinnati.  They came in clearly at night.  It also made for good company the few times that I drove on the Ohio Turnpike going back to Wisconsin.

Nuxall died in 2007.

 Let's remember the many who served and came home to make the game greater than ever.

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