Saturday, September 30, 2006

September 30, 1927: Babe Ruth hit # 60!



Ruth was arguably the greatest professional athlete of the 20th century. He saved baseball in the 1920's after the White Sox World Series scandal. It was Ruth and his majestic home runs that put people back in the seats.

Ruth set the all time record home run record, a mark that stood until Aaron passed him in 1974.   We remember # 60 in 1927!

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1958: "The Rifleman" made its US TV debut

The Story of 'The Rifleman' - Texas A&M Athletics - Home of the 12th Man
Chuck Connors used to play baseball.    In fact, he played with the Dodgers and Cubs in 1949-51.   Connors, who was 6'5 and 190 lbs, never hit much:  .238 in 67 major league games!

On this day in 1958, "The Rifleman" made its debut on US TV and an entire generation of boys like me grew up watching it.   Even now, I catch episodes on Saturday mornings over at AMC.


The show's message was simple:  right and wrong, a widowed father who was a good role model and a cast of characters that we enjoyed every week.

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1972: Clemente and # 3,000


Image result for clemente # 3,000 images

The great Roberto Clemente got # 3,000 on this day in 1972.   It turned out to be his last major league hit and at-bat because he died in a plane crash 3 months later.  

I recall reading about # 3,000 the next day in the sports pages.  
Sadly, I recall hearing about that plane crash too.  It was a shock!
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Friday, September 29, 2006

"My Three Sons" made its debut this week in 1960


What can I say?   I used to love this show not realizing that I would have 3 sons someday.

The original series was about widower Steve Douglas raising  three sons with the help of the one and only Uncle Charlie.   


The show ran until 1972.   The family expanded when Douglas remarried and new characters came into the story.


By the way, McMurray died in 1991.  He had a long film career  before this show.     Don Grady, who played Robbie, died in 2012.     William Demarest, who played Uncle Charlie and served in World War I, died in 1983.    The other two sons are still living.


A great show now available for sale..........

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We remember Gene Autry (1907-1998)


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Gene Autry was born in Tioga, Texas and grew up here and Oklahoma.   Where else?    

We remember him for songs and movies.    "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" is the second all-time best selling Christmas single, i.e. 30 million copies.   
He is the only entertainer to have all five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for Radio, Recording, Motion Pictures, Television, and Live Theater performances.

And he owned the Angels, the AL baseball team in Los Angeles.    Sadly, he never saw his Angels win the 2002 World Series.


Autry was one of the most famous people of the 20th century.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

September 28 and Ted Williams


Ted Williams: A Perfectionist Ballplayer With Many Demons | New Hampshire  Public Radio
Ted Williams is featured twice on this day in history.   

On this day in 1941, Williams was batting .399955 when he woke up in the last day of the season.  He decided to play a double header against the A's.  Williams went for 6-for-8 and finished the season at .406.   

On this day in 1960, Williams hit a home run in his last at bat in the major leagues.


Let me add this note:  Williams also hit .388 in 1957!  


Was Williams the greatest hitter ever?    He is #1 on my list and I never saw him play.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

September 2014: WE REMEMBER DEREK JETER WITH BARRY CASSELMAN, LONG TIME YANKEE FAN.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 26, 1969: "Abbey Road" by The Beatles released in the US



The Beatles recorded "Abbey Road" in the spring and summer of 1969. It was eventually released in September 1969 in the UK and a week later in the US.

Abbey Road was special because of Side 2, or the medley.  

How successful was Abbey Road?    
It included 2 of George Harrison's finest songs:  "Something" and "Here comes the sun".  

John Lennon had "Come together" and the very long "I want you she's so heavy" that goes on forever.     


Ringo had "Octupus' garden", maybe his best composition.    


And Paul had several lead vocals.

Rolling Stone magazine named it the 14th greatest album of all time.....which is probably right!

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1971: Jim Palmer makes it four 20-game winners for Baltimore



Jim Palmer and the Orioles made a little history on this day in 1971.   He won his 20th and joined teammates Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally & Pat Dobson as 20-game winners.

A few days later, the O's swept the A's in the ALCS.  Then they lost to the Pirates in the World Series.


It was indeed a tough series against Pittsburgh.    At one point in game 7, the O's had McNally and Dobson warming up in the bullpen as happened in game 6.


A great moment in O's history:   Four 20-game winners in one staff!

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Back to school and a song about "September"




Image result for the tempos see you in september images




This is "See you in September" by The Tempos.  It was included in the soundtrack of "American Graffiti"!

It is my favorite of the "school is over" songs. There is also a great version by The Happenings!

I look forward to September and a little relief from this heat.

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"I'll be alone each and every night
While you're away, don't forget to write
See you in September
See you when the summer's through
Here we are saying goodbye at the station
Summer vacation is taking you away
Have a good time but remember
There is danger in the summer moon above
Will I see you in September
Or lose you to a summer love?
Counting the days 'til I'll be with you
Counting the hours and the minutes too
Have a good time but remember
There is danger in the summer moon above
Will I see you in September
Or lose you to a summer love?"

Monday, September 25, 2006

1981: Nolan Ryan no-hitter # 5

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Nolan Ryan pitched his 5th no hitter on this day in 1981.  

It was in the middle of a pennant race between the Astros and Dodgers plus a national audience (NBC Saturday Game of the Week).   


Let me add that I was lucky to catch the last few innings.   In the 9th inning, Ryan struck out Reggie Smith, a pinch-hitter for his 11th strikeout of the game.   Ken Landreaux and Dusty Baker grounded out to complete the gem.

Great day.   


By the way, I was lucky to catch his 4th from Anaheim and 7th from Arlington on the radio.   To be honest, it was a case of being at the right place at the right time.   I fell asleep the night that he threw # 6 in Oakland so I missed that one.

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1970: We said hello to The Partridge Family on TV this week






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The Partridge Family made its debut on ABC this week in 1970.   They were inspired by The Cowsills, the pop group that featured mom singing with her kids.    Apparently, the idea of the show was offered to The Cowsills but it did not work out.   

The Partridge Family had a couple of big hits.   
In the end, David Cassidy became a huge teen idol and had hits as a solo artist in the 1970's.

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1960 this week: The Kennedy-Nixon debates


Back in 1960, millions of Americans tuned in for a real "TV first" this week.   They watched a debate by the two major presidential candidates running for president in 1960.

Who won?  Did the debates impact the vote?

Senator Kennedy won by 114,000 votes out of 70 million cast that day.  It was 49.72% vs 49.55%.

The conventional wisdom is that JFK won "the video" and Nixon won "the audio".

Again, your guess is as good as mine.  It's like losing the pennant by one game and arguing about what "one game" made the difference.

What impact did it have?

Senator Kennedy hit the Eisenhower administration very hard about the growing communist menace in Cuba.  His debate comments actually had an impact on many Cubans, like my father, who were following the debates by shortwave radio. 
Sadly, President Kennedy dropped the ball at The Bay of Pigs the next spring.  He contradicted with his actions what he promised at the debates.

What else do we remember from the 1960 presidential debates?  Vietnam was not a topic in the Kennedy-Nixon debates but it consumed the nation in the 1960's.

In 1960, we learned an important lesson.  Debates are important and we should continue the tradition.  However, the reality of the presidency often overwhelms campaign promises or 'tough talk" at the debates.  


For a look back at the 1960 campaign, check out.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Remembering Linda McCartney (1941-1998)


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For years, I caught a local radio show about The Beatles.  It was full of details about their songs and personal lives.

Linda McCartney was born in New York City on this day in 1941.  She died in 1998 after almost 30 years of marriage to Paul McCartney.  It stands as one of the most successful and enduring marriages in pop music.  

We grew up with Paul, Linda and all of those McCartney kids running around in the farm.

You can hear her voice in some Wings' songs.   Her greatest contribution was being a great wife and mother.

We remember F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

Image result for f scott fitzgerald images

We remember F. Scott Fitzgerald who was born on this day in St. Paul, Minnesota.   He served in World War I and moved to France where he wrote "The Great Gatsby" or his most famous work, in 1925.

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1964: The Warren Report on President Kennedy's assassination


Image result for the warren commission images------------

On this day in 1964, President Johnson received The Warren Report on the assassination of Pres Kennedy.    It concluded that Oswald had acted alone.

It was an extraordinary report based on hundreds of interviews and experts.


Over the years, there have been serious challenges to the Report and not serious ones, such as Oliver Stone’s JFK movie from 1991.  


Overall, the Report's conclusion stands years later.


By the way, future President Ford was a member of the Commission.   He is standing to the left of Chief Justice Warren. 
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1974: Al Kaline got # 3,000


Image result for al kaline 3,000 hits images
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Al Kaline was one of the most consistent hitters of the 20th century.  He was also a superb right fielder.   

On this day in 1974, Al Kaline got # 3,000 in a game against the Orioles in Baltimore.   He retired at the end of the season   Overall, Kaline retired with 3,007 hits, a .297 career average, 399 home runs and 1,582 RBI.


We remember Curt Motton 1940-2010

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We remember Curt Motton.   He was born in California on this day in 1940.

Curt broke with the Orioles in 1967 but did not get a lot of playing time with Don Buford, Paul Blair and Frank Robinson as the outfield regulars.   


He did hit .303 in 1969 but only had 89 AB's.  Motton did play in 1969-71 post season teams.    Eventually, he was traded to the Brewers in 1972 but came back to Baltimore and retired after the 1974 season.       


In late 1976, I saw Curt speak at a dinner in Baltimore.   He mentioned that the O's had this switch hitter in the system who would make the team in 1977.   He was talking about Eddie Murray.


Curt died in 2010.  He was a great guy and a popular teammate in one of the best teams of the 20th century.  He played with Frank & Brooks Robinson in those great Orioles' teams:



Saturday, September 23, 2006

1949: Pres Truman, USSR and the Cold War

Image result for truman cold war images
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The Cold War was in full force in 1949 when Pres Truman told the nation that the USSR had exploded a nuclear device.
And the Cold War was underway.  
The US and the USSR clashed from this day until 1991 when the Soviet flag came down.   One of those “clashes” was over missiles in Cuba in October 1962.  

The Truman biography is one of my favorites:

We remember Marcelino Lopez (1943-2001)

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Marcelino Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba on this day in 1943. He died in Miami in 2001.
In 1965, 21-year old Marcelino was second in the AL Rookie of the Year vote. He won 14, lost 13 and finished the year with a 2.93 ERA. It was a great year for the young Cuban lefthander.
A few years later, Marcelino played with the Orioles and pitched in the post-season. In 1971, he pitched with the Brewers and later the Indians.
His career ended in 1972 and I’m not sure what he did in the Miami area after he left baseball.
Nevertheless, we remember the young Cuban lefty who shared the Los Angeles sports pages with Sandy Koufax in 1965.   He was an exciting story in the early days of the LA then California Angels:

1957: Hank Aaron HR gives Milwaukee its first NL pennant


Image result for hank aaron 1957 NL pennant images
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From 1954 until 1976, Hank Aaron was one of the best players in baseball.    He was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1982.

In 1957, Aaron led the Braves to the NL pennant.    On this day, he hit the extra inning HR at County Stadium to clinch it.     


The "walk off" was one of the greatest moments in Milwaukee baseball history.   A few weeks later, Milwaukee beat New York in the World Series and it was quite a celebration:






Friday, September 22, 2006

We remember Tommy Lasorda (1927-2021)


Dodgers Dugout: The 25 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 8: Tommy Lasorda -  Los Angeles Times
Thomas Charles Lasorda was born in Norristown, PA, on this day in 1927 and died in January 2021.

Lasorda broke with the Dodgers in 1954 and played a couple of seasons.   His overall record was 0-4.


We remember him as the manager of the Dodgers:  1,599 wins, World Series champs in 1981 & 1988, NL champs in 1977 & 1978 plus NL West divisional champs in 1983 & 1985.


Lasorda was one of the game's greatest ambassadors.

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1964: "The man from UNCLE" debut on US TV




"The Man from UNCLE" made its debut on US TV on this day in 1964.    The show featured two secret agents played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum.  It was great.

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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.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Remembering when the Catholic schools were closed in Cuba

(My new American Thinker post)



Just read a story about a man known as Padre Gilberto, an American from Mississippi who is a priest in Cuba:

The parishioners at La Merced church in Old Havana, one of Cuba’s most important shrines, know their bearded, soft-spoken priest as Padre Gilberto. 
But his real name is Gilbert Walker. He’s from Gulfport, Miss.
Walker, 56, has been a priest at La Merced for 12 years. He was the only American Catholic clergyman in Cuba when he arrived in 2003. 
Today there are two others, but over the past half-century of strained relations between the United States and Cuba, no American priest has been a missionary on the island for as long as Walker.
“I felt at home in Cuba from the first moment I arrived,” he said, speaking at the rectory where he lives behind the soaring 147-year-old church, set along narrow streets among crumbling apartment buildings. 
“I can’t imagine myself any other place.”
“Sure, life would be easier and more comfortable in the United States,” he added. “But I didn’t become a priest to have an easy life.”
Good for Padre Gilberto!

Pope Francis will visit an island that kicked out priests and nuns many years ago.    

In fact, I remember that quite well.

In the 1960s, my younger brother and I attended The Maristas School in Havana.  It was a pretty traditional Catholic school for boys.   I can still remember that we wore a blue shirt, put on a white tie and those light colored pants.  I will never forget the big baseball diamond where the older boys played against other schools.   We used to dream of making the team and wearing those fancy uniforms.

Our education was interrupted one day when the schools were closed and all of the religious people expelled.   All of a sudden a vibrant center of education turned into an empty facility.   

Sadly, the building eventually became a political prison and well known for torture.    Armando Valladares, one of Cuba's most famous political prisoners, wrote about it in his book "Against all hope".   I remember reading the book and feeling terrible that the classrooms and spaces where we spent our youth later tortured Cubans.    It took me a while to get over that.

Why did Castro target the church?   Like many other groups, the Catholic Church kept reminding Fidel Castro that he promised elections as soon as possible.     Of course, Fidel Castro did not like being reminded that he promised elections and a few other things.    Dictators don't like that!

So he threw the priests and nuns out of the country.

My brother and I eventually moved to a public school, along with all of the other friends from Maristas.   We were quickly reminded that education in Cuba was more than teaching kids about reading and writing.  The schools became the regime's indoctrination center.  History was rewritten and the US became public enemy # 1.

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September 21, 1970: Who remembers the debut of Monday Night Football?


On this day in 1970, the NFL came to Monday night TV.    

It quickly became one of the most popular events on TV.  The Browns (now in Baltimore) beat the Jets, 31-21.  

In late 2005, Monday Night Football said goodbye to ABC and moved to ESPN.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

September 20, 1968: Mantle hit # 536, his last HR

a collection of short stories about popular culture - its history, its  people, and its power | Mickey mantle, New york yankees, Baseball
Mickey Mantle hit # 536 on this day in 1968 off of Jim Lonborg of Boston and at Fenway Park.   It was # 18 for the season.  Mantle played his last game at Yankee Stadium on September 25th.   The Yankees did not formally say goodbye until 1969 when Mick retired.
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September 20, 1998: The Ripken streak ended after 2,632 games


mlb_g_ripken_b1_400
It started on May 30, 1982 and it ended September 20, 1998.     Cal Ripken decided to take a night off.  He just went to the manager and said it's time and so the streak stopped.   Ripken retired after the 2001 season.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We remember Mama Cass (1941-1974)



mama-cass-1-sized
Ellen Naomi Cohen was born in Baltimore, Maryland on this day in 1941.   We remember her as Mama Cass of the Mamas & Papas.    

How about this little fact?  She and Jim Morrison attended George Washington High School in Virginia.   Wonder if they knew each other?
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September 19, 1985: The Mexico City earthquake

Image result for mexico city earthquake 1985 images

Where did the years go?   It seems that it was only yesterday that we heard about the Mexico City earthquake of 1985.
It started at 7:18 local time and centered around 250 miles west of the city.  It lasted 3 minutes.  After the fact, 3,000 buildings in Mexico City were demolished and another many more suffered serious damage.
Sadly, thousands died and were injured.    
Days later, groups in Dallas raised funds and medical supplies for the victims.  It was nice such an outpouring of love and support for the victims of Mexico City.  
Again, where did so many years go? 

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We remember Joe Morgan (1943-2020)



We remember Joe Morgan, another member of The Baseball Hall of Fame.  He was born on this day in Bohnam, Texas and died in 2020.

Morgan was born in California in 1943 and broke with the expansion Houston Colt-45 in 1961 now the Astros.   He was traded to the Reds before the 1972 season and enjoyed incredible success:   MVP 1975 & 1976.    In 1990, Morgan was selected for The Hall of Fame:  2,517 hits, 1,650 runs scored, 268 home runs, 689 stolen bases and 1,865 walks!

Without question, one of the best second basemen in the game's history.  After baseball, he turned into a fabulous baseball TV analyst.   We will always his leadership role with The Big Red Machine.

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