Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 1905: Ty Cobb played his first game



Ty Cobb started his playing career on this day in 1905.    He hit .240 in 150 At Bats that season.   It was the last time he hit under .300!

What can you say about a guy with a .367 lifetime batting average?


This is a list of interesting items from the Cobb's career:
1) He has the highest lifetime batting average (.367) in MLB history as well as 1,933 RBI.

2) Ty Cobb is second on the all-time hit list behind Pete Rose.

3) Ty Cobb stole home more than anyone else (50).

4) He won more batting average titles than any other person (12).
In 1936, he became the first player ever selected to the Hall of Fame.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Some thoughts about Neil Armstrong




Neil Armstrong died over the weekend.  He was 82 and apparently dealing with some medical complications.

Many of us are old enough to remember when Neil Armstrong & Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

Back then, men like Neil Armstrong, and the other astronauts, were huge heroes.  We admired them.  We loved them.  They were just great.  We watched the launches.  We adored watching the capsule hit the water when the mission was completed.

He was a simple man born in the Midwest:
"Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong had acquired his student pilot's licence by the age of 16. In 1947, he went to Purdue University on a navy scholarship to study aeronautical engineering, but two years later the Korean war intervened, and he flew 78 combat missions. Eventually he completed his BSc at Purdue and an MSc in aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California.
In 1955 he went to Cleveland, Ohio, as a civilian research pilot at the Lewis Research Centre of what became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), and later that year to Edwards Air Force Base in California. As a pioneer of many high-speed aircraft, involved in both piloting and engineering, he flew over 200 different models, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders."
Over the last years, we've cut back on NASA.  We are no longer in the space exploration business.  What a lousy way to remember the legacy of Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

We remember Al Lopez (1908-2005)


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Alfonso Ramon Lopez was born on this day in 1908.  He died in 2005.  His parents were born in Spain but settled in Cuba.  In 1906, the family moved to Tampa where Al was born. 

Al is the answer to a great trivia question.

Between 1949 and 1964, the Yankees were AL Champs and in the Series every year but two: the White Sox won in '59 and the Indians in '54.

Who was the manager both times? Al Lopez.
As a player, Lopez was a pretty good catcher over 19 years and a Hall of Fame member.

Lopez hit .261 with 51 homers and 652 RBIs. He set the record for most games caught (1,918). It was broken by Bob Boone and Carlton Fisk.

Lopez lived long enough to see the White Sox win the 2005 Series.   It must have been a real treat for him. 
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We remember that Roberto Clemente was born on this day in 1934

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We remember that Roberto Clemente was born on this day in 1934.   He died tragically in 1972.   

Put me down as one of those kids who checked the box scores daily to keep up with Clemente's batting statistics.  His stats were awesome:   a .317 career batting average, 3000 hits, 240 HRs and 1305 RBI.   
Was he the greatest Latin player?  I would say yes, with all due to respect to others already in the Hall of Fame.    His greatest contribution is that he opened the door for so many Latins.

Clemente won 4 batting titles:  1961, 1964, 1965 & 1967.   Sporting News ranked Clemente at # 20 among the 100 greatest players of all time.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stalingrad 1944 & other national security issues with Barry Jacobsen

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 1971: Remembering "How can you mend a broken heart" by The Bee Gees!


Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb had the # 1 song in the US back in August 1971.  In fact, it was # 1 for several weeks and their first # 1 in the US.  Of course, they had more in the 1970's..........9 in total.

Today, we remember one of the Gibbs' most beautiful songsIt was written by Barry and Robin. Maurice played piano & background vocals.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

How a "bridge" inspired "Jive talkin'" by The Bee Gees


Back in the summer of 1975, I was driving between Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I had my left hand on the steering wheel and the other searching for WLS Chicago, the big top 40 station of the Midwest.  

And then I heard "Jive talkin'" for the first time.


My first reaction was that they were saying "child talking".


Second, I knew that it was The Bee Gees because I instantly identified Barry's voice.


Third, I knew that this was a very different sound from the Gibb brothers.


A week later, I got my hands on the 45 and it is still one of my favorite tunes from the 1970's.


According to song facts, the very unique intro was inspired by the sound of crossing a bridge in Florida. 


Great song and one of their many #1 songs!


Click here for the digital version of the song and the "Main course" LP.


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Sunday, August 08, 2010

"Lamplight", great song by The Bee Gees!

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It was part of the "Odessa" LP released in the spring of 1969 and also the B side of "First of May".

"Lamplight" was one of my favorite songs from the Brothers Gibb.

The "A" side of this great single was "First of May", another wonderful 
song!   It was also included in the movie "Melody".

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1971: "Melody" is a year older

Original Soundtrack Recording From Melody (1971, Vinyl) | Discogs
Like some of you, I caught the "rent a video" bug in the mid-1980's. 

I remember going to the store one weekend and finding a British movie called "Melody" from 1971.  I read that it featured the music of The Bee Gees so that was enough to rent and watch the movie.  I don't think that the movie was released in the US.


Frankly, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable movies that I've ever seen.  It did not win any awards or get inducted in some Hall of Fame but it was entertaining.

"Melody" was the story of a boy and girl living that "moment" when we all figure out that boys and girls are different. 

You can call it your "first crush" moment!   Remember that time when you kept looking at some girl across the room?  Remember how she looked back?  Remember the Friday night dance with all of the boys on one side and the girls on the other?

"Melody" was very nice and the music was fabulous, specially "First of May", one of the greatest songs from The Bee Gees' repertoire.

Rent "Melody" and you will enjoy it, specially if you were once a 12-year old boy with a crush on a cute girl in school.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

1971: WABC New York Top 20 this week

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We remember this week in 1971.  It was a pretty good list in the very early 1970's.   

At # 16, Chicago and the "45" version of "Beginnings".  The LP version was actually released in 1968 in that great LP simply called "Chicago Transit Authority".  The original version was very long, as I recall.

So here is the Top 20 at WABC New York:

  1. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart                            
                               The Bee Gees (Atco) 
  2. Draggin' the Line - Tommy James (Roulette)                 
  3. You've Got a Friend - James Taylor (Warner Brothers)       
  4. Indian Reservation (The Lament of the                        
          Cherokee Reservation Indian) - The Raiders (Columbia)  
  5. Bring the Boys Home - Freda Payne (Invictus)                
  6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Marvin Gaye (Tamla)         
  7. Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver (RCA)            
  8. It's Too Late - Carole King (Ode)                           
  9. Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight (Stax)                          
 10. Hot Pants (She Got to Use What She Got                       
            to Get What She Wants) Pt. 1 - James Brown (People)  
 11. Spanish Harlem - Aretha Franklin (Atlantic)                
 12. Don't Pull Your Love -                                       
                       Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds (Dunhill)  
 13. What the World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin & John -    
                                              Tom Clay (Mowest) 
 14. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - The Dramatics (Volt)          
 15. K-Jee - The Nite-Liters (RCA)                              
 16. Beginnings - Chicago (Columbia)                            
 17. Signs - The Five Man Electrical Band (Lionel)              
 18. Sooner or Later - The Grass Roots (Dunhill)                
 19. Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers (Sussex)                  --
 20. Sweet Hitch-Hiker - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy)

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1977: "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb was # 1 this week

Image result for andy gibb I just want to be your everything images

Frankly, I thought that it was The Bee Gees when I heard "I just want to be your everything" on the radio.   Then the announcer said that it was Andy Gibb, the Bee Gees' little brother.    

Andy Gibb had incredible success for a couple of years.   He has huge hits and sold millions of records on his own.    Unfortunately, he couldn't handle success and died very young in 1988.

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1979: Willie Mays Hall of Fame!

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Ted Williams allegedly said that they invented the All Star Game for Willie Mays.  He was right.

Willie Mays was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on this day in 1979.    Mays played 21 seasons with the Giants, and finished up with the Mets in 1972-73.    He hit over .300 10 times and retired with a career .302 average, won the NL MVP twice (1954 & 1965) and was selected 20 times as an NL All-Star.  On top of that, Mays led the league in home runs four times and hit 660, or the second highest ever at the time he retired.

Some of us are old enough to remember watching Mays in the NBC Saturday afternoon game of the week.  Finally, I had a chance to watch Mays in 1972 when he finished his career with the New York Mets.   He wasn't Willie Mays anymore but it was a huge thrill to see him in person! 

For my money, Mays was the greatest player of the 20th century!


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Sunday, August 01, 2010

1982: Aaron & Robinson Hall of Fame

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On August 1, 1982, Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron went into The Hall of Fame.  They were two of the greatest players of the post-war era.  
Robinson and Aaron broke into the majors in the 1950's.    
Robinson finished his career with a .294 average, 586 HR and 1,812 RBI.    He won the 1961 NL MVP and 1966 AL MVP.   He played in 5 World Series, 1 with the Reds and 4 with the Orioles.    
Aaron left the game with a .305 batting average, 755 HR, 2,297 RBI & 3,771 hits.   He was the 1957 NL MVP or the same year that the Braves won the World Series.    
Aaron and Robinson, two of my favorites! 

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