Thursday, July 25, 2024

But Josh is pro-Israel

But Josh is pro-Israel: The VP short list includes a few interesting names like Governor Josh Shapiro. I don't live in Pennsylvania but they tell me that the governor is popular. I hear that he could deliver that important state to the Democrats. But why would the…
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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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1978: Rose reached # 38 on the way to 44!





Pete Rose’s streak made it 38 games on this day in 1978.    He got 3 hits off Craig Swan of the Mets.

The streak started on June 14 and turned into the second longest in major league history.    The streak was a huge national story with hundreds of reporters following Pete & the Reds from game to game.  

1978 also turned out to be his last year with the Reds:  .302 average, 198 hits and 51 doubles.   He signed a huge free agent contract with the Phillies and led them to a World Series victory in 1980.  He also won two titles with the Reds in 1975 & 1976.

Last, but not least, Pete got his 3000th hit that year, too.    The pitcher was Steve Rogers of the Expos.


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July 1965: Dylan from acoustic to electric guitar


42 Iconic Bob Dylan Photos - Celebrating Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize ...
On this day in 1965, Dylan put down the acoustic and played an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival.    

Maybe we can say that Dylan moved rock and folk music closer together by going electric.

Like a rolling stone” and “Queen Jane approximately“, from the LP “Highway 61 Revisited“, were early examples of Dylan going electric.      
At about the same time, The Byrds released their electric version of “Mr. Tambourine Man“.    The group's LP also included “All I really want to do“, another Dylan song.
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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wednesday's video: PM speaks before Congress. no VP Harris, VP Shapiro and more

Kamala you have some ‘splainin’ to do

Kamala you have some ‘splainin’ to do: Maybe a reporter will ask VP Harris about the 25th Amendment and President Biden.  After all, all we’ve heard about the ailing president is a phone call and a memo retiring from the election.  Is it too much to ask about the president...
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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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July 1983 and the pine tar incident at Yankee Stadium

Pine Tar Game items are headed to auction - Chicago Sun-Times
Who remembers that July 1983 afternoon in the old Yankee Stadium when George Brett’s game-winning run ran into a pine tar argument?
We didn’t have the internet, and most people still read the sports pages to get the latest news.
Back in July 1983, I was working in Mexico and on the phone with a colleague from New York City.  As we finished our business call, he teased me by saying to catch the sports highlights about the Yankees-Royals game that afternoon.  He had watched the game in the office on local TV.
So I made it a point to catch the sports news and couldn’t believe what I was watching.  This is how the legendary Murray Chass reported it in The New York Times:
Baseball games often end with home runs, but until today the team that hit the home run always won.  At Yankee Stadium today, the team that hit the home run lost.  If that unusual development produced a sticky situation, blame it on pine tar.  With two out in the ninth inning, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals hit a two-run home run against Rich Gossage that for several minutes gave the Royals a 5‚4 lead over the Yankees.  But Brett was called out by the umpires for using an illegal bat — one with an excessive amount of pine tar.  The ruling, after a protest by Billy Martin, the Yankees’ manager, enabled the Yankees to wind up with a 4‚3 victory.
What followed was one of the greatest arguments in baseball history.  Brett ran from the dugout and nearly (but thankfully didn’t) killed the umpire.  Benches emptied, and there were arguments all around home plate.  Last, but not least, the umpires ruled by placing the bat across home plate and determining that there was too much pine tar.
The league reversed the umpires, and the two teams returned to New York to literally play the rest of the game.  K.C. won.
The “pine tar” game was the last chapter in the Yankees-Royals rivalry.  It started with very intense postseason series that saw New York beat Kansas City in 1976, 1977, and 1978.  K.C. finally beat N.Y. in 1980, and most of the players were still around when the “pine tar game” happened in 1983.  And as they say, these two teams did not like each other.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather hear about pine tar than all of these political messages in sports.
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July 24, 1959: The Nixon Khrushchev kitchen debates

They both got their chance on this day in 1959, or the famous kitchen debates.

Who won?  They probably both did.  This is a portion of the conversation, because it was not really a debate:

Nixon: "I want to show you this kitchen. It is like those of our houses in California."

Khrushchev: "We have such things."

Nixon: "This is our newest model. This is the kind which is built in thousands of units for direct installations in the houses. In America, we like to make life easier for women..."

Khrushchev: "Your capitalistic attitude toward women does not occur under communism."

Nixon: "I think that this attitude towards women is universal. What we want to do, is make life more easy for our housewives. ... This house can be bought for $14,000 and most American [veterans from World War II] can buy a home in the bracket of $10,000 to $15,000. Let me give you an example that you can appreciate. Our steel workers, as you know, are now on strike. But any steelworker could buy this house. They earn $3 an hour. This house costs about $100 a month to buy on a contract running 25 to 30 years."

Khrushchev: "We have steel workers and peasants who can afford to spend $14,000 for a house. Your American houses are built to last only 20 years so builders could sell new houses at the end. We build firmly. We build for our children and grandchildren."

Nixon: "American houses last for more than 20 years, but, even so, after 20 years many Americans want a new house or a new kitchen. Their kitchen is obsolete by that time. ... The American system is designed to take advantage of new inventions and new techniques."

Khrushchev: "This theory does not hold water. Some things never get out of date — houses, for instance, and furniture.  Furnishings, perhaps — but not houses. I have read much about America and American houses, and I do not think that this exhibit and what you say is strictly accurate."

Nixon: "Well, umm..."

Khrushchev: "I hope I have not insulted you."

Nixon: "I have been insulted by experts. Everything we say [on the other hand] is in good humor. Always speak frankly."

It went on a bit longer, and on TV, to say the least.  The comments about women are interesting so many years later.  Both men got their shots, but the Soviet leader never got to see Disneyland.  Mr. Khrushchev was barred from pre-woke Disneyland, and he was furious.

What's amazing is that Cuba and Vietnam were not brought up, or at least I could not find any evidence that they were.  In other words, the issue that almost started a nuclear war and the war that divided the U.S. were not on the agenda.  Maybe neither man thought they were important.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Tuesday's video: Kamala the candidate and more stories

She’s always Kamala to me

She’s always Kamala to me: It’s official now and VP Kamala Harris is heading to Chicago to pick up the nomination.  We will follow her trip and see if the vice president can persuade Democrats that she is the one to beat President Trump.  Some have doubts. 
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July 23, 1960: The all-Cuban triple play in baseball

A little baseball history to distract us from the horrific stories coming out of Cuba.
On July 23, 1960, 3 Cubans playing for the Washington Senators made baseball history.   They were involved in the only Cuban to Cuban to Cuban triple play.   I’m sure that it is the only “all latino” triple play too.   I couldn’t find any other example of 3 latinos turning a triple play.
The 3 players were pitcher Pedro Ramos, shortstop Jose Valdivielso and first baseman Julio Becquer.   Whitey Herzog, future manager with the Kansas City Royals and St Louis Cardinals, hit the ball back to Ramos, who went to first and then second.
A little more about the game.   The Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.  The Kansas City A’s moved to Oakland in 1968.
Ramos won 117 games but pitched for very bad teams.   I wrote a post about him earlier when he turned 80.  Becquer had a fine glove but hit only .244 with the Senators and later the Twins.     Valdivielso hit .219 and was primarily a part-time player.
Another Cuban, Camilo Pascual, watched the proceedings from the dugout.
My thanks to Fernando Hernandez, author of “The Cubans” for bringing this to my attention.  By the way, his book is full of stories of Cubans in the US, from Celia Cruz to Desi Arnaz to lots of other less known Cubans who left their footprints.
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July 23, 1964: Campy's super debut in the big leagues


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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






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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We remember Pee Wee Reese (1918-1999)


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.

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Monday, July 22, 2024

Monday's video: Harris on to Chicago and more stories

Claudia is a feminist

Claudia is a feminist: Up here we may have VP Kamala Harris but down in Mexico they've gone full feminist girl, President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum. As she said, she is a feminist on a mission. Check this out: México’s president-elect, Claudia...
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Happy # 81 Bobby Sherman


Between 1969 and 1972, Bobby Sherman sold millions and millions of records.   As I recall, he was on the radio, TV and maybe a movie as well.

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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sunday's video: Biden is out and more stories

CANTO TALK podcasts of the week


Click to listen to our podcasts last week:

Looking like a five-run lead

Looking like a five-run lead: The late Earl Weaver, Hall of Fame manager of the Orioles, once told a journalist that he loved five-run leads. 

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Happy # 76 Cat Stevens

Image result for cat stevens images

We remember Cat Stevens who was born in London on this day in 1948.

I lost track of his career in the 1980's but do recall some of his 1970's hits:  "Morning Has Broken", "Peace Train" and "Moonshadow".

 
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We remember Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

We remember a great American novelist.  He wrote many poems, short stories and books.

Ernest Hemingway was born in Illinois.   Along the way, he lived in Spain and Cuba.   In 1961, Hemingway committed suicide.

His time in Cuba in the late 1950's and experiences during the Spanish Civil War inspired two of his greatest novels.
 
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We remember Mike Hegan (1942-2013)

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James Michael Hegan was born in Cleveland on this day in 1942.   His father, Jim Hegan, was an All Star major league catcher with the Indians.    
Jim was a high school baseball star at St. Ignatius and accepted a baseball scholarship to play at Worcester.    In 1961, he was offered contracts by 15 teams and signed with the New York Yankees.    (I should add that this is before the draft or the rules in place today.)
Mike broke with the Yankees in September 1964 and was added to the World Series roster.      Mike is the only player to score a post-season run before getting his major league hit.    
Hegan spent the new few seasons between the majors and the minors.   In 1968, Jim was added to the Seattle Pilots expansion roster.
He blasted the Pilots’ first HR in game one of the 1969 season, hit .292 and was elected to the AL All Star team.    
In 1970, the Pilots became the Milwaukee Brewers and Jim became the regular first baseman.   He was a very popular player but was traded to the A’s in 1971 and played in the post season again.    
After baseball,  Jim moved into the TV booth and worked for Milwaukee and later Cleveland.      My guess is that most fans in those cities remember Jim the broadcaster more than the player.
Hegan died in 2013. 

 
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2009: Let's talk with Bill Katz about Apollo 11

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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Saturday's video: Biden in or out, Trump looking good, Apollo 11 and more stories

A look back at the GOP convention with George Rodriguez

 

A look back at the GOP convention with George Rodriguez

Let the delegates decide

Let the delegates decide: The GOP convention is over and it's on to Chicago. What will Democrats do if President Biden steps aside? I don't know, but I would like to see the delegates decide. This is from the Chicago Tribune: At the very least, the DNC owes ...

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Happy # 86 Tony Oliva



We say happy birthday to Hall of Famer Tony Oliva who was born in Pinar del Rio on this day in 1938.


Tony was quite a player:

a) He won 3 American League batting titles and led the American League in hits five times and in doubles four times;

b) He earned one Gold Glove, in 1966, and was named The Sporting News AL Player of the year twice (1965, '71); and,

c) Oliva hit over .300 six times in over 11 full seasons and .285 or better 10 times, never finishing below .270.

Unfortunately, injuries cut short his career in the 1970's.

Nevertheless, Oliva finished with a .304 average, 1917 hits, 220 Hrs & 947 RBI.

What if he had played 2,500 games rather than 1,676?   The answer is 3,000 hits and probably one or two more batting titles.

One of the greatest Cuban players in major league history!

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Happy # 77 Carlos Santana


Happy birthday to Carlos Santana, who was born in Mexico on this day in 1947 and a man who has survived several musical seasons........from the late 1960's to the present, Santana has been a major force on the radio......my favorite album is still "Abraxas" from 1970 and the amazing "Black magic woman".

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July 20, 1969: Another year to remember Apollo 11




It was July 20, 1969 or many years ago today. 
Like most families, we sat around the TV and watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.  At one point, my father commented that Cubans in the island were probably not permitted to watch this historical event.  My mother then added something colorful:  “Ese HP de Fidel no le quiere dar merito a los americanos que llegaron primero que los rusos.” 
I can remember much of it, from Walter Cronkite’s countdown to the lunar landing to President Nixon’s speech to the astronauts. 
We remember Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and congratulate the crew and everyone down here who made this amazing mission possible. 
Wonder whatever happened to that US flag and landmark that we left up in the moon? 
No matter what: I was very lucky to be alive and experience one of the greatest days in world history!  I was very lucky to be living in the US where I could watch the whole thing.
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We remember Natalie Wood (1938-81)


We remember Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko who was born on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California.   We know her as Natalie Wood.

She tragically drowned on November 29, 1981.

Natalie Wood was a beautiful woman who left her mark in the movies.

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July 20, 1969: It was great to be alive on the day that Apollo 11 landed on the moon!







It was July 20, 1969 or many years ago today. 

Like most families, we sat around the TV and watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.

I can remember much of it, from Walter Cronkite's countdown to the lunar landing to President Nixon's speech to the astronauts.

We remember Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and congratulate the crew and everyone down here who made this amazing mission possible.

Wonder whatever happened to that US flag and landmark that we left up in the moon?

Wonder what the next visitors will say about us?

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Watching Apollo 11 and wondering if our family was watching it in Cuba

It was many years ago.  I keep asking where did 51 years go?  As I recently checked, “In the year 2525” by Zager & Evans was # 1 on Billboard USA that week.  Talk about a “one hit wonder” and a song that no one will admit to buying today.
Like most families, we sat around the TV and watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.  
At one point, my father commented that Cubans in the island were probably not permitted to watch this historical event.  
My mother then added something colorful:  “Ese HP de Fidel no le quiere dar merito a los americanos que llegaron primero que los rusos.”   Let me give you a PG translation: something like that SOB Fidel is not going to admit that the Americans got there before the Russians.
I can remember much of it, from Walter Cronkite’s countdown to the lunar landing to President Nixon’s speech to the astronauts. And the departure from the moon!
We remember Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins and congratulate the crew and everyone down here who made this amazing mission possible.  It was an amazing week from launch to the successful return to Earth.
Wonder whatever happened to that U.S. flag and landmark that we left up in the moon?  I’m hoping that a future mission will answer that question.
Furthermore, I was very lucky to be living in the U.S. where I could watch the whole thing.  I learned later that my family in Cuba did not get to see it.
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Happy # 79 Kim Carnes



We remember Kim Carnes Ellingson who was born in Los Angeles on this day in 1945.   Kim recorded several hits in the 1980's,  such as "Bette Davis eyes" and "More love", a great cover of the Smokey Robinson song.




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Friday, July 19, 2024

Friday's video: A look back at the GOP convention with George Rodriguez

Friday’s podcast: The week in review with Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda

 

Friday’s podcast:    

The week in review with Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda…

No more flowers for Joe

No more flowers for Joe: Cue that song

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July 19, 1964: Luis Tiant beat Whitey Ford, 3-0

Our family had just left Cuba and was waiting our time in Jamaica. We used to get the news and baseball reports on my father’s little short wave radio. I don’t remember hearing about this game but learned about it later once we were settled in the US.
Tiant progressed through the Indians farm system and got the call to the big club after a 15-1 record at Triple-A Portland. On, July 19, 1964, Tiant debuted with a four-single, 11 strikeouts, 3–0 shutout victory against the defending AL Champion New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The losing pitcher was future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. Tiant finished his rookie season with a 10-4 record, 105 strikeouts, and a 2.83 ERA in 19 games.
It was quite a rookie year and a sign of great things to come.  By 1968, he started for the American League in the All Star Game and everybody in Boston remembers his performance in the 1975 World Series.
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Happy # 83 Vikki Carr

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We wish Vikki Carr a very happy birthday.........she was born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona in El Paso, Texas, on this day in 1941...........a very popular bilingual pop singer......her first big hit was "It must be him".......

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