Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday's podcast: Happy Father's Day and Jim Bunning's perfect game plus the Mexican peso and other stories...

Sunday's podcast:    
Happy Father's Day and Jim Bunning's perfect game plus the Mexican peso and other stories...

Sunday's video: Happy Father's Day and Jim Bunning's perfect game plus...

CANTO TALK podcasts from last week


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It’s cool when a father pitches a perfect game on Father’s Day

It’s cool when a father pitches a perfect game on Father’s Day: This is a great Father’s Day story to share with your father or sons.  We lost our father eight years ago, and my sons will confirm that I’ve recounted this baseball tale a few times. Before he became Senator Jim Bunning….
Click to read:


1965: Bob Dylan recorded "Like a rolling stone"


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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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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 and 71 RBI in 1960, good enough to come in 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. We should point out that players back then did not enjoy the opportunity of being DFA or designated for assignment. Under today’s rules, a team can not return a player to the minors indefinitely thus allowing him to sign with another team. In other words, the players did not enjoy the rights that they have today.

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 U.S. and the old Cuban Winter League.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).    We always recommend "The pride of Havana", a great book about Cuban baseball:


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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1858: Remembering Lincoln's warning

house2bdivided

On this day in 1858, U.S. Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln addressed the Illinois Republican Convention in Springfield. He lost that race but his words left their mark.

As you remember from your U.S. history class, the country was bitterly divided and there was talk of secession and threats of 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 war between the states followed. 


What can we learn from that today?  Are you listening, Mr. Attorney General?  At times of great division and uncertainty, it's often better to pause and look at the big picture, such as do we really want to indict the man of the other party currently leading your guy in the polls?  Do we want to indict him over documents when the one known as "the Big Guy" has a little problem of his own?  Do we want the whole country talking about a double standard when Mrs. Clinton was given a pass on her document problem?  

It's hard to be optimistic when the people running the country seem more interested in hanging Trump like Mussolini rather than resolving legitimate questions about documents.

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Father's Day 1964: “Cubanos” Tony Taylor & Cookie Rojas & Jim Bunning’s perfect game


On Father's Day 1964, future Hall of Famer and US Senator Jim Bunning of the Phillies. threw a perfect game. Bunning won 227 games and made it to The Hall of Fame in 1996.

There is a Cuban connection to the game: Tony Taylor played second base and Cookie Rojas was the shortstop.

Taylor scored 2 runs. Both went 1 for 3 that day.

Octavio "Cookie" Rojas made his debut in 1962 and retired in 1977. His best season was 1965 when he hit .303 and made the NL All Star team. He was traded to Kansas City and remains one of the most popular Royals' players ever. He was well known as a clutch hitter and had a great glove at second base. Rojas won a batting title in the Cuban winter league. His son Victor is a major league broadcaster.

Tony Taylor made his debut in 1958 & retired with 2,007 hits and a .261 career average. He was well known for his defense. His best season was 1963 when he hit .281, stole 23 bases and scored 102 runs. He stole over 20 bases several times in his career.

My guess is that this is the only time that a couple of Cubans played up the middle in a MLB perfect game.

Happy Father's Day!

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My first Father's Day without my father





Over the years, I have written and spoken about the importance of fathers in our lives.  It's one of those topics I get passionate about.
The statistics speak for themselves, as my friend and author Rick Johnson has pointed over the years with his books and seminars.  The National Center for Fathering puts numbers behind the talk:
As supported by the data below, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens. 
You can read a lot more here
It's fair to say that many of our social problems are related to the absence of a responsible man in the kids' lives.   
My second reason for being an advocate of the importance of fathers is my own father.  He was not a hero, in the sense that a military band played at his funeral.  He was not well known, in the sense that The New York Times wrote an obituary when he died.   
He was just an honest man who put everything on the line so that his kids would grow up in freedom in the U.S. 
He always taught us how to treat women by the way he treated our mother. 
He had great lines that he would strategically drop into our lives.  I remember this one: "Every woman is someone's mother, sister, or daughter.  So treat them like you would want your mother, daughter and sister to be treated."  I don't know if he invented that, but it is profound.
My father died last December.  He spent the last year of his life fighting pain and eating through a tube in his stomach.  It was not fun, and we are sure that he's in a better place now. 
Nevertheless, we miss him a lot, especially on Father's Day.  I miss the political and baseball stories.  One of his favorite baseball stories was about Willie Mays and Brooks Robinson playing in the old Cuban winter league.
I miss that I won't be buying another chess book this weekend.  My father loved chess.  He picked it up when he was in Cuba, staying away from the secret police picking up so-called "counter-revolutionaries".
So enjoy and respect your father.  You are going to miss him a lot the first Father's Day that he is not with you.  Happy Father's Day to all of the AT family.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) .

All fathers matter!

Happy Father's Day Wallpaper - KoLPaPer - Awesome Free HD Wallpapers
2020 marks the 5th Father’s Day since my dad died in late 2015.  It’s my day to remember a great man who taught me about life and where we came from.  He also taught me how treat women and behave properly at work, at home or the baseball field.

My father was quiet, a super gentleman but he laid down the law very effectively.  He knew what was right and wrong and did not accept excuses for bad behavior.

Yesterday, I read that more statues came down, from President Grant to President Lincoln.   They want President Jefferson, too.  

What’s the formula or the method to their madness?  I can’t really find one but all of the mobs have a common denominator, i.e. young people who could use a little a history lesson and a man in their lives!

In this context, maybe it’s time to remind everyone that fathers matter a lot.  After all, it is our fathers who teach us about our heritage, where we came from and that you don’t destroy public property.

According to a Heritage Foundation report, we need more fathers in the country: 
   
Studies have found that children raised without a father are:
At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.
Four times more likely to live in poverty.
More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
Twice as likely to never graduate high school.
At a seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.
More vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
Twice as likely to be obese.
From education to personal health to career success, children who lack a father find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers raised in a two-parent household.

I can’t prove it with a poll but my guess is that a lot of those young people burning buildings and tearing down statues do not have a father to come home to.   

How do I know that?  Because my dad would beaten me with a baseball bat if I had done something stupid like that.  He would have grabbed me by the neck, read me a Cuban Spanish riot act that only Ricky Ricardo could understand and then driven me to the police station for accountability.

Yes, fathers matter a lot.    Happy Father’s Day to the AT family.

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Fathers matter now more than ever





(My new American Thinker post)


Put me down as a rather lucky person.  I had the good fortune of growing up with a great father.  He led by example, from being totally responsible to treating our mother with the up-most respect.   

On the subject of women, my dad would tell my brother and I that every woman was someone's mom, grandmother or sister.   So  treat them the way that you would want others to treat your mom, sister and grandmother.

He also said that a father's job was to tell his sons what they didn't want to hear.   I didn't like that message when I was another teen rebel but I do appreciate it now more than ever.

As a baby-boomer, I remember that most of my friends had a dad at home.   I'm reminded of this every time that I watch TV comedies from the 1950s and 1960s.   There was always a dad around, from The Beaver's dad to Mr. Robinson in " Lost in space".   

As a father of 3 boys, I learned that a lot of boys are growing up without fathers.  I saw this on Little League fields and school events.  In other words, a lot of my sons' friends did not have a father at  home for one reason or another.

As we celebrate another Father's Day, we need to remember that fathers are more than just biological agents.   They are critical in the life of a young man or woman. 

In fact, my friend Rick Johnson has written extensively about the importance of fathers in a young woman's life:

"Fathers set a huge role model for their daughters regarding the qualities she looks for in men and the standards she maintains.  He is the first man in her life and models how a man should treat a woman, how a man should act, and how a man shows healthy love and affection to a woman.  He also sets the standard for how a daughter feels she deserves to be treated by men.  He even determines how a girl feels about herself.Fathers who are active, loving, positive role models in their daughter’s lives provide them with the opportunity to use those character traits as a measuring tape for future men in their lives.  The way in which a man treats his wife speaks volumes to a girl on how she should expect to be treated and valued by men later in her life.  If her father shows that he values her mother as someone worthy of love and respect, a girl will expect that for herself from her husband.  If he exhibits a model of abuse or disrespect for her mother, a girl may feel that she deserves to be treated that way as a wife as well.And if her father shows his daughter love, respect, and appreciation for who she is, she will believe that about herself as a woman, no matter what anyone else thinks.A little girl who has her father’s love knows what it’s like to be unconditionally and completely adored by a man.  She knows the feeling of safety that love creates.1Conversely, men who abandon or abuse their daughters set them up for a lifetime of pain, distrust, and feelings of worthlessness.  When men are angry or disrespectful to the females in their families, it sets their daughters up to expect this kind of treatment from all men.  If a man does not provide and protect them, they have no expectations of this behavior from the men they enter into relationships with.  Why would a woman willingly marry a man who can’t or won’t hold a job to support his family?  Why would she intentional marry a man who abuses or abandons her?  Probably, she wouldn’t.  Perhaps that was the type of man that was modeled for her growing up and she is subconsciously attracted to that model, believing she deserves that kind of treatment and is unworthy of anything better.
Overall, children growing up without fathers are more likely to get in trouble and fail,as reported by The National Center for Fathering:
"As supported by the data below, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens."
The data is there.   Fathers matter and they matter a lot.

To be fair, all of us know someone who was raised by a single mom.   As I've said many times, single moms should get medals and special recognition for their amazing work in doing a job that was intended for two.  

Today, we remember fathers.   I have a great one.  I will tell him so again today as he recovers from health problems.   I hope that you are lucky enough to see your dad and to tell him  how much he meant in your life.

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there in AT-land!

P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.

Happy Fathers Day to my father in heaven


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We say Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, etc who brought us here years ago.
Looking back, I was very lucky because my father understood the job.
He did not try to be my buddy, although he did take my brother and I to a lot of ball games when were kids.  He bought us hot dogs and ice cream.  He taught us about baseball and a few other things.
A father’s job description is simple: Tell your kids what they don’t want to hear!
I’m grateful that my dad taught me that lesson! My father certainly understood the job description!
Happy Father’s Day to my father in heaven!
P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.

Happy Father's Day: Fathers, sons and baseball.



In my book “Cubanos in Wisconsin“, I related stories of watching baseball games with our late father.  
It seems like we spent every Sunday going to church, running home to grab our hats, on a bus to the stadium, cheering for the players, eating too much food and then going home exhausted from such a wonderful day.    
Like many others, we left Cuba and came to the US.    Our love for baseball got stronger every year.   We attended baseball games with my father in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Texas.  
Baseball gave us an opportunity to bond with our dad.   He taught us to calculate batting averages and to appreciate a good pitching effort.    
Every Father’s Day, I think of my father and all of those games we watched over time.      
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) . Check my baseball stories and memories of my father: 



Happy Father's Day: George Strait's "Love without end, amen"


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George Strait............"Love without end, amen"

"I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye
Fightin' was against the rules and it didn't matter why
When dad got home I told that story just like I'd rehearsed
Then stood there on those tremblin' knees and waitin' for the worst
And he said

Let me tell you a secret about a father's love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
He said daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen
It's a love without end, amen

When I became a father in the spring of '81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father's son
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end
I took my daddy's secret and passed it on to him
I said

Let me tell you a secret about a father's love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
He said daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen
It's a love without end, amen

Last night I dreamed I'd died and stood outside those pearly gates
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake
If they know half the things I've done, they'll never let me in
Then somewhere from the other side, I heard these words again
And they said......."



Happy Father's Day


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"I think Father's Day ought not to be a celebration of every man who managed to procreate, but instead a time to honor those increasingly rare men who are actually good at fathering." (TONY WOODLIEF)

Happy Fathers Day!


An early Happy Fathers Day's message


Let me extend an early and wonderful salute to all of the fathers and grandfathers of the world.

I want to pay special attention to the "cubanos", all of those fathers who brought us here years ago. They paid a heavy sacrifice to come here. They had to work hard.

So let me say thank you to my dad and my two uncles, who are part of the group.

I want to say thank you for standing up to Castro. Thank you for bringing us here. Thank you for all of the hard work.

My brother, sister and I were very lucky to have such a responsible father.  He taught us good values.  He also treated my mother with respect.

Happy Father's Day.


For more about my father, check out "Cubanos in Wisconsin"







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