Don’t act as if you’re going to retire their numbers tomorrow.
P.S. You made a HUGE mistake getting rid of Andrew Miller. He would’ve made the perfect closer next year.
Handwritten letters are endangered species.
About the only places they live on are birthday cards, thank you notes and summer camp letters, which kids are forced to write because nostalgia keeps their parents signing those checkbooks (another endangered medium).
On the occasion of one of my favorite childhood baseball players, Dan Quisenberry, missing out on the Baseball Hall of Fame, I just wrote a column for The Atlantic reminiscing about the thrill of receiving a two-page letter from him in 1981. (“How Athletes Ensure Immortality: Not all greats make the Hall of Fame. Not all Hall of Famers are remembered. But a player who forges personal connections with fans with live on.”)
You can read the story here, but I’d also like to share the full text of the letter for the benefit of the world’s Kansas City Royals fans — or anyone who still cherishes the power of handwritten letters.
The idea of a professional athlete, let alone the American League’s best closer, taking the time to write a two-page letter to a kid he thought was “creative,” is unfathomable to me as a jaded adult. Sadly, Quisenberry died of brain cancer at age 45 — younger than the age that many of the kids watching him pitch would be now.
Here’s Dan’s letter for you to read for yourself:
So perhaps you’ve heard of the 1919 Black Sox scandal? Pete Rose betting on baseball? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa using steroids?
Hold on to your seat cushion, because I am about to reveal the most outrageous sports scandal in the history of outrageous sports scandals.
But you’ll have to read all about it in New Hampshire Magazine!
That’s a “Wizard of Oz” reference with visions of the Green Monster landing on the Wicked Witch’s ankles.
Last night, as my friend Mark and I were enjoying dinner before the Red Sox-White Sox game, we were told there was a tornado warning in effect for Fenway Park. As we walked from the Prudential Center to Lansdowne Street, the skies got darker and there were a few flashes of lightning.
I LOVE rainstorms and enjoy getting drenched — especially during or after exercising — but tornadoes are a different story.
Mark and I ducked into Jillian’s pub and bowling alley and watched the pregame show on TV until they announced when the game would start. I had a root beer float.
Surprisingly, Fenway was still packed on a rainy tornado-ridden weeknight, but we managed to find seats in the last row of the grandstands behind home plate (with our bleacher tickets).
The weather hysteria was far more enjoyable than the game itself. The anemic Red Sox only managed to get two hits all night.
Here’s the best commentary on the situation:
Why is this steak smiling? Proud that New Hampshire has its very own meat mascot in the tradition of the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages and the Pittsburgh Pirates Racing Pierogis, I recently got inside the T-Bones restaurant costume to find out.
I’m sworn to secrecy about the outcome of the race until the August issue of New Hampshire Magazine hits the newsstands later this month. But I can tell you why the steak’s (my) hand is in front of his mouth below. It’s not because he’s bashful or because he’s burping.
It’s because that mesh screen above the steak’s eyebrows — the costume’s only ventilation and visibility window — kept bouncing up and down as I ran, leaving me blindfolded if I didn’t pull the costume taut over my face.
Thanks to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats for humoring me with this athletic opportunity. For baseball trivia buffs, that’s Minnesota Twins “Super-Utility Man” Eduardo Nunez watching the race action above as he pretends to be focused on his warmup tosses. We also ran straight past Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks, who was on rehab with the Rock Cats as well.
More to come…
Are YOUR vegetables endorsed by a reality TV show?
I tried contacting the American Celery Council for statistics on celebrity-endorsed celery, but that trade organization tragically appears to have fizzled out in the early 1990s.
Walmart’s celery bullet points, however, are very helpful.
This photo was a late addition to my backstage blog post about Guns N’ Roses, and I didn’t want it to get lost in the abyss.
I’m not superstitious, but I love stories about baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs drawing a “Chai” symbol in the batter’s box for good luck before he faced a pitcher — and when I’m at the gym, I will grab locker #18 or #36 if they are available.
So I was intrigued when GNR guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal proudly showed off his hamsa backstage, proudly announcing that it came from Israel.
“The longer I live, the more I accept that anything is possible,” he later explained in an email. “Can I truly attribute some good fortune to an amulet? I don’t know. If I don’t know, I have to be open to the possibility. The power of ‘belief’ is something real. It’s a beautiful gift from a friend, and the kindness of this gift on its own is strength for the soul.”
Deep stuff. I think of every souvenir shop on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street when I see that necklace. I love those souvenir shops.
As an aside, I carry a “Good Luck” coin on my keychain from the 193os.
I had the privilege of chasing amateur “Hell Driver” daredevils around the country for a year with filmmaker Peter Koziell. We sucked in a lot of exhaust and burning tires in between interviews for our documentary, “Hell Drivers: America’s Original Crash Test Dummies.” Anything for the story.
Lucky wasn’t so lucky. He died during one of his stunts. His good luck charm reminds me to never deliberately crash my car into brick walls AND represents a hope that I’ll eventually be able to make the time and chalk up the resources to produce another documentary film.
Maybe I should add a hamsa to my keychain, too.