"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Mudville Magazine has been updated, finally, and it's been worth the wait. Included is Jeff Kallman's review of Mark Gauvreau Judge's Damn Senators: My Grandfather and the Story of Washington's Only World Series Championship, a reminiscence of Senators first-baseman (and later longtime Georgetown coach) Joe Judge and of baseball's tormented history in the nation's capital:
"Stout" was one way to describe Joe Judge. He was the son of an Irish farmer who had emigrated from somewhat parched Eire to bristling Brooklyn in 1883…[and later] moved the family to "a cramped Lower East Side neighbourhood of Jews, Italians, Hungarians, and Irish," called Yorkville…When not playing ball, the boy was learning to swim at the end of a rope his mother tied around him to lower him to the East River. "Although I assume she did it in shallow water, near the shore," writes grandson, "my mental picture of this is always of a small boy struggling in rough, stormy waters." The future first baseman found those soon enough, sort of: with two buddies, he once swam out to Riker's Island, where the jail guards denied the trio safe landing, drawn guns the exclamation point. One of the trio drowned on the return swim.
Surely Judge was building the fortitude necessary for life with a baseball basket case. Indeed, the Senators seemed underwritten by stark tragedy as much as larking calamity. Their earliest star, Ed Delahanty, either walked or was thrown off a New York-bound train before falling to his death from a bridge. Their greatest star, Walter Johnson, was bereaved of his father during and his two-year-old daughter following the 1921 season. Another future Hall of Famer, Sam Rice, who joined the Senators the same season as Judge (1915; the two became so close they bought adjoining Washington row homes), had earlier lost his wife and children in a threshing tornado, while he was away trying out for a tough minor league club.
In another entry, the Golden Age of New York baseball in the 1950s is highlighted in webmaster Peter Schilling's review of Summer in the City, a coffee-table book of Weegee-like fanphotos from the Daily News, and the reissue of Arnold Hano's A Day in the Bleachers.
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On this day in 1924 the Nats tallied 20 hits in the nightcap to salvage a split with the Chisox. The Post is providing a daily look back at the Washington Senators' sole championship season of 80 years ago.
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A Medusa detail on the grandstand of New York's old Polo Grounds is visible in this striking postcard from a gallery at Vintage Ball.
More wonderful cards of the Polo Grounds here and here.
Here's an interesting 1912 scene from the Acmegraph Co. of the crowd milling on the field of the Cubs' pre-Wrigley West End park, captured in another rather nice shot here.
And Cincinnati loyalist TS O'Rama will appreciate the classic Greco-Roman lines of that city's Palace of the Fans, where in 1909 he might have toasted the Reds' health from under the grandstand in "Rooters Row."
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Interesting factoid picked up Mudville Magazine: Duke Ellington's first job as a teenager was selling peanuts and hotdogs at Senators games. Here's his "Tiger Rag (Part 2)" from 1929.