"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
The Red Sox played the Dodgers at the LA Coliseum before the largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game, 115,300. The left field fence, 200 feet from home, was topped by a 60-foot screen. The Dodgers played only two outfielders.
With the Sox opening the season in Tokyo, what better time to tip our cap to the Father of Japanese baseball?
Sparkletack, the San Francisco history podcast, recalls Bay Area icon Lefty O'Doul:
You’ve seen the green and white signs in front of the “Lefty O’Doul Restaurant and Piano Bar” down on Geary Street, but who is Lefty O’Doul? Just another phony Irish name invented to sell beer?
Absolutely not! The silhouette of that left-handed slugger on the sign is a clue. Lefty O’Doul was a baseball player, and despite the fact that other boys from San Francisco went on to enjoy a brighter national spotlight, Lefty was our boy — our very own real hometown baseball hero. We cheered his ups and downs back east, watched from afar as he palled around with Babe Ruth, and when he came back from the big leagues to manage the hometown San Francisco Seals he was the most popular man in town.
That in itself would make a pretty good story, but it’s the international angle that will really surprise you. You see, "Lefty” and “the Man in the Green Suit” were only two of the nicknames O’Doul answered to in his checkered career. The most interesting one is this one: “the Father of Japanese Baseball”. It turns out that the Irish kid from Butchertown was as much a citizen of the Pacific Rim as of the baseball world — and he’s now enshrined in Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
His tombstone down in Colma reads “He was here at a good time, and had a good time while he was here.”
The reporter discloses he wore his San Francisco Seals hat while researching the story.
You can get your own Seals cap from Ebbets Field Flannels.
* Princeton-educated Moe Berg's occupation as a backup catcher for the Red Sox in the 1930s provided cover for his other line of work -- as an intelligence agent:
In 1934, he was inexplicably named to a touring all-star team that visited Japan. While the other players were taking in the sights, Berg was secretly filming Japanese military installations for the United States. His later missions took him all over the world, most often using his incredible command of languages to pose as everything from graduate students to journalists to international businessmen. Among his contributions to U.S. intelligence was his careful tracking of the German’s progress toward nuclear bomb capabilities. Maybe not a hero on the baseball field, but certainly one off the field.
The Moe Berg biography "The Catcher Was A Spy" tells of a visit to a geisha house on that trip. Babe apparently thought that the women were prostitutes, and kept pawing under the very elaborate costume of one of the ladies. Moe saw that the woman was quite perturbed and knew that wasn't how a geisha should be treated, so he took the lady aside and gave her a quick English lesson. The next time Babe grabbed her, she smiled sweetly at him and said, "F U, Babe Ruth!" #
Why has Obama aligned himself so long with Rev Wright?
Former Bill Clinton advisor Dick Morris advances a credible explanation:
Wright's rantings are not reflective of Obama's views on anything. Why did he stay in the church? Because he's a black Chicago politician who comes from a mixed marriage and went to Columbia and Harvard. Suspected of not being black enough or sufficiently tied to the minority community, he needed the networking opportunities Wright afforded him in his church to get elected. If he had not risen to the top of Chicago black politics, we would never have heard of him. But obviously, he can't say that. So what should he say?
He needs to get out of this mess with subtlety, the kind Bill Clinton should have used to escape the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- but didn't. As the controversy continues, Americans will gradually realize that Obama stuck by Wright as part of a need to get ahead. They will chalk up to pragmatism why he was so close to such a preacher. #
Obama is no longer a post-racial candidate. In his speech...he has embraced the politics of grievance. He says that the Rev. Wright has “elevated what is wrong” with America — elevated?
I stopped listening when the senator started talking about immigrant Americans and it was clear that he was going to extend the roster of victims to include everybody. There is no excuse for Wright and his ugly sermons. Obama could have said he loved the man, but he’s wrong in his hatred of America. But that is not what Obama said.
Obama preaches unity. Well, real unity requires real truth-telling and the ability to tell right from wrong, and Wright from right.
I, for one, have no interest in being united with Wright or anyone who insists that America is an evil, racist, damnable nation bent on murdering black people — and I suspect neither will many general election voters.
Obama's power base is made up of black voters and the upscale left-wingers who condescend to them. Well, it is time he spoke truth to that power. If the eloquent, self-proclaimed truth-teller and would-be first black president can't manage that, he should go straight from would-be to never was.
On March 7 in the year 203, Ss. Perpetua and Felicitas and companions, Christians, were put to death in the arena at Carthage for their faith.
More than 1,800 years later, their names live on in the Eucharistic prayer at Mass.
Here is an excerpt from "Lives of Saints," published by John J. Crawley & Co. (1954):
On the day of their martyrdom they set forth from the prison. Behind the men walked the young noblewoman Perpetua, "abashing the gaze of all with the high spirit in her eyes," and beside her the slave Felicitas...
To each one God granted the form of martyrdom he desired. Saturus had hoped to be exposed to several sorts of beasts, that his sufferings might be intensified. He and Revocatus were first attacked half-heartedly by a leopard. Saturus was next exposed to a wild boar which turned on his keeper instead. He was then tied up on the bridge in front of a bear, but the animal refused to stir out of his den, and Saturus was reserved for one more encounter. The delay gave him an opportunity to turn and speak to the converted jailer Pudens: "You see that what I desired and foretold has come to pass. Not a beast has touched me! So believe steadfastly in Christ. And see now, I go forth yonder and with one bite from a leopard all will be over." As he had foretold, a leopard was now let out, sprang upon him, and in a moment he was fatally wounded. Seeing the flow of blood, the cruel mob cried out, "He is well baptized now!"...
Perpetua and Felicitas were exposed to a mad heifer. Perpetua was tossed first and fell on her back, but raised herself and gathered her torn tunic modestly about her; then, after fastening up her hair, lest she look as if she were in mourning, she rose and went to help Felicitas, who had been badly hurt by the animal. Side by side they stood, expecting another assault, but the sated audience cried out that it was enough. They were therefore led to the gate Sanevivaria, where victims who had not been killed in the arena were dispatched by gladiators. Here Perpetua seemed to arouse herself from an ecstasy and could not believe that she had already been exposed to a mad heifer until she saw the marks of her injuries. She then called out to her brother and to the catechumen: "Stand fast in the faith, and love one another. Do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to you." By this time the fickle populace was clamoring for the women to come back into the open. This they did willingly, and after giving each other the kiss of peace, they were killed by the gladiators. Perpetua had to guide the sword of the nervous executioner to her throat. The story of these martyrs has been given in detail for it is typical of so many others. No saints were more universally honored in all the early Church calendars and martyrologies. Their names appear not only in the Philocalian Calendar of Rome, but also in the Syriac Calendar. The names of Felicitas and Perpetua occur in the prayer "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass. In the fourth century their "Acts" were publicly read in the churches of Africa and were so highly esteemed that Augustine, bishop of Hippo, found it necessary to protest against their being placed on a level with the Scriptures.
News of this heroic witness spread rapidly through East and West Christendom. A basilica was raised over their tomb at Carthage. In Rome the names of the two valiant mothers, one free, one slave, were enshrined in the First Eucharistic Prayer like two flowers.
As the poet, Alfred Barrett, put it: "Perpetua, Felicitas/Pressed in the Canon of the Mass."
After the club's shootout win at Carolina on Feb. 19, [Glen] Murray introduced the Hard Hat - awarding a white construction lid to the hardest-working Bruin of the night.
Milan Lucic earned the headgear that night after a two-fight effort, and the Bruins have won every game since the cap went into circulation. The hard hat is a fitting symbol for this club, which has finally evoked memories of the Lunch Pail Gang of Bruins squads past with their work ethic and physical play.
"That's what the fans were talking about that we were missing last year - the old Big, Bad Bruins," said Bruins leading scorer Marc Savard. "We definitely have a slice of that this year."
Lucic might be the face of that transformation, as the young rookie already has a team-high 12 fights this season. That includes a marathon bout Thursday when he took on Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu despite having already suffered a broken nose twice this year.
"I think he's the strongest 19-year-old in the world," said Savard of Lucic.
This fight, for me, captures the Bruins' season thus far: They've had injuries, they're underestimated, everyone's watching the Celtics instead and they're just generally pissed off about their lot in life -- like the Harvey Pekar of hockey. And yet they're four away from Ottawa for the division lead, and three back of Montreal (with a game in hand) for the fifth seed. I like this team. And I love this Lucic; I watch a fight like that, and he's not Son of Sea Bass -- he's a Puck Lion. [Whatever that means -- MCNS]
“They were announcing the fight and I was walking in (to the locker room) and all of a sudden I heard the buzzer go off and it was almost shaking in here because they were cheering so loud,” said Lucic. “As a player you love to see that, especially the fans of Boston. You know they like that. They cheer hard. They're blue collar-type of fans. They love the guys that work hard and we want to see a crowd like that every game.”