"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
You'd think the National Game would find a place in its shrine for one of its most gracious ambassadors.
Not to take anything away from the late Effa Manley or the late Cumberland Posey of the unfortunate nickname or the rest of the 17 historic Negro League and pre-Negro League inductees, but would it have killed the voting board to recognize the man who is the face of the Negro Leagues and who, at 94, is still here to appreciate the honor?
If you watched the Ken Burns series "Baseball'' on PBS, you saw and heard Buck O'Neil. If you've watched anything having to do with the Negro Leagues in the last three decades, you've seen Buck O'Neil. If you've heard the exploits of most of the legendary Negro Leaguers, from Ted "Double Duty" Ratcliffe to Cool Papa Bell, chances are it was O'Neil doing the talking.
It was Buck O'Neil who was managing Satchel Paige with the Kansas City Monarchs when Paige was finally called up to the major leagues. It was Buck O'Neil who worked tirelessly to get a Negro Leagues Museum up and running in Kansas City. It was Buck O'Neil who argued for the inclusion of more Negro Leaguers in the Hall of Fame as a member of the Veterans' Committee for the last several years.
My God, what more does Buck O'Neil have to do to warrant inclusion?
Black & white, and red all over:Sheila O'Malley posts a fine tribute to Gary Cooper and then follows up with one to Buster Keaton. And a search at her site reveals her to be an even greater James Cagney fan than I. Whaddya hear, whaddya say?
It was 1945, and rookie pitcher Dave "Boo" Ferriss was mowing down American League hitters for the otherwise hapless Boston Red Sox, when the writer's father, "quite possibly the most rabid Red Sox fan on earth," fastened on an unlikely idea:
That summer he got the wildly implausible notion that if he invited Ferriss to dinner, Ferriss would come. The hook: My dad's birthday was approaching, and he wanted, more than anything else in the world, to celebrate it with the Mississippi right-hander. To my grandparents' slack-jawed amazement, Ferriss, who was getting so much fan mail that the Red Sox had assigned someone to help him manage it, said yes. He arranged tickets for a day game for my father and grandmother. After the game, the three of them went out to dinner at the Red Coach Grill in Boston. When my grandmother commented on his kindness, Ferriss replied, in an accent thicker than buttermilk pie: "It don't cost nothin' to be nice, ma'am."
Alan Dershowitz sees the purge of Larry Summers as a dubious victory for the politically correct:
Now that this plurality of one faculty has succeeded in ousting the president, the most radical elements of Harvard will be emboldened to seek to mold all of Harvard in its image. If they succeed, Harvard will become a less diverse and less interesting institution of learning governed by political-correctness cops of the hard left. This is what happened in many European universities after the violent student protests of the late 1960s. It should not be allowed to happen at Harvard in the wake of the coup d'etat engineered by some in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Stanley Kurtz writes of the politics behind Summers' exit, and posts his own recollection of the World's Greatest University:
I want to emphasize that the level of politically correct intellectual tyranny I encountered at Harvard easily matched, and arguably exceeded, the worst that any other university could offer, even the vaunted University of California at Berkeley. Ah, fair Harvard. You evoke such piquant recollections of intellectual bigotries past.
The lesson Kurtz sees in the Summers fiasco: Appeasing tyrants is a bad idea. #
Happy Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
In observance of which reader Tony C sends the photo above.
At about 1:22 of this NPR report you can hear his call of Ted Williams' last home run.
Cut and paste to hear the Gansett jingle: http://www.blohards.com/gansett.mp3
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Funny thing is, when news came of Curt Gowdy's passing, I'd been composing an ode to Narragansett. New England's beer has been re-launched.
People are drinking it for one simple reason:
"It doesn't suck anymore."
So said a patron who turned out for a recent launch party at Bovi's Tavern in East Providence. He raised a pilsner glass filled with the American lager and toasted a small group of working-class fellas who turned their backs on Budweiser to embrace the local brew once again.
Our beer is back, they said.
I'm quaffing some now, and it's pretty good – a beach beer, a mowing-the-lawn-while-listening-to-the-Sox beer.
That was the idea of the former Nantucket Nectars exec from Providence who bought the rights to the brand, with the idea of restoring the beer to its place in the New England cosmos.
At a time when so many New England institutions have been swallowed by outside conglomerates (John Hancock, Gillette, the Boston Globe, the Bank of Boston), moved out of town (the Atlantic Monthly) or merged out of existence (Filene's, Jordan Marsh), it good to see one New England institution being renewed. Cheers, Gansett.
What I like is the story Carl Sandburg Tells from the 1870s about Leo Tolstoy On a wild night somewhere high up in The Caucasus Mountains, by a crackling campfire, Spellbinding an audience of local herdsmen, Holding them captive with his words, Unwinding Lincoln's unlikely life, touching Them deeply enough so that his portrait From somewhere had to be found so they Could take and hold and remember a few Threads of his legacy in their windswept And foreign land half a world away.
Four Places I’d Like To Be Right Now (All of Them Warm) In the bleachers at a spring-training park in Florida; Gearing up for the Irish Festival and St. Pat's Day in Savannah, Ga.; Hunting for Mayan temples and jaguars in Belize; Exploring the Jesuit missions of La Gran Chiquitania
Readers who are so inclined: Consider yourselves tagged.
His feast day isn't until April 18, but now seems an appropriate time to recall the Spanish martyr:
Memorial 18 April
Profile Priest. Accosted on the street one day by Moors who asked his opinion of Jesus and Mohammed, promising no harm to him no matter the answer. Perfecto explained Jesus was the Son of God and our Savior, while Mohammed was a false prophet. When his questioners felt that enough time had passed that their promise has dissipated, they had Perfecto arrested, tried, and executed by a Muslim court for blasphemy. Martyr.
Brandon McCarthy who has always been considered somewhat messy had a dream one night that he was locked inside some courthouses being chased by a giant pretzel and when he woke up he found he had a case of vertigo which will keep him out five weeks and the White Sox think they will get by if Brian Anderson a favorite of Ozzie Guillen steps up
Is a secret exorcism library hidden in a Holy Cross clock tower? Holy Cross Magazine examines this and other campus legends, including the Poe-like tale of a cantankerous Jesuit walled up by his own students.
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Listen here to audio of GK Chesterton on a visit to Holy Cross. His comment wouldn't pass PC muster today:
STUDENT - Mr. Chesterton, since you are one of the foremost crusaders in the modern world of letters, we wish to adopt you into the humble ranks of the Holy Cross Crusaders.
GKC-I have to thank you for this very great honour and I do so with all my heart. I can only say that I am not much of a crusader but at least I am not a Mohammedan…