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Found 9 results

  1. Oh my, Yogi Berra, an all-time great catcher in the big leagues, and an all-American icon for his many quotes and advertisements that featured him. Seeing comments here referencing that .... really depressed me. Yogi is an iconic American sports star, a beloved character, and what hit hardest on a personal level, was that Yogi has lived most of his life since he got to the Yankees in a Northern NJ town, near where I grew up. There was a fair bit of news about Yogi in my neck of the woods, and all of it was positive and beloved. Yogi's achievements in baseball are legendary and formidable. He ranks with the best of the best. The Yog played in 14 World Series and was on the winning side 10 times!!! That could be a personal record that might not be beat. Yogi was part of Yankee dynasties that helped him get there, but his presence on those teams helped the Yankees win so often. Here are some astonishing nuggets: He led the Yankees in RBI's 7 years in a row through 1955. Those were teams with Joe Dimaggio and Mickey Mantle, He was league MVP 3 times, and received MVP votes 14 years in a row, tied for 2nd behind all time leader Hank Aaron. He was a great player and had tremendous longevity. Yogi caught the famous perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He was a great contact hitter, and a notorious bad ball hitter all the same, being able to connect at pitches above his head, and being capable of golfing a ball thrown at his feet. When you review the reams of detailed statistics about his career there is a column of detail about his annual baseball salary each year. Yogi maxed out at $65,000/year in his playing career. Today the highest paid catchers make around $12-17/million/year, which comes to more per game than he earned in his highest salaried year. Not withstanding the way sports salaries have escalated I doubt baseball's best catchers today could hold Yogi's jock. He was excellent at both offense and defense. He is amazingly beloved in the NY region and among Yankee fans. Growing up his sons were noted athletes, two of whom made it into professional baseball and the NFL. One of my closest friends played on a noted regional Legion baseball team against one of Yogi's sons. As a kid that is simply thrilling. For such a lifelong humble guy he has that "Brooks Robinson" combination of baseball stardom and entirely admirable personal qualities. I truly hope he sticks around for quite a few more years. Here's to you, Yogi. "It ain't over till its over!!"
  2. ESPN SportsCentury Documentary on Stan "The Man" Musial - the legendary hitter from "way out west" in St. Louis - perennially underrated due to his distal locale, but beloved by connoisseurs of the game as one of the all-time greats. Stan Musial: superstar, role model. In case anyone notices the discrepancy between the duration of Musial's Career (22 years) and that he's a 24-time All-Star, it's because from 1959-1962, MLB played two All-Star Games a year. "Stan Musial is geographically challenged - had he played his career in New York, we would have called him Lou Gehrig." -- John Thorn
  3. Baseball Bugs! This is the episode where Bugs turns to the camera and says, "Watch me paste this pathetic palooka with a powerful, paralyzing, poifect, pachydoimous, percussion pitch." Full cartoon, streaming on dailymotion.com Take note of Carl W. Stalling's screamer (*) right after the opening theme is finished (it starts just after the 0:15 mark, and lasts only 12 seconds). This man wrote one complete score every week for twenty-two years! That is Thomas Kinkade-like in its consistency and longevity. Stalling should be better-known than he currently is. The great thing about frame-by-frame animation (well, other than providing awesome quality), is that you can pick up some funny things, such as the fans throwing bottles of alcohol into the air along with their hats: "There goes a screaming liner into left field!" I *love* that they used a gentleman of color as the announcer - Jackie Robinson would not debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers until the following year (1947). Was this a subtle middle finger to racism and discrimination? This is so funny - as the Gas-House Gorillas are running up the score (the "score board" in the 4th inning shows the score is 96-0, and the opposing pitcher is 93 1/2 years old), with one batter after another hitting homer-after-homer, they form a conga line to march around the bases: Food related: Ads for "Manza Champagne" and "Lausbub's Bread." The billboard that says "Ross Co. Finer Footwear For The Brats" is named for animator Virgil Ross (I got that tidbit from Wikipedia): This is just an unbelievable coincidence: The billboard in left field says "Filboid Studge," and "Philboyd Studge" (do a search on it inside that link) was the narrator's nickname in "Breakfast of Champions" which I only recently finished. In a lottery-like coincidence, I've apparently randomly stumbled across the only two modern references to the name in pop-culture history. Its origin is very obscure - it was in a story by writer Hector Hugh Munro aka "Saki." Maybe coincidences like this happen all the time, and nobody ever notices because they aren't paying attention? Or maybe this is just plain weird. When Bugs tags the runner in the gut at home plate, four little angels - images of the runner himself - appear over his head, doing a little "baseball dance." It's ingenious details like these that make Bugs Bunny cartoons something more than just special: Paying close attention during observation can reap great benefits, and I found a blatant mistake in the cartoon that I don't believe has ever been found before: As we're preparing for the finale at the 5:19 mark, the announcer announces the score: "Bugs Bunny 96, the Gas-House Gorillas 95": But if you go back to 1:36 in the cartoon, the Gorillas scored a 96th run which briefly flashed up on the scoreboard: My contributions to mankind are now complete. ETA: Fuck a dog. Why doesn't the person running moviemistakes.com get a damned life? Ha! Ha! Ha! During the climax, the Statue of Liberty chimes in, and it's none other than Bea Benaderet, using her "Little Red Riding Rabbit" voice. Did I really just spend an hour and a half analyzing a Bugs Bunny cartoon? (*) More importantly, keep your cod-damp (**) sole away from the gutter. (**) First recorded usage in English-language history. This is historically important. It is. Really.
  4. "Guitarist J. Geils Dead at 71" by Jon Blistein on rollingstone.com "Musician John Warren Geils, Jr., Founder of the J. Geils Band, Dies at Massachusetts Home at Age 71" on abcnews.go.com
  5. I decided to watch "Notorious," after reading that it is French director Francois Truffaut's favorite Hitchcock film. Truffaut calls Notorious the quintessential Hitchcock film in his wonderful book, Hitchcock, which I highly recommend for any fan of the master of suspense. Perhaps because of Truffaut's high praise I was expecting too much. I enjoyed the film, but I didn't love it. I am a huge Cary Grant fan, and Ingrid Bergman is a fine actress, so I thought I might agree with Truffaut's assessment that this film is the embodiment of the Hitchcock genre. Maybe my disappointment stemmed from watching a poor quality video on YouTube. There were many buffering issues that took away from my enjoyment of the film. There are some wonderful moments in the film, however. It is well-known for the two-and-a-half minute kiss. At the time, American film studios forbade kisses longer than three seconds. Hitchcock got around this rule by having his stars break away from their liplock for a few seconds, talk and walk a bit, while still embracing and nuzzling, and then resume smooching.
  6. I just watched "Crisis" (1946), a Swedish film directed by Bergman. It was his feature directing debut, and he also wrote the screenplay. I enjoyed the film, and I felt like the subject matter translated well to today. Maybe it is because I grew up in a small, sleepy town and desperately wanted to get out of it, but I related to the main character. The story, while not earthshaking, held my interest. After we watch the rest of his films, I would like to go back and compare them to this one and note his growth as a director. I am sure this film will pale in comparison to the others we watch. For a first effort by a man in this twenties, however, I think this film is solid. It is not great, but it is good and shows the promise of its young director.
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