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Georges Simenon

Baseball finally, the massive output of Georges Simenon, and the need for some creative thinking: newsletter, July 24, 2020

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, July 24, 2020.   A memory rattled through my brain this week of a newspaper column I read many years ago. It was in the 1960s, and the column was by Russell Baker in the New York Times (I’m pretty sure), and […]

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Damon Runyon: from baseball to Broadway

The Guardian has an interesting series in which their writers fill in the blank to  “I wish more people would read . . . ” Sam Leith’s blank-filler is Damon Runyan, and he could not have made a better choice. Runyan was a New York City newspaperman in the first decades of the 20th century […]

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Presidential candidates who stayed put and the one who didn’t, Smokey Robinson, and the no-tears absence of baseball: newsletter, May 15, 2020

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,579) on Friday, May 15, 2020.     One of the bright spots we had going for us this spring — among so many spots that were not quite so bright — is the garden, which with plenty of rain and somewhat cooler temperatures had […]

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Doug Glanville on baseball’s ‘existential crisis’ 

Baseball’s cheating scandal, which I mentioned in the newsletter a couple of weeks ago, seems to have come and gone in the relative blink of an eye. A couple of days of headlines, perpetrators punished, a few days of comment and commentary, and we’re done. Let’s move on. But some of us want to shout, […]

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The father of modern horror literature, grammar rules to live without, and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, January 17, 2020

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,6xx) on Friday, January 17, 2020.   {% if subscriber.first_name != blank %} Hello {{ subscriber.first_name }}, {% else %} Hello, {% endif %} News from Major League Baseball in January is never plentiful, and what there was this week was not good: two team managers were fired […]

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Edmund Morris and a subject not worthy of the time and effort

A journalist or historian needs something to write about — a subject worthy of the time and effort it takes to gather the information and put it into a suitable form. Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Sometimes, of course, stories just don’t pan out. If you’re working in daily journalism, a story like that is […]

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Edmund Morris and Richard Ben Cramer and unworthy subjects, a police procedural podcast, and reactions to the World Series: newsletter, Nov. 8, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,666) on Friday, November 8, 2019.    Baseball is a game you can share with others. That was the message I got from a large number of emails sent after the special report on my trip to the World Series in the last newsletter. Those emails […]

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Special report: World Series 2019; new information on Edith Cavell: newsletter, Nov. 1, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,666) on Friday, November 1, 2019. One of my life-long dreams was fulfilled last weekend when I had the opportunity to attend a World Series game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. I have written a long report on it for this newsletter, divided it […]

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RubeMarquard 1

More on Nancy Drew, Charles Finch on writing a mystery, and Tunnel 29: newsletter, October 25, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,653) on Friday, October 25, 2019.   We got rain again this weekend, and we got more on Monday night. After a two- to three-month stretch with almost no rain at all, the world is beginning to feel good again in East Tennessee. In the […]

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CaseattheBat 1

Casey at the Bat, the poem and the video

The most famous baseball poem in history is Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Its subtitle is “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888.” The poem was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle and tells the story of one game of the baseball team of Mudville and its mighty hitting star Casey. […]

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Ring Lardner: when baseball no longer seemed like baseball

The story is that Ring Lardner was finished with baseball after news of the 1919 Black Sox scandal came out. Lardner had spent much of his journalism career covering baseball, first for the South Bend Times in 1905 and eventually for the Chicago Tribune in 1913. He knew the Chicago White Sox well. He had […]

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Shadows of Summer - 2

Dan and Jim: A baseball dialogue

My good friend Dan, proof-reader extraordinaire, and I had this email exchange a couple of weeks ago: DAN: Hi Jim, So, what do you think of the Angels Shohei Ohtani? He is 2-0 as a pitcher in two starts and hitting .346 as a DH. He wants to pitch and hit more as he did in Japan […]

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Shadows of Summer - 1

Shadows of Summer – four line and wash drawings

  These drawings come from a watercolor class that I am taking at the local community college (Pellissippi State) this semester. They were executed in about an hour and a half. The main point of these drawings was for me to learn something about “hot press” paper. In watercolor there are three kinds of paper: […]

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MLB-Facebook combo presents first full-length game this week

s Facebook going to be the new sports channel for cord-cutters? Probably not, but it does raise some interesting factors and possibilities.

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Opening Day Slide

Opening Day 2018: Casey at the Bat

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;/ . It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;/ . It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,/ For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

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Casey Stengel

Revelations by scholastic journalists come by just ‘looking it up’

“You can look it up.” If you remember anything about baseball in the 1950s (and fewer and fewer of us do), you would remember Casey Stengel’s famous conclusion to almost all of his long soliloquies to surrounding newsmen. Stengel was the manager of the New York Yankees, and his teams won pennant after pennant in […]

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NYT article demonstrated the power of radio – and a radio station

KMOX-AM in St. Louis has been broadcasting the St. Louis Cardinals baseball games (with a short interruption a few years ago) since 1926. The station is a powerful one — 50,000 watts — and spreads itself throughout the country when night falls and AM stations have their maximum reach. That fact has, over the years, […]

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Headlines and titles: the ‘invention’ conceit

In our modern Scots-invented world of bloviation, headlines and titles can’t stand the heat of a literalist’s kitchen. Note: This is a post that appeared on a previous blog in May, 2008. Being a literalist when it comes to words and their usage (though not without a sense of humor, I hope), I tend to […]

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World Series begins tonight

The World Series begins tonight. Let’s hope for the best. The World Series: two vaunted teams with rich baseball histories, a couple of well-known and wiley managers, big stars on both sides set to make each inning a drama-filled delight, a bit of controversy or personal animus thrown in just to spice things up. Well, […]

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A century too soon for Cubs fans

rating: 4 of 5 stars Now that fans of the Chicago Cubs have been put out of their impending misery (you didn’t really think the Cubs were going to the Series, did you?), they can retire for the winter with this book and wish they had been born about 100 years earlier. When the Cubs […]

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