Babe Ruth And Lou Gehrig Comedy Record -1927

A Commercial Recording Release By The Bambino and The Iron Horse

Gehrig and Ruth at League Park Cleveland 1927 photo L Van OeyenRecently I was reading an old New York Times column from October 7, 1956 by Gay Talese in which he wrote about the history of baseball records. Not home run or pitching records, but baseball related music and spoken word records.

In the article Talese mentions that one of the first record companies to release a baseball record was Pathe records in 1928 when they got Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig to make a recording explaining how they hit home runs. It did not sell very well. Almost all baseball related recordings have traditionally done poorly with sales, with the exception of Take Me Out To The Ballgame written in 1908 by Albert Von Tilzer and Jack Norworth. Incredibly neither Von Tilzer or Norworth had ever attended a baseball game prior to writing their hit song.

So I searched for the Ruth – Gehrig recording on youtube and couldn’t find the exact recording mentioned in the article, but came up with this version instead. (Click on the youtube video below). Apparently it is the exact same record as in the Talese article, but Talese is mistaken about  the content and the date.

It’s a comedy skit (which is not very funny) advertised Continue reading

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Minnie Minoso Remembered

Minnie Minoso – Speed, Power and Grace

White Sox outfielder Minnie Minoso scores on a short pop fly hit by Nellie Fox. Kansas City Athletics catcher Haywood Sullivan tries to apply the tag,  The White Sox won this first game of a doubleheader 5-3. (Sept 20, 1961) photo: UPI

White Sox outfielder Minnie Minoso scores on a short pop fly hit by Nellie Fox. Kansas City Athletics catcher Haywood Sullivan tries to apply the tag, The White Sox won this first game of a doubleheader 5-3. (Sept 20, 1961) photo: UPI

Months after the Chicago White Sox acquired Orestes “Minnie” Minoso in a three team trade from the Cleveland Indians in 1951, White Sox manager Paul Richards said, “Technically the deal helped everyone.

Minnie Minoso and Eddie Robinson examine Ted Williams bat

Minnie Minoso and Eddie Robinson examine Ted Williams bat

Actually we got the best of it. I wouldn’t trade Minoso for anyone in the league.”

Minnie Minoso and Castro 1958Minoso was a star in Cuba before coming over to the United States and he never forgot his Cuban roots.

Minoso was signed by Indians owner Bill Veeck after being alerted to his ability by Abe Saperstein, the Harlem Globetrotters impresario, who was always on the lookout for black baseball talent. Minoso had been with the Indians since 1949 but had only gotten into nine games in two years. By 1950 Veeck was out as Indians owner, forced to sell the team to fund his divorce. The new owners considered Minoso expendable. That decision possibly cost the Indians several pennants throughout the 1950’s.

In his rookie season in 1951 Minoso batted .326 and led the league in stolen bases with 31 and triples with 14. In his career Minoso batted over .300 in eight seasons and had one unusual statistic – he led the league in being hit by pitches ten times. Minoso ran the bases with abandon and fielded as gracefully as any player in baseball.

When he retired in 1964 Minnie Minoso’s career average was .298 and he had hit 186 home runs while driving in 1023 runs.

Bill Skowron, Minnie Minoso Nellie Fox and Mickey Mantle July 24 1957 photo: AP

Bill Skowron, Minnie Minoso Nellie Fox and Mickey Mantle July 24 1957 photo: AP

Minoso died Sunday, March 1, 2015 at a gas station in Chicago after suffering a tear in his pulmonary artery, at the age of either 90 or 92. There had always been some doubt to the Cuban star’s actual age.

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Street Signs New York City – 1962

What Happened To Those Old Street Signs?

old time street signs Nassau Pine St photo Look MagazineFrom the Look Magazine photo archive comes this photograph taken by Philip Harrington in 1962 showing the street signs at the intersection of Nassau and Pine Streets.

The humpback street signs which had served New York City for about 50 years were discontinued over the next few years and replaced by rectangular yellow signs with black letters. Those signs lasted until the early 1980’s when they were taken down.

The old elegant blue street signs with white serif lettering ended up being bought en masse by United House Wrecking in Stamford, CT  in the 1970’s Continue reading

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UFO In A 15th Century Painting?

A Flying Saucer Or Just A Radiant Cloud?

The Madonna with Saint GiovanninoThe Madonna with Saint Giovannino by Domenico Ghirlandaio 1449 – 1494, is on display in the Sala d’Ercole in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy.

The Madonna with Saint Giovannino ufoThere is nothing unusual about the painting until you look over the shoulder of the Madonna and in the right hand corner there is this object:

Now many people who have looked closely at this painting see nothing but a cloud. But there are others who claim that this is an object that is intended to represent some sort of flying object. At first glance it does appear to have some of the characteristics of a flying saucer.

The Madonna with Saint Giovannino ufo 2The shepherd and the dog are looking up at the object, so it is definitely meant to be there. But why would the artist paint a UFO in a religious setting? Does that even make any sense? Continue reading

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Old New York In Photos #47

Before The Flatiron Building

The Intersection of 23rd Street Where 5th Avenue and Broadway Meet – 1900

23rd Street 5th Avenue Broadway site of Flatiron Building circa 1900This view of 23rd Street at the intersection of Fifth Ave and Broadway was taken around 1900. The ornate street lamp and multitude of signs and advertising make this a great street level photograph. There is also something very interesting that I have rarely seen in any late 19th century photo of New York and that is another photographer taking a picture at the same time that this one was taken. He is directly to the left of the street lamp and the tripod is clearly visible while his head is under the covers to line up his shot.

From the approximate direction his camera is pointing, it looks like he is shooting straight up Broadway toward the Worth monument. I’d like to imagine that behind the camera is Joseph or Percy Byron of the famous New York Byron Company.

The famous Fuller Building, better known as the Flatiron went up in 1902 Continue reading

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Hockey Without Helmets

Chicago Black Hawks Playing Hard Against The Boston Bruins – 1958

Chicago Black Hawks play Boston Bruins 1958The date is February 23, 1958 and the Boston Bruins are on the road against the Chicago Black Hawks. (After the 1985 – 86 season the Black Hawks shortened their name to one word.)

The Black Hawks Glen Skov (14) is sprawled out on the ice and continues to play the puck as Bruins winger Larry Regan sees an opportunity ahead if he does not lose his balance. Lorne Ferguson of the Black Hawks is in pursuit of Regan.

The Bruins would win this game 2-0.

A couple of things to note to the modern hockey fan besides the fact that the players did not wear helmets: Continue reading

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Remembering AC/DC’s Bon Scott

It Was 35 Years Today That The Greatest Front-man in Rock History Died

Bon Scott 1979 I clearly remember when Bon Scott of AC/DC died. I heard it on the radio on a dreary February day in 1980. To me he was just a good singer in a band where all the members were very short.

It was sad, but honestly I didn’t think too much about it at the time having heard only some of AC/DC’s songs such as Let There be Rock, Highway To Hell and Touch Too Much. I was more into The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, E.L.O., Judas Priest, Van Halen, The Cars, Elvis Costello and The Clash and many other mainstream bands. But his death sparked an interest in discovering what Bon Scott and AC/DC was about.

Over the next year I would come to love AC/DC especially with the American release of Dirty Deeds in 1981, five years after it was released everywhere else. After that, I went out and bought all of the old AC/DC albums. To say I liked the Bon Scott version of AC/DC would be an understatement.

As the years have passed and I get older, I get more and more depressed that Bon Scott left us at age 33. It is hard to fathom he has been gone 35 years.

While not diminishing the passing of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison and countless other rock icons, Bon’s death along with John Lennon’s and John Bonham’s (all coincidentally in 1980) are among the greatest losses to rock music ever.

What Bon Scott would have gone on to do can only be left to conjecture, but I would venture to say he would have built upon the previous successes the band had finally achieved. My friends who had seen AC/DC live said Bon’s charismatic stage presence was palpable in person and it came through on film and video as well. With his unique voice and take no prisoners attitude when performing, the audience felt an authentic connection to Bon Scott.

In the six years Bon Scott was the lead singer for AC/DC he recorded six studio albums. It says a lot that from those six albums are where AC/DC have continually pulled half of their live set from.

Brian Johnson who replaced Bon as AC/DC’s lead singer Continue reading

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New Hampshire, A Frozen Lake, A Young Babe Ruth and His First Wife

Babe Ruth At Lake Winnipesaukee, NH - 1916

Babe Ruth and wife Helen Lake Winnipesaukee NH 1916 Hunt auctionsIn this rare photograph the dapper and relatively slender Babe Ruth stands on frozen Lake Winnipesaukee in his Red Sox warm-up jacket. With Babe is his first wife Helen Woodford who was just 16 when they married in 1914. While the Babe may not look very happy at least he does not look too cold.

Babe’s marriage never interfered in his womanizing. His appetite for women was Continue reading

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How To Behave And Act Like A Lady – 1847

35 Rules To Be Followed, Etiquette For Ladies – 1847

Book Etiquette For LadiesHow were women supposed to conduct themselves in the middle of the 19th century?

Well for starters; No kissing other women in the presence of men you don’t know; never sing two songs consecutively; if newly married do not display conspicuous public affection; avoid the “horse laugh”; and if you break something at someone else’s house, ignore that you have done it.

Those are some of the suggestions for proper ladies that were laid out 168 years ago by an anonymous woman author.

They are all from the book “True Politeness, A Hand-Book of Etiquette For Ladies” by an American Lady published in 1847 by Leavitt & Allen.

This fascinating book covers everything a proper lady should know when it comes to etiquette, behavior and fashion. Some of the chapters include; Introductions; Recognitions and Salutations; Conversation-Tattling; The Dinner Table; Courtship and Marriage and a dozen other subjects.

How much has life changed in just a century and a half? Read on and discover 35 of these somewhat practical, but many archaic, rules and suggestions to make the present day reader scratch your head and wonder, did women really act like this?

1. It is, in general, bad taste for ladies to kiss each other in the presence of gentlemen, with whom they are but slightly acquainted.

2. If on paying a morning visit you meet strangers at the house of your friend and are introduced, it is a mere matter of form, and does not entitle you to future recognition by such persons.

3. The plainest dress is always the most genteel, and a lady that dresses plainly will never be dressed unfashionably. Next to plainness, in every well-dressed lady, is neatness of dress and taste in the selection of colors.

4. Never wear mosaic gold or paste diamonds; they are representatives of a mean ambition to appear what you are not, and most likely what you ought not to wish to be.

5. Perfumes are a necessary appendage to the toilet; let them be delicate, not powerful ; the Atta of roses is the most elegant ; the Heduesmia is at once fragrant and delicate. Many others may be named; but none must be patronized which are so obtrusive as to give the idea that they are not indulged in as a luxury but used from necessity.

6. Keep your finger-nails scrupulously clean, and avoid the disagreeable habit of allowing them to grow to an unnatural length.

7. It is better to say too little than too much in company: let your conversation be consistent with your sex and age.

8. Avoid pedantry and dogmatism. Be not obtrusively positive in the assertion of your opinions — modesty of speech, as well as manner, is highly ornamental in a woman.

9. Double entendre is detestable in a woman, especially when perpetrated in the presence of men; no man of taste can respect a woman who is guilty of it: though it may create a laugh, it will inevitably excite also disgust in the minds of all whose good opinions are worth acquiring. Therefore not only avoid all indelicate expressions, but appear not to understand any that may be uttered in your presence.

10. Rather be silent than talk nonsense, unless you have that agreeable art, possessed by some women, of investing little nothings with an air of grace and interest; this most enviable art is indeed very desirable in a hostess, as it often fills up disagreeable pauses, and serves as a prelude for the introduction of more intellectual matter. Continue reading

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Classic Hollywood #39

Basil Rathbone and Angela Lansbury – 1954

Basil Rathbone Angela Lansbury Paramount Commisary 1954 Court Jester photo EisenstadtThis very appealing photograph was taken in 1954 and shows Basil Rathbone and Angela Lansbury eating lunch at the Paramount studio commissary.

Rathbone and Lansbury are  in costume for the filming of The Court Jester (1955) which they starred in along with Danny Kaye.

Rathbone looks less than enthused with his meal and Lansbury has taken a couple of bites of her hamburger and has decided to fix her hair, possibly sensing that Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstadt is about to snap this candid photo of the pair.

Lansbury appears Continue reading

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