Classic Hollywood #100 – Mickey Rooney Kissing Bette Davis

Rooney & Davis – Two Very Popular Movie Stars  – 1940

Mickey Rooney Bette Davis Ed Sullivan 1940Mickey Rooney and Bette Davis are two names you would not link romantically. Then maybe Mickey is kissing Bette for a movie? Continue reading

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Rooting Against Tom Seaver

If You Rooted For The Yankees, Could You Root For Tom Seaver?

Tom Seaver pitching two-hitter in the seventh inning as he makes a bid for his 15th win of the year. August 7, 1975 photo: Paul DeMaria (Seaver wound up with a 3 hit complete game 7-0 shutout over the Expos)

Hall of Famer and baseball great Tom Seaver died Monday, August 31 at age 75 and a piece of my childhood died along with him. The accolades, recollections and recounting of stats will continue to flow for the next few weeks.

But not everyone who saw Seaver play rooted for this consummate pro. Especially kids like me.

Being a Yankees fan in the late 1960s and early 1970s was not fun. A New Yorker has to choose teams. A real New York fan can’t root for both the Rangers and Islanders or the Jets and the Giants. You certainly cannot be a fan of both the Yankees and the Mets. So you make choices.

As a New York baseball obsessed kid who collected trading cards, I examined both teams carefully. I chose to be a fan of the on-his-last-legs Mickey Mantle led Yankees. Bad choice. Mantle retired immediately upon my declaration of loyalty.

The 70s Yankees teams featured players like Jake Gibbs, Jerry Kenney, Mike Kekich, Steve Kline, and Horace Clarke.

Arguments on the summer camp bus about who was better, the Yankees or Mets ended with the words Tom Seaver.

Rooting for the Yankees meant rooting against Tom Seaver. Comparing Tom Seaver to any Yankee player was a futile exercise in partisanship.

“The Yankees have Mel Stottlemyre.”

“We’ve got Tom Seaver.” Continue reading

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A Funny Game Show Answer On The Newlywed Game

Newlywed Game Host Bob Eubanks Asks An Innocent Question And Gets An Honest Answer

Blonde Cathy Newlywed GameThe Newlywed Game is one of those shows that puts people in potentially embarrassing situations with great effect.

Asking questions to newly married couples can lead to… well let’s just say some interesting revelations.

In this one minute clip from the 1970s, host Bob Eubanks asks what should be a straightforward question and ends up with a few moments of hilarity. This is one funny game show answer. Bob Eubanks quick follow-up and the audience’s reaction is priceless.

The youtube title “Old Game Show Dumb Blonde!” is very unfair. Continue reading

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Really Bad 1970s Horror Movie Theatrical Trailers

The 1970s Saw The Release of The Exorcist, Carrie, The Omen and Halloween

It Also Had These Horror Movie Clunkers…

1970s audiences had the opportunity to see some of the all-time great horror classics when first released in theaters.

There were also imitators of horror. Low budget affairs plagiarizing a title or borrowing a plot. Many of them downright laughable, like Beyond The Darkness and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave.

A trailer is akin to a writer describing his vision for a film to a studio executive. The two minute trailer is supposed to convince an audience to see a movie. Picture some producer listening to a writer’s pitch and then signing a check to get a turkey made. And the 70s saw lots of ’em. For every Alien (1979) that was made, there were a dozen horror catastrophe’s like Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977).

Based on these trailers, who in their right mind would pay money to see any of these?

Maybe I am being too harsh. Continue reading

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Old New York In Photos #117 – Corner Cornelia & West 4th Street

Cornelia & West 4th Street Greenwich Village August 25, 1900

Cornelia St West 4th Street Aug 25 1900 photo Robert Bracklow

This portrait of a group of children in the heart of Greenwich Village was taken 100 years ago today.

Photographer Robert Bracklow frequently traversed the city taking pictures of city scenes.

Today nothing from Bracklow’s Cornelia Street photo remains except the street itself. This is what the intersection looks like in 2020 from West 4th Street looking south. Continue reading

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Roberto Clemente Almost Crushed By Mets Catcher Joe Pignatano

Roberto Clemente Involved In A Strange Play At Home

Roberto Clemente August 21 1962 photo AP

WHOOPS !

New York, August 21, 1962 – It’s just that Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates objects to being sat upon by catcher Joe Pignatano of the New York Mets after sliding into home plate with a run in the first game of a twin bill Tuesday. Pittsburgh won the first game 8-6 but lost the second 5-4. Photo: Associated Press

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Nolan Ryan Sets A Record Striking Out 383 Batters In A Year

Nolan Ryan Displays The Baseball From His 383rd Strikeout -1973

Nolan Ryan 383 strikeouts 1973

Nolan Ryan holds the baseball used to set a single season record of 383 strikeouts. September 27, 1973 AP wirephoto

Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer are amazing pitchers. In 2019 Cole struck out 326 hitters in 212.1 innings and Scherzer fanned 300 batters in 220.2 innings in 2018. Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw have also struck out more than 300 batters in the past five years.

You’d think in this age of batters striking out more frequently than Le Pétomane farting, a pitcher will one day break Nolan Ryan’s 1973 single season record of 383 strikeouts. But unless Chris Davis, Joey Gallo or Gary Sanchez is the opposition at every at bat, Ryan’s record is probably safe.

It comes down to the number of innings pitched. Modern managers and baseball analytics have pitchers rarely going through the batting order a third time. A “quality start” is one where the pitcher has completed six innings – a ridiculous two thirds of a game. That’s quality? Continue reading

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Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson’s Memories of Producer Martin Birch

How Martin Birch Helped Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson

Iron Maiden 1982 (l-r) Clive Burr, engineer Nigel Green, Dave Murray, Martin Birch, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Adrian Smith photo via The Walk of Fame

Martin Birch, the music producer who worked with more than a score of rock’s legendary groups died Sunday, August 9, 2020 at age 71. No cause of death was announced. He leaves behind his wife Vera and daughter Haley. Continue reading

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Classic Hollywood #99 – Orson Welles Performs Magic

Orson The Magnificent Performs For Servicemen During World War II

ORson Welles performs as Orson the Magnificent August 9 1943 photo APIt’s tough in Hollywood when everything you do is compared to your biggest success. And it makes it even tougher when your first movie is considered among the best movies ever made. Citizen Kane (1941) starring, produced, co-written and directed by Orson Welles remains Welles’ penultimate achievement. He was just 25-years-old. Continue reading

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Cut Scene From A Classic Movie – Double Indemnity 1944

Double Indemnity – The Pep-Up Speech That Never Was

aka: The “Benefits” Of Living & Working In Mid-Century America

The classic American film, Double Indemnity has a scene in which Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is meeting with his boss, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) in Neff’s office. Continue reading

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