Category Archives: Commentary

An Attempted Murder & Rape Inspired The Happy Song “Dancing In The Moonlight”

The Hit Song “Dancing In The Moonlight” Was Written After Musician Sherman Kelly Was Nearly Beaten To Death And His Girlfriend Was Raped

Sherman Kelly 1970 photo: Sherman Kelly

Sleeping peacefully on the beach at St. Croix in 1969, musician Sherman Kelly awoke to five men beating him with baseball bats.

After he blacked out, one of the men attacking Kelly raped his girlfriend Adrienne. The other four were preparing to take their turn at rape. Continue reading

Those Crazy Nineteenth Century Baseball Rules

As Ridiculous As The Ghost Runner Rule Was For The Past Two Years, 19th Century Baseball Had Some Strange Rules

For instance – a batter could be called out for deliberately fouling off pitches

MLB has been tinkering with the rules for the last few years, trying to improve the game. Seven inning double headers; ghost runners; pitching mound visit limits; and the relief pitcher, minimum three batter requirement are just a few of the gimmicks that have been implemented with many more changes under consideration such as; designated hitters in the National League; pitch clocks and moving the pitching rubber back twelve inches.

Thankfully the 2021 World Series does not have any ghost runners. That is the MLB rule enacted during the last two seasons in which a runner was placed on second base to begin extra innings in the hopes of shortening the length of extra inning games. Most fans hope the ghost runner will be abolished permanently in 2022.

In the 19th century baseball was constantly evolving and changing rules. While baseball’s basic rules have remained the same for the last 120 years, modern fans would be perplexed at many of the old rules. Before 1884 all pitchers had to throw underhand. The batter could request to the pitcher where he wanted the baseball thrown. Very few players wore baseball gloves – they were considered unmanly.

In the 1880s and 1890s the rule changes came fast and furious.

The following examples are from Jerry Lansche’s entertaining book Glory Fades Away The Nineteenth -Century World Series Rediscovered (Taylor Publishing Group) 1991.

1884- Pitchers were now allowed to throw overhand.

1884- An error was charged to the pitcher for a walk, balk, wild pitch or hit batsman and by the same logic an error in the catcher’s column for a passed ball.

1884- A foul ball caught on one hop was no longer an out. Continue reading

October 3, 2021 Regular Baseball Season Ends / October 3, 1953 World Series Game 4

Baseball’s Regular Season Is Too Long or The Post-Season Starts Too Late

An Easy Out
Jackie Robinson is an easy force out at second in first inning of fourth game of World Series at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York , Oct. 3. Yankee second baseman Billy Martin has thrown to first too late to make double play on Gil Hodges who started play on a grounder to third baseman Gil McDougald – 10/3/1953 credit Wide World Photos

On October 3, 1953 The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers played game four of the World Series.

On October 3, 2021 baseball’s regular season finally concluded. There will be 10 teams competing in the post-season.

It’s no longer as simple as the best team in each league squaring up against each other. Continue reading

Central Park Mall – Protect The American Elm

The Signs Are There For A Reason

The trees lining The Mall in Central Park are mature American Elms, over 100-years-old.

You don’t need to be a dendrophile to appreciate the American Elm. But, most people take for granted the canopy of trees that surround The Mall.

For the last 93 years the American Elm has been decimated by the spread of Dutch Elm Disease. Those who study plant pathology, phytopathologists, first identified the fungus which causes Dutch Elm Disease in 1921. Continue reading

Muhammad Ali’s Controversial Comments On Racial Diversity

Muhammad Ali Explains Why Races Should Not Mix

If you have been watching Ken Burns excellent documentary about Muhammad Ali on PBS, you can only wonder how Muhammad Ali’s views on everything would be taken today.  Ali was always unabashedly honest expressing his opinions. Ali said and did things that always created controversy. Continue reading

Never Before Seen Photos Of 9/11 & The World Trade Center Devastation

Never Before Seen Photographs Around The World Trade Center After The 9/11 Attacks

It was one week after the September 11 attacks. America and New York City was still in a state of disbelief. There was fear and grief. There was apprehension, And there were heroes. People who ventured into ground zero endangering their own lives for search and rescue. Continue reading

Fox, The Players & MLB Has Ruined The All-Star Game

A Once Exciting Annual Contest Has Become Pathetically Bad

Photo below: 1968 All-Star Game Hank Aaron Swipes 2nd Base In A Competitive Game
Photo George Honeycutt Houston Chronicle

National League’s Hank Aaron (44) steals second base in sixth inning. Rod Carew takes throw with umpire Mel Steiner on top of play in All-Star game. July 9, 1968 Photo :George Honeycutt Houston Chronicle

While reluctantly watching this year’s baseball All-Star Game there was a pre-game tribute to Hank Aaron who passed away January 22, 2021. This may have been the high point of the evening as the Fox broadcast and the game itself was lacking in any drama or competitiveness.

Where’s The Drama?

The All-Star Game has become a love-fest between the players and interleague play has ruined what was once a fierce rivalry between the American and National Leagues. In the 1950 All-Star Game in Chicago, Ted Williams fractured his left elbow making a leaping, off-the-wall catch on a Ralph Kiner smash in the 1st inning. Williams remained in the game, and put the American League ahead, 3 – 2, in the fifth inning with an RBI single. Ted Williams said he was never the same after fracturing his elbow. Williams, like many players went all out playing in the All-Star Game, which is an exhibition game with no meaning in the standings. The AL and NL teams used to badly want to beat the opposition in the annual showdown.

Not anymore. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising 1904 – These Companies Have Bitten The Dust

Part II – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904 – Companies That Are Extinct

Underwood began production of typewriters in 1895. Up until 1959 when they were acquired by Olivetti, Underwood sold millions of typewriters. They made their last typewriter in the 1980s.

As we continue our look at advertising from the October 1904 issue of The Century Magazine we turn our gaze to the ads of companies that are no longer in business. Some names will be familiar to you, many others will not. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising 1904 – These Companies Are Still Around 117 Years Later

Part I – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904

Companies That Have Survived

Whitman's chocolate ad 1904

Whitman’s chocolate as it was advertised in 1904. The company was started in Philadelphia in 1842 by Stephen Whitman. In 1877 he began to box chocolates. Russell Stover Candies is the current owner.

While browsing through The Century Magazine issue for October 1904 I couldn’t help but notice the advertisements.

While a great many of the firms are out of business, a surprising number are still around today. For part one we will look at the ads of the companies that are still here in 2021. They’ve survived different owners, mergers and changing public tastes. It’s interesting to see how these enduring products once portrayed themselves with strong images or many words or a combination of the two.

Let’s have a look.

We may not have servants drawing baths for us now, but you can still buy a bar of Pears’ Soap and give yourself a bath. Founded in 1807, the worldwide company is now run by Unilever. Continue reading

Visiting The Doors Lead Singer Jim Morrison & How He Died 50 Years Ago

The 50th Anniversary Of Jim Morrison Really Being Dead

or

People Are Paying Their Respects To A Coffin “Loaded With Sand”

The Truth About The Death Of Jim Morrison & A Visit To Mr. Mojo Risin’

Pére Lachaise Cemetery photo: Stuffnobodycaresabout.com

“Is there really a body in there?” is usually not one of the questions you ask yourself when visiting a grave. But this is no ordinary grave. Continue reading