Fifty years ago, on September 8, 1963, the Baltimore Orioles held a Fan Camera Day promotion. Prior to the game, fans were allowed to come down to the infield railing. Players would come out, like horses passing in a paddock, and fans would be allowed to take photos. My Dad, not really a camera buff, nonetheless jumped at the chance, and here are the results. Above, John `Boog” Powell, the team’s young slugging star. Below: Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio, right in his prime, and Robin Roberts, getting by on guile. Powell, supposedly so big, would seem small next to Big Papi and other sluggers. (How did Dad miss Brooks Robinson, the team’s star?)
Above, reliable relive Dick Hall, who once retired 27 batters without yielding a hit, prompting one sportswriter to campaign for crediting Hall with a no-hitter; and hard-charging outfielder Russ Snyder, both of whom made big contributions to the 1966 team that won the World Series; below, utility iielder Bob Saverine, who once set a league record by making 12 outs in a doubleheader; and outfielder Sam Bowens, or Fred Valentine, or most likely Al Smith, because his nickname was–no kidding–“Fuzzy.”
Below, manager Billy Hitchcock, who guided the team to an 86-76 record, good enough for fourth place in the American League 18.5 games behind the Yankees. Hitchcock was replaced by Hank Bauer, who eventually led the O’s to a World Championship in 1966. At right, some linguine-armed right-hander whose name has been lost to history.
Vicki rousted a flock of turkeys at the Edith Macy Center this morning, showing those gobblers who is still the boss. Considerably blinder and deafer and stiffer and smellier, Vicki soldiers on. We are happy she prevails.
Cara took us to a very stylish Mexican restaurant called Coba, which had a jellyfish tank, and where I proved incapable of ordering a fish taco.
We really enjoyed visiting the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. I was impressed how the center handled all aspects of Ali’s career–boxer, activist, humanitarian–in a straightforward, warts-and-all manner. You hear him calling white people `devils’; you also hear him say that a 60 year old man who thinks the same things that he did when he was thirty has wasted thirty years. I also liked how they presented many fights by projecting them onto the mat of a full-size boxing ring (above). Later, after lunch, we drove to Bardstown and toured the Jim Beam distillery. The 90 minute tour was about 30 minutes too long, but at least I now know a little bit about why bourbon is bourbon and not whiskey or mash.
Well, it was a cave, and it was mammoth. We took the short tour, and we were sated. Lots like this. The Park Ranger who guided the tour was very good. Later we visited Lincoln’s birthplace at Sinking Springs, most memorable for a majestic temple which contains a replica of the humble log cabin where Lincoln was born. Apparently, they have a humble cabin where some other bloke was born. Weird.
West Virginia, astonishingly vertical, rises like a wall nearly everywhere but right in front of you. The highways cut like ribbons through the hills, while below grade, little communities huddle in the hollers. We got off the highway and followed a thin road to Matewan (that’s MATE-wan), a coal and railroad town. Now kind of run down, it has a dramatic hertage of violence and tragedy: as the regional headquarters of Devil Anse Hatfield, of the Hatfied-McCoy feud (He does kind of resemble Kevin Costner!); as the site of labor conflicts in the 1920s, where cold-blooded shootings left unionists and goons dead in the street (I need to watch again the John Sayles movie); and after repeated floodings of the benign-seeming Tug River, which flowed quietly during our visit, indolently separating us from Kentucky. The modest museum was highly informative. After lunch, we drove on, pausing at the site of the Battle of Middle River, KY, a January 1862 scrap in which the young James Garfield first distinguished himself, and put himself on the pathto the presidency. Not really much of a battle; 15 dead on both sides combined, which is about what you get at your average Bronx social club on a hot night Saturday night in August, but it helped keep Kentucky in the union. We spent the night a nice bed and breakfast in Glasgow, KY, where Abraham Lincoln once slept or had tea or something.
View from our hotel balcony.