Showing posts from February, 2010

Classic card of the week

Chicago White Sox, 1990 Upper Deck

Who doesn’t love baseball nostalgia? Ya’ know, besides everybody in this picture. I know I do! Baseball card, take us back to the good ol’ days:

The year was 1917.

A year I remember well.

The White Sox won a hundred games for the only time in their history as they routed the New York Giants, 4-2,


in the World Series.

Who can ever forget when the White Sox won the 1917 World Series?! It was a glorious time for baseball, a time when only white players could play, and two of the four teams in the league made it to the World Series, and drunkenness and general debauchery throughout the sport were not only accepted, but encouraged. But it was an even better time for the White Sox in particular, who were only two years away from a betting scandal that would cost them the 1919 World Series and earn their most famous player, Shoeless Joe Jackson, a lifetime ban from the sport. Good times! Coincidentally, one of the major players from that game-throwing sc…

The technological revolution hits home

Note: This column appears in the 2/25 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/26 issue of the Peoria Times

The evolution of our family –- namely of our parents –- as it relates to technology has been an adventure.

She’s going to kill me when she reads this, but the first time my mother-in-law used email, she sat at the keyboard, typed her message, and then walked away. Having never hit “send,” she had just assumed that the email had reached its destination, like a prayer. Now, after a lot of hard work and admirable dedication, she has a Gmail account and texts us using modern shorthand that even we don’t understand.

My father-in-law, on the other hand, has always embraced technology. It is rumored that he owned the first car phone in Brooklyn, which was actually just a phone booth in the passenger seat of his car. Because of his business and hectic lifestyle, he currently owns approximately eight cell phones – two of which are Blackberries (!) -- several of which he will frequently misplace…

Classic card of the week

Todd Worrell, 1990 Score

Front of the card? Eh.

Back of the card? Chock full of goodies. And elongated ‘staches!

Todd was a tremendous loss to the Cardinals in ’90,

Positive start here. First thing we learn about Todd Worrell: he’s either dead, or was not around for some reason, for the Cardinals, in the year of 1990. I am excited! You? No? Let us continue:

even though Lee Smith was a solid replacement as the team’s stopper.

The all-time Major League leader in saves (until Trevor Hoffman passed him in 2006) = solid replacement. Lee Smith led the NL in 1991 with 47 saves and finished second in the Cy Young vote. By the time Worrell had returned, he had lost his job to Smith. I wonder what a “very good replacement” would have been like.

Anyway, Todd Worrell got injured. But before that, he was really good, as the following tidbit describes in naughty detail:

A menacing figure on the mound, Todd threw a sizzling 95-mph fastball as hard as could, as long as he could. By blowing away batters, he …

How to ride over a school budget without getting caught

Note: This column appears in the 2/18 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/19 issue of the Peoria Times

There’s been a lot of talk about overrides lately. Not by myself in particular –- I usually just talk about fantasy baseball –- but in this paper and in the community.

To be quite honest, I had no idea what an override even was until, spurned on by its newfound popularity, I decided to look further into it. It was like the time my wife said, “That Lady Gaga song is awesome!” and I was like, “Who is Lady Gaga?” and so I decided to do more research and discovered that Lady Gaga is a man.

It is that kind of research that you, the faithful reader, can trust. And it is in that vein that I come before you to explain the current override situation.
An override is, by definition, a verb that means “to ride over.” Clever, right? In this particular instance, what we want to do is ride over –- not literally, with our monster pickup trucks, so let's not go crazy...but with our votes -– the stat…

Classic card of the week

Luc Longley, 1999 Upper Deck

Let us begin:

With three championship rings on his fingers

He probably doesn’t wear them all the time. You could just say "With three championship rings..." because, ya' know, we're aware of where rings are supposed to go. I am very irritable today.

After only seven years in the league,

Weird thing to say considering the three titles had just happened, all in a row. Why even mention the four non-championship years? That would be like me winning back-to-back-to-back fantasy baseball championships and then bragging, “Hey, I’ve won three titles this decade,” instead of just calling myself three-time defending champion. (Which I’m not, in case you’re wondering. It’s just a hypothetical example, starring me. Although I have won three titles this decade -- well, last decade, I guess -- which is something I’ve been dying to casually mention somewhere without coming across as self-serving. So there, I think that worked.)

one might expect the Bulls’ Luc…

Valley sports reach new demographic

Note: This column appears in the 2/11 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/12 issue of the Peoria Times

I’ve mentioned before, ad nauseam, how great it is to be a sports fan here in the Valley. Yes, my favorite teams still reside back east, but that’s no matter, because I’m a sports fan first, and everything is so much more accessible here. The games are easier to get to, cheaper to go to, and never get canceled due to inclement weather. And if you want season tickets, you don’t have wait for 30,000 people to die.

So we frequently find ourselves going to sporting events, because sports are fun, and awesome. But I wondered –- how would having a hopefully-soon-to-be-daughter affect our sports fandom?

I always imagined that if we ever had a family, we’d get him/her started on sports early. I never wanted to be one of those parents who use their kids as an excuse to not do anything. But it’s different when you actually have that family, and everything revolves around a routine, and you fret …

Classic card of the week

Charlie Hough, 1986 Topps Mini

I’m not sure how well it translates in the above picture, but I do want to inform you that what you see here is a mini, dream-sequence Charlie Hough baseball card. So breathe it in. Especially those of you who dream small, and old.

I cannot be certain of the purpose of the mini-baseball card. I mean, having a Charlie Hough baseball card in itself is inconvenient because: what are you going to do with a Charlie Hough baseball card? Having a mini-Charlie Hough baseball card is doubly inconvenient because there are no mini-ways by which I can store this card (i.e.: mini-hard plastic covers or mini-baseball card sleeves) and it remains an awkward fit amongst my other, normal-sized cards of ancient knuckleballers.

For posting purposes, I was more distraught to discover that Charlie Hough’s Wikipedia page is – like his career -- rather blah. But luckily, it led me to a link entitled The Shrine to Charlie Hough.

I was at first skeptical that an online shrine (Charl…

A move that strengthened, not severed, family ties

Note: This column appears in the 2/4 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/5 issue of the Peoria Times

My wife and I made the decision to move here to Arizona on our own volition. The hardest part of the decision –- in fact, the only “con” on our list -– was saying goodbye to our family.

I never found it necessary to describe how close we are to our family until I realized that our bond seems, at times, abnormal when compared to others. As an example, my younger sister is married to my wife’s younger brother (legal in only 48 states, of which New Jersey is one). And when I say family I include not only parents, siblings, and in-laws, but also aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins-in-law, and lifelong family friends. And when I say close I mean that we all legitimately enjoy and prefer each other’s company. I’ll like, hang out with my uncle. My mother-in-law will have lunch with my aunt. Our wedding party alone consisted of twenty people. Considering that many simply tolerate family, we are, I …