It’s not quite forty degrees here in New Jersey. It’s cold. Hand stinging cold. It’s the cold that makes your nose and ears hurt.
Did I mention it’s April? I think the fact that it’s actually spring makes the temperature outside that much colder.
At least the sun is out, though the day will remain in the low-40’s.
Yet, even with the (close to) frigid temperatures, I am excited, very excited, unbearably excited, to get outside this afternoon. Today is the Opening Day of our softball season.
I just love to play ball.
Continue reading “Opening Day 2018”
“Is this Heaven?”
from Field of Dreams
There is a Heaven. I know it absolutely. I have been there.
Now, to be clear, I haven’t been to that Heaven, just one that, to me at least, might be awfully close.
There is a God. I also know this absolutely. God played a big role in making my trip to Heaven a reality.
A few years ago I traveled to the legendary Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa to have a catch with my dad. I have often shared the story of how that trip came to be. I wrote about it and have put it on both of my blogs. The story has been published as part the book Impossible is an Illusion. Titled “Is This?” it might be my most widely read piece (to date). Many people, including a number of prominent authors and, I’m pretty certain about this, the President of the Baseball Hall-of-Fame have read that story.
But, I have never told the story about what happened on those magical days in Iowa in 2016 with my dad and my mom. I shared all about our decision to go there, but I’ve never told the tale of the wonderful memories we created on a little baseball field in the middle of nowhere.
This, then, is that story…
Continue reading “It Is!”
(This post was originally published on the Start Spreading the News Yankees blog.)
On Thursday night, SSTN writer Michael Saffer and I attended a live taping of Yankees Hot Stove at the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair, New Jersey. It was a great event.
The theater/studio at the Yogi Berra is a great venue. It’s small and intimate. A person in the audience gets the sense that the presenters (in this case the Yankees Hot Stove Team) are actually talking with you – and at times they were.
Located in that studio is a replica Yankee Stadium scoreboard. (See the picture above.) Each time I attend an event at the Yogi Berra Museum, I wonder what game that scoreboard is supposed to reflect. As such, I decided that I would figure it out using the wonderful tools at BaseballReference.com, my Yankees knowledge, and some common sense.
Continue reading “Being a Baseball Detective”
(This post can also be found on NYY_Report (“Start Spreading the News”):
We are sports fans. There is something special and wonderful and unique about being a sports fan. We love our teams and certain players. We get excited by special moments.
And when disappointment hits, it hits hard – and it often hurts.
Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Matsui & Meb”
(This passage comes from my upcoming book, “The Least Among Them,” a unique and original history of the New York Yankees. The manuscript is in the editing stage. Literary agents and/or publishers interested in learning more about this project are encouraged to reach me at drpaulsem AT hotmail dot com.)
Mordecai Brown was an ace pitcher on the Chicago Cubs teams that dominated baseball in the earliest days of the Twentieth Century. Brown won twenty or more games in six consecutive seasons between 1906 and 1911. One of baseball’s great pitchers, Mordecai Brown won 239 games. He was elected to the Hall-of-Fame in 1949. But none of that is why he is remembered today…
As a youngster, Mordecai lost one finger and damaged another during an accident with a feed chopper on a farm. It was because of these “deformities,” that he became known as “Three Finger” Brown. Many believed that the unique grip he had on a baseball contributed to his success. But Mordecai Brown was not baseball’s only three-fingered pitcher.
In 1934, the New York Yankees had a prospect named Floyd Newkirk. Like the great “Three Finger” Brown, Newkirk had only three fingers on his pitching hand. Like Brown, Floyd lost his two fingers in a childhood accident of his own. Also like Brown, the injury did not dissuade Floyd Newkirk from playing, and ultimately achieving success, through pitching a baseball.
Continue reading “One Day Yankee – Floyd Newkirk”
I truly believe we can all be almost anything we want to be. I think it just takes hard work, perseverance, some creativity, and, maybe, a little luck. Sometimes, I think, we also have to modify our dreams a little. Last week, I got to live out, in a sense, one of my childhood dreams.
Continue reading “Living A Dream”
My in-depth review of the book Dinner With DiMaggio by Dr. Rock Positano is now published on the New York Yankees blog, “It’s About The Money.”
Please click here to see the review: http://itsaboutthemoney.net/its-about-the-money-2/2017/5/8/book-review-dinner-with-dimaggio
The great Joe Posnanski recently wrote a blog post one of the first great book he ever read, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. I often relate to a lot of what Mr. Posnanski writes about, but this was other worldly… that was also the first great book I ever read.
Continue reading “The Kid, Home Runs, and Memories”
You can see my Yankees predictions, and the predictions from other writers at “It’s About the Money” here: