Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Today the Braves won their series against the Nationals to go 6-1/2 games up in the division, and gave up very little for three above-average relievers and a catcher. They recently called up the International League home run leader, and soon could call up a starting pitcher was is returning to his 2018 all-star form. Not a bad day's work.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


At work we talked about the 1968 Barbara Jean Mackle kidnapping. Made big news back in the day. She was buried alive just a few hundred yards from our plant, off South Berkeley Lake Road near Old Peachtree Road.
Reminded me of the Reg Murphy kidnapping in 1974. Reg got around: born in Gainesville, Mercer, the Macon Telegraph, the Constitution, San Francisco Examiner, Baltimore Sun, National Geographic Society, president of the USGA. Also wrote a biography of Griffin Bell.
Hurt had nice Hawks tickets and I would go with him sometimes. Lakers with Kareem and Magic. Celtics with Bird, McCale, Parrish and DJ. Philly with Dr. J, Moses, and Barkley. Bulls and MJ. And Nique, Doc, Spud, Tree, Kevin, Randy, Scott, Moses, and Reggie.

Bullying: at a recent Braves bobblehead game I posted a picture of a kid playing with his broken bobblehead. While many of the responses thought it funny, others were hostile and berated me for posting a photo of a child I didn't know - making the assumption that I didn't know the child. The responses got so cruel. It was okay for them to do something wrong (be cruel) but not me (post the kid pic)? Finally I deleted the post. I'd probably be better off without social media.

Bragging: some people on my social media screen love to brag - about their kids, about their husbands, about how much they cram into a day, how many miles they run. Most probably don't realize they do it, I'm sure.

On Twitter a guy posted that he's given his bobblehead to a kid at the game. Good for him. Someone called him out for bragging about his good deed. A debate ensued.

Another debate raged about catching a ball at a baseball game. A guy can go to games his entire life and never catch a ball. But the second he does catch one, what do people say? Give it to a kid! What if the guy has kids at home? Also how the ridiculous NOTE: I'd like to be cool enough to give any ball I catch to a nearby kid. But like most things, it's not that simple. I'd like to take a picture of it. And if you rent a Mizuno glove at the Braves game and catch a ball with it, Mizuno will give you a replica SunTrust Park that sells for $100.00. After all that I'd give the ball away. Actually I have a Bud Selig ball, a Bartlett Giamatti ball, a Sally League ball, but I don't have a commissioner Rob Manfred.

And then at the Macon Bacon game did I keep the Coastal Plain League ball I found? No. I gave it away.
You wonder if over the years Ted Williams regretted not duffing his cap, even if he never admitted it. Oftentimes people won't behave the way they should. At the all star game at Fenway Park when they introduced the all-century team, Williams was the last to come out, riding in a golf cart. Before all the players broke protocol and surrounded him, Williams doffed his cap to the crowd.

TED WILLIAMS got on base in regular season games more often than any other qualifying batter in major league history - his .482 career OBP is not in any danger of being equaled any time soon. Joey Votto is the current active leader at .422. Interestingly, John McGraw (as a player) ranks third on that list. McGraw racked up a healthy .466 OBP, behind only Babe Ruth's .474 and Williams'. Williams leads his franchise in at least 18 different offensive categories. He only played for that team in the majors. Williams is the Red Sox leader in so MANY areas. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Three Trips in Three Days

Left work Friday about 11:45. Stopped by Taco Bell then drove to Macon. Plenty of bumper to bumper traffic. Hung out at my parents house then drove downtown to the old baseball stadium. Plenty of cars already there but one last handicapped space for us to park. A short line already 15 minutes before the gates had opened. Said hello to the team general manager, who had personally replied to my email from earlier in the afternoon. 
Our tickets included team caps and dinner. Glad to see they had the big bacon M logo caps. My dad’s church had reserved the right field picnic section. All you can eat burgers, dogs, and chicken sandwiches. We were right next to the pitchers warming up in the bullpen. Picked up a baseball but later gave it to a kid. By eight my dad was ready to go: he had seen everyone there was to see and eaten what he wanted. Stuck around to almost 8:30, and by 9:15 I was on the way back to Atlanta.
Up early Saturday. Drove down to borrow MC’s big SUV before 8 am. Then over to Bellwood Coffee on Bolton Road. Had a nice chat with Joel Norman. Then around 285 and up 85 and 316 to Athens. Stopped by Taco Bell for breakfast, then two thrift stores. Loaded up the three SUVs with Anna’s stuff. Later lunch at Taqueria del Sol. Drove home and unloaded the cars. Ceil cooked for supper. Watched the Braves. Loved those uniforms on Saturday night, just like the uni worn by Ted Turner when he managed one game in 1978.
Sunday School at JFBC. Watched the Braves. Drove down to swap the cars back. Was going to grab a snack at Cookout but the lines were too long. Anna and Christian arrived home. M cooked chicken parmesan.
After doing the dishes and posting to my blog it was past time for bed. In all I drove just under 500 miles this weekend. With all the driving around this weekend I finished Patterson’s Miracle at St. Andrews. Also almost halfway through Patterson/Clinton’s “The President is Missing” read by Dennis Quaid.
Got to work at 730 and got two straight calls right off the bat. Been busy ever since.         
019 019 home to work
097 116 work to Macon
005 121 Macon to parents
018 139 parents to game & back
104 243 parents to home
021 264 home to W&MC’s
006 270 W&MC to Bellwood
071 341 Bellwood to Athens
006 347 Athens to Anna’s
005 352 Anna’s to Taqueria & back
074 426 Anna’s to home
007 433 home to JFBC & back
021 454 home to W&MC’s
014 468 W&MCs to Marietta
010 478 Marietta to home
006 484 home to Whole Foods & back
Players who led the league in on-base-percentage four consecutive seasons in the modern era.
Player          Year   to   Year
Boggs.......... 1985......... 1989        5X
Bonds.......... 2001......... 2004        4X
Gehrig......... 1934......... 1937        4X
Hornsby....... 1920......... 1925        6X
Trout............ 2016......... 2019*      4X
Votto............ 2010......... 2013        4X
Williams...... 1946......... 1949        4X or 7X**
*Assuming he finishes this season as AL leader.
**Had also led the AL in OBP 1940-1942 before spending 1943-45 in the service.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Throwing Back to 1979

Last night the Phillies broke out their famous 1979  "Saturday Night Specials" - the burgundy jerseys and pants so ugly they mothballed immediately after the game. For the occasion the Phillies outfitted the Braves in their 1979 road uniforms, which thrilled me to no end.
For the occasion several Braves players wore period correct royal blue shoes: Acuna, Freddie, Ender, Donaldson, and Max Fried, to name a few.
More Braves players wore high socks and cuffed pants,
though in the late 1970's few players wore their pants legs so high.
Few Phils wore high cuffed pants.
Many novices on social media mistakenly thought these were the early 1970-s era Braves uniform made famous by Hank Aaron. The Hammer's home and road unis had BRAVES on the chest, a feather on both sleeves, and no name on the back. Later when Ted Turner bought the team he changed the road unis to read ATLANTA on the front, with the large cursive A that was later changed to match the capital A of the red-billed navy caps.
True to the era the Phillies wore zipper front jerseys.
When Bryce Harper reached first base his pal Freddie Freeman pulled down Harper's jersey zipper, revealing his navy undershirt.
These late 70's road unis were even more rarely seen than even the red-pinstriped home version. I had recently decided my next obscure jersey purchase would be the similar 1978 road jersey #27, which was the jersey Ted Turner wore the one day he managed the Braves in Pittsburgh. Perhaps this jersey will now be more available for me to order on line.
Actual 1979 jersey shows one difference:
the names on back were vertically arched.

Once again I'm posting two straight pictorials on the weekend:
first yesterday's Macon Bacon report and now these glorious 1979 throwbacks. Believe it or not I have two of my well written essays waiting in the wings to be published, that were bumped for these uniforms. 
For the life of me I didn't remember the stripes on the pants,
but I'm sure that detail was correct.

 Nice that the Phillies catcher got to wear maroon catcher's gear. 
Meanwhile in Cincinnati today the Reds threw Back to 1967,
and looked good doing so. 
Last weekend the Reds broke out their 1961 vests,
and again several players wore the sleeveless look.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Macon Bacon Game

Last night I went to the Macon Bacon game with my dad.
Sat down the right field line in the picnic area.
Dad's church had the area reserved. 
 Pregame stretching. Cheap pants. Bryce Harper wannabe.
 Guy below went to Tattnall Square Academy.
 He let me snap a close up of his bacon striped socks.
Nice sandlot for the kids,
literally in the shadow of the trains rumbling past.
 I commandeered the seat closest to the action.
 We were right next to the bullpen mounds.
Since we were in warm's way I pulled out my old glove from the trunk.
Leaned over an picked up a Coastal Plain League ball
that had rolled between two bricks.
Before we left I gave the ball to a nearby kid.
 Windup of the starting pitcher.
Note the bacon numbers.

The players all wore spikes from their college teams.
Colleges represented included Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Texas A&M, Indiana State, Francis Marion, Notre Dame, and many more. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

GT FB: in for a Long Year?

Bad news: several experts think Tech will have a rough season, transitioning from the option to a pro style offense with young players. They have a few good athletes, but not much depth. Chris Landry from says they’ll be doing great to win three games. I thought if Paul Johnson had stayed they might’ve won ten games, though UNC and Miami are greatly improved. Mark Richt has joined the new ACC Network, and said the option could still work in college football if a school could recruit and convince elite athletes to buy into it like Oklahoma used to. Both Landry and Richt say GT’s new coach is good and on the right track.    
Watched Holy Moly. Love it. I’m not zany enough to be on that show. Was worried when the 61 year old grandmother had to ride that zip line across the water and drop on the platform. Watched the first two competitors easily land on the platform after the first few weeks of players crashing down on it with a huge thud, I think the show made an adjustment, lowering the line so it wouldn’t be so bad. I told Ceil I was signing her up for the show.

The crazy Holy Moly announcer Rob Riggle is also on Modern Family, as the realtor nemesis to main character Phil Dunphy. In my mind I consider myself a fun-loving Phil Dunphy type. Our old Sunday School director Drew Meadows is funny, but his sense of humor leans more toward Riggle’s character Gil Thorpe – my opposite.

I remember the other announcer Joe Tessitore from the college football games he calls. Interesting that Tessitore’s son is the kicker for Boston College.

Speaking of announcers, it was interesting to hear AM680’s college football guru Chuck Oliver say how much he likes CBS SEC football announcer Gary Danielson. Many dislike him, though I think Danielson is great as well.   

Did I tell you I have my in home sleep test scheduled for next weekend? Pick up the equipment Aug 2 and return it Aug 5, then get the results Aug 9. Oftentimes I will wake up just a minute or two before my alarm is to go off. This morning I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual, and still woke up just before my alarm.

I just downloaded a sleep monitor app onto my phone and smart watch. So far I have good nights and bad nights, sometimes lots of deep sleep and sometimes not as much. Several graphs and charts showing how much sleep, how much deep sleep, how my heart rate drops during the night. Interesting stuff. Then my friend Lee shared the results from his sleep test, which had similar info.

Another good column by Denison. Two in a row.

Saw Ricky Richardson’s pictures for the peach farm trip. Didn’t see you or Edie. Lots of folk were wearing hats, I guess for the sun.

Thursday: worked past 5:30. Straight home. Chicken stir fry with cooked chopped vegetables and rice. I wasn’t too hungry because I’d been given a Honey Baked Ham crossiant sandwich. Later I’d eaten a cup of potato salad. Ceil went to bed early to read.

Got to work early as I am taking the afternoon off. Headed to Macon to meet my dad’s banker, then the Macon Bacon baseball game. His church group is going. All you can eat seats down the baseline. Burgers. Dogs. Chicken sandwiches. I’ll try a little of everything. Or a lot.

Driving back after the game. We’re moving Anna home on Saturday.

Started Patterson’s “Miracle at St. Andrews” this morning.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Romance Novels

After enjoying the James Patterson golf novel Miracle on the 17th Green, I needed another book to read. I placed on hold the sequel on hold (Miracle at St. Andrews) and picked out a book at sounded familiar – Sundays at Tiffanys. Guess I got it confused with Breakfast at Tiffanys. Didn’t realize Sundays at Tiffanys was a “romantic novel” – but it’s great, about a girl that reunites with her childhood imaginary friend in adulthood. Loving the premise. In the book there are many of these people/angels/beings whose job it is to serve as imaginary friends until the child’s 9th birthday. Soon the child completely forgets about the imaginary friend and moves on. The novel was made into a Lifetime movie, starring Mia Sovino, with a slightly different ending.    
James Patterson recently partnered with Bill Clinton on the novel “The President is Missing.” I have that one on hold as well.

Read a Sports Illustrated article about tennis player Renee Richards, now 84 years old. She can’t play tennis any more but plays golf instead. Has shot her age a couple of times. When she joined the pro tennis tour she was a 43 year old playing against 20 year olds. Before her surgery in high school Richards also played baseball and football. The Yankees wanted to sign Richards, who went to an Ivy League school instead, and became a noted eye surgeon.
Sunday after the on field parade we went back underneath the stadium and the Tomahawk Team (the girls who toss the t-shirts) were there ready to go out. Some parents had their kids pose for pictures with them. I figured I better not take pictures of the girls.
Left work at 5:30 Thursday and drove my old route through Alpharetta and Crabapple past my kids’ old Living Science school, then on through downtown Woodstock to deliver a bobblehead. Was almost 7:30 by the time I got home. C and M were making Mexican, using fresh tomatoes picked earlier in the day at M’s farm. Grilled chicken, homemade refried beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, homemade salsa – even homemade corm tortillas.
Helped clean up the kitchen, took out the trash to the street, watered my grass seedlings, packaged an eBay shipment, took Barney outside. Not much else.
No one is eating the homemade ice cream from the fourth of July, so I am slowly eating it. Got a little strawberry left and a huge Braves cup full of peach.
The son of Ceil’s friend Dawn stopped by to visit with W&MC. Kirk is a professor at Virgina Tech, working on his PHD (I think that’s right).
Six hours at a water park is pretty good. He must’ve packed some snacks or something. When we used to go to those water parks I loved them and wanted to stay as long as possible to get my money’s worth. Didn’t leave there early. Tried to go when it opened before the crowds got too thick. That’s a place like putt putt where it can get real crowded and you have to wait in line more than actually riding the rides.
WADE BOGGS [SABR Bio] is the first player in history to have four straight 200-hit seasons in which he also got walked 100 times in each of those years -  200H + 100BB = 1986-89 Only he and Ty Cobb have pitched in a major league game before getting 3,000 hits and then also pitched after hitting that milestone. He once said of his teammates, “I didn't know if the guys on the team wanted to hug me or slug me.” The occasion of his remark was the longest documented professional baseball game ever between the Rochester Red Wings and Boggs’s Pawtucket Red Sox played over 18/19-Apr-1981.  It lasted 33 innings, 8 hours and 25 minutes.  His sentiment about his teammates came about when Boggs drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 21st inning to prolong the proceedings. Because of Boggs’s highly-disciplined, insanely regimented pre-game chicken meal, he was eventually nicknamed “Chicken Man”. During that time, SDP had a guy, Ted Giannoulas, as their semi-official mascot. He was their chicken man as he dressed in an elaborate chicken costume for games and even community activities.
 First pitched             3,000th H                   Pitched again
  01-Sep-1918       19-Aug-1921 (2) 04-Oct-1925 (Cobb)
  19-Aug-1997       07-Aug-1999       10-Aug-1999 (Boggs)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Braves Royals

Let work about 2:45 Tuesday afternoon. Traffic was bad but I still got to my parking place just before 3:30. Not brutally hot on the walk up to the park. Arrived at the Chop House Gate at four and found the line pretty long, an hour and a half before gates opened. Instead found a spot in at Right Field Gate line that wasn’t too bad.
Chatted with some nice folk from Peach County, who were big fans of the movie Sandlot. He wore a t-shirt with the big dog on it, her t-shirt had Sandlot character Wendy Peffercorn. Once inside I stopped by to see usher Miss Marion, who was named Braves Employee of the Month.
Then out to left field to watch batting practice. Chatted with former coworker Chris. Stopped by the season ticket holder office, and chatted with my friend The Vet From Gwinnett. Got my free designated driver Coke Zero and traded barbs with Crazy Darrell. 
I try to wear a different cap, jersey, and sneakers to every game. Since the Royals were in town I wore my royal 1982 cap, road royal 1972 feather jersey, royal Braves feather socks, and white leather Puma tennis shoes. Usually I like to match the cap to the jesey but I’d already worn the 1972 cap to match my 1976 jersey. Should’ve taken my new grey Braves backpack but I’d left it at home. Took the old black Nike backpack one last time.  

Was watching for Ceil to arrive at the Chop House Gate but went back to the stands for the national anthem, smoothly sung by a country singer. That’s when Ceil’s group snuck in and headed toward their seats. The kids had never been to a Braves game, and had the time of their lives. They were thrilled doing the tomahawk chop. I had emailed our ticket rep seeing if there were tomahawks or something for the kids, but there weren’t. Sunday there were bumper stickers at the Customer Service booth, but those were gone as well. Didn’t matter to the kids.
Did you see Dallas Keuchel fall down on the mound, while backing up trying to catch a high throw back from the catcher Tyler Flowers? I think he stepped in the little hole his front foot had made. At the time I was down on field level near out company seats behind the third base dugout. Freddie Freeman was laughing at Keuchel.
I hung out in the standing room areas instead of going to my seat. Chatted with old GT BSU friend Jenny Parker as well as Ginger from Accounting, and her husband Bobblehead Scott. Met up with Ceil to meet her group (including a couple from our neighborhood) and walked them to the gate when they left. Paid one last visit to Miss Marion, then left after the 7th inning stretch.
Almost chilly with the breeze walking back to the car. Stopped by RaceTrac on the way home, for a free drink.