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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Cleaning of the inbox

I know it seems like I've been doing nothing,but inbox cleanings of late!
However,the inbox still is not empty,so let's get started on more April cleaning.

Popular Science discusses NASA's John Houbolt,who was the "voice in the wilderness" on lunar orbit rendezvous,which was the manner that was used to use to "hook up" the lunar lander and the lunar orbiter in space.
Houbolt was the loudest proponent of the LOR system of landing the man on the moon and it was covered so well in the HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon episode "Spider".
BTW-If you've never seen the series-DO IT!
It would not only entertain,but educate as well.
I found the Houbolt article due to following Amy Shira Teitel on Twitter,who recently live tweeted the entire mission of Apollo 8 over the winter and has plans for the same over the summer for the Neil Armstrong landing!
Amy is my favorite writer on "vintage space" and I always enjoy her reminders of the space age gone by,
John Houbolt passed away a few days ago at the age of 95 and we thank him for the service to the space program...

Former Hagerstown Suns catcher Sam Palace has made the big time as the Nationals bullpen backstop.
Palace was always one of the most needed autographs when doing the Suns team set as he spent most of the time in the bullpen and rarely played in games.
The third string catcher in minor league baseball usually is working on getting some type of job to stay employed and a good attitude is almost a must,which Palace always had in spades.
Congratulations to Sam!

Former top prospect Adam Miller is getting another chance with the Indians as Miller was signed to a contract and is currently in extended spring training.
Miller was once thought of as a future number one starter before injuring a finger and going through multiple surgeries in an attempt to repair a ligament in the middle finger on his throwing hand.
Miller left the team as a six year free agent and spent with the Yankees organization and independent baseball before returning to the Tribe.

Huffington Post looks at former Oklahoma Sooner and Heisman winner Billy Sims and his success in the barbeque business with Billy Sims Barbeque,which seems to be growing as they are up to 40 locations nationwide.
Billy Sims always seems to be such a genuine nice guy and it's great to see him and the restaurant do well.

New Orleans Saints.com does a "Where are they now" with former wide receiver John Gilliam.
Gilliam took the opening kickoff in Saints franchise history back for a touchdown and is best known to most for that,but I'll always remember him as the deep threat and star receiver for the Fran Tarkenton led Vikings that saw Gilliam make four pro bowls and two Super Bowls with Minnesota..


We wrap up with a look at college basketball before the CBS contract with the NCAA tournament was as large as it is now.
Public television station channel 56 out of Fairfax,Virginia used to be the home for basketball junkies like me in the 1980's and I used get a scratchy picture off my rabbit ears for a few yrs and watch games that I never dreamed of seeing.
I lost 56 when we finally got cable in 1984,but I never forgot 56 or the defunct "Super TV" that Shane and I listened to (because the picture was scrambled) the 1982 Thomas Hearns vs Wilfred Benitez WBC Jr,Middleweight title fight,which was a closed circuit TV bout....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day and Eddie Albert

Today is Earth Day and that is pretty cool.
What I bet you didn't know was that it's even more special to me as I have some distant (and I mean distant) family involvement in the creation of Earth Day.

Eddie Albert,most famous for the starring role in the hilarious Green Acres was very much a part of creating Earth Day and Albert's real last name is Heimberger.
It's a remote relation,but there aren't enough of us around to not be related somehow!
Seriously though,my mom is big into genealogy and I've seen it,so there!

Anyway,Albert was actively in involved in creating the day (which is more deserving of a day off than Columbus Day,in my opinion) that encourages environmental interests and conservation.
It's funny that sometimes the environment has such a divide on the political spectrum.
I can see why some might be a climate change non-believer (I just had a discussion on this with Kendall on a recent graphing trip) and I can even understand some of their beliefs,but I cannot understand some people (not Kendall) and their lack of effort in taking care of our natural resources.
It makes zero sense to me to have companies clear-cutting our land without replacing plants and trees or poisoning our waters or any of about a thousand other things that are/were done in the guise of employment or making money.
There has to be a balance between finance and conservation and carrying a balance or compromising on any issue usually results in neither side being thrilled,but I've always thought that when neither side is happy after a deal is struck that often a fair deal was made.

I'm pretty proud of Earth Day,even though I'm not as involved in things as I should be,but I'm especially proud to share a name (even it's not the name made famous) with one of the people involved as well.
There is nothing wrong with taking care of what we have and Earth Day brings the point to all of our attention once a year.

Finally,a story on Eddie Albert.
One day,early in Cherie and I's relationship (Can't remember dating or very early marriage) and I mentioned the Eddie Albert "Connection" and she scoffed with laughter and said "yeah sure" and my response was this-"If I was going to make someone up to impress you,wouldn't I use someone more current and more famous than Eddie Albert from a show that has been off the air for 15+ years ?".
She conceded that point and we've laughed about that chat ever since!



Rubin "Hurricane" Carter-Myth vs Record

Rubin "Hurricane Carter recently passed away in Toronto at the age of 76 after suffering from prostate cancer.
Carter was made famous for several things ranging from his boxing career,his time in prison for being accused of murder in 1966,which was overturned years later,being the subject of a Bob Dylan song,his autobiography and of course the film made about his life.

I'm going to put all that stuff aside to concentrate on Carter the boxer and the myth that Carter was an uncrowned champion robbed of his prime by bad judging and corruption out of the ring.
Carter did fight for the middleweight title against Joey Giardello in 1964 and it was a close fight that Giardello took a unanimous win in.
I scored Giardello a one point winner,so if someone saw Carter as a close winner,I could see that,but it certainly was not the robbery that the myth created as an "Uncrowned Champion"


Look further on the record and other than the huge one round blowout of then former welterweight champion and future middleweight titlist Emile Griffith and decisions over contenders Holly Mims and George Benton (later to be better known as a trainer),you don't see a lot of name wins.
Carter also lost seven times in the less than two years following the Giardello loss,some to name fighters (Dick Tiger) and some to less than stars (the unknown Stan Harrington) to finish his career with a good,not great record of 27-12-1.


Rubin "Hurricane" Carter had a very entertaining fighting style,was a powerful puncher and an extremely interesting back story,but a great fighter and a fighter screwed by the system?
That myth is solved by looking beyond the misconception and looking at the one thing that cannot be misconstrued by legend-the record.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Boxing Challenge Update

R.L Malpica maintained the one point lead of 19-18 after the three fight card of Showtime.
Each of us selected the three winners,but missed on how.

Both of us picked Bernard Hopkins by unanimous decision to unify the WBA and IBF Lt.Heavyweight titles and it should have been,but for one of the worst scorecards ever for Beibut Shumenov making the bout a split decision.
I scored the bout 117-111 for Hopkins and that might have been generous on my part towards Shumenov.
Hopkins dominated,but the bout was the same slow bout that fans have seen from Hopkins for years.

Shawn Porter was expected to have issues with veteran Paul Malignaggi,but Porter blew Malignaggi out like no one previously ever had in a fourth round knockout.
Porter was very impressive and a bout against Keith Thurman might be a fight of the year candidate.
Both of us selected Porter by a decision win..

Peter Quillin hammered out a unanimous decision over Lukas Konecny.
Both R.L and I guessed on a middle round KO.
I scored the bout 116-112 in favor of Quillin.

R.L maintains the one point lead with a three fight card again next week on Showtime..

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The graphing world

It's been a busy four days in the world of graphing with a little bit of work squeezed in between.
I've been in Reading,Altoona and Harrisburg this week with a dash of Hagerstown Suns tossed in as well.
It's been hectic for sure,but that's what we do in this crazy hobby.

In Harrisburg,we were able to graph the Altoona Curve,In Reading,I was able to get some scragglers of the Harrisburg Senators and the Ryne Sandberg bobblehead,while in Altoona,I knocked off some of the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
I'm not going to get into too much about the specifics as that will be part of a future signing front,but I did want to answer this question that I get from non-graphers-Why do you rarely do the home team?

Well,it's not hard to answer,the road team is easier.
Most kids and other fans that may want a signature or two on a battered ball or a program,but the vast majority are looking for the star or favorite player of the home team.
That makes sense because in most cases,the home team is who is being rooted for and who they would want.
Add to that with the fact that most of the newer stadiums (not the Muni of course) have different entrances for the home and visitors,forcing the fan to choose.
The results of that usually mean the visitors have the graphers and the home team can have the hassles of the people that think we are getting rich off the signatures of the third string catcher and the long reliever from a AA affiliate :)

Finally,I'll be trying to catch up on the signing front next week as I only have one game scheduled in Frederick as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans hit there from Wed-Friday and I am loaded with cards for the Rangers affiliate.
That is mainly because the Hickory team set was not released until the last week of the 2013 season,so therefore the entire set will need to be worked on.

There is a little bit of catching up to do later with the results of the Showtime card and updating the boxing challenge,but for now-enjoy the Easter Sunday!


Boxing Challenge

Editors note:This was written yesterday,but due to Blogger problems,it was not posted until now.
I realized these fights are over,but I haven't seen them,so I do not know the results.

The boxing challenge continues with a three fight card from Showtime.
R.L.Malpica leads the challenge by one point.

WBA vs IBF Lt.Heavyweight title unification

Beibut Shumenov vs Bernard Hopkins

Both teams:Hopkins Unanimous decision

IBF Welterweight title

Shawn Porter vs Paul Malignaggi

TRS: Porter Majority Decision
R.L: Porter Split Decision

WBO Middleweight title

Peter Qullin vs Lukas Konecny

TRS:Quillin KO 9
R.L: Quillin KO 7

Friday, April 18, 2014

I miss all the good stuff

I have a knack.
It's a knack for missing lots of things at the ballpark that I wish I didn't.
Last year,I stayed home to watch the NFL Draft and missed the argument of the year between a grapher and the then-clubhouse manager for the Suns,which has become legendary since.

This year,it looks like I missed another as I went home from a Suns game vs Lakewood after graphing pre-game and then Rachel was ready to go after two innings of some pretty bad fielding by the Blue Claws
Apparently.our great friend Derreck was telling the truth about City Councilman Kristin Aleshire's position on the stadium for the Hub City and someone didn't like it.
Aleshire's position has been to try to be on every possible side of the position,so I have a special place for him in the echelon of politicians that are basically full of it.

Derreck had some extra fuel in him on this night and made clear how much he disliked Aleshire's routine-read alcohol.
Make that loudly clear.
It was pretty clear to me when he talked to me on the phone that he had gassed up plenty at the tank,but if you are going to serve cheap beer,fans that like to imbibe are going to do so.
Mr. Aleshire's brother was in attendance,from what I've been told. and didn't care for the opinion or likely how it was told.
However, (perhaps smartly,all things considered),he didn't approach Derreck,but instead went to someone from the team.
Likely a good decision,if not the most courageous,but it was Big Tony (Suns concession worker) that talked to Derreck about settling down.

I don't know if this is how it went as I wasn't there,but Derreck hasn't lied to me yet,so its likely to be generally correct.
These things happen,I suppose and had I been there,I wouldn't have been drinking, I could have stated my opposition to the political maneuverings of Kristin Aleshire and done it in a way that no one could have used alcohol as an excuse.
It's unfair to hold anyone accountable for the actions of a sibling,but considering the role that someone's sibling had in a civic institution leaving town-I might either A) stay away or at least B) keep it quiet that I'm there,if I truly didn't want trouble.

In the end,one thing cannot be denied- Once again,I miss the good stuff.