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Friday, March 2, 2012

Blow Out the Candles March 2

New York Giants great Mel Ott was born in Gretna, Louisiana on this date in 1909.
 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes #103
Ott was the youngest player to hit 100 home run and the first National League player to reach 500.  He led the Giants in home runs for 18 consecutive years, a record for all of baseball in any of the triple crown categories.
With Ruth a the Polo Grounds, 1935
October 1937
Mel in 1948, Manager

Moe Berg was born in New York City on this date in 1902.
 2010 Tristar Obak #53

Casey Stengel called Moe Berg, "the strangest man ever to play baseball".
How many ballplayers have a bio on PBS's Nova website.

1937 Spring Training, Arlington, TX
One of three books written about Moe.

Lyrics to Chuck Brodsky's song:
Moe Berg: The Song
Moe Berg the catcher - good field and no hit

Somehow he lasted 19 years - 'till his knees made him quit
He never really played much & he never really cared
He was happy just to hang around with a uniform to wear

Moe Berg the Princeton graduate - went on to study law
Got his degree from Columbia - all the while playing ball
He caught the eye of the Dodgers - who were trying to sign a Jew
Who might help 'em sell some tickets - in The Bronx & Yonkers too

Moe Berg the professor of the bullpen joked with pitchers
Reading them the newspapers he used to have delivered
He spoke to 'em in Russian, Japanese & French
He was the greatest scholar that ever rode the bench

Moe Berg & The Babe, they went over to Japan
With a team of touring all-stars giving clinics for the fans
This was back in the 30's as the world prepared for war
Moe took a lot of pictures - nobody knew what for

Moe Berg the secret agent - never even told his mom
Of his mission to determine if the Germans had the bomb
He learned to speak good physics - without hardly a lisp
He infiltrated lectures with the German scientists

Moe Berg the walking riddle - would put his fingers to his lips
If you recognized him on the street - he'd nod & whisper "shhhh"
He kept a lot of secrets - no one will ever know
He knew a lot of people - but nobody ever knew Moe

Moe Berg the beloved - he had the gift of gab
The moocher, the celebrity - he never paid the tab
He could get in at the ballpark - with his lifetime player's pass
He could eat up in the press box - someone always filled his glass

Moe Berg son of an immigrant - brought his father shame
All that education - then to play a child's game
Moe made it to the Majors - but his dad would never go see him
Moe's baseball card is on display at the CIA museum.

Long after he'd retired - there was still Moe Berg the myth
He rode into the sunset hanging sadly onto it
Appearing on a game show - as the mystery guest
Some say disappearing - might be what Moe did best

Hall of Famer Bill Quackenbush was born on this date in 1922.

Bill averaged just 7 seconds per game in penalty time over his 14 year career including a streak of 131 games without a single penalty.  

Theodore Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss was born in Springfield, Mass. on this date in 1904.

Everyone knows his kids books so here are some of his lesser known works of art.  I saw some of these about 7 years ago at a gallery on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  The sculptures are fantastic.  If I had a few grand to spare I would have brought one home.

Theodore with his creations
 The Blue Green Abelard
Kangaroo Bird
Sawfish Sculpture
Turtle-Necked Sea Turtle
The Stag at Eve
My Petunia Can Lick Your Geranium
Pink Tufted Beast
A Prayer for a Child

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