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Friday, January 29, 2010

Designated Sitter: Daly: The Shortstop In The Rye

The latest from Uncle Ennuiggily in Connecticut.

It all goes back to Rabbit Maranville. He liked to have the more-than-occasional pop. So he was in the rye (and the bourbon and the brandy). I’ve written here before that I’ve seen old sports columns that said that he was the second biggest gate attraction after Ruth. The columns in question were written by in 1951 an old Hartford Times sportswriter named Arthur McGinley. McGinley grew up in New London, Conn. with future playwright Eugene O’Neill. In fact, O’Neill based his only comedy “Ah, Wilderness” on the McGinley family.

Now O’Neill had a daughter named Oona. Oona would go on to marry Charlie Chaplin. But before that she dated director Orson Welles and author J. D. Salinger. What dioes Salinger have to do with baseball? He was a character in W. P. Kinsella’s magic realism novel Shoeless Joe. This was later adapted onto film as Field Of Dreams and the character of Salinger was replaced. Another character in the book and movie was Moonlight Graham. Graham may be the most famous cup of coffee player ever, thanks to Kinsella.

Graham went on to become a small-town doctor, but not before making one appearance with the New York Giants in the summer of 1905. Art Devlin was on that team. Devlin was an alum of Georgetown University back when they were producing ballplayers who weren’t basketball players. He was a third-sacker; a fast one who led the NL in steals in ‘05 with 59. Later on, the Giants sold him to Boston. They were just named the Braves that year because their owner was a bigwig in Tammany Hall. Tammany’s symbol was a Native American. While in Boston, he shared the left side of the infield with ... Rabbit Maranville. It’s all connected, folks.

Repoz Posted: January 29, 2010 at 01:25 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books, history, media, site news

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   1. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 01:54 PM (#3449581)
"Now where was I? Oh yes. I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time..."
   2. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 02:32 PM (#3449598)
Thanks, Repoz! I was wondering if this little place on the net would ever hit your radar screen.
   3. pv nasby Posted: January 29, 2010 at 03:09 PM (#3449627)
Blanda?
   4. rr Posted: January 29, 2010 at 03:19 PM (#3449638)
The latest from Uncle Ennuiggily in Connecticut
.

I re-read The Catcher in the Rye last night--first time since I was 21. Read it at 15 and again at 21. My own little good-bye to Salinger.
   5. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 03:21 PM (#3449644)
Blanda?


Blanda played for George Halas. Halas was on the Yankees in the teens. Go from there.
   6. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 03:23 PM (#3449647)
I re-read The Catcher in the Rye last night--first time since I was 21. Read it at 15 and again at 21. My own little good-bye to Salinger.


My gf and I decided to reread it this year. (we're a superselect book club.) I'm up to Chapter 9 right now.
   7. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 03:45 PM (#3449668)
BTW, this is only the third time in my life that I read the book. I think I'm picking up on some stuff that I didn't when I was younger.
   8. Greg K Posted: January 29, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3449671)
I'm in the process of watching the James Burke catalogue on youtube, so this story actually seems entirely normal to me.
   9. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3449681)
I don't know if Burke has ever come up here, but Ryan Jones said that this reminded him of Burke, too. I have been reading some of him lately. My first baseball writing that ever appeared online was a Six Degrees of Mike Morgan thing. I'm just going back to my roots.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 04:13 PM (#3449692)
In George Blanda's rookie season, the Bears still featured the legendary Sid Luckman, who was winding down his career by then. Luckman had been a teammate of George Musso for several years with the Bears. Musso had attended Milliken College and played a game against Eureka College, which included a guard named Ronald Reagan. Early in his broadcast career, Reagan recreated Cubs games on the radio. The Cubs at that time had pitcher Charlie Root, off of whom Babe Ruth either did or didn't call his shot. Ruth had been sold to the Yankees and became their regular right fielder in 1920. The last person to play right field for the Yankees before Ruth was George Halas, who was Blanda's first NFL coach.

It's all connected
   11. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3449709)
Mark David Chapman never should have written that book.
   12. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 04:58 PM (#3449752)
Post #11 was inevitable once this thread reached a certain length.
   13. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:14 PM (#3449778)
I re-read The Catcher in the Rye last night--first time since I was 21. Read it at 15 and again at 21. My own little good-bye to Salinger.

I had possibly the most awesomely stereotypical Catcher in the Rye moment ever when I, like many others, blasted through the book one night at 14 or so. It wasn't required reading in my high school, which completely blew in terms of anything intelligent or diverse being taught. In fact, the only decent English teacher we had was retiring that year, before I was going to be old enough to take senior English with her, so I had started talking to her to glean whatever I could out of class whenever I could. I ran into her outside of the school library the next morning, me all completely and utterly a-twitter and yammering about how amazing the book was, and how insightful, and this and that and got to the point where I said, "It really felt like I was reading about myself!" "Oh, that's the wonderful thing about Catcher," said Ms. Conway, "it's completely universal." And off she went.

Blank stare of utter deflation.

The book + that one sentence = formative life moment.


(I did always end up liking Raise High the Roof-Beam, Carpenters and Franny and Zooey more, personally.)
   14. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:19 PM (#3449783)
Raise High the Roof-Beam, Carpenters is my favorite of his
   15. Boxkutter Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:24 PM (#3449790)
Now, I know I am not the only one, but I thought Catcher in the Rye was garbage. Just a little pissant complaining for 200 pages. I read about three quarters of it when I was 30, but never finished it. Maybe it's one of the books that you read as a teen and you relate to and have fond memories of as an adult. I don't know.
   16. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3449792)
Post #11 was inevitable once this thread reached a certain length.


I'd been looking for the proper thread to put it in since I heard the news yesterday.
   17. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3449794)
Maybe it's one of the books that you read as a teen and you relate to and have fond memories of as an adult. I don't know.


bingo
   18. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:26 PM (#3449795)
@15

Agreed.
   19. rr Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:33 PM (#3449806)
Just a little pissant complaining for 200 pages.


Kind of like a BTF political thread.

That is sort of what CITR sounds like, but there is a lot more there. It has lasted for a reason. Also, remember it was published in 1951. Different time, and it had a different impact than it would today.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:33 PM (#3449808)
In George Blanda's rookie season, the Bears still featured the legendary Sid Luckman, who was winding down his career by then. Luckman had been a teammate of George Musso for several years with the Bears. Musso had attended Milliken College and played a game against Eureka College, which included a guard named Ronald Reagan. Early in his broadcast career, Reagan recreated Cubs games on the radio. The Cubs at that time had pitcher Charlie Root, off of whom Babe Ruth either did or didn't call his shot. Ruth had been sold to the Yankees and became their regular right fielder in 1920. The last person to play right field for the Yankees before Ruth was George Halas, who was Blanda's first NFL coach. It's all connected

And Luckman was a teammate of Communist theoretician (and fellow Columbia grad) Herbert Aptheker on a Brooklyn semi-pro team (The Bushwicks) that competed against Negro League teams with Josh Gibson. I only wish that some congressional committee would have grilled Ronald Reagan about that connection.
   21. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:43 PM (#3449827)
And gef the talking mongoose was born on Blanda's birthday, which brings BTF into the whole shebang, too.
   22. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:45 PM (#3449830)
@15 --

What those other guys said. I was about 16 when I read it, & while it didn't change my life in the slighest, I found it worthwhile. I can't ever imagine wanting to read it again or why anyone else would want to, either, but then that's probably true of somewhere around 99 percent of everything I've ever read.
   23. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:51 PM (#3449840)
I can easily understand why people would hate it or not feel connected to it, but I always get the feeling those who do can't seem to understand why anyone WOULD like it or feel it was relevant.
   24. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 29, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3449843)
I had the same English teacher for 3 years in HS; he would have been a teenager when CitR came out. His mancrushes were: William F. Buckley, Salinger and Thomas Hardy. We read all of Salinger's stuff, 3 or 4 Hardys. While I related to CitR of course, I liked RHtR-B,C and F&Z;better, too. The short stories were great -- I really liked A Perfect Day for Banana Fish. I reread all his works many times up to about age 25; haven't had the urge since.

EDIT: Oh, and my kids hated CitR.
   25. rr Posted: January 29, 2010 at 06:00 PM (#3449853)
I can easily understand why people would hate it or not feel connected to it, but I always get the feeling those who do can't seem to understand why anyone WOULD like it or feel it was relevant.


Salinger is a lot about voice. Not much "happens" in Salinger's books--no one gets laid, no one goes to war, societies don't shift--people just talk and observe and think. If you like Holden's voice, and Buddy's, and Franny's, then it is easy to get into him. If you don't, then you tend to see his characters as pretentious twits. And, I also think how one feels about Catcher in particular ties into the type of person one was in high school. The opening of the book, when he contrasts Holden, Ackley, and Stradlater, sets that tone.

Another thing going on is that CITR is kind of the Derek Jeter of American classic literature--great on its own terms, but mythologized and hyped in ways such that it is "uncool" to like it in many ways. But in the 50s--different story.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is similar in some ways, although Joyce is on a different level than Salinger. I had two profs in grad school who always said Portrait was "the worst book in history."
   26. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 06:01 PM (#3449854)
That is sort of what CITR sounds like, but there is a lot more there.


IIRC, my Literary Arts teacher Mr. Greer said that Holden was basically a Christ figure trying to save the children. FTR, this was at a Catholic HS.
   27. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 29, 2010 at 06:09 PM (#3449859)
Now, I know I am not the only one, but I thought Catcher in the Rye was garbage. Just a little pissant complaining for 200 pages. I read about three quarters of it when I was 30, but never finished it. Maybe it's one of the books that you read as a teen and you relate to and have fond memories of as an adult. I don't know.

I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye when I first read it, as a teenager. When I was in my late '20s, I read it again, and had your reaction.

Franny and Zooey holds up better to repeat readings, IMHO.
   28. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3449860)
my Literary Arts teacher Mr. Greer said that Holden was basically a Christ figure trying to save the children. FTR, this was at a Catholic HS.

that's exactly what Brother Carl said at my (Catholic) high school
   29. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 06:34 PM (#3449897)
The other thing I remember was that the reason he wore that cap backwards was because he was a Catcher.
   30. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 29, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3449941)
IIRC, my Literary Arts teacher Mr. Greer said that Holden was basically a Christ figure trying to save the children. FTR, this was at a Catholic HS.
I always, always got my Christ figures, man's inhumanity to man and cruelty of nature analogies wrong. A guy could be nailed to the cross, beseeching his father in heaven while multiplying loaves and fishes -- I would see a CF and would be told I was reading too much into it. Then there would be some character Joe Camel, and because he had the initials JC he'd be a CF -- but I would have missed it.
   31. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3449959)
Dammit, I could have gone
Maranville-McGinley-O'Neill-Salinger-Jackson-Southworth-Maranville
   32. rr Posted: January 29, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3449963)
One of my grad school profs did a unit on "cheap Christ figures" in American Lit and pop culture. Holden Caulfield was a case in point, of course, although I never really read CTR that way.
   33. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 29, 2010 at 08:37 PM (#3450081)
Catcher in the Rye was the worst pile of crap I ever read. Just putrid garbage. If it helped you out because you identified with it, great, more power to you. As for myself, it was time wasted that I never got back. I read it when I was maybe 17 years old, as required by AP English class.

Regarding the Christ-figures, I think there was a character in a book I read in high school that I heard the same BS about - his initials were JC, so he must be a Christ figure. I think it may have been someone in The Grapes of Wrath - a book I liked a lot. I can't blame the book for some terrible bit of analysis by someone else.

I also seem to recall a character from a Willa Cather story was a Christ figure because they wore a red hat. Just like Jesus himself!
   34. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 29, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3450082)
By the way, the reason I remember the Willa Cather bit is because I read about an interview she once gave, where the interviewer kept asking her about the red hat and insisting it meant the the character was Christ-figure-ish. She denied any such thing. The interviewer didn't believe her and asked her what the hat meant, and her response was basically that it was just a red hat and you shouldn't ready anything into it. That interview justified a lot of my feelings about the analysis of literature that I had to do in high school. You might say that interview was my "Catcher in the Rye" reading material, much more than that shitty book by Salinger.
   35. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2010 at 08:42 PM (#3450087)
sometimes a hat is just a cigar
   36. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 29, 2010 at 09:01 PM (#3450115)
Note: My anecdote about Willa Cather may actually have been about Flannery O'Connor. I often confuse one for the other.
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 29, 2010 at 09:02 PM (#3450120)
sometimes a hat is just a cigar

Too true.
   38. Morty Causa Posted: January 29, 2010 at 09:07 PM (#3450129)
Note: My anecdote about Willa Cather may actually have been about Flannery O'Connor. I often confuse one for the other.


Why don't you just quit while you still are giving the impression of seeming to fcck yourself in the ass--an optimum condition for you, I suspect.
   39. base ball chick Posted: January 29, 2010 at 09:40 PM (#3450177)
from larry mahnken's FB profile

"...People who need a punch in the face affect the lives of many. There is still no known cure for someone who deserves a punch in the face, except a punch in the face, but we can raise awareness..."

well first in line is holden caulfield

i can't even make it past the first chapter - what a waste of 1 hour of my life - because he is such a whiny little ########. if i knew he was supposed to be the bad guy and he be gettin some shtt later, i might could manage to keep reading - not sure how

i would not have felt like holden had anything to say if i could have read it when i as a teenager neither.

he isn't no christ figure - he wouldn't know the meaning of sacrifice iffn he had to copy the definition 100 times on the blackboard. that has got to be like one of the stupidest things i ever heard
   40. Morty Causa Posted: January 30, 2010 at 03:26 AM (#3450412)
That reminds me of what my senior class English teacher said to me after reading The Catcher in the Rye. "I just can't identify with it. I guess it's just too long since I was an adolescent boy," she said. "As long as it's been since you were a corpulent prince of Denmark whose father was murdered by his Uncle who then married his mother?" I replied. Strangely enough, our relationship got better after that. Probably because it didn't have anywhere to go but up after that.
   41. Morty Causa Posted: January 30, 2010 at 04:16 AM (#3450428)
James Cagney?

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