Monday, August 13, 2018

Bob Dylan Sings Don't Think Twice It's Alright in 2018

This concert performance of Don't Think Twice was posted on Youtube.  I don't know the exact concert venue.  It looks like Bob has colored his hair.  His voice seems shot, but I am glad that he is still performing at age 77.  There are concerts scheduled until 11/11/18, but presently nothing is planned for the NYC area.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Yankees 5 Texas Rangers 3 While Dodging the Rain

When you buy tickets for an outdoor event in advance, you never what the weather will be on that day.  I bought tickets for Yankees vs Rangers for August 11th months ago and found out this morning that the forecast would be for rain all day.  We usually leave for a 1 PM game at 11 AM to get to the game on time via subway.  At 11 AM I was still uncertain about going since I was afraid of having to sit through a long rain delay.  Some Yankee fans tweeted that the team wanted fans to come to the stadium to eat food while they wait for the game to start late if at all.

We decided to leave at 11:40 AM and arrived at our seats after the second inning.  Before we came Giancarlo Stanton hit his 29th home run as the Yankees lead 2-0 at the end of 2 innings.  Lance Lynn was solid in his second start for the Yankees but left after the 5th inning.  The Rangers tied the game in the 7th inning on a balk by Dellin Betances.  In the bottom of that inning, Miguel Andujar hit a 2-run homer to give the Yankees a 5-3.

It started to rain steadily in the 9th inning as Aroldis Chapman got into trouble by loading the bases with a walk, hit, and a hit batsman.  He struck out Jurickson Profar to get a shaky save.

Game recap

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Using My Librarian Skills For Baseball Research

For most of my career, I was a reference librarian, but I did do some indexing of professional journal articles.  For a while, I indexed articles for inclusion into a database of published articles cover products of a pharmaceutical company.  For a short time, I worked for H.W. Wilson who published the Applied Science and Technology Index.

When I was at the annual meeting I found out about the Baseball Index Project. It was formed to locate, identify, evaluate, classify and describe the literature of the national pastime.  Right now I am indexing articles from the Games Project to be included into the database.  There are about 1000 articles that need to be indexed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Reading Baseball Books for Pleasure at the NYPL Research Library

I decided to take a trip to Manhattan to look at a couple of baseball books at random at the Schwartzman Building of NYPL.  There seemed to be more tourists than users of the collection there.  The building is certainly a landmark which is of interest to visitors from all over the world.  When I went to the reading room, I observed that most of the patrons were using laptops and may not have been accessing the library's resources.

I looked at the following books:

Weeks, J. (2012). Cellar dwellers: The worst teams in baseball history. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

The 1962 Mets were obviously listed

Kurkjian, T., & Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. (2006). Major League baseball hometown heroes: The most outstanding players in baseball history, club by club. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

This was a coffee table book.

Bondy, F. (2014). WHO'S ON WORST?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History.

This included Anthony Young who lost 27 games in a row for the Mets in the early 1990s.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Remembering Charlotte Rae for Car 54 Where are You

It was announced today that actress Charlotte Rae passed away at age 92.  Although she is best known for her roles in "Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes", I remember her for playing Sylvia Schnauzer in "Car 54 Where are You?"  Sylvia was the wife of Patrolman Leo Schnauzer played by Al Lewis, best known for being Grandpa Munster.  Sylvia was a recurrent character in the series which was on the air from 1961-63.  She was very funny when she appeared.

Hank Garrett who played Officer Nicholson is now the only living member of the cast.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Braves 5 Mets 4 in 10 innings

Corey Oswalt started the game for the Mets today since Steven Matz is on the disabled list.  He looked good as the Mets took at 3-0 lead into the 4th inning, but the Braves started a comeback as pitcher Julio Teheran hit his first major league home run in the 5th inning.  Ender Inciarte hot a two-run homer in the 7th inning to tie the game.  Ozzie Albes drove in the go-ahead run for the Braves in the 9th, but Devin Mesoraco's homer in the 9th inning tied the game at 4.  Nick Markakis hit a home run in the 10th inning to give the Braves a 5-4 victory.

It has been a long and frustrating season for the Amazins.

Game Recap

Saturday, August 4, 2018

By the Time I got Out of Phoenix

I was booked on a Delta Airlines Flight scheduled to leave Phoenix on Friday at 10:55 AM and arrive at JFK at 7:00 PM.  I heard the day before that there had been some big thunderstorms in NYC the day before and that many flights in and out of the 3 airports were affected.  There was a tornado that touched down in College Point, just a mile from my apartment.

I left my hotel at about 8 AM and got into a taxi to the airport.  While I was in the cab I received a text message stating that my flight was delayed until 1:15 PM.  I thought I would continue on to the airport and sit around an extra 2 hours.  At 11:45 AM the airline announced that our flight was canceled.  The only alternative was to book a "redeye" flight that would leave Phoenix at 10:30 PM and arrive at JFK at about 6:30 AM.  We took that option, but it was just so boring to sit around the terminal.  All I could do was read, play with my iPhone, or walk around the terminal.  Such a situation creates anxiety as we were afraid the "redeye" could be canceled as well.

Thankfully, the flight left on time and we arrived home at about 7:15 AM.

What a day!

SF Giants 8 Arizona Diamondbacks 1

It was Zach Greinke vs Madison Bumgarner on Thursday night at Chase Field.  Greinke gave up two runs on four hits and struck five in six innings to lose for the first time in nine starts.  Four Diamondback relievers gave up 6 runs to give the Giants a comfortable lead.  Bumgarner got out of a few jams in the 5 innings that he pitched to get the victory.

Game Recap

The Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix  Art Museum was the last cultural institution we visited on our vacation.  It reminded me of the Metropolitan Museum in NYC since in both places the collections were eclectic featuring works from all over the world and different time periods.  A docent gave us a tour when we arrived.  She was quite knowledgeable, but I thought spent too much time detailing a few paintings.  Such tours should be more general.  Some of the exhibits were:

  • To Be Thirteen: Photographs and Videos by Betsy Schneider
  • In the Company of Women: Women Artist from the collection
  • Warriors of World War I: Sihk Art and Heritage
  • Rauschenberg and Johns - The Blurring of Art and Life

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Heard Museum

The Heard Museum specializes in the arts and cultures of Native Americans who settled in the Southwest. It is located on a campus of Spanish Colonial architecture with 130,000 square feet of galleries, classrooms and performance spaces.  Almost all of the artwork was from the 20th century.  A list of the current exhibits may found at  I was quite impressed by the knowledgeable docents who gave very thorough tours of the exhibits.  There was a collection of Katsina dolls donated by the late Senator Barry Goldwater and a room named after former Supreme Court Justice  Sandra Day O'Connor.

Grand Canyon Revisited

In August 1965 I went to the Grand Canyon for the first time with Camp Wel-Met.  53 years later I returned with Karen and Lee.  We started out at 7 AM in Phoenix and took a tour with a van that stopped at Sonoma before heading further north to the Grand Canyon.  Much of Arizona that I could view from the highway seemed very desolate.  Once we got to the south rim, we observed crowds of tourists.  It was a long day as we didn't return to our hotel until 8:30 PM.

Texas Rangers 9 Arizona Diamondbacks 5 at Chase Field

The reason we chose Phoenix for this year's vacation was to see a few games at Chase Field.  I can now add this ballpark to my list which I must publish in this blog,  Karen, Lee and I met up with Rich Jacoby, an old friend from my P.S, 139 days.  Rich lived for many years in Beverly Hills but relocated to Phoenix in 2013 when he retired.

Shin-Soo Choo hit two home runs with 4 RBIs to lead the Rangers to victory,  Since the stadium has a retractable dome we were unaware that there was a bad thunderstorm outside.  This storm caused the lights to dim in the 6th inning resulting in a 21-minute delay.

The problem with this game was just too many walks,

Monday, July 30, 2018

3 Museums Today in Phoenix

Our first stop of the day was the Arizona Capitol Museum.  Years ago the original capital building seen above was repurposed as a museum as the state legislature and similar offices were moved to adjacent buildings.  It uses a balance of technology, hands-on activities, historical artifacts, and public programs to help visitors learn about cultural, political and social history.  There was an exhibit that demonstrated the visit of Martin Luther King to Phoenix in 1968.  Another exhibit traced the history of the Phoenix Sun basketball team that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Our next stop was the Phoenix Police Museum which traced the history of the local department from its inception in the 19th century to the present.  There was a large exhibit about the Miranda case which happened in Phoenix in the 1960s,  Much of the equipment used by the police was demonstrated.  Below is a photo of Lee riding on a motorcycle.

The last museum of the day was the Wells Fargo History Museum which featured:

  • An authentic 19th Century stagecoach
  • A replica stagecoach you can climb aboard
  • Interactive telegraph
  • Art gallery—the largest public display of N.C. Wyeth’s western-themed work

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Arrived in Phoenix Today

We flew out from JFK airport this morning and flew out to Phoenix.  The only little problem was that only cookies were offered during a 5-hour flight.  I would have been willing to pay the airline for a lunch on the flight, but nothing was available.  When we arrived the temperature was 99 degrees, but with low humidity.

There was no bible in the hotel room.  It seems that the Gideons don't make the round anymore.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Dylan Cash Sessions - 1969

I was listening to Johnny Cash Radio when they featured Dylan-Cash sessions that were recorded in 1969.  This was never officially released, but can be purchased over the web.  I think I have the entire "album" on a cassette tape in my collection.  The only song that was on an official album was their duet of Girl from the North Country.  Above is a recording of Guess things happen that way.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Day at the Society of Illustrators

Today Karen and I visited the Society of Illustrators on East 63rd Street.  Two floors of the museum were devoted to an exhibition of original artwork showcasing characters from the Marvel Universe featuring the Avengers and other heroes.  There was also a video featuring Stan Lee and John Buscema describing how the images should be drawn.  The second exhibit was titled Funny Ladies at the New Yorker.  It is described as a commemoration of some of the women who drew cartoons for The New Yorker past and present.  The third exhibit featured the Tuskegee Airmen and the Harlem Hellfighters.

A Half Million Page Views of Bruce's Journal

Blogger, an analytics tool provided by Google, indicated today that there have been 500,000 page views of Bruce's Journal since I started it in October 2005. I have written about 3600 entries from the ridiculous to the sublime almost 13 years.

I sense that most of these page views are cursory as the viewer looks at my journal entry quickly and moves on to something else.  I never know who reads my journal.  I also sense that there are a few regular readers, but I don't know if these people have ever met me.  I got very responses the few times I tried to poll my readers.  Many readers access my journal through my Facebook page.

I plan to keep on writing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

RIP David Stein

Facebook friend David Stein passed away from complications of sepsis at age 70.  I met him online on AOL back in the late 1990s as he was an avid collector of oldies record and a fan of radio.  He sent me a replica WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt years ago.  I vaguely remember speaking to him over the phone, but I never met him.

I send my condolences to his longtime companion Barbara Murphy-Pastore, his family and many friends who will miss him.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Terrible Weather Forecast for the Week

It looks like it will rain for most of the week.  Here is the forecast from WNBC-TV:

"Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to move through parts of the region this morning, but do look to recede a bit further inland during the afternoon and evening. Still, it will be a very humid and gray day across most of the region, with highs peaking in the lower 80s in the city. Conditions will remain rather muggy and overcast tonight, with lows only dropping into the 70s. A few spotty showers or thunderstorms could pop up overnight, but this will mainly be across our suburbs north and west of town. Tomorrow will be a touch drier overall, and we could even see a few peeks of sunshine at times. However, there is still a possibility that we could see a few more showers and thunderstorms fire up during the day. Regardless, it will continue to feel very warm and humid across most of the region with highs rising back into the mid-80s."

Most museums are closed on Mondays and I just went to the movies yesterday.  I'll have to think of something to do.  I can always read yesterdays New York Times.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Suggestions for Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes just missed 57 games and came back last night to hit a home run to help the Mets beat the Yankees.  He missed today's game since he was sore after playing in just one game as DH.  Today it was announced that he may have to undergo surgery on both heels that would require a recovery of 8-10 months.

If you are interested take a look at this interview on Twitter.  Cespedes is using an interpreter to answer questions from reporters.  Here are 2 suggestions:

1.  You have a contract for $110 Million.  Can't you use a little bit of that to hire a tutor to teach you the English language?  Met fans who buy tickets and subscribe to cable TV are paying you big bucks.  Can't you communicate with us in English?  I don't think that is asking too much.

2.  If you have surgery on your heels, please do it soon so you can come back earlier in the 2019 season.

Friday, July 20, 2018

49th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

I remember being at home with my parents watching the moon landing on July 20, 1969.  I was taking summer session classes at CCNY that summer.  To celebrate the moon landing, classes were canceled.  That summer I also worked as a stock boy for Alexanders in Rego Park,

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Rubin Museum Today

I didn't know about the Rubin Museum until a few weeks ago when I heard an announcement about it on WBGO.  I was curious and thought I would check it out.  Some museums are comprehensive in the types of art they collect, but the Rubin was quite specific as it specializes in the art of the Himalayas and the surrounding regions.  Some of the art was as old as the 13th century while other offerings were as recent as 2017.  The docent who gave us a tour was quite knowledgeable as he gave detailed analyses of some of the artwork in the collection.

If I waited until August, I could have gotten free admission with my library card as I stated in my last entry.  I never object to paying to get into a museum as I believe in supporting cultural institutions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

You Can Now Get Free Admission to NYC Museums with a Library Card - Please Read the Fine Print

There was an announcement yesterday that NYC residents with a library card from Queens, Brooklyn, or NYPL can gain free admission to 33 museums.  The announcement implied that one can just walk into a museum, show a library card and get it.  You can read all the details at .   

One must access that website and pick a museum and make a reservation in advance.  For some of the museums, one must have to wait a month or more for an open date.  There is also a limitation on how many times one may visit a particular institution.  In any event, this is a very good deal.  I just felt that the details should have been given in the preliminary announcements.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Lee Saw Yellow Submarine for the First Time

 In 1968 I went with my friend Roy and his Dad and saw Yellow Submarine at the Fresh Meadows theater.  Some years I saw it on TV with Cousin Brucie as the host.  A few weeks ago I read about the re-release of the film in Goldmine Magazine.  Earlier this week I researched the movie in the Performing Arts Library of NYPL in Lincoln Center.  Today we went to the Kew Gardens Cinema to see it.  This version included the song Hey Bulldog which was omitted from the 1968 version,

Lee was so thrilled about seeing the movie.  When we got home he insisted on hearing the soundtrack CD again.  The music of the Beatles will never die, but "Greatest Hits" radio stations like WCBS-FM refuse to play their music which transcends the generations.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Mets 7 Nationals 4

I finally saw a good game at Citi Field as the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 7-4 with a good pitching performance by Zach Wheeler who won the first time since April 29.  The Mets took a 7-0 that featured a  3-run homer by Michael Conforto.  It seemed to be a safe lead but Wheeler faltered in the 8th inning by giving up a 2-run homer by Matt Adams.  I felt that Mickey Callaway kept Wheeler in a little too long, but all's well that ends well as Jeurys Familia closed the door in the 9th inning for his 17th save.

Game recap

Friday, July 13, 2018

Happy Birthday Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn is 76 years young today.  I have been following him since 1965 when the Byrds version of Mr. Tamborine Man was a #1 hit.  Above is a video of Roger with fellow Byrd Chris Hillman singing You Ain't Goin' Nowhere.  Roger, Chris, and others will be touring for the 50th anniversary of the seminal LP Sweetheart of the Rodeo.  I will be buying tickets for their show at Town Hall on September 24.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Listening to Sports Talk Radio

Since I've been retired, I listen to WFAN and ESPN New York with some degree of regularity. I find that I can only listen for 20-30 minutes at a time. First of all, there is so much repetition of the topics of the day. I am especially annoyed with callers who constantly speculate on trades. If I tune in later in the day, I hear the same speculations. Should the Mets trade Jacob deGrom? Also, it seems that the commercial load on sports talk stations is very high. I just have to tune out after hearing more than 3 minutes of spots.

There was a report today that Mike Francesa's WFAN show beats Michael Kay's ESPN Radio show in the ratings.  I do listen to both, but it annoys when Michael Kay and his two co-hosts talk too much about non-sports topics.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Researching Yellow Submarine Before Seeing the Movie Again

I found out that the Beatles Yellow Submarine movie will be re-released for theaters this month and will be shown next weekend at the Kew Gardens Cinema.  I took a ride to Manhattan to read the book seen above at the Performing Arts Research Library of NYPL at Lincoln Center.  Here are some facts that I discovered about the film:

  • It premiered in the UK on July 17, 1968, thus the re-release is scheduled for the 50th anniversary.  I was not released in the USA until November of that year.
  • Al Brodax was the producer
  • The Beatles had no role in the production of the film.  Their voices were done by actors.  They did appear at the very end.
  • Heinz Edelmann designed the Yellow Submarine for the movie
  • Erich Segal of Love Story fame was a screenwriter
  • There were 200 animators but only 10  were considered the creative drive behind the basic design and preparation.
  • The film was renovated in 1999 and 2012 and re-released in those years.
  • The original American version did not include Hey Bulldog

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tampa Bay Rays 9 Mets 0 - I should have gone to a museum today

When I bought Met tickets in March, I didn't buy anything for July since I didn't know when in the month we would go on vacation.  Since we are not leaving until July 29, I thought we would get tickets for one or two games early in the month.  Since the weather forecast was promising, I decided to get tickets for today's game.  If I had bought promenade infield seats from the box office, I would have paid $40.  I checked out StubHub and was able to buy tickets for $17 each.  I guess season ticket holders are trying to dump their tickets.

C.J Cron hit a three-run home run for the Rays in the first inning off starting pitcher Chris Flexen.  it was then downhill from there for the Mets.  At the end of the 6th inning, the Rays were ahead 7-0 and to add insult to injury Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi retired the first 18 batters.  Brandon Nimmo singled in the 7th for the Mets to end the threat of a perfect game.  The Rays scored two more runs to win 9-0.

I should have gone to a museum today.

Game Recap

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Museums that I Have Visited in 2018

Here is a list of museums I have visited since I retired in January 2018:

  1. Brooklyn Museum – David Bowie Exhibit
  2. Frick Collection
  3. Guggenheim Museum
  4. Holocaust Museum
  5. International Center of Photography
  6. Jewish Museum
  7. Metropolitan Museum of Art
  8. Museum of Modern Art – Manhattan
  9. Museum of Modern Art – PS1 – Queens
  10. Museum of Sex
  11. Museum of the American Indian
  12. New Museum
  13. Paley Center for Media
  14. Skyscraper Museum
  15. Whitney Museum
In the months to come I want to see:

Brooklyn Museum - I only saw the David Bowie exhibit
Queens Museum - this one is really close to home
American Museum of Natural History - this is an all-day trip
Bronx Museum of Art

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Visited the New Museum on the Lower East Side

The New Museum was established by an independent curator Marcia Tucker in 1977. It is dedicated to introducing new art and new ideas, by artists who have not yet received significant exposure or recognition.  If you go to this museum, don't expect to view Andy Warhol, Picasso, Monet, Manet, or any other familiar artist.

The exhibits that I viewed today were mostly videos which seemed to be very "off-beat".  The featured artists were:

  • Anna Boghiguian
  • Hiwa K
  • Aaron Fowler
  • Naufus Ramirez-Figeroa
  • John Akomfrah
  • Thomas Bayrle  - this was my favorite

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Starting the Second Half of the Baseball Season

After 81 games the Mets are 33-48 which is pretty bad.  What happened to the team that started out as 11-1?  I read that Noah Syndergaard, Yoenes Cespedes, and Jason Vargas are all progressing in rehab, but there is no timetable for their return.  It is obvious that Sandy Alderson will not be back as General Manager, so who will assume that position?  What deals will be made by the July 31 trade deadline?  I hope the Mets will build their future around deGrom and Syndergaard and not trade either one.

The Yankees are in second place with a 54-28 record one game behind the Red Sox.  I think they will need one more starting pitcher to strengthen their rotation.  It is imperative that the Bombers finish ahead of the BoSox to avoid having to play in the wild-card game.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

This Silly Commercial Perpetuates a Prejudicial Stereotype

As a research librarian for almost 40 years, it was my job to expedite the flow of information from the person creating it to someone needing it.  I always enjoyed consulted with students, faculty, and staff to understand their question and guide them to find the information they need.  Today, much research can be done outside a building known as a library which must be a quiet place.  Some ambient noise is unavoidable.  Librarians do not spend most of their time shushing people as it is implied in this commercial.

Librarians and other professionals regularly attend conferences to exchange ideas.  They don't just sit at a desk as shown in this commercial.

By this way, the commercial was filmed at the main reading room of the Schwartzman Building of the New York Public Library.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

20th Anniversary of the Flushing Branch of the Queens Library

We took a walk to Flushing Branch of the Queens Library to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the current building.  This is actually the 4th building at the intersection of Kissena Blvd. and Main St. to house a library.  The speakers included:

  • Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott
  • Congresswoman Grace Meng
  • Assemblyman Ron Kim
  • Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman
There was a slideshow of the history of this branch library.  We stayed for a short performance by the Charles Bartlett Quartet.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dan Ingram Recording from 1975

Since many readers of Bruce's Journal may not be radio enthusiasts, I am posting a recording of his WABC show from 1975.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My Visit to the International Center for Photography

Today I took a subway ride to the Lower East Side to see what was in the International Center of Photography.  It is a relatively small museum that offered four exhibits:

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment.  There were photographs taken worldwide displayed from the 1930s and 1940s.  His influential photobook was described as "a Bible for photographers."
  • Elliot Erwitt: Pittsburgh 1950 - Back then it was an industrial city.  Obviously much has changed over 68 years.
  • Multiply, Identify, Her:  A collage of works by an intergenerational group of woman artists exploring the construction and implications of hybrid and multiple identities.
  • RFK Train:  The People's View.  This exhibit is timely since it is the 50th anniversary of his assassination.  There are audio and video remembrances of bystanders who viewed the train with his casket as it traveled from NYC to Arlington National Cemetery.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sad Radio News - Dan Ingram Passes Away at 83

Photo I took of Dan Ingram on the WABC Cruise
June 2007

I heard the sad news this morning that radio legend Dan Ingram just passed away.  He was absolutely the greatest.  For 20 years he did the afternoon shift at WABC in its heyday as a Top 40 station.  He later did weekends at WCBS-FM.  I had the pleasure of meeting him at the WABC Cruise in June 2007.  Thankfully, many airchecks of his radio shows are available online, so people can listen to him.  My condolences to his family.

Clips of Dan Ingram compiled by Rob Frankel

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Final Day of SABR 48

The final day of the meeting started with a panel discussion among Pirate broadcaster Joe Block and former players John Candelaria and Grant Jackson.  They discussed their experiences playing the Bucs many years ago and fielded questions from the audience.  I then attended a meeting the the BioProject chaired by Gregory Wolf.  I have exchanged many emails with Gregory over the years, but I met him for the first time at this meeting.

One major league baseball issue recently has been the length of games.  David W. Smith of discussed many factors which result in longer games today.  Changes such as limiting the number of visits by the catcher to the pitcher have not alleviated this situation.  Whether I am at the game or watching on TV slow games can be a drag.

Mark Armour, an active SABR member chaired a session on season-long platoons.  He discussed numerous sets of platoon partners.

The highlight of the day was a discussion of the Pittsburgh Pirate years of Branch Rickey.  My favorite panelist was Frank Thomas who played for the 1962 Mets and set a record for home runs by an expansion team players.  Most of the time he talked about his time with the Pirates.  Another panelist was Jeffrey Flannery of the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress.  He described a forthcoming exhibition called Baseball Americana.  There is much information in his library on Branch Rickey.

My last three talks of the day were:

  • Negro Leagues=Major Leagues
  • 1961 Perspective of Fricks 61* Ruling
  • Research Committee Meeting on Baseball Records
Back home tomorrow.

Busy Day 2 at SABR 48

The first meeting was a media panel where three Pittsburgh Pirate broadcasters discussed their experiences in covering a team from the broadcast booth.  The speakers were:

  • Curt Smith - Moderator
  • Greg Brown - long time Pirate play-by-play announcer
  • Steve Blass - color commentator and former player
  • Lanny Frattare - retired Pirate broadcaster
  • Joe Block - Pirate play-by-play announcer
From there I attended a talk titled; The Warhol Triple Play Maris Seaver and Rose

The speakers showed drawings that Warhol did of those three baseball stars.  One of them worked at the nearby Andy Warhol Museum.  I wish I had the time to visit, but I'll have to make another trip to  Pittsburgh to see it.

Th next talk was:  In Harmony the National Anthem for the National Pastime

Joseph Price described a cross-country trip where he sang the Star Spangled Banner at 104 minor league ballparks.  He even wrote a book about this trip.

At 12 noon I attended the SABR Awards luncheon.  From there we walked from the hotel across the Roberto Clemente Bridge tp PNC Park.  The SABR group was greeted by Pirate manager Clint Hurdle.  Three Pirate employees spoke to the group about analytics that is used by teams to evaluate players and make decisions during the game.

This session ended at 4 PM so we had to wait 3 hours for the game between the Diamondbacks and the Pirates to begin.  It was a long evening as in 13 innings the Pirates lost 2-1.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Busy First Day at #SABR48

My meeting with the Games Committee started at 7:30 AM.  Chairman Mike Huber gave some statistics:

  • 2240 games were assigned.
  • 941 articles were completed.
  • 353 articles for books were completed.
  • 950 games are awaiting publication for a book project.
Len Levin, one of the editors for this project, gave some hint for those writing articles.  I think if Len edited Bruce's Journal he would find many errors.  :)

The next two events were:
  • The SABR business meeting
  • Opening remarks by Pittsburgh Pirate President Frank Coonelly
There was a one-hour session on the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente who is revered by baseball fans and Puerto Ricans.  There is sentiment for retiring uniform #21 throughout major league baseball.

In the afternoon I attended a talk about the relationship between Branch Rickey and Ralph Kiner when he played for the Pirates.  Of course, Kiner is best known in NYC for his broadcasting years for the Mets.

The next talk considered Hank Greenberg's time with the Pirates in 1947.

I went to a meeting of the Baseball Index Project Committee.  I am interested in indexing SABR documents for inclusion in

The last three talks that attended were:

  • Wendell Smith of the Pittsburgh Courier: His Life and Legacy
  • The Humidor and the predictive powers of physics
  • Injuries in the Stands: MLB responds with extended netting
I went out to dinner with some of the guys from the Games Project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Arrived Safely in Pittsburgh

I called a local cab company at about 11 AM and arrived at LaGuardia in a few minutes.  It didn't take too long to go through security and I arrived at the gate in plenty of time.  Terminal C which serves Delta Airlines was renovated and looked much better than it did in the past.  The flight to Pittsburgh was less than half full which was only a problem for the airline who likely lost money.  I arrived at about 3 PM and took a van to the hotel.  It rained very hard at the time the van left the airport.  By the time I got to the hotel the rain had stopped.

After I unpacked I checked out the wifi and started to listen to Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM.  The welcoming reception starts at 6 PM.

Starting tomorrow, I'll give reports on the SABR meeting.

Leaving for Pittsburgh Later Today for the SABR Annual Meeting

I have been a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) for about 4 years.  Recently, I have been involved in the Games Project.  I went to the national meeting in NYC last year and really enjoyed attending the sessions.  I really need to get away from home for a few days and decided to attend this year's meeting in Pittsburgh.  I have been in touch with many people in the organization through email since I have been a member.  I will have an opportunity to speak to them face to face while I am in Pittsburgh.  My flight leaves from Laguardia at 1:40 PM.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Visited the American Folk Art Museum and Lincoln Center

Today we visited the American Folk Art Museum on Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Street.  It was a small museum that did not have an admission charge, but we gave them a small donation.  This museum is devoted to the creative expressions of self-taught artists of diverse backgrounds.

The current exhibition was titled Charting the Divine Plan: The Art of Orra White Hitchcock (1796–1863).  She was an illustrator was western Massachusetts whose husband was a biologist at Amherst College.

From there we walked around the Lincoln Center area and stopped by the Metropolitan Opera shop and the Performing Arts Library of NYPL.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This Woman Inspired of 3 Hit Songs by 2 Rock Icons

I just completed this autobiography of Pattie Boyd published in 2007.  I actually saw her at the Beatles Fest in 2014.  She candidly detailed her relationships with two rock icon whom she married.  She first met George Harrison on the set of A Hard Days Night and married him a few years later.  Pattie divorced George since he was a womanizer and eventually married Eric Clapton.  She inspired these 3 hits.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

James Brown Covers George Harrison's Something

I very rarely read about singer-songwriters commenting about other artists covering their songs.  Right now I am reading:  Boyd, Pattie, and Penny Junor. 2008. Wonderful tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and me. New York: Three Rivers Press.  Pattie commented that there are over 150 covers of Something, but George thought that the James Brown version was the best.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Mets Salvage One Game of the Subway Series by Beating the Yankees 2-0

I attended game 1 in person but watched games 2 and 3 on TV.  Todd Frazier's 2-run homer coupled with excellent pitching was able to beat the Yankees 2-0 last night.  It was the only time this season that the Bronx Bombers were shut out.  This victory gives the Mets a small psychological boost, but what will happen during the rest of the season?  Can they return to respectability after playing so poorly so far?  They have been affected by several injuries and the hitting has just been poor.

There are some suggestions that the Mets should trade deGrom and/or Syndergaard for some hitting prospects.  I wouldn't do that since minor league players often don't work out once they are promoted to the major leagues.  They just made some roster moves by releasing Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Lobaton and promoting Dominc Smith and Ty Kelly.  I really think that Jose Reyes should be let go as he has performed very poorly this season.  Last night he made 2 errors on one play.

Time will tell.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Yankees 4 Mets 1 in Game 1 of the Subway Series

The Yankees are moving up while the Mets are going down.  This was obviously played out in last night's Subway Series game. Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and pitched very well until Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer in the 8th inning.  Since the Mets are just not hitting that was enough.  The only highlight for the "Amazins" was a home run hit by Brandon Nimmo in the first inning.  If they can't win with their top pitcher, when will they win again as they have now lost 7 in a row?  Yoenes Cespedes is not the answer.

Game Recap

Friday, June 8, 2018

Ben's Best Deli in Rego Park Will Close on June 30 After 73 Years

Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that once a year or so I walk around Rego Park and observe what has changed over the years.  Ben's Best Deli is one of the few businesses that has remained at its original location since I grew up there in the 1960s.  I found out yesterday that it will be closing on June 30 after being in business since 1945.  I remember my mother sent me there on Sunday afternoons to pick up delicatessen for dinner.  My dad always liked to eat specials (knockwurst) while I ate either salami or pastrami.  I remember Ben Parker who at times was a braggart about the quality of his food.  After he passed away his son Jay took over the business.  He was interviewed for the documentary Deli Man a few years ago.

I reported here in 2008   about the demise of several kosher delis in Queens over the years.  Likely, those delis lost their customer base since the Jewish population in the area has declined.  I understand that there are many Bukharin Jews living in Rego Park, but have their own kosher restaurants and may not patronize Bens.  Very often businesses close since their landlords raise their rents dramatically making it financially impossible to keep going.

It certainly will be the end of an era in Rego Park,

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Orioles 1 Mets 0

Since I am retired I am able to go to the weekday afternoon games for the Mets and Yankees.  So far I have been to 1 Yankee and 2 Met games during the week.  Bad weather prevented me from going to a few more.  This morning I was able to buy a ticket in section 516 behind home plate for $11.23.  By chance, I encountered fellow 1967 Forest Hills HS grade Phil Belkin in the same section.

The Met hitting woes continued as they were only able to get 5 hits off Oriole pitchers.  They loaded the bases in the 7th inning, but Amed Rosario struck out with the bases loaded.  In the 8th inning, the Orioles scored the lone run on a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado.  The only positive was an excellent 7 inning performance by Zach Wheeler.

The Mets have now lost 6 games in a row and drop to a 27-32 record just before the Yankees and their fans invade Citi Field on Friday.    When will they begin to hit again?

Game Recap

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Visit to the Frick Collection and its Art Reference Library

I continued my "tour" of  New York City museums today by visiting the Frick Collection at 5th Avenue and 70th Street. Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was an industrialist from Pittsburgh who moved to NYC late in life and bequeathed his residence and works of art to a board of trustees permitting additions to the collection.  The building was open to the public in 1935 as an art museum.  I am not an expert in art or art history, but most of the paintings were from western European artists from the late 19th or early 20th century. Works from other eras were also represented.  Mr. Frick liked portraits of women in beautiful dresses.

I also visited the Frick Art Reference Library described as one of the foremost resources in the world of European and American Art.  I spoke to a reference librarian who did not know how its collection differed from that of the Art Division of NYPL.  Since I would only seek popular works about art, I would not have to use a research level collection.

Monday, June 4, 2018

There are Just Too Many Trailers Preceding Movies

Today, I went to the AMC Bay Terrace Complex to see the film Adrift scheduled to begin at 12:15 PM.  After several trailers (previews) the movie didn't begin until 12:40.  I didn't count the number of previews this time, but often there up to 7 before the actual start.  I don't mind sitting through a few, but 7 taking up to 25 minutes is just excessive.  This is especially annoying when the film is long.  We pay enough to see movies in a theater, but these trailers are essentially commercials which we can see at home any time.

Very often a trailer is shown and then that movie is never shown at that theater.  For example, I saw trailers for Book Club and Adrift at the College Point Multiplex, but those films were never shown there.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cubs 2 Mets 0

What happened to that team that started the season 11-1?  There was so much optimism at that point that with a new manager and coaching staff the Mets could make a significant improvement over the 70-92 record of 2017.  Jon Lester dominated the Mets who could only muster 3 hits today.  The Cubs scored on a steal of home by Javier Baez and a sacrifice fly by Ben Zobrist.   The Cubs swept the series as the Mets could only score 6 runs in the 4-game series.  The Amazins lost 9 out of the last 11 as their record dropped to 27-30.  Since their outstanding start, they are 16-29.

The Mets should be encouraged by Steve Matz's performance who allowed 2 runs and 5 hits, but a team can't win without hitting.

Game Recap

Friday, June 1, 2018

I Lost Interest in Basketball and Hockey Playoffs

Today is June 1 and basketball and hockey playoffs are still in progress.  Before you know it the training camps for next season will open.  I am primarily a baseball fan and following the Mets and Yankees.  Of the 5 winter sports teams in NYC, only the NJ Devils made the playoffs and they were eliminated in the first round.  For that reason, I have lost interest in the basketball and hockey playoffs.  I have other interests besides sports.  In both the NBA and NHL 16 teams make the playoffs creating an extended season that lasts until June.  The more games that are played, the more money is earned for the owners.  Of course, money is the name of the game.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Brief Comments on Two Biographies that I Just Finished

Keith uses a thematic rather than chronological approach to this memoir.  He is not a professional writer but did get editorial assistance.  He talks about his growing up in Northern California and his relationships with his father and brother.  There is much talk about his baseball career in the minor leagues and with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Although there are sections relating to his experiences in broadcasting for the Mets, there is a minimal discussion about his career playing for them in the 1980s.  This my disappointment with the book.

Paul did spend much time with biographer Robert Hilburn.  It was quite unfortunate that Art Garfunkel refused to be interviewed for this book.  A chronological approach is used by the author tracing Simon's career from his early days in Queens to the present.  His conflicts with Art were well documented.  The author balances Paul's personal and professional lives.  Reading the book encouraged me to view some music videos of some of Paul's songs.
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