OneForFive Scoresheets in Their Natural Habitat
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Posted by Paul on August 26, 2015 | Short Link

Do you have any photos of your scoresheets that you’d like to share?

Joe Krebs posted this photo on the APBA Baseball Facebook page with the caption: "Up before the wife and baby get up so I can get a jump start on them on our vacation..."

Joe Krebs posted this photo on the APBA Baseball Facebook page with the caption: “Up before the wife and baby get up so I can get a jump start on them on our vacation…”

Bleachers 75 Cents: Ebbets Field 1957
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Posted by Paul on August 25, 2015 | Short Link

I Dreamt of Landon Donovan
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Posted by Paul on August 24, 2015 | Short Link
Abandoned Hangar

Or: What We Talk About When We Talk About Fear

I dreamt last night that I was at some kind of convention in a large hall, like an airplane hangar. The hangar was split down the center by a temporary wall with just one door adjoining the two halves.

On one side of the wall were alcoholics who wanted to quit drinking. On the other side of the wall were alcoholics who didn’t want to quit drinking. What I wish I remember about this dream, but don’t, is on which side of the wall I stood. What I do remember is that I didn’t want to be on whichever side I was; I really wanted to be on the other side.

Buoyed by a resolve that I would be better off on the other side of the wall, I moved toward the door. As I reached to open it, I felt an arm land upon my shoulder. A warm, friendly arm.

You’re going to find this a little ridiculous but that friendly, comforting arm belonged to Landon Donovan, former captain of the US Men’s National Soccer Team.

“Hey, I’ve got someone I want you to meet,” he said.

“I was just going over there, though, through the door. I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t go with you,” I countered.

“He’s outside,” Landon Donovan said. “He wants to talk to you about language. About the words you use. Come on.”

Donovan let go of my shoulder and held his arm out to me. I linked my arm in his. We made the long walk across the wide floor and left the hangar.

Outside, in a dusty lot, sitting at a patio table in the shade of its umbrella was a man. He was late middle-aged, a bit paunchy, but calm and comfortable in his skin. With a gentle gesture he invited me to sit with about fear

“I want to talk to you about language,” he said. “Specifically, the language that you use that unconsciously betrays your inner struggles and feelings.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand,” I said. He sipped at a drink in a glass.

“Have you noticed,” he said, “that you speak of fear with almost everything you say?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean,” I answered.

He said nothing. And I thought about my words.

I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean

I thought about my fear, the fear that crouches in the shadows of each sentence I speak. In the dark places I don’t go even to unpack my own emotions, my fear whispers accusations that can be heard in faint echoes at the edges of my voice.

I’m afraid I don’t understand

I thought about my fear. I thought about the ways I sabotage myself with accusations, false labels, and lies. And then I woke up.

When I pray, I pray for clear signs. I’m not good with subtlety and I don’t trust myself to interpret signs without viewing them through the lens of my own ego. I do trust, however, that I’ll be given clear directions toward my best future if I only ask and sincerely offer myself to be of service to God as I understand him.

So if this was a clear, unsubtle message from God as I understand him, then I need to pay attention to my language today. I need to think about how the words I use can frame or crystallize emotion even subconsciously. How Fear lies and accuses and steers me wrong, away from the path God would otherwise have me on.

I don’t know why Landon Donovan was there. I suppose it’s because Donovan represents a kind of optimistic dedication to the idea that if you work hard, you make progress. That if you believe in your cause and stay true to its ideals, that you will move in the right direction.

I’m confident that this is right for me today. It’s a strong and lovely feeling, to feel that I’m following God’s directive, that I’m doing “the next indicated thing.” I trust, also, that with gratitude and sincerity in my thoughts and actions, that I’ll be granted the serenity, courage, and wisdom of which I’ve dreamt.

1985 Pat Clements – Basic & Advanced
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Posted by Paul on August 23, 2015 | Short Link

The Basic side of this card was originally posted on 9-24-2014. I’m reposting now thanks to a gracious reader by the name of John McTernan who was kind enough to send a scan of the Advanced side.

This is the infamous and obscure 1985 Pat Clements card.

1985 Pat Clements

This card was mistakenly not included in the original set that was released in 86, but Strat-O-Matic Games provided it to anyone who wrote a letter to the company and asked for it. Because of the circumstances, very few of these cards ever went into circulation.

Pat Clements 1985 Basic

From the Wayback Machine: RIP Ray Bradbury
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Posted by Paul on August 22, 2015 | Short Link

On today, what would have been his 95th birthday, here is an anecdote from my own life that I posted when science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91 on June 5, 2012.


I met Ray Bradbury when I was 12, maybe 13 years old, in Fresno, California. He had just given some lecture to some literary society and I had used my big puppydog eyes to full-effect to charm my way in to the event, though I didn’t have a ticket.

It was after the event and he had been ushered off-stage (it was a theater, I remember, maybe at the university?), but I had sneaked my way behind the curtain.

He had a drink in his hand, of what, I don’t know. I introduced myself. I would like to be a novelist someday, too, I said.

When he was about my age, he began, young Ray Bradbury dreamed of someday meeting WC Fields. He was WC Fields’ biggest fan. As fate would have it, Bradbury didn’t live too far from the studios in Hollywood where Fields worked.

So one day the kid decided to sneak onto the lot. He did, he got caught, he implored the guard to let him meet Fields and finally – after employing his own puppydog eyes, no doubt – Bradbury won the recalcitrant guard to his side. But upon meeting Fields, the boy was overwhelmed. I’m your biggest fan, Ray told him. WC Fields took a long look at the boy.

After a silence, Fields said to young Bradbury: “Get outta here ya little shit, ya bother me.”

In my hand I held a paper flier for the event. Bradbury took it from me and signed it with a scribble. In a moment after a silence, he looked at this star-struck young would-be sci-fi novelist and said: “Now get outta here ya little shit, ya bother me.”

True story.

RIP Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

“My life has always been writing. I love libraries, I love bookstores. I love writing and I can’t stop. So until God hits me with a baseball bat, I won’t lie down.

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