"…and not for five minutes will I be distracted from the wonder…"

Books, Baseball, Dawn Birds…

Uncategorized — d-ashes on April 16, 2005 at 5:52 am

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep so I
burned some midnight oil on the new Lemuria website design. We’re
probably a month away from taking it live.

Up until about 30 minutes ago there was a hoot owl serenading me in
the backyard. I can’t remember the last time I heard such a bird in the
middle of Jackson and it’s been a while since I’ve heard a hoot owl at
all. It reminded me of the horned owl that we could see almost nightly
at my grandparents down in Louisiana. He was huge and appeared both
ominous and regal sitting on the lit utility pole above the
woodpile. It turns out the owl has had that same varied representation in the
myths and legends of the world. Some despise it, some revere it. Check
out some different takes here.

The Braves put on a hitting clinic last night, beating the Phillies
handily in their first meeting of the season. While I have some petty
misgivings about Jackie Robinson Day
being forever paired with tax day
(certainly he deserves better, right?, though I guess the date of his
first game in the majors is the date to choose), it was fitting that on
that day Brave’s manager Bobby Cox tied Leo Durocher, Robinson’s
manager when he
integrated baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers in ’47, for career wins
with last night’s W. My first love affair with reading about baseball
was books about the Brooklyn Dodgers (perhaps the book that led to
all others was Brooklyn’s Dodgers: The Bums, the Borough, and the Best of Baseball, 1947-1957??)
and they quickly became my favorite historical team of all time, partly
because of the working class feel of their players and fans, the simple
beauty of Ebbets Field
and also because it opened a whole new door through which to hate the
Yankees. It’s one thing to hate a team in the present. Hating them for
reasons that occurred before you were even born ups the ante a bit, I’d
say.

And speaking of baseball books, I’ve got Joe Formichella’s upcoming book Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson: the Legend of the Prichard Mohawks
sitting right next to me and I think I’m going to put the computer down
and read it until I can get some more sleep. I’d like to tell you more
about the book, but not at 5 am on a Saturday, so I’m going to simply
c&p the publisher’s description for you.

In March of 1948, Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers came
to Mobile, Alabama, on a whistle stop tour to play an unremarkable
exhibition game that had remarkable consequences for the city, the
black community, and for baseball itself. Thrilled to see the man who
broke major league baseball’s color barrier, Robinson’s brief
appearance fueled a passion for the game among the city’s black
population. One man, however, saw more than just excitement for a
sport. Thirty-year-old Jesse Norwood saw a way to help the kids who
would congregate beyond his stoop, lost and hopeless in the segregated
South of the 1950s. Though having no baseball experience at any level,
he realized he could take the model of the game and build it into a
sense of dignity and pride. Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson: the Legend
of the Prichard Mohawks is the story of a man who transformed a gang of
scrawny youngsters into both a team and a genuine force in the
community. Norwood emerges as a figure worthy of legend, and his legacy
can still be felt today. With a novelist’s gift for storytelling,
Formichella breathes life into a South long gone and creates a hero’s
story, sometimes heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking, that begins
in a sandlot and ends in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The dawn birds have begun to sing…

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