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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Great trivia question

Question: Which player hit the most home runs and had the most runs-batted-in during the decade of the 1950s?

Answer: If you said Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays or Stan Musial, you would be wrong. … The answer is the great Duke of Flatbush — Edwin “Duke” Snider — with 326 homers and 1,031 RBIs.

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Duke of Flatbush enters the game in Heaven

"We knew 'em all from Boston to Dubuque. Especially Willie, Mickey and the Duke."

Edwin “Duke” Snider, a Brooklyn Dodgers icon and one of baseball’s best all-around players in the 1950s, died today.

He was 84.

Snider is the Dodgers’ all-time leader in home runs and various other categories. His left-handed bat anchored the lineup of one of baseball’s greatest dynasties — the 1947-59 Dodgers (Snider became a regular in 1949).

Snider also was an outstanding center fielder, and he earned a reputation of delivering in the clutch. He was the only player to hit four homers twice in a World Series, according to the New York Times.

The Duke of Flatbush — whose nickname was derived from Flatbush Ave., where Ebbets Field was located — was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

A nice obituary by the New York Times today.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

This and that and the other thing

Had a very nice visit with Jill’s brother’s family in Carroll yesterday and this morning. I had a rare Saturday off; it was nice to spend it with family.

Lots of excitement at their house. Video games, ping pong, air hockey, more video games — I felt like I was in junior high again. 🙂

A special thanks to Kevin and his family for hosting, and for the delicious meal Saturday evening.

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Stopped at the Pizza Ranch in Jefferson on the way home. One of the best things about living in Iowa is eating at the Pizza Ranch. 🙂

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My department at work moved from one area of the building to another last week.

I had worked in the same area since I graduating from college, so lots of blood, sweat, tears and memories. I’m sure there will be lots of good memories in our new area, too.

I must admit that having a new area to work makes going to the office a little more exciting. Kind of like when you were a kid and you moved your bedroom furniture around.

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Caught the end of the Laker game on ABC this afternoon. They beat an excellent Oklahoma City team on the road. I think the Lakers have won four or five games in a row.

UCLA’s best win of the season came Saturday against Arizona. The Bruins dismantled the No. 10 Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood. From the Associated Press game story:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA struggled all season to put two solid halves together. The Bruins waited until their last game at historic Pauley Pavilion to do it, helped by a last basket that John Wooden surely had an assist.

Reeves Nelson had a career-high 27 points and 16 rebounds, and the Bruins defeated No. 10 Arizona 71-49 on Saturday to tie the Wildcats for first place in the Pac-10 in the last men’s game played in the arena before it closes for renovation.

Fittingly, the late Wooden’s great-grandson Tyler Trapani, a walk-on who rides the Bruins’ bench, got in the game and scored their final basket.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Rise and shine!

Breakfast has become something of a main event for Dodgerkramer.

The morning meal had never been a big deal for me until the last few months. Now it’s something I look forward to each day.

The new diet that I’ve been following calls for a bigger breakfast, a small lunch and a normal-sized dinner. The larger breakfast usually helps me curb my appetite later in the day — although sometimes I fail and have two or three large meals in a day.

Breakfast has almost always meant a quick bowl of cereal and let’s start thinking about lunch. But lately, I’ve been diversifying the first meal of the day. One day it’ll be bagels and cream cheese. The next day might be oatmeal. The following day could be fresh fruit and perhaps toast and jelly.

The best part about breakfast, of course, is hanging out with Maisa at the kitchen table. For her, the best part might be watching Dora the Explorer. 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

I miss our chats

Today would have been a great day to call my Dad and talk baseball.

When I heard about Adam Wainwright’s injury this morning, my instinct was to grab my phone and get Dad’s reaction. He certainly would have had a lot to say about Wainwright, the Cardinals, the Cubs and the NL Central.

I miss those phone calls. We had a lot of them, especially between April and October. There’s no way to fill that void.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Well, this certainly makes the NL Central race a lot more interesting

Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright has an injured elbow. Sounds like he’s done for the year.

I’ve been saying all winter that the Chicago Cubs are my dark horse pick to win the NL Central. Wainwright’s injury only strengthens the Cubs’ chances.

I liked the way the Cubs finished 2010. They had one of baseball’s best records in August-September. And it’s not like they don’t have any talent. Shoot, they have plenty of good players to make a run in the Central.

Meanwhile, things couldn’t be worse for Cardinal Nation. First, the team missed its deadline to lock up Albert Pujols to a long-term contract. And now the Wainwright news.

I hate to see any player get injured (unless he’s a Yankee player). But I don’t mind seeing Cardinal Nation squirm a little bit.

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Arm injuries. What a nightmare for baseball fans. All it takes is one damaged elbow ligament to completely derail a team’s season.

I know it’s just a matter of time before Dodgers wunderkind Clayton Kershaw needs reconstructive surgery. As hard as he throws, and the way he snaps off that nasty 12-to-6 curveball, it’s inevitable that Kid K will injure his arm someday.

Hopefully that “someday” will be in 2025 or so.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

A new wrinkle

Baseball has changed the way it opens its season, and I’m not sure why.

For as long as I can remember, MLB season openers have been on a Monday — the day of the NCAA basketball championship game. There was often a Sunday night game, but most teams started the next day.

This year, for reasons unbeknownst to me, baseball is starting on Thursday, March 31. There are six or seven games that day, with a full slate on Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

I think the change has something to do with the playoffs schedule. I want to say I read that baseball wants to start the playoffs on a Friday or a Saturday, rather than the traditional Wednesday. But I’m not sure about that, either.

At any rate, I’m starting to get my baseball engines revved up a little bit. I’m considering purchasing the MLB Extra Innings package again, after taking a year off from it in 2010. I might have to start collecting aluminum cans or something to pay for it. 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Uncategorized