42? at the ‘view?

42 is showing this weekend, and the following week, (and last week) at the best movie theater in the Twin Cities, the Riverview. Not only is it a second-run theater, so the movies are reasonably priced, but it is a classic movie house, built back in the day, and Riverview Theater - Nov 2008 sm - 5086wonderfully maintained and managed. They have comfortable seats and digital projection capabilities — saw the Twins lose to the Yankees (again!) at the Riverview in one of their more recent playoff runs. Lots of fun, free admission, excellent popcorn, good crowd. If only the Twins would have won, it would have been perfect.

Anyway, hope to catch 42 while it’s there. From the previews, it looks pretty good; I especially like what I see of the re-creation of Ebbets Field. (Though, on the otherhand, in the previews, the movie does seem to have a bit of a digital-feel to me. I know they digitally enhance most movies now, and I may be crazy, but I think it often adds a noticeable layer of artificiality to everything. I’m not sure what it is. Things just look too good to be true, I guess.)

Anyway, in preparation, I will brush up on the Jackie Robinson story. Not sure where or when I picked this book up, but it’s definitely a school library classic.jackie robinson story


Presidential Pitch

President Taft at the ball park 13 aug 1912

Taft at the ball park, 1912

With opening day approaching, the Library of Congress Blog took a quick look at President Taft, who was the first President to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to start the season, in 1910 and 1911. Taft was the first president to “embrace and support the sport” (though there are stories that Abe Lincoln was playing ball when he learned of his nomination for President). (No information on what position he played, but I would guess pitcher or first base.)

In 1910, opening day, the Senators beat the Nationals beat the Athletics, 3-0, behind a no-hitter by Walter Johnson, and in 1911 they beat Boston 8-5, so Taft was 2-0 in opening games. This is a nice little write up. Taft apparently saw quite a bit of baseball when he was President.

president grover cleveland

Grover Cleveland, the President

President Grover Cleveland, on the other hand, was all work. Cap Anson once visited him at the white house and invited him to a game, to which Cleveland replied, “What do you imagine the American people would think of me if I wasted my time going to the ball game?”

Grover Cleveland Alexander was born during the administration of President Grover Cleveland. In Grover Cleveland Alexander’s entry in the Internet Movie Database, it points out that he was named for one President, and portrayed by a second President (Reagan) in the film biography The Winning Team (1952). He was also a pretty good pitcher, but we’ll go into that some other day.

Lastly, I haven’t seen any stories about whether Obama will be tossing the first pitch this season. I’ll keep looking, though.

President throws pitch, greets children at Nationals game





In Today’s NY Times Obits…

I noticed in the Sunday Times that Ruth Ann Steinhagen, 83, passed away, December 29th, 2012.

Ruth Ann was a troubled young woman who developed an obsession with Cubs first baseman Eddie Waitkus. Waitkus was traded to the Phillies in December of 1948, and when the Phillies came to Chicago to play the Cubs in mid-June of 1949, Ruth Ann sent him a note, saying that she needed to see him and inviting him to her hotel room. When he arrived, she shot him.

Bernard Malamud subsequently put a similar scene at the opening of his 1952 novel, The Natural.

Steinhagen was committed to a psychiatric hospital, where she spent the next three years, and apparently lived a quiet life thereafter. Eddie Waitkus

Waitkus recovered from the shooting and played six more years. In 1950 he had over 700 plate appearances, batting .284 and scoring over 100 runs. The Phillies went to the World Series that year, losing to the Yankees.



Okay, I just found out about this.

How have I not heard about this till tonight?

Anyway, love the trailer. This looks great. I suppose in the days of old Hollywood they would have built a replica of Ebbets Field, but the cgi version is very cool.