Permission granted, apparently

Nestle Toll House is now selling cookie dough one is supposed to consume raw. I’ve been doing it on the sly since 1982, but I do appreciate the green light on this. Not to mention the immediacy. No time to bake the dough? No time to make any? No problem. Nestle’s got you covered. And your mom says it’s okay.

Still more reasons to keep on living.

Back in the world

Pardon my not posting on Monday. I was away at a secret beach location with spotty Internet access.

Luckily I didn’t miss much. Seems the biggest news story while I was gone was Cam Newton’s attempt to bribe a fellow passenger to switch seats on an airplane. Cam offered $1,500 and the man declined.

Yup. That’s news.

Roll ’em out

Soda, pretzels, and beer, anyone?

This is it. This is summer.

And don’t look now, but the surging Nationals have pulled within three games of the slumping Phillies for second place in the NL East. The Nats ended up taking three in a row from their I-95 rivals, with ex-Nat Bryce Harper going 1-9 for the Phils.

Ha.

Suddenly three games with Atlanta beginning this evening becomes interesting.

Baseball, more baseball

Monday’s post got me thinking, again, about baseball in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when I first fell in love with the game. (Actually I spend most of my waking hours thinking about baseball from when I was a kid.)

I first published this poem more than five years ago, just after my son was born. I meant to reprint it at the beginning of the baseball season this year, but I suppose now’s as good a time as any. (It’s still Father’s Day week, right? Oh, and let’s make Father’s Week a thing.)

With apologies to Ogden Nash, who first published a similar poem in 1949, using names from his days following the game as a young man, here is, again, “Lineup from My Youth.”

 

“Lineup from My Youth”

My dear little Franklin,

My bundle of joy.

Let me share a few names

From when I was a boy.

 

A is for Alomar,

Few families were better.

But let’s not forget

The Alous at this letter.

 

B is for Biggio

And Bagwell his buddy.

Together they stuck

Like old silly putty.

 

C is for Canseco,

So powerfully built.

The sight of him made

A.L. pitchers just wilt.

 

D is for Dykstra

With a mouthful of chew.

He played for the Mets

And Philadelphia too.

 

E is for Eckersley,

Who began as a starter.

From the ’pen A.L. hitters

Found few pitchers harder.

 

F is for Frank Thomas,

“The Big Hurt,” they’d cheer.

No right-handed slugger

Would bring out more fear.

 

G is for Griffey,

The Kid had no match.

He could run, he could throw,

He could hit, he could catch.

 

H is for Henderson,

Who sent other teams reeling.

No one could catch him

When Rickey was stealing.

 

I is for Ivan

Rodriguez, or “Pudge.”

He threw out runners

With a personal grudge.

 

J is for Jackson

“Bo knows,” they would say.

Played football and baseball

Both the same way.

 

K is for Kirby,

As in Kirby Puckett.

And kid-friendly poems,

So no Man from Nantucket.

 

L is for Larkin,

Barry’s his name.

Guy never lost

A World Series game.

 

M is for Mattingly,

McGwire, McGriff,

Maddux, and Martinezes

Too many to list.

 

N is for Nomo,

The Japanese star.

They figured him out,

Then they hit the ball far.

 

O is for Olerud,

Blue Jays first baseman.

Two World Series make

Our minds not erase him.

 

P is for Palmeiro,

Quite a lesson he learned.

Did too much juice

As the Feds were concerned.

 

Q is for Quisenberry,

Dan to his friends.

Quipped to Ronald Reagan:

“There you go again.”

 

R is for Ripken

And games never missed.

Few could deny

His place on this list.

 

S is for Sheffield

And Strawberry too.

Both got in trouble

With the boys they call Blue.

 

T is for Tony,

Mr. Gwynn if you’re formal.

To be so consistent

Is far beyond normal.

 

U is for Ugueth

Urbina, of course.

Sticking with U’s

A tough rule to enforce.

 

V is for Viola,

That’s Frank not the fiddle.

His pitches often made

Big hitters look little.

 

W is for Wade,

Not Phillips but Boggs.

As important to the time

As those things we called Pogs.

 

X is for Xavier

Hernandez the pitcher.

Six teams in nine years

Made him quite the switcher.

 

Y is for the man

They call Robin Yount.

He’s got more Brewer records

Than Elias can count.

 

Z is for Ozzie,

The Wizard with leather.

Few men have so brought

St. Louis together.

 

And so my dear Franklin

I give you this roster.

And a love for the game

I hope it will foster.

“Chumps” was enjoyable read

In April my “local” paper did me the favor of putting together my summer reading list, a dozen or so 2019 releases featured in a baseball-themed book review section.

I knew the book I looked forward to reading most was Bill Pennington’s Chumps to Champs, an examination of the New York Yankees, the team that sucked in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s (when I fell in love with the team), then became perennial contenders. (My students are always stunned to hear that the Yankees used to be terrible.)

Having now read the book I can say that it did in fact combine my two favorite topics: baseball and my own childhood, weaving those two related subjects quite nicely. My only disappointment reading the book, of course, was that I had not thought to write the thing first. (I could have written this was a common refrain.)

Kind of like how the Winklevoss twins feel every time they log in to Facebook.

Hat trick

Times have been rare that I’ve root, root, rooted for a Boston-area sports team, but I think tonight is one of those times.

Much as I hate the thought of a Boston triple of professional sports trophies, I can’t help but want to see the novelty of it: Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, all holding league titles at once.

Quite a hat trick.

Go, Bruins.

Life comes full circle

Remember that Werther’s Original commercial from about 30 years ago? Old man remembers getting a Wether’s Original from his grandfather when he was a kid… flash forward a few decades… now I’m the grandpa…

Well, this is kind of like that.

When I was a kid, on the last day of school or last day before a long vacation our teacher would always show an old Disney short called Donald in Mathmagic Land. The Donald in question is Donald Duck, and the film shows his exploits in a marvelous world of numbers and equations. It really is a great introduction into a few real-world topics suitable for kids and grownups alike (aren’t all things Disney?), such as the math involved in billiards and the shapes of nature. Even in middle school and high school we begged the math teacher to show it.

Well, now I’m the math teacher…