Author Archives: rcarmean

About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****

Snapple Facts

I remember the first commercials I heard for Snapple: “Made from the Best stuff on Earth.”  Isn’t that wonderful?  But I quickly found myself  intrigued, not just by the  variety of flavors, but by the “Real Facts” located inside each … Continue reading

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We Got Netflix

This is not a commercial for Comcast (see above).  They have more money than Donald Trump, no matter what his past tax returns reveal.  For my wife and I, our monthly bill from Comcast equals two-thirds of my Freshman year … Continue reading

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Before Pitch Counts

In 2018, if a pitcher nears 100 pitches in a game, it’s almost certain he’s near the end of his workday. There were  some exceptions in 2017.  Corey Kluber and Ervin Santana had 5 complete games each.  (And 3 shutouts, … Continue reading

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Pepe Serna +Karl Swenson

Do you recognize the man next to Al Pacino?  (see above)  Yes, the Movie is Scarface starring Mr. Pacino and his “little friend.” His larger friend, standing behind him, had a birthday on July 23rd  and has been in more than … Continue reading

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Film’s Finest Hour?

  Many experts believe 1939 was film’s finest year.  A quick Google search helps make their case.  How many of the following movies from that year do you remember?  Gone with the Wind (see above) (Oscar for Best Film, and … Continue reading

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3 of a Kind

School is over and the Summer has just begun.  I know what you want: to see a good movie.  Maybe the next Superhero film.  (It will be the 38thyou’ve seen in the past year, right?) No?  How about a movie coming … Continue reading

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Need Some “Good News?”

I live in a suburb of Philadelphia and get my daily news on television.  A typical day can include stories about fires, guns, robbery, murder, information on Bill Cosby’s trial, the latest scam affecting older citizens, a politician accused of inappropriate … Continue reading

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