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. *****

Oscars For Dogs

The Oscars will be announced on March 4th. To get myself ready for the occasion, I have decided to choose my own Oscars for Dogs in film. Over the years, there have been many films (hundreds?) where dogs played a … Continue reading

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Sports’ Halls of Fame

Recently, baseball announced its 2018 Hall of Fame inductees: Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell. However, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum –while perhaps the most famous Hall of Fame—is not the only … Continue reading

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Spring (Training) Arrives

This Winter has been particularly cold in Philadelphia. Freezing (32 degrees) has been an been an unreached goal many days –eg, today. Many years ago, in a weather spell like this one, my brother and I decided we had had enough … Continue reading

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Winter Olympics

I look forward to watching the Olympics, Summer or Winter. I wonder how many people feel the same way? No doubt NBC, who broadcasts them, hopes their ratings will be excellent. The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place from February … Continue reading

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Every Day Is Special

“Every day is special.” Has anyone ever said that to you? Here is a website that tells you EXACTLY why every day is special. I’m giving this information to you well in advance so you can be prepared for: … Continue reading

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Casablanca’s 75th Anniversary

According to the AFI (ie, American Film Institute), “Casablanca” is the 2nd best film ever made. (See its list of The 100 Best Films of All-Time.) Roger Ebert was quoted as saying he thought it never got a bad review. … Continue reading

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Wit and Wisdom

Here are a couple dozen bits of Wit and/or Wisdom. I know where about half of them came from and the other half could be from T-shirts. What appeals to you?   Humor is the anesthetic of the mind. (Trevor … Continue reading

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