Africa Days and Nights

Coming home from 17 days in East Africa last month, jazzed by how fascinating our visit had been and conscious of how little I know about Africa, I scooped up Ryszard Kapuscinski’s The Shadow of the Sun while wandering around the Arusha (Tanzania) Airport.  What a stroke of luck! We went to Africa mostly to see…

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225th Birthday of America's Bill of Rights!

I’m delighted to be among the first to proclaim the 225th anniversary of the ratification of America’s Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.  Those amendments protect individual liberties that Americans hold most dear, and became central to our national character after the Fourteenth Amendment (adopted in 1868) applied them against state…

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Babe Ruth in Pictures

Though my Babe Ruth book’s a novel — as in FICTION — one of the fun consequences of writing about the Babe has come when people share with me their Babe memorabilia.  Because the Babe was way more than just a great ballplayer.  He was and remains a huge cultural figure.  I offer a couple…

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Winning by Losing: Babe Ruth at the 1921 World Series

When Babe Ruth led the New York Yankees into their first World Series ever in 1921 — 95 years ago — he had just finished what may have been the best season a hitter has ever had:  59 home runs, 161 RBIs, a .378 batting average.  He scored 177 runs.  Opposing teams hated to pitch…

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Babe Ruth: Know your enemy!

Babe Ruth was a great pitcher before he was a great hitter.  Doesn’t it seem likely that one of the reasons he was a great hitter was because he had been a great pitcher? Playing for the Boston Red Sox from 1915 to 1918, the Babe was probably the best left-handed pitcher in the American League.  He…

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Why Do Babe Ruth Movies Mostly Suck?

With less than three weeks to go until my novel concerning Babe Ruth debuts, The Babe Ruth Deception, I find myself wondering why Babe Ruth movies are so bad.  In fairness, though, not all of them are terrible, at least not when he wasn’t the focus of the film. He played himself in The Pride…

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BabeWatch: Barnstorming Against Negro League Teams

Partly because he loved to play baseball, partly because he loved to spend money, Babe Ruth played lots of exhibition games in the offseason across the country and in the Caribbean.  After his astonishing 1921 season, the formed the Babe Ruth All Stars, which played against multiple Negro League teams, including the Kansas City Monarchs and…

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Theater of the Near-Real: Cop Chases in L.A.

It’s completely weird. They can go on forever, the only time Southern California TV stations never break for commercials.  The first one on Monday morning lasted more than two hours.  Later in the day, a second one lasted two hours. It sounds mind-numbing.  Helicopter cameras track a single car speeding down interstates and freeways while…

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Hamilton’s Pulitzer Prize: Listen to the Words

Now that he’s won the Pulitzer Prize for it, maybe we’ll pay attention to the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the genre-smashing Broadway hit that costs a monthly car payment to attend.  When we listen to the words – really listen – we can appreciate his achievement. Magic can happen when story and words and…

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