Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great 'Emo' Showfety

Well, Emo Showfety was a generation or two before my time, but I certainly recall his legend.  Here, he and I are pictured in 1986 at an Old Timers Game at wonderful War Memorial Stadium in Greensboro, NC.

Emo was a Greensboro native, part of a large Lebanese immigrant family consisting of (among others), the Koury's (Joe and Fred Koury), the Showfety's, and the Mack's (John Mack of Mooresville, a football star at Duke in the late '60s, is retired Chairman/CEO of Morgan Stanley). They were (are) an accomplished family.

Emo became one of the region’s greatest minor-league baseball stars. In 1941, Emo started out playing for Danville, followed by the Durham Bulls, Montreal Royals, Raleigh Capitals, Burlington Bees, before finishing up his career with the Greensboro Patriots from 1947-1949. Showfety was a Carolina League All-Star in 1947, 1948, and 1949, hitting 35 HRs and batting .347 for the Patriots in '49.  My older brother 'drug bats' (was 'batboy') during Emo's Greensboro playing days.

Emo is probably the most popular player in Greensboro’s long, storied baseball history.  Showfety, an Elon graduate, was inducted into the Elon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 for football and baseball and is part of the inaugural class of the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame.

Got to love the old baseball memories and legends.  For those of us who revere the game, they are so much a part of who we are.  Emo left us for 'the big game in the sky', July 11, 2002, at age 82.  Rest In Peace, Great Emo.

Picture of the Day

Angel Oak Tree, Johns Island, SC

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ceremonial "First Pitch" - Opening Day 1962

This is a very cool photo combining two of my interests, politics and baseball.  The photo was taken at RFK Stadium in DC as the President was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off the 1962 baseball season.  I was age 14.

This is a great photo for identifying Washington power brokers of the day.  I can name 8. See if you know any more.

From left to right: In white raincoat and fedora, the President's very close friend and Navy pal, Paul Fey (he was Secretary of the Navy for a short time), Abe Ribicoff, U. S Senator from Connecticut, Larry O'Brien, JFK Chief of Staff and current, long-time NBA commissioner, Arthur Goldberg, U. S. UN Ambassador, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, House Speaker Hale Boggs, Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, and Treasury Secretary, Douglas Dillon (lower right corner).

It was quite an time in Washington, albeit short-lived, the era of "Camelot", it was said.

(Correction:  After seeing blog, friend Tom Huston, high-level aide in the Nixon White House, indicates that, actually, Arthur Goldberg was Secretary of Labor and subsequently an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court during JFK's administration. LBJ named him UN Ambassador in 1965, three years after this photograph of him in the President's entourage`, to get him off the court to make way for Abe Fortas).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thurman Munson

Great image of Thurman Munson.  Considered the "heart and soul" of the New York Yankees during an 11-year career, Munson became the first Yankee team captain since Lou Gehrig. He led the Yankees to three consecutive World Series, winning two of them.

Thurman Munson tragically died, at age 32, while practicing landing his Cessna in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.  He was a graduate of Kent State University.  While 'tough as nails', he was a prince of guy.  He and I played together for Chatham of the Cape Cod League in 1968, before he signed with the Yankees early in the season.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chatham of the Cape Cod League - 1968

Well, I am archiving and saving this important picture to me (by way of my blog) of a Cape Cod League team on which I played 45 years ago.  Wow, 45 years ago.  Still today, The Cape Cod League, and Chatham in particular, is considered the top placement in America for summer collegiate baseball.

A few of the best players on the team are not pictured here (Thurman Munson, the first Yankee captain since Lou Gehrig, had signed; Steve Stone, American League Cy Young winner in 1980, had gone home with the mono).  This is a September, end of the season, picture.  A few good friends (roommate Bob Wolfe, pitcher from Princeton, and Ken Rhyne) had just gone home early. 

blog piece I did a few years ago encapsulates some reflections from this, my first of two summers on Cape Cod during college. I may have additional comments later.

(Incidentally, I am on second row from top, left end).  It was an interesting, fun group of guys from around the country, some very good players.  It was good team, but with the guys gone which I mention above, probably not as good a team as a 1967 North Carolina American Legion State Championship team on which I played (6 of 9 starting line-up signed professional contracts, all others went to college on bb scholarships, on that team).  Nice memories.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Friendship Renewed

Nick with Greg Nettles and legendary Whitey Ford during a Spring Training game in the '90s.
Manager Joe Torre with NBC's Gene Shallot, a regular at Yankee Spring Training and a good friend of Nick's.  
Nick with Davey Concepcion, shortstop for the 'Big Red Machine' of the 1970s.

I love these pictures of my friend Nick Eanes (the middle one he took).  Nick was freelance Spring Training photographer for the New York Yankees in the '90s. 

Nick and I finished high school together.  He was very successful in the cemetery / funeral home business before getting very involved with the New York Yankees.  He was especially close with "Catfish" Hunter before Catfish's death.  Nick orchestrated a "Catfish Hunter Day" in Hertford NC ("Catfish's" hometown) the week before "Catfish" died.  Baseball people came from around the world.  It must have been a time.

Nick turned over most of his pictures to me to help him organize, scan, and set-up digitally.  I look forward to that project.  Nick and I are going on a road trip to Atlanta to see the Braves play in July. 

Life has a way of coming full circle in so many ways.  It is a joy to once again renew my friendship with Nick, to be able reflect on our youth together, to share our challenges and our accomplishments from full and rich lives, while at the same time, having fun making new memories.   As they say, 'life is good'.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thought For The Day

......and grateful and thankful....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6...........On This Day In History

We are the beneficiaries of significant events and of the vision and courage of great Americans who have come before us.  Some days are particular reminders.  June 6 seems always to be for me.

Embarking on such a critical, historic World War II mission, allied troops stormed the shores of Normandy to begin, literally, saving Western Civilization, on this day, in 1944.  Again, we are indebted to the vision of great leaders, and to the courage of young Americans and allied troops.

In addition, on this day in 1968, an assassin took out a great American progressive and Presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, only 3 short months after the murder of Martin Luther King, only 5 short years after the assassination of his brother. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thought for the Day

Yep.  Which is why Leno and Letterman air at 11:30 p. m. :)

Political Collecting II

OK, this is the last political button frame I will "show off".  I must admit that part of the fun of collecting is displaying my collection for others to see.  This is an Alf Landon frame from the election of 1936.  Landon was from Kansas and most of his items were in the sunflower design.  His items "show" nicely.  Alf, a very moderate Republican and a good man, lost to Franklin Roosevelt 523 - 8 in the electoral college.  Word was if the campaign had gone another month, Roosevelt would have carried Canada.

Political Collecting

Political collecting is a joy of mine.  Here is my 1896 to 1927 frame.  All candidates for President during that period are represented, most multiple times.  This was a real 'golden age' of colorful, well-designed political items.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Picture of the Day

Very nice photo.  I know it is posed, likely a WWII USO setting during a movie scene, but it so nicely combines the themes of "innocence" and "very sexy".

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