Tag Archives: in progress

#16 — The Cincinnati Red Stalkings!

Dear Weblog Superfans,

More progress: I finished my first Mickey Rawlings baseball mystery book, The Cincinnati Red Stalkings! It’s actually the fifth in the series, but they’re not sequential in terms of plot, so I didn’t mind. Very basically (I don’t want to ruin it for all of you, since I’m sure you’ll want to get it out of the library), Mickey is a utility infielder for the Cincinnati Reds. (That means he’s only OK, that he doesn’t play every day. This is a technique used by the author, Troy Soos, to both gain sympathy from the reader for Mickey and to allow for him to exist in real-life history without actually asking the reader to rethink history. If that makes sense. Snooty snooty writer talk.) Continue reading

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More detailed updates

Dear Weblog Superfans,

I must apologize — my last post was far too vague, and you all must feel like you know nothing about me and what I’ve been doing to finish these 101 things for the last few weeks. This is my attempt to fix that. What follows, thus, is a thing-by-thing discussion of whatever I might have made some progress on. Or at least attempted to make some progress on. Continue reading

5. Drink the engagement wine (and many, many more!)

Dear Weblog Superfans,

I did it. I completed an item from my list.

I know what you’re thinking: You just started three sentences in a row with the word “I.” To which I say: shut up.

You are also thinking: Oh, msb. How you torture us with your witty, engaging, flower-scented posts that accomplish nothing but the theft of a few moments of my short, short life. You disappear from blogdom for weeks, apparently abandoning the project to which you were so committed, and then you come back all of a sudden and expect us to believe you when you say you’ve completed something? I smell poppycock. Continue reading

67. and 68. Get baseball cards (of Ryan Zimmerman and Albert Pujols)

Dear Weblog Superfans,

School has started up again, and I have shit to do. Even on the first day. But I have undying devotion to this whole 101 in 1001 thing, and so even though I haven’t completed anything (still), I am driven to put something up. And so here the something is.

The other day, I did crap with my sister. We went to Chipotle (she paid), the doggie pound, and K-Mart. Chipotle was good. The pound was fun (they’re nice to the dogs, and the dogs are nice back). And K-Mart, my friends, was largely uneventful.

Except that they have baseball cards. And I bought a pack. Continue reading

2. Read a book by Ernest Hemingway; 16. Finish 15 of my unread books — in progress

Dear Weblog Superfans,

Bill Murray could totally play Hemingway in a movie.I still haven’t actually completed anything, but I thought I should keep at the updating so I get in the habit of it. I did make a decision, though: the Hemingway book I’ll try is The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which is a short story collection that contains, besides the title story (which was made into a movie with Gregory Peck and Ava Garnder), “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” a pretty commonly anthologized story. The idea behind #2 was to force me to get more acquainted with a highly regarded American writer of the twentieth century, since the tradition that those writers established is the tradition that I, as a writer myself, will be continuing. Or rebelling against. Or whatever. (I don’t want to hear crap here about the postmodernists already doing that with regards to Hemingway, because literary criticism is boring and not of much use to me right now. And anyway, you get my point.)

Continue reading

73. Research grandpa’s semi-pro team some more — in progress

Dear Weblog Superfans,

#73 on my list forces me to continue some work that I did about 18 months ago, just after my aunt sent me my grandfather’s semi-pro baseball uniform (along with a kick-ass booklet about Christie Mathewson, a Hall-of-Fame pitcher for the New York Giants from the early twentieth century, that was published during his final season–maybe I’ll put up some photos of it or something later). Grandpa, I know from talking to Nonna and my mother, was a shortstop for his team and lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, when he played semi-pro ball.

But I don’t know much more than that. The uniform is gray wool, a little stiff, and smells of cigarettes (I’d like to think grandpa’s cigarettes, but since the aunt who had kept it smokes herself, that’s probably not true), and it says ELIZ across the front and Local 823 on its sleeve. The ELIZ obviously tells me that the team, in some way, represented Elizabeth. The Local 823 says, to me, that it was a union team. Now. Grandpa’s job at the time was somehow related to cable cars and so he was eligible to join the Teamsters labor union. However, last June 19, I e-mailed the Teamsters to ask whether there was a Local 823 there at the time (there isn’t one now), and I was told nothing of substance. Namely, that Local 823 is based out of Joplin, MO, not Elizabeth, NJ. But I was given a phone number of Teamsters Joint Council 73, based out of Union, NJ, which covers the Elizabeth area. So that’s something I can pursue.

There is also a quirky little outfit called the Elizabeth Athletic Club that helped me a bit. It’s a group of guys who play baseball according to the rules and customs of 1891 base ball (as it was then called). I e-mailed the captain of that team last June, also, and was told that the best place to find information on baseball in or around Elizabeth from the early twentieth century would be the Elizabeth Daily Journal, a newspaper that published from 1872 to 1990. It appears that I can find archived papers in two places: the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark or the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Neither place is truly convenient, but the LOC I at least have experience with, because I am a big dork and went there to research various thesis papers I wrote in college. I don’t think there’s a big chance of semi-pro baseball being documented much, even in a relatively local paper, but it’s someplace else to look.

I’ll keep you informed. And I’ll put up pictures of grandpa’s uniform as soon as I find a digital camera.

Love,
msb

P.S. Here are the photos of the uniform.

Grandpa’s Jersey
Sleeve