Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Story of Rick Monday

Thirty-five years ago , major-league baseball‘s Rick Monday made what has been called one baseball’s greatest plays. On April 25th, 1976 the Chicago Cub's center fielder took his position on the field at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, not knowing that he was about to make history. On this day Rick would get both a steal and a save on the same play.


Monday began his baseball career starring at Santa Monica High School earning league honors.

Tommy Lasorda, then a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, offered Rick, and Rick's mother Nelda, $20,000 to sign with the Dodgers out of high school in 1963. But Arizona State University coach Bobby Winkles, who was also from the Monday's native Arkansas, convinced them that he would look after Monday.
A star for the Sun Devils under head coach Winkles, on a team that included freshman Reggie Jackson, Monday led the Sun Devils to the 1965 College World Series championship (over Ohio State) and earned All-America and College Player of the Year honors.

Monday was selected with the first overall selection in the inaugural Major League First-Year Player Draft in 1965 by the Kansas City Athletics.

Monday's finest season as a professional came in 1976 as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Batting in the leadoff position, Monday hit .272, establishing career highs in home runs (32), runs (107), RBI (77), total bases (271), slugging percentage (.507) and OPS (.853), finishing 18th in the MVP voting.

1976 was also the year Monday made what has been called one of Baseballs greatest plays:

AP Photo/Los Angeles Herald Examiner by James Roark

April 25, 1976, during a game at Dodger Stadium, two protesters, William Thomas and his 11-year-old son, ran into the outfield and tried to set fire to an American flag they had brought with them. Monday, then playing with the Cubs, noticed they had placed the flag on the ground and were fumbling with matches and lighter fluid; he then dashed over and grabbed the flag from the ground to thunderous cheers. He handed the flag to Los Angeles pitcher Doug Rau, after which the ballpark police officers arrested the two intruders. When he came up to bat in the next half-inning, he got a standing ovation from the crowd and the big message board behind the left-field bleachers in the stadium flashed the message, "RICK MONDAY... YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY..." He later said, "If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it." On August 25, 2008, Monday was presented with an American flag flown over Valley Forge National Historical Park in honor of his 1976 rescue of Old Glory.

Great story.

By 1981, Monday was mostly a utility player when another great moment occurred. In the deciding Game 5 of the NLCS at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, he smashed a ninth-inning home run off the Expos' Steve Rogers that proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Dodgers victory. Monday's home run dashed what turned out to be the Expos' only chance at a pennant in their 36-year history in the National League. Even today, heartbroken Expos fans refer to the fifth game of the NLCS as "Blue Monday."

Was the first person ever drafted in the amateur Major League Baseball draft.
Monday is still in possession of the flag he saved from being burned. He was offered a million dollars for it recently but turned it down.
Monday's "Blue Monday" home run (which crushed the Montreal Expos' championship dream) was not forgotten in Montreal. He reported, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, that when he was a broadcaster, years after the homer, he was unexpectedly held up at Dorval Airport by Canadian immigration officials, missing his connecting flight. When he inquired about the reason, he was asked if he was the former Dodger player, and got a smile.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pirate of the Day: William Kidd

Years active: 1696-1701 Location: Indian Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and off the east coast of North America.
Fate: Hung and gibbeted over the River Thames in London, where his body remained for over twenty years as a warning to those considering piracy as a profession.
Claim to fame: Originator of the idea of “buried treasure.”
Truthfully, the exploits of the legendary Captain Kidd were not very extraordinary.  Kidd participated in several small skirmishes with pirates and other vessels as a privateer commissioned by the British government, but none would have any substantial impact on history.  The legend of Captain Kidd, interestingly enough, really begins when it ends.  Throughout his career, many of his counterparts and superiors had suspected that Kidd had gone beyond the call of his letter of marque and dabbled in piracy on occasion.  When the evidence seemed overwhelming, English men-of-war were dispatched to bring him back to London.  Knowing what was to come, Kidd purportedly buried a vast treasure off the coast of New York on Gardiners Island as an insurance policy and a bargaining tool.  Unimpressed by  tales of buried treasure, the British court ordered Kidd to the gallows.  There, with a short drop and a sudden stop, his story ended and his legend began.

Taken from AOM

Friday, April 29, 2011

Monopole Tower Stack - Baltimore, Maryland

The 1st section arrives on site.

Anchor bolts in the caisson

Crane lifts the 1st section off the truck.
1st section rigged & lifted into position.

Holes are carefully lined up with the anchor bolts.

Nuts are tightened with a special wrench and a sledge hammer.

Smoothing things out for a better fit.

Climber goes up to de-rig the crane and await the next section.

Removing the rigging.
Next section lifted for inspection.

Climber awaits the next one.

Perfect fit!
Storm clouds, then BOOM!
Site supervisor shuts the job down for everyone's safety.
Storm passes and the jib is put on the crane for greater reach.
Two sections up and two to go.
3rd section guided into place.
Top section's 6 foot lightning rod, which we really don't need today.
Top section rigged and inspected.

The sun marks the spot.

Waiting for the last piece to fall into place.
Almost there...

New tower is up and a climber in a man basket is sent up to take measurements and snap some pictures.

Measuring tape reads an inch over 170 feet.

Baltimore's newest monopole!

Our Place in the Universe (Known Universe)

Clicky below,then click on photo to magnify our existence.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Yellow Dahlias blooming out back

Mourning Dove watcher

Denim closeup

 A Pensive Cardinal

Betty is 4 years old today.

A Robin's egg

The Birthday girl's ascension to the throne is complete.
Happy Birthday Betty!

Quote for the Day

“Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.”
- Victor Hugo

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Incredible Footage :Skiing Cliff Jump..James Bond Style!

Click on the video to open in YouTube,then click bottom right of video screen to enlarge to full screen for better viewing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rest in Peace, Tim.

Tim Hetherington, co-director of the documentary "Restrepo" about U.S. Soldiers on an outpost in Afghanistan, was killed Wednesday inside the  rebel-held city Misrata in western Libya.

While Tim Hetherington’s death is no more a tragedy than any of those suffered by American men and women during our history of wars, he deserves to be remembered as someone who risked his own life in an attempt to remind Americans of the trials and huge sacrifices endured by the troops who actually volunteered and traveled around the world to protect our freedoms.

Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington

Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, was also killed Wednesday. Hetherington and Hondros were with two other photographers when all four were hit by either a rocket propelled grenade or a high explosive mortar round. All four survived the initial blast but Hetherington and Hondros later died of their wounds. Hetherington, 40, was killed a day after he tweeted: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO."  I take his tweet as just a statement of fact, nothing more or less.

Hetherington, along with Junger, were nominated for an Academy Award for his 2010 documentary film "Restrepo."

The film was co-directed by Sebastian Junger (above), author of "The Perfect Storm."
“There is no way to express my devastation and sorrow at the death of my dear friend,” Junger said in a statement. He added, “I can’t believe he’s truly gone.”

Some of Tim's work:

A lone Soldier in the Korengal Valley

Afghanistan 2007-2008

Dan Kearney

Infidel is Hetherington's intimate photo essay of the U.S. Army platoon  featured in the film 'Restrepo'. If you haven't seen the film, or the photo essay 'Infidel' or read Sebastian Junger's book 'War", I highly recommend all three. 'Restrepo' tells the story of the 2nd Platoon of Battle Company in the 173rd Airborne Combat Team on its deployment in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. The title refers to the platoon outpost, named after a popular Soldier, Juan Restrepo, who was killed early in the fighting. We're at war," Hetherington said in an interview with the AP before the Oscars. "We wanted to bring the war into people's living room and put it into the movie theaters, and get people to connect with it. It's not necessarily about moral outrage. It's about trying to understand that we're at war and try to understand the emotional terrain of what being at war means." 'Restrepo' is an unflinching look at what our soldiers are going through on a daily basis,with one huge exception; It is not about politics.It is about day to day survival and fighting for the guy next to you. Parts of 'Restrepo' are very hard to watch, but it needs to be seen.

U.S. Army Major Dan Kearney, who was prominently featured in Hetherington and Junger's 'Restrepo', said that in his time with the troops, Hetherington became family. "Tim wasn't just a friend, he was a brother to me."

Timothy (Tim) Hetherington 5 December 1970 – 20 April 2011