A sketch treatment cleans up some of his wrinkles and makes him look thoughtful and scholarly.
wildest dreams have imagined. I really enjoyed putting him here.
I don't know of a serious baseball player in my family. I loved the sport and had fun playing it in junior high school. My career ended after ninth grade as I wasn't serious enough to practice and I developed other interests. The point being, I have no photos in my collection to match the prompt.
One baseball memory that persists in my aging brain is when at eight or nine years, I got whacked in the head by a batter, during his wind-up. I can remember falling down and seeing stars but that's where the memory stops. I've read that one sees stars after a whack like mine because the occipital lobe, which processes sight, bangs up against the skull. You can replicate the same effect when you press your eyeballs hard.
What did catch my eye in the prompt was the base the batter is standing at. It looks like a piece of newspaper, hardly similar to the home base we know today which may help to date the photo. I read on the website www.todayifoundout.com that prior to 1899, the rules regarding home plate were extremely loose. Any object round in nature could serve as home base. At times, even a dish served as home base, which some think may have led to the alternate name–home plate.
The base in front of our batter isn't even round which leads one to think that the person in the photo wasn't a ball player at all . . . but dressed up only for the photo.
More from www.todayifoundout.com
"The irregular pentagon shape of home base that we know and love today was developed by Robert Keating and introduced as a viable option for the 1900/1901 baseball season. Robert Keating was an amateur pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. His less than stellar performance in the single game he pitched for the Orioles did nothing for his baseball career, especially since an arm injury ended his days as a pitcher- but not the impact he had on the game. Off the field, Keating became an inventor. Best known for his shaving devices, bicycle wheels, and motorcycles, Keating also, as mentioned, developed the irregular pentagon-shaped home base. Despite this, in Keating’s January 21, 1922 New York Times obituary, his contributions to baseball, both on and off the field, were not mentioned.
The rear corners, which extend to a point, are made to be perpendicular to the first and third base lines. The biggest advantage of the new shape was that it made the edges of the strike zone more visible to pitchers and umpires and, therefore, improved the consistency of calling strikes.
Beyond the shape, although rubber had been occasionally used prior to this, the new design specifically required home plate be made of rubber. Keating’s reasons for picking rubber here were that the springy nature of a rubber base would give base runners a bounce to their step when they took off for first base; it would not harshly vibrate the batter’s hands when he struck the base with the end of his bat; and it would prevent severe injuries from occurring when base runners base slid into home.
So, in the end, home base is primarily shaped differently than the other bases because its purpose is different. Whereas other bases are used primarily for base runners, home plate has an added use in being essential in determining the strike zone."
Hit a nice long drive over to Sepia Saturday to read about other Sepians baseball memories.
|Still photo from "Bob's Love Affair" (Cinema 1915) New York Public Library.|
The candies rattled as I eased a box off the pantry shelf. “Into the pinknwhites again?” my husband asked from another room. Damn it. I was usually good at slipping a box out of hiding without making a peep. My stash of candies lived in the darkest reaches of the pantry behind the rarely-used Cuisinart, the eight-gallon soup pot and a stack of twenty non-stick muffin tins. Nobody ventured into that section of the closet except Pink the cat, looking for something alive he could kill and eat.
I wasn't that far gone...killing for my candies. At least not then. From what I knew of addiction, denial loomed large in the diagnosis and treatment. Could I be sure I wasn’t dangerous?
Admittedly the substance I abused had a deceptively benign name...Good and Plenty! While it sounded much more positive than heroin or cocaine - too much of anything is too much. I realized my “GP” problem had exceeded bad habit status and drifted into addiction when we were traveling in Asia, my supply was running out and I had to mete out chips and morsels into small doses in order to make it through the trip. A half-lozenge a day is how I survived the last week. I’d hit bottom.
My Good and Plenty problem began years prior with the 16 grays of radiation I absorbed for tumor eradication. The offending benign growth in my brain was neatly zapped but there was corollary damage to my perception of taste. My tongue, formerly bathed in a pleasant neutral bath of saliva, gradually began perceiving phantom tastes...a gush of acidity, a dash of bitterness. The very organ I used to earn a living turned against me! There were other symptoms from the tumor - my right foot was permanently itchy, my left ear screeched, whistled and hummed non-stop, cognitive problems waxed and waned. Each of these perception problems bothered me intensely for a while but then, the brain as it does, adjusted and the itchy foot for example, was incorporated into my new normal. Taste perception problems would also have faded out of my daily consciousness had I not spent years training myself to be acutely aware of taste. How ironic.
The first time I tasted a Good and Plenty, post-treatment, I felt a rush of relief almost like euphoria. I consumed a box at one sitting and bought another. My husband, seeing my improved mood, bought me more. Why not..what the hell. It was a simple solution to a complex neurological problem. We made regular runs to the dollar store buying twenty boxes at a time. I ate nineteen and a half boxes of each purchase. My husband, feigning enthusiasm, ate one-half box for show. I caught him with a raised eyebrow watching me sucking and slurping candy after candy.
After a couple of months, I gained a few pounds and became aware of a sugar rush that now accompanied the taste relief. I began falling asleep, almost passing out, after an evening of munching. I resolved to quit, but couldn’t make it through an evening without a fix. I’d get up in the middle of the night rooting around in the closet looking for an overlooked box. My husband found me unconscious on the couch, pinkish drool staining my pyjamas, Pink, the cat looking on with feline disgust. My husband began to worry. I started sneaking around.
After the Asia trip and my realization that I was an addict, I resolved again to quit. And I did, cold turkey. A support group would have made the journey easier, but there wasn’t one for Good and Plenty abusers. In today’s interconnected world I could likely get a group together via the Friends of Fallbrook facebook pages! I’m keeping the option in mind because I can feel myself slipping out of control again. Let’s see...we can call the group AAA - Altoid Abusers Anonymous.
You wonder about the "sardine on plate". How else would it be served...in the can?
Having worked in the food business for forty plus years I have no shortage of menu memories. Perhaps because I'm sweltering in Bali, reminiscing about frozen foods appeals to me this week.
When I first began consulting, eons ago, I worked for Wolfgang Puck, of Spago fame, who was just beginning his frozen food company. The first product was to be a line of frozen desserts popular in the restaurant: Marjolaine, Apple tart with caramel sauce, Pecan tart.
I spent several days in the kitchen at Spago observing the creation of the desserts to begin planning how we would produce them commercially. I watched for a while and then began making then myself, the only way I learn anything. I tried to intrude as little as possible in the restaurant operation. At that time Spago was the hottest spot in town and attracted a high expectation crowd who wouldn't stand for even a hiccup in the place. They painted the interior once a month to keep the place looking fresh and sparkling.
The pristine Villeroy and Boch china was kept under lock and key.
I carefully cleaned as I went about my business and gathered my waste products in a designated plastic garbage bag in the kitchen. When I emerged for the first time to deposit my bag in the dumpster, out of the shadows popped a dozen photographers with flash bulbs popping. "What's happened?" I wondered looking around the trash enclosure. Later I found out the papparazzi took photos of everyone coming and going just in case a person might become famous one day. They wasted film and flash bulbs on me.
I wonder if some Sepian years from now (an Alan type) will find the negatives from those shots of me, wide-eyed like a deer caught in headlights, clutching my bag, skulking through the shadows and wonder about what was happening.
A few months later I was a customer in the place when I heard a clatter behind me as John Travolta and a date climbed over the back wall. They would have passed through the garbage enclosure to get there. Those paparazzi knew what they were doing!
Halfway through the work on the desserts, the marketing people decided to change direction, and sell WP frozen pizza instead. I was out - as there were specific pizza consultants better suited for the job. I had never been fired before nor was this, technically speaking, a firing. Consultants come and go on jobs I would realize as I continued in the business. I'd been working in the basement of a hotel in downtown LA in a bad neighbourhood . . . I should have been happy to get out of there, but I'd started out in two empty rooms and established a prototype plant. Something from nothing. Perhaps it sounds crazy but I had an acquaintance with the homeless people who lived around the area from constantly coming and going by their squats. It was wrenching to leave the little community. Life went on.
Today Puck has a large successful international business, his brand is on kitchenware, television shows, cooking schools, cookbooks galore and many food products. It's been fun to watch his success.
Grab your appetite and head over to www.sepiasarurday.blogspot.com to read more menu memories.