Jackie Robinson Day

Happy Jackie Robinson Day to all of the baseball fans in the blog-o-sphere! Since this post was repackaged from 2015, I should point out that today marks the 72nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the “colour barrier.”

Here’s a little bit of history about this day, from MLB.com:

“Today marks the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, and once again, MLB and each of its 30 clubs are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the Hall of Famer’s legacy.

On Jackie Robinson Day, all players and on-field personnel across the league will don No. 42 jerseys, as they have done each April 15 since 2009. The number is otherwise retired throughout baseball in honor of the former Dodgers great, who signed his first professional contract with the organization — then in Brooklyn — in 1945. Two years later, on April 15, he started for the Dodgers against the Boston Braves at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, batting second and playing first base. That was the start of a highly productive 10-year career for Robinson, who was already 28 when he broke the color barrier. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1947, the NL Most Valuable Player Award winner and batting champion two years later, and he made six All-Star teams while posting a career average of .311.

Robinson, who died in 1972, also will be honored by MLB with an increased financial commitment to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, as well as special on-field, pregame ceremonies in each ballpark hosting a game today. That includes at Dodger Stadium, where Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the wife and daughter of Jackie, will be guests for the game against the Giants, along with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and Dodgers special advisor Don Newcombe, who played with Jackie in Brooklyn. They will watch Dave Roberts, the first minority manager in Dodgers history, guide his club against San Francisco. “I think I’m going to make a conscious effort tomorrow to really understand and take in the scope and magnitude,” Roberts said Thursday. “It’s a big deal. Jackie’s obviously impacted me and many others, so I want to take some extra time to reflect for sure.” For the players on the field, wearing No. 42 is a valued opportunity to show their appreciation for the doors Robinson opened for future generations.”

Jackie Robinson isn’t the only gentleman who had to deal with the ills of segregation and discrimination during the integration of professional sports in this country, but he is the most well-known in the sport of baseball. Professional sports in this country didn’t even integrate at the same time. For that matter, each sport had various teams which were far slower to do so than others. Such is the history of this country; it permeates every aspect of American life. The things that Jackie Robinson addressed and fought against are still prevalent today. Racism didn’t end with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation any more than slavery did.

Jackie Robinson’s legacy is phenomenal and can be seen on every baseball diamond across this country and around the world. Kudos to you, Jackie. You are in the pantheon of the greats.

Belated Memoriam: Dr. Maya Angelou (Re-blogged)

Tribute post, re-blogged.

We miss you, Doctor Angelou. Your wisdom is needed these days. Now, more than ever.

Eyrie Of An Aries

Dr. Maya Angelou (née Marguerite Ann Johnson): 4 April 1928 – 28 May 2014

I literally shed tears when I saw the news…Dr. Maya Angelou – author, poet, songstress, honored recipient of multiple awards, and renowned “Global Renaissance Woman” – passed away on 28 May, at the age of 86. She died in her sleep at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Words still can’t convey the sadness I feel, even after watching re-airings of some of her many interviews – part of that sadness is due to the fact that I hoped to meet her and have her read my book. At the same time, I know that I should honor and celebrate the fantastic, rich, full life that she led. I feel blessed that I had the privilege to read her writings and glean some life-altering lessons from them. My most important personal motto, “Everything in moderation –…

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Congratulations, Cubbies!!!

Way to go, Chicago…you did it! What a World Series this turned out to be: history-making plays on both sides; amazing comebacks and phenomenal athleticism made these seven games complete nail-biters, from start to finish. Amazing! If you don’t like baseball, then you won’t understand. Those who do, well…you know what I’m talking about!

Final score: Chicago 8, Cleveland 7. There was a short rain delay, and the game went into “extra frames” – 10 innings total were played.

What a game, what a game…and Cleveland took it to the wire. They didn’t give up – it just didn’t go their way. They should still feel proud, no matter what. They’re champions in my book, too!

The whole series was fantastic – now, the season is over. Looking forward to next year…spring training in April will be here before we know it!

😎

Ah…October!!!

October is here; it seems as if this year is flying by. It’s pouring rain today so the “rainy season” has begun here in my neck of the woods. There will be fewer clear days now, which is fine with me. Cloud-cover keeps the temperature moderate during the fall and winter months. We might even get some snow here this year, and I love how the beach looks when it is covered with a soft blanket of snow.

Today marks the beginning of Navratri, which lasts through Sunday, 9 October. I found a link to some beautiful photos of the celebration honoring Maa Durga. It looks like a fantastic festival to attend.

I found out yesterday that a very talented musician named Stanley Dural Jr., best known as “Buckwheat Zydeco,” passed away on 24 September. From Rolling Stone:

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., the accordionist and ambassador of zydeco music who performed under the stage name Buckwheat Zydeco, died Saturday following a battle with lung cancer. He was 68.

It is with deep sadness that I have to announce that our great, beloved leader Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Dural, Jr. has passed away. He died at 1:32 AM Louisiana time, keeping musician’s hours right to the bitter end,” Dural’s manager Ted Fox wrote on Facebook.

“I am grieving for my best friend and colleague of more than 30 years. But, as this great road warrior once said: ‘Life is a tour, and it’s all about how you decide to get where you’re going…I don’t want to ignore the bad things in life, but I want to emphasize the good things.’ Buck made everything and everyone he touched better and happier. RIP my dear friend, my brother.”

Family friend Dustin Cravins added to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “It’s a tough one for us and the entire Zydeco community and the greater music community. Words like legend and icon are tossed around so much these days that it almost sounds watered down, but he was the true definition of it.”

Stanley “Buckwheat Zydeco” Dural, Jr.: 14 November 1947 – 24 September 2016

Yes, I love zydeco as well. That might surprise some, but those who listen to the music that I’ve posted won’t be surprised at all.

I’ll close this post with my three favourite Buckwheat Zydeco songs. He’s jamming with Jimi, David, Prince, and so many others. Make that accordion sing!

Wordless Wednesday…

R.I.P., Michael Clarke Duncan

I’m sad to read of the death of Michael Clarke Duncan, a bodyguard-turned-actor who did a phenomenal job in his role as innocent death-row inmate John Coffey in The Green Mile. I read the books – the story was written in a series of short novellas – and thought that the movie did them justice, but Mr. Duncan outshone his co-stars, in my opinion. He could easily have gotten a top award, if he wasn’t billed as a ‘supporting actor’ to begin with. He was 54 years old…too damned young. He had a heart attack in July, but apparently never recovered…I’m speechless.

From the BBC:

“Green Mile star Michael Clarke Duncan dies at 54: Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who rose to prominence playing a death row inmate in acclaimed film The Green Mile, has died at the age of 54.

Duncan suffered a heart attack in July and died at a hospital in Los Angeles after failing to recover.

He was nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for his portrayal as convicted murderer John Coffey alongside Tom Hanks in The Green Mile.

Duncan, who was born in Chicago in 1957, died on Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

His fiancee, the reality TV personality Reverend Omarosa Manigault, asked for privacy until his funeral and memorial events were announced.”

The full article can be read here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19472267

R.I.P., Michael – you were a beautiful man, a beautiful soul, a gentle giant…rest easy, my brother.

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