Baseball #2

March 30, 2011

Daniel Gould to Jim Driscoll


Hi JD;
I understand the problem with computer time. Because of medical problems, I was pushed out of the main library of Amsterdam which is open seven days/week and from 10 to 10. Now, I am regulated to 30 minutes at neighborhood libraries and only until five pm at another public access location. (See, Nov (4) 3D List #11 for explanation.) 
You have had returned e-mails from my address? I have no explanation. It cannot be a full box because I  clear it everyday. Someone did hack into my Hot Mail account about three years ago and really screwed things up. He may have planted something in the system. Damn! This is irritating. The hacker has been stalking me for about five years now. It is a story in itself. Weird. When you get a return, just resend it.

As to your writing style---and why it is related to your not writing fiction---forget it. I like your style: funny, witty, ironic and you succeed with entertaining which the dictionary defines as: Something that holds the attention. I mentioned, in an earlier email, Elmore Leonard who writes with a Detroit background. His use of words---and similes---is sparse; his characterizations, simple. But his stories, engrossing. Have you read Bukowski (I represented him, for Europe, for a very short period...But that's another story). While known, initially, as a poet, his first novel, "Post Office," got my attention. It is the memoir's of a man's life over 12 years. I can't remember the page count now, but I seem to recall it wasn't much over 100. Another writer to check out is John Fante from the 40s and 50s. Writing is all about style. John Hawkes often discards plot and even story line and just writes simple prose. A writer writes in the style that suits them. When I read a novel which is contrived and/or too flowery, I know I am not reading something written by a committed writer. Same is true with art. The Dutch academies graduate a lot of kids who on receiving their diplomas declare themselves artist. But art is in the soul. Some become very good painters, but never an artist.
As to returning to the USofA...Well, I DO intend to return for a working visit. I want to come with a small film crew. The intention is to do a docu. I would travel the country interviewing family and friends about the American Dream. I have lived in five USofA cities and my friends and family are now located from NYC to Honolulu; from the state of Washington to Florida and all parts in between. So, it would take a couple of months. I thought I would go back for the 50th Reunion and begin the project by interviewing classmates and spent a year trying to get  into contact with someone as to the dates. I Googled names and used other sources. Nothing. Last spring I stumbled onto the book written about the 1959 football team. But there was no contact. It wasn't until Nov or Dec that I Googled "St. Ambrose, Class of 1960" and got a hit for the "Busy Bee," the church paper, which announced the dates and listed Phyllis' e-mail address. I had wanted to start the interviews with members of the class because Detroit is getting a lot of press in Europe. Kid you not. Docus, of course, about the dying city, but also in the fashion world (surprise) and art world. There are groups of artists who paint the abandon buildings (I attended an opening about a year ago of a Dutch artist who went to Detroit and collected old wood from the empty factories and made inlaid collages from it; another opening showed photos of the derelict Michigan Theater, Vanity Ball Room, Michigan Central Station (did you know it was the world's largest railroad station when opened in 1911?), et al.

You asked about the publication that carried the Cubbies piece. It is a satirical publication established by an artist/designer. He caught my attention at one of his "cat walks." Twice a year, in Amsterdam, there is a fashion week. The main cat walks are from international fashion houses: DKNY, Replay, Tom Filger, et al. Then there are the side exhibitions by young designers. Being Amsterdam, they try to do the "cat walk" in a more aesthetic or artistic way. David "Jood" (Jew, he labels himself this way) Luxembourgh, is an Israeli who attended design academy here and has stayed. A short description of his "cat walk" got my attention. I RSVPed. I entered an artist atelier and saw a long U-shaped table with a slot car track atop it and all was surrounded by about 25 chairs, all different. He presented his clothes designs wrapped around 8 inch high dolls which were mounted on flat cars and did their "walk" that way. Cool! I wrote about it. He put me on his mailing list. He approached me to write a column for his new website. I think I did two pieces before he lost interest in the site. As to taking issue with the editor about the spelling mistake with "loser" I did and he told me to go to hell. Of course, it was like talking to myself since I was. Hey, this is a low cost operation.
I mentioned the book "Stardust" and thought you might like this observation that I read this morning: "A couple of years ago it [LA] was still just oranges here. Like the Garden of Eden. Now you have to be careful you don't step on the snakes."

The baseball quiz:  I like this type of thing. I am an "expert" at trivia. As to the first question, as to how many "legitimate hits" in an inning without scoring a "legal run" (I am assuming you mean an unearned run), theoretically, it could be infinite. Bases are loaded as a result of three singles (infield hits) and the fourth batter hits a line drive to the corner, in left or right. The outfielder muffs it and four runs score. Then the process starts all over again. Reminds me of a book by Kansella(?), the man who wrote "The Field of Dreams." I don't recall the title, but the Cubs are barnstorming as they work their way to Chicago for the start of the season. They get bogged down in a small Iowa town in a game that goes on for 100 or more days...But I digress.
As to someone hitting two grand slams in one game...I seem to recall that it has happened twice?  And one time was recently? Don't recall who it was. Who was the pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game. Well, an educated guess would be the Babe. The Splendid Splinter? Wasn't he the thorn in the side of Lash LaRue? Two major leaguers' who hit five homers in one day? I assume each played in a double header. But, again, the educated guess is to go with all the usual suspects: Ruth, Foxx, Mantle, Maris, Aaron, Banks, Sosa, McGuire and Bonds. Okay, so I'm using the shotgun technique. I nearly said PawPaw Maxwell. Gary C. and I were at a doubleheader, one Sunday, when he hit four.

Here's one for you: A pitcher pitches a no hitter, however none of the batting averages of the opposing players change. How, When and Who performed this miracle?
...The season starts for me,l at Wrigley Field, in a little over 48 hours...



March 30, 2011 

Jim Driscoll to Daniel Gould March 30, 2011



RE: the BB  quiz:  

1)  By legal run I meant any run that counted as scored in the inning. It is not a trick Q.  How many hits can a team possibly get in their inning AB without scoring a run?  I'll give you another try on that one.  

2) The Q about the grand slams was not how many times it was done twice in one game, but has it ever been done twice in one inning? ( It's been   done 10 to 12 times twice in one game.....Willie Mays &  Jim Northrup to name 2)   I'll give you another shot at this one, as well.  

3) Tony Cloninger once hit 2 GS's in one game as a pitcher for the Phillies.  

4) Ted Williams was known as THE SPLENDID SPLINTER.  

5)  NATE COLBERT (SD)  and STAN MUSIAL (ST L.) each have hit 5 HR'S in one doubleheader in one day.  

So far you be batting .000 >>>JD  

Photo: Ted Williams