This goes back aways, but David Roth wrote about R.A. Dickey, mold-breaker for the concept of the cliched athlete, in the July 9 issue of New Yorker. More recently, Will Leitch offers these thoughts about the Mets in a “reasons to love New York” retrospective.
Bruce Markusen at The Hardball Times posted this piece about the numerous times Willie Mays appeared on non-game TV. I was pretty surprised by the total: 89 shows, including The Donna Reed Show and Bewitched. The total also includes stints as a guest on various talk shows.
Of course, years ago, the west-based players for the Dodgers and Giants seemed to have the market cornered. Leo Durocher, for example, had featured roles in Mr. Ed, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Munsters, while Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale appeared TV westerns, and a couple of Dodgers even appeared as improbable cannibals on Gilligan’s Island. Needless to say, they also appeared in feature films.
Numerous ballplayers and other baseball personnel appeared on the classic game show I’ve Got a Secret back in the 1950s.
I fear for my daughter. She’s studying photography at NYU. She’s very talented at what she does (and that’s not just fatherly pride), but with everyone having a camera on their smart phone or as a point-and-shoot, is there a future in that business? For example, Instant Baseball: The Baseball Instagrams of Brad Mangin comes out next April. Mangin is a free-lancer whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated (and I still don’t understand the whole Instagram thing), so you think he’d be leery about letting the amateur know what they can do in this field.
Back to TV — Baseball was a key element in last week’s episode of Person of Interest. The premise of this odd show is that a social security number is spit out by this supercomputer that warns the show’s heroes, Finch, the brains, played by Michael Emerson of Lost fame, and Reese, the muscle, played by a very soft-spoken Jim Caviezel. There are two minor characters on the police force that never seem to have their own work to do since they’re always at the beck and call of Emerson and Caviezel.
But I digress. Last week’s show centered around a promising Cuban baseball player who had defected years earlier but had injured his arm and was therefore relegated to driving a cab. Long story short, he’s trying to get his wife and son into the country but doesn’t have enough money so he gets caught up with some bad dudes and has to be rescued.
Because where else would you keep this but on your bookshelf?