Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Moonlight" Graham

I originally wrote this story last year when the Minnesota Twins were celebrating "Moonlight Graham" day at the Metrodome. It marked the 100th anniversary of an odd footnote in Baseball history. It is such a good story that I thought it deserved revisiting
Those who have watched "Field of Dreams "or read the book, "Shoeless Joe" that it is based on are familiar with the character Archibald "Moonlight" Graham portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the movie. What is not well known is that Archibald Graham was a real person.

Following a highly successful minor league career with the Charlotte Hornets of North Carolina League, Archibald Wright Graham made his major league debut on June 29, 1905, with the New York Giants. It was the same day he retired from professional baseball. With a ten run lead over the Brooklyn, Superbas (Dodgers) after eight innings, Giant manager John McGraw made a defensive change, replacing George Brown with "Moonlight" Graham in right field. When three quick infield outs by the Superbas (Dodgers) ended the game, along with Graham's only chance to face a big league pitcher, he became an unusual footnote in Baseball history for having never touched a ball or faced a pitcher.

One of the beefs against Graham was he missed spring training because he was attending Medical School. Graham subsequently completed medical school and eventually settled in Chisolm, Minnesota.

Chisolm is a very blue collar town in Minnesota's Iron Range. It is known for brutal winters and hard economic swings. When times were tough in Chisolm, Graham was known to have winked at rent. If kids were hungry, he seemed to have lunch money for them. If the mines were slow, he seemed to have toothbrushes and theater tickets for the kids. He was known as someone who was always there when people needed him. Graham lived in Chisolm until his death in 1965.

According to his biographer, Graham was accurately portrayed by Burt Lancaster in "Field of Dreams".

In this time of prima donna multi millionaire athletes with no redeeming talent beyond an ability to play a meaningless game, it was good that Graham was recognized for who and what he was outside of the sport he loved. He was an individual that let his life define him, not his sport.

Blogs Graveyard

I remember as a kid watching the old Johnny Weismuller "Tarzan" movies. It seems in half the movies evil types were always looking for the Elephants graveyard where old elephants went to die and a legendary treasure of Ivory was to be had. Any way, we all wondered where they went to die and now I think we can answer the mystery for at least old blogs.

For reasons I already gave, I nuked my old blog. Fortunately, unlike a dead elephant, it will not make a stink as it decomposes. Anyway, I was surprised to find my old blog address had joined the "blogs graveyard" at this address. Either that, or this person has managed to randomly select over 60 used addresses in the last week.

I am not sure what this persons angle is, but why not leave the dead Blogs in peace?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Some things never go away

For years the state of Minnesota had a cap on what School District Supervisors could earn. It was 95% of the Governors salary. To "sweeten" the offers they would add retirement and severance bonuses. Some of the packages would amount to more than 3 years pay. That limit has been off for 5 years now, but some packages are still being offered out there.

What I struggle with, is the Superintendents job is very political. Why are we concerned if they have talent? The only time the OH has seen our District Superintendent was on TV at a board meeting. It seems initiatives and such are created and run by the State and Fed authorities. Those initiatives are then enabled by the school districts and executed by the district staffs.

After spending a fortune on a national talent search, Minneapolis School Districts latest Supertindent was a disaster. Maybe it is time to rethink the need for a position that consumes the costs of 5+ teachers who actually do something?

Friday, June 23, 2006


For anyone interested, one of my daughters found my blog (was I ever surprised!). Apparently there was a bit of embarassment associated with it so I dumped the blog whole sale and eliminated the address.

Deed done.

Anyway, I will start a new blog and be a bit more circumspect regarding the topics I discuss