Leap of Dave Summer Reading Program

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Program
Summer Reading Program: May 29th Through September 5th

A QUOTE TO START THINGS OFF WITH

I see a young boy Saying He's going to run away. Deep inside, It's already happened. Ronny Dibbern (Grade 8) From Ten-Second Rainshowers: Poems by young people. Compiled by Sanford Lynne

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Taking 2020 from 1677 and Staying Positive.

 Penultimate is one of my favorite words.  It means second to last.  I use the word so often it drives my family a little crazy.  So, when I woke up this morning on the day before New Years Eve, 2020, penultimate popped into my head pretty quickly.

I turned to the Merriam Webster website for the last word on penultimate. It seems the word was first used in  print all the way back in 1677.  Thanks to the time traveler feature at the MW site, I discovered many words that came into print in 1677 still had special significance in 2020.  To illustrate I will jot a few words about 2020 as it draws nigh and embolden  the words from 1677. I have also put links on each word to their definition as some of these 1677 words were new to me. 

I always like to be veracious so as I look back at the year 2020  I must say that after some introspection I am somewhat glad that this is the penultimate day of a year that was  as oppressive as it was implausible; as riveting as it was slatternly

I don't like to sound huffy, but it upset me when  I found out this March that both my jobs were inessential. I would turn on the television to watch the splutter of unsustainable overpromise. Never-mind the tug-of-war between the ballot box and the electoral college that tried to make  the courtroom function as a middleman

I'm sure that years from now when we unpack a yearbook from a duffel ,2020 will still be considered a difficult year; with some exertion and by being intentional we were able to configure a new normal. I'm sorry I hope you didn't doze off while I went on like someone giving a keynote at a quarterly meeting.


 

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Remembering Dick Allen

 Dick Allen died earlier this month on December 7,2020 at the age of 78. Allen was the NL rookie of the year for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964, the year I was born. He played for the White Sox form 1972 to 1974 and was a big part of the reason why I switched allegiances from the Chicago Cubs to their south side counterpart  White Sox. 

It transpired something like this.  My sister was the grade ahead of me at school and achieved straight A's at school one year.  Our school had a promotion with the White Sox that if you had straight A's or perfect attendance you would receive 2 vouchers for tickets to a White Sox game.  My Dad took my sister to a game and I decided that the next year I would get perfect attendance and he could take me

Sure enough, the next year I had perfect attendance for the first and only time in my academic life. My Dad took me to a game in 1972 or out the roof shots and it was1973 against the Baltimore Orioles.  He taught me how to keep score and Dick Allen hit a home run.  

From that day on I was a White Sox fan. I watched games on T.V. and listened to the rest on the radio.  I even became a country music fan as the White Sox games were broadcast on the local country station.  The rest of the family remained Cubs fans (I still like the Cubs because no one told me other wise, ) but my exuberance was for the White Sox.  Each year our family took a pilgrimage to Wrigley to watch a game.   Each year my Dad found away usually near my birthday to take me to a White Sox game as well.

I liked all the players, Bucky Dent. Wilbur Wood, Jorge Orta, Bill Melton but Allen was by far my favorite. Over the years the players changed but my passion for the White Sox never ebbed. I have had many favorite White Sox players over the years Kessinger, Fisk, Thomas, Buehrle, and Konerko just to name a few,  but those fond memories of watching Allen at first base or at the plate never  did fully dissipate.

Click here to watch footage of Allen with commentary from teammate Bill Melton. I also have put some video and audio clips of Allen at my vlog, Dave Out Loud


Allen at the Bat
Allen in the Field

Iconic Sports Illustrated Cover
    

    

Dick Allen: Sights and Sounds

This post is a supplement to a post in my sports blog, Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog. Video about Allen and the 1972 White Sox.

1967 All Star Game: Allen homers for National League



Allen was a front man for a do-wop band in the 60's


Hall of Fame 2020 If I had a vote and used it

 Since the inception of this blog I have always previewed the Baseball HOF voting with a number of posts. Last year was only the second year that I did not do this.  I was just too busy and I thought I had finally given up blogging. As I am back and blogging again I am in  the midst of previewing the 2021 Hall of Fame selection next month.  I thought I would spend a few minutes and say who I would have wanted to vote for on last years ballot if I were afforded one.

Each member of the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is given up to 10 votes each year. As I do most every year I will pretend I have as many as 10 votes down to as few as 1 vote and state who I think I would have voted for.  I will also mention how many people I think I would have voted for if I could vote for any number from 1 to 10. Again, I say I think because this is an exercise in pure revisionist history as I already know the results of the election.  After saying who I voted for in what position, I will reveal what % of the vote they actually received. Anyone receiving less than 5% will not be on the ballot this year. Anyone who received at least 5% of the vote and less than 75% of the vote who still is within their first 9 years on the ballot will return to the ballot in 2021. Anyone who received more than 75% will become a member of the HOF.

 If I were give 10 votes in  the 2020 election, I think my10th vote would have gone to Andy Pettitte in his 2nd year on the ballot.  I had not voted for Pettitte in his first season on the ballot.  Pettitte received 11.3% of the vote in 2020 which was up from 9.9 % in his inaugural year. 

If only able to vote for 9 people in 2020, I believe my 9th vote would have gone to Andruw Jones in his 3rd year on the ballot.  I had not voted for Jones previously. Jones ended up receiving 19.4 % of the writers votes in 2020 which was up quite a bit form the 7.5% he received in 2019. 

If there was a rule that said I could vote for 8 and  only 8 players on the 2020 ballot, I'm thinking my 8th vote would have been  for Curt Schilling in his 8th year on the ballot. I had not voted for Schilling in previous years. Schilling received 70.0 percent of the vote in 2020 which was up from 60.9% in 2018. 

If I could only vote for 7 people in 2020. I think my 7th vote would have gone to Gary Sheffield in his 6th year of eligibility. In 2019 I would have considered voting for Sheffield if I had been given as many as 12 votes.  Sheffield received 20.6% of the vote in 2020 which was a great increase from the 13.6% he got in 2019.


If I could only vote for 6 players in the 2020 election. I'm pretty certain my 6th vote would have gone to Jeff Kent in his 7th year on the ballot. This would have been 2 places better than I vote for him in 2019/ In 2020 Kent received 27.5 % of the writer's votes which was up from 18.1 % in 2019.

Todd Helton would have been my 5th vote in the 2020 election If I had to vote for exactly 5 people. 2020 was Helton's 2nd year on the ballot.  In his inaugural year on the ballot he was the 7th player I would have chosen. Helton garnered 29.2% of the vote in 2020 which was up from 16.5% in 2019.

If I could vote in the 2020 election for as many players as I thought were worthy to be enshrined in Cooperstown, I think I would have voted for 4 people/  Before I tell you who the 4th person was, I offer the following caveat. Since I did not research the vote last year, I did not allow for voting for any returning player on my official unofficial ballot who was not on the OUB previously. It is my possible that Helton or even Kent may have raised in my estimation if I took the ample time to review their case prior to the 2020 voting. I did not, so they are both on the outside looking in.  

With 4 votes in my pocket the 4th vote would have gone to Larry Walker in his 10th and final year on the ballot.  In 2019 Walker had been my fifth vote in my official unofficial ballot of 6 players. In 2020 the voters saw clearly to elect Walker to the Hall of Fame with 76.6% of the vote up from 54.6% in his penultimate year of eligibility.

If on the 2020 ballot I could only vote for 3 players I am positive that my 3rd vote would go to Omar Vizquel in his 3rd year of eligibility. In 2019 He was also the 3rd on my ballot. Vizquel received 52.6% of the votes up from 42.8% in 2019.

My last 2 votes would have both gone to players in their 1st year of eligibility in 2020.  mu 2nd vote would have gone to Derek Jeter who received 99.7% of the vote and made it to the HOF. My #1 vote would have definitely gone to my guy, Paul Konerko. Unfortunately the voters don't know him like I do and he recieved only 2.5% of the vote, only 1/2 the votes he need for consideration this year.

I will return in a few days for the next installment in the 2021 review.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Stats Sunday

This is the last Sunday of the year and as 2020 ends I've decide to start something new.  From time to time on this blog I will write a post that features statistics in some way.  I was thinking about publishing them on Saturdays and calling it Staturday but I decided instead to call it Stats Sunday. It won't be every Sunday. But when I have a stats based post I will try to publish it on a Sunday.  

The Bears beat Jacksonville today to stay alive in the Playoff picture. gula The game was Mitchell Trubisky's 49th start during the regular season. It was his 29th win in 49 starts for a winning percentage of .592.  This got me to thinking.  



This blog began over 11 years ago on December 12 2009. Since then the Bears have played 177 regular season games. They have won 82 of these games and lost 95 for a winning percentage of .462. During that time, the Bears have started 12 different quarterbacks and only one has a better winning percentage in games they started than Trubisky. This is the forgettable Todd Collins who won his only game as a starter for the Bears but was benched in the 3rd quarter in favor of Caleb Hanie. While Collins illustrates that one's winning percentage as a starter is not always indicative of performance,  when related to a larger body of work than a handful of games there is certainly relevance to be gleaned.

PlayerYear(s) StartedWinsLossesPercentage
Todd Collins2010101.000
Mitchell Trubisky2017-20202920.592
Josh McCown2011.201333.500
Jay Cutler2009-20164446.489
Nick Foles202025.286
Mike Glennon201713.250
Brian Hoyer201614.200
Matt Barkley201615.167
Jason Campbell201201.000
Chase Daniel2018,201902.000
Jimmy Clausen2014,201502.000
Caleb Hanie201104.000


Most Starts:  Jay Cutler (90)
Most Wins: Jay Cutler (44)
Most Losses: Jay Cutler (46)

Jay Cutler doing his Jim from the Office impression.
Best Winning Percentage: Todd Collins 1.000
Best Winning Percentage (5 or more starts) : Mitchell Trubisky .592
Worst Winning Percentage. Caleb Hanie* .000 
Worst Winning Percentage (5 or more starts): Matt Baarkley  .167

* 4 QBs have a .000 winning percentage during this time.  Hanie gets the distinction of worst because he had more starts than any of the other 3.


Statistics are interesting in that they can tell you a lot and tell you nothing at all at the very same time. I'm not sure what kind of meaning can be extrapolated from the above chart, but  it was kind of fun and a more than a little depressing looking back at a decade of Bears starting quarterbacks.

Holy Hill Batman! The work of Christian Prohaska of Mainlight Photo.

 I have known Christian Prohaska for going on 40 years. We went to different high schools but met through a parachurch organization called Campus Life. We spent a lot of time on bicycling trips and other adventures. Christian is a very talented photographer, videographer and also takes video footage using drones. His You Tube channel Mainlight Photo is amazing.  Of his many videos, I decided to share this one about Holy Hill, as cycling up to this site was one of the many adventures we shared together.


 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Lucy's Braces Come Off. Before & After shots.

 


Before

After


Posting this for Wordless Wednesday at Comedy Plus.

Judy Garland Christmas Special (1963)

While researching a post at HSD I came across this Judy Garland Christmas special from December 1963, the year before I was born.   


If you saw the 2019 film Judy starring Renee Zellweger, it may be difficult to watch the Christmas special without remembering Zellweger's Oscar winning tour de force performance of the troubled icon.  

If you haven't seen it, This trailer may whet your appetite for the amazing yet tumultuous biopic.



Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Dave Out Loud: New Computer

This is quite Awesome

While I have an Instagram account, I am never on it. The only thongs I ever see from Instagram are what's posted to other platforms such as this really cool reimagining of NBA jerseys that I saw on NBCsports.com


 

My favorite jersey is the Bulls one, of course. It ties in my favorite 2 sports teams (Sorry Bears!) in 2 ways. First they have the same owner (Jerry Reinsdorf) and by using the #23 we are reminded how Michael Jordan played minor league ball in the White Sox organization in the mid 90's. My 2nd favorite is the Bucks and my least favorites were the Heat and the Rockets.  


 

Monday, December 7, 2020

A Lesson From the Box Score

The Year In Sports

Twenty         20

Covid           19


The coach of Twenty was quoted at the press conference.  

"Covid put up quite a fight, but we knew if we worked together as a team we would persevere and prevail in the end."