Saturday, April 14, 2012

How Dale Murphy is a rarity among men & seeing The Baseball Project at the Met

. I bought tickets to see The Baseball Project at the Met, but by Friday afternoon it was obvious from the responses either no thank you or there were other plans, that I was going solo. What sucked was the potential to pay $30 for parking on top of the ticket no one was going to use. There was a forum before the performance, breaking the color barrier with Jackie Robinson’s daughter as well as two columnists, William C Rhoden and Sean Kirst, as well as Dale Murphy. One of the people I invited to the event was my coworker Drew and on Thursday I let him know I had an extra ticket. He apologized and said he couldn’t make it since his father was in the hospital and the prognosis was not good in fact they signed the DNR release papers. Dale Murphy is Drew’s hero so I was sorry he could not make it. I was even more sorry Ali couldn’t be there since she loves REM and especially meeting or talking to Peter Buck and or Mike Mills though my wife has a secret love for Michael Stipe. The forum was provoking; describing the black cat incident the Jackie encountered in Syracuse and how he reacted to bigotry, the black cat incident is when some of the opposing players through a black cat into the field and told Jackie there goes your cousin. When he hit a double and eventually rounded third to home since he was hit in, he called out to the Syracuse Players that he guessed his cousin was happy…Rhoden described how we need to be honest with history as well, when black players were segregated to hotels outside the city limits there was a demand for equal housing. When the news hit what the outcry was, many black players refused to participate since being outside the city, meant there were no curfews and they partied all night without anyone caring. Dale Murphy is a kind gentleman. I found him after the forum and before the Baseball Project went on stage and asked if he could sign a ball I brought. After he handed the ball to me, I asked him for a favor. “I have a colleague who considers you to be his hero, but he could not make it tonight since his father is sick in fact they signed the DNR papers. His face went from a smile to concern. I could tell he wanted to help. If I call my friend would you mind speaking to him and giving him some encouragement? Sure. We walked out to the lobby and I called Drew. Hey, I got someone who wants to talk to you…they spoke for a couple of minutes and Dale said God Bless and handed me the phone. God Bless you Dale Murphy…by the time I got back to my seat BP was performing on the stage. The sound in the Bonnie J Sacerdote Lecture hall/theatre which holds 700 was crisp. The orchestra was close to a full capacity. I read one review of the performance on another blog and swear the person must have been sitting close by since our pictures are similar. With Mike Mills on piano and organ and bass their sound was more distinct, it would be a nice addition to have Mike join permanently. I’m including a video as well to give you an idea of the sparse stage, the slide show backdrop of old baseball cards that made the night even more worthwhile, though the highlight was a new song specifically written for the museums baseball card collection or better known as the Jefferson R. Burdick collection. I guess with a name like Jefferson Burdick Scott McCaughey could feel inspired…after the show, I gave Peter a copy of the novel Killer Commute since I used the lyrics from the REM song Mr. Richards, here is his holding his copy. He signed some BP records and as always is down to earth. I had Scott sign a few things as well and asked if there was a possibility the Young Fresh Fellows would ever play in New York or on the East coast. Scott said he doubted it since most of the other guys have family obligations but he seemed surprised someone was asking about them. Good news, The Young Fresh Fellows are releasing a new album. Last fall I wrote to Steve Wynn and mentioned what Ali was going through, since I missed one of their gigs. When I introduced myself he seemed or was being nice to remember who I was. Briefly I told him who I was and he asked how Ali was and to give her his best. Steve mentioned BP is tentatively set to play the city winery on July 5th and hoped to see us there. I have to tell you, Steve is a sincere gentlemen, I met two very caring men last night. As I was walking out I thought I would miss Linda since I had most of their signatures on their album High and Inside, but there she was in the aisle; she explained to us (me & the) women she was speaking to how she went out and bought the astro turf as a home depot and bought the broken bobble head on EBay…she gave the bobble head a Seattle Mariner to Peter as a memento. OK, for Record Store day The Baseball Project has a limited edition run of a 45…limited to only 300. Steve said he has 50 that he is selling at shows and they’re going fast. I bought one at the show and had it signed and ordered one last week from Euclid Records:

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