sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 18, 2019

saturday sunset
posted by soe 2:01 am

Sunset behind Nats Park

I was on the wrong side of Nationals Park to truly capture the beauty of tonight’s sunset, so this was the best I could do.

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February 26, 2019

baseball americana
posted by soe 1:44 am

I think I mentioned that I had taken the suggestion that several of you had to spend a portion of my birthday two weeks ago at the Library of Congress baseball exhibition. Pitchers and catchers had just reported for spring training, so it seemed a particularly apt time to go.

Baseball Americana

Keeping in mind that this is a library, rather than a hall of fame, I thought the curators did a nice job of pulling together materials that covered the highlights of the sport, from its highlights of bringing people together and lauding athletic prowess to its lowlights of cheating and discrimination.

The Promise of Baseball

There were mementos from the majors, from white baseball to the Negro Leagues to the women’s league that arose during WWII and that was memorialized in A League of Their Own, as well as collegiate ball, Little League, town and work teams, rec leagues, and international play.

The Women of Baseball

There was interesting trivia. For instance, did you know that the first intercollegiate baseball game was held between Williams and Amherst Colleges in Massachusetts, but since there was concern this was over-emphasizing students’ physicality, they made it a double-header with a chess match?

Muscle and Mind

Or that “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is about a woman fan? (Click through to Flickr to enlarge it so you can read the verses, rather than just the chorus we all know.)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

They showed the ways in which equipment has evolved over time. The most startling definitely comes in the form of the glove. While the mitt of 1922 is largely recognizable today, I’m not sure if you showed the one from 1885 to a modern player that they’d try to field with it. (And even that was an improvement over the sport’s original barehanded technique.)

1922 Glove Replica

1885 Glove Replica

There were highlights from baseball films and on tv. They showed some of the memorable national anthem performances. And there was a selection of highlights from radio and tv broadcasters, which included Don Larson’s perfect World Series game (the ticket stub and program for which are below), the 1986 Mets, the 2004 Red Sox, the 2016 Cubs, and the interruption of the game to announce that Apollo 11 had landed safely on the moon.

The Perfect Game

My Mets got both some of our favorite and most painful memories included:

Nowhere to Go But Up

Meet the Mets


After I had moved on to the next case, one of the women behind me started singing “Meet the Mets,” much to the surprise of her friend, who didn’t know she’d grown up a fan of the team.

Walter Johnson

The hometown team got a shoutout from one of its Senators’ heroes, Walter Johnson, as well as Nationals Park providing the backdrop for the selfie station.

Baseball Card

Obviously, I had a blast. If you’re in town (or can get here) before the exhibit closes in late July, I really hope you get a chance to see it. If you won’t be, they’ve put out an accompanying book, which is widely available and which your library might have.

Category: dc life,sports. There is/are 1 Comment.

February 6, 2019

more reliable than a groundhog
posted by soe 1:20 am

According to the sports calendar, there is only one more week of winter.

Pitchers and catchers report next Tuesday, Feb. 12, heralding the beginning of spring.

That is all.

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November 19, 2018

epic fail
posted by soe 1:52 am

I intended to spend this afternoon bicycling over to the Deanwood, a neighborhood on the other side of the Anacostia that’s home to an award-winning branch library. I had an entire game plan that started with a pop-up Christmas shop across town, progressed to a once-a-week coffee shop at one of the rec centers, and stopped at the library. I was then going to come back home via the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden (where in the summer they apparently have amazing water lilies) and the new community coffee shop by Union Market. There were contingency options built in for not getting as early a start (skipping the pop-ups) and for not wanting to bike as far, including taking a bikeshare so I could leave the bike by the library if I didn’t want to keep cycling and take the metro home.

I reiterate, I had a plan.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

It started out okay, although I left later than I’d hoped due to an uncalm stomach, so I ditched both pop-ups from my plan and decided to hit the Aquatic Garden en route to the library. It’s less than a ten-minute ride from one to the other and this way, I thought, I wouldn’t be riding in a less populated area as it got darker.

Anacostia River Parkland
(I suggest you click through and mouse over the above shot on Flickr, because I’ve put in a note showing the Washington Monument, which is too small here to see.)

Anacostia River Parkland

All this was true. It’s beautiful over there and it’s so secluded you’d never know you were in a city. I passed a few people on the trail, but not many, and I had an eye on the clock so I wouldn’t get to the library too late to explore.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Apparently, I was so busy taking in the scenery and the time that I missed my turn off the trail and back to civilization. When I did finally reach a turn, it was a little later than I’d expected, but not bad. However, it wasn’t the turn I’d wanted. Come to find out I’d overshot D.C. and was now out in Maryland.

Anacostia River Parkland
(Not D.C.)

This is where things start to go off the rails. Consulting Google Maps, I asked it how I should best progress back to Deanwood. Back through the woods, it said. But it was nearly 4:30 at this point, and I was worried about being on the trail alone as it was seriously getting dark. So I nixed that idea and looked at the road signs. I was already on a fast-moving four-lane road, which although it had signs saying cyclists should take the lane, I wasn’t convinced the drivers of it were similarly inclined to agreement. And I was at an on-ramp to what looked like potentially to be a highway. I definitely didn’t want to take a highway! (I have accidentally done this at one point, coming out of National Airport and I do not ever want to repeat that terrifying experiment.) Possibly those roads would have been fine, but I decided to call Rudi and ask him to help find me a way home since he has more experience cycling in outlying areas.

He did find me a route that didn’t involve biking on highways or through dark woods, although it, too, was not without perils (mostly due to poor pedestrian signage and nonexistent warnings about dangerous sidewalk conditions on a stretch of road that I prefer not to bike on during the day, let alone at night (due to the high speed drivers like to take, not for it feeling otherwise dangerous)). By the time I reached home what was supposed to have been a manageable ride of a dozen miles turned into nearly double that and had me pedaling for nearly three hours straight. (Yesterday, I asked Rudi to come meet me because I didn’t want to add two miles to my ride.) The only thing that saved me was that I had taken one of the electric-assist bikes that was nearly fully charged when I borrowed it, but, still, that was a lot of energy expended. I will sleep well tonight.

But it was beautiful before it got stressful…

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

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September 9, 2018

rain delay
posted by soe 2:28 am

Rain Delay

This was taken just around midnight, when a rain delay went into effect. We planned to stay until they either called the game or resumed it, but eventually the bike valet called and told Rudi they were leaving and that he had to come get his bike, so we were forced to leave. (Technically, I could have stayed, but then I would have had to bike home alone, and that didn’t seem like fun.)

The game eventually resumed, they played the final scoreless inning, and the Nationals won. By that point, we were home with hot tea, so, really, everyone won.

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September 3, 2018

toasty day game
posted by soe 1:22 am

Day Game

Today I had tickets to see the Nationals, courtesy of the D.C. Public Library summer reading program. It was relentlessly sunny and humid, so I opted to not sit in my seats and instead to stand behind the seats under the scoreboard in right-center field drinking cold beverages. Both Rudi and I were late getting to the game, having come from other activities, but there was still plenty of action in what we saw. As I walked up, the Nationals tied the game and then took the lead. Unfortunately it wasn’t for long, and just as Rudi arrived, the Brewers hit a grand slam to put them ahead irreversibly.

But baseball is baseball and any day at the ballpark can’t be all bad (even if we did totally have to take a nap when we got home this evening).

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