Bush isn’t obeying subpoena…

June 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm (News & Politics)

… that he provide documents regarding the firing of federal judges. Folks on both sides of the aisle are calling his actions “Nixonesque”

I contend that what Nixon did to our country [and make no mistake, he horned us good] was, at worst, “Bushesque.”

May they both rot in hell… Cheney too.

Edited to add: So much for “Adios Politics.”

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Who’s on 2nd?

June 28, 2007 at 1:21 pm (Alameda, Baseball, Fantasy Baseball)

I just *had* to have Dontrelle [D Train] Willis so I included my terrific 2nd baseman, Brian Roberts, in a fantasy league trade a while back. Big mistake. Since then, I’ve released my fellow Alamedan and shuffled the likes of Ray Durham [a streaky hitter], Kendrick the Shmendrick [lost power due to hand injury], and Mark Ellis [the best fielding 2nd baseman since Alomar, of the Roberto variety] on and off my roster.

I’ve decided. Mark’s the man. Ellis has come on as a hitter of late. He’s shown the pre-shoulder-injury punch. Beyond that, he’s fun to watch [as are his teammates Travis Buck, Nick Swisher, Marco Scutaro, and a healthy Shannon Stewart]. Assuming that closer Houston [pronounced How-ston] Street and Mike Piazza [or Jack Cust stays hot] come back in due time, the A’s will be in the race. Billy Beane’s next phenom, Daric Barton, is about to be called up from AAA and their pitching is fine.

As for the Otters [Amerika’s team]: A rejuvenated Alphonso Soriano, Big Papi, Ryan Braun, Hunter Pence, a re-acquired J J Putz, and Kenny Rogers have led me to mediocrity. At least for now, I’m a far cry from Basement Bertha. If Matt Cain can pitch in some better luck, and Tejada comes back soon and gets hot… this just could be the year.

Edited to add 7/7/07 : I decided that Atlanta Brave Kelly Johnson is my man at 2nd base and at the close of play tonight I’m in *third* place with a bullet. Whodathunk?

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1962 Giants, Yankees Reunite

June 25, 2007 at 9:00 pm (Alameda, Baseball, New York Giants)

In general, interleague play sucks. Not always, though.

The Yankees came out west to San Francisco this past weekend. It was the first time since ’62 that the two teams played each other in a meaningful game. Sunday, the Giants paraded out the surviving participants of that Fall Classic.

Also, I must admit that it was cool seeing A-Rod and Barry Bighead on the same field.

Led by skipper Alvin Dark [who knows me as Alameda Ralph], these old timers lined up down the third base line. Seeing then future Hall o’ Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda [a fellow toker], Juan Marichal, and Gaylord Perry reminded me just how great that team was and how sad it is that after 1962, they never got back to the Series. Two left handers are mainly responsible for that. In no particular order, they are Sandy Koufax and Ray Sadecki.

One could argue that third base coach Carroll Walter “Whitey” [nicknamed “Pickles” as a kid in North Carolina] Lockman should have sent Mateo Alou home when Mays doubled in the ninth. Perhaps, but McCovey was on deck and Cepeda in the hole. Also, Roger Maris dug the ball out of the corner with Clemente-like skills… Hindsight isn’t always 20-20
Results: McCovey hit one on the screws… Trouble is it went foul down the first base line. The ball he hit fair was a soft liner to the good Rev. Richardson of the Bobby variety. Alas, but not alack because these were not the New York, but the San Francarpetbagging Giants.

“If only this, if only that, yada yada yada,” said those who rooted for the orange and black. Alan Satran said it best that day. “Were ifs and buts, candy and nuts- all the Giant’s fans would have a happy day.”

Photo: Al Dark and Alameda Ralph, circa 1995



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Kittatinny Camp; Reunion Pictures from Dick Berk

June 22, 2007 at 8:52 am (Kittatinny Camp)

The mail arrived yesterday replete with wonderful memories of our camp. Hard to believe 45+ years have gone by since most of these pictures were taken. Shown starting with the earliest.

Photo #1: Rifle Range 1955


L-R: Leo Small, Steve Cabot, Art Friedman, Dick Berk, Bob Berk, Steve Leon
Sitting: Gary Kauffman

Photo #2: Rifle Range 1955


L-R: Steve Cabot, Bob Berk, Dick Berk, Art Friedman.
Sitting: Gary Kauffman, Steve Leon

Photo #3: Bunk Pic 1956


L-R: 1st row: Jim Block, Andy Goldner (counselor), Steve Cabot, Darryl Beeson (counselor), Mike Bender
2nd row: Bob Berk, Gary Kauffman, Dave Ehrlich, Dick Berk
3rd row: Richard Buchantz, -?-

Photo #4: 14 and under Baseball Team


L-R: Kneeling: Walter Lerner, Arnie ?, Richie Leedes, Bob Berk, Howie Levin, Steve Lapin, Dick Berk, Kennie Sacks
Standing (2nd & 3rd rows, in order of appearance): Bob Segal (coach), Don Bell, Mike Margolin, Mike Bender, George Biren, Al Goldfarb, -?-, Joe Shmukler, Elliott Schwartz, Steve Cabot, Don Balaban, Shelly Karabell, Steve Bauer, Tillman Segal (coach)

Photo #5: Bunk 36 – 1957


L-R: Front row: Dick Berk, Tillman Segal, Steve Cabot, Irv Klein, ? Neustadt
Back row: Craig Pearson, Gary Kauffman, Bob Berk, Herb Wolowick

Photo #6: Color War Football 1957 – Senior


L-R in order of head/face: Larry Boff, Steve Bauer, Steve Cabot (with ball), Dick Berk (partial face only), Don Wind, Shelly Karabell, Chuck Smerin (ref), Jerry Levin, George (Big Train) Dintiman (whistle)

Photo #7: Camper Waiters – Bunk 38 – 1958


L-R: 1st row: Joel Peters, Craig Pearson, Joel Blatt (counselor), Gary Kauffman, Bob Berk
2nd row: -?-. Steve Cabot, Joe Shmukler, Steve Lapin, George Biron
3rd row: Richard Carmosin, Dick Berk, Mike Margolin, Steve Rotman

Photo #8: Bus Boys 1959


L-R: 1st row: Richie Leedes, Jeff Gaynor, Don Wind, Milt Blatt, Art Spector, Joe Shmukler, Eddie ?
2nd row: George Berkowitz, Steve Savarese, Craig Pearson, Steve Cabot, Dick Berk, Steve Rotman, “Buzzy” Singer
3rd row: Richard Carmosin, Mark ?, Al Hettleson, Bob Berk, Joel Peters, Louis Nailboff

Photo #9: 1960


Front row middle: Bob Berk (bus boy), Al Berger, Budd Berringer
(Others I don’t know but for Al Ehrenberg, front right)

Photo #10: Atlantic City 1960 – Post Camp


L-R: Lenny Fairorth, Phil Gordon, Dick Berk, Jerry Blatt, John Harrison, Bob Berk, Steve Rotman

Photo #11: Visit to KLC 1961 or 1962


Can’t tell you who is who

Photo #12: Reunion 1999


Clockwise starting at left: -?-, Craig Pearson, Al Sacks, Art Baskin, Larry Boff, Nancy Steinberg

Photo #13: Reunion 1999 – the next day


Back to front: Bob Berk, Marilyn Blum, Dick Berk, Ellen Hader

Photo #15: Reunion 1999 – the next day


L-R: Gary Kauffman, Caryl Zeit, Bob Berk, Dick Berk, Ellen Hader

Photo #16: Reunion 1999 – Following AM Breakfast


L-R as heads appear (not by rows): Judy Race (Fruchter), Sue Hoffman, Jerry Levin, Caryl Zeit, Bob Berk, Larry Boff, Marilyn Blum, Dick Berk, George Biron, Carol (Hoffman) Biron, Gary Kauffman

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Remembering Sal Maglie, Gotham’s Barber

June 20, 2007 at 9:59 pm (Baseball, New York Giants)



I was thumbing through a tattered copy of “Ball Four,” the Jim Bouton [edited, inspired, and enriched by the late, truly great Leonard Shecter] classic. Sal Maglie, one of my boyhood heroes, was the pitching coach on the [now the carpetbagged Milwaukee Brewers] 1969 Seattle Pilots. He’s portrayed as a closed-minded, uncommunicative, go along to get along person. Odd, because only two years earlier, he was lauded as one of the best pitching coaches in the game [Boston pennant-winning team].


I choose to remember him as the Don Drysdale of his time. He was known as The Barber Sal because of his penchant for throwing the ball up and in [close shave]. He was ace of the 1951 “miracle, shot heard around the woild” New York Giants pennant-winning team and a key starter on the 1954 World Champion Giants.

Here’s a pic of him on the day he pitched the pennant clinching game in 1954. This is the Maglie that Giants fans knew and loved.


As a Giants fan, I remember what a mindfuck it was when just two years later Sal pitched a no-hitter over the Phillies on September 26th for the hated Dodgers.

Here’s a pic of catcher Roy Campanella, the aforementioned Drysdale, and coach Jake Pitler carrying him off the field.


In 1957 he pitched in six games, winning two, late in the season for the Bronxites. Sal appeared somewhat ill at ease in a Yankee uniform.


As an aside, Sal was from Niagara [slowly I turned…step by step] Falls, N.Y. Legend has it, that is where I was conceived. No real proof.

Here’s a picture of Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagra Falls, N.Y.


Black and white photographs from “Wait ‘Til Next Year,” by Christopher Jennison.

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Bloggink in Paradise

June 17, 2007 at 7:52 pm (Life & Death)

Barefoot and not pregnant.


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Interleague Play, A Mixed Bag

June 17, 2007 at 3:31 pm (Baseball)

I’ve discussed interleague play since its inception with my fellow blogga. It’s my contention that our great game would be better served with a drastically reduced number of games, including only the “natural rivalries.” I would rather see the Rangers, Angels, or Mariners play the A’s this afternoon than their opponent du jour, the Cardinals. Also, parading Barry Bighead into Fenway Park is a horse and pony show.

Aside, interleague play takes some of the excitement from the World Series and further unbalances the schedule.

That said, I can’t wait for the Mets/Yankees game. Ariba Mets and all their Carloses.

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Every Day Is Father’s Day…

June 17, 2007 at 11:26 am (Family & Friends)

… and Grandfather’s Day, too.

Phillip and me.


Me and my Pop, Phil Niss


Phillip and Grandpa Joe Satin


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More Kittatinny Pictures from Ann [Karr] Grodin

June 15, 2007 at 3:43 pm (Kittatinny Camp)

Pictures have been slightly enlarged in order to see faces. Whom do you knowsc000c363c1


Photo #3






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Kittatinny Camp’s Doberman

June 15, 2007 at 11:36 am (Kittatinny Camp)



Nicknamed after the Sgt. Bilko charactor, Phil Karr was a delight. He was my bunkmate for the majority of the summers that I spent at KLC. It seemed there was always a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face. His loving sister, Ann, found these pictures of him.


Here’s my bunk in 1962:


I’m on the extreme left in the front row. Next to me is Philip.

Thanks again, Ann, for the terrific pictures and the warm memories that your correspondence elicited.

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