“Where Have You Gone, Jackie Robinson…”

By Larry Teren
simon&garfunkel
Remember the Simon and Garfunkel song “Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio” from the late 1960’s? It was sort of an anthem for baby boomers weighing in on the changing of the guard from the 1950’s rock and roll culture to the hippie drug craze. Dimaggio retired from playing ball with the New York Yankees  in 1951 after a World War II shortened career grabbed away some reachable goals in the annals of baseball records. He had another fifteen minutes of fame in the mid-50’s as one of Marilyn Monroe’s husbands. Joe kept his iconic status burning in the 60s and 70s with Mr. Coffee commercials as well as the annual trek to Monroe’s grave site to lay a garland of flowers on her tombstone.

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Derek Jeter- A Man For All Baseball Seasons

By Larry Teren

derekjeterBaseball is the most beloved American sport probably because of the way one can pour over the performance statistics and twist it anyway he wants. That is part of the charm of kids looking forward to getting baseball cards and comparing the stats of the players with the cards friends have. Football may have more intensity to its current popularity but it is a team sport. Outside of yards gained by a running back or receiver and the ubiquitous quarterback rating there is not much for the average fan statistics-wise to drool over. C’mon- how many people compare one player’s sack count or passes deflected or intercepted to those of another defensive back?
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Baseball Cards

If you were born before the 1970’s then you most likely remember going into a small grocery store usually at the corner on the block where you lived or otherwise pretty close by. Such a store was an old-fashioned, claustrophobic emporium where in order to get something off a very high shelf the clerk used a long stick with a hook at the end. It acted like an artificial hand that magically grabbed a carton or jar without crashing or crushing it. There was also a ladder on rollers which the braver employee used to slide over from one part of an aisle to another to re-stock merchandise.

The Chicago West Garfield Park neighborhood grocery store I went to in the late 1950’s was on Kostner in the middle of the block south from the corner at Jackson. This was where I bought penny candy and fed my growing baseball card habit. My favorite sweet junk was little waxed bottles with a sliver of colored water inside that was good for one quick slurp as well as rolls of paper with sugary dots on them. I ended up eating more paper than candy.
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