Thursday, December 3, 2020

For the Good of the Game by Bud Selig

Bud Selig is the Hall of Fame former Commissioner of baseball. While the cover promises an inside story of inside baseball, it goes even further than that. It's a deep dive into Selig's life history in the game, from his childhood to his position at the top. It's all there, as he saw it. How did he end up owning the Brewers? How did his time as an owner go? How did he make it to the commissioner's office? What was it like during the steroid era? Why did Joe Torre's Yankees get away with everything? It's all there in great detail.

I'll admit, the only reason I bought this book is the sticker on the front. I figured that if nothing else, having the autograph of a baseball Hall of Famer would be a good thing. I wasn't sure I'd ever actually get around to reading it. But I found myself with some extra time on my hands recently, so I gave it a go.

Boy, am I glad I did.

This book was an incredible in depth look at a section of baseball that I never hear. Honestly, my only complaint is that it's two short. I want at least two books. One with his time with the Brewers, and one about his time at MLB. Because as detailed as this retelling was, I still want to know more. How does a car salesman get an audience with the commissioner of baseball to discuss buying a team? How does Joe Torre end up sleeping on this couch? There were too many times where the story would say "I sold a car to Frank Torre, and when his brother needed a place to stay he stayed with me." There's more of a story there. I've never asked my car salesman to house a family member. But, the stuff that was there was top notch. Selig's retelling of the Braves moving to Atlanta or ruling baseball during the steroid era are must reads. Naturally, he's telling the story so it's probably a bit slanted. But, still something every baseball fan needs to hear. As is the rest of the book.

Rating: 4 bases

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

1975 Topps Page by Page: Page 36 (316-324)

I'm sure that you all remember that I finally completed my 1975 Topps set. 

Now that it's done I thought it would be fun to look through the set and talk about it. Going page by page seemed like a good way to go about it. Hopefully you find it interesting to read what I have to say.

How about we continue with page 36?

Red Sox Cards on the Page:  0. Another page lacking joy.

Cards that make the 1975 Topps set cool: Cards of young Hall of Famers are cool. I'm going to go ahead and let Pete Rose qualify for this category. Cards of players from the 1975 World Series are cool. Pete definitely qualifies for that. Cards of managers as players are also cool. Hello Johnny Oates!

My favorite card on the page: Easily the Pete Rose. It has everything going for it. A superstar player. A picture with that bizarre tilt of the infield behind Pete. A perfect color combination on the border, and that great all-star star logo. Nearly perfect.

What would your answers to those last two categories be?

Thursday, November 26, 2020

List of 36: Things I’m Thankful For in 2020

 As I like to do every Thanksgiving, I wanted to run down a list of things I was thankful for during the last year.

1. Completing the "season"
2. Time for reading books
3. Vintage Red Sox cards
4. Picking the right season to reset the luxury tax
5. JD Martinez not opting out
6. People wearing Section 36 gear
7. The left side of the infield
8. Enjoying my 1975 Topps Set
9. Unique 2020 collectables
10. Video submissions
11. EdRo getting healthy 
12. Twitter followers
13. Pictures with Section 36
14. The Astros losing
15. Opening blasters
16. Instagram followers 
17. The Yankees losing
18. People who’d rather be in Section 36
19. The Yankees losing
20. JBJ in center
21. Facebook likes
22. Games on the radio
23. Alex Verdugo's potential
24. Topps Holiday cards
25. Visits from titleholders 
26. A visit from Miss America
27. Christian Vazquez
28. Fellow bloggers
29. Comments on posts
30. The continued success of Section 36 Pageants
31. Fun with cardboard fans
32. Bobbleheads
33. The incredible growth of Section 36 Music
34. Cora's return
35. The promise of 2021
36. Readers like you

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

1975 Topps Page by Page: Page 35 (307-315)

 I'm sure that you all remember that I finally completed my 1975 Topps set. 

Now that it's done I thought it would be fun to look through the set and talk about it. Going page by page seemed like a good way to go about it. Hopefully you find it interesting to read what I have to say.

How about we continue with page 35?

OK. Maybe I should have posted this pic the other way.

Red Sox Cards on the Page:  0. Like a million players are on this page, but none of them are from Boston.

Cards that make the 1975 Topps set cool: Cards of managers as players are cool. Cards of announcers as players are cool. So, Buck Martinez checks off two coolness boxes! Lets see...anything else cool? How about an amazing glut of Hall of Famers!?! The League Leaders cards are always a fun way to get star cards on the cheap.This page has its fill...a couple with multiple on one card. Definitely cool.

My favorite card on the page: Definitely the Ryan-Carlton Strikeout Leaders card. Not only is it a card with two Hall of Famers. But, it's a card showing the two future strikeout kings celebrating their strikeout accomplishments. What a perfect card.

What would your answers to those last two categories be?

Friday, November 20, 2020

Therran Adams Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Therran Adams is passionate about first responders mental health, a talented harpist, and the current Miss Washington County. I was excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Therran Adams visits Section 36!

What made you want to participate in the Miss VT preliminary program as Miss Washington County? 

I wanted to participate in the program after my sister was Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen 2018. My mother was also a contestant for both Miss New York and Miss Vermont many years ago. What really drew me in was the service and scholarship piece. I really want to use my voice to make a difference, and I think being Miss Washington County and hopefully Miss Vermont is the right channel for me. And the scholarship is going towards completing my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with Southern New Hampshire University which allows me to further my career and life goals.

Do you have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Washington County?

My goal remains the same no matter what title I hold. I want to break the stigma around mental health, especially when it comes to our first responders. I plan to do that through telling my own story as well as really starting a conversation about the stigmas and beliefs regarding mental health. From the beginning, there has always been a belief that our first responders have to be mentally tough all the time, and it's not realistic. They have an image to uphold, to be tough. And tough guys (or girls) don't have mental health issues. Even people who aren't in an emergency care field have or have had some sort of struggle with their mental health, myself included. So to ask someone who has seen some pretty hard core stuff to keep it to themselves, it isn't possible. I want to bring theconversation of mental health to our emergency and military workers and break those stigmas, especially during these hard times of COVID when our workers haven't been able to really take any time for themselves. We have been going non-stop since the outbreak in February. It's important to care for the people who have always been there to care for us.

What have you learned about yourself from past competitions that will help you whenever you compete for Miss Vermont?

One of the biggest things I learned was how much of myself I

didn't really know. I believed I was comfortable with who I was a person, and competing for Miss Vermont last year was an eye opening experience for me. Throughout preparation, I felt like I was finding parts of myself that didn't feel relevant to the person I want to become, and I think I was a bit unsure of myself and who I really wanted to be. But over the last year I have started to really be more confident as a competitor and a person. Most importantly I am learning to love and embrace who I am while I grow as a person, reminding myself that it's okay to grow, and that no one is perfect.

How did you select your social impact initiative?

My social impact is "Mental Health Matters: Putting First Responders First". I chose my social impact for a few reasons, and I actually love to tell people this story. I personally have struggled with my own mental health for several years, easily ten years to this date. I was bullied in school, I wasn't the type of kid who had very many friends, and overall it was very taxing on my emotions. Through a lot of middle and high school I was either denying there was a problem, or just trying to take each day as it came without knowing what to do. I eventually hit an all time low, questioning whether my presence on this earth would be missed. And I stayed there for longer than was really healthy for anyone to be in that dark place mentally. However, slowly but surely, I set my sights on recovery. I started by embracing the few friends I had a little bit closer, my family even more so, and found more things to be thankful for. Even if it was one thing a day. I also cut out any negative connections that were holding me back. Then I took the next step. Outreach and resourcing. I found a professional that I really connected with and trusted, and that was just over a year ago now, and we've been working together since! The way I look at it, she has been taking the tangled mess of yarn that were my thoughts and past experiences, and weaving a beautiful tapestry that shows who I am on the other side of recovery.

My social impact is being fueled by my own experiences with mental health, as well as my realization as I have worked and trained in this field for three years now. Over those three years I have learned that this is not a conversation that people are wanting to have, nor is it even acceptable to think about in the minds of others. Hearing the stories of friends who want to get help but fear the repercussions from their departments or their peers, or have been fearing that they are too broken to even get help, it breaks my heart to know that  people who are looking to get help... can't. So I want to be their voice. I want to start the battle cry of mental health, that it's normal and it's okay. The battle cry that mental health matters. I will stand with the ones who feel they are alone. No one is ever truly alone. 

You currently work as a firefighter/EMT. What got you interested in that field?

I have always loved the idea of being a firefighter. The running joke in my family is that it came from the first book I learned to read, it was called "Fire Cat". Can you guess what it was about? If you guessed a firefighting cat, that rescues other cats from fires, you were right! Realistically, I attribute my love of helping others to the way I was raised. I was always told to put others first, help without expecting reward. For me, it's the thought of always being there for someone during the absolute worst day of their life, being that person they can rely on. I actually have a favorite line from an interview that John Travolta was a part of when one of his famous movies, "Ladder 49", came out. He said, "You don't question why a fireman is a fireman. You just don't. You know exactly why they are. They're not doing it for the money, they can't be. They're not by nature paid enough. They're doing it from a deep, heartfelt place... Bottom line, man is only alive as much as he can help someone. He's only as valuable as he can help somebody.". And I don't think anyone could've said it better.

As a talented harpist, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?

My favorite part of performing is the transformations that happen from start to end. No matter the performance, there is always this energy that takes over the room and makes you feel like you're not sitting in a performance hall, but instead you're watching the piece come to life. Sometimes it's tranquil, sometimes the energy makes you feel youthful like a kid, and sometimes it just takes you to the place that makes you feel safe and secure. One good example was the piece I performed at last year's competition called "Soaring". I always encouraged listeners to close their eyes and picture something that flies. A cloud, a bird, or maybe a flowing waterfall. No matter the piece or even the instrument, you can almost see it take over the audience, and there's no better feeling then to be the one producing that energy and beauty.

If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

My all time favorite character is Merida from Brave. Not only because of my Celtic (Irish and Scottish) history, but because she is so outgoing and driven, and she's not afraid to stand up and speak her mind. She puts her mind to it and doesn't stop till she's reached her goal, and she finds her own way to make the journey special. I can personally relate to her on so many levels, and I almost aspire to be like her, even though she's not real.

If you had an extra ticket to a Red Sox game, who would you take with you? Why?

I would take either my dad or my younger sister. It's really a hard decision. My sister and I have a close bond and were raised Red Sox fans. But I am also very close to my dad, who is also a born and raised Red Sox fan, and taught me and my sister how to be die hard fans like him. My dad and I actually have gone to see one game together, and it was actually my first game at Fenway. So it was even more special to be sharing that moment with him.

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway that you’d especially like to experience?

I'd love to be the one to throw a first pitch, or even just walk out on the field. I'd even just settle for catching a fly ball in the stands.

Bonus event would be attending the Winter Classic at Fenway with the Boston Bruins!


Those are great events. Wish I had made it to the Winter Classic at Fenway!

As always, I want to thank Therran for visiting with us, and for sending along the wonderful pictures to go with the interview.

As Therran continues her time as Miss Washington County, I encourage you to check out her Instagram account. It’s a great way to keep track of everything she has going on!

I also definitely want to wish her the best of luck whenever she competes for the Miss Vermont title. It would be wonderful to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!

Thanks again Therran, and good luck!

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