Monday, April 29, 2019

1975 Topps is FINALLY complete! And more!

I’m sure you all remember the horrific mistake I made when trying to recently complete my 1975 Topps set. I finally went to COMC to bang out what I needed, and goofed. I bought a duplicate, and left a gaping hole in one of my pages.

How embarrassing.

There was only one thing to do. Back to COMC I went. I am now the proud owner of this beauty.

I am also finally the proud owner of a complete 1975 Topps set! Maybe I’ll explore that more in future posts. But for now I’ll just sit back and bask.

Of course, you can’t go to COMC and get ONE card. I mean, you could...but why would you? So I had to fill out my cart with more cards. But, which ones?

Well, I do have a side project I may have mentioned. I’m “trying” to get a playing days era Red Sox card of every member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame. I say “trying” because I know I’ll never complete it. (Unless anyone has a spare Babe Ruth card from the teens they’d like to donate to the cause.) But, otherwise, it gives me a way to collect cards from different years, while having a goal in mind. I try to not duplicate sets, but that’s not a hard rule. So, to that end, I added these cards to my collection.

1954 Bowman Jackie Jensen. Pretty sure this is my first ‘54 Bowman card. So the goal is working. When I get a card like this I always wonder if some kid in 1954 had this card in a stack with Ted Williams, all wrapped up in an elastic band.

1960 Topps Pumpsue Green. Now, I already have a 1960 Topps Red Sox card. But, it’s not this fun All-Star Rookie subset. So it’s like being from a different year. Right?

1951 Bowman Vern Stephens. The first ‘51 Bowman in the collection. Clearly, condition is not that important to me for vintage cards.

1956 Topps Frank Malzone. Again, I already have a ‘56 Topps. But, couldn’t resist adding another on to the collection.

2010 Topps Chrome Rob Gronkowski. Yup. I know what you’re thinking. He’s not a Red Sox Hall of Famer. But, he’ll be an NFL Hall of Famer, and I just felt it was time to have his rookie card. Hard to have a well-rounded collection without one, right?

So, there you have it. I was finally able to complete the 1975 Topps set, and then had some fun. I’d call that a success.

Wouldn’t you?

Friday, April 26, 2019

Mary Keleher Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has a new visitor! Mary Keleher is a dancer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Manchester. While it's unfortunate that
she is unable to compete for Mss New Hampshire this week due to injury, I was thrilled she was able to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So let's see what happens when Mary Keleher visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Manchester crown?
I Celebrated wining the Miss Manchester crown by going out to dinner with my dad at TGI Fridays.
What made you decide to compete for the Miss Manchester title?
It was actually a last minute decision of mine to compete in Miss Manchester. My family and I were going to Disney for a long weekend in October, and I thought we were going the weekend of the competition so I didn’t sign up. Once I realize that I mixed the dates up I contacted the director, Sirena Lemieux, a week before the pageant and asked if she was still looking for contestants because I heard she was having trouble finding people. I especially wanted to compete for the Miss Manchester title because I was born and and lived my whole life in Manchester. And to top it all off the pageant was at my high school, and their homecoming game was that day. I credit the Crusader pride that was in the air for my win!
What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Manchester competition that would have helped you at Miss New Hampshire?
I learned that because of the Americans with Disabilities Act I am aloud to bring my fidget toy into the interview and onstage question to help with my ADHD. Interview and onstage
question are very hard because my ADHD. Imagine that your brain is like a very organized office with very efficient workers. When
you’re asked your opinion on the legalization of marijuana they go to the opinions filing cabinet and find the answer and then give the answer to the assembly line. The assembly line constructs the sentence while putting the opinion in, and out the mouth the answer goes. In my office there are piles of paper everywhere and all the words that I know have wings and fly away and go missing. The workers run around frantically trying to find the right opinion and correct words and phrases, but the conveyor belt is to fast for them. Because they have to work so fast they end up throwing whatever thought and words they can find on the conveyor belt. The act of playing with a fidget toy stimulates my brain, making my workers faster and more efficient.

How did you select your platform: Understanding ADHD?
I chose Understanding ADHD as my platform because of the lack of knowledge and understanding society has on the disorder. There are too many misconceptions about ADHD. What I want people to grasp is that this is a real medical condition that is caused by deficits of neurotransmitters in the brain.
As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
In my dance history class we have this on going joke where our answer to everything our professor asks is “Dance makes me feel alive!” because he told us not give him cliche answers like that. The reason why dancers say such cheesy things like this about performing is because it’s the truth. There’s nothing like being high off of endorphins from performing. Since I have ADHD my brain is under  stimulated, therefore this euphoria caused by performing is very good for my brain.
What is your personal fitness routine?
At the moment I have to take it easy because I am recovering from major surgery. I ruptured my C5 C6 disc and damaged my spinal cord so I had to have an emergency fusion. This means no dance for 6 months and no competing in Miss NH😔, but I still am Miss Manchester🤗. When I’m not injured my fitness routine is dancing. I don’t really think of dance as a fitness routine when I’m doing  because it is something that I love. When I practice it’s because I want to improve my technique, not the way I look.
Which Red Sox player is your favorite? Why?
My favorite Red Sox player is David Ortiz. A friend of mine had cancer when she was little and got to meet him. She met him again when she was 18 and he remembered her!
Your father is a longtime high school baseball coach. What is your favorite part about watching games at that level?
I really like seeing teenagers have a positive outlet. I also enjoy watching my dad interact with the team, I think his players really look up to him.
Former Red Sox farmhand Terry Doyle once played for your father. Do you remember anything about his time on that team?

Terry was an incredible pitcher. He was on the team in 2003 when
they won the state championship. I was only 5 when they won, but I will remember that day forever. Not only was Terry a great pitcher, he was an excellent role model for my little sisters and I and his fellow team mates!


What an awesome memory!

As always, I want to thank to Mary for doing this interview, and for sending along the amazing pictures. They really make the post much better.

As Mary continues her time as Miss Manchester, I encourage you to follow her on her official Miss Manchester Facebook page. You should also follow Mary on Instagram via her official and personal accounts. It’ll be worth your time! 

Thanks again Mary!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Chelsea Vuong Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has a new visitor! Chelsea Vuong is a talented pianist, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Cambridge. I'm so excited she
Photo by Sharon Vuong 
was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. I hope you love what she had to say!

So, lets see what happens when Chelsea Vuong visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Cambridge title? 
With burgers, fries, and Mac n’ Cheese bites of course! Prepping for the swimsuit phase of competition was a journey, as I decided to wait until after the pageant to indulge in my favorite guilty pleasure foods. Right after the pageant, I went straight to Cambridge Commons with my friends to celebrate with delicious food and laughs! 

As a former titleholder in California and Massachusetts, do you think your multi state experience will help you at Miss Massachusetts this summer? 
Definitely, in the sense that every experience is an experience where you can learn and grow from. These past two years competing on the Miss Massachusetts and Miss California stage have been a journey of growth. Through preparing for those few minutes on stage, I have realized more of the individual that I am, the impact I want to create, and the values I will stand by through every decision I make. This summer, I know confidently that with my past experiences and where I am now, I am more than ready to cherish those few minutes on the Miss Massachusetts stage. 

Do you have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Cambridge? 
Photo by Version 2.0 Productions 
As Miss Cambridge, my biggest goal is to provide support and inspiration to young individuals. Through sharing my story and being active in the community, I hope to be able to ignite the fire in our youth to pursue any avenue they desire. Youth are the future of tomorrow, so I would love to be able to be a sounding board and mentor towards our future youth leaders. 

How did you select your platform “EducationMap”? 
EducationMap is a nonprofit organization that aims to tackle the nation’s college dropout rate through helping high school students “find their fit” of college. Growing up, my parents emphasized the value of education and persistence, as they learned that these qualities were fundamental to success. This has translated to my everyday life, with a realization that more than ever, college degrees are becoming more of a central part in the workforce. With an increase in income inequality and technical jobs, college degrees will be valuable for all high school graduates. The first step: finding a place where students belong, where students fit, to limit the desire of dropping out of college. “Find your fit” relies on unbiased information provided by current college students to help high school students gain a deeper understanding of a specific college. By seeing the campus and its surrounding areas, hearing student perspectives of the pros and cons, understanding financial aid packages, and recognizing the academic strengths of a college, high school students will become more informed. This will allow them to make a more educated decision of where they want to attend college.

As a talented pianist, how do you select the piece you’ll perform at a competition? 
For competition, I knew that I wanted to play a classical piece.
Photo by Doug Hikawa
Classical music is something that I grew up loving, as not only did my parents play classical music at home, but also my ballet teacher ( I was a pre-professional ballerina!) played collections of classical music at the studio. In a way, I would say that I was destined to be connected to classical music! With the specific composition, when I came across it while listening to some of my favorite composers, I immediately fell in love with it. The composition was intricate, emotional, and best of all, produced an overall feeling of a force to be reckoned with.  

Which Disney character do you think is most like you? 
Mulan :) Besides my obvious facial resemblance to her…. (At least that is what I have been told!), I admire her qualities. Three words I would use to describe Mulan- Strength, discipline, and family-oriented- I would use to describe myself. With strength, not only do I value maintaining an active lifestyle, but I also value a mentality that stays true to myself even if it leads me to a road less traveled. This has allowed me to become very discipline in my everyday life, sticking by routines and staying on track to reach my short term
Photo by Kayla Roche
and long term goals. Lastly, my core is built from my family. They have always shown me their unconditional love and support. I love my family, and have been able to learn so much from them about following values, finding strengths, and building relationships. 

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why? 
Andrew Benintendi- Not only does he have a very cool name, but he also had one of the best catches I have ever seen in the World Series! Andrew is on the rise, an up and coming soon-to-be star! 

You were able to go to Fenway Park to see a football game. What was that experience like? 
My eyes lit up when the Harvard football team stormed Fenway Park during their introduction. Harvard was playing our rival, Yale, in a game called “The Game.” The was one of the biggest events during the fall semester at Harvard, where we bonded together as a school to cheer on our football team. What an experience it was, watching our long standing history with Yale at one of the most historic and legendary fields in the United States. All I can say is do I feel lucky to have experienced that first hand! 

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series? 
Growing up, I fell in love with sports while sitting side by side, watching each league with my dad. 15 years later, when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series, nothing changed. I saw the amazement in my dad’s eyes, as another Boston sports team won another championship game. 


What an amazing moment!

As always, I want to thank to Chelsea for doing this interview, and for sending along the amazing pictures. I also definitely want to wish her the best of luck as she competes for the Miss Massachusetts crown in a few months. Hopefully another former Section 36 visitor will win that crown!

As Chelsea continues her time as Miss Cambridge, I encourage you to follow her on her official Miss Cambridge Facebook page. It’ll be worth your time! 

Thanks again Chelsea, and good luck!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sale Started. Now Get a Great Price!

I don't know about you, but I've been enjoying the springtime weather we've been having lately. While there are still too many days where it's really cold, you can tell that the days of tank tops and t-shirts will soon be upon us. It's a wonderful time of year!

But, for many it means adding to or adjusting a wardrobe as you realize that shirts you put away last winter just won't cut it this spring. It's time to go shopping!

Thankfully, Section 36 is here to help!

Today through Sunday, the Section 36 store will be on sale! Don't miss this opportunity to show your support for the blog all season long! 

So, head over right now and select something that you like. But, don't delay. Remember, the sale only runs through Sunday! That's right...only a few days before prices go back to their regular levels.

And, as always, when you do get an item, send me a picture wearing it for me to share with the world! The blogFacebook, and even Instagram! Not only would it be a great way to show the world your amazing outfit, but if you have a business or cause that needs promotion, it's an easy way to get a mention on Section 36!

Like Bridget did! (With some help from K. Garcia Productions)

This sweatshirt is on sale!

Or, like Bernadette did to show off how amazing this tank top looks on her.

This tank is 27% off!

Or Phil did.

This tank is also 27% off!

Or Holly did with her cozy new hoodie.

This hoodie is 21% off!

Or Nicolette did with her great t-shirt!

This t-shirt is 30% off!

Or like Allison did!

This t-shirt is 30% off!
But, first you need to buy something you like. There's a lot to choose from.

What will you get?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Playing the Percentages

Every once in a while, I wonder if talk radio hosts are really as stupid as they sound, or if they are literally playing a character or
following a script just to create conflict. I generally assume that it's the latter, but sometimes wonder if they're taking things too far

The early season Red Sox struggles has been bringing a lot of that out. Last week, Alex Cora was giving an interview. The hosts mentioned that fans weren't “worried” yet about the season. But when should they start? They mentioned that the percentages of teams that finish April below .500 and then win the World Series are pretty low.

Really? Duh. You know why?

Because the percentage of teams that win the World Series is really low.

After all, since MLB added the second Wild Card, teams that started the season 0-0 have only won the World Series 3.3% of the time. In fact, only 6.6% of teams starting the season 0-0 even made the World Series! So, really, the Sox were finished before they were even started. Might as well wrap it up now.

Back to those April records though. That would be concerning if winning games were a random occurrence. But, in reality, there are good teams, and great teams, and bad teams, and downright terrible teams. The terrible teams? They have no shot at winning the Series. They also don't have much shot at winning April. If you're going to lose 100 games, chances are you're losing at least 20 in April. So, if you're including those teams in your statistics...yes. Teams finishing April below .500 win fewer World Series. But, what if you only counted “teams that you think should be good, but start off slow”? Well, your numbers would look better.

Want evidence? How about the Dodgers last year? They finished April at 12-16 .429, and ended it in the World Series. The Padres? They did not. That's what I'm talking about.

In fact, you want a stat? Last season 18 teams in baseball finished April at or above .500. One of them (the Red Sox) made the World Series. 12 teams finished April below .500, and one of them (the Dodgers) made the World Series. So, last year 5.6% of the teams that finished April at or above .500 made the Series, while 8.3% of the teams finishing April below .500 did. Therefore, you actually had a better chance of making the Series if you finished April below .500…assuming you use statistics like talk radio hosts do.

But, of course, the reality is that statistics don't work like that. The Red Sox will lose at least 60 games this season. When they lose them isn't really up to chance. If the Sox had opened against the Marlins this year, like last year, their record would be better. But, they opened on a west coast trip where they always struggle instead. So their record reflects that. When they face San Diego and Colorado later in the season, things will even out a bit. That's how it actually works.

And that’s why Alex Cora isn't worried.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Monica Fenwick Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has a new visitor! Monica Fenwick is a talented flutist, the current Miss Tolland County, and a newly minted Red Sox fan.
Photo by
Steve Smith Photography
I was  excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. I hope you enjoy what she had to say!

So, lets see what happens when Monica Fenwick visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Tolland County crown?
After a falling short at two local pageants prior to Miss Greater Rockville/Tolland County, hearing my name called as Miss Tolland County brought so much joy and excitement. Not giving up and keeping perseverance had paid off and I am now one step closer to my dream job of serving my state as Miss Connecticut. In the past it has been tradition to eat at my favorite restaurant after a pageant, but now being in college, it was a car ride back to Assumption College where I study Speech Pathology.  A short week later I met with my new Business Manager and Executive Director to discuss my goals for the year and plan how I can take action in my community. Winning the title of Miss Tolland County has been a such a blessing and honor and I can't wait to see what my year has in store for me!

What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Tolland County competition that will help you at Miss Connecticut?
This is only my second year competing in pageants and in the Miss America Organization, so there is a lot of learning and personal growth I go through during the local season. Each and every local I have competed in has taught me something new about myself and has given me a new found confidence in myself. Walking into interview for Miss Tolland County I decided to let go of everything I had practiced, and let my personality be showcased. I wanted to be my authentic self and show the judges who I really was. This was a very important lesson for me to learn in pageantry, and is something that I will carry with me to the Miss Connecticut Pageant in June and in life in general.

What part of the upcoming Miss Connecticut competition are you most nervous about?
Being a cheerleader and performing my entire life, I have found
ways to manage my nerves and to direct them into positive energy.
Photo by
Steve Smith Photography
My prep team has been has been a huge help with making sure I'm prepared for the competition and keeping my nerves down. I always go onto the stage with the expectation of improving from the last time I competed, so if I had to pick one thing I'm nervous about, it is performing to my best ability and expectations. Regardless of the outcome, if I make myself proud I know it was a successful day.

How did you select your social impact statement?
Photo by
Steve Smith Photography
My social impact, "Autism Minds: Changing the Way We Think", is aimed toward promoting Autism acceptance and awareness. One of my dear family friends has a son on the Autism Spectrum and had told me stories of all of the challenges they face in today's society, specifically school systems. Not only did they inspire me to raise awareness and acceptance for the Autism community, I was inspired to help children on the spectrum through my career choice of speech pathology. I'm currently a member of the group "Sun, Moon, and Stars" in Watertown CT, which is a community based group that promotes equal opportunities for children on the spectrum and support for their families. Through every new experience working with children and families on the spectrum, I am inspired more and more to continue, and to keep fighting for the equal opportunities that they deserve.

As a talented flutist, what’s your favorite part about performing on stage?
As a flutist, I'm continuously coming up with new ideas to surprise
Photo by
Steve Smith Photography
the crowd with for my talent. Being the only flute player is the Miss Connecticut 2019 Competition, I'm so excited to show my individuality through the new piece I learned. My favorite part of performing on stage would have to be capturing the audiences attention and keeping it throughout the entire performance. Without giving too many details away, I want to say that my talent this year is definitely going to be geared towards all ages in the audience. This classic is sure to get everyone on their feet!

What is your personal fitness routine?
Photo by
Steve Smith Photography
Balancing challenging college courses and a healthy lifestyle, I find time to head to the gym approximately 4 times a week. It is important to me to be in good physical health as a titleholder to ensure I can be the best version of myself during long days of appearances and serving the community. My favorite exercise is to go on a mile run, as they say cardio is the best exercise for your heart! I focus on eating a healthy diet at school, but it's always important to treat yourself once in a while! If you know me, you know Tacobell is my favorite fast food place, and usually my go-to meal to get on a cheat day.

What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
I've never been a huge baseball fan, but now attending college in Massachusetts, I have started to become a big Red Sox fan! During the World Series, my school had a viewing party, and we all celebrated the win with classes given off to attend the parade in Boston.

Is there a feature/aspect of a Red Sox game at Fenway you would most like to experience?
Coming up in April, I will be attending my second Red Sox game, but this time with my school community. I'm looking forward to taking the trip to Boston, experiencing the city culture, and enjoying the snacks at Fenway park. I also can't wait to sing along to "Sweet Caroline" with the entire stadium.


I hope she has a great time at the game!

As always, I want to give many thanks to Monica for doing this interview. I also really appreciate her providing so many wonderful pictures. Steve Smith did an amazing job with so many of them. I also certainly want to wish her the best of luck as she competes for the Miss Connecticut crown this summer. It would be so much fun to have another former visitor wear that crown.

As Monica continues her time as Miss Tolland County, I encourage you to follow her on her official Miss Tolland County Facebook. It’ll definitely be worth your time! 

Thanks again Monica, and good luck!

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