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!

Friday, November 13, 2020

Camille Schrier Visits Section 36!

Photo Courtesy Miss America Org
Section 36 has another visitor! Camille Schrier is passionate about raising awareness of everyday medication safety, a proponent for STEM, a Phillies fan, and the current Miss America! I could not be more honoired that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more!

So, let's see what happens when Camille Schrier visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss America crown?

Well, it’s a little hard to celebrate when you have to get right to work! Immediately after winning (literally at 4am) I was in a car on my way to New York City to appear as a guest on The Today Show. I celebrated by getting to meet fellow Virginia Tech alumna Hoda Kotb and travel around the hustle and bustle of New York for dozens of interviews!

What has been the most pleasant surprise about your time as Miss America?

2020 has come with a lot of surprises for all of us…many of which aren’t very positive (except for COVID-19!). I am a glass half-full type of person, and try to make the best out of difficult situations…so for me, one of the most pleasant surprises has been how easy it has been able to adapt my job as Miss America to a virtual format. I’ve been able to give keynote speeches over zoom, perform science demonstrations for students in classrooms across the country, and create a science mini-series with PBS! Despite all of the negative that has come with the pandemic, I am grateful for the unique opportunities this year has afforded me.

What made you decide to compete within the Miss America Organization?

I was always interested in the personal and professional advancement opportunities that Miss America offered young women, but for a very long time I didn’t think I could compete. I wasn’t interested in the swimsuit competition, and didn’t have a traditional fine arts talent…which were two of the main competitions. In the Spring of 2019, I saw an advertisement for the last local competition leading up to Miss Virginia…and entered on whim. With the swimsuit competition eliminated, I decided to take a risk, and tackled the talent competition by remaining true to myself and performing a science demonstration. The rest is history!

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics”?

I started my personal social impact initiative of Mind Your 

Photo Courtesy
Miss America Org
Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics, based on my experience as a Doctor of Pharmacy Student at Virginia Commonwealth University. I saw a need for education and awareness for everyday medication safety, ranging from over the counter medications to prescription opioids. The daughter of a registered nurse, I grew up exposed to the concept of medication safety, and recall trips to the pharmacy watching my mother flip over boxes of cold, cough, and flu medicines to identify active ingredients and carefully consider what could be given together. But my circumstance was not the norm. Caregivers or parents without medical training may become confused or overwhelmed when administering medications and can unintentionally harm a child or aging parent with seemingly benign over the counter medications or prescribed drugs. Then, after attending a Naloxone training session from the Virginia Department of Health, and learning about how both prescription and illicit opioid drugs are plaguing our communities, that I knew I needed to also use this platform to help combat this growing epidemic.

What is your favorite “behind the scenes” memory from the Miss America Competition?

One morning during rehearsal we were all very tired, in our evening gowns, waiting to begin practicing the introduction to the final show. The crew put some music on for us while we waited, and one of the candidates requested that we play some songs from High School Musical and The Cheetah Girls. Most of us grew up watching these movies, and before we knew it, our entire class was singing and dancing to some of our favorite nostalgic Disney songs! Someone snapped a video of us…and it’s still saved on my phone. It was such a wonderful bonding moment for our class, and is a memory that will stay with me forever!

You followed in the footsteps of Alayna Westcom with a “science experiment” talent. What was it like to perform that on the Miss America stage?

Photo Courtesy Miss America Org

For the talent portion of the competition I performed the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, commonly known as the ‘elephants toothpaste’ demonstration. Most people think I’m the first to ever do this, but I often speak of Miss Vermont 2015 Alayna Westcom who was actually the first woman to bring science to the Miss America stage. The demonstration is a vibrant and exciting explosion of foam that I used to get the audience excited about science, and teach basic chemistry concepts. I always thought that I couldn’t compete for Miss America because I didn’t have a traditional performing talent, and so it was meaningful for me to broaden the definition of talent at Miss America so that other women like myself can see themselves as a part of our program, and take advantage of the scholarship opportunities it can offer! Additionally, as a woman of science, I wanted to come up with an innovative way to display the talents I have in the sciences, while also getting others (especially kids) excited about STEM careers.

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your remaining time as Miss America?

Photo Courtesy
I have many goals related to my social impact initiative and STEM advocacy, including reducing the stigma around substance use disorder and overdoses, increasing the amount of people who are naloxone trained, and showing young people the value of STEM in their lives. But if I were to choose one ultimate goal to accomplish this year, it would be show the world that it’s OK to be different, and that success comes when you are authentically yourself.

You graduated from Virginia Tech, whose campus is close to where the Salem Red Sox play. Were you able to watch any baseball while you were in Blacksburg?

Unfortunately, I was not able to watch any baseball while at Virginia Tech! BUT, I did have the chance to throw out the first pitch at a Lynchburg Hillcats game while I was Miss Virginia!

As a Phillies fan, is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

I grew up going to Phillies games with my family, and loved the atmosphere that baseball provided. I joke that it’s still the only professional sport I understand One of my favorite parts about Phillles games was interacting with their mascot, The Phillie Phanatic. I always wanted to get invited up on the dugout, so maybe I’ll get the chance to do that in the future!


How much fun would that be?!?!

As always, I want to thank Camille for visiting with us! I also want to thank the Miss America Org for sending along the wonderful pictures to go with the interview.

As Camille continues her time as Miss America, I encourage you to check out her official Miss America website (especially her blog), Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and YouTube account. They're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on!

I also definitely want to wish her the best of luck as she finishes her time with the Miss America title. I hope she reaches all of her goals!

Thanks again Camille, and good luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

1975 Topps Page by Page: Page 34 (298-306)

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 34?

Red Sox Cards on the Page:  1. Rick Burleson makes an underwhelming appearance.

Cards that make the 1975 Topps set cool: So much on this page! Cards of young Hall of Famers are cool, while Reggie is old enough to have earned the #300, he definitely qualifies. As does the great league leader card featuring Rod Carew. Team cards are cool, like the Pirates on on this page. Managers as players are cool. Oh, wait...wrong Dave Roberts. Things that are definitely NOT cool? Bucky Flippin' Dent.

My favorite card on the page: Have to go with the Jackson. It's always nice to get a card of his before he was a Yankee. Which, would also apply to Dent. Imagine...he was just some guy who starred for the White Sox as a rookie...and not the manifestation of pure evil.

What would your answers to those last two categories be?

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