January 11, 2013 |
FOR MOST of the 77 years that the Baseball Writers Association of America has provided the electorate responsible for selecting the players for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, those journalists could rationalize their participation without enduring too much cognitive dissonance. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is independent from major league baseball, on which most Hall voters are responsible for reporting, ostensibly objectively. The writers technically do not vote at the behest of MLB, its teams or its players.
January 11, 2013 |
The only living member who will be honored in July by the Baseball Hall of Fame is a writer - former Daily News scribe Paul Hagen. That is somehow appropriate, considering that the writers are at the forefront of a debate that extends beyond the walls of the Cooperstown, N.Y., museum. "This is the most star-studded ballot in 75 years, and we didn't elect anybody on it," ESPN.com's Jayson Stark said. "It just shows you what a mess Hall of Fame voting has become. " For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers' Association of America did not elect anyone Wednesday.
December 24, 2012 |
The mother of all Hall of Fame ballots arrived in the mail earlier this month and I immediately set aside the manila envelope and continued to ponder how to handle the polarizing players who showed up on the ballot for the first time this year. You know the names. Barry Bonds. Roger Clemens. Sammy Sosa. Superstars who stained the game by using performance-enhancing steroids. After this year's ballot arrived, I started reading columns from some of my fellow members in the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
December 22, 2012 |
Somewhere in this newspaper this week, you'll find reviews of concerts and recordings by "indie" rock bands. Critics, fans, and musicians seem comfortable with the designation, the belief implicit that indie bands and record labels offer something better than, or at least different from, what bigger labels do. The same is true of independent, "little" movies. But what about crime fiction? Why do too many readers not know that some of the world's best crime writing is published by Stark House Press, Serpent's Tail, Seventh Street Books, Counterpoint, Hard Case Crime, ECW Press, Liberties Press, Hersilia Press, and other smaller houses in the United States and abroad?
December 21, 2012 |
When it comes to winning races and winning awards, Chapter Seven has broken the bank. The 4-year-old male trotter, who won eight of 10 starts and equaled the world record of 1 minute, 50.1 seconds on a mile racetrack, was named horse of the year Thursday in Dan Patch Awards voting by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Chapter Seven's 10 starts were the fewest for a horse of the year winner in harness racing history. On Tuesday, Chapter Seven was named trotter of the year, defeating stablemate Market Share by 39 votes for the honor.
December 17, 2012 |
'I'm in a one-day-at-a-time mode for most things right now. " Ayana Mathis might well be. Recently the Philly-born, Brooklyn-based Mathis, 39, learned that The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95), her first novel, the first piece of substantial fiction she'd ever published, had been chosen by Oprah Winfrey, goddess of all media, for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. Mathis will read at the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24. It's free. On vacation in Paris, "I picked up the phone," says Mathis, "and there she was at the other end of the line.
December 15, 2012
Angels centerfielder Mike Trout, the American League's rookie of the year and the pride of Millville High, will be honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers' Association as the pro athlete of the year at its 109th annual banquet next month. The PSWA also announced Thursday it will honor Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, Eagles offensive tackle Todd Herremans, ex-76ers forward Bobby Jones, and Larry Bowa, a former player, coach, and manager with the Phillies.
December 12, 2012
Charles Rosen, 85, the renowned pianist and prolific writer whose award-winning book The Classical Style has been read by music students around the world, died Sunday at a New York hospital after a battle with cancer. In his long career, Mr. Rosen combined a concert pianist's virtuosity with a well-rounded cultural erudition that made him a sometimes feared presence in New York's intellectual circles. His strong affinity for contemporary music brought him into close collaboration with a number of notable 20th-century composers, especially Elliott Carter, who died in November.
December 10, 2012 |
"Money doesn't make you happy. "But it sure buys you a better class of misery. " That joke, and thousands more, came from the mouths of top-drawer comics. But they were hatched in the overactive, irrepressibly silly, charmingly warped, and unfailingly funny mind of Sol Weinstein. A once-destitute Jersey boy who honed his gift for gags while banging out obituaries at the Trentonian, he rode a wave of laughs all the way to Hollywood. From the late 1950s into the '80s, he spun shtick for such legendary comedians as Joe E. Lewis and Bob Hope; wrote for The Love Boat , The Jeffersons , Three's Company , and Maude ; composed a signature song for Bobby Darin; and fathered James Bonds' Yiddish alter ego, Israel Bond, filling four popular books with the exploits of Agent Oy-Oy-7.
December 7, 2012 |
Harriette Behringer Fussell, 86, formerly of Center City, a journalist and public relations executive who was an advocate for women's rights, died Wednesday, Nov. 14, at a long-term care home in Medford, Ore. She had moved to Oregon two years ago to be close to family. For 10 years, until moving to Philadelphia in 1983, Mrs. Fussell was director of public and community relations for the International Xerox Training Center in Leesburg, Va. At Xerox, she developed women's rights projects during a yearlong sabbatical.