Sunday, April 3, 2016

Opening Day 2016

Defend the Crown!

Championship trophy on display at Kauffman Stadium
For the first time in 30 years, Opening Day of major league baseball season finds my beloved Kansas City Royals undertaking defense of their World Series Championship. How cool is that?

The Royals will open the season with a quick two-game set with the New York Mets, whom they met in last season's Fall Classic.

Tonight's game will be ESPN'S first Sunday Night Baseball telecast of the new season.

Like all right-thinking Americans, I celebrate the arrival of a new baseball season. Everything about our great nation is just a little bit greater during baseball season.

We'll celebrate the beginning of this new season with one of my favorite renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner," by the wonderful Jacqueline Schwab:


Actually, the Royals-Mets game doesn't start until 7:37 PM CDT, but I like your enthusiasm, old friend...

Hoop History

I had high hopes for the Villanova Wildcats in yesterday's Final Four semifinal game against Oklahoma, since they're the lone remaining Catholic institution in the field.
I had no idea I'd be watching an historic performance...

'Nova absolutely dismantled the Sooners, winning 95-51 in a game that was every bit as one-sided as the score indicates.

The 44-point margin of victory is the largest ever recorded in a Final Four game. Now the Wildcats will face North Carolina in the National Championship Game on Monday night. Let's hope they have a bit of magic left for the Tar Heels...

Civic Pride

When I lived in St. Joseph, Missouri it was impossible to avoid references to the famed Pony Express mail service. It was a point of local pride that St. Joseph was the eastern terminus of the fabled mail route.

The first westbound departure from St. Joseph was on April 3, 1860. It arrived in San Francisco on April 14.

The Pony Express ended a little over a year later, when the completion of the first transcontinental telegraph made it obsolete.

Talkin' Baseball

From the delightful comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

My son Christopher Michael hit the atmosphere at roughly 10:30 PM on April 3, 1990. He was a month premature, and gave his mother and I a few anxious days before we were able to bring him home for good.

When I began looking at possibilities for musical selections for today's entry, I dimly recalled that 1990 was not a good year for my kind of music at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. A quick look brought back just how bleak it was: Michael Bolton, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, New Kids On the Block, Whitney Houston, Nelson, and Vanilla Ice, among others. Ugh.

On the day my son was born, though, the No. 1 song was right up my alley: the bluesy country-rock hit "Black Velvet," by Canadian singer-songwriter Alannah Myles.

The second single released in late 1989 from Myles's eponymous debut album, "Black Velvet" hit No. 1 on March 24, 1990 and held the top spot for two weeks. It went on to receive the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

Alannah never had another charting single in the United States, and I never had another child, so I guess in a sense we're both "one hit wonders."

Today's send-off is the official music video for the song. The usual '90s music video disclaimers apply. Enjoy...

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