Saturday, October 15, 2016

Big Hits

Déjà Duel

I'm an American League guy, have been my whole life, so of course I'm more interested in the ALCS, which began last night in Cleveland, than in the NLCS, which begins tonight in Chicago.


Although the Indians (No. 2) and the Toronto Blue Jays (No. 5) were among the top offenses in the American League this past season, the first game of their ALCS series last night was an exciting, old- fashioned pitcher's duel, won by Cleveland 2-0.

The Indians were outhit 7-6 by the Blue Jays, and their starter Corey Kluber struggled mightily in the early going, but one of the Indians hits was a two-run home run by SS Francisco Lindor in the bottom of the 6th inning. That was the only scoring in the game.

Getting shut out on the road in the first game of an ALCS series might have given the Blue Jays a case of déjà vu.  In Game One of the 2015 ALCS at Kauffman Stadium,
my beloved Kansas City Royals also shut out the Blue Jays, winning 5-0. It was just the sixth time that season that the Blue Jays had been shut out.

"We're hoping history repeats itself for the Indians' sake, am I right?"

That would be correct, yes...I would like to see them in the World Series...

Feast Day

Saint Teresa of Ávila, by Peter Paul Rubens
Today is the feast day of St. Teresa of Ávila, one of the most significant female authors and theologians in the history of the Church.

Teresa joined the Carmelite religious order at age 20, but spent many years urging reforms among her fellow sisters. Eventually, with the assistance of St. John of the Cross, she formed a new order, now known as the Discalced Carmelites.

She was beatified by Pope Paul V
in 1614, and canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

Teresa was named Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI on September 27, 1970, not long after my senior year of high school began. She was the first woman so honored and is one of only four women in Church history to date to be so designated.

Her books The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection as well as her autobiography all remain widely popular among the faithful.

Among her many patronages, Teresa is the patron saint of chess players, and those suffering headaches.

I've Seen This Movie Before

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

For as long as I can remember I have been attracted to vocal harmony in music, probably due to my early experiences in various Catholic school choirs when I was growing up. That fondness extended to popular music as well, and the mid-1960s were a veritable Golden Age for pop harmonizing. Groups like The Beach Boys, The Association, and The Mamas & thePapas were big favorites of mine as I was reaching puberty, and that music still gets regular listens today.

There was also a lot of wonderful harmonizing coming out of Detroit in those days, from Motown's stable of vocal groups like The Temptations, The Supremes, and Smokey Robinson andthe Miracles. In 1966, the year I turned 13, no Motown act had a bigger year than The Four Tops.

Just as I was beginning my 8th grade year in August of that year, the group released "Reach Out I'll Be There," one of the biggest successes of Motown's famous Holland-Dozier-Holland production team.

Original 1966 45 rpm single
On October 15, 1966 "Reach Out I'll Be There" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, a position it would hold for two weeks. It also spent three weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart, the first Motown song to do so in more than two years. It was the fourth-biggest selling single of 1966.

The song was selected for Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, and in 1998
it was named to the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The Four Tops have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. In 2009 they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Today's send-off is the 1984 remastered version of the Tops' signature song, from their YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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