May 29, 2010

Perfecto!


Roy Halladay
Philadelphia Phillies (2010)
Doc tossed the second perfect game in franchise history, and the 20th perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball with a dominant performance against Florida Marlins tonight.  The Phillies ace threw 115 pitches and struck out 11 batters to improve his record to 7 - 3.

May 22, 2010

A Phanatic Birthday



This "can you spot the difference" game was in the program from the Phillies vs. Cubs game that I went to on Wednesday.  The photo appears to have been taken last April for the Phillie Phanatic's birthday celebration.  Guests include a giant Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet and a gathering of inflatable mascots known as the Zooperstars.  I hadn't heard of them before but they've got some pretty awesome bad pun names, including Ken Giraffey Jr, Cow Ripken Jr, Ichiroach Suzuki and Nolan Rhino.

May 21, 2010

Light Up With Power Pellets


Pac-Man 30th Anniversary Lighter
Zippo (2009)
The iconic arcade classic was first released to arcades in Japan on May 22nd, 1980.  In honor of it's 30th anniversary, Zippo has released a set of three Pac-Man lighters.

May 20, 2010

No Run Support For Jamie Moyer


Phillies 47 year old Jamie Moyer began his Major League career with the Chicago Cubs.  I was five years old when he made his MLB debut on June 16, 1986 at Wrigley Field against Steve Carlton and the Phillies.  Since leaving Chicago after his first three seasons, Moyer pitched for the Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, Red Sox, and Mariners before the Phillies acquired him in a trade in August 2006.

Prior to the start of the season, Moyer had pitched against the Cubs seven times, going 3-1 with a 4.60 ERA.  Last night was the 8th time he faced the team where he began his career.



Moyer pitched seven strong innings.  He struck out seven batters and gave up just two runs on four hits and a walk.  Unfortunately, the Phillies couldn't give him much in the way of run support.  Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins singled in the bottom of the 2nd, and Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, but this brought up the pitcher's spot in the lineup and the Phillies were unable to score.

The Phillies didn't have another baserunner until Shane Victorino walked to lead off the bottom of the 6th.  They didn't put a run on the board until the 8th when Ryan Howard grounded out with one out to score Placido Polanco from third.  It was their only run of the game.  The team went 1-10 with runners in scoring position and took the 4-1 loss.
 

May 10, 2010

The Stand Bookmark


Twenty years ago, The Complete and Uncut Edition of The Stand was published.  This was the version of The Stand that I first read.  It's by far my favorite novel.

May 9, 2010

Robin Roberts Seafood Restaurant


Robin Roberts Neptunalia Seafood Restaurant
Thunderbolt, GA and Savannah, GA
While looking up the career of the late Robin Roberts, I learned that he was the president and part owner of the Neptunalia Seafood Company (makers of Gold King frozen shrimp) since March 1956.  At that point, he still had another 11 years remaining in his MLB career, so the ace anchored the Phillies rotation while simultaneously running a large seafood producer and distributor.  I also found a postcard which shows that he owned two seafood restaurants in Georgia - one that was on East Victory Drive in Thunderbolt and Highway 17 (1 Mile South) in Savannah.

source: Charlotte Observer (January 30, 1962)
I wasn't able to find out what happened to the restaurants or to the seafood company that supplied their food, but there were a few articles written about Mr. Roberts' business ventures outside of baseball during his playing career.

source: Bristol Herald Courier (March 29, 1956)
source: Philadelphia Inquirer (January 24, 1957)

May 8, 2010

He Feels The Need...


Cannabis Connoisseur Fundraising Drive
We met this gentleman before an A-Ha concert in New York City.  I donated a few bucks to the cause in exchange for the photo.

May 7, 2010

The Ace Of The Whiz Kids


Robin Roberts
1926 - 2010
The legendary Robin Roberts passed away yesterday at his Florida home at age 83.  The Hall-of-Famer is one of the greatest Philadelphia Phillies of all time, and among the greatest pitchers who ever played the game.

This lithograph of the seven time All Star was created two years ago by artist Bill Purdom for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  It depicts one of the most memorable games from his long career.  It was October 1st, 1950 - the final game of the regular season.  The Phillies were in Brooklyn playing the Dodgers with the pennant on the line.  Roberts pitched a 10 inning complete game shutout to clinch the 1950 National League pennant for the Whiz Kids.




I found out about Mr. Roberts' passing while we were in New York waiting for the theater to open for the A-Ha concert.  I took this picture of the ABC News ticker at Times Square Studio (where Good Morning America is filmed) just a few moments after I found out.

May 6, 2010

Ending on a High Note




A-ha: Ending On A High Note
Nokia Theater, New York City - May 6, 2010
This is the farewell tour for A-ha.  I've long been a fan of the group and of new wave and synthpop in general, but this show had a special meaning to me.  My girlfriend and I have been together now for almost four years and "Take On Me" has been our song from day one.


The show began with Foot Of The Mountain and The Bandstand, which are two tracks from their 2009 album, Foot Of The Mountain.  It's an incredible record, by the way.  I discovered it earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with every song.

This was followed up with the title track from their 2005 album Analogue, and then Forever Not Yours off of Lifeline, which was released in 2002.  It was about this time that I noticed a pattern start to emerge.  They began the show with their most recent hits and then worked their way back through their catalog from there.  Sure enough, the next song stayed true to the pattern.  It was Minor Earth Major Sky and Summer Moved On off of their 2000 album, followed by Move To Memphis from the 1993 album Memorial Beach.



Next came four of their hits from their phenomenal 1988 release Stay On These Roads, including The Blood That Moves The Body, the album's title track, and The Living Daylights, which is the band's 007 song that was featured in the opening credits of the first of two Timothy Dalton Bond flicks.  This was followed up by And You Tell Me, which is a beautiful ballad from their 1985 debut album: Hunting High And Low.



After these first eleven songs, the pattern of newest to oldest broke.  They performed Early Morning off of their 1990 album: East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon and then played six of the ten tracks from their second studio album, Scoundrel Days, which was released in 1986, starting with the title track which was followed by The Swing Of Things, We're Looking For The Whales, Manhattan Skyline, I've Been Losing You, and Cry Wolf.  I wish they would have kept going through the album and played one of my favorite A-ha songs, Soft Rains of April, but no such luck.  Still, I have no complaints at all.  This was amazing!


They came back and did two encores with the three biggest songs off of their debut album.  The first encore was The Sun Always Shines On TV and Hunting High And Low.  The second encore, of course, was the iconic Take On Me.  It was the perfect end to an incredible show that I never thought I'd ever have the chance to see in person.  I cannot find the words to express how happy and thankful I am to have seen this.



This was my first time to the Nokia Theater.  It's a really awesome venue that sits in the heart of the biggest city in the world, but it has a very intimate feel.  We had a perfect spot in the front and dead center of the raised general admission riser, surrounded by other A-ha fans, but with room to breathe and a completely unobstructed view.  I couldn't have wished for a better experience.

Here is the full setlist from the show:

May 1, 2010

Springtime Horror


Garden Drive In
Hunlock Creek, PA
Tonight, they're showing the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street and Mel Gibson in Edge Of Darkness.