Shattering Barriers

……This Friday, will mark the 75th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson beginning his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers and breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier. The color barrier was also called a “gentlemen’s agreement” among the owners. Whatever you call it, until April 15, 1947, no African American played Major League baseball.

What did 1947 look like in America? Over a million African Americans helped our country win World War II. 1947 was seven years before the Brown vs The Board of Education. Eight years before Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus.

On January 31, 2021, Former President Barak Obama wrote on Twitter, “When Jackie Robinson faced down slurs, spiked cleats, and pitches aimed at his head—and stole home anyway—he didn’t only change baseball. He changed the world and paved the way for others, including me. On his birthday, we’re called not only to honor that legacy but build on it.”

Tomorrow’s show at 9:00 Pacific Time on www.365sportscast.com will feature a conversation with Author/Historian Lee Lowenfish. Lee describes the special relationship that Robinson had with Dodger General Manager Branch Rickey and what led up to Robinson breaking the color barrier.

This Friday, the Negro League Baseball Museum will pay tribute to Jackie Robinson at 9:00 Pacific Time. More information is available at this link. https://twitter.com/NLBMuseumKC/status/1513580947362488321/photo/1

……April 11, 1966, 19 years after the Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for players, Emmitt Ashford broke the color barrier for umpires by umpiring an American League game between the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators. Please take a look at this article written by Marc Bona. https://www.cleveland.com/guardians/2022/04/forgotten-milestone-mlbs-first-black-umpire-took-the-field-for-cleveland-indians-game.html

……Last Friday, Rachel Balkovec made history by becoming the first woman to manage a minor-league baseball game. Balkovec manages New York Yankee affiliate Tampa Tarpons, and got off to a successful start as the Tarpons took two out of three from the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

……Closer to home, the Giants opened up taking 2 out of three from the Marlins, the Phillies took 2 out of 3 from the A’s, and Cal took 2 out of 3 from the Washington Huskies.

……Please stay healthy and well, and as always, Let’s find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.

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Exploring Jackie Robinson Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier

We’re rapidly approaching April 15, the 75th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson 1st Major League Game with The Brooklyn Dodgers. Tomorrow’s show will feature Adrienne Alexander, a retired teacher who for many years, made the Jackie Robinson story part of the curriculum for her 2nd Grade students.

Please tune in on Tuesday, at 9:00 AM Pacific, Noon, Eastern at https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues

If you cant make it on Tuesday, please check the rebroadcast schedule at https://www.365sportscast.com/weekly-schedule

Our shows are also being released as podcasts on Apple iTunes. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/discoursesmt/id1481012113

******The A’s continued their Fan Alienation Program by trading Sean Manaea. I don’t know why the MLB owners who are funding the revenue sharing that owner John Fisher is pocketing are allowing this to happen.

******On the other side of the Bay, Giants management is making moves to keep the team competitive after last year’s 107 win season. After losing Kevin Gausman and Kris Bryant to free agency, I’m happy they picked up Carlos Rodon and Joc Peterson. The biggest downer they’re facing is the injury bug. As it stands now, La Monte Wade Jr., Evan Longoria, Tommy La Stella, and Brandon Belt are dinged up. While we know another 107 win season is unrealistic, I believe the Giants will be in the hunt this year.

*****On Friday night, I had fun watching Women’s Softball. In an exciting game the Washington Huskies beat the Arizona Wildcats 12-7. With 2 homeruns, Olivia Johnson led the way as the Huskies scored 4 in the 5th and 7 runs in the 6th inning.

******With a 9-2 lead in the 5th, it looked like the Cal Bears were poised to take 2 out of 3 from the Arizona State. Not so fast! The Sun Devils scored 5 runs in the 6th and 9 in the 8th on their way to a 16-9 win.

******While he didn’t finish his career with a National Championship, Mike Krzyzewski went out in style with his 13th Final Four appearance. The fact that it was a tight game against North Carolina added to the spice.

Until next week, let’s find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.

Negro League Baseball on the West Coast

Our March 22nd show, features Leslie Heaphy, Associate Chair of the Department of History and Associate Professor at Kent State University. Leslie and I will chat about Negro League baseball that was played on the West Coast, particularly the West Coast Negro Baseball Association.

The author of several books and articles, Leslie collaborated with Bill Nowlin on “The 1986 Boston Red Sox, There Was More Than Game 6. And, “The 1986 New York Mets, There Were More Than Game 6.” I’ll share some my memories of the 1986 Post Season.

I’m also fascinated with Alex Pompez, who was owner of the Cuban Stars from 1923-1928 and the New York Cubans from 1935-1951. I’m going to share a Society of American Baseball Research article that was written by Brian Mckenna. https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/alex-pompez/

This week, the Oakland A’s, launched another of the salary dumps that they’re famous for, as they traded three of their mainstays, Chris Bassitt, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson. This is one year after losing two All-Stars, Liam Hendriks, and Marcus Semien. It’s not easy being an A’s fan.

The Cal Bears capped of a nice weekend by taking two out of three from the Trojans at USC. Next week the Bears play a home game against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Tuesday and have a weekend series at home against Oregon State. I’m going to try to make the Friday night game.

Please tune in every Tuesday, 9:00 Pacific, Noon, Eastern; https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues

If you can’t make it on Tuesdays, please check the rebroadcast schedule at https://www.365sportscast.com/weekly-schedule.

Our shows are also being released as podcasts on Apple iTunes

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discoursesmt/id1481012113

Let’s find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.

Negro League Ballplayers Who Have Been Awarded The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

On our March 15 show, my lifelong friend Wayne Turner is going to join me on the radio show to acknowledge the five Negro Leaguers who have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Henry Aaron, Ernie Banks, Buck O’Neil, Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson. We’ll also going to give a shout out to Roberto Clemente and Frank Robinson, who were awarded the Medal but did not play in the Negro Leagues.

Please tune in every Tuesday, 9:00 Pacific, Noon, Eastern; https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues

Please also check the schedule 365 sportscast website for when the show is re-broadcasted.

Our shows are also being released as podcasts on Apple iTunes

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discoursesmt/id1481012113

Settlement in Major League Baseball; With the lockout ending last week, it looks as if MLB will have a 162 game season. The two issues that I have an opinion on are the universal DH and revenue sharing. I guess the National League bringing in the DH was inevitable, my biggest concern was the impact on strategy. You have to Aces pitching into the 8th inning, the game’s tied 1-1 with the pitching spot coming up. Do I have a pinch hitter lead off the inning and lose my Ace for the rest of the game? That’s a difficult decision that doesn’t have to be made anymore. Those types of decisions actually went away when analytics convinced managers not to let their starters go more than four or five innings.

Revenue sharing STINKS. While the theory of making sure small market teams have the funds to be competitive makes sense, its a loophole that teams like the Oakland A’s take advantage of. With the A’s San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose Market is #6 TV market in the country, they are NOT A SMALL MARKET TEAM! Las Vegas, the city of their dreams is ranked #40. Accessing revenue share money is as much a part of their business model as turning over their roster on a regular bases. I’ve been an A’s fan for 53 years but I’d rather they move to Vegas than fleece the City of Oakland like Al Davis did.

As I’ve been mentioning, I’ve been disagreeing with people who said that the lockout meant no-baseball. There was plenty of Pac 12 Baseball The Arizona Wildcats took 2 out of 3 from the Cal Bears. After Cal scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Wildcats on Friday, Arizona beat up on the Bears, 10-4 on Saturday and 13-5 on Sunday. The Wildcats have an All-American catcher named Danial Susac who hit two homeruns with 5 RBIs in the 1st inning on Sunday.

Friday and Saturday, I watched The Savanah Bananas https://thesavannahbananas.com/. My favorite part of the game was when the Bananas brought former MLB pitcher Bill Spaceman Lee into pitch an inning. While I’m going to continue to watch the Bananas and support Banana owner Jesse Cole’s goal of increasing the entertainment value of a baseball game, I was watching so much entertainment, I have now idea who won the two games. Along with the entertainment, I need the tension of competition.

On Friday, my friends, Harry, Griff, & I had some fun watching High School Baseball. The Alameda Hornets (my school) beat the Encinal Jets 9-1. It was a fun rivalry game that brought out many from the community.

So the MLB Lockout that started on December 1 was settled on March 10. I’m happy it’s settled, I hope the Giants have another great year, and during the lockout, I found a lot more baseball options. #TheSavanahBananas #CalBears #Pac12 #AlamedaHornets #EncinalJets.

The Impact of Andrew “Rube” Foster

Every Tuesday, 9:00 Pacific, Noon Eastern; https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues The March 8th show features, a discussion with historian, teacher, and author, Phil S. Dixon on Hall of Famer, Andrew “Rube” Foster. Foster is the only person who played professional baseball, managed a professional baseball team, owned a professional baseball team and presided over an entire league.

Please also check the schedule 365 sportscast website for when the show is re-broadcasted.

Our shows are also being released as podcasts on Apple iTunes

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discoursesmt/id1481012113

The show will also feature a conversation with my friend Tyree Johnson about the current Major League baseball lockout. There are many reasons that I think the current lockout could do some permanent damage to Major League Baseball.

I’m of the opinion that whether there’s major league baseball or not, there’s plenty of baseball to be watched. If you’re interested in alternatives, to Major League Baseball, I have some resources for you. Please send me your resources:

Tuesday March 8, USC at Cal Bears 5:05

Friday March 11, Arizona at Cal Bears 5:05

Saturday March 12, Arizona at Cal Bears 3:05 PM

Sunday March 13, Arizona at Cal Bears 1:05

If you can’t attend the game, there are live streaming opportunities.

The Savannah Bananas and Kansas City Monarchs are two fun baseball teams to keep your eye on this year. Please check out their websites to check out:

https://thesavannahbananas.com/

monarchsbaseball.com

Please tune into our shows on 365 sportscast.com or on Apple iTunes.

Lets find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.

What’s Your Main Thing?

On July 30, 2006, Negro League legend Buck O’Neil gave a this speech, https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/buckoneilbaseballhalloffame.htm celebrating the induction of 17 Negro League ballplayers to the Baseball Hall of fame. As you watch the speech, you’ll probably see the joy in Buck’s face and hear the joy in his voice. You probably won’t feel any hint of disappointment about the fact that he missed being one of the inductees by a single vote!

Buck consistently made it know that his goal in life was to preserve the history and memories of the great ball players of the Negro Leagues. He also led by example.  In the article “Buck O’Neil Was Always on Time,” February 5, 2021, SB Nation, Kenny Kelly, wrote, “Buck O’Neil was a great player and manager but he was an even greater ambassador.”  

Kelly continued, “In 1990, O’Neil began work on building the Negro Leagues Baseball museum. Its first iteration was in a one-room office for which O’Neil and Frank White took turns paying the rent. An expanded museum eventually opened in 1994, and it expanded again in 1997. This time, the museum opened at 18th and Vine in Kansas City, where the Monarchs used to stay and rub shoulders with jazz musicians. It’s also just two blocks from the YMCA where Rube Foster and seven other owners founded the Negro National League.

So what’s the leadership lesson?  In “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,”  Stephen Covey wrote, “The Main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing?  For Buck O’Neil, preserving the history of the Negro Leagues was the “main thing.”  While being elected to the Hall of fame would be nice, it wasn’t the main thing?  Buck’s main thing was bigger than the accolade of being elected to the Hall of Fame.

What’s your main thing?  Do you know what your main thing is?  If not, it might be worth taking some time to crystalize it and deciding what it will look like when you achieve it.

By the way, on December 5, 2021, Buck O’Neil was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He will be inducted next July in 2022.

Please tune into our show, Negro Leagues; The Passion, The Camaraderie, The Grit:

Every Tuesday, 9:00 Pacific, Noon Eastern; https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues Tuesday’s show features, a discussion on Outfielder Herbert Alphonse “Rap” Dixon. Guests will be Ann Bridges, from the Kingston’s Woman’s History Museum, India Garnett, Granddaughter of Paul Dixon and Grand-Niece of Rap Dixon, and Ted Knorr, researcher from the Society of American Baseball Research.

Please also check the schedule 365 sportscast website for when the show is re-broadcasted.

Our shows are also being released as podcasts on Apple iTunes

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discoursesmt/id1481012113

The Impact of Josh Gibson

Looking forward to our February 22nd show featuring Sean Gibson, Great-Grandson of Hall of Famer Josh Gibson. Sean tells captivating stories about Josh Gibson’s baseball career and the work of the Josh Gibson Foundation.

As the Major League Baseball Lockout begins to impact Spring Training, I’m also going to explore the career and life of Curt Flood who changed the business of sports.

Please tune in at 9:00 AM Pacific, Noon Eastern at this link: https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues

We’re also releasing our shows on Apple iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discoursesmt/id1481012113

This Week in Sports:

******I’m not sure how I felt about Super Bowl LVI, an exciting game came that came down to a exciting finish. Strange thing is, during the week leading up to the game, I wasn’t really into it. While I know I would have been more excited if the 49ers got in, I think with Tom Brady out of the picture, there wasn’t a hero/villain. In any event, even though I watched the game, I multitasked, stepped away from the TV a few times, and didn’t get into it like I usually do.

******WM Phoenix Open, which is great pre-Super Bowl entertainment was won by Scottie Scheffler. This is one of those events where the only people who care who won are the winner, families of the winner, and the people who almost won. The best part of the tournament is the stadium setup with wild fans on the 16th hole. The crowd exploded when Sam Ryder and Carlos Ortiz ACED the hole over the weekend.

*******With this being the week pitchers and catchers should be reporting to Spring Training, the lockout clock is ticking. While I’m not the labor/management expert, they’re not really arguing about the huge $30+ Million contracts. They’re arguing about things like service-time and when players can become free agents and get the big money. Some teams delay bringing a young player up from the minor leagues to delay the start of the “service-time clock.” Last year, the Giants had success moving players up and down from the minor leagues. If they were going through a period where they felt they needed an extra pitcher or two, they’d send a couple of hitters to Sacramento for a week and bring up a couple of pitchers.  Over the course of time, that affects service-time.  Whether this is a good idea or not, the players and owners need to hash it out.

******On Thursday evening, the Oakland City Council voted to approve the Environmental Impact Report for the Howard Terminal site of the proposed new stadium for the A’s. A’s President Dave Kaval says that the project will revitalize the area. The shippers who use the port fear the Port of Oakland will be weakened by the project. While I don’t know who’s correct, last spring Kaval behaved in a way that caused me to lose trust in him, along with owner John Fisher. I also have vivid memories of the Raiders fleecing the City of Oakland when they came back in 1995, only to move to Las Vegas. The funny thing about current A’s situation, they don’t even have a product to put on the field! As it stands now with the lockout, there is no major league baseball to be played in Oakland, Las Vegas, or anywhere else. As far as I’m concerned, every minute Kaval spends complaining about the challenges the A’s are facing in Oakland is a minute he could be spending collaborating on a solution to the lockout. #my2cents

Please enjoy the show and leave comments. Agree or disagree, I love the dialogue.

Women of the Negro Leagues; Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson, Connie Morgan, Effa Manley

I’m very excited that our Tuesday February 15th show will have two guests describing the female influence on the Negro Leagues.

Ashleigh Curry will talk about directing and acting in the film, “Toni, Mamie, and Connie,” a film about Toni Stone, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, and Connie Morgan’s experiences playing for the Indianapolis Clowns. Ashleigh talks about their experiences, challenges, and determination that not only helped them as athletes, it served them well in their lives beyond sports.

Jim Overmyer is the author of “Queen of the Negro Leagues, Effa Manley of the Newark Eagles.” Overmyer talks with us about Ms Manley’s experience as a community leader, a team owner who went toe-to-toe not only with her fellow owners in the Negro Leagues, she stood up to Major League owners.

The show will air at 9:00 AM Pacific, Noon Eastern at this link: https://www.365sportscast.com/thenegroleagues

This week in sports:

******As I watched Episode #6 of “Cool Under Pressure.” The documentary about Joe Montana that’s on Peacock, I thought of my Mt. Rushmore of Bay Area Superstars; Willie Mays, Joe Montana, Rickey Henderson, and Stephan Curry. Anyone’s personal decision on who the best is, is probably based on how old they are. You have to be at least 49 years old to have even been alive when Willie was playing. You have to be 28 years old to remember Joe!

Willie was a mythological figure to me. By the time I was born, he had been in the Majors for about 7 years, he was in his 30’s when I started comprehending things. My first memory of Willie is his 511th Home Run tying Mel Ott for the top of the National League list. I was 8 years-old and the buzz around the Bay Area was incredible. It actually took him about 2 1/2 weeks to break the record, finally hitting #512 off of Claude Osteen and the Dodgers.

I got emotional watching the Joe, documentary, remembering everything like it was yesterday. By the time Phil was born, Joe had won two Super Bowls, Phil was a toddler sitting on my knee when Joe hit John Taylor for the touchdown to win the Super Bowl XXIII and then winning again the next year. I feel like I was in on the ground floor, watching it in real time while it was happening.

******I’ve enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics this week, particularly the skiing. While I don’t know many of the competitors, it’s still fun to watch. I’ll never forget the days of Jean-Claude Killy, Franz Klammer, and Alberto Tomba. We not only got to watch them in the Olympics, we really got to know them watching ABC Wide World of Sports which was must see TV on Saturdays for Baby Boomers.

******The news of the senseless murder of Gene Ransom was devastating. A member of the Cal Basketball Hall of Fame, Ransom was a 5’9″ Guard for the Golden Bears in the late 70s. In 1977, Ransom played 63 minutes in a 5-overtime game against the Oregon Ducks, scoring 36 points in a 107-102 victory.

A three sport athlete, out of Berkeley High, he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 1979 and later played Minor League Baseball for the Oakland A’s. He had just celebrated his 65th Birthday in January. Rest in Peace Mr. Ransom.

******Former Oakland Athletic, Jeremy Giambi was another tragic loss this week, committing suicide at the home of his parents. Let’s pray that Jeremy is at peace and that his family finds peace and comfort.

I hope all of us stay healthy and well. That said, we’re living in complicated times with no roadmap. If feel overwhelmed, or just don’t feel well, please reach out and talk with someone. There are people out there who love you.

Let’s find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.

Week in Review, July 25-31

This week we released new episodes for “The Alameda Park series and “The Golden Age of Self Expression.” On Tuesday, Adrienne Chaix Alexander, Cyndi LaCroix, Denise Ratto, and Keri Spaulding talked about the experiences they had, leadership lessons they learned, and the life long friendships they made while serving the Alameda Parks as young adults. On Thursday, Bett and Steve Bollhoefer spoke about how they express themselves, particularly through music and dance. Bett also shared with us how movement, mindfullness, and music help her manage life’s pressures and handle them with grace.

Since both of these series have been so well received, we’re going to re-release Episode #1 on Alameda Park League Baseball, with Danny Pereira, Kevin Kearney, and Steve Sorensen and Episode #1 of “The Golden Age of Self Expression” with Ashley Orlando. We’ll be back next week with new episodes of both series.

As always, please like, share, comment, and subscribe so this message can go far and wide. We’ll find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.

Week in Review, July 18-24

We had a fun week in the in the Productive Discourse world. On Tuesday we released the Episode #4 of our series on Alameda Park League Baseball. Our special guest was the legendary Sam Spear who is best known for training the youth umpires. In our discussion, we learned that Sam also produced the Play Ball section that appeared weekly in the Alameda Times Star. The Play Ball section documented all the games that took place during the week. The Player of the Week award was bestowed on an outstanding player who excelled on the field. Sam has gone on to become a well known member of the SF Bay Area media, still doing the weekly “At the Races” show on KNBR Radio. He’s become the face of the Golden Gate Fields Race Track.

Episode #5, “Women Leaders in the Parks” will be released tomorrow. Guests are Adrienne Chaix-Alexander, Cindi LaCroix, Denise Ratto, and Keri Spaulding. All were directors at local parks and were outstanding role models for the kids of our community.

On Thursday we’ll be releasing Episode #4 of “The Golden Age of Self Expression,” featuring Bett & Steve Bollhoefer. Bet is a blogger, speaker, software leader and Immediate Past District Director of our Northern California Toastmasters District. Steve is a violinist and Alexander Technique Teacher. Bett and Steve detail the variety of ways they express themselves as we talk about their feelings, perspectives, and experiences.

Please enjoy the episodes and as always, please like, share, comment, and subscribe, so this message will go far and wide. We’ll find that shining needle of common ground in that haystack of fear.