Thursday, April 30, 2020

Adolph Hitler 75 Years -- April 30, 2020
75 years ago, on 30-April-1945, as the Russians closed in, Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler and his wife Eva Braun killed themselves in a bunker in Berlin.  Some people think Hitler escaped. I believe he did not.  I am sorry that he cheated the hangman. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Chicago Cubs 150 Years -- April 29, 2020

Chicago Tribune, 30-April-1870

150 Years ago today, on 29-April-1870, the Chicago Cubs, then called the White Stockings, played their first game.  Later in the same season, the White Stockings joined the National Association of Base Ball Players. In 1876, the Cubs joined the new National League. The St. Louis Unions were not the ancestors of the Cardinals.

Opening of the Base Ball Campaign at St. Louis.
The Chicago Nine versus the Unions.
The "White Stockings" Victorious -- Score, 47 to 1.

Special Despatch to The Chicago Tribune.


St. Louis, April 29. -- The Chicago Base Ball Club inaugurated the match game season of 1870, to-day, by a contest with the Unions, of St. Louis, and achieved one of the greatest victories on record.


The Chicago nine reached this city at 11 o’clock this forenoon, after a safe and comfortable journey over the Illinois Central, being supplied with quarters in the sleeping car, and proceeded to the Laclede Hotel, where they were allotted spacious and nicely furnished rooms, the same suite as that occupied by the Red Stockings on the occasion of their visit here last season.


Dinner over, the club entered carriages supplied by the Unions, and were driven to the base ball park, about four miles northwest of the city, where both clubs were soon on hand in readiness for work.


The Chicago nine were clad in their new uniform, which they had donned for the first time, and an elegant one it is. It consists of a blue cap adorned with a white star In the centre, white flannel shirt, trimmed with blue and bearing the letter C upon the breast worked in blue. Pants of bright blue flannel with white cord, and supported by a belt of blue and white stockings of pure white British thread, shoes of white goatskin, with the customary spikes, the ensemble constituting by far the showiest and handsomest uniform ever started by a base ball club. Already the snowy purity of the hose has suggested the name of "White stockings" for the nine, and it is likely to become as generally accepted, not to say as famous, as that of the sanguinary extremities.


The Union Club, which is composed entirely of the best class of St. Louis young men, also sported their new outfit for the first time, the same being made up of white cap, shirt, and pants, and bine stockings.


About 600 hundred people were present, and the day was as bright and warm and beautiful as could have been prayed for.


were not in the best of condition, owing to the extreme length of the grass, which materially altered the calculations of the Chicago players in stopping ground balls. A vast deal of interest was taken in the game by the St. Louis people, who were curious to see whether the Chicago Club would administer as severe a beating to the Unions as did the Red Stockings, in 1869, when the score stood 70 to 9 -- the prevailing opinion being that it would not be done.


The Union nine is considered materially stronger than that of last year, being now constituted as follows: Turner, second base; German, short stop; Easton, first base; Mellier, left field; Lucas, pitcher; Greenleaf, right field: Duncan, third base; Wolff, centre field; and O’Brien, catcher. They certainly proved themselves a strong nine in the field and on the bases -- stronger than any of the amateur organizations -- but did not develop a corresponding shill at the bat.

The Chicago Club was positioned in the regular way, McAtee playing at first, although yet troubled by his leg; and Flynn served as a substitute, the first game, by the way, which be ever witnessed as a spectator, played by a club with which he was connected.


The game was called at 3 1/2 o’clock, B. J. Shafer, of the Actives, of New York, being selected as umpire, and proving most efficient, watchful, fair, and prompt in that position.

First Innings -- The Chicago Club won the toss and sent the Unions to the bat. Myerle pitched and Craver caught. Tomer and German struck out, and Easton struck short to Easton, who picked it up, sent it to McAtee, and the side was out with a whitewash.

Chicago in turn found sharp work among the fielders. Hodes being caught out on a fly by Easton Wood fouling out on a pretty catch by O’Brien, while Craver hit low to second, where Turner stopped it nicely and sent it to Easton, and the side was out with but two runs scored, -- these by King and Cuthbert.

Second Innings -- This time the Unions had better luck. A short fly by Mellier was taken by McAtee. Lucas got to third on a wild throw by Meyerle to McAtee. Greenleaf got his first, and then came home on a high fly by Duncan to right field, where Cuthbert failed to secure it, scoring the first run for the Unions. Amid loud cheering, Wolff struck out, leaving Duncan on third. Myerle got his second on a fine hit to centre field. Pinkham hit short to Turner, who fielded to Easton, and the man was nipped; Hyerle stealing to third, and coming in on the hit. McAtee gave an easy fly to Turner, which he took. King sent a "sky scraper" to centre field, which Wolff took splendidly, and the side was out, with one run scored.

Third Inning -- O’Brien’s high fly was captured by Hodes. Turner got his first on a had hit out of Hodes' reach. German hit low to second, which Wood stopped splendidly, touching out Turner, who been forced, and then sending to McAtee and taking care of German. Side out -- no runs. Chicago made eight runs In this inning -- Hodes. Wood, Treacy, Craver, Myerle, Pinkham, McAtee and King each getting one. Cuthbert’s strong hit to right field was taken by Greenleaf. Hodes met a similar fate at the hands of Mellier, and Cuthbert again came to grief by a low hit which German stopped and sent to Easton.

Then remainder of the game hardly calls for a detailed description, the Unions suffering a whitewash in each of the subsequent innings, and scoring but 1 run in the game, while Chicago secured 47.


In the fifth innings Pinkham, who had played at third, took Myerle's place, the latter having been far more effective and regular than usual. Of course, Pinkham sent them in hot, and hard to hit, the Unions being unable to bat more than high flies during the game. Their fielding, however, was splendid, there being very few muffs in that line, while the bases were most efficiently played. Lucas is a swift, though rather irregular pitcher, and O'Brien an excellent catcher. In the seventh inning the latter was severely hurt by a ball, and was obliged to retire for a time, Turner taking his place, Wolff coming to second, and Asa Smith going to centre field. The result was a few more passed balls, which made no especial difference in the score.


On the part of the Chicago nine it would be difficult to discriminate where all did so well, the very few errors which were made being mainly attributable to the long grass. The batting was terrific, long and safe. Craver distinguished himself by several magnificent foul flies; Treacy by a fine running fly catch, and Myerle one of the same sort. That the others did not come in for a share of the honors was due to the inferior batting of the Unions. Treacy led the batting score, made seven first base hits, and nine total bases on hits.

Appended is the score:


This evening the Chicago nine accepted the invitation of the Unions, and visited the Varieties, where two private boxes were placed at their disposal. The club has been handsomely received and treated by the Unions, and the St. Louis people in general.


To-morrow the club plays a match game with the Empires, of this city, a nine about the same strength as the Unions.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Benito Mussolini 75 Years -- April 28, 2020
75 years ago today, on 28-April-1945, former dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci, along with several other Fascist leaders, was summarily executed by communist partisans in Giulino di Mezzegra. The next day, the partisans hung them upside down from meat hooks in a gas station in Milano. Mussolini had it coming. I'm not sure about Petacci.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Anti-Mask League -- April 27, 2020

Boise Capital News, 25-January-1920
100 years ago a bunch of idiots in San Francisco formed an anti-mask league "Despite the evident benefit of the masks..."  Idiots today want people to stop wearing masks and want to do away with business closures and social distancing. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Signs of the Times -- April 23, 2020

Thanks to the TrumpVirus, signs like this are everywhere.  This one is in the door of City Grill, a nice restaurant in Pacifica. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ring Out Wild Towels -- April 21, 2020

Washington Times, 18-April-1920
I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Lee Konitz and Stirling Moss, RIP -- April 20, 2020

Saxophonist Lee Konitz died of pneumonia brought on by the TrumpVirus (COVID-19). He played on Birth of the Cool.  He was a friend of Charley Parker.  He made some interesting sounds.
Race car driver Stirling Moss also died, but not of the TrumpVirus.  He never won the Formula One championship, but he won almost everything else.  I remember him announcing races on Wide World of Sports


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Comic Book -- Superman -- April 19, 2020
Superman and the Liberty Bell take over Radio Berlin from Doctor Goebbels.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Pete Gray, 75 Years -- April 17, 2020

Brief Magazine, 10-April-1945
75 years ago today, on 17-April-1945, outfielder Pete Gray made his big league debut with the Saint Louis Browns.  He lost his right arm to an accident when he was a child.  He taught himself to play baseball with one arm. The Army rejected him when he volunteered after Pearl Harbor.  In 1945, the Saint Louis Browns, facing the shortage of able-bodied players, bought his contract.  He didn't have much power at bat and took too long to throw runners out, but he was a good example for injured soldiers. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

An Income Tax Investigator -- April 15, 2020

Washington Times, 26-April-1920
I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Ken Nordine 100 -- April 13, 2020

Ken Nordine was born 100 years ago today, on 13-April-1920.  I remember hearing Word Jazz on KJAZ or somewhere.  He had a wonderful voice.

Mort Drucker and Phyllis Lyon, RIP -- April 13, 2020

Mad Magazine, December 1972

Mad Magazine's Mort Drucker has died.  It was not because of COVID-19.  When I read Mad, his film and television parodies were my favorite feature.  I could tell which actresses he liked.

Activist Phyllis Lyon also died (not of COVID-19).  I remember when she married her partner
Del Martin at City Hall when Gavin Newsom made same-sex marriage legal.  They were together for 56 years. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter, 2020 -- April 12, 2020

Happy Easter, everyone.  Thanks to the TrumpVirus, we are stuck at home. But Jesus is still risen. 

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936. Here is the cover of their 1900 Easter Number.

FDR 75 Years -- April 12, 2020

75 years ago today, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died.  My mother always says he was the only president she had known. 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Holy Saturday -- April 11, 2020

We usually go to Easter Vigil at Good Shepherd Church in Pacifica.  It is strange not going anywhere.

In 2017, I took this fuzzy shot of Father Lu with the Easter candle freshly lit from the fire before we all processed in.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dietrich Bonhoeffer 75 Years -- April 9, 2020
75 years ago today, on 09-April-1945, the Nazis martyred Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  He was one of the founders of the Confessing Church in Germany.  He worked with the German Resistance.  After the 20-July-1945 plot against Hitler, he was imprisoned and eventually hanged. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

April, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- April 8, 2020

Due to some family medical issues, I am late in putting out my April updates.

I just put the April, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: My daughter and son-in-law were packing up to move and found this patch, which they kindly gave to me.
2. The Twentieth Anniversary of the Kitsch page: New items include Two more TWA posters; A puzzle; two patches.
3. Added News and Chronology items about the virus pandemic that shut down the cable cars and 90 per cent of Muni's other lines
4. Changed toy cable car picture on the main page to plastic cable car 514

Ten years ago this month (April, 2010):
1. Picture of the Month: A souvenir piece of California Street Cable Railroad cable
2. The Tenth Anniversary of the Kitsch page: A display of kitsch at the Cable Car Museum; a sheet music cover for "The Cable Car Song"; three large views of toy Car 514; three views of plastic toy cable car 501; a pin and a magnet from Michael Jordan's Chicago restaurant, which was in a cable car powerhouse
3. On the Sutter Street Railway page and the Miscellany page, in the Cable Railway Trust article, a stock certificate for the Cable Railway Company, which has been in the Schmitt family since 1881. Thank you to Carl P Schmitt for sharing this family treasure
4. On the Who page: A photo of Henry Casebolt's home, which still stands on Pierce Street.
5. Added News and Bibliography items about the return of Angels Flight
6. Added News and Bibliography items about plans to refurbish the California Street and Powell Street lines
7. On the Motion Pictures Which Feature Cable Cars page: Thanks to Jack Tillmany, I added What's Up, Doc?
8. Add link to the website of the South Western Electricity Historical Society, from the UK
9. Changed toy cable car picture on the main page to Number 501 on its box

Twenty years ago this month (April, 2000):
1. Picture of the Month: Cable Car Room menu
2. Roll out Cable Car Kitsch page
3. Change toy cable car picture on the main page to car 504
4. Use database table in Where & When page
5. Add news items for Powell Street suspension and Hallidie anniversary
6. Add links for the Baltimore Streetcar Museum and the Baltimore Transit Archives and remove dead Bay Area Backroads link. Add link for
7. Join Blickpunkt Straßenbahn web ring

Coming in May, 2020: On the Cable Car Lines in Chicago page: On the UK page: A ten year update on the Matlock Tramways Company, Ltd, which operated until 1927

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-April-2020)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Bucky Pizzarelli, John Prine and Al Kaline RIP -- April 7, 2020

Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli died from the effects of COVID-19.  Jazzbeaux used to play his recordings on KCSM.  He worked with Benny Goodman.

COVID-19 also took away singer-songwriter John Prine.

This seemed appropriate.

Hall of Famer Al Kaline played 22 years with the Detroit Tigers.  He joined the team straight out of high school.  I vaguely remember seeing him on Game of the Week.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday, 2020 -- April 5, 2020

Renaissance painter Giotto painted Christ entering Jerusalem in the 14th Century.

It seems strange to go through Palm Sunday without going to church and getting palms.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Golden Gate Park 150 -- April 4, 2020

The City of San Francisco had planned to have a big celebration today for the 150th birthday of Golden Gate Park.  It will be rescheduled because of the pandemic.

I don't know the date of the park's actual birthday.  I grew up a couple of blocks uphill from the park.  I spent a lot of time there with my family, my friends and on my own.  I never completed my project to walk around the perimeter of the whole park.

The official website.

Friday, April 3, 2020

COVID-19 -- April 3, 2020

COVID-19 continues to take its toll.  New Orleans pianist and teacher, Ellis Marsalis, Jr, father of musicians Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, has died from COVID-19 caused pneumonia.

Trumpeter Wallace Roney, who studied with Miles Davis has died.

Adam Schlesinger, member of Fountains of Wayne and one of the composers of "Stacy's Mom," died of complications from COVID-19.

Bill Withers, whose songs have always moved me, died, but of heart disease rather than something related to COVID-19.

I'm afraid I will have to continue to update this list.

Today should have been opening day for the Giants.

Churches are closed.  Restaurants are closed, except for take-out or delivery.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

UTB Testing -- April 1, 2020

from the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency):
In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Governor Gavin Newsom's shelter-in-place order, the San Francisco Municipal Railway is testing the use of UTBs (Unmanned Transit Buses).  Here we see driver Robert Smith driving a 38-Geary Rapid bus from his living room.  The new system will protect drivers from becoming infected by viruses and will help to separate them from potentially violent riders. This project could also ease the problem of long commutes for drivers who live outside of San Francisco.  

Thank you to Graeme Knappick for the photo of this secretive project.