Hoping to help them improve their 1957 season, Norman Rockwell painted “The Rookie” for the Boston Red Sox.
See all of the videos in our Rockwell Video Minute series at www.saturdayeveningpost/rockwell-video.
Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack
It’s funny how you can love some things deeply and then drift away from them over time. I’m not talking about people — though that can happen too. I’m talking about things you enjoy, your hobbies, and the ways you spend your time.
That happened to me and baseball. It’s the only sport I played as a kid (left fielder and pitcher), and I grew up obsessed with the Boston Red Sox. At one time I could not only tell you the team’s lineup, but also their batting averages. I loved baseball throughout my teens and early adult years, too.
Then in my late 20s, I became obsessed with tennis, and my knowledge of how many home runs Carl Yastrzemski hit was replaced with how many Grand Slams Roger Federer has won. I was emotional about the Red Sox World Series win in 2004 — after an eight-decade drought — but their 2007 and 2013 championships I watched only as a fair-weather fan, not as someone with a solid interest. Just yesterday, I saw the lineup for this year’s team, and I can only name three or four players, and the only reason I can is that they’re the ones who have been on the team the longest. Sorry, Blake Swihart and Craig Kimbrel!
Baseball season started yesterday, and if you’re still a fan and plan on watching a lot of games this summer, here’s ESPN’s schedule for the entire season, for every team. Maybe I’ll try to catch a Sox game on one of these warm nights, when there isn’t a tennis tournament being played somewhere in the world.
Since I mentioned “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” here’s how Cracker Jack got its name.
When Her Muscles Start Relaxin’, Up the Hill Comes Andrew Jackson
Quick question: What do Groucho Marx, Tony Bennett, and Harry Belafonte have in common? They’ve all made recordings that were just inducted into the National Recording Registry.
Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” entered the ranks, and so did Harry Belafonte’s album Calypso. Twenty-three others got the honor too, including “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “My Girl” by the Temptations, Run-DMC’s album Raising Hell, Artur Schnabel’s The Complete Beethoven Sonatas, and the soundtrack to The Sound of Music.
I know what you’re thinking: Groucho Marx? All recordings that are “recognized as vital to our nation’s audio legacy” are celebrated, and Groucho is in for his 1972 album An Evening with Groucho, which includes the song “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,” originally sung in the movie At the Circus.
USS Juneau Found
The story of the five Sullivan Brothers, who all died aboard the USS Juneau during World War II, is one of the saddest stories of any war. It not only led to new rules regarding how many family members can serve in the military at one time, it was the inspiration for the movies The Fighting Sullivans and Saving Private Ryan. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his research company recently found the wreck of the ship at the bottom of the South Pacific, 76 years after it sank.
Drink, Click, Buy
I’ve never bought anything after having a few too many cocktails. Oh, I can remember years ago buying a lot of fast food after a night of drinking, but I’ve never had too much to drink and then gone online and bought something I didn’t need. But apparently that’s a real problem, with people spending an average of $448 last year on tipsy purchases.
I have a problem with this news being described as “costing America $30 billion.” If you’re spending money online, isn’t that good for the companies you’re buying from? And if it’s something you want or need, whether it’s a book, a new jacket, or a subscription to your favorite magazine, how is that a bad thing?
National Poetry Month
The April celebration doesn’t start for two more days, but you can get a jumpstart by reading this piece in The Paris Review on Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” which they call “the most misread poem in America.”
I never knew it was once used in an ad for Mentos.
RIP Louise Latham, Linda Brown, Zell Miller, Frank Avruch, and Charles P. Lazarus
Louise Latham was best known for her roles in movies like Marnie and Firecreek, as well as TV shows such as The Fugitive, Perry Mason, Columbo, The X-Files, ER, and Murder, She Wrote. She died in February at the age of 95.
Frank Avruch was a longtime host of Boston TV shows, including The Great Entertainment and Man About Town. He was also one of the guys who played Bozo the Clown, wearing the makeup throughout the 1960s. He died last week at the age of 89.
Just a week after it was announced that Toys ’R’ Us is going out of business, the founder of the chain, Charles P. Lazarus, has died. He was 94.
Quote of the Week
“What’s up, deplorable?”
—liberal Jackie to her conservative sister Roseanne on ABC’s Roseanne reboot, which returned to massive ratings
The Best and the Worst
Best: Can you imagine someone starting a job today and staying at that same job for 50 years? Sue Scheible went to work for The Patriot Ledger in 1968, and she’s still there. She wrote a great top-ten list of her reasons why she’s still on the job.
Worst: Valpak, the coupon company with the blue envelopes, is also marking 50 years. In celebration, they’re randomly sending people checks in those envelopes. I didn’t pick this as a “worst” because this is a bad idea — good for them! — I picked it because I didn’t get one.
This Week in History
Vincent van Gogh Born (March 30, 1853)
Jeopardy! Debuts (March 30, 1964)
The original star was Art Fleming, who hosted the show until 1975 and then again in a revamped version in 1978-79. Alex Trebek has hosted the current syndicated version since 1984.
I couldn’t find video from the first season, but here’s an episode from 1974:
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Greyhounds (March 29, 1941)
I could tell you that I picked this Paul Bransom cover because I like the use of neutral colors and that it’s a different type of cover for the Post, but the truth is, I just really love dogs.
We don’t celebrate Easter in my family. It’s one of those in-between holidays, more important than Groundhog Day, but not as important as Thanksgiving, so it’s just another day for us. No ham, no colored eggs, no chocolate. Well, actually, there will be chocolate on Easter. There’s always chocolate! It just won’t be shaped like a bunny.
But if you plan on making a meal for your family on Sunday, you can try Curtis Stone’s Roasted Pork Loin, these Maple Dill Carrots, and this Easter Bunny Cake, which is equal parts adorable and horrifying.
And if you plan on having a lot of people over for dinner, try one of these four farm recipes for home-cured ham from 1950.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Men’s Final Four (March 31-April 2)
I’m not sure how you did in your bracket (do I have the terminology right? I watch basketball even less than baseball), but the final four going for the NCAA Men’s Championship are Kansas, Villanova, Michigan, and Loyola Chicago. Here’s the CBS and TBS broadcast schedule.
April Fools’ Day (April 1)
Jesus Christ Superstar Live (April 1)
This live musical, airing at 8 p.m. on NBC and starring John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper, is the latest live event from the network, after The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray. They’re producing A Few Good Men later this year.
Ah, spring. That time of year when the umpire screams “play ball!” and everyone buys their hot dogs and popcorn and basks in the sunshine. This year, it’s also the time when people have to shovel out their cars to get to the baseball stadium and wear wool hats and gloves while holding those hot dogs and popcorn.
It snowed in many areas of the country this first week of baseball season. I had to shovel three times in one day because it just wouldn’t stop snowing. The Boston Red Sox, who I’m mentioning because they’re my team, actually had their first game of the season postponed, not because of rain but because of cold temperatures. The game was played the next day, and the Sox beat Cleveland 6-2.
To help you get into a baseball frame of mind, even if there might be a chill in the air and white on the ground, here’s a gallery of classic Saturday Evening Post baseball covers, this collection of vintage baseball ads, and my take on why we shouldn’t change the game. And don’t forget to get our special baseball collector’s issue.
Here’s the full schedule for every MLB game that will be played this season. It’s okay to be excited about baseball — just make sure you don’t put away the shovels and ice melt yet.
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
The robot from Lost in Space survived a lot of ordeals during the show’s three-season run: the scheming of Dr. Smith, various attempts by aliens to control it, and that weird episode where he and the Robinson family were captured by a big carrot.
Now the robot has escaped a real-life danger. A garage in Los Angeles where the robot was being stored with other TV and movie props caught on fire. I’m glad the fire didn’t spread, but there’s something funny about the picture in that article, with all the firemen on top of the garage while the headless robot from Lost in Space stands in the foreground.
If you’re wondering why the robot just didn’t run out of the burning garage on his own, if you ever watched Lost in Space you’ll remember that moving fast wasn’t one of the robot’s strong suits.
“It’s a Trap!”
Erik Bauersfeld had a long, distinguished career in radio, but he’s probably best known to general audiences for three words he spoke in Return of the Jedi:
Bauersfeld passed away last Sunday at his home in Berkeley, California. He was 93. He also did the voice of Ackbar in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Merle Haggard passed away this week too, on Wednesday, which just happened to be his 79th birthday. (It’s always surprising when someone dies on their birthday, and it makes for an odd tombstone.) He was a colorful country music star, not just singing about hard times and prison but actually serving time, too, for three years after being convicted of burglary in 1957. He was still touring right up until his death, having to cancel several recent concerts because of health problems.
Internet Is Now internet
Finally, the Associated Press is catching up to everyone who uses the internet.
If you’re like me, you hated to capitalize the word internet. It wasn’t something that people did many years ago, but somewhere along the line, it became the right thing to do. It never looked right to me — or maybe it was the simple fact that I just got used to doing something a certain way and didn’t want to do it the “right” way — so I always used the small i.
Now it looks like we can officially use that lowercase letter, because the Associated Press has ruled that we can use that small i and not lose any sleep over it. We can also use web instead of Web.
The change doesn’t officially take effect until June 1, when the AP publishes the 2016 edition of its stylebook. Of course, individual publications can still make up their own minds, so I’m going to wait and see what my editor here has to say about the subject. My spell-checker still tells me I’m wrong.
And the Jeopardy! Power Players Are …
Some people like to watch celebrities mambo and waltz on their TV screens, and some like to watch celebrities answer in the form of a question. I’m in the latter camp.
Jeopardy! has announced the names of the celebrities who will take part in its Power Players Week. Not to over-hype it, but it really does seem like one of the best celebrity tournaments they’ve had. Competing will be comedian Louis C.K.; writer and internet-hater (and Internet-hater) Jonathan Franzen; Meet The Press host Chuck Todd; former Meet The Press host David Gregory; CNN hosts Anderson Cooper and Kate Bouldan; CNN political commentators S.E. Cupp and Ana Navarro; Minnesota Senator Al Franken; CBS’s Lara Logan; Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner; The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart; MSNBC’s Michael Steele; ABC senior legal correspondent Sunny Hostin; and Melissa Harris-Perry, who just famously left MSNBC in a very controversial and public way.
The episodes will tape next week and will air the week of May 16-20. I don’t know which celebrities will face off against each other, but they have to pit Todd against Gregory in the same game, right?
De Plane, De Plane For Sale
In other TV prop news, the airplane seen at the beginning of Fantasy Island — in the scene where Tattoo points and yells, “De plane, de plane!” — is for sale. If you’re actually thinking about buying it, you might want to know what kind of plane it is. It’s a 1967 Grumman Widgeon G-44. It will be auctioned off April 14-15 at the Branson Convention Center in Branson, Missouri.
One thing you should know: After appearing on the show, the plane went through several different owners, one of whom used it to smuggle drugs.
What Is a Selfie?
The answer to this question should be selfie-evident: A selfie is a picture of yourself that you take yourself. That’s all there is to it, right? Not to some people, including Fusion news director Kevin Roose:
For the record: a selfie is a photograph of a person taken either by that person, or at that person's request.
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) March 29, 2016
Okay, so by that logic, every single photograph that has ever been taken of someone is a selfie? I’m pretty sure those are just called, you know, photographs.
I wouldn’t usually call attention to the replies that a tweet gets, but the ones on the above tweet are worth clicking on and checking out. Not many people agree with Roose, and they give many examples of why he’s wrong (and for the record, Roose is indeed massively wrong).
I say that the word self in selfie is a big clue to what a selfie is, and you can’t just come along and start to expand the meaning of a word whose meaning is obvious. This is a good example of why you shouldn’t post anything on social media before thinking it through first. Actually, maybe it’s a good example of why you shouldn’t post anything on social media. End of sentence.
April Is National BLT Sandwich Month
I don’t know if I’ve ever referred to a BLT as a “BLT sandwich” before. I mean, it’s not like anyone could refer to a BLT as anything else but a sandwich, like a BLT ice cream sundae or BLT shake.
Here’s the recipe for a “classic” BLT, which of course combines bacon, lettuce, and tomato on white bread with mayonnaise. If you’re looking for something a little less classic and a little more adventurous, Serious Eats has several twists on the BLT, including one made with waffles and one called “animal style,” which adds ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onion.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, yes, there is such a thing as a bacon milkshake. You can leave the lettuce and tomato on the side.
Upcoming Events and Anniversaries
Apollo 13 takes off (April 11, 1970)
The crew was put in danger after an oxygen tank exploded, but they safely splashed down in the Pacific six days later.
Civil War begins (April 12, 1861)
The Saturday Evening Post has been around so long that we actually covered the war while it was going on.
First man in space (April 12, 1961)
His name was Yuri Gagarin, and he completed an orbit around the Earth in the Russian spacecraft Vostok.
Butch Cassidy born (April 13, 1866)
Titanic hits iceberg (April 14, 1912)
Here’s how The Saturday Evening Post covered the tragedy that took over 1,500 lives.
President Abraham Lincoln dies (April 15, 1865)
What did Lincoln hide from the public?