Time to give Obama some of Bush’s medicine. Opening day countdown. Small details, big errors. Plus more.
(Page 2 of 3)
As this young guy with the jet black hair walked by… Dennis and I made the decision to ask him for his autograph. We knew he was a Dodger, but wasn’t one of the BIG names like Duke Snider, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres or any of the other players we’d had sign our 8x10’s that day. When we approached him, he smiled, signed our photos, then headed toward the tunnel.
While back under that tree… we catch another player walking toward the entrance. This fellow was a small(ish) black guy wearing a nice shirt and tie and one of those sporty mini-fedoras with a silk band around the outside. Again, Dennis and I both decide to go for the autograph. After he signed… D & D went back to the tree.
Back then, our battle plan for getting autographs was — “Let’s go for the BIG names first, then (if we decide it’s worth the effort) we’ll go for the bench players.” The idea on collecting “second tier scribbles ” was simple: “OK, let’s get ‘em. They might BE somebody , SOMEday.”
Looking back, it was a wise thing to do. The pair of ”tier II autographs” we collected that afternoon were from a young, unknown rookie shortstop named… Maury Wills, and a guy with jet black hair, named… Sandy Koufax. As old baseball fans know, both Mr. Wills (MVP in 1963) and Mr. Koufax (Hall of Fame) went on to ”be somebody… someday.”
Oh, and just so you’ll know — wherever Dennis and I went we always kept two things near to our vests: (a) our envelopes containing a current collection of black ‘n white team photos (for quick access and autographing) and (b) a pocket sized thingy called a transistor radio.
If you were a 4-foot-nothing baseball fan in ‘58 Los Angeles —
there was an rule of thumb that needed to be adhered to:
“Keep your friends close; but keep Vinny closer.” OK,
one of them Godfathers mighta’ said it first — but we
got the message. And just so you’ll know, that evening after
the game, Mr. Scully took the time to stop his car
while pulling out of the Coliseum driveway, roll his widow down
and sign the back of our black ‘n white
8x10s. Can’t imagine Manny pausing to do that
for less than a pair of Benjamins.
TINY, BILLION-DOLLAR ERROR
Re: RiShawn Biddle’s Golden Apples:
RiShawn Biddle’s “Golden Apples” is very well done and I look forward to reading more by the author on the subject. However, there is a significant error in one of the statistics that the author cited, namely the amount of the unfunded health care liability carried by the Encinitas Union School District. The problem stat is quoted below:
“An even larger bill comes in the form of unfunded costs for teacher healthcare deals. School districts — and ultimately, taxpayers — will pick up $16 billion in unfunded healthcare payments on behalf of retiring teachers. This includes the $10 billion in as-yet-to-be funded health insurance payments owed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest (and most visibly dysfunctional) school district. The tiny Encinitas Union School District near San Diego, which educates a mere 5,600 elementary school children, has $4 billion in unfunded health care payments.”
Obviously a jaw-dropping figure. But, further investigation leads me to conclude that the author overstated the liability by a factor of 1000. Please see this 2008 article from another publication, with their presentation of the Encinitas unfunded liability at that time ($4.4 million).
Encinitas has about 485 school department employees. If the $4 billion figure mentioned by the author were correct, this would translate to an unfunded liability of over $9 million per current department employee. Obviously not reasonable.
Nonetheless, the other points made by the author do illustrate
the severity of the nation’s looming public employee pension and
healthcare cost problem.
— Roland Perkins
STARTING WITH THEIRS
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Life in the Blagosphere:
Howzabout a term limit on political parties?
— David Govett
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?