Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Middle relief pitching is perhaps the least glamorous position in all of sports. Those who make a career of it rarely win lucrative contracts, at least by major league standards, but they can be as crucial to success as anyone else on a baseball team, particularly in October. No one has demonstrated . . . → Read More: Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Today is a travel day, and after two games the teams look as evenly matched as I had anticipated. This seems a good time to don my manager’s hat and make some observations.

Madison Bumgarner is the most dominant pitcher still throwing in October. Especially if he faces Royals pitcher James Shields . . . → Read More: The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Ryan Vogelsong

It has been fashionable among San Francisco Giants fans, myself included, to talk about the magic of even-numbered years, as if deep playoff runs were somehow ordained by the ones digit of the annual Christian calendar. Up to now, I had not taken the idea seriously even while repeating it, but with . . . → Read More: The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

National Anthem

When I grew up, the prospect of seeing the San Francisco Giants play in October seemed outside the scope of reality. In 1971, at the tail end of the Mays-McCovey era, they lost the National League Championship Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. I was eight years old at the . . . → Read More: Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

Great Piece in Grantland

Charles Pierce is one of the best sportswriters in the business today. He was at PNC Park last night, and he is also right on the money on the NFL.

– Chuck Strom

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/baseball-playoffs-mlb-roger-goodells/

The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

Earnhardt’s #3

When I tell people that I visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC, they often say, “I didn’t know you were a fan.” Sometimes, they ask why I went there at all. Part of their skepticism, perhaps, comes from knowing that I don’t follow NASCAR, and I usually care little . . . → Read More: The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

Biltmore Front View

If you like HGTV or just can’t get enough of seeing how other people live, the Biltmore Estate is an essential place to include in your lifetime travels. Completed in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II near Asheville NC, it has 250 rooms and 178,926 square feet of floor space. It . . . → Read More: The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Charlotte, NC has the triple-A baseball farm team for the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. This year they opened BB&T Ballpark, and it was one of the priority items on my list to visit on my tour of the East Coast. Rather than explain too much, I will let my pictures speak for . . . → Read More: A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Prioleau House

This summer, my brother Roger and I spent six hours in Charleston, SC as part of a two-week vacation on the East Coast. Having scheduled visits to the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, it seemed right to squeeze in a tour of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the conflict . . . → Read More: Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

A few weeks ago I happened to be in Palm Springs, CA with a couple of spare hours, so I paid Frank Sinatra a visit. For those unfamiliar with his life, he made Palm Springs his permanent home in the 1950s, so far as it was possible for someone whose career required a nomadic . . . → Read More: A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

Another Year, Another No-No, by Chuck Strom

Tim Lincecum on Opening Day

For those of you who don’t follow baseball, I am happy to report that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum pitched his second career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. At 112 pitches and only one base-runner allowed, this no-hitter was a model of decorum compared to . . . → Read More: Another Year, Another No-No, by Chuck Strom

Heroes and Comics Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

Stan Lee is 91 Years Young

Just over a week ago was Heroes and Comics Night at AT&T Park. The highlight of the evening’s pregame festivities was the appearance of Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman and most of the rest of the superheroes of Marvel Comics. Ninety-one years young, he came out to the . . . → Read More: Heroes and Comics Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

Happy Birthday at the Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Madison Bumgarner

My daughter Jillian turned 16 just over a week ago. The day coincided with the San Francisco Giants’ first Orange Friday game of 2014, complete with a fireworks show afterward, so we naturally decided to go to AT&T Park to celebrate. The Giants had started the season reasonably well, winning six of . . . → Read More: Happy Birthday at the Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

At the O’Doul Gate

At the 2013 San Francisco Giants Fan Fest at AT&T Park, I waited the entire day on the field for an autograph, left empty-handed and resolved never to do that again. This year, I had my daughter Jillian with me and didn’t want her to endure such a frustrating and . . . → Read More: San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

The 2014 Golden State Warriors – Well Worth The Price Of Admission, by Chuck Strom

Despite their second-round series loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the 2013 NBA playoffs were truly a coming-out party for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Since 1994—basically a generation—the Warriors had been one of the least relevant franchises in all of sports, with the exception of an upset against the Dallas Mavericks . . . → Read More: The 2014 Golden State Warriors – Well Worth The Price Of Admission, by Chuck Strom

A Better Performance, But The Same Result, By Chuck Strom

To anyone who saw the Seattle Seahawks beat down the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of the recently concluded NFC Championship Game, the surprise was not that the 49ers lost, but that they came so close to sending the 12th Man home to an off-season of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Instead, . . . → Read More: A Better Performance, But The Same Result, By Chuck Strom

A Tribute to Candlestick From An Unlikely Niner Fan, by Chuck Strom

The online magazine Grantland featured a farewell essay to Candlestick Park, where the San Francisco 49ers played their final game on Week 16 before winning three more games on the road to earn themselves their third straight trip to the NFC Championship Game. The essay, titled “Closing the Cave of the Winds,” is notable . . . → Read More: A Tribute to Candlestick From An Unlikely Niner Fan, by Chuck Strom

Thoughts on the 49er/Packer Game, by Chuck Strom

Watched the whole game yesterday. A few observations:

1. The cold didn’t impact the game as much as people thought it might. Not a lot of slipping or sliding going on, and both teams were able to throw and catch the ball. The kicking game was affected, though. Kickoffs were noticeably shorter even on . . . → Read More: Thoughts on the 49er/Packer Game, by Chuck Strom

Peter Jackson Has Jumped the Shark, by Chuck Strom

As the title suggests, I am about to disparage Peter Jackson’s latest installment of his Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug. Before I do so, however, I should point out a few things. I am as familiar with the Tolkien literature as anyone could be without being totally obsessive, having read most of it . . . → Read More: Peter Jackson Has Jumped the Shark, by Chuck Strom

Everyone Loves Kalle Anka

Here’s an article in Slate on Sweden’s love of Donald Duck, or Kalle Anka, which literally translates to Charlie Duck. It’s an interesting take on Swedish culture and the appeal of similar cultural icons, especially during the holidays.

– Chuck Strom

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2009/12/nordic_quack.html