Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Death Of Mark Fidrych

As a general matter, I don’t want to know anything personal about the baseball players I follow. Many of them are testosterone poisoned jerks. I follow baseball players as a collection of statistics in a uniform. I enjoy knowing the history of baseball and of baseball statistics so I can understand events in the context of baseball’s 150 year history. I don’t need to know the personalities of the players. 

An exception was Mark Fidrych who died yesterday at his farm in Massachusetts.

Mr. Fidrych seemed a genuine eccentric without affectation. I recall well his 1976 season with the Detroit Tigers. He would talk to the ball and romp around the pitcher’s mound. It was not an act.

From his New York Times obituary

He often talked to the baseball, fidgeted on the mound and got down on his knees to scratch at the dirt…. and was finicky about baseballs, refusing to reuse one if an opposing player got a hit, and rejecting fresh ones he declared to have dents…. He liked to jump over the white infield lines on his way to the mound, with a wide, toothy grin that, coupled with his hair, made him easy to spot even from the upper reaches of Tiger Stadium.

From the Boston Globe—

“…In 1986 he married Ann Pantazis, whose parents owned Chet’s Diner. Every Saturday, Mr. Fidrych could be found at the diner, often waiting tables. “He loved it. Every Saturday he was there,” said his mother-in-law, Nancy Pantazis. “He was a wonderful guy. I couldn’t ask for a better son-in-law, and he’ll be missed.” In Northborough, Mr. Fidrych and his family lived with his wife and daughter, Jessica, on the farm. He also worked as a commercial trucker. “A lot of people think that Mark Fidrych made enough money where he didn’t have to work,” he told the Globe in 1996. “Well, I made enough to get me a 10-wheeler and a piece of land and a house, and now I’ve got to support that.” Lest anyone think he was bitter about the injuries and the departure from the big time, he added, “What I got out of baseball is what I have today, and I’ve got to look at that. I still see some of my friends that never made it past Triple-A. I made that last big step. I was lucky.”

It was always odd to see pictures of Mr. Fidrych as older than his early 20’s. I always thought of him in the context of that one year of his greatest fame.

I suppose my limited image of him would be a reason why baseball players should be wary of fans as I am of  players. We trap these people in a way that does not allow for them to move ahead with life. If they stay young, than we stay young.

I’m sorry that Mr. Fidrych has passed. 

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

If You Touch The 2000 Year Old Sundial At The Art Museum, You Are Yelled At And Followed

If you touch the art at the Houston Museum of Fine Art, one of the docents in the exhibit hall will yell at you from across the room, run quickly over to you, and, finally, admonish you.

Then, the docent will follow you until you leave his area of the museum. 

This is what I saw happen last week after an art museum guest touched an ancient sundial from Afghanistan.

In my view, the sundial was made out of rock and had already lasted something like 2000 years. I don’t see that touching it was going to hurt the thing.

Maybe museum goers could be provided  with a sanitizing towelette before they touched the art so that they would not get the art all foody or sticky.

When I was at the Lourve  15 years ago or so, there were signs in maybe 8 different languages telling you not to take pictures of the Mona Lisa. 

(Here is the link to the Mona Lisa Suite Hotel in Orlando.) 

(Here is the link to theMona Lisa Restaurant in Wolcott, Connecticut.)

Yet many people were taking pictures, including flash pictures, of the Mona Lisa in any case. I don’t think this was harming the painting. It’s held up for a long time already. Maybe if they handed out wallet-sized pictures as you entered the gallery, people would not take the photos.

I don’t want to say that I approve of touching the 2000 year old sundial or of taking flash pictures of the Mona Lisa, but I suppose you might gather from the tone of this post that I view witnessing such behavior as some good entertainment.

Below is the Mona Lisa. You don’t have to fly to Paris to see the damn thing.

File:Mona Lisa.jpg

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , , | 3 Comments