Monday, May 2, 2016

The Real Ty Cobb

So what comes to your mind when you hear the name Ty Cobb? I don't know that much about baseball history or trivia, but when I hear that name, I think rotten guy/racist. Remember the reference made to him in Field of Dreams? Cobb wasn't invited to the ghostly cornfield reunion of old time ballplayers because, according to the Shoeless Joe Jackson character, "No one liked liked that son of a bitch."

Before I go on, if you've never heard of Ty Cobb, here's a snippet of who he was from Wikipedia:

Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb (December 18, 1886 – July 17, 1961), nicknamed "The Georgia Peach", was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder. He was born in rural Narrows, Georgia. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1936 Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes (98.2%); no other player received a higher percentage of votes until 1992. In 1999,editors at The Sporting News ranked Ty Cobb 3rd on their list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players"

Rumors have abounded about Cobb being a murderer, racist and all around bad guy, but author Charles Leershen has finally set the record straight with his new book, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. 


Cobb's memory was bastardized soon after his death by a sports writer named Al Stump, who wrote several sensationalized articles and books about Cobb. When Leershen dug beyond the writings of Stump, he discovered the truth about this extraordinary ballplayer.

I'll only address the issue of racism in today's post, and this quote is from a speech Leershen presented during a program at Hillsdale College on "Sports and Character":

How could someone born in Georgia in 1886 not be a racist? What I found...is that Cobb was descended from a long line of abolitionists. His great-grandfather was a minister who preached against slavery and was run out of town for it. His grandfather refused to fight in the Confederate army because of the slavery issue. And his father was an educator and state senator who spoke up for his black constituents and is known to have once broken up a lynch mob.


Cobb himself was never asked about segregation until 1952, when the Texas league was integrating, and Sporting News asked him what he thought. "The Negro should be accepted wholeheartedly and not grudgingly," he said. "The Negro has the right to play professional baseball and whose [sic] to say he has not?" By that time he had attended many Negro league games, sometimes throwing out the first ball and often sitting in the dugout with the players. He is quoted as saying that Willie Mays was the only modern-day player he'd pay to see and that Roy Campanella was the ballplayer that reminded him most of himself. 

I was quite surprised to read that! For more on the real Ty Cobb, check out Charles Leershen's Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. 

Is this news to you about Ty Cobb? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Prince: Master of Flash

What a shock to hear that Prince died last week. I was never a die hard fan, but his music was fun to dance to back in the day. At only 5' 2", Prince was a true entertainer, talented musician and prolific songwriter. Ever wonder how he developed his style and that signature flash of his? Here's an interesting article from People.com that tells how:


What prompted the flashy, eccentric persona that helped make Prince a king of the music world? The singer reveals he was compensating for a painful childhood struggle with epilepsy. 

"I've never spoken about this before but I was born epileptic," the reclusive singer told PBS's Tavis Smiley in an interview Monday night. "I used to have seizures when I was young. My mother and father didn't know what to do or how to handle it but they did the best they could with what little they had."

Prince also cites divine intervention for helping him cope with his epilepsy. "My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore,' and she said 'Why?' and I said 'Because an angel told me so.' Now, I don't remember saying it, that's just what she told me." 

But his struggle didn't end there. "From that point on, I've been having to deal with a lot of things, getting teased a lot in school," he said. "And early in my career I tried to compensate by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could." 


For the complete article, click here.

Are you a Prince fan? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway: From Cad to Cadaver

Happy Monday! I'm not doing a regular post this morning. Instead, just a little shameless self-promotion! I'm giving away a signed copy of my newest release, From Cad to Cadaver, a funny romantic mystery. If you're interested, there are five days left to enter the Goodreads Giveaway. Click here for more details, or enter the contest by clicking "Enter Giveaway" on the Goodreads Gadget to your right.

So what's From Cad to Cadaver about? Check out the synopsis below:

Ex-cop and former FBI agent Tracy Black is plagued by serious trust issues stemming from two horrific failed relationships. Leaving behind the memory of one bad relationship, along with the excitement and high voltage sizzle of Atlanta, Tracy moves back to her hometown to pursue a career as a private investigator. Cincinnati's atmosphere is low-key and uncharged,and unfortunately not great for Tracy's new business. Yet her sister knows someone who can help. 
 
In addition to a chiseled set of GQ cheekbones, all around tough guy and ex-Navy SEAL Adam Slade is tall, built and hot. On the mend from a broken engagement, Adam, who works as a PI and security consultant, is eager to meet Tracy. With his connections and their combined investigative skills, he thinks they'd make a great team--and that picture he saw of her in a sexy sweater wasn't bad either. Tracy, however, is convinced she can get along fine without Adam's help, especially since their first meeting left her utterly humiliated. 
 
Eventually, Tracy is willing to lend a hand when Adam offers her a chance to work alongside him in a lucrative out-of-state gig. Once back home, Tracy is convinced that things are looking up, until she is accused of murder. What will it take to get her off the hook? As Adam puts his life on the line for her, will he die, or at the very least die laughing, in a series of mishaps to help Tracy clear her name? 


Do you enjoy funny romantic mysteries? If so, be sure to enter the contest! Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Asian Beef with Snow Peas

I'm always on the lookout for easy recipes, and this one, from Allrecipes.com, sounds like a winner! My family loves Asian food, and my formerly picky teen aged boys eat it like there's no tomorrow. This should be a great addition to my Asian recipe repertoire. Hope you'll give it a try!

Asian Beef with Snow Peas

3 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine 
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t cornstarch
1 T vegetable oil
1 T minced fresh ginger root
1 T minced garlic
1 pound beef round steak, cut into thin strips
8 oz. snow peas

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until evenly browned. Add snow peas and stir-fry an additional 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce is thick and smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Are you a fan of Asian food? 

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Breaking the Rules

I was giving someone a little writing advice last week and this post came to mind. If you missed it the first time around, hope you'll find it useful now! 

"Devotees of grammatical studies have not been distinguished for any very remarkable felicities of expression." Bronson Alcott

When writing fiction, it's okay to break a few rules. Unlike political incorrectness, grammatical incorrectness harms no one, and in general is more pleasing to the ear. A narrative should flow smoothly, not read like a research paper.

I'm not talking about poor grammar, unless your character comes from that background. Even then, don't go overboard with dialect. A little goes a long way. In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White say, "The best dialect writers...are economical of their talents, they use the minimum, not the maximum, of deviation from the norm, thus sparing the reader as well as convincing him."

What I'm referring to is all those prickly little rules we learned in grammar school, such as never end a sentence with a preposition, and never begin one with a conjunction.

"I can see him, up above," is more likely to be said in real life, instead of, "Up above, I can see him." And because of this, I'd rather end that sentence of dialogue with a preposition. But did you notice how I just started two sentences with conjunctions? If you've broken a writing rule, but it passes the natural speech test, you're pretty safe!

Remember, smooth flow and naturalistic dialogue keep the pages turning! Have you broken any rules of writing lately?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted 8/16/10