I’m glad I made a list on this padlet because I’m not sure what to write. So instead, I’ll work on my writing by trying 2 related exercises. One is shared on page 128 of Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write. It suggests: Look at a history book and see the story beyond the text. Another is shared on page 222 of Jen Serravallo’s Writing Strategy Book. It suggests looking closely at an illustration or photograph that can teach you about a topic you are writing about and jot down quick notes.
Since I watched my nephew play college baseball yesterday, I have baseball on my mind. I search websites looking for historical photos and hit the jackpot by finding the NYC LIbrary’s A. G. SPALDING BASEBALL COLLECTION. Here’s the photo I picked, one out of the 500+ baseball photos:
The site explains that “The personal collection of materials related to baseball and other sports gathered by the early baseball player and sporting-goods tycoon A.G. Spalding came to the Library in 1921 as a gift from his widow.”
Who was Albert? Why did he have all these photos?
“Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) was a major figure in the early history of baseball. A star player for the Boston franchise in the National Association, he left in 1876 to join the Chicago White-Stockings, later known as the Cubs, in the newly formed National League. He was the team’s leading pitcher, team captain, and manager. After his career on the field ended, he later became team president.”
What did Albert and his teammates think of the pitcher in the photo?
(the following is my opinion!)
They liked him because he was so focused. He’s dressed for success, right down to his pulled-up stockings and laced shoes. He looks mature (isn’t that a mustache under his nose?) with serious eyes. They called him Bud and in 1914, he had the record for strike outs.
He soon got noticed for a ritual he performed which always resulted in a strike. Whenever the count was 2-2 (2 balls and 2 strikes), he would grabs the rim of his hat, lifts it off his head, runs the back of his hand across his brow and then pulls his hat back on again. With a deep breath, he’d throw the next pitch and the ump always shouted “strike!” Soon that hat-off, rub-of-brow and hat-on-again, strike became his signature. As the years go on, everyone instead started calling him Lucky.