A classic exchange between a season ticket holder and the Cleveland Browns front office from 1974. It’s a shame that no one would have the balls to send a reply like this today. The customer is not always right.
Last Wednesday MLB great Bob Feller passed away at the age of 92. Feller, known as “Rapid Robert” had one of the strongest arms — and one of the fastest fastballs — of all time. “The Heater from Van Meter” (as he was also known) is easily among the top five pitchers to ever play the game. A fact that is even more impressive when you consider Feller, who grew up on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa, left the game during his prime years to join the U.S. war effort in the Pacific. It is this sacrifice that makes Bob Feller not only a great baseball player, but a great American.
The story of Pearl Harbor and Bob Feller’s decision to join the military from Once Upon a Game: Baseball’s Greatest Memories via The New York Times.
“I was driving my new Buick Century across the Mississippi River, across the Iowa-Illinois state line, when my world — everyone’s world — changed forever.
It was Dec. 7, 1941. I was driving to my meeting with my Cleveland Indians bosses to hash out my 1942 contract, and out it came on the radio: the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.
The last thing on my mind right then was playing baseball. I immediately decided to enlist in the United States Navy. I didn’t have to — I was 23 and strong-bodied, you bet, but with my father terminally ill back in Van Meter, Iowa, I was exempt from military service.
In my mind, the guys from Columbus, O. based Homage do tee shirts better than anyone. The physical shirts are super nice (not to mention made in America), plus the designs are old school classic and insidery. Homage has succeeded in elevating the often sad graphic tee to higher levels. My appreciation for the company and their shirts is of course heightened by our shared allegiance to the Buckeye state. The thing is, I’m not really a tee shirt guy, but I keep finding myself going back for more. This morning I picked up this wine & gold “Cleveland is the City” number to rep my city through the NBA playoffs. More cities after the jump.
James Jung, a friend of ACL, is an editor at Travel + Leisure and a nightlife blogger for NBC New York’s Niteside. His sports and travel writing has appeared in Slate, SKI Magazine and Outside.
Ski racing has always been my sport. I follow it the same way other guys follow football and baseball. Sure, sounds un-American, but if you grow up in a mountain town with a ski-mad Austrian father, it’s pretty unavoidable. All it took was one winter broadcast of ABC’s Wide World of Sports to expose me to the downhill—ski racing’s marquis event—and I was hooked.
Speaking of footballs…
The official NFL footballs are still made in right here in the USA — by Wilson Sporting Goods in Ada, Ohio. Every year during the lead-up to the Super Bowl the networks send a camera crew out to the sleepy Northwest, Ohio town (any Ohio Northern grads in the house?), to document the old ladies in their smocks making footballs. The folks at Horween took some great pictures on a visit to the factory which you can see here.
Saturdays and Sundays in the fall only mean one thing, football. Back in Ohio it is basically all people care about (not so much in Cleveland this year, but we are having a rebuilding decade). Recently I discovered Original Leather Head footballs, the perfect companion for chilly fall afternoons. Designed and crafted by Paul Cunningham (a former photo editor at Major League Baseball), Leather Heads are hand-sewn in New Jersey from American leather (via Horween in Chicago and Prime in Maine) and like many heirloom quality goods, they only get better with age. The footballs are so good looking my only dilemma is whether to use it or not. Maybe the solution is to buy two; one to use, one to just look at??
James Jung, a friend of ACL, offers his thoughts on cycling escapades both domestic and abroad.
As a spindly-legged kid, I spent most of my summers tucked in my Austrian father’s broad slipstream while we pedaled up and down New Hampshire’s winding back roads. Saddled atop his dinosaur of a Motobecane, ragged cycling shoes wedged into his toe clips and his unruly grey hair flapping in the wind (he never wore a helmet, which, he assured me in his heavily-accented English, were for loozahs), he’d ramble on about all the epic Alpine rides he and his fellow farm boy buddies had done as teenagers. Then he’d crack open a can of Coors when we got home, drain it and tell me more. I knew ‘em by heart: The time they’d hooked their hands onto the back of a bus in order to coast the last few rain-soaked kilometers into Munich just to buy an LP of Revolver; the time they’d stumbled into a Swiss gasthof, cycling caps askew and faces full of grime, only to be fed for free by the matronly proprietor who’d pitied such a worn-out and weary-looking crew; and of course the many occasions on which they’d outmaneuvered slick Italian sport coups down Passo di Stelvio’s 48 hairpin turns. Sure, just the other day I blew a few too many freelance checks on this carbon fiber racing rig, but no matter how modern my tastes have become, I’m still – thanks to dad – obsessed with vintage bikes, no-frills cycling apparel and leg-breaking rides.