Rip Van Bisher has awakened. Pardon my extended absence, but in the interim, I have been collecting a few gems that interest me, and may trigger yours. Let me open with a few missiles from the thoroughbred track:
****My friend Peter Blum has a long history of breeding, selling and racing thoroughbreds, and has come up with another gem.
He had this filly named “Flawless” up for sale at Keeneland, and she triggered no bids at $285,000, so her decided to send her to the track himself…….great move. She won her first start at Belmont by 13 lengths, and look out, Saratoga, here comes “Flawless”.
And speaking of Saratoga, they will be running at the grand old oval this summer. There was a time when it seemed that Belmont would be the last NYRA track in operation for awhile—if you can imagine racing without Saratoga. The State of New York came up with a transfusion of $25 million, and that will keep racing going one more season, at least. No guarantee beyond that, however.
****On the golf side of it, consider the Golf Hall of Fame in Georgia. The state abandoned it last session, brushed it off like an invasive insect, meanwhile continuing to pour money into the Sports Hall of Fame at Macon, which has been a losing dog since it opened. Georgia State Golf Association to the rescue. The GSGA has taken over the functions of the dormant golf hall, and while no future guarantee comes with it, at least it has a heartbeat again.
****Remember when red poppies were a symbol of Memorial Day, the buddy program that related to the fields of Flanders? No more. No Buddy Poppies this year, another sign of how indifferent the present society has become to our heroic military past.
****Jason Hayward now leads the National League in OPS, a statistic with which I’m not familiar. It refers to On-Base/Slugging Percentage. His leading number is .991, and your guess is as good as mine. It can’t be bad, so be grateful.
****Meanwhile, Chipper Jones’ hitting percentage dawdles at .234, with 18 runs batted in, and two (2) home runs. Unlikely that he’ll make it to 500. (He does lead the league in walks, at last notice.) I’m afraid there’s trouble there, folks.
****Historical fact: In April 1966, Tony Cloninger delivered Atlanta’s first official pitch as a major league team. It was a ball. In 1976 Ted Turner began televising Braves games across the nation, the beginning of what became “America’s Team”. In 1982, Dale Murphy delivered Atlanta his first two Most Valuable Player awards. And its last, up to now.