The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

April 5, 2013

Baseball, Broadway are theater in their own way

Friday, April 5, 2013 — It is, to be sure, the most magical day of the year -- the opening day of the baseball season.

There are any number of ways to show this, even in an era where baseball has been bypassed across the nation by the National Football League as the great American game. But I prefer to do it by going back almost 30 years into a sports writing career that was built upon the game of baseball.

It was 1985, mid-January, when the most wonderful sports editor I ever worked with sent me to New York City for a crossover story aimed at showing just what baseball meant in this land of ours. The subject of my search was a wonderful actor, a man who was appearing in the Broadway play “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama in which he had earned a Tony Award.

That role may be forgotten now across our land, but the actor is not, for he is Joe Mantegna, whose current presence is as a featured character on “Criminal Minds,” a show in which he portrays FBI Special Agent Joe Rossi.

What brought this itinerant baseball writer there in the dead of winter was that we had heard that Mantegna had a shrine within his dressing room dedicated to his beloved Chicago Cubs, with whom he had suffered as a youth and offered him the backdrop for the play he would author in 1977 about the famed bleachers in Wrigley Field called “Bleacher Bums” after the faithful who reside there.

So here is what I encountered as I walked into Mantegna’s dressing room.

One wall is a shrine to the Cubs. There is a New York Daily News sports page proclaiming the Cubs champions of the National League East. There are baseball cards and pictures, including one of Mel Hall as a Cub.

Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    WASHINGTON - The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • D.G. Martin Where did all these new voters in North Carolina come from?

    “Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”
    So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Some light for Dems in their time of darkness

    RALEIGH – Earlier this year, state Sen. Ben Clark, a Hoke County Democrat, became a hero for a day among his party and environmentalists when his amendment to require more well water testing near future fracking sites passed the Senate. It even gained the support of a number of GOP senators, against the wishes of the Republican bill sponsor.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Maintaining hope

    Gardeners are facing challenges with the weather this year. It seemed like we were getting great conditions in April and May. The weather was warm and we were getting some good rains. Then sometime in June the rain stopped. It got so dry that I didn’t have to cut the grass. While I enjoyed the break, the garden was not happy at all. I was having to water quite a bit to keep the vegetable garden alive and growing.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd I may be a bit behind the times, but at least I can find ‘America’

    I seem to be reading about and dealing with technology a lot lately.
    I  love technology and have always been fascinated by gadgets of all kinds and the wonderful things they can do. You never seem to go through an entire day without some form of invention enhancing your life.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Meeting out in open helps negotiations move ahead

    RALEIGH – State lawmakers reconvened in Raleigh on May 14 promising a brief legislative session this summer, but as July moves along they are still in town and tackling big issues.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Larry's Sketch 7.16.14.tif They don’t give a darn for Duke University

    John “Duke” Wayne’s heirs are suing Duke University over trademark rights.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    WASHINGTON - For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content