A Tip of the Cap

  • No Comments

How does one eulogize a legend? I’m certainly not qualified, but my sincerity, hopefully, will win the day.

Over the weekend Major League Baseball lost a Hall of Famer, and it’s given me quite a few moments to pause and reflect.

Lon Simmons didn’t play the game but is as integral to the sport as any home run champion.

Simmons started out calling San Francisco 49er games in 1957 and then also began calling games for the San Francisco Giants with longtime partner Russ Hodges in 1958. This was just after the Giants had moved west from New York.

Lon’s deep resonant voice is iconic in its own right as is his very dry sense of humor. So dry that occasionally athletes and other broadcasters didn’t quite get it when he’d lay down a quip. In my opinion that sometimes led to awkward encounters, but Simmons was so affable that he could always save the moment.

Any baseball broadcaster worth a damn also has a signature homerun call, and I believe Simmons’ call is the foundation for any good call you hear today.

It went something like this *crack of the bat* “…that ball is way back, way back….tell it good-bye!” and he said with a rising inflection that built the tension, made you clutch the steering wheel in your car, hug a loved one or just squinch down waiting for the payoff. Then yesss! Tell it goodbye! Now that’s iconic.

In the early 2000’s Lon was still broadcasting pretty regularly for the Giants. I have a confession to make, back then I was starting to get pretty frustrated with Simmons. He was of course legendary but his game calling had lost a step. Perhaps it was the impatience of youth, but I used to turn it off if he was calling the game and listen a different way. Sad but true.

When he retired from the Giants broadcasting, I was relieved. I believed then as I do now that it was time. There are other legends, Jon Miller among them, ready to carry on the legacy that Lon Simmons began.

Over the last decade or so, Lon could often be seen at the ballpark and we’d always give him a hero’s welcome. Retirement seemed to suit him and when he’d come on the air, I was a lot more forgiving of his slow style and sometimes awkward pauses.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Mr. Simmons deserved his Ford C Frick award and his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

His voice, his storytelling, his homerun call, they are all a part of the fabric of the game that I love so much.

So on this second day of the 2015 Major League Baseball season and the first day of the San Francisco Giants season, I salute Lon Simmons for his service, for his style and for bringing baseball to life for me with his voice and his words.

I tip my cap to a great man. May he rest in peace.




Russ Hodges (l) and Lon Simmons (r)




Image found here




Oh Let’s Let Her Lope Again

  • No Comments

This exercise was so amazing for me and my old friend The Muse last week. It really helped break some of the rust off the creative pipes and since it was so much fun, let’s let The Muse play the Unconscious Mutterings free-association game again.


  1.  Social ::


    A friend posted a link on Facebook essentially declaring that social media is over. Wait, there’s something ironic about that sentence. No matter, let’s press on.

    Personally, I’m pretty ready for all things social networking to stop being all anyone talks about. As if this is changing the world.

    Sure, something just as annoying will take it’s place, but maybe as “the book close(s) on Web 2.0” the internets will have grown up a bit. Stretched a bit. Maybe the next big thing will be something great, innovative and useful.

    Just don’t take away my lolcats. I beg you.

  2. Fairy tale ::


    It’s too early to discuss Christmas songs. Way too early.

    However, if we were going to discuss Christmas songs I’d tell you that I think it’s magic that a song entitled “Fairy Tale of New York” begins with the lines:

    “It was christmas eve babe/In the drunk tank”

    I mean really. Could that be any more perfect of the holiday season? I think not.

    A nod of thanks to my Rock Star cousin for turning me on to that tune many years ago when I was having a Very Dark Christmas.

  3. 0 ::


    Neither odd nor even, positive nor negative. Zero is the beginning, a place to start. Nothing and everything. Zen. Infinite.

    And a bunch of other woo-woo stuff.

    Null, nada, naught, nuh-uh, nope, zilch.

    Sort of beautiful in it’s perfection, really.

  4. Football ::


    I’m not much of a football fan, but I do idly keep track of the San Francisco 49ers. Last year I even took in my first NFL game, and it was awesome.

    That said, I think I’ve become too much of a baseball girl. I mean…162 games a season vs sixteen. Right? I think you can get by with a lot of luck over 16 games whereas you have to be mentally and physically disciplined to make it through 162.

    This is a weird time of the year where the end of baseball overlaps the beginning of football.

    Right now my San Francisco Giants are oh-so-very-close to making it into the postseason again and the 49ers have won their first two regular games.

    All in all, not a bad place to be.

    Who’s got it better than us?

    Why, I’m pretty sure the answer is: Nobody.

  5. Action::


    Lights, camera, action. Take action. Action Jackson. Action hero. Action games.

    Yeah. I got nothing here.

    Next!

  6. Setting ::


    Sometimes, on a rough ol’ Monday like this, I think about going to my happy place. I have several, actually, but the one I’m thinking about today is the town of Half Moon Bay. It’s about a half hour drive away, it’s where I got married, and it’s the beach I visited just after moving to California.

    It holds a special place in my heart and features some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve watched that setting sun alone, with dear friends (and beers) and with my love.

    Here’s my favorite photo, taken (by me) near Miramar Beach, and even this cool photo doesn’t totally capture the quality of light. But it’s enough to help me escape gray cubicle walls, if only for a moment.



  7. Boomers ::


    Did you know that in Australia, an adult male kangaroo is called a Boomer? I didn’t either.

    I learned that seeking an alternative for this prompt that would let me write about something other than ol’ hippies.

    And I thank YOU, Wikipedia, you glorious repository of knowledge.

  8. Rough ::


    This morning, this glorious Monday morning, I woke up rough. Real rough. I remember the days where I could stay up all night drinking and carousing and then get approximately one and a half hours of sleep, wake up chipper, go to class, take detailed notes, get through the day and go out again.

    Now I stay up late on Sunday night watching a good movie and oh holy hell I’m a mess from the time the alarm goes off until I can go to bed early the next night.

    Time really does make fools of us all.

  9. Words ::


    “What are words for? When no one listens. What are words for, when no one listens at all?”

    Hello you beautiful Missing Persons.

    That was the very first non-rodeo related concert I attended. (If I include rodeo shows, my first concert was Freddy Fender. You can’t make this stuff up). My big brother took me to a show at the Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque. Bits of what I’m sure was asbestos fell from the ceiling during the show.

    I wanted to be Dale Bozzio so bad I couldn’t see straight. I still do.

  10. Account ::


    Longing to be Dale Bozzio, and Belinda Carlisle, and Terri Nunn and others like them – yeah, that accounts for a lot of my teenage years.

    Really, a lot of my life.

    I just read British comedienne Dawn French‘s memoir. Now there is a lady who is 100% comfortable in her own skin. And now instead of just admiring her, I want to be her too.

    I’m such a suggestible little girl.

Ok, well…back to work.




That’s the night that the lights went out at the ‘Stick

  • 2 Comments

Our poor beleaguered Candlestick Park. The windy old jewel is really starting to show her age.

Well, not starting, really. Rapidly declining is more like it.

Last night she had a show to deliver: A contending team vs a contending team and an audience on the big stage of Monday Night Football.

Then this happened:





That blue light you see off to the left is a power transformer blowing up.

In a packed stadium in a hotly contested game with rafters full of fans from the opposing team out at Candlestick point…that’s not exactly where you want to be when the lights go out.

After some waiting around, the lights did come back on and the 49ers did prevail over the Pittsburgh Steelers, so all’s well that ends well, I suppose.

But what a sad state of affairs for the ‘Stick.




Transformer blowin’ gif found here.


The First Time – NFL Edition

  • 6 Comments

Sunday rolled around and The Good Man and I had something special on the agenda. We had a date with Candlestick Park and a dance with the San Francisco 49ers football team.

The Good Man had attended professional football games in the past, but I never had. I’ve spent much time inside Candlestick, but it was back in the late 90’s, watching my beloved San Francisco Giants get brutalized. The Giants moved to their new yard in 2000 and I hadn’t been to Candlestick since.

I wondered how the ‘Stick had held up over the past eleven years. The answer? About how you’d expect.



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


Once upon a time I was a huge 49ers fan (going back to living in New Mexico where they were my team of choice). But over the past decade they kept stomping on my heart over and over, so I had to break up with them.

But this year…with their shiny 8-1 record…I might have been woo’d back to their side.

I think I’ve finally worked out my issues with this guy (that’s the long suffering quarterback, first round draft pick, Alex Smith).



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


I gave up on him when I kept shouting at my television “THROW THE DAMN BALL ALREADY!!!” and he wouldn’t throw the ball. And then he’d get clobbered.

On Sunday, he threw the ball. Oh he threw it, indeed. And he ran it, and he handed it off and did everything a calm, cool quarterback should do.



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


Oh, hello Kendall Hunter. Welcome to the end zone.



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


This morning, the local sports radio show keeps talking about the amazing atmosphere at the ‘Stick on Sunday.

It was crazy.

Isn’t it always like that?



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


For the non-baseball fans, I hear a lot of talk about how baseball is so slow, there’s waiting around, blah blah blah.

You know what? There is a lot of waiting around in football too.



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


But there is an awful lot more blood in football. Yikes.



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011

I guess that tends to happen when your whole intent, play by play, is smashing into very large people. Our seats were great and I sure did see a lot of men crash into other men. Sometimes I had to close one eye and look away. That’s usually when the guys around me would shout “yeeeah!”

Boys. Hmph.



Photo by Karen Fayeth, Copyright 2011


Football is a crazy sport. A crazy, fun, outrageous, holy cow YEAH baby kind of sport.

In short…I loved it. Seeing it live was really something spectacular.



All photos by Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license found in the far right column of this page.