Thursday, February 26, 2009

Schalk's (lack of) offense analyzed


Bain Collection, Library of Congress

The subject of my second biography, Ray Schalk, made the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his defense. He could move along a player with a bunt or a sacrifice, but he was never considered an offensive threat. Back in his day (MLB 1912-28) , catchers were looked upon much like pitchers -- on the field for their defense, and if they could help with the bat, so much the better. His career batting average of .253 is the lowest among all position players enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Anyway, I came across a blog post by a gentleman named Joe Dorish who analyzed Schalk's offense. Not much to write home about, but facts are facts.

Maybe the slightly built Schalk could have improved his average by using something smaller than a tree trunk for a bat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Behind the scenes

The Telegraph Herald and Waterloo-based TV station KWWL have been news partners for a couple of months now. That means, among other things, that we cooperate on major news stories and cross-promote our media outlets. Plus, the station moved its Dubuque news bureau right into the Telegraph Herald newsroom.

The station shot a couple of promotional commercials the other day in its new quarters, promoting the fact that we work out of the same newsroom. Several members of the TH staff received bit parts. As you'll see, Hollywood won't be calling any of them anytime soon.

Watch the finished commercial featuring Lauren Squires at top (or left, depending on your screen). Then, watch the video below it (or to the right) and see that things are not always captured on the first take.

Though they used to be the competition, we're glad to have Lauren and her colleague Jamie Grey sharing quarters with us.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ready to circulate

I was in Dubuque's Carnegie-Stout Public Library last weekend, researching a possible subject for my next book, and spotted two copies of Red Faber in the Iowa Books shelves.

So, if you had been waiting for the lines to die down before checking out the biography, now is the time. Two books, no waiting.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Evening to remember

On Friday night I was surprised with an Iowa Newspaper Association Master Editor-Publisher Award.

This award comes around just once in a lifetime, so draw your own conclusions.

The occasion was made more special because several family members showed up upon the announcement to surprise me, including Madame X, Kate, Will, Ellen and, of course, granddaughter Claire. Ellen's boyfriend Adam was a good sport in putting up with all of it.

An added feature was that the announcement of the winners was made by Tom Yunt, former colleague and boss at the Telegraph Herald and now president of parent company Woodward Communications, Inc. Tom and I go back nearly 23 years, when I joined the TH.

Colleague Amy Gilligan, our managing editor, shot this video. Thanks, Amy!

And thanks to all the folks who helped make it an evening (and a career) to remember!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The other Dubuque

Folks around here might believe otherwise, but Dubuque is not unique. At least not in its name.

There is another Dubuque -- in Kansas.

I was reminded of that when I saw that the paper in Salina, Kan., carried a story about a farmer from Dubuque.

The Telegraph Herald did a story about Dubuque, Kan., several years ago. If I recall correctly, it is more or less a wide spot in the road -- essentially a ghost town.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

All mixed up

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and though I have no interest in the outcome of the football game (no Bears, no Packers, no Vikings), I did discover it was a super Sunday in Dubuque for a five-mile run.

Though at noon it was exactly freezing -- 32 degrees -- the day seemed warm and springlike. Not too surprising, considering that it was 62 degrees warmer than it was here 15 days ago.

Anyway, I fired up my MP3 device, shuffled everything on there and listened to whatever played. The result was a playlist with composers from Count Basie to Paul McCartney to Amy Winehouse. Peformers ranged from Nat King Cole to Conway Twitty to the Electric Prunes.

Here is what helped me through those five miles, in order:

  • Marvin Gaye - Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
  • Johnny Rivers - Seventh Son
  • Youngbloods - Let's Get Together
  • Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry on their Own
  • Eric Clapton - Motherless Child
  • Little Richard - Tutti Fruiti
  • C.J. Chenier - Bad Luck
  • Electric Prunes - Too Much to Dream
  • The Turtles - Happy Together
  • Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe
  • Frank Sinatra - Someone to Watch Over Me
  • Mike & The Mechanics -- The Living Years
  • Bob Dylan - Times They Are A-changin'
  • Dion & The Belmonts -- Teenager in Love
  • Beatles - What Goes On
  • Nat King Cole -- Blue and Sentimental
  • Ted Leo - I'm Looking Through You
  • Jim Croce - One Less Set of Footsteps