Older baby-boomers: Jim Bunning, Detroit Tiger Hall of Fame pitcher, died at age 85

Jim Running page.
This is Jim Bunning's page from the 1961 Tiger's yearbook.

Were you a Detroit Tiger fan back in the early 1960s?  If you were, then you were more than familiar with the name of Jim Running, the team's Hall of Fame pitcher.  After baseball, he went on to serve in the U.S. Congress and became the center of more than one political controversy.

But most of all I remember sitting on my front stoop when I was in grade school and listen to the radio announcers shower him with expletives that you seldom hear today.  He was part of an extraordinary period in Detroit baseball history.  What a neat guy!

He died. He left a positive mark.


OLD PHOTO: The Stanley Cup and me in Sen. Dick Posthumus' office


I was working in the office of Michigan Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus when I heard a lot of commotion.  This was before the time that a lot of loud noise would be a signal to crawl under your desk or out a window.

It was part of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team bringing the Stanley Cup which they had just won into his office.  It was an international symbol of athletic perfection and it was familiar to everybody in Michigan.  

The iconic trophy was in the office just before the team was to be presented in the Senate Chambers during a session.

As a pretend sports fan and as the one who had to write notes for Sen. Posthumus' remarks about the team to the Senate, I had to be a quick study about the team and about the NHL.  My reward was this picture.  It's a neat memory.


When my son was really young his favorite baseball player was Ernie Camacho of the Cleveland Indians

My son and I were talking about his baseball cards the other night when our conversation turned to Ernie Camacho, the retired reliever for the Cleveland Indians.  Justin and I would go through a pile of cards, looking at teams, player names and their stats.

He was in early grade school and when we did this, he'd always stop at Ernie's card.  I think he liked the way his name rolled off his tongue, plus he played for a team with cool looking uniforms.  

Whatever happened to Ernie Camacho?

Well, I think I've found out.  He apparently is a school maintenance guy in California and a prominent advocate for people with Alzheimers, a diseased which toughed his father.  

A CLARIFICATION:  My wife reminded me that my son was attracted to Camacho because my son was a Bert and Ernie fan from Sesame Street.

His name has never been forgotten by me or my son.  It would be fun to tell him someday.

Check out what these NFL players in today's Super Bowl have to say about Jesus Christ



In less than twelve hours, we will join the rest of the country and much of the world in watching the New Englland Patriots and New York Giants go at it in the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.  Who are these players? What makes them tick?


Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos is not the only believer in Jesus Christ.  Check these other players from both teams who talk about their faith and what it means to them.  I'm impressed.  

These guys spend their lives in an occupation where it's not manly to talk about your faith in God.  There's the perception of wild parties with gladiators living it up.  Apparently, it's not true.

What would happen if our political leaders stood up like this and confessed their faith, rather than bleating about what they do and what the other side doesn't do?  That would make an impression.  How would people respond?


Will Gov. Rick Snyder be sitting in the "just plain folks section" at tomorrow's Detroit Lions game with Green Bay?

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says there will be no Thanksgiving meal at his house tomorrow because he's going to the Detroit Lions game tomorrow where our NFL team has a chance of beating the Green Bay Packers.  The question is about where he will sit.  Does he get special seats on the 50-yard line, in the sky boxes or does he sit with the ordinary rough and tumble fans in the other seats?

Will this be the best Detroit Lions team in NFL history but with nobody to play?

Check this column in today's Detroit News by Bob Wojnowski about how Detroit Lion's quarterback Matthew Stafford has recovered from shoulder surgery and how he's showing the command presence of a Super Bowl-ready NFL field general.  This could be the year for the Lions and the spark that our state needs to put some snap, crackle and pop in Great Lakes State weekends.

But, can the NFL owers and players agree on how to split team revenues? 

Just think of a Lions team in the playoffs and then the Super Bowl.  Any chances of that happening?

As Colts and Saints get ready for Super Bowl, here's the history behind forward pass

During tomorrow's Super Bowl between the Colts and the Saints, we will see forward passing at its finest.  There's no doubt that it will make the game exciting.

Forward passes were not always legal in the game.  And Pastor David Maier talks in the beginning of this video about how they came to be legal in the game and how long it took to get coaches to use them.  He's the president of the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

His sharing of football history was part of a presentation to a leadership summit for his church body in a state that's being challenged with massive economic change.  They were starting an examination and recalibration of how they minister in the Great Lakes State.

Please note:  Part #2 of Pastor Maier's video; Part #3.

Can you explain why you don't want the University of Michigan to win on Saturday?

I've lost my passion for the Michigan State University versus University of Michigan football game that will be played on Saturday.  But, at age 63, I will have a big smile on my face if the Spartans win in East Lansing.

For me and many others, it's the only game that counts during the fall.  The Spartans could lose every other game, but the whole season hung on what they did against the Wolverines.

The serious smack talk about the two teams got virulent when I was a teenager and young adult.  For that game, political partisanship would be set aside with fans verbally clubbing their opponents.

I remember telling my daughter that I would accept her going to the University of Michigan, but she would have to foot the whole bill herself.  She saw the smile on my face knowing that if she went there I'd have to hold my nose everytime I went on campus.

That's why I read this story in today's Free Press with nodding agreement and a smile.  Can MSU players still be motivated beyond other games to play the U of M?

On Saturday, super-wife and I will have the television on and a bottle of Great Lakes Red open and watch until the end.

How important are the Detroit Lions to attitude in Michigan?

The attitude in Michigan right now is miserable on its best day.  Hope is getting ready to pack-up and move to Florida or some other warm weather state where there's hope of a job and a future that's not dependent on a failing auto industry.

Our state's offering in the NFL arena-the Detroit Lions-has almost always been in the losing column when the season ends.  Last year, it lost every game.  Their performance just seemed to mirror the attitude of the state that Michigan is for losers.

What is the Lions win this year?  What would that mean to our state?  Would it be a harbinger of what can happen in the whole state?

Check out Drew Sharp, a sports columnist in the Detroit Free Press who writes about the Lions' first game this year which they won.  Could this be their year?

Have you seen any silver carp in Lake Michigan?

This article from today's Detroit Free Press about silver carp moving from the Chicago area to Lake Michigan is scary.  Once they enter the Great Lakes, these huge fish which grow to 100 pounds compete for food with other species which they eventually push out.

Check out the YouTube video linked to the story and watch how they jump out of the water and threaten boaters, fishermen and operators of personal watercraft.

I wonder if the Michigan Legislature is ready to add another big problem to their list.