Language, alliteration and baseball lore


First in justice and last in the American League: Baseball never flourished in Washington/Pages 4, 6-7


President Kennedy throws out the first pitch at Griffith Stadium in 1961 as LBJ follows the flight of the ball.
Library of Congress

NOW: Freak’s in a funk/5

The female factor/8-9

Pastime in wartime/6-7

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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

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Library of Congress

BAM! On July 5, 1924, Yankees right fielder Babe Ruth chased a fly by the Senators’ Joe Judge — and ran right into the concrete wall. He was out for 5 minutes. The next day? He hit a home run.

Is the Babe relegated to your DL?
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714 94-46 2213 .342
Homers Pitching record RBIs Average

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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

In the span of four seasons, three players shattered Roger Maris’ record of 61 homers


Getting “juiced” pays off



Scan with any QR reader or download the code scanner at (Available on every U.S. smartphone.

Mark McGuire 2 Sammy Sosa

Volume X, No. 33 (ISSN 1541-5228) Peter Erikson, Publisher Willie Mays, President Willie McCovey, Editor A USA Today publication Published every every Wednesday. Periodicals Postage Paid at Mill Valley, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to USA Today Sports Weekly, P.O. Box 7001, Mill Valley, CA, 94941. Printed in the USA. Subscribe to Sports Weekly, your inside source for Baseball and Football. Get 13 weeks for $12.95* and pay only $1 per week. Save up to 68% off the newsstand price. Limited time offer. By choosing EZ-PAY, I will get an extra 2 FREE


Bonds, pictured, got the record, but McGuire and Sosa weren’t far behind. All were accused of taking banned substances.


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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

Senators were a sorry sight
By Bill Smith The Enquirer ccording to the Baseball Almanac, Harry S. Truman went to the ballpark more than any other President — even more than Franklin Roosevelt. A U.S. President had not attended a baseball game since April 14, 1941, and Truman knew that his attendance at games would symbolize peace once again. In total, Truman attended sixteen games and every one of them was in Washington. Meanwhile, Woodrow Wilson, below, was a serious fan and during his freshman year at Davidson College he played baseball. Wilson was the first President to ever attend a World Series and he never once used his Presidential Pass — choosing instead to pay for every game he attended! Some fast facts: Six days after Japan surrendered, Truman attended a game at Griffith Stadium. On Sept. 8, 1945, Truman threw the first left-handed ceremonial presidential first pitch in Major League history. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle each gave Truman an autographed bat after their 1961 record-setting season. During his tenure in office, Truman was a regular at Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC, attending more games (16) than any other president. On April 18, 1950, Truman displayed a unique skill by throwing out a ceremonial pitch right-handed and See PRESIDENTS, Page 10


ALL SMILES: President Harry Truman, right, in white hat, attends the first game of the season, at Griffith Field in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 1948. Truman, who also threw out the first pitch, watched as the New York Yankees defeat the lowly hometowen Senators, 12-4.

Library of Congress

Bush butchered his words
“I didn’t — I swear I didn’t — get into politics to feather my nest or feather my friends’ nests.”


By Howard Wilkinson The Enquirer

ushisms are unconventional words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, and semantic or linguistic errors that have occurred in the public speaking of former President of the United States George W. Bush and of his father,
See BUSH, Page 10

–President George W. Bush

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Language & Baseball
Fielder, Cabrera: Enough power for Tigers to take it?

May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

I thought they said steak dinner, but then I found it was a state dinner.”
Odds & Ends

–Yogi Berra


Dodger divorce? Never happened in Stengel’s day
he Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball, ushered in a new era of ownership Wednesday while ending a dismal chapter of ownership under Frank McCourt, who baseball’s commissioner described as “looting” the club of $190 million to fund an extravagant lifestyle. Now Casey Stengel, pictured, who led the Dodgers to the 1916 National League pennant, can rest in his grave. At a news conference, a consortium of investors, including Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson, delivered a message to fans: “We are out to win. We are out to win for the fans. It’s a new day in Dodger Town.” On Tuesday, Guggenheim Baseball Management officially closed its $2.3 billion purchase of the club and Dodger Stadium from McCourt.

an the Tigers reach the postseason and win the World Series with three star players — and little else? That’s a question Grantland’s Rany Jazayerli tried to analyze recently, pointing out the stark differences between this TIGERS year’s Tigers and ON TV the 1984 World Series-winning Watch the team. Tigers play This year’s team Milwaukee has star pitcher tonight at Justin Verlander 7:30 on and star hitters Channel Miguel Cabrera 55. and Prince Fielder. However, as Jazayerli writes, these three players cover up a multitude of shortcomings for the 2012 Tigers. One of those shortcomings, as you might guess, is the defense. Jazayerli writes: “They’re now playing a first baseman at third base, a third baseman (Jhonny Peralta) at shortstop, a DH (Fielder) at first base, and a left fielder (Ryan Raburn) at second base. Left fielder Delmon Young has the range of a fire hydrant, and apparently he has the personality of one.


STILL SLUMPING: Two-time Cy Young Award winneran Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, shown here pitching against the San Diego Padres in 2011, is 2-3 with a 5.89 ERA this season.

Photo courtesy SD Dirk

Freak mired in funk
By By Steve Dilbeck Los Angeles Times his is tough way to go, not that anyone around Chavez Ravine is complaining. Tim Lincecum keeps pitching very well against the Dodgers and keeps losing. That’s a difficult combo to pull off, but the Giants’ two-time Cy Young winner has been pulling it off with great regularity. Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, Lincecum stumbled for one inning, and it led to a 6-2 Dodgers victory before an announced crowd of 33,993. In his last six starts against the Dodgers, Lincecum has a 2.52 ERA — and is 0-4. Lincecum has been having issues well beyond the Dodgers this season (2-3, 5.89 ERA) but seemed in control early Wednesday. With Chad Billingsley struggling with his command, the Giants opened an early 2-0 lead.


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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

In wartime, Obama turns to pastime
By Carl Stewart Bay Area News Group ASHINGTON — Call it the Obama effect: A presidential visit can be good advertising for restaurants and businesses. Vermilion in Alexandria, Va., is one of the most recent establishments in the spotlight after President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, dined there on Valentine’s Day. “That kind of exposure has helped drive business without a doubt,” team general manager David Hammond said.


“we definitely saw a spike in all areas including Web traffic, press interest and foot traffic,” museum spokesperson Rachel Cothran said. ‘People’s house’ Interest in where and what Obama and his family do can be explained with one word: authenticity, according to George Washington University Professor Larry Parnell. Parnell said Americans can relate to Obama stopping at a burger joint, filling out sports brackets and shopping at Petco with his dog. It also helps that he has heralded the White House as the “people’s house.” Meanwhile, the baseball that rolled through the legs of Boston first baseman Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series was sold at auction for

WARMUP: President Obama tosses a few balls, above, and signs a baseball, right, before the game.

White House photos by Pete Souza

HEAVY HITTERS: President Barack Obama talks with the Milwaukee Brewers’ Prince Fielder, left, and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard before the All-Star game in 2009.

In the war room, lockerroom

Carrying a big stick

Obamas ate, the special four-course Dines on beef menu for the holiday included grassWhile the contemporary American fed beef “tartar,” Chesapeake rockfish restaurant – which changes its menu and chocolate truffle tart. weekly based on local and seasonal After the first family visited the availability – would not reveal what the Corcoran Gallery of Art in January,

Photos by Tom Jones

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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

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May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF


Glamour gamble paid off

WOMEN’S BASEBALL: 1913, 1943-1954

A member of the New York Female Giants appears tiny next to the catcher from the Major League Giants in 1913. The team’s 32 members played just one season.
Photos courtesy Library of Congress

Grace, grit
New York doubled up on Giants

hil Wrigley contracted with Helena Rubenstein’s Beauty Salon to meet with the players at spring training. After their daily practices, the women were required to attend Rubenstein’s evening charm school classes. The proper etiquette for every situation was taught, and every aspect of personal hygiene, mannerisms and dress code was presented to all the players. In an effort to make players as physically attractive as possible, each woman received a beauty kit and instructions on how to use it.
Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder was the only woman to play all 12 years in the league, starting her pro career at age 15.

The “Belles of the Ball Game” delivered such a high level of play that, at the league’s peak in 1948, they drew more than a million fans to the stands.
Fort Wayne Daisies player Marie Wegman, of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, “argues” with umpire Norris Ward in Opalocka, Fla., in a 1948 game. The 6-foot-2-inch Wegman, 22, Cincinnati, played second base. She played for the Rockford, Ill., team the year before.

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PRESIDENTS: Predominantly big fans
Continued from Page 4 then left-handed. Although the quality of both pitches is unknown, it still represents a unique feat in bipartisanship. President Woodrow Wilson missed the Washington Senators Opening Day games in 1918 and 1919 due to the United States actions during World War I. On April 23, 1919, Army Chief of Staff General Peyton C. March became the first General to throw out an Opening Day pitch during a Major League baseball game. Did you know that President Woodrow Wilson was the first President to attend a World Series? Do you remember who was playing during the 1915 World Series? On April 12, 1945, with the death of FDR, Truman was thrust unexpectedly into the presidency, but soon adjusted to the awesome responsibility. The end of World War II, the use of the atomic bomb, the establishment of the United Nations and the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall plan, and the beginning of the Korean War are just some of the momentous events he would preside over during his eight years in office. You don’t have to be a diehard fan to appreciate the start of the baseball season. For the winter-weary, Opening Day is a sign that spring has finally sprung. It’s also a day when baseball history is made. These Opening Day facts will get you in the mood to hear those immortal words for the first time this year: “Play ball!” Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born Dec. 28, 1856. in Staunton, Va., to the Rev. Joseph Ruggles Wilson and his wife Janet (Jessie) Woodrow Wilson. He had two older sisters, Marion and Annie, and a younger brother, Joseph. Tommy Wilson, as he was called, was just over a year old when his family moved to Augusta, Ga. He would live there until his early teens when the Wilson family moved to Columbia, S.C. Young Tommy spent most of his childhood in the South before and during the Civil War. While in Georgia, his father served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army and his mother helped set up a hospital in their church. Perhaps this close experience with war led Wilson to work so hard for peace while president. Wilson briefly attended Davidson College and transferred to Princeton University. He attended the University of Virginia Law School and later received a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He was one of our best educated presidents and was known as a scholar, orator and author of many books on government. Before entering politics, Wilson spent many years as a college professor.

May 17-23, 2012 WALKOFF

BUSH: Magnificent at malapropisms
Continued from Page 4

George H. W. Bush. The term has become part of popular folklore and is the basis of a number of websites and published books. It is often used to caricature the two presidents. Common characteristics include malapropisms, the creation of neologisms, spoonerisms, stunt words and grammatically incorrect subject-verb agreement. Bush’s use of the English language in formal and public speeches has spawned several books that document the statements. The first, Bushisms/President George Herbert Walker Bush in His Own Words, was released in 1992. A poem entitled “Make the Pie Higher,” composed entirely of Bushisms, was compiled by cartoonist Richard Thompson. Various public figures and humorists, such as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Garry Trudeau have popularized some more famous Bushisms. Linguist Mark Liberman of Language Log has suggested that Bush is not unusually error-prone in his speech, saying: “You can make any public figure sound like a boob, if you record everything he says and set hundreds of hostile observers to

“I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can’t answer your question.”

–President George W. Bush

combing the transcripts for disfluencies, malapropisms, word formation errors and examples of non-standard pronunciation or usage... Which of us could stand up to a similar level of linguistic scrutiny?” Nearly a decade after George W. Bush said “misunderestimated” in a speech, Philip Hensher called the term one of his “most memorable additions to the language, and an incidentally expressive one: it may be that we rather needed a word for ‘to underestimate by mistake’.” All those jokes and cartoons and websites about his gaffes, bungles and malapropisms? We’ve been unknowingly teasing the afflicted.

Library of Congress

FASTBALL: President George W. Bush throws out the first pitch tat Yankee Stadium before Game Three of the 2001 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.