Today is an important day for New Hampshire Catholics. It is the 75th birthday of Bishop of Manchester John B. McCormack, the former assistant to Bernard Cardinal "I fought the" Law in Boston. Bishop McCormack must, therefore, submit his notice of retirement to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, and for many in the church, that is added reason to sing: "This is the day the Lord has made/ Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
When World War II veteran Ralph Houk, "the major," was a Yankees coach under manager Casey Stengel, Stengel one day gave him a bag of baseballs to hold onto during batting practice, while the "Old Professor" went off to tend to some pregame business. Houk set the bag down a little too close to the box seats and a zealous fan reached over, grabbed it, and ran off with the baseballs.
George Michael Steinbrenner III, the colorful, turbulent, and outspoken owner of the New York Yankees, died Tuesday at age 80, after a massive heart attack. His passing came just nine days after his July 4th birthday and only two days after the team's legendary public address announcer, Bob Sheppard, died at age 99.
Like millions of other baseball fans, I vividly remember the sights and sounds of the first big league game I attended. The journey began early on a Sunday morning with a two-hour train ride from Wallingford, Connecticut, my hometown, to New York City, the capital of the universe. I was ten years old at the time and was making the trip in the company of an adult cousin and his son, a boy of about my age. It was only my second trip to the big city, the first having been a year earlier when I accompanied an aunt and one of her friends on a sightseeing trip, visiting attractions like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. But this trip was even more special. This was a trip to Yankee Stadium.