No sports? Talker has you covered (Part I, Major and Minor League baseball)

No sports? Talker has you covered (Part I, Major and Minor League baseball)

David Kramer, batting, and Eugene Kramer, catching with Vince DiMaggio glove. Brother of Joe and Dom DiMaggio, Vince was the less skilled of the trio. [Photo: Carol Kramer, Woodstock, NY, c. 1974]

In recent days, we’ve learned of a spate of sports cancellations and postponements: NCAA basketball tournaments, the NBA, the NHL, the MSL and MLB spring training.

The only good news is that the XFL also cancelled its regular season. As seen in Waiting for the XFL to be the Ex-XFL, this spring football league is a blight on the sports calendar

Feb 8, 2020 (left) Bob Page, at Jeremiah’s Tavern on Monroe Avenue; (far right) Non-spectators at the inauguration of the XFL at Jeremiah’s. From Waiting for the XFL to be the Ex-XFL

Initially — mercifully for its misbegotten fans —  Sunday’s game in Seattle was scheduled to be played without spectators. Given the paltry attendance at many XFL games, an empty stadium would be little different. Apparently, the XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021. Don’t bother.

With live sports on the sidelines, now is the time to relive Talker sports-blasts-from-the past.

We begin at the heights when in 1914 the immortal Babe Ruth played in Rochester against the Red Wings at Baseball Park on Bay Street near Webster Avenue. That International League season, Ruth pitched for the Providence Greys and Baltimore Hustlers. We end at the depths in 2020 with the infamous Houston Astros.

SEE PART II: No sports? Talker has you covered (Part II, the Bills, the Jills and love triangles)

SEE PART III: No sports? Talker has you covered. (Part III, Sports Less Traveled)

SEE PART IV: No sports? Talker has you covered. (Part IV, Conclusion: college and high school baseball, basketball and football; amateur baseball, football and softball)



The six games Babe Ruth played in Rochester


Now gone from living memory, the last time the Dodgers (Robins) and Red Sox battled


Babe Ruth and Eugene Kramer’s 5 to 10 minutes of fame.


70 years ago today when Jackie Robinson broke the color line at Red Wings Stadium


48 years ago when Rochester saw its first “Designated Pinch Hitter”

The wait is over. Adding ’69 to the Series.


45 years ago when the Pittsburgh Pirates fielded a team of “All brothers out there”

Opening Day, 1971, at Boldo’s Armory


Baseball was better 45 years ago


On Yogi Berra and Dale Berra and the 1973 World Series and Willie Mays and my father

The Yom Kippur War (1973) and historical memory


When the P.A. announcer told us Nixon had resigned. On the passing of Anna Silver and a most memorable Silver Stadium game


You never forget your first


The 1981 baseball strike comes to Rochester. When Dave Winfield made 1.3 million a year!


30 years ago when George Brett won the World Series (and Morganna the Kissing Bandit)


30 years ago when Billy Buck broke Rhode Island’s heart


Frank Robinson and a glove signed at the 1988 Orioles-Red Wings exhibition game

The night in 1988 when a Hall of Fame flame thrower threw 151 pitches in the Triple-A-Classic at Silver Stadium


Dustin Pedroia, a 1999 lawn chair and a 2005 birthday gift from Naomi and Anna Silver


“An early-spring renewal of the spirit” over 10,000 fungos later


The Hat Gate game is reason enough to root for the Nationals


Street & Smith’s now defunct. Here is Kramer & Kramer’s Official 2016 Yearbook


Royals 4 – Mets 3. An opening day World Series rematch with Eugene Kramer

Grading Kramer & Kramer’s 2016 baseball predictions


Pruitt breaks new ground with “The Pennant Races in Rhyming Couplets.” Keeps eyes on the Talker baseball prediction prize.


Street and Smith’s is back and so is Bill Pruitt with “Pennant Race 18: Curses Laid and Lifted”

Major League Baseball in San Juan as a 21st Century Marshall Plan

Very first pitch on Opening Day. And Knot Holes

Eliminate the Wild Card Game, please

18 innings, 3:29 EST. That’s nothing.


Third time is the charm; Pruitt tells us what will happen: “Pennant Race ’19 in Eight Sestets and a Couplet”


Say it ain’t so Joe. Could I like MLB’s proposed playoff changes?

Farewell, Johnny Antonelli (April 12, 1930 – February 28, 2020). From Cobb’s Hill to the World Series

Why I don’t care that much about the Houston Ass — terisks*

Looking through the glass half full, the 2020 baseball preview

Bill Pruitt offers “Pennant Race in the Plague Year, Or Ohtani’s Quadruple Twenty in 2020”


Baseball at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park (1960 – 1972)


That Championship Season thirty five years later

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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