Remember when we could congregate? It was warm? If there wasn't a concert I could attend, to the ballpark I went.
We are so lucky to live, where we do, with so many Major League and Minor League Ballparks nearby.
Sure we are all critics! But the Big League Ball Players of tomorrow are playing right in our backyards.
When everything gets back to some kind of normal, I think we should cherish these ballparks more.
Here is a list of Top Minor League Ballparks Click Here for the Rankings.
We are lucky enough to have a number of great ones on the list.
Mainly look at #45 and #97 but Ohio is represented well on the list... PLAY BALL!!!
I can't wait to sit in the sun, grab an expensive beer, enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass and the crack of the bat! Who is with me?
Wynn's Weekend Watch - 20 Years Ago This Week #1
Box Office – The Marksman / The Croods
#1 Last Year This Date - Bad Boys For Life
All 5 seasons - Of The Muppet Show start streaming on Disney+ on February 19th! (Story)
NOPE - There will not be a Bridesmaids 2 (Story)
Godzilla VS. King Kong - The previews are out this week
A Julia Child - TV series is coming to HBO Max. (Story)
Top Two Westerns - Of all time #2 Unforgiven - 1992 and The Searchers - 1956 (List)
This Weekend – Check out my Country Music Memory Lane (link)
Jen asked me if I have told Tracy Byrd's story yet as he was her favorite in the 1990's. Good time to do it. He was a star that had a very interesting story. Legend says he recorded a Hank Williams SR. song at a recording studio at a local mall in the early 90's, that led to a talent contest with a Nashville record label.
Byrd had a nice career through the 90's that had some gigantic success. From what I remember when he had a big hit - he had a BIG hit. But one thing is for sure, he found fans and a few of his songs became anthems for that particular year, and some for the entire decade. He was in that same group as Mark Chesnutt, Doug Stone, Joe Diffie, Clay Walker and others, that showed up during country's biggest decade, with the biggest stars ever hogging a lot of the spotlight. But much of his music would be big in any era.
Holdin' Heaven - First Number One!
Byrd was from Texas, and he was traditional country make no mistake. His first album had two misfires with the first two singles, then a song called Holdin' Heaven was released as the third single and it went #1, and that song took the album to gold status. It was a nice little song that was catchy and was easy to remember with a slick video that not only captured the era beautifully but helped define it. It set the stage for the next album that became a huge success. It also showcased how likable his voice was. Byrd had a great look, with a big Texas hat, and the trendy Country wear of the era. He looked like Texas, and fans ate it up.
Watermelon Crawl - Was a Gigantic Hit!
No Ordinary Man came out in 1994 and Byrd became an instant contender. The four singles off of it were big songs, with great charting and popular success. Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous, and The First Step were cool songs, but the other two were huge. Watermelon Crawl was a sensation. It was a big hit on the radio, it was in the dance halls, it had its own line dance, and it was played by every local band on earth, (still is) listeners LOVED it. It became one of those anthems of the decade. And so did the last single, Keeper Of The Stars. It was an enormous hit, and became a staple at weddings everywhere in the country. Funny, they didn't plan to have that be a single, but Byrd wanted it to be as it was popular at his live shows. It is still one of the most requested older songs at most stations. The album was multi-platinum and hugely popular.
Keeper Of The Stars - Biggest Wedding Song Of The 1990's
The next couple years were good to Byrd, great songs like Love Lessons, (which is song I l love) Heaven In My Womans Eyes, and the old Johnny Paycheck song, Don't Take Her She's All I Got were good radio songs. And those albums were successful and Byrd was now a regular on the charts. But the next album, I'm From The Country hit in 1997. The title song to me, is one of the signature songs of the 1990's. It only went to #3, but I can't think of a single artist that wouldn't have LOVED to have that song. But it ended up where it should have. That song was recorded as most of that album was already done, it changed the albums name, and direction. That song is as much of an anthem as any song of the late 1990's.
One Of The Anthems Of The Decade....
Byrd flew high for a few of more years with varying levels of success, There were record label changes, some more hits, greatest hit albums and other projects. But country was pivoting again in the early 2000's, as styles were changing musically and in image. But Byrd had a great run for a number of years. His voice was recognizable, as were a bunch of his songs. Some of his songs were absolutely influential to many young artists coming up. Funny, when we emcee concerts at Blossom, Country Fest, or The Q, and the music is playing well before the show, I hear Tracy Byrd music as much as any.
Love Lessons - A Great Country Love Song
As big of a star as he was, I wonder in another era, without Garth, Alan, Clint, Toby, George and Shania, how huge would some of these other stars be? We will never know, but I do know this. Throughout the 1990's, I'm sure there were times the giants of the era had song envy from Byrd. He recorded some songs everybody wished they had. He contended well, and gave us some monstrous songs of country's biggest decade. And that alone is proof, he left his own mark as much as anyone.
I have been sharing stories of my mom from time to time. She is 93 now, and in good physical condition, but her memory is really not good and getting worse all the time. She has great, qualified 24 hour care at her house now and we are thank thankful for that. I know many of you have gone through the same situation we are, that's the reason I share this.
Windy and I visited her a few days ago, and had a nice time with her. My mom among other things was a college professor, an actress, and a darn good artist. She designed and built a huge room addition to her home years ago that was an art studio, (She did it at 75). She then designed another room addition that is now a suite in her home she when she was 78! She has done hundreds of paintings there, and painted furniture too. She has had her work on display at many area restaurants and coffee houses. She has sold a bunch, and has sold a lot of the painted furniture as well. She is remarkably talented, well she's been doing it for about 75 years.
We asked her if she could do a small painting project for us, make a small sign we had in mind for our home. She said she would and we were thrilled. But we found out later, that she just can't do it anymore, and that is a tough one to swallow. Her brain just can't do this incredible thing she was gifted with. She has not admitted it, but we know. There is a project that she was doing in her studio that has been stopped of restoring the old wooden front door from 1947 from her 168 year old home. And the small sign, the attempts, well, not good.
This Table Is In Our House - But she has far larger and more elaborate pieces than this!
I'm not so sure it bothers her, in fact I'm not so sure she remembers the great work she has done for decades. But we all do. All of us in our family and countless other friends and family have her work in our houses. Her work is in the Berea Historical Society, Baldwin Wallace University buildings, and the Lakewood Board of Education, where she attended school in the 1930's and 1940's. And even though it may seemingly not bother her, it's not easy to watch. Such talent.
She Was 91 When This Was Taken - She was still doing amazing artwork still
We all know how this will play out as we are all big boys and girls here. But it seemed no matter how old she was, or whatever was going on with her, she always had her art. We never thought she could forget the unforgettable. I'm just thankful we all have some in our homes to enjoy for generations to come.
Spring cleaning is right around the corner, so why not get a head start and get some of it done during the winter months? Click here for a 30 day decluttering challenge from Simplemost. It starts off with simple tasks like emptying and organizing a single drawer, but by the end of the week you'll have serveral done. And depending on the task, some of these challenges may be easy or they may take up some time. But eventually you will reach your decluttering goal!
Pallet projects are always fun and a great way to upcycle and help the environment. Nifty posted this video with some cool ideas, perhaps you'll find something new!
I saw this and at first I could not believe it, then upon further review, I could. The average American would need a full sized dumpster to do their spring cleaning! Holy smokes!
Why is it we can't get rid of anything? It is a new rage that I can't understand. Then I walked around and I thought, you know that just might be right! But just in case you need some help with your winter cleaning, here's a link for you.
Lebron is off Coke... Coca-Cola, that is...
After 17+ years of pitching one soft drink... The former Cav and now Laker has decided to take his talents elsewhere.
To PepsiCo. He is in line to push Mt. Dew in the near future. Pepsi has been the NBA's Official Sponsor since 2015.
It only makes sense that the best player, on the Planet or at least one of them, would be pushing the same brands.
The Browns lost a tough game on Sunday and that's a shame. Great season, and a hard fought game. The Browns had a number of chances to win that game Sunday at Kansas City, but just couldn't get it done. The officiating DID NOT lose this game for the Browns. It was a great game, and a tough finish.
But every year in the NFL Post Season there is an instance that is so amplified it triggers an off season look. Instant replay goes back to a post season playoff game with Buffalo and New England many years ago. What a catch is -goes back to a Packers / Cowboys game a few years ago. (WE still don't really know what a catch is). And pass interference was screwed up so badly two years ago with the Rams / Saints, we may never know what really happened there. And now the fumble touch back rule will more thank likely be rethought.
When you fumble the ball out of the end zone as the Browns did on Sunday, you lose possession of the ball and the other team gets a 20 yard advantage. It is the MOST penalized play in football, and it's not even a penalty. Just saying, when two players get into a huge fight on the field, or the most violent personal fouls happen in the NFL, there is far less penalty than this play. Very strange rule. Name another play where the other team is awarded the ball for you making a big play.
How about this? Fumble touch back happens. You keep the ball and you take the ball back to the 20 yard line. That's still a 20 yard penalty on you, but you keep the ball. OR make it a spot foul, where the ball goes back to original line of scrimmage OR the spot of the fumble, and you keep the ball. Makes way more sense. The way it is now, the opposing team is rewarded the ball for playing bad defense.
I have not cared for this rule for many years and now it will reviewed by the league. But more than likely as most rule changes in the NFL, they will get it wrong. They seldom get it right with this stuff when most things are subjective. But this is not. This is pretty easy, if they simply look at it logically.
Today is a big day for Browns fans around here and all over the country. The Browns have advanced in the NFL Playoffs, and it's time to move on to the next level.
I am so glad we get the Chiefs today. I know they are the champs, and I know they are the darlings of the NFL. But what better way for the Browns to move on, and command the respect of everyone than to beat the Chiefs. This week, the Browns have taken a huge leap forward by not only eliminating Steelers, but possibly changing THAT franchise for the next few years. The Steelers have to reshape who they are now, that is clear. They know Browns are for real, and are here to stay. The days of the Steelers having a 14 or 12 game schedule (Browns and Bengals) are over.
I'm not here saying that the Browns are going to win the Superbowl this year, because the NFL can be a stair step deal. Seems teams get better, they make the playoffs, they lose. The next year they win a playoff game, and then get eliminated. The next year, they go father, and so on. And even though history can show that's the way it generally goes, there's no rule that says it has to be that way. Not many teams come out of nowhere and win it all - in any sport. But what if these Browns are a bit different? We as fans should not be wary of the Chiefs. We should respect them, and prepare for them, and then go out and beat them. There is no rule that says we can't.
When it comes to the Browns, I am not of the mindset of, "I'm happy to be here," or "Whatever happens today, it's been a great season," or "I support my team win or lose." To me, that's preparing for a loss, and I'm not there. I say we've earned our place, we've been invited to the party, and it's time to stop knocking at the door, and now it's time to kick it down. The best part of the NFL Playoffs is that it's not a best of series. It's one and done. Play well for a few games and you can win it all. And that plays to the Browns favor, as they are playing good ball right now. If they play like who they are, there is no reason they can't dispense of the Chiefs and move on.
I know, the clowns at ESPN and all the other sports channels already have the Chiefs repeating, three-peating, and Mahomes is already the greatest player of all time. But as great of a young player as he is, and will be if he stays injury free, the Browns are on fire from within. He's not entitled to a title, and neither are we. We gotta go get it. This is the time of year that the heart can really play a part. It isn't about how much you want it. Everyone wants it, no matter what team you're talking about, that's a given.
It's how much you want - to be who you are. To do the right things to win a game like this. To be smart, be disciplined, be physical, to play with no big mistakes, and to play free and easy. And from what I see, I don't think the Browns care one bit who they play this week, or next week.
And to me that is the way you move on. Not thinking about next Sunday, this Sunday, but knowing that next Sunday you'll be doing the same thing again.
GO BROWNS - Be who you are - and win from within!