It is sad but not surprising that the baseball lockout is impacting spring training.
The greatest words in English language, "pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training," mean nothing to the powers in baseball ownership intent on rolling back salaries and letting the hired help realize at long last who is Boss.
MLB Opening Day on March 31, another special occasion, looks threatened, too. Let me be clear, though, that there will be baseball on other levels soon. In fact, the Fordham Rams open their season on Fri Feb 23 at 3P against Sacred Heart of Fairfield, CT, at Houlihan Stadium at Jack Coffey Field.
The park is a little treasure located behind the football stadium and across the street from the New York Botanical Garden. And if you are into a healthy walk, it's just a little over a mile walk east on Fordham Road to the Bronx's Little Italy on Arthur Avenue.
Manhattan College - now playing home games in Pomona New York at the independent league Rockland Boulders ballpark - waits until March 4 to open its season against Fairleigh Dickinson of Teaneck.
My Columbia Lions head to Jacob DeGrom country to open its season Feb 25 thru 27 against the Stetson Hatters in Deland, Fla. Stetson is DeGrom's alma mater
where he started as a shortstop until he needed Tommy John surgery.
Columbia's home opener is against Penn with a doubleheader on Sa March 26 starting at 1130A and Su Mar 27 a 12N single game. Satow Stadium at Robertson Field is located west of Broadway & 218 St. Like Fordham, the baseball field is down a little hill behind the football field and affords a lovely view of the Hudson River.
Deland, Florida is the home town of David Fultz, a forgotten but important figure in MLB labor history. Briefly a major leaguer in the early 20th century, Fultz was a well-respected football referee, and the president of the short-lived Baseball Players Fraternity of America.
The Fraternity vied with the owners around the time of the Federal League third league challenge and won some small concessions It died shortly after the Feds folded by the end of the 1915 season.
It seems my mind never strays that far from the perennial labor wars in MLB, but, Virginia, let me stress that there will be baseball this year. Exactly when on the MLB scene is not clear. I still don't know - nor does anybody - who is capable of making a deal on either side.
"You Must Believe In Spring" remains one of my favorite mantras. Thank you Michel LeGrand for your lovely melody with lyrics by the Bergmans, Alan and Marilyn.
Meanwhile, my favorite college basketball teams continue to bring me pleasure and hope. Wisconsin enters a Lincoln's Birthday Feb 12 game against improving Rutgers with a
18-4 overall record and locked in a first place Big Ten tie with formidable Illinois and Purdue.
Columbia's women basketball Lions got spanked by defending Ivy League champion Princeton last Saturday, but they will have a rematch at home on Wed Feb 23 at 5p.
Can't wait to bring my newly acquired cow bell as spectators are welcomed back.
The women Lions can't afford to overlook games against tough Yale on road and Harvard and Dartmouth at home before tackling the mighty Tigers again.
And now some tips on the music and movie scenes:
I heard last night (Wed Feb 9) on WQXR's long running series, David Dubal's "Reflections from the Keyboard," his second show dedicated to pianist Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli.
Brahms' Second Ballade, an early work, and Chopin's First Ballade in G-Minor, op. 23 took my breath away. Talk about harmonies that stir the emotions and open the heart!
A rarely heard Chopin Op. 45 Prelude in C-Sharp Minor was a highlight of the first Michelangeli show.
Also featured in Tribute #2 was the slow movement from Beethoven's Piano Concerto #5. One of its melodies must have inspired Leonard Bernstein when he wrote "There's A Place For Us" for "West Side Story".
The Michelangeli show will be rebroadcast on Sunday night Feb. 13 from 10-11P and streamed at wqxr.org Maybe listen in and mute the Super Bowl which might still be going.
On the live scene, "Friends of Mozart" returns for another season:
Wed Feb 16 at 7P with a Mozart Oboe Quartet, Beethoven's Variations of "La Ci Da Rem La Mano" from Mozart's "Don Giovanni," & an early Beethoven trio for piano, violin, and cello.
The concert will be at the comfortable and welcoming St. Stephen's Church at 120 W 69 St just east of Broadway. There is no admission charge but a contribution is suggested.
On the TCM front, the Noir Alley selections for the rest of February look enticing.
Sa midnight Feb 13 repeated 10A Sun - "Side Street" (1949) with Farley Granger
Sa Feb 20-Su Feb 21 "Cast A Dark Shadow" (1955) with Dirk Bogarde the Brit who was a heartthrob of my late sister Carol Norton. He plays a bad guy out to do violence against
Sa Feb 27-Su Feb 28 "No Way Out" (1950) Sidney Poitier young doctor assigned to treat an unrepentant racist, Richard Widmark. Also featuring Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally (who played one of the most hateful characters ever in "Johnny Belinda", Jane Wyman's Oscar.) Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz.
Other TCM films of note include:
Th Feb 17 will be Gene Tierney night starting with:
8P with "Laura" (1944) with Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, directed by Otto Preminger. I'm not a collector but I'd love to know the story of the "Baseball" ball bearing game that Andrews is noodling with as he interviews Webb at beginning of film.
945P "The Ghost and Mrs Muir" (1947)
1145P "Whirlpool" (1949)
Back to Linda Darnell, the Museum of Modern Art has a Darnell festival through the end of March. The alluring and talented actress, who died at 41 from injuries in a fire, stars in:
F Mar 4 at 130P with Rex Harrison in "Unfaithfully Yours" (1948)
F Mar 11 at 130p as part of the great cast in "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949)
W Mar 23 at 130p in Rene Clair's "It Happened Tomorrow" (1944) with Dick Powell, on his path from bobby soxer roles into full-fledged dramatic noir, and Jack Oakie who might never have exceeded his portrayal of a Mussolini character opposite Charlie Chaplin's Hitler in "The Great Dictator" but he was a talented and humorous actor who enjoyed a long career.
That's all for now. Try to stay positive and test negative, and take it easy but take it!