Tag Archives: Branch Rickey

Roger W. Smith, “Leo Durocher”; “Wesley Branch Rickey”

 

Leo Durocher – Notable Sports Figures

 

Branch Rickey – Notable Sports Figures

 

I am reposting here two articles (downloadable Word files above) I wrote in 2004 for Notable Sports Figures (published by the educational publishing company Gale) about two Hall of Fame baseball figures, Leo (The Lip) Durocher and Branch Rickey.

The word limit was very strict — 3,500 words — and both articles came in at almost exactly that length. Published authors writing for hire (for, say, newspapers or reference books) know how it can be a challenge to cover the topic and write prose that reads well while adhering to such a limit. The amount of research I did was extensive. People don’t usually realize or appreciate how much spade work goes into such a piece.

 

— Roger W. Smith

   December 2020

“I feel really great.”

 

 

“I feel really great,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s going to be a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success. I think it’s going to be really successful, and I think we will have a terrific relationship. I have no doubt.”

 

 

Donald Trump: windbag. One in a long line of them.

I was talking recently to someone I met in a Manhattan diner whose native language is not English. I said to her that it was a blustery day and asked if she knew what it meant. She said she didn’t.

It means very windy, I explained. One of those great words in our language for expressing a precise shade of meaning — it was indeed a blustery day.

I went on to explain, which amused my interlocutor, that blustery can also be used with the connotation of a kind of talk. The dictionary definition is as follows:

Bluster (noun): loud, aggressive, or indignant talk with little effect.

And, used as a verb: to talk in such a manner.

 

 

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Famous blusterers of yore (including fictional characters):

Branch Rickey, the legendary General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. As Fritz Knapp related in his book Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey: Nobility, Rickey’s office was known to sportswriters (was so called by them) as “the cave of winds” because “he was so fond of pontificating on baseball and life.”

George Shinn, the mayor in The Music Man. Played unforgettably by the actor Paul Ford.

Phineas T. Bluster. A puppet character on the children’s television program Howdy Doody, which was required viewing for my friends and me in the 1950’s. Phineas T. Bluster, side-whiskers and all, the orator who never stopped his bluster, was one of my favorite characters.

Can you think of others? Shouldn’t be hard to.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

    June 2018