Minggu, 24 Juli 2011

The Route Map for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in the Mainland of China

Nice Postcard Showing : The Route Map for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in the Mainland of China

Domestic leg

The torch passing through Shenzhen. China: The torch returned to China for the first time since April. The torch arrived in Sanya, Hainan on May 4 with celebrations attended by International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials and Chinese big names like Jackie Chan. The entire relay through Mainland China was largely a success with many people welcoming the arrival of the torch along the way.

Some notable incidents are:

During the Fujian run, the relay carried a cross-strait theme since the province is geographically across from Taiwan. The Beijing Organizing Committee invited people from Taiwan to witness the torch relay, but the organisers offered no further details.
On May 8, a simultaneous run of the torch was done as part of the summit on Mt. Everest.
A 28-year old man in Jiangsu known as "Tang" was arrested for spreading rumors online he would go to Nanjing (the May 27 leg) to grab the torch.
The last leg of the Fujian run was gloomily shadowed by the May 12 Sichuan earthquake. As a result, the relay began on May 14 with a moment of silence as the torch made its way through the province of Jiangxi. From May 19 through 21, the relay was suspended as the State Council designated these three days as national days of mourning for the victims in the earthquake. The relay through the province of Sichuan was postponed.
On May 23, the relay began in Shanghai. Tens of thousands gathered at the famous People’s Square and the Bund along the Huangpu River to welcome the torch. It passed through Pudong, the crown-jewel of Shanghai’s districts and PRC’s financial capital. The two-day Shanghai leg concluded in Anting, an automobile hub in Shanghai’s suburbs, and home to the city’s Formula One Shanghai International Circuit. There was no interruptions.
On June 21, the relay began in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The originally three-day run was cut short to only one day, likely due to the controversy surrounding the relay because of China's harsh response to the Lhasa riot and the other protests that swept the Tibetan plateau between March and May, and also the delay to the relay due to the devastating Sichuan earthquake. Xinhua, China's official news agency, claimed that organizations such as the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) and the Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) threatened to "sabotage" the relay, but there is no evidence to support this and it contradicts statements from the organizations themselves. Meanwhile, the other Olympic flame rejoined the Olympic flame used in the main torch relay route in Tibet after ascending Mount Everest. Zhang Qingli, the Communist Party Secretary in Tibet, drew criticism from the IOC who wrote to BOCOG, saying that they "regret the political statements" made by Zhang during the relay, after he claimed that they could "totally smash the splittist schemes of the Dalai clique".
On July 7, the torch was lit in Jiayuguan (the Western end of the Great Wall of China).
On August 3, the torch relay started in Sichuan after a devastated earthquake that killed almost 70,000 people in May. Sichuan was the last stop before returning to Beijing for the opening ceremony.
On August 8, the torch reached Beijing for the opening ceremony. After a spectacular art show and the parade of nations, the flame entered the stadium. The Olympic torch was relayed by 7 torchbearers before it was passed on to former Olympic gymnast Li Ning. Li, who was suspended by wires, then appeared to run horizontally along the top of the stadium and lit the Olympic cauldron. After it was lit, a spectacular firework show followed, signaling the official beginning of the 29th Olympiad

Rabu, 20 Juli 2011

UAE : The 18th Arabian Gulf Cup

To commemorate the historic victory of the UAE Football Team in the 18th Arabian Gulf Cup, Emirates Post has issued a set of commemorative stamps in two denominations (Dh. 1 and Dhs. 3), along with a souvenir sheet.

The 18th Arabian Gulf Cup - Abu Dhabi 2007
The Arabian Gulf Cup Championship generates great excitement among football lovers and fans in the Arab world in general and in the GCC in particular. This tournament attracts football teams from all GCC countries, in addition to Yemen.

The Arabian Gulf Cup championship is held once every two years. It has developed into one of the biggest football tournaments in the region, since its modest beginnings in Manama, Bahrain, generating interest among soccer lovers across the Arab world and getting wide coverage in the media.

The Gulf Cup was launched in 1968 during the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico. The countries that took part in the first tournament were Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The first championship was held in Bahrain.

As a result of the rising popularity of the event, the 18th Gulf Cup, held in the national capital of Abu Dhabi, attracted a huge number of spectators and soccer fans from across the region. The national football team of the United Arab Emirates Won this prestigious tournament for the first time in its history, unleashing waves of celebrations across the country.

Selasa, 19 Juli 2011

UAE Stamps : 2009 FIFA Club World Cup

Emirates Post has issued special stamps to mark the hosting of the FIFA Club World Cup played recently in Abu Dhabi. The special commemorative stamps, issued in denominations of AED 1 and AED 5.

The 2009 FIFA Club World Cup was a football tournament played from 9 December to 19 December 2009. It was the sixth FIFA Club World Cup and was played in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Australia, Japan and Portugal also placed bids to host the tournament, but Portugal later withdrew from the process.
The final was played on 19 December 2009 and was won by European champions Barcelona, who came from behind to defeat the South American entrants, Estudiantes, 2–1 after extra time. Mauro Boselli put Estudiantes ahead in the 37th minute, but Pedro equalised with one minute left in normal time before Lionel Messi scored the winning goal five minutes into the second half of extra time. This made Barcelona the first Spanish side to win the FIFA Club World Cup, and it also meant that they had won a total of six competitions in the 2009 calendar year, beating Liverpool's record five trophies won in 2001.

Senin, 18 Juli 2011

UAE Stamp : 2010 Summer Youth Olympics

Emirates post issued a postage stamp to commemorate the first Youth Olympic Games. Singapore hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games from 14 to 26 August 2010.

These games were a smaller version of the Olympic Games where young athletes – aged between 14 and 18 years – competed in 26 sports in accordance with international standards. Events and projects closely connected to the Games included cultural and educational programs expressing the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect. Singapore competed with Moscow as a host for the Youth Olympic Games and beat Moscow in the final by 53 votes to 44. The Youth Olympic Games received some 3,200 athletes and 800 officials from the 205 National Olympic Committees.

Note: I have Few Extra Souvenir Sheets of this issue. Interested collecters can email me.

Minggu, 17 Juli 2011

1St UAE Olympic Gold Medalist-Athens 2004 : Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Hasher Al Maktoum

The legendry ace shooter's achievements were crowned with Olympic achievements at the Athens 2004. It represented a string of achievements for Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Hasher Al Maktoum, as he not only became the UAE's first gold medalist, but he also beat the rest of the competitors by leading the qualification with 144 out of a possible 150 hits, and his total score of 189 equaled the Olympic record. In the trap shooting he secured the fourth place, missing his second medal by just one hit.

To commemorate the outstanding sporting triumphs of the outstanding sportsman and shooter Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Hasher Al Maktoum, Emirates Post has issued a set of commemorative stamps in the denomination of Dhs. 3.

Sabtu, 16 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Lou Gehrig

This is last stamp of "Legend of Baseball" issued by USA. Therefore my day's post is last one of the this sereis. Enjoy..................

Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941), nicknamed "The Iron Horse" for his durability, was an American Major League Baseball first baseman. He played his entire 17-year baseball career for the New York Yankees (1923–1939). Gehrig set several major league records. He holds the record for most career grand slams (23). Gehrig is chiefly remembered for his prowess as a hitter, his consecutive games-played record and its subsequent longevity, and the pathos of his farewell from baseball at age 36, when he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. In 1969 he was voted the greatest first baseman of all time by the Baseball Writers' Association,[3] and was the leading vote-getter on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, chosen by fans in 1999.

A native of New York City, he played for the New York Yankees until his career was cut short by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), now commonly known in the United States and Canada as Lou Gehrig's disease. Over a 15-season span from 1925 through 1939, he played in 2,130 consecutive games, the streak ending only when Gehrig became disabled by the fatal neuromuscular disease that claimed his life two years later. His streak, long considered one of baseball's few unbreakable records, stood for 56 years, until finally broken by Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore Orioles on September 6, 1995.

Gehrig accumulated 1,995 runs batted in (RBI) in 17 seasons, with a career batting average of .340, on-base percentage of .447, and slugging percentage of .632. Three of the top six RBI seasons in baseball history belong to Gehrig. He was selected to each of the first seven All-Star games (though he did not play in the 1939 game, as he retired one week before it was held), and he won the American League's Most Valuable Player award in 1927 and 1936. He was also a Triple Crown winner in 1934, leading the American League in batting average, home runs, and RBIs

2,130 consecutive games :
Seven of the American League's 1937 All-Star players, from left to right Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg. All seven would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.On June 1, 1925, Gehrig entered the game as a pinch hitter, substituting for shortstop Paul "Pee Wee" Wanninger. The next day, June 2, Yankee manager Miller Huggins started Gehrig in place of regular first baseman Wally Pipp. Pipp was in a slump, as were the Yankees as a team, so Huggins made several lineup changes to boost their performance. Fourteen years later, Gehrig had played 2,130 consecutive games. In a few instances, Gehrig managed to keep the streak intact through pinch hitting appearances and fortuitous timing; in others, the streak continued despite injuries. For example:

On April 23, 1933, an errant pitch by Washington Senators hurler struck Gehrig in the head. Although almost knocked unconscious, Gehrig recovered and remained in the game.
On June 14, 1933, Gehrig was ejected from a game, along with manager Joe McCarthy, but he had already been at bat, so he got credit for playing the game.
On July 13, 1934, Gehrig suffered a "lumbago attack" and had to be assisted off the field. In the next day's away game, he was listed in the lineup as "shortstop", batting lead-off. In his first and only plate appearance, he singled and was promptly replaced by a pinch runner to rest his throbbing back, never taking the field. A&E's Biography speculated that this illness, which he also described as "a cold in his back", might have been the first symptom of his debilitating disease.
In addition, X-rays taken late in his life disclosed that Gehrig had sustained several fractures during his playing career, although he remained in the lineup despite those previously undisclosed injuries. On the other hand, the streak was helped when Yankees general manager Ed Barrow postponed a game as a rainout on a day when Gehrig was sick with the flu—even though it was not raining.
Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played stood until September 6, 1995, when Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. broke it

Rabu, 13 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Dizzy Dean

Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (January 16, 1910, Lucas, Arkansas – July 17, 1974) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.

During a 13-year baseball career, he pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals (1930-1937), the Chicago Cubs (1938-1941), and briefly for the St. Louis Browns (1947).

Dean was best known for leading the 1934 "Gashouse Gang" St. Louis team. He had a 30–7 record with a 2.66 ERA during the regular season. His brother, Paul, was also on the roster, and was nicknamed "Daffy", although this was usually only done for press consumption. Though "Diz" sometimes called his brother "Daf", he typically referred to himself and his brother as "Me an' Paul".

The Gashouse Gang was the southernmost and westernmost team in the major leagues at the time, and became a de-facto "America's Team." Team members, particularly Southerners such as the Dean brothers and Pepper Martin, became folk heroes in Depression-ravaged America. Americans saw in these players, dirty and hustling rather than handsome and graceful, a spirit of hard work and perseverance, as opposed to the haughty, highly-paid New York Giants, whom the Cardinals chased for the National League pennant.

Much like later sports legends Joe Namath and Muhammad Ali, Dizzy liked to brag about his prowess and make public predictions. In 1934, Dizzy predicted, "Me an' Paul are gonna win 45 games." On September 21, Diz pitched no-hit ball for eight innings against the Brooklyn Dodgers, finishing with a three-hit shutout in the first game of a doubleheader, his 27th win of the season. Paul then threw a no-hitter in the nightcap, to win his 18th, matching the 45 that Diz had predicted. "Gee, Paul", Diz was heard to say in the locker room afterward, "if I'd a-known you was gonna throw a no-hitter, I'd a-thrown one too!" He also bet he could strike out Vince DiMaggio four times in one game. He struck him out his first three at bats, but when DiMaggio hit a popup behind the plate at his fourth, Dean screamed at his catcher, "Drop it!, Drop it!" The catcher did and Dean fanned DiMaggio, winning the bet. Few in the press now doubted Diz's boast, as he was also fond of saying, "It ain't braggin' if ya can back it up." Diz finished with 30 wins, the only NL pitcher to do so in the post-1920 live-ball era, and Paul finished with 19, for a total of 49. The Cards needed them all to edge the Giants for the pennant, setting up a matchup with the American League champion Detroit Tigers. After the season, Dizzy Dean was awarded the National League's Most Valuable Player Award.

Dean was known for antics which inspired his nickname. In time, perception became reality. In Game 4 of the 1934 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Dean was sent to first base as a pinch runner. The next batter hit a potential double play groundball. Intent on avoiding the double play, Dean threw himself in front of the throw to first. The ball struck him on the head, and Dean was knocked unconscious and taken to a hospital. The storied (and possibly apocryphal) sports-section headline the next day said, "X-ray of Dean's head reveals nothing." Although the Tigers went on the win the game 10-4, Dean recovered in time to pitch in Games 5 and 7 and put the Series away for the Cardinals.

Branch Rickey, the Cardinals executive who had developed their farm system and built the great 1930s Cardinals teams, found Dean's homespun candidness and observations refreshing. He once told a friend, with some bemusement, "Tell me why I spent four mortal hours today conversing with a person named Dizzy Dean."

After leaving sportscasting in the late 1960s, Dean settled with his wife, Patricia, in her hometown—Bond, Mississippi. Dean died at age 64 in Reno, Nevada, of a heart attack, and was buried in the Bond Cemetery. Dean's home in Bond was named Deanash, a combination of his name and his wife's maiden name (Nash); it was willed by Dean's wife to the Mississippi Baptist Convention, which operates foster homes for children in a rural setting.

A Dizzy Dean Museum was established at 1152 Lakeland Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. The building was significantly expanded, and the Dean exhibit is now part of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, located adjacent to Smith-Wills Stadium, a former minor-league baseball park. On July 6, 2000, The United States Congress designated the U.S. Post Office in Wiggins, Mississippi, as the "Jay Hanna 'Dizzy' Dean Post Office" by Public Law 106-236. On October 22, 2007, a rest area on U.S. Route 49 in Wiggins, Mississippi, five miles south of Dean's home in Bond, Mississippi, was named "Dizzy Dean Rest Area" after Dean. In Morrison Bluff, AR; about 2 miles south of Clarksville, AR; there is a restaurant, Porky's, with Dizzy Dean memorabilia.

Dean was mentioned in the poem "Line-Up for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:

Selasa, 12 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Josh Gibson

Joshua Gibson (December 21, 1911 – January 20, 1947) was an American catcher in baseball's Negro leagues. He played for the Homestead Grays from 1930 to 1931, moved to the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1932 to 1936, and returned to the Grays from 1937 to 1939 and 1942 to 1946. In 1937 he played for Ciudad Trujillo in Trujillo's Dominican League and from 1940 to 1941 he played in the Mexican League for Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. Gibson served as the first manager of the Santurce Crabbers, one of the most historic franchises of the Puerto Rico Baseball League. He stood 6-foot-1 (185 cm) and weighed 210 pounds (95 kg) at the peak of his career.

Baseball historians consider Gibson to be among the very best catchers and power hitters in the history of any league, including the Major Leagues, and he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Gibson was known as the "black Babe Ruth." (In fact, some fans at the time who saw both Gibson and Ruth play called Ruth "the white Josh Gibson.") He never played in Major League Baseball because, under their unwritten "gentleman's agreement" policy, they excluded non-whites during his lifetime.

The Negro leagues generally found it more profitable to schedule relatively few league games and allow the teams to earn extra money through barnstorming against semi-professional and other non-league teams. Thus, it is important to distinguish between records against all competition and records in league games only. For example, against all levels of competition Gibson hit 69 home runs in 1934; the same year in league games he hit 11 home runs in 52 games.

In 1933 he hit .467 with 55 home runs in 137 games against all levels of competition. His lifetime batting average is said to be higher than .350, with other sources putting it as high as .384, the best in Negro league history.

The Baseball Hall of Fame claims he hit "almost 800" homers in his 17-year career against Negro league and independent baseball opposition. His lifetime batting average, according to the Hall of Fame's official data, was .359. It was reported that he won nine home run titles and four batting championships playing for the Crawfords and the Grays. It is also believed that Gibson hit a home run in a Negro league game at Yankee Stadium that struck two feet from the top of the wall circling the center field bleachers, about 580 feet (180 m) from home plate.[citation needed] Although it has never been conclusively proven, Chicago American Giants infielder Jack Marshall said Gibson slugged one over the third deck next to the left field bullpen in 1934 for the only fair ball hit out of Yankee Stadium.[citation needed] Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith once said that Gibson hit more home runs into Griffith Stadium's distant left field bleachers than the entire American League.

There is no published season-by-season breakdown of Gibson's home run totals in all the games he played in various leagues and exhibitions.

The true statistical achievements of Negro league players may be impossible to know as the Negro leagues did not compile complete statistics or game summaries. Based on research of historical accounts performed for the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues, Gibson hit 224 homers in 2,375 at-bats against top black teams, 2 in 56 at-bats against white major-league pitchers and 44 in 450 AB in the Mexican League. John Holway lists Gibson with the same home run totals and a .351 career average, plus 21 for 56 against white major-league pitchers. According to Holway, Gibson ranks third all-time in the Negro leagues in average among players with 2,000+ AB (trailing Jud Wilson by 3 points and John Beckwith by one). Holway lists him as being second to Mule Suttles in homers, though the all-time leader in HR/AB by a considerable margin - with a homer every 10.6 AB to one every 13.6 for runner-up Suttles.

Recent investigations into Negro league statistics, using box scores from newspapers from across the United States, have led to the estimate that, although as many as two thirds of Negro league team games were played against inferior competition (as traveling exhibition games), Josh Gibson still hit between 150 and 200 home runs in official Negro league games. Though this number appears very conservative next to the statements of "almost 800" to 1000 home runs, this research also credits Gibson with a rate of one home run every 15.9 at bats, which compares favorably with the rates of the top nine home run hitters in Major League history. The commonly cited home run totals in excess of 800 are not indicative of his career total in "official" games because the Negro league season was significantly shorter than the Major League season; typically consisting of less than 60 games per year. The additional home runs cited were most likely accomplished in "unofficial" games against local and non-Negro league competition of varying strengths, including the oft-cited "barnstorming" competitions.

Despite the fact that statistical validation continues to prove difficult for Negro league players, the lack of verifiable figures has led to various amusing "Tall Tales" about immortals such as Gibson.[11] A good example: In the last of the ninth at Pittsburgh, down a run, with a runner on base and two outs, Gibson hits one high and deep, so far into the twilight sky that it disappears from sight, apparently winning the game. The next day, the same two teams are playing again, now in Washington. Just as the teams have positioned themselves on the field, a ball comes falling out of the sky and a Washington outfielder grabs it. The umpire yells to Gibson, "You're out! In Pittsburgh, yesterday!"

Gibson's plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame.In 2009, a statue of Gibson was installed inside the center field gate of Nationals Park along with ones of Frank Howard and Walter Johnson.
His son Josh Gibson, Jr. played baseball for the Homestead Grays. His son was also instrumental in the forming of the Josh Gibson Foundation.

Lifetime batting average of .354 - .384
Played baseball in the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Home Runs-Hall of Fame plaque claims "almost 800" home runs for his career
Elected to Hall of Fame in 1972, one year after his contemporary, Satchel Paige.

Senin, 11 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Honus Wagner

Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner ( February 24, 1874 – December 6, 1955 ), nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman" due to his superb speed and German heritage ("Dutch" in this instance being an alteration of "Deutsch"), was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He played in the National League from 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wagner won eight batting titles, tied for the most in NL history with Tony Gwynn. He also led the league in slugging six times, and in stolen bases five times.

In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Wagner as one of the first five members. He received the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth.

Although Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatest shortstop ever. Cobb himself called Wagner "maybe the greatest star ever to take the diamond

The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is one of the rarest and most expensive baseball cards in the world.[citation needed] There are 57 known copies and there are many other cards that only have 1 or 2 known examples depicting Wagner.[clarification needed][20] The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his baseball card to continue. The ATC ended production of the Wagner card and a total of only 57 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public. In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US $50 in Jefferson Burdick's The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time.

When the Baseball Hall of Fame held its first election in 1936, Wagner tied for second in the voting with Babe Ruth, trailing Cobb. A 1942 Sporting News poll of 100 former players and managers confirmed this opinion, with Wagner finishing 43 votes behind Cobb and six ahead of Ruth. In 1969, on the 100th anniversary of professional baseball, a vote was taken to honor the greatest players ever, and Wagner was selected as the all-time shortstop. In 1999, 82 years after his last game and 44 years since his death, Wagner was voted Number 13 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Players, where he was again the highest-ranking shortstop. That same year, he was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team by the oversight committee, after losing out in the popular vote to Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ernie Banks.

Christy Mathewson asserted that Wagner was the only player he faced that didn't have a weakness. Mathewson felt the only way to keep Wagner from hitting was to not pitch to him.

"A stirring march and two step," titled "Husky Hans", and "respectfully dedicated to Hans Wagner, Three time Champion Batsman of The National League" was written by William J. Hartz in 1904.

Bill James says that Wagner is easily the greatest shortstop of all time, noting that the difference between Wagner and the second greatest shortstop, in James's estimation Arky Vaughan, is roughly the same as the gulf between Vaughan and the 20th greatest shortstop.

Minggu, 10 Juli 2011

Ashadhi Ekadashi

Wish you All, Happy "Ashadi Ekadashi"

Shayani Ekadashi (lit. "sleeping eleventh") or Maha-ekadashi (lit. "The great eleventh") or Prathama-ekadashi (lit. "The first eleventh") or Padma Ekadashi is the eleventh lunar day (Ekadashi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June - July). Thus it is also known as Ashadhi Ekadashi or Ashadhi. This holy day is of special significance to Vaishnavas, followers of Hindu preserver god Vishnu. On this day idols of Vishnu and Lakshmi are worshipped, the entire night is spent singing prayers, and devotees keep fast and take vows on this day, to be observed during the entire chaturmas, the holy four month period of rainy season. These may include, giving up a food item or fasting on every Ekadashi day

Vithhal & Rukhminee :

Santa Dnyaneshwar & Santa Tukaram


Dive Ghat : Mauli Palakhi

Mauli Palkhi

Mauli Palakhi :

Mauli Palakhi :

Santa Tukaram Maharaj Palakhi :

This day, a huge yatra or religious procession of pilgrims culminates at Pandharpur, a town in south Maharashtra, situated on the banks of the Bhima River. Pandharpur is main center of worship of the deity Vithoba, a local form of Vishnu. Thousands of pilgrims come to Pandharpur on this day from different parts of Maharashtra. Some of them carry Palkhis (palanquins) with the images of the saints of Maharashtra. Dnyaneshwar's image is carried from Alandi, Tukaram's from Dehu, Eknath's from Paithan, Nivruttinath's from Trimbakeshwar, Muktabai's from Muktainagar, and Sopan's from Sasvad. These pilgrims are referred to as Warkaris. They sing Abhangas (chanting hymns) of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar, dedicated to Vithoba.

Sabtu, 09 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Satchel Paige

Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American baseball player whose pitching in the Negro leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, the first player to be inducted from the Negro leagues.
Paige was a right-handed pitcher and was the oldest rookie to play Major League Baseball at the age of 42. He played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, and represented them in the Major League All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953. Paige began his professional career in 1926 with the Chattanooga White Sox of the Negro Southern League, and played his last professional game on June 21, 1966, for the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League

Satchel was born Leroy Robert Page to John Page, a gardener, and Lula Page (née Coleman), a domestic worker, in a section of Mobile, Alabama, known as Down the Bay. Lula and her children changed the spelling of their name from Page to Paige in the mid-1920s, just before the start of Satchel's baseball career. Lula said, "Page looked too much like a page in a book," whereas Satchel explained, "My folks started out by spelling their name 'Page' and later stuck in the 'i' to make themselves sound more high-tone." The introduction of the new spelling coincided with the death of Satchel's father, and may have suggested a desire for a new start.

According to Paige, his nickname originated from childhood work toting bags at the train station. He said he wasn't making enough money at a dime a bag, so he used a pole and rope to build a contraption that allowed him to cart up to four bags at once. Another kid supposedly yelled, "You look like a walking satchel tree."A different story was told by boyhood friend and neighbor, Wilber Hines, who said he gave Paige the nickname after he was caught trying to steal a bag.
Two weeks before his twelfth birthday, Paige was arrested for shoplifting. Because this incident followed several earlier incidents of theft and truancy, he was committed to the Industrial School for Negro Children in Mount Meigs, Alabama, the state reform school, until the age of eighteen. During the more than five years he spent at the school, he developed his pitching skills under the guidance of Edward Byrd. Byrd taught Paige to kick his front foot high and to swing his arm around so it looked like his hand was in the batter's face when he released the ball. Paige was released from the reform school in December 1923, six months early.

After his release, Paige played for several Mobile semi-pro teams. He joined the semi-pro Mobile Tigers where his brother Wilson was already pitching. He also pitched for a semi-pro team named the Down the Bay Boys, and he recalled that he once got into a jam in the ninth inning of a 1–0 ballgame when his teammates made three consecutive errors, loading the bases for the other team with two outs. Angry, Paige said he stomped around the mound, kicking up dirt. The fans started booing him, so he decided that “somebody was going to have to be showed up for that.” He called in his outfielders and had them sit down in the infield. With the fans and his own teammates howling, Paige struck out the final batter, winning the game.

Rabu, 06 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Pie Traynor

Harold Joseph "Pie" Traynor (November 11, 1898 - March 16, 1972) was an American professional baseball player. He played his entire Major League Baseball career as a third baseman with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1920–37). He batted and threw right-handed.Following the Second World War, Traynor was often cited as the greatest third baseman in major league baseball history. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1948

Traynor was born in Framingham, Massachusetts to parents who had emigrated from Canada. He received his nickname as a child in Somerville, Massachusetts because he frequented a grocery store and often asked for pie. The store owner called him "Pie Face", which was later shortened to Pie by his friends. Traynor began his playing career in 1920 as a shortstop for the Portsmouth Truckers of the Virginia League. He was asked by a Boston Braves scout to work out with the team at Braves Field but, the scout forgot to tell the Braves manager George Stallings.Stallings proceeded to run Traynor off the field, telling him not to return.Traynor made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of 21 on September 15, 1920, appearing in 17 games that season. He appeared in 10 games for the Pirates in 1921, but spent the majority of the season playing for the Birmingham Barons. He posted a .336 batting average in 131 games for the Barons, but his defense was still a problem as he committed 64 errors as a shortstop.

Traynor became the Pirates regular third baseman in 1922, hitting for a .282 batting average with 81 runs batted in.[1] Following the advice of Rogers Hornsby, he began using a heavier bat and blossomed into one of the National League's best hitters in 1923 when, he hit above .300 for the first time with a .338 batting average along with 12 home runs and 101 runs batted in.With tutoring provided by team-mate Rabbit Maranville, his defense also began to improve, leading National League third basemen in putouts and assists. In 1925, Traynor posted a .320 average with six home runs, 106 runs batted in and led the league in fielding percentage as the Pirates won the National League pennant by eight and a half games over the New York Giants.In the 1925 World Series, he hit .347 including a home run off future Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson as the Pirates defeated the Washington Senators in a seven-game series. Traynor ended the season eighth in Most Valuable Player Award balloting. His 41 double plays in 1925, set a National League record for third basemen that stood for 25 years.

The Pirates won the pennant again in 1927 with Traynor hitting .342 with five home runs and 106 runs batted in, but they would lose to the New York Yankees in the 1927 World Series. In November of that year, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America selected him as the third baseman for the 1927 all-star major league team. Traynor hit .337 and produced a career-high 124 runs batted in during the 1928 season despite hitting only 3 home runs and, finished in sixth place in the National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting. He continued to be a cornerstone for the Pirates, posting a .356 batting average in 1929, followed by a career-high .366 average in 1930. In 1933 Major League Baseball held its inaugural All-Star Game and, Traynor was selected as a reserve player for the National League team.Traynor's last full season was in 1934 when he hit over .300 for the ninth time in ten seasons, and was named as the starting third baseman for the National League in the 1934 All-Star Game. During the 1934 season, his throwing arm was injured in a play at home plate and his defense began to suffer as a result. Traynor played his final game on August 14, 1937

In a 17 year major league career, Traynor played in 1941 games, accumulating 2,416 hits in 7,559 at bats for a .320 career batting average along with 58 home runs, 1,273 runs batted in and an on base percentage of .362. He retired with a .946 fielding percentage. Traynor was not a home run hitter - he reached a high of 12 in 1923 - but had high numbers of doubles and triples, hitting 371 doubles and 164 triples lifetime and leading the league in triples in 1923, with 19. He hit over .300 ten times and, had over 100 runs batted in (RBI) in a season seven times. Among major league third basemen, his seven seasons with more than 100 runs batted in is second only to the nine seasons by Mike Schmidt.Chipper Jones is the only other third baseman in history to match Traynor's five consecutive seasons with more than 100 runs batted in.[6] He had 208 hits in 1923, and was the last Pirate infielder with 200 or more hits until shortstop Jack Wilson, who had 201 hits in 2004. He struck out only 278 times in his career.

Traynor was considered the best fielding third baseman of his era, leading the National League in fielding percentage once, assists and double plays three times and putouts seven times. His 2,289 putouts ranks him fifth all-time among third basemen. His 1,863 games played at third base was a major league record that would stand until 1960 when it was surpassed by Eddie Yost. Traynor is also the only Major League Baseball player ever to steal home plate in an All-Star Game. Traynor finished in the top ten in voting for the National League's Most Valuable Player Award six times during his career.

Selasa, 05 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Jimmie Foxx

James Emory "Jimmie" Foxx (October 22, 1907 – July 21, 1967), nicknamed "Double X" and "The Beast", was a right-handed American Major League Baseball first baseman and noted power hitter.
Foxx was the second major league player to hit 500 career home runs, after Babe Ruth. Attaining that plateau at age 32 years 336 days, he held the record for youngest to reach 500 for sixty-eight years, until superseded by Alex Rodriguez in 2007. His three career Most Valuable Player awards are tied for second all-time.

Born in Sudlersville, Maryland, Foxx played baseball in high school and dropped out to join a minor league team managed by former Philadelphia Athletics great Frank "Home Run" Baker. Foxx had hoped to pitch or play third base, but since the team was short on catchers, Foxx moved behind the plate.
He immediately drew interest from the Athletics and New York Yankees. Foxx signed with the A's and made his major league debut in 1925 at age 17.

The A's catching duties were already filled by future Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane, so by 1927, Foxx was splitting time between catching, first base, and the outfield. In 1929, installed as the A's regular first baseman, Foxx had a breakthrough year, batting .354 and hitting 33 home runs.
In 1932, Foxx hit .364, with 58 home runs with 169 RBIs, missing the Triple Crown by just three points in batting average. Boston Red Sox first baseman Dale Alexander hit .367, but in just 454 plate appearances; he would not have won the batting title under current rules, which are based upon 3.1 plate appearances per team games played. Foxx did win the Triple Crown the following season, with a batting average of .356, 163 RBIs, and 48 home runs. He won back-to-back MVP honors in 1932 and 1933.
Seven of the American League's 1937 All-Star players, from left to right Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg. All seven would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.Foxx was one of the three or four most feared sluggers of his era. The great Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez once said of him, "He has muscles in his hair."

In 1937, Foxx hit a ball into the third deck of the left-field stands at Yankee Stadium in New York, a very rare feat because of the distance and the angle of the stands. Gomez was the pitcher who gave it up, and when asked how far it went, he said, "I don't know, but I do know it took somebody 45 minutes to go up there and get it back."

When the Great Depression fully hit in the early 1930s, A's owner Connie Mack was unable to pay the salaries of his highly paid stars, and was obliged to sell off a number of them. In 1936, Mack sold Foxx's contract to the Boston Red Sox for $150,000, following a contract dispute.
Boston Red SoxFoxx played six years for Boston, including a spectacular 1938 season in which he hit 50 home runs, drove in 175 runs, batted .349, won his third MVP award, and again narrowly missed winning the Triple Crown. Foxx is one of nine players to have won three MVPs; only Barry Bonds (7) has more.
On June 16, 1938, he set an American League record when he walked six times in a game. In 1939 he hit .360, his second-best all-time season batting average. His 50 home runs would remain the single-season record for the Red Sox until David Ortiz hit 54 in 2006.

Senin, 04 Juli 2011

Legend of Baseball : Cy Young

Denton True "Cy" Young (March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. During his 22-year baseball career, he pitched from 1890-1911 for five different teams. Young was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. One year after Young's death, the Cy Young Award was created to honor the previous season's best pitcher.

Young established numerous pitching records, some of which have stood for a century. Young compiled 511 wins, 94 ahead of Walter Johnson, who is second on the list of most wins in Major League history.

In addition to wins, Young still holds the Major League records for most career innings pitched (7,355), most career games started (815), and most complete games (749). He also retired with 316 losses, the most in MLB history. Young's 76 career shutouts are fourth all-time. He also won at least 30 games in a season five times, with ten other seasons of 20 or more wins. In addition, Young pitched three no-hitters, including the third perfect game in baseball history, first in baseball's "modern era". In 1999, 88 years after his final Major League appearance and 44 years after his death, editors at The Sporting News ranked Cy Young 14th on their list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players". That same year, baseball fans named him to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Young's career started in 1890 with the Cleveland Spiders. After eight years with the Spiders, Young was moved to St. Louis in 1899. After two years there, Young jumped to the newly-created American League, joining the Boston franchise. He was traded back to Cleveland in 1909, before spending the final two months of his career with the Boston Rustlers. After his retirement, Young went back to his farm in Ohio, where he stayed until his death at age 88 in 1955.

Young retired with 511 career wins. His win total set the record for most career wins by a pitcher. At the time, Pud Galvin had the second most career wins with 364. Walter Johnson, then in his fourth season, finished his career with 417 wins and, as of 2011, is second on the list. In 1921, Johnson broke Young's career record for strikeouts.

Cy Young's career is seen as a bridge from baseball's earliest days to its modern era; he pitched against stars such as Cap Anson, already an established player when the National League was first formed in 1876, as well as against Eddie Collins, who played until 1930. When Young's career began, pitchers delivered the baseball underhand and fouls were not counted as strikes. The pitcher's mound was not moved back to its present position of 60 feet 6 inches (18.44 m) until Young's fourth season; he did not wear a glove until his sixth season.

A photo of Young taken in 1908 was the source for a painting that was displayed in the Baseball Hall of Fame.Young led his league in wins five times (1892, 1895, and 1901–1903), finishing second twice. His career high was 36 in 1892. He had fifteen seasons with twenty or more wins, two more than the runners-up, Christy Mathewson and Warren Spahn. Young won two ERA titles during his career, in 1892 (1.93) and in 1901 (1.62), and was three times the runner-up. Young's earned run average was below 2.00 six times, but this was not uncommon during the dead-ball era. Although Young threw over 400 innings in each of his first four full seasons, he did not lead his league until 1902. He had 40 or more complete games nine times. Young also led his league in strikeouts twice (with 140 in 1896, and 158 in 1901), and in shutouts seven times.Young led his league in fewest walks per nine innings thirteen times and finished second one season. Only twice in his 22-year career did Young finish lower than 5th in the category. Although the WHIP ratio was not calculated until well after Young's death, Young was the retroactive league leader in this category seven times and was second or third another seven times. Cy Young is tied with Roger Clemens for the most career wins by a Boston Red Sox pitcher. They each won 192 games while with the franchise.

Particularly after his fastball slowed, Young relied upon his control. Young was once quoted as saying, "Some may have thought it was essential to know how to curve a ball before anything else. Experience, to my mind, teaches to the contrary. Any young player who has good control will become a successful curve pitcher long before the pitcher who is endeavoring to master both curves and control at the same time. The curve is merely an accessory to control." In addition to his exceptional control, Young was also a workhorse who avoided injury. For nineteen consecutive years, from 1891 through 1909, Cy Young was in his leagues' top ten for innings pitched; in fourteen of the seasons, he was in the top five. Not until 1900, a decade into his career, did Young pitch two consecutive incomplete games. By habit, Young restricted his practice throws in spring training. "I figured the old arm had just so many throws in it," said Young, "and there wasn't any use wasting them." Young once described his approach before a game:

"I never warmed up ten, fifteen minutes before a game like most pitchers do. I'd loosen up, three, four minutes. Five at the outside. And I never went to the bullpen. Oh, I'd relieve all right, plenty of times, but I went right from the bench to the box, and I'd take a few warm-up pitches and be ready. Then I had good control. I aimed to make the batter hit the ball, and I threw as few pitches as possible. That's why I was able to work every other day."

Line-Up for Yesterday
Y is for Young
The magnificent Cy;
People batted against him,
But I never knew why.

— Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)By the time of his retirement, Young's control had faltered. Young had also gained weight. In three of his last four years, he was the oldest player in the league.

In 1956, about one year after Young's death, the Cy Young Award was created. The first award was given to Brooklyn's Don Newcombe. Originally, it was a single award covering the whole of baseball. The honor was divided into two Cy Young Awards in 1967, one for each league.

On September 23, 1993, a statue dedicated to him was unveiled by Northeastern University on the site of the Red Sox's original stadium, the Huntington Avenue Grounds. It was there that Young had pitched the first game of the 1903 World Series, as well as the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball. A home plate-shaped plaque next to the statue reads:

"On October 1, 1903 the first modern World Series between the American League champion Boston Pilgrims (later known as the Red Sox) and the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates was played on this site. General admission tickets were fifty cents. The Pilgrims, led by twenty-eight game winner Cy Young, trailed the series three games to one but then swept four consecutive victories to win the championship five games to three .