Archive for the ‘Pecan Park Days’ Category

Today’s Leaders and Look-A-Likes

June 23, 2018

“We Represent – the Back-To-Back-To-Back Guild!
We Wish to Welcome You To – Minute Maid!”

2018 American League Batting Average Leaders

 Through Games of 6/22/2018:

# Leaders Team G AB H BA
1 Jose Altuve Astros 77 306 106 .346
2 Mookie Betts Red Sox 58 225 77 .342
3 Jean Segura Mariners 71 296 99 .334
4 Mike Trout Angels 75 259 86 .332
5 JD Martinez Red Sox 73 278 90 .324
6 Matt Duffy Rays 59 234 75 .321
7 Eddie Rosario Twins 71 282 89 .316
8 Michael Brantley Indians 63 258 81 .314
9 John Jay Royals 73 293 91 .311
10 Andrelton Simmons Rays 65 238 73 .307
  • Astros Above shown in bold type.



Actor Ed Harris

New Rice Baseball Coach
Matt Bragga

Matt Bragga is the new Rice baseball coach. Proving yet again, in spite of our seemingly almost infinite capacity for looking differentially separate from one another, that there are still only a relatively few archetypes from which all these variations we occupy all evolve. Then along comes a face, smile, body type, and language/speech pattern that is DNA-remindful that Matt Bragga may be somehow related to a generationally older, but still working actor named Ed Harris.

If Bragga is anything as a coach that is remindful of a typical Harris movie character, Rice baseball foes better prepare to take a few slugs to the gut in seasons to come.


People watching. It’s still our most popular universal pastime, but that’s also another reason why baseball is so big and now growing as an international sport. More than any other sport we know, baseball offers the observer a better long-time look at both the face and character of its players through the unfolding of each three-act play we fans call “the game.”

It even helps us survive games like the 1-0 Astros loss to the Royals last night. The Astros didn’t simply lose a winnable game at MMP Friday night. More accurately tuned to the way the whole contest played out, from the start of an Astro fan perspective, in the end, the Astros failed to win a losable game. They just played their part through 27 outs as a team that was on its way to losing until that final result was the one they reached – in spite of a gazillion aborted chances they failed to grasp as happier ultimate alternatives.

Today’s another day. We won’t begin to see today’s game script face until somebody throws the next pitch that counts.

When we do see it, it will not be the first time we see its ugly to handsome archetype configurations, while it is also establishing itself as like no other game we’ve previously ever seen.

Baseball. Gotta love it.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


Pecan Park Reverie: Taking Mental Pictures

August 9, 2017

Those big trees with ascending limbs were a lot of fun.


During the early post-World War II period, we had a game we played as Pecan Park kids that required both a tall tree and a soft landing spot underneath. We called it the “taking mental pictures” game.

Our perfect spot for the game turned out to be the big elm tree in the back yard of the McGee house. The McGees lived right across the street from the McCurdys. The McGees also were one of very few childless couples in the block, but they never seemed to mind us taking our games onto their property without ever asking permission.

We liked to play a game we invented called “Taking Mental Pictures” in the McGee’s back yard because of the big elm tree that grew there. In the moments prior to each game we played, the nightmare elm called to us like the “Siren of Stupidity”.

“Taking Mental Pictures” was an easy, if not intelligent game to play. And we played it with daredevil abandon to any risk involved. And here’s how:

One at a time, we climbed up the McGee back yard elm tree trunk, about four feet up from the ground, and then we took the first long ascending lower limb that jutted out toward the middle of the back yard. One at a time, we each started moving out on it like tight rope walkers with a little a little help from the smaller steady-branches that descended into our moving field of vision. At all times, we had about four or five climbers in the tree – and everyone else, the watchers, seated in a semi-circle on the ground around the target jump area.

One catch: If you weren’t willing to be a jumper, you weren’t allowed to stay in the yard and be a watcher.

Back to the actual point of the game:

When an individual jumper reached the approximate middle yard area, where the carpet grass below was very soft during a normal summer rainy season, he stopped at about 15 feet up from the ground and gave notice that he was about to jump. (Note: Only guys played this game. We would have accepted girl players, but the girls on our block chose to leave themselves out of the mix. The easy explanation: Remember what we said. – This wasn’t an intelligent game.)

The “jumper” gave notice to the watchers: “be ready”. It was time to take mental pictures of what someone from a great height looked like jumping from the sky – without having any film or Kodak camera with us as “watchers” to preserve their short moment of flight or descent, however best you might choose to describe it.

By closing our eyes quickly and leaving them completely shut at our own chosen moments during the jumper’s descent, we watchers learned that the mind captured a still shot image of the person jumping. Arm and leg positions were frozen differently in each mind. Sometimes the jumper’s expression was clear. They were all like individuals photos. We simply couldn’t show them. We had to hold them in our minds and try to describe what we saw to each other – without the help of technology.

Amazingly, I don’t recall any serious energies resulting from this little exercise in free play.

Oh well. Too bad we didn’t have smart phones in our day. We might have been smart enough to not be jumping out of trees from leg, arm, and neck breaking heights.

Besides, today’s Mr. and Mrs. McGee couples wouldn’t want to risk the liability of allowing their neighbors’ kids to risk harm to themselves on their personal property. Had a kid been injured or killed today playing the “mental pictures” game under these same circumstances, some lawyer probably would quickly make an “attractive nuisance” case against the McGees for owning an elm tree that was so alluring to the kids that it caused them to trespass onto the grounds for the purpose of jumping from the elm tree’s branches.

Any current legal opinion on the inherent liability problem that would exist today for property owners from an injury that occurred under these circumstances will be most welcomed as a comment upon this column.


Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle