There’s No Crying in Baseball

To All the Ships At Sea

Every once in a while I think I can write.  At least my English professor the first year in college thought I could. I’m pretty sure it’s the only A I’ve gotten (well maybe also in history.)  Then along comes Mark Joseph, one hell of a great writer says the New York Times for sure.  He was on the best seller list.  The man loves baseball!   I’d like to share this piece he sent me the other day.

 

author-mark-joseph-sept_17_2016_043Beisbol

Adiós Pelota
Baseball withdrawal has been easier than ever this year. After the worst World Series in living memory, I’m scratching my head and wondering how the postseason fizzled. Every single one of my predictions was wrong, which is nothing new, but who could have predicted five errors by Detroit pitchers in five games to hand the series to the worst team ever to win the big banana. The poor TV ratings reflected the low quality of play in damn near freezing weather, and all I can say in favor of St. Louis is that they still have the best uniforms in the National League when they wear red hats and home whites. Why the Cards sometimes wear blue hats is beyond me. I’d like to see the Cards play the Nippon Ham Fighters who won the Japanese World Series. The Yankees and Mets, who could have staged a terrific subway series, both went bust because of injuries and lack of pitching, and the Twins finally ran out of gas. The result: zilch, double zilch and a bullshit pine tar controversy. Egad, what’s a fan to do? Winter ball. Mexico

On Saturday night, October 21, I saw the Venados – the Bucks – of Mazatlán play at home against Los Yaquis of Ciudad Obregón. In a beautiful little stadium jammed to overflowing with 14,000 fans, Mazatlán won 2-1 in a tight, errorless ball game that featured three outrageous calls by the umpires that favored the home team. My friend Larry Banner who lives in Mazatlán bought field level seats ($9) that put us next to the home dugout and behind a chain-link fence within spitting distance of first base. A Yaqui runner beat the throw by a step and the ump called him out. Another Yaqui runner was picked off and was clearly safe, but the ump called him out. And when a Mazatlán runner dashed home on a hit to the outfield, the beautiful throw from right field had him nailed but he was called safe. The visiting manager didn’t make a peep, leaving me to believe that everybody understood that when Mazatlán visits Obregón the calls would favor the home team there.

Mazatlán is an extraordinarily polite city, and the fans were enthusiastic but not rowdy. Noisy, yes, insane, no, considering that before the game guys in yellow vests put buckets of ice and beer every few steps up the aisles in the stands. The Pacifico Brewery, which seems to own Mazatlán, owns the team, and perhaps the league, and you could get a beer by waving your hand, but you had to go to the concessions for a Coke. The baseball was AA at best, maybe good college ball, and no one on the field stood out as a major league talent. Each team in the Mexican Pacific Coast League is allowed 5 foreign players, although the Bucks have 6 (5 gringos and 1 Dominican) and if you wonder why a 32 year old American is playing for Mazatlán, maybe you should watch the film Major League again. The fans didn’t care. The uniforms said Mazatlán – and Pacifico and Señor Frogs and Coca-Cola and Bancomer and Mega, so much advertising they looked like soccer uniforms – but the best part was the end of the game when 2000 kids ran onto the field. The players hung around and signed autographs for 30 minutes until the lights went out to get everyone off the field. This was pure bush-league baseball in a bush-league town, a little time capsule with no million-dollar contracts, no hissy fits, no posturing, and no bullshit except for the umpires, at least on this night, when time stopped and it was 1953 again.

Mark Joseph is an American novelist. He is the author of To Kill the Potemkin, originally published in 1986. As a paperback, it spent four weeks on The New York Times bestseller list in July and August 1987.

He later published the novels Mexico 21 (1990), Typhoon (1991), Deadline Y2K (1999), and The Wild Card (2011).

Born in 1946 in Vallejo, California, he is a 1967 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

New York City Subways

To all the ships at sea,

Anyone who’s travelled to Italy, France, Germany, etc., you have to love the rail system.  It’s amazing, it’s great, it’s cost effective, it’s safe.  The NYC Subway System may not have the luxury, but if you have to get from point A to point B, it’s a great choice.  Unless of course, you have a Mercedes Limo, a driver, and security… but even with that, sometimes with the traffic, you’re better off with the subway.  I love photographing in the subway, it’s a little known fact that you’re allowed to photograph/film in the subway as long as you don’t have a tripod (double check the law.)  A dear friend of mine, Bill DeSmedt, author of “Singularity” and “Dualism,” attached is a portrait I did of him, notice the sign behind his head.  That puts it into perspective.  While you’re at it, check out his books, they’re quite good.  The other graphic is just me having fun.  Sometimes we forget, photography is about the fun.

 

 

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

 

 

 

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

Jess Weiss A Hero Forever

Jess & Joyce Weiss © Joe DiMaggio

Jess & Joyce Weiss © Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea

Anyone that follows my blogs knows I’ve only done two blogs since August 5th. One blog was on the birthday of my son Joseph and the second a tribute to a great photographer Bill Eppridge, one of my heroes and a friend.  I’ve taken a hiatus for my blogs for a very specific reason which I will announce at the end of next month.
I just received a phone call from my friend’s daughter, Susan. When I saw the name on my phone my heart stopped. She said “Joe,”, ” I said please don’t tell me ,” and “she said yes.” I know Blogs are not meant to be about the dead. They should be about the living and in my case they should be about photography and filmmaking. If it wasn’t for my son Joseph and photographers like Bill Eppridge and visionaries like Jess Weiss my ability to make a photograph or do a film would be hindered to say the least. These are people in my life that have inspired, motivated and helped me understand the meaning of being on this blue marble for a short period of time.  Fifteen years ago my phone rang and it was Jess Weiss. He asked me to write his eulogy.  I was surprised, horrified, and frightened. Like Jess would always do, he put my mind at ease. He wasn’t sick he just wanted to make sure I’d be prepared for this day.  First a short history –  Jess was 97 years old the last book he wrote was –

Warrior to Spiritual Warrior the autobiography of Jess E. Weiss, one of the few living combat soldiers who survived the D-day landing on Omaha Beach. His experiences in Europe’s most famous battles were only the beginning of Weiss’ amazing story. He returned home from war to find himself facing a new battle, with the trauma that is known today as PTSD. A debilitating condition unrecognized in WW II, that led him to the most profound and transcendent spiritual journey imaginable.

Warrior to Spiritual Warrior is the post war memoir story of the journey Jess took as he rebuilt and reshaped his life. From the battlefields of WW II to his attempts to build a new spiritual foundation, Jess Weiss’ story is an unvarnished and stark portrait that will horrify, shock, illuminate, and ultimately liberate your faith in the strength of the human heart to heal and transcend the past..
If you follow my blogs you know I use the same expression over and over – you know I’m the luckiest man in the world.  I’ve always had people to go to –  a go to person for sports, for photography, for filmmaking, for writing and so on. Jess was my Go to Person for spiritual advisement and support.  He guided me through some of the darkest days in my life.  In a seven year period I lost my mother, father, brother, my son and nine close friends. His guidance, words, and beliefs helped me deal. I was honored to have him use one of my photos at the end of the remake of one of his books “The Vestibule”  The photo below was an original tribute to my father’s memory.  I think that Jess would be fine with it being repurposed in his memory.  He is still with us and will continue to be with me and in my heart forever. Thank you my friend,  you are a true American Hero.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Jess and Joyce Weisss © Joe DiMaggio

Jess and Joyce Weiss © Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio  All Rights Reserved

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Private Jess Weiss June 1941

Corporal Jess Weiss and Herb SiegelJess E. Weiss Director and philanthropist David Lynch and author Jess E. Weiss attend the meditation at The Paley Center for Media on December 13, 2010 in New York City-1e
David Lynch & Jess Weiss Transcendental Meditation Conference