Zoom september2011


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Zoom september2011

  1. 1. September 2011 Volume VIII. Issue 78.A Monthly Publication of the U.S. Mission. Who’s on First?Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, with bat, in a poster immortalizing their famous “Who’s On First” comedy routine, at the Baseball Hall of Fame inCooperstown, N.Y. Photo © AP Images ”In this issue: Baseball in the movies Zoom in on the USA
  2. 2. BASEBALL IN COMEDY The most famous comedy sketch by two fa- Costello: “That’s whose name?” mous American comedians William “Bud” Ab- Abbott” “Yeah” bott and Lou Costello is about the most Ame- rican sport ever—baseball. In the sketch Ab- The humor of the sketch lies not only in the bott is the new manager of a baseball team. confusión which the nicknames “Who,” “What” He is approached by Costello who loves ba- and “I Don’t Know” produce. The speed of the seball and wants to learn the players’ names. conversation, intonation of the lines which Abbott warns him that “strange as it may may pass for questions as well as statements, seem, they give these ball players nowadays, the matter-of-fact, disengaged attitude very peculiar names...” Costello, who thinks of Abbot and rising frustration of Costello, who his stage incarnation’s name “Sebastian” is -going through all stages of anger - finally rea- insurmountable in this respect does not take ches the point of “I don’t care who is who,” the hint, and when he hears Abbott’s presen- are all responsible for the great success of tation of his players on the first, this signature routine which the two come- the second and the third base: “Who’s on first, dians performed from 1938 to 1957. What’s on second, and I Don’t Know is on Considering that other players of equally third,” he takes it for a question. He reproa- strange names “Why, Tomorrow and Today” ches the manager for not knowing his players’ are introduced as the sketch goes on, confu- names: “And you don’t know the fellows’ na- sion builds allowing the comedians to go on mes?” Abbott says humbly: “Well I should.” from just one to ten minutes depending A long exchange, which is a play on words on the time they had at their disposal. They “who,” “what” and “I don’t know” follows: would change the name of the team although the one that they chose most frequently was Costello: “Well then who is on first?” St. Louis. They would produce the act live, or Abbott: “Yes.” record it for the radio or television. The first Costello: “I mean the fellow’s name.” presentation was during The Kate Smith Hour Abbott: “Who.” radio program in March 1938. That the sketch Costello: “The guy on first.” is far from getting too old for modern audien- Abbott: “Who.” ces can be guessed from the number of You Costello: “The first baseman.” Tube viewers where it can be seen. The You Abbott: “Who!” Tube “Who’s on First? Typography” scrolls the Costello: “The guy playing first base.” script for part of the show with the audio ver- Abbott: “Who’s on first.” sion in the background. An excellent listening Costello: I’m asking you who’s on first!” comprehension activity for all who are learning Abbott: “That’s the man’s name. English. “WHO’S ON FIRST”: HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=SSHMA85PV8M “WHO’S ON FIRST? TYPOGRAPHY”: HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=EJWEI0EQPX8 (left): Chicago White Sox pitcher Scott Linebrink delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game, (right) American League starting pitcher David Price, of the Tampa Bay Rays, throws during an All-Star baseball game in Anaheim, California. Photos © AP Imagespage 2
  3. 3. BASEBALL IN MOVIES (top left)“Field of Dreams” DVD, (top right) Ghost Players emerge from the cornfield at the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, Iowa, (bottom) a bull is shown atop the left outfield wall at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C., where the 1988 Kevin Costner comedy “Bull Durham” was shot.The most conspicuous feature Photo © AP Imagesof on life stories of individualplayers. The 1942 film “Pride of Yankees” “Bull Durham” (1988) and “Field of Dre-followed the life of famous New York Yankee ams” (1989). In the first, he playsfirst baseman Lou Gehrig from his childhood a veteran minor league catcher Crash Daviesto his famous “Luckiest Man Alive” speech in whose task is to teach talented but inexperien-1939, which was a moving farewell by the ai- ced Durham Bulls pitcher “Nuke” LaLoosh.ling athlete. “Nuke” is loosely based on Steven Louis“The Babe Ruth Story” from 1948 focused “Dalko” Dalkowski, sometimes called the fas-on another baseball legend, immortalized by test pitcher in the history of baseball, whosethe Yankee stadium nickname “The House fastball earned him the nickname “White Light-That Ruth Built.” “The Stratton Story” recor- ning”. Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon), a Bullsded in 1949 was based on the life of Chicago fan, chooses one Bulls player each year as herWhite Sox pitcher Monty Stratton. “The Jac- lover and student. Annie is a spiritual type whokie Robinson Story” (1950), with Jackie Ro- has tried all religions, and now believes in thebinson starring as himself, is the story of his “Church of Baseball.” This year she choosesstruggle against prejudice and his triumph “Nuke.” When he moves from the minors to theover the color barrier. “The Pride of St. Lou- majors, he leaves the dooris” (1952) was based on the life of Dizzy De- open for Crash. Though Crash is no longeran, a talented St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who needed by the Bulls, there is someone else -had to give up playing due to an injury, but Annie - who needs him. But will she be able tobecame one of America’s best-loved sports- give up her routine of annual affairs?casters. Not only professional actors played “Field of Dreams” is yet another baseball mo-baseball players. Sometimes athletes them- vie with a spiritual tinge. A novice farmer Rayselves starred in movies and some of them Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a voice whilelike Chuck Connors (1921-1992), who prior to walking in his cornfield: “If you build it, he willstarring in “The Rifleman” and dozens of other come.” As he follows the voice and starts buil-movies played for the Chicago Cubs or Bob ding a baseball diamond within his cornfield,Uecker who played for Milwaukee Braves, St. the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson, a dead ba-Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and seball player who was controversially bannedAtlanta Braves in the 1960s and later appea- from the major leagues and who was Ray’sred in talk and TV shows and movies, became father’s idol, is revealed. Threatened by theHollywood stars. possibility of financial ruin Ray ne- vertheless continues his strangeOn the other hand, some task, especially once his daughter,professional actors have Karin, has a vision of a man on the“specialized” in the role of ballfield. Ray continues to hear voi-baseball players. Kevin Cost- ces and this leads him to a writerner starred in two famous who helps him interpretmovies about baseball: the message about the field. page 3
  4. 4. Activity Page George Herman Ruth, Jr. (in the Win a Prize! photo), best known as “Babe”SEPTEMBER 2011 CONTEST Ruth was an American Major League baseball player from Which stadium was 1914–1935. Find out about his nicknamed life from the Internet or from“The House That Ruth Built” ? the April 2009 issue of Zoom. Tell the other students what you learnt. Send the answer(with your home address) to: Baseball stadiums have been madridIRC@state.gov an integral part of U.S. life since the beginning of the 20th century. Deadline: October 31, 2011 Read the story of 6 stadiums (from America.gov website) and Photo © AP Images put in the missing articles. Win a Prize! The answer to the June 1912, is ... (1) oldest Baseball’s second oldest Yankee Stadium II replaced contest was: Major League Baseball sta- stadium, Wrigley Field, was Yankee Stadium as the The Liberty Bell in dium still in use. It is home built in 1914 at ... (2) cost Yankees’ ballpark in 2009. Philadelphia to the Boston Red Sox ba- of $250,000. Although it has At a cost of $1.3 billion, it is seball team. Babe Ruth, been renovated and expan- ... (5) most expensive sta- Thank you for participating known for his power hitting ded since then, the Chicago dium in the United States. for the New York Yankees, Cubs, who play there, have The stadium’s exterior de- began his Major League resisted building ... (3) new sign is similar to the original Baseball career in 1914 pit- ballpark. Some attribute this Yankee Stadium before its ching in Fenway Park for the resistance to the importance 1972 renovation and featu- Boston Red Sox. Fenway of tradition for the Chicago res a high definition video Park has hosted three all- Cubs, who opposed the ins- scoreboard that is six times star games and nine World tallation of lights in the sta- larger than ... (6) previous About ZOOM Series and holds the current dium one. In the place of the origi- Major League Baseball re- until the late 1980s because nal stadium a public park Zoom is online at cord of more than five years many fans felt ... (4) sense featuring a baseball and http:// of continuous sold-out ga- of pride supporting the last softball field and nearlymadrid.usembassy.gov/irc/ mes. team to not have night ga- 12,000 trees were built. dossiers/zoom.html mes. Wrigley is one of the smaller Major League Base- Subscription issues: ball parks, seating about 41,000 http://madrid.usembassy.gov/irc/ dossiers/zoom/ In 1999, Safeco Field béca- The Hubert H. Humphrey Commonly known as Cam- suscribe2.html me the new ballpark of the Metrodome, named in honor den Yards, this ballpark Seattle Mariners. It repla- of Hubert Humphrey, ... (9) a was completed in 1992 and ced ... (7) outdated Kingdo- former U.S. senator and vice replaced the aging Memo- Contact us at me, which had housed both president under Lyndon rial Stadium as the home of madridIRC@state.gov the Mariners baseball team Johnson and former mayor the Baltimore Orioles. Cam- barcelonaIRC@state.gov and the Seahawks football of Minneapolis, has a distinc- den Yards began a new era team. Instead of a covered tive feature: a dome that in ballpark construction, and US Information Resource dome, the Mariners opted enables baseball and football many new ballparks are Centers for a retractable roof, which teams to play indoors, pro- designed in a similar style is necessary because of tecting them from the cold to Camden Yards. Camden Madrid Seattle’s frequent rainy we- Minnesota weather. The sta- Yards’ construction style is Embajada de EE. UU. ather. It is built in the Cam- dium was built in 1982 to reminiscent of ballparks of C/ Serrano, 75 den Yards (Baltimore’s ba- house both the Minnesota the early 1900s. Steel, not 28006 Madrid seball park) tradition, with ... football (Vikings) and base- concrete, was used to Sup- (8) brick facade, natural ball (Twins) teams. In 2006, port the ballpark and it has Barcelona rass and improved ameni- the state of Minnesota appro- a brick facade. The stadium ties for the fans. ved the construction of a is in Baltimore’s downtown, Consulado General de EE. UU. new ballpark for the Minne- and has helped generate Pº Reina Elisenda de sota Twins, which is schedu- more business and deve- led to open in 2010. lopment there. Montcada, 23 08034 Barcelonapage 4