I grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, far away from any Major League Baseball. My mother was a fan however, and the Braves, via TBS, were often on the television in our home.
I also have memories of my mother standing at the kitchen sink, washing the dinner dishes, with a small AM radio placed strategically near the kitchen window. Barely audible over the hum of poor reception and static caused by far-off summer lightning storms, one could strain to piece together portions of innings of Royals games, courtesy of some station in rural Salina, Kansas, that faded in and out when it could even be picked up at all.
Whenever our family took vacations to major cities, a baseball game was often squeezed in around the obligatory historical sights, art museums, and concert halls.
I also enjoyed playing softball as a kid.
So, although it did not play a major role in my early life, baseball was always around.
Then in 1995, I married a Mets fan.
Credit for anything I have learned about baseball’s history, its players and heroes, its strategies and rules–written and unwritten, not to mention the passion for the game now instilled in me, must be given to my husband.
His knowledge of all things baseball is encyclopedic. His astounding memory enables him to conjure up stats, dates, and historical information in a manner that is uncanny and maybe even a little scary.
Therefore, it came as a total shock when I was able to illuminate him on something involving baseball.
My early Mets fandom coincided with some of Bob Murphy‘s last years as an announcer, but as a a long-time listener to Murphy, my husband, Garry, often regaled me with stories about the famed announcer.
A few years ago, a Mets game was postponed because of rain, just as it was tonight. Looking forward then as he is tonight to an entire day of baseball the next day, Garry waxed nostalgic for the days when Bob Murphy would announce with similar enthusiasm that a postponed game would be made up the following day as part of a “Cole Porter affair”, Murphy’s term for a day-night doubleheader.
Garry then confessed that he had no idea why Murphy used that expression.
Although my dear husband has just as encyclopedic a knowledge of classical music and opera as he does of baseball, he does not have such familiarity with music of more popular genres. Therefore, he did not recognize “day and night” as lyrics from “Night and Day” by Cole Porter, contributor to The Great American Songbook.
He now knows and never fails to give me credit for the insight.
For your listening enjoyment, the YouTube video features Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of the song. Classic versions exist by Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, among others. It has also been covered by more contemporary artists, including The Temptations, Chicago, U2, and Rod Stewart.