Incumbent Dem Loses In 194th Primary After Being Outspent 10 To 1

Incumbent Dem Loses In 194th Primary After Being Outspent 10 To 1

By Bob Small

In one of the five most expensive Pennsylvania Democratic State House races, Tarik Khan beat incumbent Pamela DeLissio in the primary after outspending her, 10 to one.

Khan spent $283,705 to Ms. DeLissio’s $27,488. He received 59.9% of the vote to her 40.1%.

Since the GOP did not field a candidate, Tarik will be the next representative from the 194th District.

The 194th includes part of Lower Merion Township and part of Philadelphia, and is traditionally Democrat. Its best known representative ever may have been Herbert Fineman, who was forced to resign.

Incumbent Dem Loses In 194th Primary After Being Outspent 10 To 1
Tarik Khan

Khan is a University of Pennsylvania nursing PhD student. He received his masters degree in nursing from LaSalle University and is employed as a family nurse practitioner at Philly’s Abbotsford-Falls Health Center. He has been a lifelong political activist.

The son of a Pakistani immigrant, Khan speaks of “growing up as a Muslim kid with a Catholic mother in a Jewish neighborhood”.  As a nurse, he is following his mother’s career path. 

The biggest contributors to Khan’s campaign were family, $32,000; the 314 Action Victory Science Fund, $27,500; and Impact PAC Federal,                           $15,000.

Khan said he also “received over 1,000 contributions from about 700 individuals”. One wonders about the current cost to run successfully for public office in this state and, indeed, in this country.

Ms. DeLissio has served as representative since 2011.  She has a record of holding 116 town-hall meetings over the past ten years, and just held her 118th such meeting last week. She chaired the Children and Youth Committee.

Incumbent Dem Loses In 194th Primary After Being Outspent 10 To 1

Biden DHS To Distribute Illegals To Stop Bad Optics

Biden DHS To Distribute Illegals To Stop Bad Optics

By Joe Guzzardi

Just five months before mid-term elections, the Biden White House is concerned that ugly border optics may cost Democrats both congressional chambers. Border shelters in Texas and Arizona are bulging at the seams. Customs and Border Protection lack other options to address the border crisis and are releasing illegal aliens onto city streets. With this situation, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing, at taxpayer cost, to transport migrants deep into the interior.

The latest DHS plan comes during a record illegal immigrant surge that includes 234,088 aliens in April alone, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Religious and nongovernmental organizations at the border, which typically house illegal immigrants after CBP releases them, are overwhelmed.

In El Paso, for example, CBP recently freed dozens of migrants, penniless non-English speakers, who then sat on street corners. The El Paso Times reported that the city’s resources to help have been depleted. Agents release more than 1,000 immigrants a day despite El Paso only having enough room to house 1,700. Neither the DHS nor any other federal agency contacted El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser to warn that, because of the border surge, large numbers of aliens were on the way. The Biden administration’s policy is to operate arbitrarily, and let the local communities fend for themselves.

Sources with knowledge of the DHS plan said that taxpayer dollars would be allocated to reroute aliens to shelters around the country. The first city DHS targeted is Los Angeles. Then, future migrants will be sent to Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas and other cities. The effort to relocate migrants involves the Southwest Border Coordination Center, which comprises officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CBP and other agencies.

Despite the assembled experience that the multiple federal agencies assumably have, their decision to initiate the program in Los Angeles is baffling. No city in the nation is less prepared to accept mostly poor, mostly unskilled illegal immigrants than Los Angeles with its 20 percent poverty rate. The city and Los Angeles County’s populations are, respectively, four million and 10 million. Both the city and county struggle with a homelessness crisis that the aliens will exacerbate. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s latest numbers, which were gathered in 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, show that the county’s homeless population increased by 12.7 percent to 66,436 over the previous year, while Los Angeles’ homeless population spiked 16.1 percent to 41,290.

Biden DHS To Distribute Illegals To Stop Bad Optics

Within the general Los Angeles homeless population, a Hispanic subset revealed their dashed hopes about coming to California to find a job, only to eventually be left without shelter. KQED, Northern California’s NPR and PBS member station, spoke with homeless illegal immigrants about their lives post-border crossing. Jobs were lost, illnesses occurred, rents increased to unaffordable levels and connections with family back home grew infrequent. A day laborer, who goes by “Alonso,” said that if conditions in Los Angeles don’t improve, he’ll return to Mexico.

For all the other Alonsos located in California, Albuquerque, Houston and Dallas, Mayorkas is ensuring that their lives will remain unfulfilled. In Albuquerque, the poverty rate is 18 percent, and homelessness is rising, quadrupling since 2013. In Dallas, which has a 22 percent poverty rate, shelters are full every night. And in Houston, with its 21.2 percent poverty rate, homelessness is up 5.8 percent in 2022 in year-over-year counts.

For those who point out that the administration has broken virtually every border and interior enforcement immigration law, and by so doing jeopardized a sovereign America, Biden has the audacity to equate patriots with domestic violent extremists.

Since terrorists with murder on their minds can enter the U.S. effortlessly, Biden’s insult is laden with irony. An alleged ISIS operative, Shihab Ahmed Shihab, already inside the U.S., plotted to smuggle fellow terrorists through the open border. Once safely across, the terrorists planned to surveil former President George W. Bush’s home and his institution to develop an assassination plot. Despite Mayorkas’ claim that the border is secure, the FBI warrant application indicated that Shihab claimed to have smuggled two individuals associated with Hezbollah into the U.S. for a fee of $50,000 each. Shahib, an Iraqi national, had an asylum application pending.

Biden’s immigration agenda, after 18 months as president, includes dismantling immigration law, opening the border and importing poor, limited-skilled individuals, relocating them to communities that can barely keep afloat. As well, the agenda includes disregarding terrorist plots to assassinate former presidents and encouraging fraudulent asylum claims. Little wonder the White House is apprehensive about the upcoming elections.

Biden DHS To Distribute Illegals To Stop Bad Optics

Jim Bunning Dad To Nine Threw Perfect Game On Father’s Day ’64

Jim Bunning Dad To Nine Threw Perfect Game On Father’s Day ’64

By Joe Guzzardi

On Father’s Day, 1964, Philadelphia Phillies’ right-hander Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game against the New York Mets in Shea Stadium. Bunning’s two-hour, 10-minute masterpiece – 90 pitches, 10 strike outs – during a double-header’s first game had special significance. At the time, Bunning and his wife Mary Theis had seven children. Eventually, the Bunnings, married 60 years, would have nine children, 35 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Few in baseball history have lived as rewarding a life as Bunning who represented Kentucky as a U.S. representative from 1987 to 1999, and then as a two-term U.S. senator from 1999 until 2011. Bunning’s baseball achievements put him in the Hall of Fame. Along his way, Bunning racked up 224 wins, 2,855 strike outs and was chosen to participate in nine All-Star Games. The fire-balling righty led the league in strike outs three times, and when he retired Bunning ranked second among all-time strikeout leaders behind Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators.

Jim Bunning Dad To Nine Threw Perfect Game On Father's Day '64
Perfect on Father’s Day 1964

In 1955, Bunning debuted with the Detroit Tigers, and in 1958, he threw a 3-0 no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox. Bunning was then traded to the Phillies, his second stop in a career that also included brief stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Long after Bunning hung up his glove, he recalled in detail how he set down 27 consecutive Mets, the first National League perfect game since 1880 when John Montgomery Ward, throwing underhand and from 45 feet, defeated the Buffalo Bisons, 5-0. After attending Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and eating a hearty sausage and egg breakfast, Bunning headed out to Shea where the temperature and humidity would hit 90 by game time. Although Bunning said that he felt no better or no worse than usual as he warmed up, Phillies’ manager Gene Mauch disagreed. Mauch told Sport Magazine’s Larry Merchant, “We knew when he [Bunning] was warming up that this was something special. The way he was throwing so live and as high as he was. Not high with his pitches. High himself.”

For nine innings, Bunning was so relaxed that he rejected the long-standing baseball tradition which forbade pitchers to talk to teammates about no hitters in progress – considered a jinx. “Dive for the ball,” Bunning laughingly told his infielders. “Don’t let anything fall in.” With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bunning called catcher Gus Triandos to the mound and asked him to tell him a joke. Triandos shook his head in dismay and went back behind the plate. Bunning then struck out the last two Mets and pounded his glove as his teammates rushed to share his joy in his 6-0 win. Bunning’s was the fifth perfect game in major-league history and the first in the regular season since the Chicago White Sox Charlie Robertson blanked the Detroit Tigers, 2-0.

Later, Bunning said about his flawless performance: “Everything has to come together, good control, outstanding plays from your teammates, a whole lot of good fortune on your side and a lot of bad luck for the other guys. A million things could go wrong, but on this one particular day of your life none of them do.”

But when Bunning looked back at his 1964 season, disappointment superseded his perfect game’s thrills. By September 20, the Phillies led by 6½-games with 12 to play. But then the wheels fell off. The Phils lost ten in a row; Bunning, overworked by Mauch, was charged with three losses. The St. Louis Cardinals eked out the pennant by a game over the Phils and the Cincinnati Reds.

Before he died at age 85, Bunning said, “I am most proud of the fact I went through nearly 11 years without missing a start. They wrote my name down, and I went to the post.” In today’s era, Bunning’s consistency would be a marvel.

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and Internet Baseball Writers Association member. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

Jim Bunning Dad To Nine Threw Perfect Game On Father’s Day ’64

Kazeem KOs Kirkland In 159th Race

Kazeem KOs Kirkland In 159th Race

By Bob Small

For the first time in nearly three decades, there will not be a Kirkland as the state representative for the 159th State House district in Harrisburg. Thaddeus Kirkland served from 1993 to 2016 and was succeeded by Brian Joseph Kirkland, his nephew. Thaddeus Kirkland then became the mayor of Chester after leaving the State Rep job and is now the Director of Public Affairs in the city of Chester

The revised parameters of the 159th are Chester,  Eddystone, Lower Chichester Township, Marcus Hook, Parkside,  Trainer, and Upper Chichester Township.  Chester is the only city in Delco.  Founded in 1682 by William Penn, it is also the oldest city in Pennsy.

Kazeem KOs Kirkland In 159th Race
Carol Kazeem

Carol Kazeem, who ran a grassroots campaign as a citizen-activist, got approximately 56 percent of the vote.  She promises to have “power returned to the people”.  She is employed as a trauma outreach specialist.  She garnered plenty of support during her speech on election night, including that of Chester city-council member Stefan Roots and his campaign manager, Todd Strine, co-owner of the Swarthmorean newspaper.

During the campaign, there was a misstep by Kirkland’s campaign staff, which incorrectly listed the AFL-CIO and PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) as supporters of Kirkland.  However, PSEA endorsed  his opponent, and the AFL-CIO did not endorse anyone in this race.  Kirkland’s campaign based these listings on prior endorsements and “simply assumed this would be the case again”. This misstep received major play in various media.

Overall, this primary season there were numerous incumbents who lost their races for various offices. Is this perhaps a harbinger of changes to come? I will discuss this in an upcoming blog.

Kazeem KOs Kirkland In 159th Race

Racial Turmoil At Meta As Company Favors Foreigners

Racial Turmoil At Meta As Company Favors Foreigners

By Joe Guzzardi

Meta Platforms, until October 2021 known as Facebook, is in turmoil. Infamous for its commitment to employing H-1B workers, and simultaneously undermining qualified U.S. tech workers’ careers, the Silicon Valley titan is finally getting its just rewards.

Sheryl Sandberg, a Facebook fixture for 14 years, and as Chief Operating Officer the No. 2 behind Mark Zuckerberg, will be leaving this fall. Some analysts have been long-critical of Sandberg, net worth $1.6 billion, and have pushed for at least two years for her ousting. Zuckerberg and Sandberg disagreed over Metaverse’s vision.

Since Sandberg’s COO replacement, Julian Oliver, has been named, her departure is unlikely to have further measurable negative effect on Meta. But, Oliver will have to assume the responsibility for pulling Meta out of the steady, deep decline the company is struggling with.

Meta Platform’s key Facebook products have grown old. The number of young people actively using Facebook and Instagram has drifted to TikTok which users see as more compelling. Today, TikTok, dominates the social media industry in screen time, and Amazon has become a leading player in the advertising industry.

Racial Turmoil At Meta As Company Favors Foreigners

Then, to the dismay of its shareholders, the Meta stock price’s plunge in recent weeks has slashed the market cap by about 50 percent to $529 billion from an all-time high, and has cut Zuckerberg’s net worth to about $84 billion. As of June 7, Meta stock has stabilized at $196 per share, 14 percent above its low for the year.

In February, Facebook agreed to pay $90 million to settle a privacy lawsuit which claimed that it impermissibly tracked users after they logged out, and sold their personal information to enrich the company. Along the same lines, in January, the British watchdog group, Financial Conduct Authority, sued Meta for $3.2 billion on behalf of individuals who used Facebook in the UK between 2015 to 2019. The lawsuit claims that Facebook made its users submit personal data in order to access the platform and thereby earned billions of dollars from the tactic, Reuters reported.

For Meta, the bad news keeps piling up. Qualified black applicants have charged Facebook with shutting them out of key positions because they aren’t a “culture fit,” a possible reference to the large number of Chinese and Indian H-1B visa employees on the staff. Multiple reports allege that hiring managers confirmed to black candidates during interviews that they “could do the job” before using the “culture-fit” excuse to reject the candidate.

Facebook pledges to add 30 percent more people of color in leadership positions by 2025, but it has a long way to go. Despite incessantly touting the company’s commitment to diversity, Facebook’s 2020 Diversity Report showed little progress. Blacks and Hispanics in key technical roles increased year-over-year, from 1 percent to 1.7 percent for blacks and from 3 percent to 4.3 percent for Hispanics. Moreover, since last summer, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating bias claims against Facebook and has recently upgraded its inquiry into a systemic probe that could lead to broader charges.

Meta not only denies middle-management jobs to blacks and Hispanics. The company prefers cheaper, more subservient foreign-born H-1B workers to U.S. tech graduates, a constant in its hiring practices. Zuckerberg, both directly through his congressional testimony and also through FWD.us, the pro-amnesty group he created, staunchly supports higher immigration.

Last year, the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice settled employment discrimination suits against Facebook. Although the settlement sums were paltry for the tech giant, $4.75 million, a DOL civil penalty payable to the federal government and, from the DOJ, up to $9.5 million due the injured parties, Facebook should assume that the charges against it are a warning to clean up its anti-U.S. tech worker bias.

Meta needs a public relations overhaul. An easy place to begin would be to hire U.S. tech workers. Figuratively, Facebook’s image has taken a bigger hit than its net worth. With more than a half-trillion current net worth, even after the stock market blood bath, Meta Platforms/Facebook can afford to hire skilled U.S. tech workers.

Joe Guzzardi is a PFIR analyst who has written about immigration and its consequences for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

Racial Turmoil At Meta As Company Favors Foreigners

Ike Only Prez Who Played Pro Ball — And It Was A No No

Ike Only Prez Who Played Pro Ball — And It Was A No No

By Joe Guzzardi

Since baseball’s earliest years, U.S. presidents have been big fans of the national pastime. Among the most avid baseball fans were William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson and Richard M. Nixon. After his political career ended, the players’ union lobbied to have Nixon appointed to head the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Only Dwight Eisenhower played professional baseball, and therein lays a tale. Eisenhower grew up in rural Abilene, Kan., starred as a right end in football and excelled in center field on his 1908 high school baseball team. Ike’s brother Edgar played fullback and first base. Since the Eisenhower family couldn’t afford to send both boys to college, the brothers struck a deal. Edgar went to the University of Michigan, while Dwight worked at a local creamery and sent his wages to his brother.

Ike Only Prez Who Played Pro
I have a secret

At age 21, Ike won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point and became a star running back alongside another future WWII general, Omar Bradley. The New York Times called Ike “one of the most promising running backs in Eastern football,” but a knee injury ended Eisenhower’s football days. And to what Eisenhower called “one of the greatest disappointments of my life…maybe the greatest,” he didn’t make the Army baseball team.

But Ike had a baseball secret, one that could have altered his life’s course had it become known while he was at West Point. The year before Ike enrolled, and using the pseudonym “Wilson,” he played professional baseball in the Class D Central Kansas League as the Junction City Soldiers’ center fielder. Ike once told the Associated Press that he played poorly and was paid little. But setting off for college, Ike needed even the small sums he earned.

Years later, at a game Ike attended between the New York Giants and the Boston Braves, managers Mel Ott and Bob Coleman asked General Eisenhower to confirm whether he had played professionally, and if so, at what position. Ike half-kiddingly replied, “That’s my secret.”

Ike’s desire for secrecy is understandable. The NCAA has strict rules that prohibit student athletes from playing professionally. If found to have received compensation, the consequences, as Olympic decathlon star Jim Thorpe discovered, are severe. Thorpe was stripped of his two 1912 Olympic gold medals when the committee learned that he had played two seasons of semi-professional baseball and had therefore violated the amateurism rules. For Eisenhower, his punishment would have been immediate expulsion from West Point.

It’s likely Eisenhower knew that he had broken the West Point Code of Honor when he signed a 15-question legibility card attesting to his amateur status. As years passed, Ike stopped talking about his baseball-playing years, instructing his staff to dodge questions. A memo found among Ike’s presidential papers at the Abilene Eisenhower Library read: “As of August 1961, DDE indicated inquiries should not be answered concerning his participation in professional baseball – as it would necessarily become too complicated.”

Had West Point expelled Eisenhower, he might never have become the general who led the Allied forces to victory in World War II, might never have presided as Columbia University’s president and might never have served two U.S. presidential terms.

From his earliest days, Ike truly loved baseball. His favorite story recalls the time when, on a warm Kansas afternoon, he and a young friend went river fishing and fantasized aloud about their futures. The friend told Ike that one day he wanted to be the U.S. president. Dwight said that “he wanted to be a real major league baseball player like Honus Wagner.” In the end, Ike concluded, “Neither one of us got our wish.”

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and Internet Baseball Writers Association member. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

Ike Only Prez Who Played Pro Ball — And It Was A No No

8th District Remains Williams Dynasty

8th District Remains Williams Dynasty

By Bob Small

Anthony Hardy Williams won handily on May 17 in the Democratic primary race for the 8th Pennsylvania state Senate  District, with 75 percent of the vote.  

The district consists of parts of southwest Philadelphia; and townships of Darby and Tinicum and the boroughs of Collingdale, Colwyn, Darby, Folcroft, Norwood, Sharon Hill and Yeadon, all in Delaware County.

8th District Remains Williams Dynasty
Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams

Williams has been a tireless advocate for charter schools and the legislation enabling them, including tax credit programs.  He also worked to include Holocaust education in the public high-school curriculum, to prevent public school employees with sexual misconduct issues from transferring from one school to another, and to create a Diversity Apprenticeship Program in the labor movement. 

But let’s put this in context.

Williams has held the 8th District seat since 1999 winning it after his father, Hardy Williams, stepped down. Dad had held the seat since 1983.

Maybe it’s understandable the 65-year-old politician thinks the seat is his birthright. He viewed his first real challenge from Paul Prescod, 31-year-old Philadelphia school teacher whose father immigrated from Barbados, as “insulting“.

Good citizens should find it insulting that a politicians would think a challenge is insulting.

Williams supporters are also problematic. Jeffrey Yass for instance is “a Montgomery County billionaire charter-school advocate who generally supports Republicans”. 

Usually, campaign donors favor one party only, but we may be entering a new era of cross-over political supporters.

Prescod has been supported by groups like Reclaim Philadelphia –which helped select one of my former union compatriots, G. Roni Green, as a candidate for state representative; the Philly chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), known most recently for supporting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; and the Working Families Party, a Democratic Party support group masquerading as a separate party.

Based on the separate negatives of support for each candidate,, the 27th Ward Democrats declined to make an endorsement. 

It turns out the Pennsylvania GOP was too busy to field a candidate, so Anthony Hardy Williams will be running against a real nobody.  That is, unless a Constitution Party, Green Party, Independent Party or Libertarian Party candidate can attain ballot status by November.

8th District Remains Williams Dynasty

Uvalde Schools Shutdown 48 Times Due Illegal Immigration Issues

Uvalde Schools Shutdown 48 Times Due Illegal Immigration Issues

By Joe Guzzardi

Among three ongoing wars, the Biden administration concerns itself with only one, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That faraway conflict, which has no national interest associated with it, spawned an inflation-spiking $53 billion U.S. taxpayer infusion into corrupt Ukraine. Biden rode roughshod over Congress, demanding that the final bill get to his desk “in the next few days,” and added that “we cannot afford to delay in this vital war effort.”

Two other incursions, both on U.S. soil, aren’t on Biden’s radar. The first is the Southwest Border war, a different battle than the Ukraine conflict since no bombings or tanks are involved. Nevertheless, the invasion of foreign nationals from more than 150 nations is a war against U.S. sovereignty, and Biden isn’t interested enough to travel to witness first-hand the nation-busting events that he has allowed to develop. In his January 2022 story, Washington Timesreporter Stephen Dinan wrote that “more than 44% of encounters with unauthorized migrants in December were with people from beyond Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. A year ago, that number was just 11%.”

Second is the war against the communities – and specific to this analysis – waged against the local school districts along the border. The establishment media has devoted extensive, merited print coverage and hours of broadcast updates on the Robb Elementary School massacre. Little coverage, however, has been given to Uvalde Mayor’s Don McLaughlin’s statement to Texas Department of Emergency Management officials that, as of Oct. 21, 2021, the academic year’s first few months, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District officials had to lock down schools “48 times this year due to high-speed pursuits and migrants fleeing from law enforcement.” Mayor McLaughlin had previously said that Biden’s border neglect created a series of robberies and car thefts that further stained his economically depressed city.

Uvalde Schools Shutdown 48 Times Due Illegal Immigration Issues

For children subjected to school shutdowns, their experience is traumatic. In the late 1980s, the period which included the Stockton, Calif., Cleveland School shooting that killed five school children and wounded 32, I taught at a Stockton primary school. During that era, Asian gang drive-by murders and home invasion robberies that often included gun violence were widespread as were the subsequent lockdowns. The school’s front office issued an intercom alert, and teachers gathered their students, directing them to move as far away from the classroom door as possible. There they huddled together in the dark until the alert was lifted, about an hour later. Since the children lived in the neighborhood, they knew the potential consequences could be fatal. Lockdowns in what should be safe places like neighborhood schools is what Biden’s border agenda has brought to Uvalde’s children – American kids living in an American city in Texas, an all-American state.

Biden makes no effort to hide his scorn for border enforcement. Even though off-duty Customs and Border Protection agent Jacob Albarado killed the Robb Elementary gunman Salvador Ramos, and thereby doubtless saved dozens of lives, Biden insultingly disinvited 73 of 80 CBP, mostly from the tactical BORTAC unit, to a photo-op with the president. The event was scheduled for a large open-space facility, but administration officials cited space as a reason for the retracted invitations.

Biden is back in the White House, and Capitol Hill is making angry noises about tough gun control legislation. As for the border, no changes will be forthcoming. Once the memorials and burials are over, Uvalde and other border cities will continue, for at least the duration of Biden’s presidency, as stop-overs for illegal alien invaders. Citizens whose lives have been inexorably damaged because of Biden’s criminal disregard for his oath of office are, to him, inconsequential, collateral damage incurred on the woke path to destroying America.

PFIR analyst Joe Guzzardi writes about immigration issues and impacts. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org and joeguzzardi.substack.com.

Uvalde Schools Shutdown 48 Times Due Illegal Immigration Issues

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A’s

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A’s

By Joe Guzzardi

Baseball fans who came of age during the 1950s, the National Pastime’s Golden Era, remember Morrie Martin as a journeyman left-handed pitcher who had limited success during his ten-year career. Pitching mostly for the basement-dwelling Philadelphia A’s, Martin’s career record was 38-34. Martin was credited with 23 wins as an A’s; the remaining 15 were spread out among the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Chicago White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals. The stout lefty from Dixon, Mo., made brief appearances for the Chicago Cubs, but didn’t earn a decision.

Martin was much more than a middling MLB hurler who walked more batters, 252, than he struck out, 245. Before Martin was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 2, 1943, he compiled above-average minor league credentials, 16-7, in Grand Forks, N.D., with the Class C Chiefs and in St. Paul, Minn., with the American Association’s Saints, two Chicago White Sox affiliates. Martin’s pitching stints with the Saints represented the last times he touched a baseball until his return home from WWII in 1945.

As Gary Bedingfield reported on his “Baseball in Wartime” website and pursuant to information drawn from Stan Opdkye’s Society of American Baseball Research essay, “Morrie Martin,” Martin entered military service with the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., and then served overseas with the 49th Engineer Combat Battalion where he took part in amphibious landings as part of Operation Torch at North Africa, Operation Husky at Sicily and Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A's

As an engineer, Martin was among the first to reach shore. Shortly after the D-Day landing, and while on guard duty near Saint-Lô, France, Martin was hit by shrapnel in his neck, left hand and arm. Despite his injuries, Martin remained on the front lines. Late in 1944, he was engaged in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Mountains of Belgium and suffered frostbite in the bitterly cold temperatures. Nevertheless, Martin remained with his unit until 1945 when he suffered serious, near-fatal injuries.

After Martin took two more rounds of shrapnel wounds, he was buried alive in Germany when the house he took shelter in was shelled. Left for dead, Martin and two other soldiers clawed their way out to rejoin their battalion. At the Battle of the Bulge, Martin suffered a bullet wound to the thigh, and nearly lost his leg when gangrene set in.

Evacuated to a hospital in Saint-Quentin, France, Martin caught a big break. A nurse looked at his chart, saw that he was a professional ball player, and urged him to reject the doctors’ advice that he give his permission to amputate his leg. Instead, more than 150 penicillin shots saved Martin’s leg from amputation, and he slowly worked his way back to the big leagues. Discharged from the Army in October 1945, Martin joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, and worked his way up through Branch Rickey’s fiercely competitive minor league system.

On April 25, 1949, Martin made his first MLB start against the Boston Braves, the 1948 National League champions. Martin pitched seven quality innings, but his opponent, Bill Voiselle, who pitched a complete game shutout, was better. For the balance of his career, Martin shuffled back and forth between the majors and the minors. Martin peaked in 1951 with the A’s when he compiled an 11-4 record.

On May 25, 2010, in Washington, Mo., Martin died from lung cancer at age 87. For his service in World War II, he was awarded two Purple Hearts, four battle stars and an Oak Leaf Cluster. Prior to his death, Martin told a newspaper reporter how much he valued his wartime service to his country: “We had a job to do, and we did it. I don’t have regrets about the time I missed in baseball. I’m proud of what we did. I’d do it again.” Until that interview, Martin, like most of the Great Generation, was always willing to talk about baseball, but refused to speak about his war heroism.

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and Internet Baseball Writers Association member. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A’s

Swarthmore Getting New State Rep

Swarthmore Getting New State Rep

By Bob Small

Besides the State wide elections, there were other elections on Primary Day. Some of these elections may actually be just as important to our day-to-day lives.

On May 17, for the first time in four election cycles , not one vote in Swarthmore was cast for Leanne Kruger-Braneky aka Leanne Kruger. The ballot was a matter of shock and dismay for those Swarthmoreans unaware that the last census had caused the Legislative Reapportionment Commission to move Swarthmore out of the 161st District into the 165th.

She was first elected in 2015 as Leanne Kruger-Braneky, but sometime over the past few terms the couple divorced and thus, she lost her hyphenated name. Though originally from New Jersey, she has been granted “unofficial Swarthmore citizenship. “ My experience is that she, or her office, knew what to do for what we call “constituent service”, helping anyone who needed to weave through the labyrinthine government bureaucracy, without it being dependent on “party” or any inside knowledge, which is the way it should be but normally isn’t.  We will miss her for the example she set.

Swarthmore Getting New State Rep
Leanne Kruger no longer in Swarthmore

Leanne will be facing Ed Mongeluzzo in November for her new position.

He is focusing on outreach to veterans. According to his website and Facebook posts, his finances are almost nil.  Hopefully, the GOP  will realize he is running against a Democrat and provide support.

The replacement legislator, now that Swarthmore is the 165th, is Jennifer O’Mara.  Jennifer comes from a blue collar background and  has an inspiring backstory.   She is both a graduate and an employee of the fabled University of Pennsylvania.  Jennifer believes “there is more that unites us than divides us”.

As Chris Freind has pointed out, however, she has a free ride in November.

This would be the same free ride the Congressional Candidates in our congressional, 3, 13, and 14 have this November. 

Wonder how that happened?

Hopefully, someone(s) from the Constitution, Green, or Libertarian Party or even an Independent candidate will  get the requisite signatures to be on some of these ballots.   

Otherwise, why waste the space on the ballot?

Swarthmore Getting New State Rep
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