The first two hours of today’s program will originate from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, as Duane and I participate in the 21rst annual “Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture” symposium. I will be conducting a question and answer with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson tonight, and moderating a panel on the demise of the reserve clause on Thursday. Rarely do my broadcasting, teaching and sports enthusiasms all intersect, but for the next two days they do, and with an hour on God to round out the day..
Integrating the radio show with the live conference proceedings may be a bit challenging, so Duane will be offstage, attempting to make it flow and filling in if it doesn’t. Tonight’s conversation with Frank Robinson will center on the legacy of a great-if-too-little-appreciated baseball legend, George Powles of Oakland, who coached not only the young Robinson and more than a dozen other future major leaguers including Curt Flood and Vada Pinson, but also Celtics’ legend Bill Russell. (To have mentored either the first African-American MLB manager or the first African-American NBA coach would be a great achievement; to have mentored both is extraordinary.) Powles is one of those quintessentially American stories of a high school and youth league coach who, along with his wife, opened his home and his life to young athletes and in doing so over decades, greatly enriched the American experience. Powles’ selflessness is a model of genuine service that deserves all the attention Cooperstown can give it. (Thanks to Justice George Nicholson, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeals, 3rd District, who is powering this overdue recognition of Coach Powles.)
A very different kind of selflessness and service will be the subject of hour three tonight when the conclusion of the Cooperstown proceedings won’t permit live broadcasting but do allow me the opportunity to broadcast an interview I taped last Friday with two extraordinary women, Sister Prudence Allen and Mother Regina Marie Gorman, on the subject of the religious life in the new millennium. A number of the religious orders have cooperated on a brand new book that aims to explain the tradition and current practice of life in a Roman Catholic faith community, and today’s conversation is for many a rare glimpse inside that life. The book is The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision
It will be an unusual program but one that displays again why talk radio is the best of all the broadcast mediums -full of the time and flexibility to put on display all sorts of aspects of American life. Let me know what you think via firstname.lastname@example.org.