Baseball

Texas Standard: November 14, 2018

Fighting fire with…Texans. Crews from the Lone Star State travel west to help Californians battling historic blazes on several fronts. Also, some believe it could be both a watershed moment in the so-called drug war and a cultural moment – as the drug kingpin known as El Chapo heads to trial. Plus, are citizen militias really headed to the border to meet a migrant caravan? Politifact checks it out. And spoiler alert: it won’t be the Amarillo Jerky after all. The Panhandle city picks a name for its minor league ball club… and not everyone’s a fan. All that and more, today on the Texas Standard.

Texas Standard: May 29, 2018

Astonishing allegations of misconduct and pervasive child abuse by US customs and border protection during the Obama years. 30 thousand pages of documents dated between 2009 and 2014, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, detail verbal, physical and sexual abuse of undocumented migrant children. We’ll hear some of the findings and what the government is saying about them. Also, is there a relationship between wealth and winning baseball games? A Dallas Morning News investigation explores why the same teams remain championship contenders year after year. Plus, Alexa, are your recording this? Privacy and the smart speaker. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 22, 2018

Your vote does not count! …So think millions of Texans who are going to let a handful of others pick winners and losers. We’ll dive in to what you should look for in the runoffs. History tells us the vast majority of registered voters will not be casting a ballot in the primary runoffs today, and yet there are several key races open and someone will get to decide. Piggy Fikac of the San Antonio express news on 5 things to watch for as the votes come in tonight. Also, after the Santa Fe High School shooting, the Governor called for roundtables on gun violence. Today they get underway. And the return of a baseball legend. In his mid 50’s Palmeiro returns to pro baseball. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 4, 2018

April 4th 1968: a date that changed America. 50 years on, how do texans remember the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.? Two weeks before, a choir from Prairie View A&M performed before Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated. 50 years later, we talk with the leader of that choir and his brother who led a reenactment of the event in Memphis. Also, the only African American owned bank in all of Texas expands to Atlanta. We’ll hear about the history of the bank and why they’re moving beyond Texas borders. And a ruling in a challenge to Texas motor voter laws. Those stories and so much more today at the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 29, 2017

Midterms aren’t usually the most exciting elections, but there’s a whole lotta shakin goin on: political turnover our top story today. Also, more than 30 quakes this year in and around Pecos, more than all recorded there in the past ten years put together. We’ll ask why. Plus, the university of Texas, landing soon in New Mexico? Or maybe Texas A&M? Details of the forthcoming battle for Los Alamos and whether there’s a Rick Perry factor. And as the hurricane season draws to a close, voices from a storm more than a hundred years ago that forever changed the Lone Star State. That and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Uncle Dale’s Greatest Gift

Uncle Dale was the first grownup to come home in the afternoon. He wasn’t our real Uncle – we just called him that. Back then, it was considered rude for a child to call an adult only by their first name, so we had lots of aunts and uncles.

Uncle Dale got up when it was still dark and walked a mile to work, where he put in hard days at the Halliburton yard. At 3:30 in the afternoon, he would, as the poet Appleman put it, “follow his shadow home to grass.”

And there he would sit, in his law chair, under the gauzy shade of a mesquite tree, and watch over us as we played baseball in the street. It was a caliche road – hard and dusty in dry times and it turned to  cake-like mud when it rained.

Home plate and second base were in the middle of the street. First base was in the Garcias’ yard and third base was in Uncle Dale’s yard. Uncle Dale was our umpire. He would sit there drinking coffee from a big white mug, smoking one cigar after another. We could smell the sweet tobacco drifting through the infield. Even now, I can smell it as it drifts across the years to where I sit.

Uncle Dale ruled on close calls from the comfort of his place in the shade. “That was a foul,” he’d say. Or he would coach: “Two hands while learning, RJ!” He also served as traffic cop: “You boys get out of the road before that truck runs over you!”

I can only remember his getting out of his chair one time. We were having our own little baseball draft, the way we always did: hand over hand up the bat – you remember. Well, Mrs. Anderson came over and suggested we draw numbers out of hat – making one team out of the even numbers and the other out of the odd numbers – to spare the feelings of those often chosen last. Uncle Dale would not stand for these progressive ideas. He was a purist. He got up and he waved her off, saying, “If a boy is struggling, he needs to know it early so he can do something about it.”

One day we came home from school, and we saw Uncle Dale on a huge Halliburton bulldozer in the brush down the road. We went down there to watch him because, like all boys, we were fascinated with anything that could topple trees and reform the earth. After about thirty minutes, he shut down the dozer, hopped off and said, “There’s your new baseball field boys! You’re off the streets.”

“Well, don’t just stand there,” he said, “Get your gloves. Let’s break her in!” Never again was the crack of a bat muffled by a car horn wanting to drive through our infield.

Uncle Dale’s baseball field cost him a few phone calls and three hours of his expert labor. But it gave us and the boys that followed us years of immeasurable joy. It was the greatest gift we ever got, really – the gift of a beautiful boyhood and the lifelong memory of it.

Texas Standard: September 5, 2017

Getting back to business across Harvey-hit Texas: it was no holiday weekend for roughly 1 in 3 in the Lone Star State. The mucking, the cleanup, the drywall, the carpet, the debris left behind by harvey: put it all together and how much is there and where does it go? And what about all that water? As trillions of gallons flow back to the gulf, some wonder if there’s not a quicker and better way to drain east Texas. Plus a price tag bigger than Katrina says the Texas governor. Not so fast say others in Washington. And now a new storm brewing over who and how to pay for the effects of an historic storm. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

12th & Chicon: Honoring Austin Blacks in Baseball

The Black Senators, Austin’s black baseball team in the first part of the 20th century, played at Downs Field in East Austin. The field is now home to the Huston-Tillotson University Rams. Houston artist Reginald Adams and members of the East Austin senior center are commemorating the players by crafting murals.

Texas Standard: June 30, 2016

How hot is it? In a Texas prison, it’s hot enough to kill, and there’s reason to doubt it’ll change anytime soon. Plus- at least 28 cases of flesh eating bacteria confirmed in Texas. Is it safe to go to the Gulf, or a case of media hype? And one unintended consequence of the Texas border surge? More troopers who identify as Hispanic. The latest in the changing of the guard. Also you’ve heard about the petroleum reserve…but why do we need a helium reserve, and why in Texas? Plus what’s behind the two sinkholes in Wink. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 28, 2016

The decision’s come down, but now what? As Texas abortion rights advocates celebrate opponents recalibrate. We’ll explore. Also though crime remains down in general, in Texas cities and across the us, what some are calling a nearly unprecedented wave of homicides. We’ll explore why. Plus an invitation to the rest of the nation: West Texas wants your nuclear waste? We’ll hear what’s up…and why it might not be a solution for the ages. And not just preaching to the choir, how messages from the pulpit may be changing foster care. And just how long should a baseball stadium last? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 15, 2016

Are you registered to vote? A lot of Texans thought they were, only to show up to the polls to find out differently. We’ll explain. Also- El Chapo’s being extradited to the US, but could this make Mexican drug cartels MORE dangerous? Plus a closer look at claims that the lowest oil prices are behind us and Director Jeff Nichols on his latest film. Those stories and more on the Texas Standard:

Green Room: Nolan Ryan

Sure, Nolan Ryan’s known the world over as one of baseball’s all time greats, but few realize that first and foremost, he’s a rancher! Ryan’s childhood passion for beef led him to put together a new cookbook. In our conversation with one of today’s most famous Texans, Ryan talks about his childhood, great ballpark eats, plus some tips for your own summer grill.