A Landing a Day

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Liberty, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on June 16, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much an every-third-day blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2024; A Landing A Day blog post number 442.

Dan –  Gee whiz.  I was on a good string of USers (and approaching a Score of 150), but after my double NV OSers, I have landed in . . . TN; 29/28; 6/10; 8; 151.6.   Note that TN was PS (perfectly subscribed at 28/28), but is now OS (oversubscribed at 29/28).  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

Note that I just missed Alabama (a solid USer).  Oh, well.  Here’s my closer-in landing map, showing (as seems to be typical), a bunch of small towns:

 landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed in what might be called a “holler.”

 GE 1

Stepping back and out, here’s an oblique view looking north up the Fox Creek valley (with the town of Prospect in the foreground):

 GE 2

 So, Fox Creek discharges in the Elk R (3rd hit); on to the Tennessee R (37th hit); on to the Ohio (126th hit); on to the MM (795th hit).

 After some Google perusing, I selected Liberty as my titular town.  Prospect was a little closer, but as you can see by the above GE shot, there ain’t much to it.  Anyway, I found a couple of things of interest in Liberty, starting with the Liberty Mule.  From Wiki:

 Liberty_tn_mule

The “Allen Bluff Mule” is a painting of a mule on a limestone bluff on U.S. Route 70 in Liberty.  Some residents say a local man named Lavader Woodard painted the mule (thus the “L. Woodard” you can see in the picture), circa 1900.

In 2003, Liberty residents became upset that an expansion of U.S. 70 to a four-lane road could threaten the mule painting. The residents started a letter writing campaign to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Supporters of the mule also placed signs along the roadway stating “Save the Mule.” Ultimately the road expansion was far enough away from the mule, that it was never in any danger.

Phew.  Close call.  Anyway, I’ll move right along to Big Bob Griffith who played professional Negro League ball (and was born in Liberty).  This, from PitchBlackBaseball.com:

 BOB-Griffith_lg

Like most pitchers of the 1930s, Big Bob Griffith played in the shadow of the great Satchel Paige, but Griffith was a star in his own right, capable of eye-popping performances.

Griffith grew to six-foot-five, and was well over 200 pounds in his prime, had a blistering fastball, and knew how to throw the devastating (and illegal) emery ball.  He played professional ball from 1934 until 1951.

In 1936, a Negro League All-Star team was formed by manager Candy Jim Taylor to compete in the Denver Post Semipro Tournament. The roster chosen included Griffith and  Satchel Paige as the starting pitchers.

The Negro Leaguers, nicknamed “the Chocolate Whizbangs” by the Denver Post newspaper, made mincemeat of the competition, with Griffith and Paige leading the way. A short synopsis of the action:

Game 1: Griffith 11-0 win, 16 strikeouts
Game 2: Paige 7-2 win
Game 3: Griffith 13-0 win, 3-hitter
Game 4: Paige 12-1 win, 6-hitter
Game 5: Griffith 10-2 win, 5-hitter
Game 6: Paige 7-0 win, 18 strikeouts

Griffith couldn’t get baseball out of his system, and pitched semipro ball into his 50s. He died at age 64 not long after a terrible fall in his home.

Here’s a picture of the All-Star Team:

NegroLeagueStars1936

 

I’ll close with this shot of a bridge over the Elk River (just south of Prospect), by Brent Moore (as posted on flickr at SeeMidTn.com:

 seemidtn.com by brent moore flickr

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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