R.I.P. Earl Lloyd

Earl Lloyd, an Alexandria native, integrated the NBA in 1950 with the Washington Capitols. I blogged about this on 60th anniversary. He didn’t last long before entering the Army while the Capitols folded in early 1951. Lloyd would play for the Syracuse Nationals, winning the 1955 NBA title. His final two years were with the Detroit Pistons where he would also become head coach, the second African-American to hold the top job after Bill Russell.

More on Earl Lloyd:

Wizards Magazine Extra: Remembering Earl LloydMonumental Network

Earl Lloyd, first black player in NBA, dead at 86NBA.com

Earl Lloyd, first African American player in the NBA, dies at 86The Post

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Penn State: THON raises $13,026,653.23 for pediatric cancer charity


The annual Penn State Dance Marathon raised $13,026,653.23 for the Four Diamonds Fund a huge number, but not as huge as last year. Here’s how THON.org describes the philanthropy:

The mission of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is to conquer pediatric cancer by providing outstanding emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers, and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund.

The ongoing challenges for THON are to keep the books open so we can see where the money goes and to stay humble. THON claims that 96% of funds go to the Four Diamonds Fund. Marketplace trust is considered 65%, 96% is incredible. I’d like THON to provide details that confirms that number. As for humility, that has historically a bit of a challenge for some people. I can’t imagine many Penn Staters never heard someone in the Greek system say something along the lines of “we do THON, so don’t criticize us ever.” Given the Sandusky scandal, pointing to THON as a reason to not criticize the university seems inevitable by some and that’s sad.

The success of THON should stand alone and not be co-opted by any other agendas.

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More distilleries are coming to greater D.C. region

D.C. – it’s more than just a brewery town now as a second distillery has opened. We already know about New Columbia Distillers and Cactocin Creek in Northeast and Loudoun County, respectively. They now have a few competitors.

In the District

Back on January 8, another distillery, One Eight | @OneEightD, arrived in Northeast Washington. From their About Us page:

One Eight Distilling is named for Article One Section Eight of the Constitution, which among other things provided for the establishment of a district to serve as the nation’s capital. Our passion to build a distillery came from a desire to produce the finest spirits from grain to glass all within Washington, DC. We seek to continually make connections between people and our spirits, to use locally sourced ingredients, to recycle our spent mash to area farmers, and to pay our respects to the time-honored traditions of distilling while bringing innovation and love to every bottle we fill.

From last month, just before they opened (NBC Washington):
One Eight Distilling Opens Next Week in Northeast D.C.One Eight Distilling Opens Next Week in Northeast D.C.

They currently produce District Made Vodka, Rock Creek White Whiskey and Ivy City Gin. A rye and bourbon are several years away.

In Manassas

Meanwhile, in Prince William County KO Distilling will be opening its doors this spring (Inside NoVa):

KO Distilling owners Bill Karlson and John O’Mara describe their business as a “artisan distillery” and plan to make and sell bourbon, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, gin, vodka and rum. The business will also feature a visitors’ center and will offer tours, tastings, merchandise sales and space for special events.

We’ll check back in several years to find out if there is a distillery bubble like we think there might be a brewery bubble.

New Columbia’s new gin

New Columbia has a new gin – Navy Strength to go along with the flagship Green Hat Gin.

New Columbia and the Ivy City neighborhood was also featured in The Post recently: Street Smart: Ivy City’s Green Hat Gin. New Columbia, which is next to a “medical marijuana cultivation factory” share the neighborhood with One Eight and Atlas Brew Works.

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A Let Teddy Win photo of William Howard Taft used with permission

Here comes the Fat Presidents Storm!

CAPITAL WEATHER GANG: D.C. area forecast: Significant snow tonight, then more extreme cold and snow chances as week goes onThe Post
BeltwayLand’s biggest snow storm of the 2014-2015 winter to date is expected to begin later today, perhaps in time for the evening rush hour. We could see 4 to 8 inches in the immediate D.C. area, including inside the Beltway.

Related: BeltwayLand Snowplow information

We’ve had several Presidents Day storms (WJLA) over the years – especially 1979 (and last year we had the Pitchers & Catchers Day Storm which could happen again), but the bulk of this one will be on Fat Tuesday, so I got thinking we ought to call the Fat Presidents Storm. Obviously, William Howard Taft, seen above, is the spirit animal of this weather event.

I have never wanted a Washington Nationals Racing Presidents bobblehead so much. If the Nats don’t have a photo of Taft outside of snowy Nationals Park tomorrow, it’ll be a social media fail. For those with Taft bobbleheads, I expect to see it out in the snow too; perhaps we can measure the accumulation in how many Taft bobbleheads deep.


Racing Presidents in Snow, pre-Taft

Photo from flickr user Teddy Roosevelt. Visit Let Teddy Win for all your Racing President coverage.

I want to go skiing tomorrow. Real bad.

It’s 49 days until Opening Day

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nationals-park-by-tom-bridge

8 weeks until Nats Opening Day

Fifty-six days from now the Washington Nationals first game of the years should be in the record books. We’re closer to the start of baseball season than the end of it and it’s a good feeling, but not as good as when it’s actually here.

I note that baseball is 8 weeks away because I need a convenient headline, but I’m not quite willing to celebrate “Truck Day.” As far as I can tell, “Truck Day” was something the Boston Red Sox created to celebrate the departure of team equipment to spring training. It’s just a little forced to me. I buy into the symbolism of “Pitchers & Catchers Day” (especially when it snows up here) because it means we’re really close to wonderful things like daylight savings time and “best shape of his life” stories, but Truck Day is too far.

In other news, the Nats are outfitting DC Little League and adding Frank Robinson to the Ring of Honor, according to District Sports Page’s Tom Bridge. The photo in this post is by him by the way.

Max Scherzer is overpaid, his contract is weird (Deadspin) and I’d rather they have locked up Jordan Zimmermann, but this should help them stay competitive. Of course, pitching wasn’t the problem in the 2014 NLDS was it? Still, hard to argue with making a strength stronger and Zimmermann is apparently ready to leave D.C. as soon as he can according to internet rumors which are verifiable 100% of the time.

The 40% Detroit Tigers-based rotation has a Michigan friend of mine grumbling.

So, nobody asked new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred why the Nats need to subsidize Peter Angelos and the Baltimore Orioles while he was visiting the Dream Academy, but at least James Wagner of The Post asked what’s going on with the TV rights fight. The question that I would have liked him to ask is why the Nats their own television rights at all — why are they less of a team than the 29 others? Why does MLB think we’re less of a fanbase? I don’t know how many opportunities will present themselves to ask him point blank.

The Nats and White Sox have a big differential in weeknight and weekend attendance (Fangraphs). The obvious answer is because so many fans are coming from Northern Virginia (so, in a way, it’s a a commuter tax!) and the obvious solution is more targeted marketing to people who live in the District and close-in suburbs. Will it work? Maybe. It’s a good idea either way.

The Nats spring training home appears to be moving down I-95 as West Palm Beach is courting them and the Houston Astros for a complex (The Post). This would have been really handy circa 1990 when I used to visit grandparents down that way. That being said, I’m more inclined to visit spring training at a location on the I-95 corridor rather than I-75.

Jayson Werth is doing time on the weekends for driving too fast. I thought he’d get out of it, but instead he got his sentence reduce to 5 days and that’s good, he’s being held responsible for being stupid and dangerous. It will be interesting to see how he addresses this publicly given that he wouldn’t talk to reports following his NLDS performance he hit .059. Either way, who cares what John Feinstein says? Odds that the @bravesorganist plays “I Can’t Drive 55″ — 1:1. I’ll laugh. He might too.

Ryan Zimmerman
, first baseman, will be weird, but makes a lot of sense. Let’s hope nobody on the infield gets hurt though. Or the outfield or catcher. If history is a guide, there will be lots of injuries from running the bases.

Parking lot P is gone, according to JDLand.

Bryce Harper — now available, ladies. It’s always said when things don’t work out. Nice job on the golf course though:

Tickets go sale on February 19. Would somebody please help me pick up an Opening Day ticket? I’ll get you a local beer too.

We’re ten years into the Nats. That was really fast and we’ve come a long way as a fanbase, but the franchise has come even farther. I’m so glad my sons get to grow up with a big league baseball team. I think I’ll be tweeting out my inaugural season coverage 10 years after it happened to commemorate a decade of DC baseball.

It’s 56 days until Opening Day

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R.I.P. Ed Sabol

Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films, dies at age of 98 – NFL.com
Ed Sabol built NFL Films from the ground up in the 1960s and turned pro football into a myth. He and his son Steve, were brilliant propagandists (I say mostly with affection) who helped turn the NFL into the biggest sports enterprise in America.

Here is the “A Football Life” on Ed Sabol:

Since it’s up, here is the episode about his late son, Steve:

These videos will surely be taken down soon, so enjoy them now.

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Flag Day miracle: Wegmans opening Kingstwowne-ish location June 14

Wegmans Alexandria location to open in JuneNBC Washington
DESTINATION SUPERMARKET SHOPPERS REJOICE!

Remember exactly five years ago today when I said Wegmans was opening south of Alexandria? We finally have a date – June 14, a Sunday.

So yay, I finally TEH GR8EST GROCERE STORE EVAH! Kind of nearby.

The mailing address will be Alexandria, but’s it is about 5 miles south of the city limits. I wish the post office wouldn’t do that – call t Kingstowne or Belvior, but not Alexandria.

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William F. Yurasko's blog v.15 – Nats, Redskins, Capitals, D.C. life, transportation, not so much Penn State anymore,