Hot Stove #105 – 2019 Telluride Film Festival

For the baseball/but-not-movie fans of Hot Stove, feel free to hit delete now. Otherwise…

For our 9th year in a row, Rita and I attended the Telluride Film Festival. We were joined by our friend Avie Sullivan who was attending Telluride for the first time. She did great – saw 17 films (Rita and I settled for 14, still enough to qualify for what Rita calls the “Sport of Extreme Sitting”). The weather was grand, sunny and ranging from the 50s to the 70s, so standing in line between movies was a pleasure.

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Hot Stove Short – Jorge Soler Passes Bob Cerv and Mike Moustakas

While Rita and I were flying back from the Telluride Film Festival last night, Jorge Soler hit his record-setting 39th home run. The previous “Kansas City” record for homers in a season was 38, set by Bob Cerv (1958) and Mike Moustakas (2017).

Below, with the scoreboard reading that he is tied with Moustakas at 38, Soler hits #39 (photo by Royals photographer Jason Hanna).

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Hot Stove #104 – Seinfeld Baseball Chronicles

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The Mets were in Kansas City this past weekend. Friday night was “Beatles Night” to celebrate the appearance by the band in Kansas City 55 years ago – at Municipal Stadium at 22nd and Brooklyn, hosted by A’s owner Charlie Finley. Since 14-year-old Rita Leifhelm was at that concert in 1964, we of course had to go to the Royals anniversary party. Rita bought us Beatles tee-shirts to wear and arranged transportation with uber (small “u” – i.e., outstanding) driver Pat Titterington and his wife Cheryl Dillard. The Royals did little during the game to remind you it was Beatles Night, but the band’s music was played during the quite spectacular fireworks show. Continue reading

Update – Hot Stove/Lonnie’s Jukebox Website

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Turned 78 today, or as I like to think, 25.556 Celsius.

Rita has this thing that you are only as old as the high temperature on your birthday. Easy for her to say. She was born in December. Under her theory, I am forecast to be 88 today. Or as I like to think, 31.111 Celsius.

When I turned 75, my friends-of-long-standing Diana and Larry Brewer gave me a tee-shirt that converted my age to…Celsius. This year, they sent me the baseball-themed card you see below. The inside message reads “Hope your birthday is a major-league good time.” I’m sure it will be. Rita and I will be walking  down the hill to enjoy a birthday dinner at Capital Grille at its new location on the Plaza. Continue reading

On the Campaign Trail with Tom Eagleton and Walter Mondale (Part One of Three)

[This is Part One of a three-part series on the (i) parallel political tracks of Walter Mondale and Tom Eagleton, and (ii) my good fortune to work on their campaigns.]

In the fall of 1960, I was in my sophomore year at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla. That November, Tom Eagleton and Walter Mondale each won his first statewide election. At the time, I doubt I noticed their victories. But I would come to appreciate these two fine public servants and have the honor of working with both of them. Here’s the story. Continue reading

On the Campaign Trail with Tom Eagleton and Walter Mondale (Part Two of Three)


As Part One ended, I was joining the Mondale advance staff…


Mondale Campaign Advance: With some remarkable efficiency, a large advance staff was assembled. Some were full-time and paid, but many were like me, part-time volunteers. We started getting paperwork to get up to speed. I saw that the roster included some fellow Kansas Citians – Mike Kelley, Dale Leibach and Russ Welsh. Mike Kelley was not new to a VP race. Mike was Tom Eagleton’s press secretary for seven years, including being in the middle of the chaotic 18-day VP run with McGovern in 1972 (Gene Godley had also been at Eagleton’s side during those 18 days). I had not previously known Dale Leibach, but soon met him when we joined lead advance Debbie Sale on one of my early assignments (Davenport, Iowa). I knew Russ Welsh, and we would end up at the same law firm a few years later – I joined Polsinelli in 1979 and Russ came in 1986.

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On the Campaign Trail with Tom Eagleton and Walter Mondale (Part Three of Three)


The midterms are coming! The midterms are coming!

Plus Helsinki, Paris, Lagos and pics of Rita.


July, 1978 – Topeka: Mondale’s visit to Topeka was both official (dedication of a power plant) and political (a fundraiser for Dr. Bill Roy). Roy was a former Congressman who gave up his seat in 1974 to run against Senator Bob Dole. He lost to Dole and was back to try again, this time against Nancy Kassebaum. Roy lost again.

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Hot Stove Special Edition – Landing on the Moon – The Day Baseball Stood Still

07-15-19 Womens World Cup

Fifty years ago today, at 3:17 Kansas City time, the first humans landed on the moon. At that moment, there were eight major league games in progress. It was the Sunday before the All-Star break.

The title of this post is borrowed from the science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, a movie I saw in 1951 at the age of ten. I was reminded of the film this past week by a headline in the Washington Post: When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, major league baseball stood still. The Post article featured what happened at Yankee Stadium fifty years ago, and I took to Google to find out what happened at some other stadiums.

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Hot Stove #103 – Wimbledon in 1989 and 2019; Saying Goodbye to Jim Bouton, Tyler Skaggs and Dave Bartholomew

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I’m going to start with tennis, but if Wimbledon is not your cup of tea (get it), please feel free to skip to Jim Bouton and Tyler Skaggs for some pure baseball.

Breakfast at Wimbledon: Rita and I attended “Breakfast at Wimbledon” on Saturday and Sunday. Via ESPN.

We were also there thirty years ago. But that time at Centre Court. And closer to lunch time.

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Hot Stove #102 – Five Stadiums in Five Days – Minneapolis to Cincinnati

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The All-Star game is tomorrow night in Cleveland. Below, something to keep you busy between innings and during mound visits.

Rita and I recently completed our fourth annual stadium tour. We were joined on the bus by 43 other baseball fans from around the country. As always, the tickets, hotels and other details were superbly handled by Darren Zinser who runs Triple Crown Travel (click here if you have an interest in a future trip). First stop, Minneapolis…

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