Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjack…

Dear HTS Community:

Since we are less than two weeks away from opening day, I thought it might be fun to have a point/counterpoint discussion with our resident baseball expert, fourth grader, Jared P.  We are going to list the five most unbreakable records in Major League Baseball.  Jared’s comments are listed first and mine, in italics, are listed second.

5. Most Career Wins (Cy Young-511) – I think Cy Young’s Most Career Wins of 511 is unbeatable.  Cy Young is the only member of the “500 win club.” The next closest player on the Most Career Wins list is Walter Johnson, who played for the Washington Senators (ed note: team motto – First in War, First in Peace, last in the American League) from 1907-1927,  with 417 wins.

Highest Career Batting Average (Ty Cobb .366) – The “Georgia Peach” was anything but peachy off the diamond.  Personal issues aside, Ty’s career batting average is 41 points higher than the highest active player, a rapidly declining Albert Pujols. 

4. Most Years Played by a Player: (Nolan Ryan and Cap Anson, 27 years) – The average baseball career is approximately 5-6 years, so since they were able to play well for so many years it will be hard to beat those records. Many players careers are cut short because of injury.

59 Consecutive Scoreless Innings. (Orel Hershiser) – Orel was the closet thing to perfect in the late summer and early fall of 1988. That season, Orel went over a month without allowing a single runner to cross home plate!

3. Most Career at Bats: (Pete Rose – 14,052) – The Most Career Hits and Career at Bats records are held by Pete Rose.  These records were set from 1963-1986.

61 Home Runs in a Season. (Roger Maris) – I know there have been six examples of players hitting more than that amount.  They are:

Barry Bonds 73 home runs in 2001 (strongly linked to steroids)

Mark McGwire 70 in 1998 (steroids)

Sammy Sosa 66 in 1998 (steroids) For those too young to remember,  prior to using steroids, the then-White Sox outfielder was known as Sammy So-So.

Mark McGwire 65 in 1999 

Sammy Sosa 64 in 2001

Sammy Sosa 63 in 1999 

2. Most Career Hits: (Pete Rose – 4,256) – The Most Career Hits and Career at Bats records are held by Pete Rose.  These records were set from 1963-1986.

2,632 Consecutive Games Played. (Cal Ripken) – With injuries like this, this record is also unassailable.  

1. Most Home Runs in One Season:(Roger Maris – 61 Not including steroid use) (ed. note: great minds think alike) – The Home Runs in One Season record held by Roger Maris was originally held by Babe Ruth.  Babe Ruth held the record when the baseball season was 154 games. When Roger Maris beat the record, the season was extended to 162 games. Some players beat the record but I don’t think they should count since they took steroids and cheated

56 (56!) Game Hitting Streak. (Joe DiMaggio) – The gold standard of baseball records is also known as the last magic number in sports.  With the arrival of specialized relief pitching, hitters today could face a different pitcher every at bat. Moreover, with ESPN, twitter and other social media, the pressure would become immense at around 25 consecutive games.  And then it would get worse.  Seventy-two years after inspiring a song (“He started baseball’s famous streak. That’s got us all aglow. He’s just a man and not a freak, Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio”) and mesmerizing a nation, Joe D’s record stands alone.  For those interested in learning more, order this book.

Then again, the possibility of records being broken is what entices us back into watching the national pastime.  Former St. Louis Cardinal Pitcher Joaquin Andujar truly summed up the issue when he said, “There’s one word that tells you everything about baseball ‘You never know.’”

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone and Jared P.

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The Harding Shake…

March 8, 2013

Dear HTS Community:

Friday, March 15th will be Dr. Petersen’s final day at HTS.  He will be sorely missed and on behalf of the entire school community, I would like to thank him for his service and commitment to the district. As I mentioned in a prior letter, we have put together a committee to assist in the recruitment and selection of a new Principal/Director of Curriculum.  This committee consists of various stakeholders, representing a cross-section of the HTS community and is busy working to review resumes and conduct interviews with selected candidates.  Since it is probable that the successful candidate will have to provide up to 60 days notice in his/her district, it is unlikely that we will have a replacement by Monday, March 18.

Concurrently, we have been recruiting and interviewing candidates for the position of Interim Principal/Director of Curriculum.  I am pleased to announce that we have been able to secure a commitment from Thea Spina to serve in this capacity until the end of the school year, if need be.  Mrs. Spina is an experienced teacher and administrator and recently retired from her position as Principal of Mountview Road School in the Hanover Township School District. Mrs. Spina was President of the Morris County Association of Elementary and Middle School Administrators and has also served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Consortium for Gifted Programs.  Due to a previous commitment, Mrs. Spina will not be able to join us until Tuesday, March 26th.  For the week of March 18th, I will serve as Interim Principal/Superintendent.

Earlier this year you were asked to take the second annual HTS Climate Survey.  The survey consisted of 25 questions in the areas of academics, curriculum and school climate.  Although almost all the data (posted on our home page) from the survey was positive, the survey results revealed that many of our parents (35.7%, to be exact) believe that our current curriculum is not rigorous enough.  We are investigating and implementing a variety of strategies to address this issue. A partial list:

  • All students in grades 2-8 will be taking the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this month.  The MAP is a formative assessment designed to provide teachers with timely feedback that can be used to guide instructional practices.
  • Curricula in Social Studies, French, Spanish and Gifted and Talented (Quest) are being revised and edited and will be ready for full implementation in September 2013.
  • Next month, teachers will use the early dismissal (parent conferences) days on April 17 and April 18 to build and develop skills and strategies that we believe will assist our students as they prepare for the NJASK.
  • Lastly, all students in grades 3-8 will receive a NJASK Prep packet of information to be completed in April before/during/after Spring Break.

As always, if you would like to discuss this letter in greater detail, please contact me at HTS.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone