Photo courtesy of Craig Y. FujiiLasting legacy · Vin Scully left an indelible mark on many viewers.Three of my childhood sports icons — Kobe Bryant, Vin Scully and David Ortiz — all have announced their retirement this year.On April 13, Bryant played his last game as a Laker. It will be a day that’s forever close to my heart. I got to spend it with my dad, my friend Hailey and our family friend Ralph. While my dad was able to be in Staples Center, Hailey, Ralph and I watched Kobe drop 60 points in his final game together on a big screen at the corner of Figueroa and 7th Streets, surrounded by fellow Lakers fans. In my No. 24 jersey, it was a day well worth the tears.On May 24, I got to see Big Papi play at Fenway for the first time. Getting to chant “Papi!” in unison with the entire stadium was just one highlight of a day that 8-year-old Jodee had always dreamed about. He hit well and was responsible for four of the team’s eight runs in their victory. Decked out in my No. 34 jersey, it was also a day well worth the tears.On Oct. 2, both Ortiz and Scully participated in their final regular-season games, one-on-one on the West Coast and the other on the East Coast. After spending the day watching both games and the ceremonies surrounding each, I was reminded of the greatness that both men brought to baseball and to my life. It was also a day well worth the tears.Originally, I wanted to write about how each of these three shaped both me and my love for sports, but Sunday night something happened and my idea shifted a bit.At 9 p.m., I went to mass at the USC Our Savior Parish as I do every Sunday when I’m at USC. During the homily, Father Steve Davoren talked about how a couple of weeks back he received an email asking if he’d like to say mass at Dodgers Stadium. This wasn’t just any mass. It was mass on Sept. 25, Vin’s final day at Dodgers Stadium. Growing up a Dodgers fan, Fr. Steve quickly accepted the invitation.He shared with everyone about the trip of riding down the elevator with Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and the other Dodgers stars. Once down in the room where mass was being held, Fr. Steve talked about how Vin walked in the room with tears streaming down his face.Fr. Steve thought his tears were only about the fact that it was his final game at Chavez Ravine. But when Vin walked up to Fr. Steve, he shared with Fr. Steve about how he’d just been in the locker room and all the guys were upset about the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ star who died in a boating accident last week. He told the father that he couldn’t imagine the pain Fernandez’s parents must be going through and asked for prayers for his family and teammates.Fr. Steve was shocked. Here was this man — a legendary broadcaster, on his final day at Dodgers Stadium in his 67th year with the Dodgers — and he’s more worried about others than himself.Fr. Steve tangentially talked about Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. He joked about how none of us sitting there are old enough to have seen it live and how it was the last time the Dodgers won the World Series. He did a quick sign of the cross in hopes that the team could win it all this season. As a Dodgers fan and the daughter of a Dodgers fan, I’ve heard my dad talk about Gibson’s home run fondly. Not only was it the last year the Dodgers won the World Series, but Gibson’s home run was also on the night of my dad’s bachelor party. So though I didn’t see it live, I’ve seen the clip and heard Vin’s call a multitude of times.Fr. Steve shared how he can still picture the full count, two-out pitch and remembers Vin’s call exactly.“The impossible has happened,” Fr. Steve said to the congregation, re-enacting Scully’s call.Fr. Steve went on to say that Vin just doesn’t call games: it feels like he’s sharing the game directly with you, like you were in the same room. He said Vin can take the smallest instances on the field and talk about them in such a way that they seem like the most important thing to happen that day.Of course, Fr. Steve tied all of this back to the Catholic faith. He talked about how having faith as small as a mustard seed can lead to miraculous things. He related that famous line — the impossible has happened — to Jesus and the Catholic faith. For me, it was a culmination of two of the things I hold near to my heart.By the end of his homily, I had tears in my eyes. Fr. Steve so beautifully summed up why so many people are drawn to Vin Scully, why he’s captured the hearts of baseball fans spanning a number of generations, why I wish I could’ve been able to experience more than just the 20 years — not even a third of Vin’s career — that I’ve experienced.In the games leading up to his finale, Vin said numerous times that he believes he’s needed fans more than we’ve needed him, going so far as to sing that we’ve been “The Wind Beneath [His] Wings.” To the little red-haired boy that fell in love with baseball so long ago and grew into the broadcaster that everyone knows and loves, thank you for saying “enough for a lifetime.” This is Jodee Storm Sullivan wishing Vin Scully a very pleasant retirement, wherever he may be.Jodee Storm Sullivan is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. Her column, “The Storm Report,” runs Tuesdays.
NAPA — Things are looking up in terms of keeping quarterback Derek Carr healthy in 2019, and not just because both of his offensive tackles stand at 6-foot-8.Kolton Miller fought and clawed his way through his rookie season, mostly on one knee, and comes back in Year 2 heavier (pushing 330 pounds) and presumably smarter and more confident as the incumbent on the left side.Trent Brown, the NFL’s largest player at … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Winter is a great time to get ready for spring planting, which will be here before we know it. One of the most important parts of the growing season is planting. It’s crucial that your crops get off to a good start and it’s important to make sure that your planter is field-ready when the time comes. Planting seed into the best possible growing conditions is a one of the most important tasks of spring field work. A planter in need of some adjustment can result in varied seed placement, uneven emergence, and ultimately a reduction in yield potential.Check for and replace any parts of your planter that are excessively worn. No-till coulters or disk openers that are worn out will not create the proper seed furrow and may cause poor seed placement. Good seed-to-soil contact is critical in ensuring seed germination and uniform emergence. Emergence that is uneven can cause a loss in yield potential. No-till coulters should be adjusted to operate at the same depth or slightly shallower than disk openers. Seed firmers in good condition will also promote adequate seed-to-soil contact. Check the chains and sprockets on your planter. Make sure chains are operated at the correct tension and replace any sprockets that are worn as well as chains that are stiff, rusty, or excessively worn. Smooth chain operation is a critical component of proper planter operation and seed spacing. Any hesitation or jerk in the system will result in seed spacing that is not uniform.One of the most important aspects of planter maintenance is calibration of your planter. Make the necessary adjustments to your planter to make certain it will plant at the population you desire. Broken or worn parts on planter units should be replaced and units should be periodically calibrated. Along with performing maintenance on planter units make sure seed tubes are clean and are not damaged such that they will prevent even seed spacing. Calibration of your planter and units will reduce skips, doubles, and triples in seed placement. Research has shown that skips, doubles, and triples can cause a reduction in yield potential. In the recent publication Corn Stand Establishment and Planter Maintenance, Purdue Extension Agronomist Bob Nielsen states “Yield data from our small-plot research and from replicated strip trials indicate that about 2.5 bushels per acre are lost for every inch increase in the standard deviation of the plant-to-plant spacings.” Uniform seed spacing minimizes competition between plants for water and nutrients and promotes efficient use of sunlight.Once you’ve gone through your planter, it’s a good idea to test it out before you head to the field. It is important to evaluate a planter under conditions closely resembling those you will find in the field. Keep in mind a gravel driveway in the barnyard may work but it might not accurately resemble field conditions. Evaluate your planter’s performance at the speed you will be operating in the field. Check your planter for smooth operation, make sure seed spacing and depth is even and accurate. Making a few adjustments to your planter this winter will require some time and effort. This is time well spent and it could really pay off in the spring.