Rich Galen

The pitcher's mound on a Little League field is something like 46 feet from home plate. My wicked curve went approximately 42 feet.

My coach said maybe I should forget about throwing a 42 foot curve ball and concentrate on throwing a 46 foot straight ball. I did not tell him that my straight ball also went 42 feet.

I remember telling him that I had heard Yankees' announcer Mel Allen say on the radio that a left-hander's curve ball breaks down, not side-to-side, and is, in fact an un-hittable sinker pitch.

My coach bought it, which marked the exact moment that knew I was headed for a career in politics.

In the game the Nats beat the Dodgers 9-1; Snelling reached base all four times (a single and three walks); Church went oh-for-three. There was a sign on a whiteboard in the press box announcing that there were 14 days until Opening Day. We'll see who starts in left.

All in all, not a bad way to celebrate the last day of Winter.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: The meteorological/astronomical definition of the first day of Spring; an interesting discussion of Spaulding red rubber balls; a few Mullfotos from Space Coast Stadium proving I was actually there, and a Catchy Caption of the day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at