Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Metaphysics Of Al Luplow-Or Precognition Strikes Again

A few days ago I dreamed about the palindrome ( a sentence that can be read forwards and backwards) "A man a plan a canal Panama" (said to be ascribed to Teddy Roosevelt-apocryphally of course). Of course dreams have no logic and I would defy a Freudian to find anything sexual in this one-although, hmmm "a man, a canal"-no that's a bridge to far for even the dream interpreters surely.

I thought nothing further about it, except in my waking hours to muse on other palindromes I knew, which include the one ascribed to Napoleon; "Able was I ere I saw Elba" and of course the first words ever spoken ascribed to Adam; "Madam I'm Adam" and in the normal course of things that should have been that.

However, two days later I was watching "Broadwalk Empire" and in one scene, apropos of absolutely nothing to do with the current plot or previous plots, a character said "A man a plan a canal Panama" and then, without being asked, explained what a palindrome was.

Now in the normal course of things I would have ascribed this to being a pure co-incidence, as weird as it was. However in the course of my life this sort of thing has happened in ways which are far beyond what could be ascribed to pure coincidence. I am convinced that Shakespeare had it right all those centuries ago;
"there are more things in heaven and earth than dreamed of in your philosophy". 

That being said I don't indulge in fantastical theories, or attend at chanting secret society groups and the like. Rather I have been a wry observer of these rare but, almost physically tangible precognition happenings, and don't indulge any further speculation about them other than what I have written about from time to time. 

On the other hand if any sceptic can explain to me the mysteries of the universe which include apparent precognition I am of course more than happy to hear them out. 

I am very disappointed that the original post of the article below has been lost when I closed the first series of this blog, as it included a letter from a man who set out a background to precognition and referred to books on the subject.  I do have the letter below which is more in the manner of a memory about the event I describe which I hope might interest baseball fans.I would be delighted to have any update on the subject, precognition, from those with a knowledge of it of course.

Below is the original post 'AL LUPLOW'S CATCH"

A diversion from things political and economic and part two of the promised excursion into things metaphysical as described previously http://recovering-liberal.blogspot.com/2010/04/coincidence-i-dont-think-so-non.html

I set out that whilst not a believer in the sort of miracles as described in the magical staircase example there have been examples of "coincidences' so extreme in their lack of probability as to perhaps be what the late Bernard Levin described as "the brief pulling back of a curtain". In my previous exposition I set out one example-to do with Keith Olberman and James Thurber and my youthful reading habits which I felt was beyond coincidence.

I did not however posit what the explanation was for my experience as I am unable to, and further, there was one more example of, to me, an experience of "precognition" which transcended coincidence even more. This was the "Al Luplow's catch" conundrum.

In my youth I was a keen Cleveland Indians fan-even though I lived in New York.This was because I was an admirer of great pitchers of which the Cleveland  team abounded-Lemon/Garcia/Feller/Wynn the tragic Herb Score/Mossi/Narleski/Grant and so many more. Being in the same league as the Yankees meant that the Tribe had limited success even with these great pitchers except for the wonderful 1959 season, and of course the pennant year of 1954 (the first year I became  aware of baseball).

Being a fan meant of course keeping a diary of the pitching rotations ( and planning them out) and following the fortunes of all the players-one of whom was an outfielder Al LuplowLuplow had a promising start but never really blossomed as a hitter (lifetime average .235), although an outstanding fielder (second in the A.L. in 1963), and had a brief career, but for one moment he was the talk of baseball.

I didn't see the game and hopefully my memory serves me well about the moment that "Al Luplow's catch" gained a toehold in the collective memory of baseball. I believe it was against Boston in Fenway Park that Luplow made what was described as one of the greatest catches of all time. I remember ballplayers describing it so and one ruefully saying to the effect it was sad that Luplow was a nobody, as if he were a great, his catch would have been of historic proportions.

As a young fan this of course made an impression on me and stuck in my mind.The passage of time, parental and job responsibilities, moving to the other side of the world, meant a disassociation with baseball and the forgetting of the things of youth.

Twenty Seven years later I was sitting in the waiting room of a Doctor in a provincial town in the depths of the South Island of New Zealand- about as far away from the USA and anything to do with baseball in America as can be imagined. Whilst waiting to see the Doctor and for no reason that can be imagined the phrase, which I hadn't heard or thought in all those years "Al Luplow's catch" popped into my mind. I gave it a moments thought and reminisced about my youth and the thought passed.

Time passed and I got bored and looking around for something to read I noticed  that under my chair there was a pile of magazines and grabbed a bunch and started whittling though them. There were the usual "Woman's Day" sort and about 8 layers down (where I could not possibly have seen it ) was an old issue of Sports Illustrated (how that got to rural New Zealand I have no idea) which I opened and the first article I saw was "Remembering Al Luplow's Incredible catch".

Coincidence? Frankly that is impossible. That experience, and the Thurber/Olberman one described previously are indeed "the drawing back of a curtain" or the working out of a chain of events so extreme in its randomness as to be beyond computation.

John Le Blanc  9 months ago

I was 11 years old, sitting in the right field bleachers in section 4.  It was the annual "Joe Brett" day in Quincy Mass.  For several years Mr. Brett, the local State Rep., would send scores of youths from the neighborhoods in his district to a Sox game.  All we had to do was pay a dime (yes 10 cents) at the local barber shop, get your name on a list, and pick up a parental consent form to be presented at the bus parked at Montclair school.  At any rate to fast forward to the game, when Williams  ball left the bat it looked like it had to be gone.  I just remember Luplow leaving his feet on a dead run and hearing his cleats scrape the top of the 5 ft. high bullpen wall

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