Cape League Western Division preview |

The Cape Cod Times has posted its annual preview of the Cape Cod Baseball League season. Opening Day for the Cotuit Kettleers is at Wareham Sunday afternoon and I will try to be there. This is a strange time of year for the league — lots of players are tied up in the Collegiate Super Regionals, Team USA tryouts and the MLB Draft. Cotuit’s top player — Zack Cox at Arkansas and last year’s All-Star game MVP went in the first round of the draft to St. Louis. So it’s hard to really preview or prognosticate for another few weeks until the rosters settle down. These early weeks are interesting to watch because the players — most of whom are college freshmen and sophmores — haven’t played with wooden bats before, so it’s “small ball” with tons of errors and struggling batters.

“Outlook: The Kettleers hope the third times a charm, having fallen in the Cape League Finals the previous two years. It looks to be an entire new cast in Cotuit with 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas) drafted in the first round in this week's MLB draft. Cox was the All-Star game MVP for the West last year and hit .344 in 23 games for Cotuit before being sidelined before the playoffs with an injury. The Razorbacks sophomore was selected 25th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals, which leaves his status for a return doubtful.”

via Cape League Western Division preview |

Whereabouts week of 6.14

Monday-Friday: Cotuit and calling into whatever needs calling into. Was considering a quick return to North Carolina but have decided to hang back on the Cape.

Fascinating obituary – Joan Hinton from bombs to cows

During my first visit to China in the spring of 2006 my step-sister took me along to a cocktail party for a Spanish filmmaker in an astonishing old home in the western part of Beijing. The host, an American, was a great raconteur and told me the story of growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, the son of a remarkable woman who left the U.S. after World War II to join the Communist cause under Mao. I took some shots of his house, lost in the shadows of the skyscrapers popping out of the ground around it. And was all agog when he took me on a tour through the tunnels and catacombs below.

This morning, while flipping through the New York Times, his mother’s obituary jumped out at me.

“Joan Hinton, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atom bomb, but spent most of her life as a committed Maoist working on dairy farms in China, died on Tuesday in Beijing. She was 88….

“In 1948, alarmed at the emerging cold war, she gave up physics and left the United States for China, then in the throes of a Communist revolution she wholeheartedly admired. “I did not want to spend my life figuring out how to kill people,” she told National Public Radio in 2002. “I wanted to figure out how to let people have a better life, not a worse life.”

“In China she met her future husband, Erwin Engst, a Cornell-trained dairy-cattle expert, who went on to work on dairy farms as a breeder while she designed and built machinery. During the Cultural Revolution, they were editors and translators in Beijing.

“Ms. Hinton applied her scientific talents to perfecting a continuous-flow automatic milk pasteurizer and other machines. For the past 40 years, she worked on a dairy farm and an agricultural station outside Beijing, tending a herd of about 200 cows.”

There’s a movie or book in her life. Grandfather invented the jungle gym. Mother founded the Putney School in Vermont. She qualified for the Olympic Team in skiing. Amazing. My condolences to her son Fred and her family.

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