Author Archives: JT

Happy Reds birthday, Dom Zanni!

Dom Zanni

March 1, 1932

Dom Zanni pitched in seven seasons over nine years for three different teams, and wore five different uniform numbers in that span. For the Giants, he donned numbers 51 and 34; for the White Sox, he was number 19; for the Reds, Zanni wore numbers 43 and 33. He came to the Reds via the White Sox in exchange for pen-wielding pitcher Jim Brosnan.

Happy Reds birthday, Aroldis Chapman!


February 28, 1988

Aroldis Chapman was arrested in May, 2012, on traffic charges. He was driving 93 MPH on I-71 northbound in Grove City, Ohio. My car starts shaking violently around 80 MPH…it would probably fall apart above 90.

Happy Reds birthday, Neftali Soto!


February 28, 1989

Neftali Soto struggled at the big league level for the Reds, hitting .071 with only 3 hits in 42 at bats. In 2016, Soto played for the Harrisburg Senators and Syracuse Chiefs, posting a .274 batting average with 10 homers and 62 RBI.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone by Mark Dawidziak (2016)

Twilight Zone

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone
by Mark Dawidziak
Thomas Dunne Books, 2017

There are a handful of television programs I keep in my Netflix queue, even after I have watched every episode, because I can go back and watch them again and see something different. Many shows are disposable, but then there are series like The Twilight Zone that endure despite repeated viewings. The reason is quite simple: there are lessons that can be learned, and in many cases must be learned. Rod Serling was a masterful storyteller, and his work on The Twilight Zone will be revered as long as the series is available for new generations. Author Mark Dawidziak writes, “The Twilight Zone not only was a series with a strong social conscience, it was television that believed there was intelligent life on the other side of the television screen.”

Dawidziak offers up fifty lessons gleaned from The Twilight Zone in Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone, including simplistic yet important lessons like “follow your passion” and “nobody said life was fair,” to it’s-better-to-learn-from-others-mistakes lessons such as “read every contract…carefully” and “the grass is always greener…or so you think.” Dawidziak writes, “Lurking in almost every episode of The Twilight Zone is at least one guiding rule, one life lessons, one stirring reminder of a basic right or wrong taught to us as children. There are lessons for individuals. There are lessons for our society. There are lessons for our planet.”

It would be impossible to pick out the best lessons presented by Dawidziak, just as it is a daunting task to rank episodes of The Twilight Zone itself. But consider, if you will, lesson twenty: “If life gives you another chance, make the most of it,” utilizing the episodes, “Third from the Sun” and “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank.” A new venture may be just what you need to turn your rut of a life into a joyous existence.

In addition to Dawidziak’s fifty lessons, which are gleaned from about one hundred episodes, the author also concedes the page to guest lessons. These guest lessons come from such esteemed individuals as Jack Klugman and James Best, who both appeared in multiple episodes of The Twilight Zone, Mel Brooks, Robert Redford, Mick Garris, Carol Burnett, and Dick Van Dyke.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone is a fun way to revisit the timeless works of Serling and other Twilight Zone writers, highly recommended for fans of the iconic television series.

Learn more about Thomas Dunne Books.

Purchase Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone by Mark Dawidziak.

Happy Reds birthday, Connie Ryan!


February 27, 1920

Connie Ryan’s given name is Cornelius Joseph Ryan. I had no idea “Connie” was short for Cornelius, but there are a number of ballplayers that have used that moniker: Connie Mack, Connie Murphy, Connie Creeden, Connie McGeehan, and Connie Walsh. There is also the less-common spelling of “Conny” used by Conny Doyle. No one named “Connie” has played in the big leagues since Connie Johnson retired in 1958, but his given name was Clifford, not Cornelius.

Happy Reds birthday, Jumbo Diaz!

Jumbo Diaz

February 27, 1984

Jumbo Diaz is one of the most entertaining pitchers in the Reds’ bullpen. I absolutely love his enthusiasm and perseverance. Diaz started in the Los Angeles system in 2002, then bounced to the Rangers in 2009, Orioles in 2010, and Pirates in 2012 before landing in Cincinnati’s farm system in 2013.

Happy Reds birthday, Gary Majewski!


February 26, 1980

Gary Majewski pitched in 88 games for the Reds from 2006 to 2008. His ERA was 7.38. Tell me again that expansion doesn’t dilute the talent pool. I dare you.

Happy Reds birthday, Cesar Cedeno!


February 25, 1951

Cesar Cedeno was an absolute beast for the Houston Astros in the 1970s. Four All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, 163 home runs in twelve seasons with the ‘Stros. He cooled off quite a bit starting around 1977, and by the time he came to Cincinnati, he was a shadow of his former self. In four years, he hit 30 home runs and drove in 173 for the Reds while batting .265. The Reds traded him to the Cardinals in 1985, and he finished up his career with the Dodgers in 1986.

Happy Reds birthday, Paul O’Neill!

Paul Oneill

February 25, 1963

Paul O’Neill won a World Championship and appeared in an All-Star game as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He then won five more World Series and received four more All-Star honors as a member of the Yankees. Twelve voters named him on their Hall of Fame ballots in 2007, only 397 votes shy of induction.

Happy Reds birthday, Nick Esasky!

February 24, 1960

Nick Esasky is the topic of many Reds fans conversations when the topic turns to the teams of the 1980s. From 1985 to 1988, the Reds finished 2nd each year. But what if, instead of chasing Ty Cobb’s record, Pete Rose had played Esasky more at first base than himself? Could he have been the boost the team needed to win the West Division, especially in 1985 when he slugged 21 home runs in 125 games? Most of those games were at third base (split with Buddy Bell) and left field (split with Gary Redus and Cesar Cedeno). No doubt, Rose wanted the record, and Reds fans wanted the record, but wouldn’t it have been nice to have seen the team get over that hump and win the division?

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