Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

My Favorite Posts From 2016   Leave a comment

Smokey does not mess around. When he says the danger is extreme, believe him.

Smokey does not mess around. When he says the danger is extreme, believe him.

I debate with myself about the value of this blog at times. After all, I spend a lot of time thinking, writing, formatting … doing.

When I review the posts I’ve written over the year, though, and have to discard posts that I am really proud of in order to only show 15 posts, I know my effort is not in vain.

Here are my favorite posts from 2016. Please, enjoy!

A Family Heirloom

Auto-Updating & Patience

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2

Choosing A President: 1824

Yeah. We voted at this place.

Yeah. We voted at this place.

Do All Lives Matter?

I’m Exhausted

Installing Oneida’s V3000 Dust Collection System

Mrs M’s New Booth: # 4

My Left Kneecap

Soap: At Long Last

Soap Drying Rack

The Board Chronicles: California Avocado Festival 2016

Why? You Ask Why?

Why? You Ask Why?

When Nature Fights Back: A Special Edition of The Board Chronicles

Why? You Ask Why?

You Get Your News Where?


My Favorite Posts From 2015

My Favorite Posts From 2014

My Favorite Posts From 2013

Posted December 31, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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The Best Of MowryJournal 2016   Leave a comment

These are the most viewed posts on in 2016. People from 150 countries visited this blog this year!

Six of these posts were not on this list last year, and 3 of the posts are new posts written this year. All of these posts have gone viral in one way or another, generating much interest beyond those directly in my normal, ever-increasing circle of readers.

There are 2 of Velda’s exceptional recipes here: try them, if you haven’t already. I promise you won’t regret it! It’s worthy of note that her Wild Mushroom Cobbler was this blog’s # 1 most read post for the last 2 years … until it was unseated by this year’s story about my new dust collection system. Apparently, there are more woodworkers wanting cleaner shops than cooks wanting to cook with mushrooms? If so, I very much regret it.

I focus on the recipe, of course, in the hopes that Mrs M will find time in her busy schedule to make that spectacular dish again in the near future. Maybe a little competitive spirit will inspire her.

My final observation is that I have no idea why my articles about the 18th, 36th, 2nd, 40th & 42nd Presidents are among the most read, nor why they are viewed more often than, say, my portrait of the 26th President. If nothing else, I’ve proven this year that I don’t understand politics that well.

But then, after this year, who can say they do?

In 2017, the portrait of the 44th President should be unveiled, which will then give me opportunity to update this series. Good: I already have one blog post planned for 2017!

Ductwork 16

Installing Oneida’s V3000 Dust Collection System

Installing Oneida’s V3000 Dust Collection System

Wild Mushroom Cobbler

Portraits: Ulysses S Grant

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Portraits: Lyndon B Johnson

Soap Drying Rack

Wild Mushroom Cobbler

Wild Mushroom Cobbler

US Flag: Common Display Mistakes

Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center

Mrs M’s New Booth: # 4

Portraits: John Adams

Portraits: Ronald Reagan

The Use and Abuse of Facebook

Velda’s Ahi Wraps

Portraits: Bill Clinton

Ulysses S Grant, Official White House Portrait

Ulysses S Grant, Official White House Portrait


The Best of MowryJournal 2015

The Best of MowryJournal 2014

The Best of MowryJournal 2013

The Best of MowryJournal 2012

Posted December 30, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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Dear LA Times, Again,   Leave a comment

la-times-square-446x238I don’t mean to annoy, honest. Can you say the same?

Yesterday, I re-subscribed subscribed to your digital media, and was told by your representative that I would also continue to get the Sunday newspaper for several months at no charge. OK, that’s yesterday’s news. Today, I sent you an email, hoping to alert management to what happened. And I conveniently provided a link to my blog that explained everything in some detail.

Here’s the email I sent through your “Contact Us” form:

Subject * Comments
Website URL (if applicable)
Message * I subscribed yesterday, and the whole process was fraught with errors and problems. You really need to examine how you interact with your customers … because it’s not going well for you.

And I know newspapers can’t afford to make mistakes right now.

I blogged about the experience; link is provided in the space provided. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. Happy to help.


I got a rather prompt response from one of your representatives:

Dear Ms. Mowry,

Thank you for contacting Los Angeles Times mobile support.

We are sorry for the difficulty you have experienced on our website. Would you be willing to provide the exact error you receive upon subscribing? In addition, we appreciate if you can send a screenshot of the error. We look forward to hearing back from you.

In the interim, you can try to subscribe through this link:

If you require further assistance, please call our Customer Service at 1-(800) 252-9141 or simply respond to this email.


Lemuel Florague

A few notes about that response:

  1. I do not self-identify as a Ms. Perhaps there are other LA Times’ communicants named Henry that do so, but I do not. Mr. Mowry, or actually, just Henry, is a great way to address me.
  2. I cannot provide a screenshot of the error message, as I did not save it, and if you had read my email, you would have learned that the error was addressed yesterday. Before I wrote you.
  3. Thank you for providing the link to your subscription screen, but if you had read my email, you would have learned that I subscribed yesterday. Before I wrote you.
  4. You might want to check your customer service records about my subscription; I’m sure the 3 people that I spoke with yesterday kept good notes that would illuminate the issues for you.
  5. Oh, and if you had read the blog that I referenced for you, and that I linked for you, that would have helped as well.

I did respond to your email, however, as follows:

Feel free to read my blog, and then get back to me. Your questions will be answered when you do that.

Unfortunately, you did not respond to that email, so I don’t know if you’re still confused about my subscription status. Or my gender identity, for that matter.

Please advise.



One Of Your Newest, Frustrated Subscribers

Dear LA Times,   1 comment

I used to be very frustrated with your circulation department; it was the worst. I canceled my subscription years ago … and yesterday, my wife and I decided it was time to re-subscribe. After all, you had sent me multiple emails over this holiday weekend asking me to do exactly that.


We had both found a series of articles that you published recently about a battle between an Irvine PTA president and a power couple – parents of a 6-year old boy – that decided to take her down, no matter what. Velda tried to read the article, and failed as she was not a subscriber. I got linked to the article through a Facebook personality I follow, and I read the article perfectly well. And I was not a subscriber.

At least, that I knew of.

I tried to give you money to start a subscription, and your website wouldn’t let me. I was told I had to call subscription services, so I did.

They lied to me, and 11 minutes of my life was gone.

I told them I wanted to give you money and receive the Sunday printed edition as well as unlimited digital access for both of us. Total cost: $9.99 for 13 weeks, like your offer said. Sold!

But subscription services would not take my money. They told me I was getting a free subscription to the Sunday paper for 26 weeks (didn’t ever ask for that, and you never told me. Gee, thanks!). All I had to do was go to latimes/activate, and I could activate the digital access part of the subscription.


So, I had to call back, get another subscription department drone on the phone, and try again. This person “saw the error on my account” and told me I had to talk to the digital subscription department to get it fixed. That brought me to Erica.

I told her the whole story: how I wanted to give her money, and the website wouldn’t let me. How I wanted to be a subscriber.

I did what she told me while we were still on the phone together.


She then tried to subscribe for me in parallel, and she got it to work, but not by doing what I asked. You see, I actually asked to stop the free delivery of the Sunday paper, and allow me to pay for it.


Erica did do a paid subscription for digital access, which I was assured would work for both Velda and I after 4 days of processing time. Apparently, the whole computer subscription idea takes 4 days, so your servers must be really slow, but that’s another problem.

Back to my situation.

After two phone calls, conversations with 3 people in your circulation department, and a 23 minute conversation with Erica who at least took some of my money, here’s what I now have:

  1. A free subscription to the Sunday paper, which I offered to pay for several times … but, no. It’s free, and I better like it.
  2. A paid subscription for digital access, costing $0.99 per week for 4 weeks, and then $1.49 per week after that. And, when it’s magically processed on your end, I should be able to register Velda for no additional charge.

She said. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, dearest LA Times, please allow me to say that you have the worst circulation department I have ever dealt with. THE WORST. You should fire everyone with “Manager,” “Director” or, God forbid, “Vice President” in their title in that area and start over.

After all, I had to call to give you money today, and not one person was able to take that money and give me a paid subscription. Your bureaucracy could not get out of its own way.

Journalism, I mourn for thee.


Henry Mowry

  • Free Subscriber to the Sunday edition of the LA Times
  • Paid Subscriber to Digital editions of the LA Times

PS: the piece by Christopher Goffard called “FRAMED” sold this subscription. I hope you give Christopher a raise.


LA Times: FRAMED, A Mystery In 6 Parts

(non-subscribers can read 5 articles on per month, and I highly recommend you read this one)


Man On The Moon   Leave a comment

“The least of us is improved by the things done by the best of us.”

– Walter Cronkite, 1969


Distinguished Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong’s Out Of This World Souvenirs

Posted July 20, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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Wall Mount Surfer Thermometer   Leave a comment

OK, perhaps you’re intrigued by the title. You wonder if I’m making thermometers now?


This is a story about media in our society.

Yesterday, this blog’s traffic blew up. The number one search used to find “Wall Mount Surfer Thermometer.” And, as you probably know, that has nothing to do with what I do. At all.

I make things that do wall mount. And, I make things shaped like surfboards. But surfers? Thermometers?


However, somehow, someway, some of my photography made it into Google Images yesterday … when you search for “Wall Mount Surfer Thermometer,” you see several of my Magic Bottle Openers fairly quickly. This is the most popular image that I shot:

Magic Bottle Opener 16 - 027. Cherry, Black Walnut, Hard Maple, Yellowheart & Goncalo Alves.

Magic Bottle Opener 16 – 027. Cherry, Black Walnut, Hard Maple, Yellowheart & Goncalo Alves.

The weird part (as if this isn’t odd enough) is that the most popular image in yesterday’s blog wasn’t a Magic Bottle Opener as seen in the most popular search … it was a cheese board:

Cheese Board 15 - 058. Hard Maple, Yellowheart & Cherry. 8" x 11" x 3/4".

Cheese Board 15 – 058. Hard Maple, Yellowheart & Cherry. 8″ x 11″ x 3/4″.

And, for the record, this isn’t my prettiest effort.

Why did traffic for that image blow up yesterday? No idea. The only search that garnered significant views yesterday was “Wall Mount Surfer Thermometer,” and that search didn’t yield any images for cheese boards from any maker, including me.

So how did an image of a cheese board have huge, unprecedented traffic, when the only search delivering an unusual number of people to the site was “Wall Street Surfer Thermometer?” No clue.

In our society today, much of our information gathering is driven by online search. Advertising in this “medium” has absolutely exploded … ending the virtual monopoly that Yellow Pages had on “searching for information” just a few years ago. Today, I don’t even keep the Yellow Pages when somebody places them on my front step. They go straight to recycling.

Revenues from search has made Google into the $75 billion corporation that it is today. And with all of that success … they still point information seekers here when all they want is to know how hot it is, surfer style.

Posted July 8, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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My Favorite Posts From Year 4   Leave a comment

Installing Oneida's V3000 Dust Collection System

Installing Oneida’s V3000 Dust Collection System is now 4!

Only one of my favorite posts from this past year also appeared on the “most read” list that was posted yesterday … and that post was about installing my new Dust Collection System. This post was linked by a reader on the woodworking Reddit forum, and it went viral from there.

I’m happy that many people found that post worthwhile, but I’m actually a lot more excited that the V3000 has made such a huge improvement in the air quality in the shop! That’s why that installation was so important; the blog post just documented that importance, and other people are interested. That’s a good thing.

The first 2 threads that I see in this collection of favorite posts are that I like writing about learning, and I’m doing a lot in the garage woodshop.

And I don’t see those trends changing any time soon.

Just like the other common thread that’s here: family. Also, not changing any time soon. Right?

Here are my favorite blog posts from the past 12 months. If you missed some of these good reads along the way, please enjoy!

13 Things Learned In The Shop Last Weekend

Five Things I Didn’t Know About The Confederate Flag

Things I Learned Watching The Superbowl

Things I Learned Watching The Superbowl

How Far We’ve Come

Installing Oneida’s V3000 Dust Collection System

Mrs M’s New Booth: # 4

My Left Kneecap

My Mother, Who Is Grand

Ten Things That Will Disappear In My Lifetime

The Board Chronicles: California Strawberry Festival 2016

The Nearly Lost Recipe

The View From The Hubble Telescope

Things I Learned At The Street Fair, 2015

Things I Learned Watching The Superbowl

Why? You Ask Why?

Why? You Ask Why?

Why? You Ask Why?

You Get Your News Where?


My Favorite Posts From Year 3

My Favorite Posts From Year 2

My Favorite Posts From Year 1

Posted June 22, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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Most Read Posts From Year Four   Leave a comment

Wild Mushroom Cobbler

Wild Mushroom Cobbler

“The winner … and STILL champeen … Wild Mushroom Cobbler!”

For the 3rd year in row, Velda’s recipe has been the most read post on Two quick facts result:

  1. If you haven’t made this recipe yet, then you are missing out.
  2. Velda made this recipe only once this past year, and I’m the poorer for it.

Here are the most read posts from’s 4th year:

Wild Mushroom Cobbler

Portraits: Ulysses S Grant

Installing Oneida’s V3000 Dust Collection System

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

US Flag: Common Display Mistakes

Ulysses S Grant, Official White House Portrait

Ulysses S Grant, Official White House Portrait

Portraits: Lyndon B Johnson

Petrified Forest National Park

Portraits: John Adams

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

Velda’s Ahi Wraps

Portraits: Ronald Reagan

Orange Liqueur Taste Test

Portraits: Woodrow Wilson

Portraits: Bill Clinton

The Use and Abuse of Facebook


Installing The Oneida V3000 Dust Collection System

Installing The Oneida V3000 Dust Collection System

Most Read Posts From Year Three

Most Read Posts From Year Two

Most Read Posts From Year One

Posted June 21, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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You Get Your News Where?   4 comments

news-icon-47075I don’t trust anybody.


When it comes to news, I trust NO ONE to tell me the truth. I think it’s as likely that Bill Maher tells me the truth as Katie Couric. Both work in media, after all. Both are known to stretch the truth to make a point.

So I don’t trust them to tell the truth.

My recommendation is don’t get your “news” from a cable comedy show. And, don’t get your “news” from a journalist that freely admitted she edited an interview to make a point … while misrepresenting the people she was interviewing.

Today, I read Pew Research’s latest finding about where people are getting their news today, and it saddens me to report that more and more people are getting their news from … online providers with no proven journalistic integrity. You know, companies like Google. Facebook. Verizon.

Big tech companies, every one. Proven to skirt the truth, every one. Pushing their agenda over truth, every one.

GoogleIn the case of Google, they were investigated by the DOJ, who found that they were slanting their search algorithm to favor their profit over quality information. The specific case was about travel providers: they put their in-house company above outside providers even when the outside provider had better options for the traveler.

Did they disclose this? No.

Then, they were found to have skewed search results so that if you were using the auto complete function for searches, you might miss that Hilary Clinton was being investigated and might be indicted. Specifically, if you typed in “Hilary Clinton Ind” the auto complete suggestions were Hillary Clinton Indiana and Hillary Clinton India. The result that was actually 8 times more popular was “Hillary Clinton Indictment,” and that wasn’t an autocomplete option.

Facebook logoFacebook employees have gleefully disclosed that they made sure conservative news stories were de-emphasized in their member’s news feeds. Was this sanctioned by management? By some management? No one is admitting it, of course, just as the IRS never admitted that it targeted conservative non profits. It just happened. Oops.

Verizon logoVerizon’s case is just as insidious, and it’s rooted in the idea of “net neutrality.” Verizon believes that it should be able to sell its piece of the information superhighway to the highest bidder … so, if, for example, they can get more money from Fox News or CNN or ABC, then they should be able to provide that information to their subscribers in a powerful way. They want news that you get on “their” devices to be controlled by their profits. You, the subscriber, committed to a 2-year contract, should get no say in the matter.

According to Verizon.

Fortunately, that concept was just shot down – resoundingly – by the US District Court of Appeals. Perhaps Verizon won’t get their way.

And that’s a very good thing, as more and more people are getting their “news” from these high tech companies, and those companies are getting an ever-increasing share of the advertising pie … meaning that traditional media companies have fewer and fewer resources to provide good journalism that’s vetted by multiple sources and untainted by a secret political agenda.

Here’s how TechCrunch describes Pew’s findings about our news consumption habits:

Pew found that nearly four-in-ten U.S. adults (38%) said they often get news from digital sources, including news websites or apps (28%) and social networking sites (18%). That still trails the 57% who often get news from a television source but outpaces both radio (25%) and print newspapers (20%).

Instead of news media benefiting from growth in digital ad spending, Pew notes how tech companies such as Facebook and Apple have succeeded in supplanting the choices and aims of news outlets with “their own choices and goals” as their platforms have become the dominant sources for content distribution, taking over the role that used to belong to newspapers.

And while the concentration of digital ad spending in the hands of a handful of tech giants began on desktop platforms, Pew says the data shows it “quickly took root in the rapidly growing mobile realm as well” — which the report also notes accounted for slightly more than half of all digital ad spending last year.

So, beware of who you trust in the information game. High tech companies have no legal responsibility to be “agenda neutral,” and yet more and more people are trusting them to give them (key word: GIVE) information with a minimum of fuss.

Journalism, I mourn for thee.


New York Times: Court Backs Rules Treating Internet Like Utility, Not Luxury

Tech Cruch: Pew’s 2016 News Media Report Is A Tough Read For Journalism

Wall Street Journal: How Google Skewed Search Results

Fox News: Google Helping Hillary Clinton

Gizmodo: Former Facebook Workers…. MoffettNathanson: Net Neutrality Ruling….



Posted June 16, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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Watching Baseball Movies   Leave a comment

This is a re-post of a blog from 6/8/13. Baseball is America’s Pastime, and these are still the best movies about my favorite spectator sport!

It’s Opening Day!

For those of us that can’t watch their favorite team play today….

The Best Baseball Movies

“A good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” Think about that for a while.”

– “Nuke” Laloosh as played by Tim Robbins, in Bull Durham, 1988

A glorious game.

A wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

It’s true that there are 162 games in a season, but it’s also true that every team gets a day off occasionally. And sometimes it rains. For those days when you need more baseball, here are my favorite baseball movies.

The Starting Nine

BB - For Love of the Game1. For Love Of The Game

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Team: Detroit Tigers
  • Year: 1999
  • IMDB Rating: 6.3
  • Plot: Kevin Costner said he was going to keep making movies about baseball until he got it right. He did. Any movie with Vin Scully doing play by play will be great.

BB - Bull Durham2. Bull Durham

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
  • Position: Catcher
  • Team: Durham Bulls
  • Year: 1988
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0
  • Plot: Costner is a long-time minor leaguer sent back to A-ball in the minors to mentor a young hot prospect. Sarandon also thinks the prospect is hot … she married Tim Robbins after they were in this wonderful, fun movie. For Love of the Game is a serious look at baseball … this is the irreverent turn that shows the joy in the boys’ game.

BB - The Natural3. The Natural

  • Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger
  • Position: Right Field
  • Team: New York Knights
  • Year: 1984
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4
  • Plot: Redford is a prodigy from the country that is welcomed to the majors late in life. His talents are almost wasted because of the distraction of a woman. Great film, great acting, great script.

BB - Trouble with the curve4. Trouble With The Curve

  • Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake
  • Position: Eastwood is a major league scout, looking at a high school player with the Grizzlies from Asheville, NC
  • Team: Atlanta Braves
  • Year: 2012
  • IMDB Rating: 6.7
  • Plot: Eastwood directs, and basically reprises his role from Gran Torino as a fading curmudgeon. Amy Adams is his baseball-loving daughter, helping him on one last scouting trip where she meets Timberlake, who is on his first scouting trip.

BB - A League Of Their Own5. A League Of Their Own

  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Team: Rockford Peaches
  • Year: 1992
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0
  • Plot: Tom Hanks is an alcoholic ex-major leaguer chosen to manage a girl’s pro team during WWII. The assembled team includes Geena Davis as the star pitcher and Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna for comic relief. The iconic line of the film: “There’s no crying in baseball!”

BB - Fever Pitch6. Fever Pitch

  • Stars: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon
  • Position: Fan
  • Team: Boston Red Sox
  • Year: 2005
  • IMDB Rating: 6.1
  • Plot: Fallon is a Red Sox season ticket holder, which means he believes in hope. Barrymore meets him, and a match is made … that has to survive Fallon’s obsession with the Sox.

BB - Moneyball7. Moneyball

  • Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Position: Manager
  • Team: Oakland Athletics
  • Year: 2011
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6
  • Plot: This biopic is about Billy Beane, the A’s manager that challenged and re-made baseball with his beliefs about what statistics are important, and which ones are important enough to pay for. Another film with great acting.

BB - Major League8. Major League

  • Stars: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen
  • Position: Catcher
  • Team: Cleveland Indians
  • Year: 1989
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0
  • Plot: It’s described as a screwball comedy, for better or worse. It’s an ensemble comedy that holds up – it’s not an award-winner, but it’s a fun couple of hours. (Warning: do not bother with the sequels.)  This movie is an entertaining look at a lovable bunch of misfits assembled by a maniacal owner that wants them to lose. Berenger is the aging catcher that holds them together; Sheen is the fire-balling bad boy that needs to save the day.

BB - Summer Catch9. Summer Catch

  • Stars: Freddie Prinze, Jr, Jessica Biel
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Team: Chatham Athletics
  • Year: 2001
  • IMDB Rating: 4.7
  • Plot: Prinze is a local kid struggling to escape from his home town.  He’s playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League and hoping to get a break when big league scouts come to town to watch the stars on the roster. He falls in love with the boss’s daughter … it’s a romantic comedy. It’s a baseball movie. I’m two for two, and really like this film. I don’t care what some may say. Enjoy the popcorn!

BB - Field of DreamsRelief Pitcher: Field Of Dreams

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta
  • Position: Fan
  • Team: Chicago Black Sox
  • Year: 1989
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5
  • Plot: This film is cited by many as their favorite baseball movie, but I just can’t go there. Costner plays an Iowa farmer that has visions and builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield … that is then visited by major league players that only he can see. Emotionally wrenching moments ensue. Where I come from, farmers don’t have visions, so I can’t support this film.

BB - SandlotExtra Innings: The Sandlot

  • Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar
  • Position: it’s a team game
  • Team: it’s a neighborhood team
  • Year: 1993
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6
  • Plot: We follow a bunch of kids playing a never-ending game through their summer vacation. It’s really a nice movie about kids, baseball, and the importance of having fun.


The Art of Manliness: 15 Best Baseball Movies

MovieGalore44’s List of Baseball Movies

Bleacher Report’s Top 6 Baseball Movies

Posted April 4, 2016 by henrymowry in Media

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