Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Catcher Is A Stand-Up Guy

Every now and then, TigerBlog looks through an old media guide for some purpose. Every time, he has the same thought:

How in the world could these ever have been so important?

When TB thinks back on all of the time and all of the money that went into producing these guides, he laughs. And to what purpose? In the entire history of media guides, was there ever an athlete - just one - who decided to come to Princeton over another school because of the media guide?

After all, that was their main purpose. If they were actually media guides, then they could have been a fraction of the size with no pictures, only information, in them, and they would have worked just fine.

TigerBlog has nightmares about the hours he put in to get guides done through the years, especially when he first started working here, back when technology hadn't made desktop publishing easy yet and when TB's computer skills were, uh, non-existent.

In fact, TB remembers back to when he first got the job, and then-intern Chuck Sullivan spent a few hours one weekend to try to teach MacIntosh 101 to TB. One moment of that experience that is burned into TB's memory is when Sullivan said that to undo something, TB had to hold down the apple key and hit the letter z at the same time and that he had to do it before he did anything else, "sort of like an appeal play in baseball."

Of course, that's not as true as it used to be, because you can undo almost anything in the most recent versions of the software that people use.

Back then, Princeton's media guides were done in software called PageMaker, and TB thinks that the OAC was operating on version 2.0 when he first arrived. It wasn't until version 5.0 that two people could print at the same time.

PageMaker, as an aside, no longer exists.

Anyway, TigerBlog's first media guide was the 1994 football guide. On the first page of the first guide he did, TB put a big picture of 1994 captain Carl Teter, the All-Ivy League offensive lineman.

Only it wasn't really Teter. TB had the wrong player. In a giant photo on Page 1. Of his first guide.

And when it came back from the printer, it was the first thing TB noticed. And, obviously, it was too late to do anything about it. Nope, TB was stuck with 2,500 football guides, all with the wrong player in the big picture on Page 1.

Through the years, TB has made more mistakes than he could count. Remember the picture of Dick Kazmaier on the cover of the last game program at Palmer Stadium? Turns out it wasn't Kazmaier, even though he was wearing No. 42 and the picture was identified on the back as Kazmaier.

There have been others, some bad, some not-as-bad.

It's part of working in this business. Strive to get everything right, but it's an unforgiving world out there when you publish something wrong.

The Ivy League last week announced its All-Ivy baseball team, and Princeton catcher Sam Mulroy was the Player of the Year. It was on the Ivy website, on

Only Mulroy wasn't really the Player of the Year. An accounting error actually gave the award to Mulroy when it should have gone to Yale's Trey Rallis.

This put a bunch of people in an awkward spot.

The Ivy office didn't mean to make the mistake, but it did have an obligation to correct it. Mulroy didn't ask to be the Player of the Year by mistake. Rallis didn't ask to get the award after the fact.

So what do you do? The Ivy office did the right thing by awarding it to Rallis, who is the legitimate winner.

And Sam Mulroy?

He earned TigerBlog's everlasting respect for how he handled the whole situation.

In fact, there was a story all set to go up on, a story in which Mulroy essentially says that he wouldn't want to win an award if he hadn't actually earned it, that he congratulates Rallis and that he won the award he really wanted, which is the Ivy League baseball championship that Princeton won.

Ultimately, that story never ran, because to Mulroy, it wasn't that big a deal.

TigerBlog was going to let the whole thing go because of that, but it's important for everyone to realize how Mulroy reacted, even if he doesn't want that.

It was a pretty classy thing for a college junior to do, especially one who had been unwillingly thrown into this situation in the first place.

So in the end, no harm, no foul. The Ivy office, who felt awful about the mistake, got the award to the right player.

And Sam Mulroy - whom TB has never met - showed himself to be a solid guy.

He might not be the Ivy League Player of the Year, but he does get to play in the NCAA tournament.

He takes TB's respect with him - and TB assumes the respect of everyone else who hears about how he reacted to all this.


Anonymous said...

Many years ago, somebody in the admissions department told me that they once inadvertently sent acceptance letters to two applicants slated for rejection.

In the heavy words of TB, "This put a bunch of people in an awkward spot. . . . So what do you do?"

They called the two applicants and said essentially, "We will honor the incorrect admission but we encourage you to go elsewhere."

One of the two applicants did matriculate elsewhere but one of them enrolled at Princeton. During this guy's sophomore year, he was arrested for indecent exposure.

As the admissions officer told me the story: "An alumnus asked me, 'How could you admit somebody like that?' and I answered, 'Actually, we didn't.'"

Admissions office humor.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry TigerBlog, nobody goes to the Ivy League website anymore -- so nobody saw the error.