Tag Archives: baseball writers’ association of america

New literary series in LIC to bring writing community together

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Catherine LaSota

One Long Island City writer is setting the stage for fellow lovers of the art to share their work and a cold drink.

Catherine LaSota, who moved into the western Queens neighborhood a year ago, has started a new monthly series called the LIC Reading Series. Set to premiere on April 14 at 8 p.m., the series will take place in the carriage house located behind LIC Bar at 45-58 Vernon Blvd.

On the second Tuesday of every month, the series will host three writers reading their pieces. LaSota, who will be the host during each event, said that the plan is for at least one of the writers to live in or write about Queens or have some other relationship to the borough.

“There is such great writing happening in Queens and I wanted to add to the thriving community that is already here,” LaSota said. “There is a big community of awesome writers here in Queens.”

For the first two months, every writer who will take the stage is either originally from Queens and now lives somewhere else, or currently resides in the borough. 

The premiere night in April will feature readings by Audrey Dimola (author of “TRAVERSALS”), Bill Cheng (author of ” Southern Cross the Dog”) and Joseph Salvatore ( author of “To Assume a Pleasing Shape”). 

The goal of the series is to showcase works from poets, fiction writers and, in the future, some memoir and non-fiction writers. 

LaSota has also partnered with the Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St., to have books for sale at the events, including those of the readers for each night. 

“I’ve found that the community of writers and people who are interested in writing is one of the most supportive communities I’ve come across,” LaSota added. “I hope to foster a supportive community for readers in all stages of their careers.”

The LIC Reading Series is free to the public, although LaSota said she encourages those who attend to support the LIC Bar, which was chosen because of its accessibility and being known as a location where writers like to go during the summer to read and enjoy a beer.

“I’m really excited because everyone I’ve approached about this is really excited and saying ‘Yes, I’d love to read,’” LaSota said. “I think there is a real interest in this and I think we’re going to have a good crowd.”

For more up-to-date information visit, www.facebook.com/LICReadingSeries.


Mets Piazza misses Hall of Fame vote again

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Mets

Mets legendary catcher Mike Piazza was snubbed from entering the MLB Hall of Fame for the second year in a row.

Candidates for the Hall need at least 75 percent of votes to make it to Cooperstown, and Piazza only garnered 62.2 percent from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Wednesday.

It’s a bump up for Piazza, who received just 57.8 percent of the vote on his first ballot appearance last year.

“On behalf of the organization and our fans, Mike is a true Hall of Famer,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.”

Although Piazza’s presence will not be felt in the hall just yet, this year three players received enough votes to enter the Hall, an improvement from last year in which no player received enough votes. Atlanta Braves ace pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and slugger Frank Thomas are all heading to Cooperstown.

The last time three players were voted in to the Hall was in 1999 with George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Bobby Yount.

Some players accused of using Performance Enhancing Drugs were also denied entry into the Hall again, including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire and Roger Clemens. Yankees favorites Mike Mussina and Don Mattingly also didn’t receive enough votes to enter Cooperstown.

Piazza fans shouldn’t give up hope just yet. The Mets slugger still has 13 more chances to be on the ballot.

Also, at the last Mets game of the 2013 season on September 29, the team inducted Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame.

Piazza is known as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He has the most home runs for a catcher ever with 427, a career .308 batting average and 2,127 hits.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBIs (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star when he played with the Mets and set a team-record with 124 RBIs and hit 40 home runs in 1999.

Then in 2000 he finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs to lead the team to win the National League Division Championship.


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