Kreider Gardens

We went to Kreider Garden in Middlebury, IN this morning and took a few snapshots. This late in the summer there weren’t many flowers blooming, but I think we got some interesting photos anyway.

Here are a few of mine that are good enough to share. Click on any picture to make it larger.

Highest Priced Babe Ruth Memorabilia

Ruth’s autographed 702nd home run ball

The ball hit by Ruth for his 702nd career home run at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in July 1934 was sold by Hunt Auctions in October 2010 for a price of $230,000.

A Babe Ruth game-worn Yankees cap circa 1920s/30s

The game-worn cap, featuring Ruth’s name embroidered in the official Yankees script, is one of only three known Ruth Yankee caps to exist. This example, dating from the 1920s or 30s, was sold by Hunt Auctions in July 2008 for a price of $285,000

The 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News SGC 40 card

The 1914 baseball card is the first to feature Ruth and shows him during his Minor League days with the Baltimore Orioles, before making it to the Majors with the Boston Red Sox.
The card became the second most expensive trading card ever sold at auction in 2007, when it sold at a Robert Edward Auctions for $517,000.

Ruth’s first 1918 Hillerich & Bradsby bat

The first Hillerich & Bradsby bat ever used by Babe Ruth was the model on which all his future bats were based.
He chose it from a selection by the company and used it during the Boston Red Sox’ 1918 World Series winning season. The bat was sold at a Heritage Auction in 2009 for a price of $537,750.

Ruth’s 1933 All-Star game jersey

The jersey worn by Ruth during the inaugural 1933 All-Star game is one of only five game worn Ruth jerseys in existence.
In October 2006 it became one of the world’s most valuable baseball jerseys when it was sold during a Heritage auction for a price of $657,250.00.

Ruth’s 1934 Yankees Japanese tour jersey

The game-worn jersey used by Ruth during the Yankees’ 1934 Barnstorming exhibition tour of Japan is one of the few to remain from the famous tour. It was sold by Mastro Auctions in August 2005 for a price of $771,000.

Home run ball from the first 1933 All-Stars game

The ball hit by Ruth for the first home run of the inaugural All-Star game in 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago sold in July 2006 for $805,000.
The sale was conducted by Hunt Auctions, with the ball being sold by the family of Earl Brown who originally caught the ball in 1933 and later had it signed by Ruth.

Ruth’s 1932 “Called Shot” Yankees jersey

The jersey is the one worn by Ruth during the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field, when he famously called his home run by pointing to the center-field bleachers before hitting it there.
It was sold in June 2005 at a Grey Flannel Auctions sale for a price of $940,000.

Ruth’s 1919 New York Yankees contract

The contract that took Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees in December 1919 is the most expensive baseball document of its kind.
It was sold by Sotheby’s in New York in June 2005 for $996,000 to Gotta Have It! Owner Peter Siegel, who described it as “an historical jewel, a diamond”.

Ruth’s 1923 Louisville Slugger bat

The legendary bat used by Babe Ruth to hit the first ever home-run at Yankee Stadium is one of the most prized pieces of baseball memorabilia. Ruth used the solid ash wood bat during the first game at the stadium on April 18, 1923, and hit three home runs in a 4-1 defeat of the Boston Red Sox.
The bat used to hit the first of these home runs was sold by Sotheby’s in December 2004 for a record price of $1,265,000.

Holy Bible: Stock Car Racing

If your favorite stock car race fan already has all the Beechnut chewing tobacco and Keystone beer he can use, you might consider this as an appropriate gift for a birthday or Christmas. This edition of the bible features full-color inserts from stock car racing’s best known personalities. It’s sure to be a motorsports fan’s favorite Bible.

Motor Racing Outreach, a ministry to the world of motorsports, has partnered with Zondervan to create this Bible designed to delight race fans. MRO brings testimonies and photographs of the popular drivers, the pit crews, the media spokespeople, and others associated with the world of racing. Combined with the complete text of the New International Version and offered in two cost-effective bindings, this title will make a wonderful gift for the true racing fan.

Available from Amazon in print or Kindle editions for less than $15.

Highest Priced AdWords in Google

When we type a word or search phrase into Google, we don’t think about how much companies pay to guarantee that this particular word or phrase generates their ads at the top of the search results. A study conducted by Wordstream, a company whose software helps users create search engine marketing campaigns, now allows us to know which keywords garner the highest costs per click (CPC) in Google AdWords.

For more than ten years Google’s AdWords solution has allowed companies to create ad campaigns around Google’s search results and bid on which keywords lead users to those campaigns. Since advertising makes up 97% of Google’s total revenue, or 33.3 billion dollars a year, selling these keywords is an integral part of Google’s business model.

Wordstream recently studied and compiled the top 10,000 keywords into categories by weighting the number of keywords within each category and the estimated monthly search volume and average cost per click for each keyword. The results aren’t as exciting as the most searched for keywords on google, which mostly involve celebrity scandals, current events, and the weather, but they still show us some interesting trends.

Insurance – $54.31 per click

It turns out ‘insurance’ ranks number one for CPC. That in itself is an astonishing number considering the millions of people who see these ads every day. Keywords in this category include ‘auto price quotes’

Loans – $44.28 per click

In second place are ‘loans’, a category that includes ‘consolidate’, ‘graduate’, and ‘student’, among others. The trend here reveals the type of company that can afford to spend a lot on advertising since they’re able to acquire consistent revenue from their customers over the course of their lives.

Mortgage – $47.12 per click

Mortgage come in third. Keywords include ‘refinanced’, ‘second’ and ‘mortgages’.

Attorney – $47.07 per click

Only slightly behind mortgage, ‘attorney’ ranks 4th, with keywords like ‘personal injury attorney’.

Credit – $36.06 per click

It should come as no surprise that ‘credit’ makes it on the list in fifth place, as we all know credit card companies are constantly looking for new card holders. ‘home equity line of credit’ is an example of a keyword that would generate ads from this category.

Religion in Today’s America

The predominant theory is that religion is especially appealing to women and older Americans. However, there’s a new Barna Poll out that reaches radically different conclusions:

Church attendance by women has actually dropped by 11 percent since 1991, to a current level of 44 percent.

“A majority of women no longer attend church services in a typical week,” Pollster George Barna reports.

Bible reading by women also fell, by 10 percent, and Sunday school attendance dropped 7 percent.

According to Barna, “The only religious behavior that increased among women in the past 20 years was becoming unchurched.” That jumped a startling 17 percent.

By contrast, “Baby Busters,” young adults born from 1965 through 1983, increased their Bible reading by 9 percent, reaching 41 percent in 2011, and the number of them volunteering at a church doubled from 10 to 19 percent. Making a personal commitment to Jesus Christ also became more important among Busters in the last 20 years; 60 percent have done so today, a rise of 12 percent.

On the other hand, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are decidedly less involved. Church attendance plummeted by 12 percent; Sunday school attendance fell by 9 percent and volunteering dropped by a third from 28 percent in 1991 to only 18 percent in 2011.

The percentage of unchurched Boomers nearly doubled, rising dramatically by 18 percent, with 41 percent who now do not go to church except to attend weddings and funerals.

What about the Elders, those born before 1946? They are getting bored with church too. Their unchurched numbers jumped by 8 percent so that three out of ten Elders now do not attend, Barna reports. Their Bible reading outside of church fell by 8 percent from 54 percent to 46 percent. Sunday school attendance fell by a similar amount.

Traditionally, women have been the backbone of most congregations. A higher percent were members, church attenders and volunteers, while men lagged far behind. No longer. Barna reports that the religious gender gap has largely closed.

Twenty years ago 50 percent of women read the Bible outside of church vs. only 40 percent of men. That pattern has reversed, with 41 percent of men and only 40 percent of women now reading Scripture.

“The elimination of that gap is what is striking,” comments George Barna.
In fact, though male church attendance and membership is down, two out of five men read the Bible outside of church today, the same as two decades ago.

Another notable reduction in the difference between the genders: Men were 12 percent more likely to be unchurched than women in 1991, but the gap is now only 4 percent.

“The frightening reality for churches is that the people they have relied upon as the backbone of the church can no longer be assumed to be available and willing when needed, as they were in days past,” Barna commented.

The ethnic group experiencing the greatest changes were Hispanics. Their church attendance plunged from 54 percent in a typical week twenty years ago to 33 percent this year. Adult Sunday school attendance nearly disappeared, falling from 28 percent to just 9 percent.

Hispanic Bible reading used to be 55 percent but is only 30 percent today, only about half of what it had been. Conversely, the percentage of Latinos who are unchurched doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent today.

By contrast, blacks are more likely than whites or Hispanics to say their religious beliefs are very important in their life today, to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches, and are more likely to have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Blacks are also more likely to share their religious beliefs with people who might believe differently, than are whites and Hispanics.

African-Americans are also more likely to attend church and/or Sunday school, to read the Bible and to volunteer at their church in an average week. Finally, blacks are only half as likely as whites or Hispanics to be unchurched.

Weekly white church attendance fell over the past two decades from 46 percent to 39 percent; adult Sunday school attendance fell 9 percent; volunteering dropped a similar 8 percent from 26 percent down to 18 percent; and the percentage who believe the Bible is accurate in what it teaches dropped by 7 percent.