Newsletter October 29, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee 10.30.23

Builders increased activities in September, sending housing starts back up, by 7.0% over August. Starts for single-families are now up 8.6% the past year, as tight existing home inventories are driving buyers to new builds.

Building permits slipped in September, but it was all due to multi-family permits. Single-family permits increased and have done so every month since February. The current number of homes under construction is near the highest level on record.

Tight inventories sent monthly existing home sales down in September. The supply of homes for sale, at 3.4 months, is well below the 5 months of a normal market, while the median price is up 2.8% from a year ago.

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Leo Buscaglia

Rich “Goose” Gossage, the Yankees most storied closer prior to Mariano Rivera, speaks of Rivera’s dominance this way: When Rivera takes the mound, the other team “is sitting in the dugout thinking, ‘We’ve got no chance. It’s over.’ This guy walks into the game, and they are done.

Roger Clemens says, “The hitters know he’s going to throw it—everybody knows—and it doesn’t make a difference. You see batters going to face Rivera, trying to work themselves into the at-bat, and he throws one cutter, the ball swerving, and they are all but beaten mentally. After one pitch, it’s over,” says Clemens. “He is that nasty.”

No pitcher in the modern game combined as much velocity and movement into one pitch. “The pitch is a freak of nature,” says former teammate Mike Stanton.

Many people wonder how Mariano perfected that incredible pitch?

”At 18 he was earning 50 dollars a week on a fishing boat, playing various positions for a local baseball team.

One game, the manager thrust Mariano into emergency relief. “I got results that were way beyond my physical abilities,” Mariano writes in his autobiography, The Closer. That same year, he’d begun studying the Bible at the urging of a cousin.

Two years later, the New York Yankees signed Mariano to a minor league contract. He was a fringe prospect, with an underwhelming 87-mph fastball.

In 1995, he was called up to the majors. In four starts, he gave up 23 runs. He was demoted to AAA Columbus.

There, warming up before a game, he noticed that his pitches had more zip than usual. A radar gun clocked his fastball at 98 mph, an impossible gain in velocity. Scouts thought the gun was defective.

Not long after, he played catch with another pitcher, who grew frustrated that Mariano’s throws kept jumping away. Mariano swore he hadn’t changed his grip. But he could not get his fastball to fly straight.

Mariano had found his cutter—a twist on the fastball that breaks sharply at the last second.

“I did not spend years searching for the pitch,” he recalls in his memoir. “It was as if it dropped straight from the heavens.”

In 2009, Mariano and his wife, Clara, founded a church in New Rochelle, New York. Their way of giving back for the miracles that brought him from poverty to a sure spot in the Hall of Fame.

Mariano’s 2.21 lifetime earned-run average is even more impressive considering he accomplished it with little more than one pitch in his arsenal.

A pitch he believes came from God.

Cindy Glynn
Coldwell Banker American Home