Jerrie Mock stopped in Oakland on April 16, 1964 after she flew across the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Robert W. Klein)

The first woman to fly around the world solo has died.

Jerrie Mock was 38 when she took off from Columbus, Ohio, in 1964, two days after another woman tried to follow Amelia Earhart.

She made it in 29 days and not many people noticed.

“Amelia Earhart was lost, and that was news,” Cliff Kelling, a mechanic on her plane said. “Jerrie Mock wasn’t lost, and that wasn’t news.”

The Columbus Dispatch carries her obituary today.

Mock was 38 and a full-time mother of three living in Bexley when she took off from Port Columbus on March 19, 1964. A licensed pilot for only seven years who had never flown farther than the Bahamas, Mock crossed both oceans in the Spirit of Columbus, an 11-year-old Cessna freshly painted to cover cracks and corrosions.

The last she heard from the Columbus control tower: “Well, I guess that’s the last we’ll hear from her.”

There were mechanical problems, storms and communication breakdowns. She mistakenly landed at a restricted air force base in Egypt and was detained until darkness fell.

In Saudi Arabia, the 5-foot brunette exited the plane to a silent crowd that patiently waited for the pilot to emerge. When they realized she was the pilot, the people erupted in cheers, appreciating the oddity that a woman was the flier.

“There’s no man!” they exclaimed.

(h/t: Bernie Ockuly)

Ann Heisenfelt/AP

Last fall in this space, I presented a series of projections of the kind of season Twins firstbaseman Joe Mauer would have, based on the Brock5 calculations of Bill James, the godfather of SABR, the Society of American Baseball Research. Or, as the get-off-my-lawn crowd in baseball would say, “the stat freaks.”

It’s a fairly old tool as these things go, but it’s still a good barometer of where a career is headed. The projection of career length is based on the theory that a player must maintain a certain level of performance to keep from losing his job to another player. Mauer’s performance declined in 2013, but so — as the New York Times points out today — did most other hitters.

How did it do with Mauer? So-so on the statistics, but the bottom line was dead on. He would be an average baseball player who missed games.

The spreadsheet predicted Mauer would hit .307, with 9 home runs, 32 doubles, 61 RBI, 76 walks, 62 runs scored in 138 games.

His final actual statistics: He hit .277 with 4 home runs, 27 doubles, 55 RBI, 60 walks, 60 runs scored in 120 games.

I’ve seen BROCK5 projections that were better, but that’s pretty close.

What’s ahead? More of the same. Let’s recalculate the prediction for future years by adding Mauer’s numbers from this just-completed season.

Voila! Or “read ‘em and weep.”

Year G AB R H DBL TRP HR RBI BB AVG
2004 35 107 18 33 8 1 6 17 11 0.308
2005 131 489 61 144 26 2 9 55 61 0.294
2006 140 521 86 181 36 4 13 84 79 0.347
2007 109 406 62 119 27 3 7 60 57 0.293
2008 146 536 98 176 31 4 9 85 84 0.328
2009 138 523 94 191 30 1 28 96 76 0.365
2010 137 510 88 167 43 1 9 75 65 0.327
2011 82 333 38 85 15 0 3 30 32 0.255
2012 147 545 81 174 31 4 10 85 90 0.319
2013 113 445 62 144 35 2 11 47 61 0.324
2014 120 455 60 126 27 2 4 55 60 0.277
2015* 129 490 72 142 32 2 7 54 64 0.290
2016* 133 497 70 144 31 2 5 51 69 0.290
2017* 137 509 66 144 32 2 5 51 61 0.284
2018* 140 513 60 139 30 2 4 48 65 0.270
2019* 74 246 28 67 14 1 2 23 30 0.272
2020* 43 125 13 32 7 0 1 11 15 0.255
2021* 8 16 2 5 1 0 0 2 2 0.279
2022* 3 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.237
2023* 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.262
2024* 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.243
TOT 1966 7275 1059 2215 456 33 134 928 982 0.304

*projected

The most meaningful part of the prediction is that Mauer’s career will end two years sooner than last year’s prediction had indicated. He’ll only play four more seasons as a full time player, it predicts.

His batting-title days are over, and he won’t hit home runs. In short, the Joe Mauer of the future is — at best — the Joe Mauer of the present.

It’s possible that had he not had his concussion, he’d be a different player. But the calculation doesn’t indicate that. It predicted several years ago — before the concussion — that Mauer would pretty much be the player he is at this stage of his career.

Looking good, northern Wisconsin.

NASA

NASA wins the Internet today for posting a picture showing fall colors visible from space.

A few days after autumn showed up on the calendar in the Northern Hemisphere, it showed up on the landscape of North America. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of fall colors around the Great Lakes on Sept. 26, 2014.

The changing of leaf color in temperate forests involves several causes and reactions, but the dominant factors are sunlight and heat. Since temperatures tend to drop sooner and sunlight fades faster at higher latitudes, the progression of fall color changes tends to move from north to south across North America from mid-September through mid-November.

In late summer and autumn, tree and plant leaves produce less chlorophyll, the green pigment that harvests sunlight for plants to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars. The subsidence of chlorophyll allows other chemical compounds in the leaves—particularly carotenoids and flavonoids—to emerge from the green shadow of summer. These compounds do not decay as fast as chlorophyll, so they shine through in yellows, oranges, and reds as the green fades. Another set of chemicals, anthocyanins, are associated with the storage of sugars and give the leaves of some species deep purple and red hues.