A quick one this week while we travel
Safe travels from this Shedhead!🐝
Happy trails and three cheers for the guy catching the ball with a beer!
I've had some great ballpark memories, including being at Cal Ripken's last game, seeing the Padres play their longest game ever (22 innings!), and visiting ballparks across the country with my better 3/4, but nothing compares to the night my two sons were recruited to be the between-innings entertainment at a Winston-Salem Dash game a few years back. They were each given a vest to wear, and the vests were attached to a bungee cord, they faced away from each other and then told to see who could drag the other across a line. Basically, it was a blind tug-of-war and since one of the boys outweighed the other by about 40 pounds it ended up as you might expect. Let's just say it will live in family lore forever, especially since the one who was dragged across the line was a very good sport about it and we have video.
From a 2014 write-up summarizing a tour of the major leagues:
BEST INNING I SAW: Jose Bautista was a great relief pitcher for the Cubs in 1993 (10-3, 2 saves in 111 2/3 innings). In the best inning I ever saw, he loaded the bases with Braves with none out on Aug. 22. Mark Lemke grounded to the pitcher, who threw home to get David Justice for out No. 1. The next batter was legendarily slow Sid Bream, pinch-hitting for John Smoltz. Bream also grounded to Bautista, who threw home for out No. 2 (Terry Pendleton), and catcher Rick Wilkins had plenty of time to throw out Bream at first.
Read more at: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/travel/article9107900.html#storylink=cpy
I have always been a crazy fan of minor league baseball. I've been to over 100 professional parks in my life - from Elizabethton "BetsyTown!" in the Appalachian League to Yankee Stadium (both old and new). I once found myself at a sparsely attended game in Bristol, TN. This was 1990. The Bristol Tigers were also in the Appy League, which was a Rookie-League for first-year players. I noticed a oddly-dressed gentleman standing by himself on the first baseline. He seemed completely out of context, wearing a dark blue bucket hat, dark sunglasses and a tan raincoat, like Columbo. I simply had to figure out what his story was. I walked up to him and he looked at me and I put it all together. The bucket hat had a "maize" colored "M" on it. I said, "Hey Coach Schembechler (longtime, legendary University of Michigan Football Coach), what brings you to Bristol?" He smiled and said, "My bonus baby has started his career 0-25 batting and I thought I'd come down and try to provide him some inspiration..." Unbeknownst to me, after retiring from Michigan, the Detroit Tigers had named him President. The bonus baby? Tony Clark, future 15-year career MLB All-Star. That season at Bristol ended up with him batting .164. 6 years later he finished 3rd for AL Rookie of the Year. He is now the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
One more story. I went to a game at Johnson City, TN that same year in 1990. I walked up to the ticket office and asked to buy single ticket. The very nice lady looked up at me and said, "Oh honey, you don't have to pay a thing! Budweiser has purchased all the tickets today and they're free!" I thought, "how nice!" and walked over to the concession stand. It only seemed appropriate that I return the favor by grabbing an icy cold Bud before the game started. "One Budweiser please.." Quite surprised to have the young man say, "Oh, I'm sorry, this is a dry county. You can't buy beer here." Still cracks me up. If memory serves, I bought a 6-pack later that evening...in Bristol, VA.
Fenway Park is my happy place!
Denise and I love going to Charlotte Knights games. That ballpark is great!
Great pic Tommy and Alix 😊 enjoy!
My first game at Wrigley Field (I live in the Cleveland area) was in 2007 against the Giants. Bonds was sitting on 751 career home runs, but by that point, had a balky knee and he sat out the first three games of a four-game series. But he was in the lineup for the Thursday get-away, on my 27th birthday ... as he stepped to the plate, you felt the realness of it. The flashes from cameras, the umpire getting the specially-marked hologram baseballs for his at-bat. Then scandals be damned, the FIRST real pitch he had seen in four days was CRUSHED out of Wrigley, across the street off the rooftop in right field. That ball was sold for $44,000 by the fan who caught it. Later in the game, he hit another home run for No. 752 and finished 3 for 3 and drove in six runs. It was a wild scene, as Cubs fans seemed conflicted on his past allegations, but yet the history of the moment.
I also have to of course mention as a reporter, I attended every Cleveland postseason game in 2016. That means I was there for the Rajai Davis STUNNING home run in the bottom of the eighth in Game 7 of the World Series, which the Cubs later won in 10 innings to end 108 years of misery. A game that over time will be viewed as one of the all-time great postseason games ever played.