Dan Frye played in the Reds system for 3 years. He played for the Princeton Reds, the Charleston Wheelers, and the Winston-Salem Spirits (he also played for the same Winston Salem team renamed the Warthogs).
Dan sent me a great note about his time in baseball. Mr. Frye talks a lot about how he felt obligated to sign autographs after a bad experience as a kid.
"I remember spring break with my family as a young boy and going to a Pirates game. We tried to get some signatures and the players would not sign. It wasn't that they didn't have time because they signed some autographs further down the line."
"I told my mom that I hoped to someday be asked for my autograph. Long story short, I remember the 1st at Mississippi State University my freshman year at ISU and I never turned anyone away."
Dan says that he is proud of the fact that he never left a fan seeking an autograph with the feeling he had as a young fan at spring training.
"I loved baseball and still do today" Dan goes on to say. He says his best memories are of the people he met along the way, many after having a bad game.
Dan tells a great story about breaking his bat once during an at bat. "There was a small boy sitting next to our visitors dugout with his grandparents. I gave the boy the bat instead of just throwing it into the trash which was the norm. His grandparents brought him to see me play for a weekend every year after that. I brought him into our clubhouse, we played catch in the outfield."
Frye goes on, "I remember his letters when he began high school, when he got his drivers license and when he left for college."
Dan says that he enjoyed spending time with young kids in baseball. "I loved the look on their faces when I threw them a ball. The smiles are etched in my memory forever."
"There are many other memories with the ending always the same. I always benefited from playing baseball and the benefit was meeting all the people over the years."
"I felt the most pressure when I was told I was the next 3B in the big leagues and promptly hit .188 in Winston Salem. Even though my average was so poor, Winston Salem was a great place to hit. Especially the long ball."
"My favorite non MLB team would have to be the Durham Bulls. What a great movie. I was fortunate to get to play at both the old and new stadium before they changed classes. I hit the bull with a home run. They gave me a plaque before our next game and also a free steak dinner for 2. I also met some wonderful people in Durham."
"If you haven't seen a game at Durham, you've got to. Stop by Hickory, NC for a game too. That was another great place to play."
Dan has done well since his playing days ended, he is proud of his family and his new career.