A GREAT view of the field at AT&T Park in Chattanooga during their pre-season open house!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reds Mascots

The Reds are doing great this year!! Oh, and I love mascots!

Monday, September 27, 2010

John Gordon- Twins broadcaster

John Gordon who started out calling games for the Spartanburg Phillies in 1965 sent a great note recently. He has been with the Twins since 1987 and has spent time with the Yankees and with a favorite of mine, the Clippers!

John answered some questions for me. He says his favorite players were the great Kirby Puckett, and Carl Willis.

A favorite sports town in Kansas City.

I also asked about Spartanburg and he said, "I have fond memories of Spartanburg (I met my wife there). No more professional baseball there."

Thanks John! I became a fan of Carl Willis during our time in Cleveland, as he worked with CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Fausto Carmona. Great guy! Oh, and check out some of my recent entries here. KC is quickly becoming a favorite town of mine too!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wild Pitches

Yeah, this is the point in the year when I find myself in a personal slump. The minor league season is over. What do I do now? Seriously, what do I do now?

I will try to attend some of the independent league basketball games that will be going on around the state of Kentucky in a couple of months but I will miss baseball!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: Cobb by Al Stump

I think I have read enough books on Ty Cobb now!

After reading a handful of books on the legend, I think I have concluded that he is the most fascinating athlete in the history of ever!

I have to say, there is a real difference in the way Cobb is presented in this book compared to the Ty Cobb in other books.

Author Al Stump does mention that Cobb helped support some old timer fellow baseball players who needed some financial help. He does give credit for the medical center and scholarship he set up.

Otherwise, he paints a villainous picture of Cobb.

I guess, after my personal visit to Royston Georgia and the Ty Cobb Museum, I want to like the guy. I want to believe that he was a great player, and a good guy.

I wasn't around during Cobb's time, and I did not know him. Al Stump did.

I guess, if you are going to read up on Ty Cobb, this book and some of the others would be needed.

Stories about his love and hate with teammates is covered thoroughly here. Also, Cobb is linked to gambling, even admitting that he was OK (under certain conditions) with throwing a game if needed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Herschel Greer Stadium- Nashville, TN.

Here are some pictures I took at a recent trip to Greer Stadium in Nashville.

I have read about the park feeling outdated and all. Well... that is accurate. The park is outdated, which is a great reason to get down and experience the Sounds at Herschel Greer Stadium before they move on.

The guitar scoreboard is amazing and one of a kind. I do love a nice urban skyline, but the guitar just looks great.
On our way to the park, we looked to our right and saw the back of the scoreboard right next to us! Driving to an unfamiliar park and recognizing a part of it- knowing you are close is a great feeling.

Then again, it would be cool to have that Nashville skyline peaking over the outfield wall!

Surely in the near future, the Sounds will be playing in a more modern park. Indianapolis, Louisville, and Memphis come to mind when I think about great parks in downtown areas. Both the city and the team benefit from the relationship. I am certain Nashville will do the same at some point, and it will be exciting.
Still, cool older parks, a little bit out of the main city areas are becoming harder to find. Getting to and parking at Greer is no problem. The place is filled with friendly staff that seem to enjoy their job.
Herschel Greer Stadium is still nice, attractive and full of baseball life, though it is one of a dying species of parks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kris Atteberry- Twins Broadcaster

Kris Atteberry has been with the Twins since 2007. Before that he called games for the independent St. Paul Saints baseball team.

Kris sent me a note recently about his work and his career.

He says that he feels blessed with a great group of guys, mentioning Cuddyer, Kebel, and Redmond.

I asked about his favorite players growing up.

"Always loved Jim Abbott, George Brett, and I loved the Giants and Will Clark as a kid.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wild Pitches

Its funny, sometimes you get a situation in baseball where a conflict happens, and there is really no right or wrong, but still, you have 2 conflicting sides.

I love Joe Maddon. The guy defines cool. Plus, he is classy.

There was the situation this week where he got tossed for arguing about a Jeter at bat.

A ball looked to hit Jeter (later, it was shown that the ball actually did not hit Jeter, but he played it off like it did). The ump gave Jeter the base. Maddon argued that jeter was not hit, and Maddon was ejected.

Its just one of those odd situations. I am not a fan of cheating, thought Jeter really did not cheat. He did what he could to get on base. He did what he should have done.

Maddon did too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Corky Withrow- Kentucky Explorer Magazine, Sept. 2010

I have mentioned "Kentucky Explorer" magazine before and it once again needs a mention.

There is a nice note about Corky Withrow, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals. The article deals more with his Central City basketball career, but still, a nice Kentucky/baseball related article.

Corky is living in Owensboro now!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MMA Fighting at Applebee's Park in Lexington

Hey, if you are near Lexington, you might want to go to Applebee's Park tomorrow night (September 16). They are again hosting an MMA event. Looks like the action starts at 7!


A Strong Right Arm- The Story of Peanut Johnson

I picked this book up at our recent visit to the Negro League Baseball Museum.
That cool artwork on the cover is worth the $6 price tag alone.
The story is a very easy read, I think the book is written for grade school or middle school readers (a teacher actually wrote it, and she did a great job). But it is still the story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, one of the few female players ever to play pro. She played with the Indianapolis Clowns, and was one of 3 women to play in the Negro leagues.
It is great that that there are so many of the players from these leagues still with us. I have said it before- EVERY pro team needs to have a Negro Leagues tribute night at least once a year.
I really like this book about Mamie making it to the pro level. I felt a bit disappointment about the way she and a friend were treated when they tried out for the All American Girls professional Baseball League.
Still, she made it, and she holds a very unique place in the baseball history books.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kansas City Royals

After visiting St. Louis and the Cardinals, we drove about another 5 hours and visited the Kansas City area. I enjoyed my time in this entire area very much! In addition to having a great baseball tradition in the area, Kansas City has a lot of other things going on for it.

Kansas City is simply a great area. I thought it was easy getting around, pretty calm and just an easy area to deal with. We loved the hallmark visitor center, and just driving around the area. They have a great mall area, and lots of good food!

We had tickets to catch the Royals doing battle with the Tigers.

I have heard others say that the Royals play in a very unique venue. Kauffman Sadium is truly unique.

Sitting right next to the KC Chief's Arrowhead Stadium (the two making up the Truman Sports Complex) Kauffman Stadium is a sight. It is right off of the interstate.

Having the venue pretty much surrounded by parking spaces and huge parking lots does take away from the game day experience in my books. Unlike our other game in St. Louis, you can't get a room walking distance from the game and just go there. You have to deal with traffic and parking.

I did see a lot of tailgating going on. There were still many people showing up and having a good pre game experience.

I guess the pregame experience comes down to a personal choice. I like walking past local shops and other places on my way to a game. Others enjoy the hanging out by your vehicle for hours before the game.

At first I wanted to compare Kauffman to PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Not because of appearance or anything, but because it is casual, and has a very relaxed vibe. AND it is easy to get good tickets at a very good price.

I did not see ushers hassling people, and the crowd was good. The experience was comparable to a AAA game.

I mean that in a good way. Sometimes major league parks are too big and chaotic. Most AAA parks are eventful and exciting, bit calm enough that you can relax.

The fountains are as spectacular as I had heard, and the club has done a great job with their Hall of Fame. EVERY team (major and minor) needs a Hall of Fame at their park!

To be honest, I thought I would have a good time in Kansas City, and seeing the Royals, but I was shocked at how nice the area, and the team is.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

J.R. Towles- Astros and Lexington Legends

On September 2nd, the Lexington legends inducted JR Towles into their Hall of Fame.

This was very cool because JR has spent a good amount of time playing with the Astros at the highest level.

Those of us that have followed the Legends for some time, remember seeing him at games and chatting with him.

I remember him coming off as a humble, scrappy player who packed a punch. I remember thinking that he had "it." Each year you look for those players that pack a punch, and seem motivated to make it. JR was at the top of my list of players likely to get to the show.

The Legends had a night devoted to him. He came out and made a nice short speech. I thought it was very cool that his wife got to throw out a first pitch, with JR again behind the Lexington home plate to catch it.

It was very cool of JR to make it back to Lexington for the night. All Legends fans can claim JR as one of our own!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wild Pitches

If you happen to be in the Jackson, Tennessee area this weekend, go to a Diamond Jaxx game!!! They are letting people in for FREE to Saturdays playoff game! I really wish I could be there.

I think they are in a really cool area and I like their park.

Check out their web site too, they are going through a name change next year. Next year they will be known as the Jackson Generals!


Well, the minor league season is pretty much over. Don't expect another blog entry from me until April of 2011!

Just kidding! I would like to reassure all three of my followers that I still plan to post something every 2-3 days on average. Not sure what I will be posting, but I will put something up.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Droid panoramic photo- Lexington Legends

I mentioned that my buddy Rick just got a new Droid phone. I love cameras and I love taking pictures- especially at a game.

I have had a good time splicing photos together and making panoramic pictures.

Rick took this photo the other night using his Droid. The gadget directs you to move your camera to a certain point, then it takes the photos- 6 in a row back to back. It takes about a minute to take the series of 6 pictures and then the Droid puts them all together, almost perfectly.

Click on the photo he took the other night at Applebee's Park in Lexington. I reduced its size to 1/4th. Other than that, it is totally unedited. You might notice a few small flaws, but I am very happy with the results.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Al Pawlowski- Cleveland Indians Broadcaster

Al Pawlowski who does some play-by-play work for the Cleveland Indians sent a nice note recently.

I mentioned that I followed the Tribe for a very long period of time, after spending a decade in the area.

"I grew up following the Tribe like you."

Al has done a lot of other work for the Indians, including acting as their park host/announcer from 1999-2006 and worked broadcasting for other pro and college sports teams in the area.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Eric Collins- Dodgers Broadcaster

Eric Collins, who is currently doing some great broadcast work for the Dodgers and may be better known for his work with just about every major sports team in Chicago, sent a nice note recently.

"I'm getting a chance to live out a dream watching the greatest organization in pro sports play on a nightly basis."

"I hope you're enjoying the broadcasts as much as I enjoy bringing them to you!"

Thanks Eric!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wild Pitches


Check out the above article about the recent cricket scandal. Jeff Pearlman makes a great point about maintaining a sports integrity. Thanks Jeff!

Most of the local teams are finishing up their home games. In fact, I will probably attend my last minor league game of the season within the next few days. What now?

I was at the Lexington Legends game last night and had a lot of fun. There was a "flash mob" that was very entertaining. It started out with 2 couples jumping up on each dugout and doing a dance, them others joined in. Before it was over, both dugouts had a bunch of dancers, and there were some in the isles. It was pretty cool, and appreciated by the fans. We did snap a couple of photos that I might get up later. I would like to get more info on this, as it looked cool, it was enjoyable, and rehearsing for something like that is a great way for kids to spend their time! Kind of random, like a prank, but not destructive... and artsy! Very cool. Maybe one of the coolest things I have watched at a game recently (other than the action on the field)!

My buddy Rick has one of those new Droid phones. Generally, I am pretty resistant to technology. This thing is too cool. The Droid has a feature that just might sell me on it. Generally, I like phones for making phone calls, and cameras for taking pictures. This gadget, however, has a GREAT panoramic feature. It takes 6 photos in a row, and then pretty much stitches them all together instantly. I love taking panoramic photos at ball parks. Stitching can be a hassle though. This phone pretty much takes care of it all. I will get some examples up soon. I know there is the Sony camera that Taylor Swift is endorsing (and I always get my expensive gear based on celebrity endorsements) but I really like this Droid. Oh, and you can take regular pictures, use the internet, and make phone calls with it.