I got a great witty note from Moe Morhardt recently.
"You baseball fans amaze me about things you dig up... you should be working for the C.I.A."
He does some instructional work these days.
"One of the things I ask the kids I instruct now is, 'What is the first thing that enters your mind when you get a hit?" (They say 'run', I say that is third). They sometimes say 'happy' I say that's second. The first thing that goes through every hitters mind is surprise! It never fails. So what that shows is you really don't have any control over getting a hit. If a single is a surprise, what is a home run supposed to feel like?"
He says that he does not follow the minors, though his grand son bought a hat of the Montgomery Biscuits.
Moe lives in New England, and says he follows the Red Sox. He also likes Chase Utley.
I asked Moe about playing for Lancaster Red Roses.
He says, "I remember quite a bit about playing in Lancaster."
"On August 1st we were in 2nd place, by Labor Day, we were in last."
"We had all our valuables stolen at Springfield after a game including mgr. Phil Cavaretta's All-Star and NL Champion rings."
Continuing about Lancaster, "We were losing a game in Binghamton 13-2 in the 6th inning on Phil's birthday. One of our pitchers told him not to worry, we were 'going to get this one for you'.
Moe says they ended up winning 16-15.
"We had a willow tree hanging over the CF fence. We were down 6-3 in the 9th with the bases loaded. One of our catchers pinch hit a ball that clipped the branch of the willow tree, hit their center fielder between the eyes and knocked him out. Our guys circled the bases for a game winning grand slam."
Moe says that center fielder was Joe Pepitone.
Moe tells me he moved around a lot, especially during his first full year in the pros. He spent time playing and training with the Cubs, Houston AAA, San Antonio AA, and Lancaster A. He was in Arizona too. At one point he went to Nova Scotia and got married!
"Baseball makes you a gypsy."