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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ed Hearn- Conquering Life's Curves

It is no secret that one of my all time favorite teams is the 1986 Mets (though, as history goes on, I find the Red Sox and Astros from that year just as fascinating and worthy of admiration- but I hated them back then).

The whole team was great. I remember the names of the all of them.

Ed Hearn was the catcher behind Carter, which made him pretty cool. AND, he was an 86 Met!

Ed jokes in his book about David Leterrman making a joke one night about how all of the 86 Mets put a book out. Dave jokingly mentions that even Ed Hearn has a book out. This was BEFORE Ed actually published his book.

Ed gets traded to the Royals in a trade that many consider very lopsided, with the Mets getting the better deal.

Ed has some physical problems and his career winds down more quickly than he expected.

He comes through a lot, and survives some very close calls, with the help of his wife and religion.

Ed receives a kidney transplant, and becomes a motivational speaker.

This is a really nice book (it reads a lot like Gary Carter's books). He keeps his head up through a lot, and seems grateful for all he has. The last chapter is the best, as he is able to connect to the family of the person who's kidney he receives.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gary Ross 1968-1977

Gary Ross played in the majors from 1968-1977, spending time with the Cubs, Padres, and Angels.

I received a note from Linda Ross recently for Gary.

I asked Gary about his time with the Hawaii Islanders. Linda told me that Gary was on the All Star team for the Islanders, and he was the MVP of the game!

Gary was also in 2 books, "Cubs of 69" by Rick Talley and "Tales of the San Diego Padres" by Bob Chandler and Bill Swank.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wild Pitches

I am still trying to squeeze in a few more games before the season is over!

Here are a couple of things you might enjoy....

Check out Ben's Blog this week (linked to the left side of the screen under my favorite baseball blogs). He has a fun video of Seals parachuting into Victory Field in Indianapolis!

Also, go to the Akron Aeros site. They have a contest going to rename the team! I am split on this one. They have been the Aeros for some time now.... but.... Aeros is kind of an iffy name. I kind of like the Rubber Ducks suggestion. They do have a cool Star Wars parody video promoting their upcoming fireworks night that is pretty cool. Check that out!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stan Naccarato- Tacoma Washington Legend

Stan Naccarato has been involved with baseball in Tacoma for decades! He pretty much ran the franchise there forever! If you follow the PCL, or baseball in Washington, you know him!

He very kindly took a moment to let me know about his career recently.

I tells me that he wears World Series rings from the 89 and 90 A's, and the 78 Yankees. He received them as Tacoma had their AAA teams those years. He says that working with those teams was "top dog fun"!

He says that the Yankees and the Mariners are his favorites.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chris Green- 1984 Pirates

Chris Green played pro baseball from 1980-1987, spending some of 1984 with the Pirates! He sent me a great note recently!

He tells me about his very first major league game.

"It was against my hometown LA Dodgers". He comes in to the game to pitch to a lefty and strikes him out on three pitches! Catching for the Pirates was Tony Pena.

Chris knew that, after a his relief appearance, a pinch hitter would probably be batting. Well, Chris' teammates let him get a batting helmet and head on to the on deck circle. He had his bat ready!

When he looked back, he noticed that the entire team, including manager Chuck Tanner, was getting a big kick out of the situation!

Thanks Chris!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sandy Vance 1970-1971 Dodgers

Sandy spent some time in the eary 70s with the Dodgers.

He sent a brief note telling me about some of his favorites in baseball.

His favorite team is still the Dodgers, and his favorite former player is Sandy Koufax.

Interestingly, this Dodgers fan says that his current favorite player is Tim Lincecum.

He also notes that his favorite books are "Lefty's Legacy" and "I Live for This".

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tom Walker 1972-1977 Major League Pitcher

Tom Walker played for the Expos, Tigers, Cardinals, and A's during his major league career.

He let me know recently that he was in a book, "61 Humorous and Inspiring Lessons I Learned from Baseball" by Howard Kellman.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Roberto Clemente

"My God, Blass thought. Clemente! He's invincible. He doesn't die. He plays as long as he wants to and then becomes governor of Puerto Rico."

I FINALLY got around to reading the Roberto Clemente biography by David Maraniss titled, "Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero."

This is just a cool book. First off, it is about Clemente. Personally, I love number 21. he is such a mythical figure. He died way before I even came along, but he is so fascinating.

Maraniss shows us a lot about Roberto in this book. The title alone really gets Clemente right. Words like grace, passion, and hero are all very appropriate for the Pirates legend.

I think anyone stopping by this blog knows the story of Roberto Clemente, but if you don't, pick up this book. Sure, it is huge, but it is so good you will read it in no time.

Roberto Clemente is one of the few characters in history who truly sacrifices everything for a cause that he believes in. He personally tries to take food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a major earthquake. He wants to accompany the supplies himself to make sure that the people get the needed items.

I can think of people in our modern times who might sign a check, or help out a little, but I can't think of someone actually going to a devastated area to make sure the government does not take the supplies.

Maraniss does a great job of covering Roberto's career. He also details the state of the people in Nicaragua. I was not aware of the details concerning the bad condition of the aircraft.

Two of my other favorite baseball characters make appearances in the book. I have met Steve Blass and Manny Sanguillen a couple of times. I love these guys and their connection to Clemente. If you attend a Pirates game in Pittsburgh, Manny is pretty easy to locate. Blass is around too, and it is so great still having these guys around.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

St. Cloud Stadium Huntington, WV

West Virginia is a great area with a ton of history! They have had some amazing minor league teams and venues.
I did stop by St. Cloud Stadium recently. This nice little park has been through a LOT and the area has kept it up, but it is especially in need of some care right now.
Check out digitalballparks.com for a very thorough write up on its history.
I am hoping this park still has some life left in it!