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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wild Pitches

Check out this witty article from Kevin Manahan and the Star-Ledger:


The Yankees tried to move their AAA team to Newark for next year only, as their current top minor league team needs a new home since the park in Scranton-Wilkes Barre will be renovated during 2012.

The Mets objected, as they play within a close distance of Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium.

The Newark bears of the independent Can-Am league play there now (I am not sure of what their plans would have been if the AAA Yankees came to town).

This has been a great few days for baseball fans.... I hope your team(s) made it. Again, I am pulling for the Tigers, but I like all of the teams that made it this year...

I have mentioned that Cliff Lee is my guy too, so I hope he does well with the Phillies. Oh, did you read the article in Sports Illustrated this week about Cliff and Philadelphia? It is a nice article about the fans, and their relationship with Cliff and the other pitchers with the Phillies right now.

AND.... how can you not be inspired by the Rays? WOW! Joe Madden is simply the coolest guy in baseball these days.

Were you watching the various games on Wednesday night? TELL ME that the baseball gods do not exist..... I thought it was odd too that Red Sox fans everywhere were pulling for a Yankees victory! The Sox don't need another jinx.... They really just got over the curse.... Maybe a Ted Williams stamp could bring them some luck next season?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ned Skeldon Stadium- Toedo OH

Ned Skeldon Stadium was the home of the Toledo Mud Hens from 1965-2002. I drove through the Maumee area recently, and had a few minutes to swing by and take some quick pictures.

I wasn't able to get inside, but I did get some photos from around it.

I asked someone near the park about getting in. I was told that a very nice guy keeps the place up, and does a good job. Schools still play there games on the field. I looked for the grounds keeper, but I could not find him.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wild Pitches

Well, the minor league season is over. I know, you are also asking yourself, "what do I do now?"

Well, there is that whole MLB post season thing that is about to get going. I saw the Tigers at spring training this year, and I saw them in Detroit (and I visited 4 of their affiliated parks this season) so I am pulling for them right now.

One thing I noticed mentioned at the Frontier League web site recently. MORGAN BURKHART will be managing Windy City in 2012! If you are a fan of the league, this is a pretty big deal. Morgan has some time at the show under his belt, and he was the most dominant player in the league in the 90s.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

David Cheadle

David Cheadle literally had a cup of coffee with the Braves, making it in to one game in Cincy, and one in Atlanta.

He sent me a very nice article recently about his career. He turned down a college scholarship to sign with the Yankees.

After hitting a wall out of frustration and breaking some bones, the Yankees dealt him to the Braves. His career highlight was striking out Pete Rose. In school, he pitched ridiculously, pitching the entire way of a 23 inning Babe Ruth league game, allowing 4 hits and striking out 49!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bush Stadium Indianapolis Indiana

I recently came across this postcard from 1995. It has been roughed up in the mail, but it still looks good!

Not a lot of stuff out there on the old stadium. This postcard was postmarked 1995, and it says on the back:

"The Indianapolis Indians' move to a new stadium in 1996 will leave the venerable ballpark vacant. The city-owner of the 1931 Art Deco stadium- has opposed landmark status."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Parkway Field, Louisville, KY

This is a GREAT postcard of Parkway Field in Louisville, KY. Used from the 20s through the 50s by the old Louisville Colonels. I have had a tough time finding quality items relating to this park!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stadium Journey

Hey! Check out stadiumjourney.com! Someone mentioned this one to me lately, and I really like it!

They review ballparks and other sports venues! It is very interactive, has some nice pics, and gives a lot more info than most sites on food, atmosphere, etc.

They have a nice rating system too! This will be a great resource for any minor league baseball (or any other sports fan) that enjoys a good sports road trip!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Joanne Gerace

I received a note from Joanne Gerace recently. Joanne had an association with author Roger Kahn, as the GM of the Utica Blue Sox.

She mentions the book by Kahn about her and the Blue Sox, called "Good Enough to Dream." Her literary association with Kahn puts her in GREAT company.

Joanne says, "Blue Sox Baseball was my job and passion."

She says that now her favorite team in the majors is the Yankees, and Posada is her favorite!

I will get a review of "Good Enough To Dream" soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wild Pitches

Well, the minor league baseball season is pretty much over. I did make a quick road trip through Michigan, and saw the Tigers, Lugnuts, WhiteCaps, and Mud Hens!

The Mud Hens, obviously are in Ohio, but they are darn close to Michigan, and they have some strong connections to the state. I was glad to see that they are drawing some good crowds! Oh, and I had the chance to indulge in some Tony Packos!!!!

I know Toledo is not the usual family tourist stop, but Mud Hens baseball and GREAT dogs are the perfect combo for a road trip.

I have been to Comerica Park before, but this was my first chance to actually catch a game. The park has a great, lively field. Good friendly staff too! Detroit seems to be trying hard to shake its bad rep, and in general, they are doing a good job. Still, I walked about 3 blocks to get to the game, and I was harassed by various people asking for donations, change, and trying to sell stuff. This was my only negative experience in Detroit though, and it wasn't too bad.

There is an excitement there that reminds me of the vibe going through Pittsburgh a little over a decade ago. Locals seem to have more pride in the area and that is a plus. I hope (and believe) Detroit can pull out of their slump as a town.

The White Caps in Grand Rapids put on a great show! VERY friendly staff and good atmosphere. This area could support a AA or AAA team.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Michael Veeck

The legendary Michael Veeck sent me a nice, long letter recently! I was very glad to hear from this minor league innovator!

He tells me that his favorite minor league team is the St. Paul Saints, as he is very involved with that team right now.

His favorite major league team is the White Sox. His son is currently working for them!

Michael mentions that he has also worked for the Marlins, Tigers, and Rays.

His all time favorite players are Early Wynn and Larry Doby. Currently, Jim Thome is a favorite, and he says that Jim is a great home run champion.

Michael mentions Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" as a great book.

Thanks Michael! What a great note! I agree with everything! Jim Thome is such a great player with legit numbers! I became a fan back in my Cleveland days.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bobby Freeman D-Back organist

If you have followed this blog for some time (again, thanks mom!) you know that I love corresponding with interesting people involved in baseball.

I sent a note to Arizona Diamondbacks organist Bobby Freeman not long ago, and he sent me one of the nicest responses. Thanks Bobby!

I did get his great CD, "Ballpark Hits." I love having ballpark organ music around, especially in December and January, when I am really missing a trip to the park. Please pick up the CD if you enjoy the sound of the organ at a game.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jim Bouton- Ball Four

"Ball Four" is one of those great books that gets a lot of credit, but it probably deserves even more.

Bouton is so honest (not just about his teams, and teammates, but also about himself) you feel like you know him after reading the book. In my edition, in one of the update sections, he even suggests that the reader is sort of like family if they have read to that point. And you do feel for him and his relationships, especially with his family.

Reading the book now, in the 2010s, it almost seems odd that they book was controversial at one time. I can understand the books by Canseco, Rose, and McCarthy being controversial, but Bouton's doesn't feel that way to me.

Then again, I wasn't around when the book originally came out.

Reading about the Pilots during their year is great fun on its own. Reading about Jim's dealing with the Yankees, and shuffling between the majors and minors is fun too.

Jim Bouton is witty as heck. It is difficult to describe his humor, but it is original and unique.