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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Frank Thomas MLB player 1951-1966

I sent Frank Thomas a note recently, and he took the time to write me a great letter back!

Frank spent time with 7 teams during his career during a great era, and he still seems enthusiastic about the sport, and his career.

Frank asks for a signing fee to sign cards, but he donates the fees to charity. He let me know that the money I sent will go to a charity that helps kids with cancer. He thanked me for the donation!

Frank says he still pays attention to baseball, but he doesn't have one specific favorite team or player. He also never played around Kentucky.

He did put a book out some time ago, but he is out of copies. If anyone can help this blogger find a copy, please contact me!

Check out Frank's web site, he does sell very reasonably priced photos!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Casey Blake

Casey Blake is one of my all time favorites. We started following him when he was with my old home team, the Cleveland Indians.
Cleveland loved this guy. He had a great work ethic, and just did it all. I remember one of the guys calling the game commenting that Blake would sell hot dogs in the stands if Wedge asked him to.
He played hard and he was great with the fans. I never once saw him turn a fan away for an autograph.
Here are a couple of pictures from about 5-6 years ago. He was rehabbing with the single A Lake County Captains. Before the game he signed autographs and talked to all of the fans that came up to him. I remember he hit one over the outfield one in his first at bat with the Captains.
Looks like the Rockies did not keep him after spring training, but surely someone else will. I could see him maybe coaching in the next few years. I hope he stays in baseball.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Joe Siddall- Expos, Tigers and Marlins Catcher

Joe Sidall contributed as a catcher to several teams during his 12 year professional baseball career. At the highest level, he played for the Marlins, Tigers and Expos.

I asked Joe about what teams he follows now, and he let me know that he is still a Tigers fan!

Joe is Canadian, and I asked him if he was upset about the Expos ending.

Joe answered with an firm "YES!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dave Walsh- Reds, White Sox, and Dodgers

Dave Walsh spent almost a decade pitching for the Blue Jays and Dodgers organizations, making it to the majors with LA in 1990.

Dave let me know that his best year was in 1988 in Mexico, which was not listen on his Baseball Cube stat sheet I sent him.

He says that these days he is teaching English and coaching baseball.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

PNC Park- Pittsburgh

We used to go over to Pittsburgh to catch the Pirates a few times a year when we lived in Cleveland.

Pittsburgh is a great town in my books, and I really loved going over for games.

Unlike some other baseball venues in other towns, there is a lot going on right around the park. Parking was never a hassle. Good tickets were easy to get and affordable.

Pittsburgh is an underrated town that has a LOT more going for it than people think. It has more character than it has been given credit for. The skyline is spectacular. In fact, you can get a GREAT view of the skyline from inside of PNC Park.

Pittsburgh is a very doable 3-4 day road trip from central or eastern Kentucky.
Here are a few pics I took from the park from a few years ago.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Favorite Mascots

Yeah, here is a bunch of pictures of mascots! I know, some people hate them, but I love them. I think they are just pure fun and they add to the whole baseball experience.
Check out the Pittsburgh Pirate Parrot doing a back flip! I saw the Washington Wildthing do that once too!
I once wore a bunny costume at Easter (don't make fun of me, you know you have taken embarrassing jobs too!). Those masks are HUGE! I could barely move in that costume! I couldn't do a toe touch- a back flip was out of the question!
I think my favorite traveling mascots are Birdzerk, the San Diego Chicken, and Reggie the Purple Party Dude. All have seriously cracked me up.
In the minor leagues, Skipper from the Lake County Captains and Belle from the Florence Freedom are tops.
I can't say too much about it, but I almost bought a former minor league teams mascot costume. Then I thought about the fact that my wife might not appreciate such a collectible in the house.
Anyway, I think mascots are a riot- enjoy these photos from various teams.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lexington Legends Ballpark Tour

This past weekend, the Lexington legends hosted their annual Fan Fest!
The Legends are my home team, and I try to get out to the park every chance I get!
Being that we are still a month or so away from
opening day, I am really itching for some baseball!
I appreciate any fan fests or other similar events hosted by teams in the off season.
This was a very fun event. The Legends had some games around the park for the kids, they had free snacks, beverages, and a nacho bar!
The main attraction for me was taking a bit of a formal tour of the park! I have been here many times over the last several years, but there were still areas I had never been through.
The press area was very cool. Like many minor league parks, you can sort of set in front of the press area. It is behind home and up a bit.
I remember a time at another park that at times draws small crowds (its in Huntsville). The crowd was well under 100. I watched some of the game in those upper seats behind home. The team's radio guy had the window opened as he watched and called the game. I was able to listen to the game, not on the radio, but live. THAT is one of the things that makes minor league baseball so
Seeing the locker room was nice too! Our tour guide let us know that Roger Clemens very kindly purchased some new items for the clubhouse when he was in town!
I have taken tours of many other parks, mostly at the Major League level (see my other posts here). There is a noticeable difference, to be honest. Still, I was surprised at how well kept the areas were.
A tip of the cap goes to the Legends for hosting such a cool event!