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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jared Reaves- Tigers Minor League Prospect

I got a great note from Jared Reaves talking about his career and the past season!

Jared let me know that this season started slow, but he feels that he managed to catch his stride and finish well.

He loved playing for the Whitecaps, and he let me know that the most impressive park in his league was Fort Wayne.

I asked him about missing home, and he said that he does miss the South when he is away, especially in April and May when it is warm.

He did grow up a Braves fan, but that changed when he was drafted by the Tigers organization.  He is proud to be with the Tigers, and he says that the people are caring and professional.

He does acknowledge that he still likes to see the Braves win...  unless they are playing the Tigers!

He ends his note with a "Roll Tide!"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Huntsville or Biloxi?

I hate to keep posting links to other articles....  but there have been some interesting ones lately!  And, to be honest, I got nothin' right now myself!

Check out this article by Mark McCarter concerning a possible move of the Huntsville Stars to Biloxi-


Have you been to a game at Joe Davis Stadium?  We were there a few years ago, and the place was dead.  I hate to put it that way, but......

Anyway, this is a very interesting article about the pros and the cons of a 2015 move for the team.  Check it out!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Indy Star article on 1917 Brewers Controversy

Forgive me for pointing out another article from the same source to posts in a row!

The Indy Star has become my go to site for news about one of my all time favorite towns, Indianapolis!

The Star does a fun job of covering sports and local news, and they also care about the area's past.

Check out this article involving a murder in 1917.  Baseball is not the focus, though the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers (then of the American Association) is!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Bush Stadium in Indianapolis

Here is a great article from the Indy Star about the old park in Indianapolis- it is now an apartment complex!  I tip my hat to the paper for such a cool article and to Indianapolis for doing this!!!


Monday, November 25, 2013

"Bottom of the 33rd" by Dan Barry

So, have you had the chance to swing by Pawtucket on any of your baseball pilgrimages?  This is one of my favorite areas.  I love New England, though it is very different from my home state.

Anyway, if you HAVE been to McCoy Stadium, you know that they have a ton of pride in the fact that the longest game was played there.  To be honest, I wasn't very aware of the the game until my stop there just under a decade ago.

The circumstances surrounding the longest game are very fascinating.  In case you don't know, on April 14th, 1981, the Pawtucket Red Sox hosted the Rochester Red Wings in a game that got started late, and that was still going on the next morning.  32 innings were played to a 2-2 tie!  Two months later, the teams got together again to finish the game.  The 33rd and final inning took 18 minutes.

Dan Barry writes a great book about the players, the history of the field, baseball in Pawtucket, and he lets you know about what happened to the players after the game.  If you know anything about this game, you know that a future Hall of Famer participated with each team.  You know that less than a couple dozen fans were still at the park for the 32nd inning.

Mr. Barry gets in to some of the more foggy facts about the game, and inaccurate legends surrounding it (one pitcher tells a story about a particular strike out in the game that never happened).

The game has a very Twilight Zone feel to it, with several odd factors and events affecting the game- including a paragraph missing form the rule book, a missed phone call, and bot teams scoring in the 18th inning.

There are several guys I remember from my days following the 1986 Mets and Red Sox (as a kid, that was the first year I really followed baseball).  Its great reading about these players BEFORE that great season.

AND, it was great fun reading about some of the other players.  Dave Koza, the star of the game and a Pawtucket legend, really becomes the focus of the book towards the end.  In fact, his personal journey after the game is just as interesting as the game that made him famous.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Steve Stewart- Kansas City Royals Radio Ntwork

Steve Stewart has been in baseball for over 20 years!  He has worked with the Red, Cardinals and the Royals during that time!

Steve was kind enough to send me a note recently about some of his thoughts on baseball.....

I asked Steve about his favorite players and he mentions Sean Casey, Brandon Phillips, and Bronson Arroyo.  He says Adam Dunn is a favorite too, and he is a funny guy.

"For the Royals...my favorite current players would probably be Alex Gordon...and among the young guys Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer are both a lot of fun to watch.  Favorite former player...just in terms of being a great guy...is Jeff Francoeur."

He says that, other than Kansas City, Chicago is his favorite road city.  He went there a lot with the Reds, and now with the Royals.  Steve describes Chicago to be like a second home to him.

He says that he feels Detroit is the best sports city in America.  This might sound a little odd at first, but Steve Stewart makes a good argument, noting that they have all of the major sports team (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) AND major college sports.  All of those teams draw good crowds.  PLUS, Detroit has a NASCAR race each year and golf majors from time to time.

Concerning the Royals, Steve says that the Royals fans are the best and most loyal in baseball.  He says that the town was electric this past summer as the Royals were fighting for a playoff spot.  He says the Chiefs broke the decibel record last Sunday when they beat Oakland.  He also talks about how huge college sports are here.

Check out his blog!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Trustmark Park- Mississippi Braves

On a recent road trip we had a moment to BRIEFLY stop by Trustmark Park, home of the Mississippi Braves.

You KNOW I was miserable as I stood outside looking in, on a non-game day, as the place was closed.

I could tell Trustmark MUST be a great place to be when the M-Braves are in town.  The place looked amazing as I stood outside looking in.

Sometimes you plan a road trip through a minor league baseball town even though you know you won't be able to time things out for a game day.  Its a double edged sword- you KNOW you will get to see a park, BUT you won't get to see the park in all of it's glory- with two teams on the field. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweet Right Brothers


We didn't see as many acts at the park this year as usual.  We DID catch the Sweet Right Brothers.

I love all of these acts and hope we see plenty next season!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Akron RubberDucks

One thing I do miss about living in northern Ohio is all of the access to great baseball.  You can see just about all of the Indians farm teams with a short drive.  I have enjoyed Captains and Scrappers games (had partial season tickets for both teams).  I used to catch the Clippers a couple times each season (they weren't affiliated with the Tribe at that time though) and I used to work walking distance from Canal Park, where the Akron Aeros played.

I always thought that the name "Aeros" was kind of goofy.  I never liked it.

Well, the team is NOW the Akron RubberDucks!  And yes, I absolutely love this name!

I remember the team asked fans to vote on keeping the Aeros name or going with a new one several years ago.  The Rubber Ducks name was an option, but fans voted on keeping the Aeros name.

Still, I think this is a team in desperate need of rebranding, and I think they have done a good job....  so far!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Joe Kruzel and Modern Woodmen Park


I was thinking about some of my favorite baseball experiences over the last few seasons.  One of the all time coolest minor league parks is Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport Iowa.

See my previous post on it, but there have been some flooding issues (see link above). 

I sent former hitting coach Joe Kruzel a photo to sign that I took of him at the park.  I love his inscription!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The El Paso Chihuahuas


The Padres' new AAA team is the El Paso Chihuahuas.  I KNOW there are some people upset about this, but I absolutely love this team name!  El Paso just got bumped up on my "areas to visit" list.

I am a Chihuahua person (I have had one all of my life) and I love them!

Also, I think it is just cool that a team is going with this name.  There is something tough about it- kind of like when a team wears pink.  It's kind of like saying, "we're so tough, we are going to call ourselves the Chihuahuas!"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Alfredo Aceves- Red Sox Pitcher

Alfredo Aceves sent a very nice note to me recently during this hectic season!

He told me that playing for the 09 Yankees and pitching at the highest level in 2 countries can't compare to anything!

The A's were a favorite team growing up, and his favorite book is the Bible!

Thanks Alfredo!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Birmingham Barons at Regions Field

Towards the end of the season we were able to catch a game in Birmingham! 

This is one of those baseball towns I have wanted to get to for some time, but I FINALLY got there!

AND, you may or may not know, there are now 3 significant ballparks in town with some major history to them!

I did stop by all 3, though I was only able to physically get in to the current park, Regions Field.  More on the other 2 later.

There is a lot to like about this roomy park.  It is big, but it doesn't feel big.  Plus, there is a great skyline view!

One thing that I really love about the city of Birmingham is the MASSIVE statue Vulcan.  Look him up if you are not familiar with him but he is one of the largest statues around, and he is spectacular.  You can see him from the park.

And this park had a nice community vibe going on.  I chatted with several of the staff and locals. 

Birmingham has so much baseball history, it almost seems odd that they built ANOTHER park, but Regions Field is just so comfortable.  Somehow, the Barons were able to bring some of their history with them to this park.

This is definitely a park that I would like to try to get to often.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chattanooga Lookouts

I really enjoy getting down to Chattanooga because Chattanooga is a great town.  I especially love getting to the area when the Lookouts are playing!

I was able to make it to AT & T Field at the end of the season this year and I was able to catch a game that could only occur in Tennessee as the Lookouts played the Smokies (another favorite team of mine).

Chattanooga is the perfect town for catching a minor league game.  You are in a major city, with a lot to do, but you know that you are still in Tennessee.  The town is hopin' but I never feel overwhelmed here.  You get all of the big city sites but none of the big city attitude.  Its almost like Chattanooga doesn't realize how big it is!

The park is an easy walk from any of the downtown attractions.

If you live within a 6 hour drive from this area, take a 3 or 4 day weekend and make it down, especially when the Lookouts are playing at home.

OR, take a few days and drive to the area when the Smokies are also playing at home!  Catch the Smokies one night, and the Lookouts the next, AND you can spend time in Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, AND enjoy some time in the National Park!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013



A HUGE tip of the hat goes to my pals at the Cleveland Scene again!  These guys are still giving some mention to their local Frontier League team!!!!


I have mentioned here before that I lived in Cleveland for about 10 years, and clevescene.com is where I go to keep up with some of the more interesting stories in that area.

AND, when I travel, I always pick up the local free magazines when I can just to get a feel of an area.  I wish more magazines would work to be as good as the Cleveland Scene!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Baseball Grounds- Chicago

The Baseball Grounds Chicago.  Postmarked 1911.  "nuff said.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Metropolitan Stadium- Home of the 1965 American League Champions

The back of this old postcard reads-

Metropolitan Stadium Bloomington, Minnesota

Aerial view of the "Capitol of Baseball" hosting the 1965 All Star Game.

Check out all of that green farmland right next to the park!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Baseball is a Funny Game by Joe Garagiola

I picked up Baseball is a Funny Game by Joe Garagiola at an antique book store signed recently!

This book came out in 1960!  Well over 50 years ago, which gives this book a fun and unique perspective. 

This really isn't a biography or anything like that, but it is Joe talking about baseball.  He talks about playing as a kid, how he was scouted and signed, and how he acquired/made/improvised his equipment.

He talks about pitchers, umpires, and the other people who work in the sport.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book is the fact that the game has changed so much.  I enjoyed hearing about the budget of an umpire half a century ago!

I think good used copies are readily available so you should check this old treasure out!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Florence Freedom 1st Pitch

My young friend Owen recently got to throw out a first pitch at a Florence Freedom game!