Baseball and Books: Two of My Favorite Things

Not too long ago, a friend asked for suggestions of books about baseball that she should read. If you know me at all, you know two things: I love baseball and at one point in my life, I was a high school English teacher. Naturally, I had a few suggestions for her. That got me thinking: just how many baseball books have I read over the years? I went through my entries on the website goodreads.com, and came up with the following books, and I thought I’d share these titles with my baseball-loving, book-reading brethren. And these are just the books I know I’ve read. I remember reading several books by Matt Christopher when I was a kid–all about kids who are going through something in life (divorce, a move, death in the family, etc) and playing youth sports at the same time. If you have elementary school aged kids, his books might be worth checking out at some point.

The books are grouped in to three categories: the 1st are books that if you haven’t read yet, you should be starting within the next week or two. The 2nd set are books that if you ever get around to it, check them out. As for the last group, if you never get around to them, no skin off my back. Other than that, they are in no particular order, mostly non-fiction.

Must Read As Soon As Possible:

The_Soul_of_BaseballThe Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnansk. A friend suggested I read this one after reading Buck O’Neil’s autobiography.  I had it done in under three days. An absolutely fantastic read about one of America’s true treasures. If you’re going to read any of these books, start with this one. And buy it, you’ll want others in your family to read it as soon as you’re done with it.

Shoeless JoeShoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. The book that became “Field of Dreams.” It’s one of my favorites, and it’s VERY different from the film (for good reason). If you liked the movie starring Kevin Costner, buy a copy of this because you’ll probably end up reading several times of the years.

 

Victory SeasonThe Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball’s Golden Age by Robert Weintraub. This was about the Major Leaguers who went off to fight in WWII, and what they did that first season back after the war. It combined my love for baseball and American history but at times it was pretty slow. One thing really bothered me, though: there was not one mention of former New York Yankees 2nd baseman and Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Jerry Coleman. I get that Lt. Col Coleman was in the minors for 2 years after the war, but he was the ONLY MLBer to see combat in both WWII and the Korean War. That’s going to bother me for a long time, I think.

Jackie RobinsonJackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad. I’ve seen three movies about Mr. Robinson: “The Jackie Robinson Story,” “The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson,” and “42.” None of them did justice to his life. He was such a fascinating man, and this is the book that anyone who is remotely interested in him should read. For my money, Mr. Robinson was more important to American History than he’s given credit for, and he was so much more than just the 1st African-American to break MLB’s Jim Crow rules.

eightmenout_magEight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof. It’s the book that the film “Eight Men Out” was based on, and for my money, it was better than the movie–it just gets more in-depth into the personalities of the players and why they took the money better than the film could in 2 1/2 hours. I had never heard of the 1919 White Sox until I saw “Field of Dreams,” and knowing the story of why those guys (not just Joe Jackson) were banned from baseball is a fascinating part of American history.

Willie MaysWillie Mays: The Life, the Legend by James S. Hirsch. Every Giants fan should have this in their personal library. Over the years, Mays earned a reputation with the media for being–oh, let’s call it grouchy–and you learn why. You’ll learn how loved he was in the minor leagues in Minnesota, and later in New York.

 

Moe BergThe Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg by Nicholas Dawidoff. Moe Berg was another interesting character of 1930′s & 40′s baseball. He wasn’t a great ball player, and no one who knew him really got to know him. Some says he was a CIA agent during WWII; some say he was a fraud who lived off the kindness of friends. I don’t know what’s true and what’s not, but it’s a good story!

4460449The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop. Published in the mid-1950′s, this book would eventually become the Broadway musical “Damn Yankees.” A middle-aged Washington Senators fan sells his soul to the Devil, and in exchange becomes the kind of player (think Willie Mays, but better) the Senators need to finally beat the Yankees and the win the American League. This was Shoeless Joe long before Kinsella published his masterpiece, and just as fantastic to read. Side note: I was at Opening Night of the revival in October of 1993 at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Such a great show!

game-of-shadowsGame of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports by Mark Fainaru-Wada. This changed my mind on the whole steroid “thing” (well, it solidified my opinion on it, anyway).

 

BondsLove Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero by Jeff Pearlman. A great book about one of the most polarizing figures in baseball history. Barry Bonds fans probably will want to burn this book after they read it because he does not come off as a likeable human being (when your college teammates want to kick you off the team, you have issues).

The MickThe Mick by Mickey Mantle with Herb Gluck. A fun, interesting read by one of the greatest players ever. Mickey admits he has his faults, and it’s just a good summer read.

 

 

Put Them On Your “To Read” List, Get To Them When You Can:

  • I Was Right on Time by Buck O’Neil
  • Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye
  • The Natural by Bernard Malamud
  • The Dixie Cornbelt League and Other Baseball Stories by W.P. Kinsella
  • The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by W.P. Kinsella
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa: Stories by W.P. Kinsella
  • The Thrill of the Grass by W.P. Kinsella
  • Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris
  • The Kid Who Only Hit Homers by Matt Christopher

 If You Never Get To These, You’re Really Not Missing Much:

  • Hanging Curve by Troy Soos
  • The Goose is Loose by Richard Gossage and Russ Pate
  • All the Babe’s Men: Baseball’s Greatest Home Run Seasons and How They Changed America by Eldon L. Ham
  • Juan Marichal: My Journey from the Dominican Republic to Cooperstown by Juan Marichal
  • A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants by Andrew Baggerly
  • My Favorite Summer 1956 by Mickey Mantle
  • Juiced: Wild Time, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big by Jose Canseco
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Do You Remember Your First Baseball Game?

People always remember someone famous hitting a home run in their first game. Buck O’Neil. November 13, 1911-October 6, 2006

I don’t know how famous he is outside of San Diego Padres fans, but Garry Templeton hit a home run in the first baseball game I went to. Garry Templeton was not a home run hitter by any stretch of the imagination. He was a slim, fairly slick-fielding, switch-hitting short stop who led the National League in hits in 1979. After the 1981 season, the Cardinals traded him to the Padres for Ozzie Smith. That worked out well for the Cardinals. Garry Templeton Ozzie swapTempleton would lead the NL in intentional walks in ’84 & ’85 with 23 and 24 (respectively), and hit 43 of his career 70 home runs while with the Padres. But what I remember was that in the first game my dad took me to in 1984–I was 8 years old– Garry Templeton hit (what I remember to be) a Grand Slam Home Run.

There are a few other things I remember about that day. I remember that the Padres were playing the Pirates. It had to be a Saturday or Sunday (Dad worked Monday through Friday at North Island Naval Air Station back then), which meant a day game. I have no idea what month this was, bu it was hot and humid at Jack Murphy Stadium. I know it was hot and humid, because I remember a vendor yelling “ICE COLD PEANUTS!” and my father lathering sun block on me. We had seats in left field, Plaza Level, just under the overhang of the level above us, but in that no-man’s land where we wouldn’t get any shade. Because this was 1984, I was probably wearing some serious short-shorts that John Stockton would have been envious of, and my dad took my program and covered my thighs with them. I remember how the combination of sun block and humidity and sweat made the program stick to my legs. It was gross.

I remember that before the game, as my father, my brother, and I were walking from the parking lot towards the gate, we saw Steve Garvey walking from the players parking lot into the stadium. This is crazy to me because the players had a private lot. It was fenced in and they kind of drove down a ramp that led right in to the bowels of the stadium. If you’re ever walking around Qualcomm Stadium, you’ll probably see buses and TV trucks parked there. But this day, Steve Garvey–the soon to be favorite son of Joan Kroc, and hero of the ’84 NLCS–was walking in to Jack Murphy Stadium like he was just one of us. What do you mean not all ball players do that? That’s NOT the way things are done? That’s just crazy talk. I remember kids were going up to him, asking Garvey for his autograph. My brother did, and I bet if I asked him, he’d be able to dig up that autograph (seriously, he doesn’t throw anything away). Me? Not so much. I was too shy and I just stood by my dad’s side. Of all the autographs I’ve never gotten over the years, Steve Garvey’s isn’t one that I wish I had (I have gotten Templeton’s autograph a couple of times, though).

mlb_g_templeton_576If I had known then what I know now, I would have paid attention to what Tony Gwynn was doing that day. Who would have known that he’d go on to win the first of his eight (8!) National League batting titles that year? I would have paid attention to who started the game or if Goose Gossage came in to close out the win. Other than the weather and Steve Garvey, I remember seeing a Padres employee walking behind that temporary green wall to retrieve the ball that Garry Templeton hit for what I assume was a grand slam. Garry Templeton hit two home runs in 1984, and I saw one of them. Maybe that’s why they went get the ball–he never knew when he’d hit another one again.

So, do you remember the first baseball game you went to? And what do you remember from that game?

“Isn’t it funny? Everybody remembers going to their first baseball game with their father. They might not remember going to their first day of school with their mother. They don’t remember their first football game or their first Thanksgiving dinner. But they always remember going to the baseball game with their father.” Buck O’Neil

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I Think Frank Thomas Wanted To Kill Me

tumblr_inline_mzm6s9zzvI1qa12txFrank Thomas was one of the greatest hitters I have ever seen play the game of baseball. I’ve said this before. I’m not the only person who feels this way because he’ll be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. The Big Hurt played his first full season with the White Sox in 1991, when he hit .318 with 32 homers, 109 RBI, and led the American League in walks (138), OBP (.453), and OPS (1.006). That’s a pretty good year. Good enough for Frank to finish 3rd in the AL MVP voting. Through 1997, he never hit lower than .308 (’95), fewer than 24 homers (’92), or knocked in less than 101 RBI (’94, thanks Labor Issues). Then 1998 came along. Even though he played in 160 games that year, and hit 29 homeruns with 109 RBI, Frank Thomas only hit .265. The year before, he led the AL with a .347 batting average. An 82 point drop from one season to the next is kind of unusual for a seemingly healthy, future Hall of Famer in his 9th season in baseball.

I tell you all of that just to tell you this story.

In the spring of 1998, I was a junior at Arizona State, living in the campus apartments a few blocks from Sun Devil Stadium. My roommate that year, Pat, was “dating” a girl he met while working as “security” at the Rockin’ Rodeo in south Tempe. This girl’s father had Angels Spring Training season tickets, and she gave us two tickets to a White Sox/Angels game. Let me tell you, even though it was Spring Training, I have never been closer to the action than I was that day. We were sitting in the 1st row, right behind home plate. I don’t remember the section number, row of the seats, but I’d guess that they were Section 1, Row 1, seats 1 & 2. You get the idea?

It’s a sunny spring day in Tempe, and we’re jazzed to be sitting that close. Neither of us Frank-Thomas-2care a whole heck of a lot about either team–me being a Giants fan & Pat, being from western Idaho, a Mariners fan. We were just happy to be at a free baseball game. The game starts, and there’s only one thing I remember about it: my incident with Frank Thomas and Albert Belle.

At some point in one of his at-bats, Frank Thomas took a called strike. Now, I’m used to talking to my TV and sitting up in the 3rd deck of Jack Murphy Stadium, saying things to players who under no circumstances can hear me. So my natural reaction was to say “Don’t worry, Frank, it’s only Spring Training.” I swear to you, Frank Thomas’ head swung around so fast I didn’t know what was going on. He actually heard me. And he glared at me. On the next pitch, Frank Thomas swung, and popped weakly to second base. As he was trotting back to the dugout, Frank Thomas was looking at me.

In case you didn’t know, Frank Thomas went to Auburn University where he played baseball. And football. He was a tight end on the Auburn football team. He’s a big guy. According to Baseball Reference, he’s 6’5″, 240 pounds big.

frank thomas big hurtI don’t remember Frank Thomas playing in the field that day. When he wasn’t the Designated Hitter, he was over at first base. That’s what he did. Since it was a Spring Training game, I’m guessing he was in fact the DH that day. What I do remember is looking over at the White Sox dugout, seeing Frank and Albert Belle sitting on folding chairs at the edge of the dugout, glaring me. Both of them. If you’re not sure who Albert Belle is, google him. Let’s just say the guy had issues during his playing days. To see Frank Thomas and Albert Belle staring at you for several innings can be a tad unnerving. At some point in the game, I leaned over to Pat and said “we can go any time.” When people around you notice those two guys watching you, it’s time to go.

I doubt Frank Thomas remember any of this, but I can tell you this much: it’s going to take a pretty damn severe head injury for me to forget it or the look on their faces. Congrats on the Hall of Fame, Big Hurt. You earned it!

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I’ve Officially Run Out of Excuses

As a lot of you out there know, I’ve lost roughly 65 pounds over the past 16 or so months. A few “minor” health issues (allergies, gall stones/gall bladder removal) freaked me out to the point that I finally decided to make some lifestyle changes. I started eating better, keeping track of nutrition, cut out (well, cut way back on) soda and other sugary drinks, and I started exercising. Let’s face it, walking & running has been the biggest change & reason for the weight loss. Well, since October, I’ve been hovering right around 215 pounds (down from a high of 281 while I was still living in Arizona in the fall of 2011), and I’m pretty OK with that. Lately, I’ve been lacking in the motivation department…and then I thought of a former student.

Well, he was never actually in one of my classes, but one of the kids I know from my time teaching English at Queen Creek High School got my butt moving again (I didn’t get his permission to tell this story, so I won’t be using his name. Sorry about that). You see, when he graduated in 2009, this kid went on to a junior college in Arizona on a football scholarship. He’s a smart kid, talented, athletic, and this was his best opportunity for a free education. The downside to his scholarship was that it didn’t include a meal plan and he wasn’t getting much help from his family, so once the football season ended, he couldn’t eat. By the end of the Fall 2009 semester, he had left school and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

While serving with the USMC, he spent more than his fair share of time in Iraq and Afghanistan. On his last deployment overseas, his convoy was hit by an IED, and without going in to details that I don’t have, doctor’s eventually had to remove the lower half of his left leg.

Even though he did his rehab here in San Diego at Balboa Naval Hospital, I’ve only seen him once since the accident. He’d gained a few more tattoos since the last time I had seen him, but the smile was still the same, and he was recently given his discharge from the Marines, and moved up to the Los Angeles area. Before that, though, he went back to Arizona–and hiked from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. On one good leg.

Now, I have no intention of hiking the Grand Canyon, but the (minimum) 4.2 miles I do four or five days during the week are a little easier.

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Something Old, Something New: My 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Well, it’s that time of year. College football season is just about over, and we’re a little more than six weeks away from Major League pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training. This means one important thing: time to debate who should or shouldn’t be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Since no one was elected last year, the ballot this year is pretty friggin’ loaded. The writers are only allowed to vote for 10 eligible retirees, and for whatever reason, some of those writers won’t write down 10 names. I don’t have that problem, and not just because I’m not a member of the BBWAA (if you know how I can gain membership, let me know).

When I first looked at the 2014 ballot, I wrote down a list of names. 11 names to be exact. D’oh. I did one of these posts (found here) last year and played the part of Mr. Judgey McJudgerson, leaving off anyone who was directly linked to PED use (Bonds, McGwire, Clemens, Sosa). 5 of the 7 guys I’d have elected last year, get my vote again this year. Dale Murphy was dropped from the official ballot not because he isn’t deserving, but because he had been on the ballot too long without being elected. Jack Morris is down to his last chance (frankly, he should be in) and Don Mattingly has two more chances, including this year. So who would I vote for? Let’s find out!

Something Old: 5 Hold-Overs from 2013–since I’ve already gone over their qualifications, I won’t rehash their stats, awards, etc. Just take a look back at my 2013 ballot for that.

  • Jeff Bagwell
  • Craig Biggio
  • Tim Raines
  • Lee Smith
  • Fred McGriff

Something New: The New Guys–One lightening rod, one guy with better stats than you remember, one slam-dunk-no-doubt-one-of-the-greatest-of-all-time pitchers, and two who will be unfairly guilty by association.

barry-bondsBarry Bonds–When Bonds wasn’t elected last year, I wasn’t surprised. I then went on to write a post (seen here) about why I felt he should have been elected to the Hall of Fame, comparing his pre-steroids numbers to another Hall of Famer with similar numbers (but a much better relationship with the press). Don’t feel like clicking that link? Well, here are those 1986-1998 numbers: 1917 hits, 1364 runs, 411 home runs, 1216 RBI, 445 stolen bases, 1357 walks, 3 MVPs, 8 All-Star Game appearances, 9 Gold Gloves, and 7 Silver Sluggers. If Bonds had retired after the ’98 season, he’d have been elected. But he didn’t, and with a little bit of help, he went on to finish with these numbers: 762 home runs (most all-time), 2558 walks (most all-time, and 688 of those intentional), 2935 hits, 1996 RBI, 514 stolen bases, 7 MVPs (most all-time), 9 Gold Gloves, 158.1 WAR (3rd best all-time), .444 OBP (4th best all-time), .607 SLG (6th best all-time). Love him or hate him, Barry Bonds should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Tom Glavine–One of the best pitchers of the 1990′s, Glavine won 305 games (21st all-time) in 22 seasons, starting all 682 games (12th most starts all-time) he appeared in. He’s 24th all-time in strike-outs with 2,607, 30th in innings pitched (4,413.3). His 74.0 WAR for Pitchers is good for 28th best all-time, and Glavine is a 2-time NL Cy Young Award winner (1991, 1998).1385492258000-XXX-BBW-01-MADDUX-0331

Greg Maddux–From 1988 through 2004, he won at least 15 games every year, and from ’88 to ’03, he never had an ERA over 3.96. Maddux wasn’t a power pitcher, but he still struck out 3,371 batters in his career, good for 10th all-time. He made 740 career starts (4th most all-time), with 109 complete games, and 35 shutouts. In 5,008.3 innings (13th most all-time), he only allowed 999 walks–that’s less than 2 walks per 9 innings pitched. Maddux won the NL Cy Young Award 4 straight years, from ’92 to ’95, and finished in the top 5 in ’89, ’96, ’97, ’98, and 2000. Maddux’s 355 wins are good for 8th best all-time. He was the first pitcher I was willing to pay just to see pitch. If Greg Maddux doesn’t get elected to the Hall of Fame on 100% of the ballots, then the BBWAA who don’t vote for him shouldn’t be allowed to write or watch a baseball game ever again. Just let them watch soccer for the rest of their days.

MikePiazza78100460_Braves_v_MetsMike Piazza–I struggled with Piazza, but the more I thought about it, the easier it became to give him a vote. The 1993 NL Rookie of the Year, Piazza is probably the greatest hitting catcher of all-time. He finished with a .308 batting average (122nd all-time), a .545 slugging percentage (30th best), .922 OBP (47th) 2,127 hits, 427 homers (47th best), 1,335 RBI (90th), 146 IBB (50th most all-time), and his 65.7 Offensive WAR is good for 72nd best all-time. Sure, he wasn’t known for his defense, but Piazza finished with 10,844 put-outs (8th most all-time), 733 assists (90th most) in 1,630 games as a catcher–only 20 guys have played more games behind the plate than Piazza. Catcher is a demanding position, and Piazza for a long time. Much like Bagwell and Frank Thomas, his name has never been associated with PEDs and frankly, he should get in to the HOF this year.

Frank-Thomas-2Frank Thomas–Before Albert Pujols came along, Thomas was the best right-handed hitter since…I’m not sure…probably Willie Mays. 521 homers (18th), .301 average, .974 OPS (14th), 1704 RBI (22nd), 1667 walks (1oth), 2 AL MVP awards. Thomas has as many homers and MVP’s as Ted Williams, a higher batting average than Barry Bonds and Mickey Mantle, his OPS is better than Mel Ott and Ty Cobb, more RBIs than Cal Ripken Jr, George Brett, and Mike Schmidt, and more walks than Stan Musial, Lou Gerhig, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron. Just based on his offensive numbers, he’s right up there with Bonds and Griffey in the “best hitters of the 90′s” conversation.

Thanks to the BBWAA for not electing anyone in 2013, I had to leave some fairly deserving guys off of my ballot. Those names are: Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammel, Larry Walker. Sorry, boys. Maybe next year.

Want to see the full ballot? Just head on over to the Baseball Hall of Fame website.

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Moving On: New Year, New Things to Do.

This time last year, I sat down and made a list of goals I wanted to accomplish in 2013. There were 4 things on that list, and I only met 1 of them. Well, I kind of kicked that goal’s butt. I wanted to lose 25 pounds in 2013, and I finished the year down 43! If I’m only going to do one big thing in a year, I think getting my health back is a pretty good one, right? As for the other three, well I’ve only just decided what I want to do for my Master’s degree (still have to figure out how to pay for it without having my feet in those cement blocks that are student loans), didn’t travel much (I did get an annual membership to the San Diego Zoo & Safari Park–Let me tell you, walking those hills at the Zoo helped me lose some of those 43 pounds–and an annual pass to Disneyland), and I’m still looking for full-time work, but it’s a new year and those things will just roll over to the 2014 goals.

That being said, here’s what I’d like to do in 2014:

1. Start working on my Master’s in July, or at least be ready to start it come January 2015. 6 months to a year to study for & take the GMAT, apply to the program, and work out the finances sounds reasonable, right? And for those of you wondering, an MBA in Marketing from ASU can be done online for about $55K.

2. Continue to be healthy, get in a little bit better shape. Let’s face it, we can all be a little healthier than when we woke up this morning. So do that, I want to:

A) Lose another 20 pounds and drop my Body Mass Index to under 25 so that I’m no longer considered “over-weight.” This morning, I woke up weighing 216 pounds (down from 259 one year ago today), with a BMI of 28.4 (versus 34.2 a year ago).

B) Log 1,500 miles walking and/or running. I hit 975 miles in 2013, and that’s with getting started a couple of weeks in to January, being sidelined for about 6 weeks in March/April with a bum knee, and being super lazy in December. I’d have to average 125 miles/month, and in June ’13, I logged 130 miles, 128 in July, 114 in October, 102 in May. Definitely doable, especially if I:

C) Train for and run at least one 10K. I was planning on running Pat’s Run (4.2 miles, so a little more than a 5K) in April, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it out to Tempe then. I’d LOVE to run the Disneyland 10K later this summer, we’ll see how the finances are when registration opens up and how fast it sells out. Fingers crossed!

D) Continue to eat healthy. Aside from the exercise, this has been the biggest change I’ve made over the past year. No more fast food (aside from the occasional trip to my local taco shop or slice of pizza) and a lot less candy/baked goods/sweets/soda have all helped me drop the pounds and get back in shape.

3. Get that Big Boy Job. Substitute teaching isn’t consistent enough–if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and I don’t have to tell you that stinks. The fact that I want to get an MBA in Marketing should tell you a little something about the direction I’m heading–away from education. Between subbing this past year, the handful of interviews I had this summer, I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t have the desire to be in the classroom anymore. What do I want to do? Well, there are a lot of things, and those skills I developed teaching will transfer over to a whole mess of different professions.

4. Travel, travel, travel. I did make it up to Orange County a couple of times in 2013, but I never left Southern California. I have friends in the Phoenix area that I have seen since moving just after Thanksgiving 2011, and I’d like to see them. There’s family in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Seattle, Rhode Island who I’d like to see more often. And the number of friends I’ve made on social media over the past few years that I’d like to hang out with at a Giants game or over a beer or two are entirely too many to count. I guess I’d just like to get out of San Diego/SoCal a little more often (not that there’s anything wrong with being here).

So. That’s what I’m thinking for 2014. And after a poor showing in 2013, it’d be nice to see the Giants make some noise in the standings and the post-season again. So they didn’t win the World Series in 2013? I’d be happy if they do it every other year.

What do you want to do this year?

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Something Else Is Missing from Padres Games

Something was missing from the Cubs/Padres yesterday (aside from the offense) that has been bugging me.  Late in the game (8th inning, maybe), pitcher Luke Gregerson made a really good defensive play, “snagging” a line-drive that was hit back to him for the 3rd out of the inning (with at least a runner on 1st.  There may have been a runner on 2nd, too).  At no point with there any audio, video, or even crude graphics of Jerry Coleman “Hanging a star on that baby.”

Having grown up a baseball fan in San Diego, I miss that.  Back in the ’80s and into the ’90s, it was pretty common to hear Mr. Coleman pretty much yell that (for lack of a better term) catch phrase on the radio.  If you were at Jack Murphy Stadium for the game, you’d immediately look up to the radio booth, hoping (nay, expecting) to see The Colonel leaning out of the booth, waving a star back and forth.  Lt. Col Coleman will be 89 in a couple of weeks, so I don’t really expect to see him doing that these days, but it would be nice if the Padres came up with some sort of graphics or dug around their video archives for a clip of it happening oh so long ago.  The Padres display such a minute amount of their history around Petco, so why not give a slight nod to the past when the occasional “Web Gem” happens?

Just my 2 cents…

jerry_coleman_plaque

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