Greetings PawSox Fans!
It’s 22 days and counting until Opening Night at McCoy Stadium. This is the time that the McCoy Operations team shifts to full steam ahead. There is painting, washing, cleaning, remodelling, etc…All restrooms toilets are checked to be certain they are in working order. The Hospitality Suites are brought to game ready condition so the minute you open the door to the Suite you experience that Wow Factor.
The worlds best grounds crew works daily on the field to ensure it will be the best playing field in the baseball world. If you recall that a short time ago the field looked like this…
Today, the field looks like this…..
You can now see the fake Coyotes. Evidently they didnt seem to bother a couple of brave geese who swaggered around them.
It is indeed a busy time around McCoy. Season Tickets are scheduled to arrive at some point tomorrow and the ticket office team will dig in and get them separated and get them shipped out as fast as they can.
Sponsor signage will be put up and ticket orders are being taken by the entire staff. The Fanastic PawSox Official Program is being made and proof read over and over as is the 2015 PawSox Media Guide to be certain it’s free of any errors. It’s the time of year that Bonnie Goff travels from Maine to Rhode Island to lend her talents to assist with putting it all together. Along with VP of Public Relations they work late into the night and at times the wee hours in the morning. PawSox Media Creation guy Kevin Galligan spends many hours from home helping to put it all together.
It’s a team effort to ensure all the sponsor ads are correct and all the info is up to date, The PawSox Official Program is truly the best one that I have ever seen. Full color, high def players pictures and great stories. You will see many fans getting their programs autographed by the players. Collecting the signed programs is a great, inexpensive hobby the whole family can do!
As usual, Paws was also busy. He had a very busy weekend. Saturday he stopped by East Providence Cycle for their annual Tent Sale. Paws said he wanted to get a new bike and they have quite the selection. From the novice rider, to the season pro they had a bike for everyone.
Paws took one for a test drive and loved it.
Paws took a photo with his two good friends and EP Cycle owners Rob and Helen are PawSox Fans and sponsors.
On Saturday evening Paws headed to Whites of Westport for a tremendous fundraiser for M.O., L.I.F.E. It was their 20 Anniversary and Paws didn’t want to miss it. Charles Murphy created the organization back in 1995 and its been going strong ever since:
M.O. L.I.F.E., Inc.
Murphy and Others, Living Interdependently for Future Endeavors, Inc. is a non-profit organization assisting people with disabilities. It provides support for these individuals through supported employment, independent living and educational opportunities, as well as community and social connections.
Charlie is a big fan of Paws and the PawSox. He’ll be at McCoy watching the team defend The Cup!
Dorothy Cox from the family of Dorothy Cox chocolates who opened their store in 1928 gives Paws a big hug. She also invited him to her retail store in Fairhaven, MA.
Congratulations Mr. Murphy on a job well done! Your compassion was very evident by how well the event was attended and by well deserved award you received. Paws is looking forward to seeing you at the ball park.
After a great nights rest we jumped in the PawsMobile and headed to Newport, RI where Paws was a guest at the Stop & Shop on Bellevue Avenue. He enjoyed checking out all the mansions but though the Marble House was the best. He wrote that it reminded him of a big fancy igloo…
Stop & Shop has Frozen Food Month in March and what better way to celebrate the month than having a polar bear in the store! Paws liked meeting a lot of the shoppers and even did a little shopping of his own
The store had some raffle items and Paws pictures to color. Hunter did a wonderful job coloring one.
Store Manager Ed (L) and Assistant Manager Art enjoyed Paws in the store with The Cup.
It’s time for you to get “busy” and get your tickets now! Choose the game you want and plan on joining the family and friends that come to every PawSox game. There are so many options for tickets you can find online at pawsox.com or give us a call if you have any questions.
There are so many promotional games including Bark in Park, Star Wars Night, Super Hero Night and some with the Famous PawSox Post Game Fireworks Spectacular! Dont be left out asking yourself why you waited so long to get tickets, no need to wait….do it right now…..we’re waiting………”Here For You!”
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Yours in Baseball,
The Pawtucket Red Sox have named Will Flemming as a new radio broadcaster for the 2015 season. Will joins Josh Maurer, who returns for his second season, as the duo will broadcast all 144 PawSox games on 920 WHJJ and the 12-station PawSox Radio Network. Flemming was chosen among more than 100 nationwideapplicants to replace Jeff Levering who left the PawSox in February to become a radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Will Flemming, 35, has nearly a decade of play-by-play experience in a broad range of sports. He has spent the past three baseball seasons as a play-by-play voice of the Indianapolis Indians (the Triple-A International League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates). Flemming has also called a host of NCAA Championships for Turner Sports over the last three years. Will has broadcast NCAA finals in baseball, hockey, basketball, track and field, soccer and swimming.
During the baseball off-season, Flemming has been the voice of IUPUI men’s basketball on television and radio. In addition he hasworked as a host and anchor for CBS Radio 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C.
After graduating from Stanford – where he was the play-by-play voice for baseball, football, and basketball – Flemming launched his professional career with one season in the California League with the Lancaster JetHawks (the Houston Astros’ Single-A affiliate). He then spent two years as a radio broadcaster for the Potomac Nationals (the Washington Nationals Single-A affiliate) before earning the promotion to Triple-A with the Indians in 2012.
Will lives in Washington, D.C. during the baseball off-season with his wife Jennifer. His brother, Dave, is a radio and television broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants and does play-by-play forESPN College Football and College Basketball. Dave spent three seasons as a radio voice of the PawSox from 2001-2003 before joining the Giants.
While he will be on the air for all 144 PawSox games this season, Will Flemming will also continue the strong tradition of the PawSox blog, PawSox podcast, social media presence, and provide new content to pawsox.com.
“I am truly honored to join the PawSox organization,” he said. “From the day I started broadcasting baseball, I dreamed of the day I could become a part of what everyone recognizes as an incredible broadcasting legacy in Pawtucket. I eagerly accept the responsibility that comes with working for such a storied franchise and its loyal fan base, and I’m excited to work alongside my friend Josh Maurer.”
“I am deeply indebted to the Indianapolis Indians for the three wonderful years I spent there,” Flemming added. “The Schumacher family and the entire organization welcomed me and offered me a life-changing opportunity. Lastly, I owe a particular gratitude to (longtime Indians voice) Howard Kellman; no one could have possibly taught me more about broadcasting and about the wonderful game of baseball than he. He has been a great friend and mentor, and I will be forever thankful for all that he gave me.”
The illustrious group of former PawSox broadcasters in the “big leagues” – all of whom have gone directly from Pawtucket to the major leagues – include: Gary Cohen (PawSox radio in 1987 & ’88) who has been with the New York Mets ever since leaving the PawSox, Don Orsillo (1997-2000) who will begin his 15th season with the Boston Red Sox on NESN this season, Dave Flemming(2001-2003) who has been a radio voice of the San Francisco Giants for the past 11 years, Andy Freed (2001-2004) who has called Tampa Bay Rays games since leaving Pawtucket, Dave Jageler (2005) who was with the PawSox for just one season before he took over as the Washington Nationals radio voice where he has remained since, Dan Hoard (2006-2011) who earned the call to the National Football League with the Cincinnati Bengals in the fall of 2011, Aaron Goldsmith (2012) who was one year and done with the PawSox before heading to Seattle where he has been a radio play-by-play man for the Mariners, Bob Socci (2013) who departed from the PawSox in July of 2013 to become the play-by-play voice of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots(had to throw the Super Bowl part in there), and most recently Jeff Levering (PawSox radio in 2013 & 2014) who earned a radio job with the Milwaukee Brewers this off-season.
We’re now 20 days away from opening day and the first day of Spring has arrived, bringing with it a little bit of snow. However, on Opening Night, April 16th, 2015 the weather will be 57 degrees, a bit of clouds, but great weather for a ball game wearing a jacket.
Great weather is on its way! Get your PawSox tickets now. Take out a group and get our discounted group rate, or by some flex tickets and take advantage of the savings and flexibility. Get ready, Spring is in the air although its disguised with some snow……..We will be waiting for you and will be………….:Here For You!”
Love hearing from you firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Baseball,
Happy St. Paddy’s Day! We are now just 29 days away from Opening Night and the field snow is melting nicely. You can even see a part of the fake coyotes.
On Opening Night you can expect several things to be part of the celebration. Many Police and Fire Departments will be here, the PawSox Players who were here last season will be getting their Championship Rings and Rhode Island State Trooper Amanda Brezniak will be singing the National Anthem. (Trooper Brezniak sang God Bless America at Fenway Park for Rhode Island Day)
The Rhode Show is all about Rhode Island and is hosted by some folks that absolutely love the Ocean State. You’ll find the crew at many events throughout the state having a great time. The show is hosted by Will Gilbert, Michaela Johnson and Brendan Kirby. (L-R at a Federal Hill Parade)
Michaela Johnson has a very special connection to the PawSox. As a youngster she would come cheer them on with her family and continues to do so. On the PawSox Fathers Day event she took to the field with her father to play catch.
Michaela Johnson is an East Providence native who comes from a family of “Townies”. After graduating from EPHS she went on to study communication at Bridgewater State University. While there she was involved in many activities. From hosting her own radio show, to serving as an orientation leader to incoming freshman, and being a 2 year captain on the women’s basketball team. She did it all while making the dean’s list each semester. After delivering the student commencement address at graduation, Michaela went on to work in the Cape Cod baseball league and in California for the X-Games.
Her experiences lead her to a local contest to be the next winner of The Rhode Show’s “Search for a Star” contest. At the end of the competition one winner would receive a one year full-time position hosting The Rhode Show on, at that time, FOX Providence. As Michaela’s year was winding down, she was offered a promotion to permanent host. For the past 5 years Michaela has immersed herself in the show and the community. Conducting interviews, shooting and writing stories, editing, and creating content for the show are all part of her daily routine. In addition to the 40 hour work week: fundraisers, events, and community projects are attended throughout the year. Michaela said her team is just that, a team and a second family; doing their part to bring the “fun” side of things into your home every morning. From fashion, sports, food, and events, if you can find it in RI you can find it on The Rhode Show. “
In just chatting with her you can hear and see the excitement and love she has for what she does. This very lovely and talented young lady talks about the time she spent working in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Wareham Gatemen. During her time there Pitcher Matt Barnes was on the team. She believed he would be a pitcher in the Big Leagues. Little did she realize that Barnes would be pitching for her beloved Red Sox.
Michaela remembers how excited she was when the Search for a Star contest was whittled down to the 5 finalist. She explained to me that she called Vice President of Public Relations Bill Wanless for part of a video segment to win the contest. She stated, “I’m from this area and I grew up watching games with my family at McCoy, and I wanted everyone to know it was a very important part of who I was.”
When I asked Bill about Johnson he told me, “Michaela made quite a first impression on me…she reminded me of a young rookie player who had ‘can’t miss’ written all over her. She was a natural. Michaela had the talent, the personality, and the looks of a star in the making.”
“She did an incredible job with her video piece at McCoy Stadium,” Wanless added, “as she took viewers on a guided tour of the ballpark including many places that fans don’t often get to go such as the clubhouse, bullpen, and playing field. Everyone who met Michaela that day felt confident she would win the role on the Rhode Show. We are so happy for her success and to this day she remains a special friend to all of us with the PawSox.”
Since being a host on The Rhode Show, Johnson still enjoys the time she spends here. In the past her sister sang the National Anthem before a game at McCoy. She told me that she also had a chance to sing the National Anthem before a PawSox game with her Riverside Middle School Chorus. She then adds, “My favorite treat was one of those giant-sized freeze pops, now that I’m an adult I get to enjoy a beer at the game.”
One thing about Johnson is when she does a story, she gets involved in it. She has played for The Washington Generals vs. The Harlem Globetrotters and scored a four point shot!
They have a great time on The Road Show with Will and Brendan sharing the same enthusiasm and talent.
They all share in the good-time humor…
Johnson even took on the roll of a PawSox Usher and did a magnificent job.
She took part in the Jeffery Osbourne Celebrity Softball Game and was towered over by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…
Johnson played a clown in the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus when they came to town as part of a story…
Johnson slipped into a Chef’s Coat and worked making chocolates with Andrew Shotts at Garrison Confections located in Central Falls.
Will joined Johnson and Amy of Amy’s Apples in studio at the Rhode Show. They are making eyeballs.
The Rhode Show Hosts work very well together on and off the air. Sometimes they even find time for some backyard soccer..
Some of the interviews are done in the comfort of the studio…
While others require them to brave the elements…
Michaela also enjoys animals and did a story at The Providence Animal Rescue League and the pooches up for adoptions.
Last year Michaela and I were rivals in the Guest Waiter Challenge at Quidnessett Country Club for Charity. It was a fun event for a great cause.
There was no friendship as we battled for tips. It was an awesome group of people who had to put friendships aside and duke it out. Even in battle its hard not to like Michaela Johnson. She is always upbeat and smiling. A baby owl visited the Rhode Show studio and fell in love with Michaela.
Get your tickets now for the 2015 Keep The Cup Season. Opening Night is always an Event that many have adopted as a Family Tradition. Come out to a game and perhaps you’ll get to meet Michaela. Thanks Michaela for taking time out of your very busy schedule to chat with me. We all wish you continued success and thanks for your years of loyalty of the PawSox…
29 days away! Less than a month before the gates of McCoy Stadium open to welcome the fans for the 2015 season. You can count on us being………..”Here For You!”
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Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox fans!
Hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for Spring to hit on Friday the 20th. After a tough winter I’m sure we’re all looking forward to some sun and warmer weather.
Yesterday despite the chilly and rainy weather many brave souls dedicated to a cause took Narragansett Beach by storm. The Project Sweet Peas Plunge for Preemies went on as scheduled. We all know by now Paws doesn’t mind the chilly temp and he really enjoyed meeting all these great people.
Although yesterday was cold, rainy and a some snow mounds, it was still an awesome sight. Prior to the plunge everyone met at the North Beach Clubhouse. Project Sweet Peas is a non-profit organization dedicated to children in the hospital ICU and offers Care Packages and other services to the families.. Some of these young children were at the event and Paws loved the opportunity to meet them.
Paws got to meet Berkley who was a bit shy, and the members of Team Berkley…
Young Henry, being held by his dad, Henry’s Heros also took The Plunge to benefit this fantastic charity.
A lot of these dedicated folks wore some tremendous swimwear…
Even a Tuxedo!
John and Jamie took the Plunge as King and Queen of the Prom…
Everyone was enjoying the warmth of the Clubhouse before heading outside to Take The Plunge and 2:00 sharp. The instructions clearly stated: Dont be Late!
At 2 o’clock sharp, it was a dash to the frigid salt water. (ever wonder is instead of salt water, it was pepper water? Would everyone in the water sneeze constantly?)
The water was the perfect temp for Paws and he congratulated a lot of the swimmers when they returned from their brave Plunge…
After drying off everyone headed across the street to The Village Inn Ballroom for some tasty food, auctions, raffles, magicians, music, etc…
Stories were told about newborns who didn’t have much of a chance beat the odds and were at the event. It was very heartwarming to say the least. Project Sweet Peas is a fantastic charity with some of the best people we ever met.
Thanks to Corin Nava the Co-Founder of the New England Division of Project Sweet Peas for inviting us to attend the event. They are PawSox Fans and her husband was wearing a very nice PawSox Cap.
We look forward to the Nava Family coming to a game during the 2015 season. We look forward to seeing all the PawSox Fans as the PawSox Defend The Cup! Join us, we will be waiting………………….”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you We got 18 new lineup predictions for the home opener. Remember the deadline for all predictions must be email to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on April 3rd, 2015
Yours in Baseball,
Not only are we closing in on Opening Night we are also getting closer each day to getting our 2014 Governors’ Cup Championship Rings! Opening Night the Ring Ceremony is awesome to see. I cant wait to wear the new bling. I love the 2012 ring and to have another is awesome.
They are finishing them up right now. Some of the mold is cast. Looks like a little cup. The name goes over the PawSox logo MEDEIROS
The other side
They have the little bins that hold the gold and silver
Then they polish them up…
Box them up in that fancy case with lights and another Championship Ring. The 2012 ring is beautiful and to have another is beyond belief. Hopefully we will get another one for 2015 to Defend The Cup! The rings from 2012 were awesome. The 2014 ones will be just a bit different.
A couple of days ago I had a chance to chat a bit with Ivan DeJesus and he asked when are we sending him his 2014 ring. If you recall Ivan Hit the game winning home run to force the Championship game in Durham in one of the best games I ever seen. After hitting the bomb he is congratulated at home plate
DeJesus is now at Spring Training with the Cincinnati Reds and told me, “I’m just trying to get back to where I want to be.” Ivan has been around and played baseball almost his entire life. His father, Ivan Sr. Played in the Major Leagues with the L.A. Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals, Yankees, Giants and the Cubs.
Ivan also played in the Major Leagues being drafted by the Dodgers and making his Major League debut as a Dodger on April 1st, 2011. He is a very polite and friendly young man and a pleasure for his teammates to be around. In 2012 he was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with Allen Webster and others. He played for Pawtucket and was called up a short time later to the Red Sox. The year the PawSox won the Governors’ Cup.
In December of 2012 he was part of a trade by the Red Sox with the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent the 2013 season with the Indianapolis Indians. After the season he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles and played for the Norfolk Tides and was chosen for the All-Star game in Durham.
Subsequently he was traded back to the Red Sox and assigned to the PawSox during the 2014 season and was part of the Championship run.
He said he had some great memories playing with the PawSox and its really a great place to play. He told me, “The two years I played with the PawSox they won the Championship, so if you need any help this year let me know.”
The 2014 season playoffs were absolutely incredible. The 2014 Governors’ Cup finals against the Durham Bulls brought memories that’ll last a life time. Down to our last strike in the 9th inning and Rusny Castillo rips a hit to drive in the tying run. The play by Bryce Brentz and the throw to Blake Swihart to throw out the runner at home plate and of course the homerun smacked by DeJesus to win the game and force the deciding game and the PawSox returned The Cup to Rhode Island!
Thanks to Ivan for taking the time for the chat. We all wish you well and if we need you perhaps they may call. The 2015 season will be a lot of fun as the PawSox Defend The Cup. Call for 401-724-7300 to purchase tickets by phone, come to the box office that is open Monday-Friday 9-5 and Saturday 10-3 or you can order online at pawsox.com Also check out all the latest PawSox info, Photos, Special events and Promotions on the best website in all of baseball.
The line-up predictions are coming in and I must say some look pretty good. If you missed the info about the contest please read the previous blog The Countdown Begins………
The Cup and Paws will be at the Project Sweet Peas Plunge for Preemies tomorrow. The Plunge starts at 2:00 at Narragansett Beach with a party across the street at the Village Inn Ballroom starting at 2:30. No need go into the water, you can stay on land with me and enjoy the party in dry warm clothes!
Dont forget to get your tickets for the 2015 Defend The Cup Season! Stop by or call. As we get closer every day we will be………..”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you. Send in those predictions email@example.com
Yours in Baseball,
The countdown begins with 29 days until opening day! Baseball is filling the air. As baseball fans we always make our predictions, dispute who should and shouldnt have been traded, who should make the Big Club and any other aspect of the game we can debate and argue about. I asked around the office to see is anyone had a suggestion and what to call a baseball team person who has an opinion or offers advice on how they should have done something differently.
In football its an “Armchair Quarterback” but in the other major sports there is no such name. So, email me some of your suggestions and perhaps you will invent the name that will go World-Wide.
Official PawSox Photographer Louriann Mardo-Zayat has been down in Spring Training supplying us with some great photos for the PawSox FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Everyone is very excited about the talent the Sox have in place and it will indeed make for a fun and exciting season at McCoy Stadium.
Mookie Betts signs some autographs…
The question remains of who will be the starting line-up for the Boston Red Sox? Who will be the starting line-up for the PawSox? Are you ready to make your predictions? Lets test everyone’s predictions with a little contest and see how it pans out!
The rules are quite simple. Pick you 9 starters for the BoSox and the PawSox on their Home Opener. (Not on the road) The person having the most positions correct will win a nice “Swag Bag” of assorted items and more importantly the bragging right about how you are genius in the game!
All entries must be emailed before April 3rd to firstname.lastname@example.org In the event of a tie, the winners will be placed in a PawSox cap and a name will be drawn. Good Luck! (Only one prediction per person)
While on the subject of predictions, the weather folks are calling for 45 degrees for Saturday at Narragansett Beach for the Project Sweet Peas Plunge for Preemies event:
After the Plunge there’s going to be an awesome party right across from the beach.
Here is a bit about this fundraiser;
Project Sweet Peas is a national non-profit organization coordinated by volunteers, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing support to families with infants in intensive care and to those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.
Project Sweet Peas maintains close partnerships with hospitals nationwide to provide their patients and families with services to aid them throughout their stay. We are committed to offering care packages, peer-to-peer support, informational literature, hospital events and other resources that empower families as they endure life in the NICU. For those that will face the loss of an infant, we provide treasured keepsakes, support forums, candlelight vigils and other services that foster both healing and remembrance.
Through our services, we give from our heart, to inspire families with the hope of tomorrow.
Rhode Island’s own Corin Nava and her mom started a division of Project Sweet Peas, Gabriel’s Gift:
Gabriel’s Gift is the Southern New England division of Project Sweet Peas. It was started in memory of Gabriel Nava, who was born with a rare birth defect which gave him a 50% chance of survival. He spent 55 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, before passing away from complications. Corin Nava and Jeanne Nava (Gabriel’s mother and grandmother) run Gabriel’s Gift, which provides gift bags to various NICUs in Southern New England. Corin Nava is also the co-founder of Project Sweet Peas, and holds the position of Treasurer on the board of directors for the entire organization.
Project Sweet Peas is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by volunteers across the country, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing comfort to families with children in the intensive care units and to those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.
Our programs support the wellness of families by providing care packages and other services that offer comfort while furthering the bond between parent and child, and treasured keepsakes to families who have experienced a loss.Through our services, we give from our heart, to inspire families with the hope of tomorrow.
Paws will be there on Saturday for the Plunge and hopefully you can stop by and join the party with these strong and brave families. They;ll be racing to take the plunge!
A pea pod is a great costume for the event…
If you dare to take the plunge, you can warm up later in the Village Inn Ballroom.
You may even be the lucky winner of an Official Boston Red Sox bat autographed by PawSox Manager Kevin Boles, Pitching Prospects Kool Keith Couch and Robby Scott and Catcher Matt Spring.
Stop by and say hello to Paws with the kids and take some photos. Its a beautiful beach. If you have any questions visit http://www.projectsweetpeas.com Hope to see you there! One of the PawSox Season Ticket Holders said they will take part in the plunge and I look forward to seeing them. If they show up, I will identify him/her………We will all be…………….”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you. Dont forget your starting lineup predictions.. email@example.com
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
We are just a tick more than a month away from the PawSox starting their 2015 season in Lehigh Valley and soon after that its Game On at McCoy! Daylight Savings Time and a lot of sun means baseball is just around the corner. As stated in the previous blog there is sun and warm temps in Florida at Spring Training.
Former PawSox infielder and outfielder Trace Coquillete is feeling that warmth living in Florida. A couple of days ago I spoke with Trace who was leaving his office down in Florida. Trace began playing pro ball in 1993 being drafted by the Montreal Expos. In 2003-04 Trace played for the PawSox and quite frankly was one heck of a good guy as well as a very good ball player.
His lovey wife was a great supporter and hardly missed a game along with their adorable young daughter Lexi. Lexi was non-stop and constantly running up and down the hall. Their wasnt a staff member, player or coach that didn’t know Lexi including Paws who she loved. To this day when we see other young toddlers running up and down the halls we always think of Lexi. She was such a happy-go-lucky tyke and you couldn’t help but smile when you saw her. She has since grown into an adorable young lady, now with two younger brothers.
When I asked Trace about his time playing for the PawSox he told me that he and his wife clearly remember their daughter running around he also went on to say, :The PawSox was the best memories I had in baseball. I loved the place. I really liked my teammates a whole lot and the fans were fantastic.”
He said, “I remember all those season ticket holders sitting over the dugout that were always so awesome and friendly. I remember the Dalton Family, three generations were at almost every game. That was very special. I think I remember their names. Ray was the dad and Ron was the son with his little daughter.”
I told Trace that the daughter now works at the concession as McCoy. He said how time flies and went on to say, “Playing for the PawSox was just so awesome. Of course I loved playing in the big leagues, but when you play in the minor leagues, I’m telling you there is no place better to play then the PawSox.:
Ben Mondor and Mike Tamburro were always so cordial and professional. Many times Ben and I would chat while he was in his suite office and he was always jolly. Everyone there was great I cannot say enough good about the place.”
He then told me something that I never knew. He said, “I loved how big the clubhouse was and how close the door was to the dugout. There isn’t a long tunnel you have to walk through to get to the clubhouse it was right there. I am very picky about shoes and I always had several pairs of baseball cleats. If I didn’t get a hit or get on base I would head into the clubhouse and change shoes.”
Right away I thought it was some type of ball-player superstition but that wasnt the case at all. “Its not that I was superstitious or anything, it was just that my cleats never felt right and I was always trying to get the perfect fit. Playing at McCoy it was very simple to get into the clubhouse and change shoes.” Who knew?
Trace said that he had two goals in life. To play in the Major Leagues and own his own business. He proudly declares, “I have accomplished both.” Trace played for the Montreal Expos.
It was a pleasure chatting with Trace and he told me that during his time playing baseball he was very focused the loved the game and enjoyed the competition and was always striving to get better. He then explained, “Baseball was my life. I loved it and would have done anything to play ball. As the years go by I realized there was so much more to life. I have the best wife in the world and great kids that I enjoy every day.”
“There is life after baseball and I enjoy every day. I have a successful internet business and enjoy spending time with my family. As you get older in life you start to realize your priroities and the importance of family and friends.”
Checking out Trace’s FaceBook it looks like he also enjoys some fishing.
Trace retired from baseball in 2005. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to speak with me. The entire staff wishes you continued success and wanted me to say Hi from all of them. The good news is Trace said he may head up to a game with his family during the 2015 season. Trace, we hope “Youse Guys” do make to McCoy during the season. We will all be…………..”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
It seems like a day cannot go by without some snow, sleet or rain with cold temps. We all must remember that Spring is such about 2 weeks away and the PawSox open their season in Lehigh Valley against the Iron Pigs in just 35 days and 6 days later the PawSox head home for Opening Night on April 16th and hopefully all the snow will be gone by then!
Yesterday photographer Jillian Souza stopped by to take some shots of McCoy. The one from the PawSox dugout with the icicles make you shiver.
The grounds crew did a great job with the snow removal on the warning track and you can see how much snow the field is buried under.
You wouldn’t want to be sitting in the stands watching a game in the snow. For some reason Section 14 seems to have the most snow.
It will certainly be a welcoming sight to see the sun shining on McCoy Stadium. The Florida sunshine will travel north soon covering New England just in time for baseball. Today the sun is shining on Jet Blue Park in Ft. Meyers, Florida.
Earlier today in exchanging text messages with Jackie Bradley, Jr he told me it was sunny and about 84 degrees…….The envy was overwhelming. He heard about the snow we were getting and was glad to be in the warmer climate. As he signs some autographs there isn’t any snow in sight.
Despite the envy of the warm sunshine I just had to check out some of the photos from Spring Training. Recently the Red Sox played a game against the Boston College Eagles and honored former Boston College Baseball Captain Pete Frates who was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012.
Frates is credited with being the creator of the Ice Bucket Challenge. As we all know everyone was taking the ice bucket challenge last year. Pete Frates started it………..and the Challenge raised about 200 Million Dollars for ALS! Frates did it at Fenway Park!
For the game with Boston College both teams wore Pete Frates #3 jersey to honor this young man…
A lot of photos are taken at Spring Training. Xander Bogaerts poses for one of his.
Former PawSox infielder Brock Holt poses for his
A great shot of Mookie Betts running down a fly ball by Christopher Evans
Former PawSox Manager and current First Base Coach for the Sox Arnie Beyeler offers up some instruction to Bryan LaHair, Bryce Brentz and Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Rusney Castillo sporting his great looking multicolored mohawk! As one who is folically
The Red Sox have a plethora of talent. Before you know it, roster will be made and all the players will be ready for the 2015 season. The PawSox will be stacked with some of the hottest prospects in baseball. We just need to endure a few more days of this before the weather warms up a bit. Its baseball time! The PawSox have added some new promotions for the 2015 season. You can check it all out on pawsox.com Choose your game and give us a call if you have any questions at 401-724-7300 During business hours the phone will be answered by a live staff not an automated phone system. We are at the phones waiting to speak with you! We are………”Here For You!”
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Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
By now I’m sure you have heard the PawSox are under new ownership headed by Larry Lucchino as the Chairman, James J. Skeffington as the Team President and New England business and community leaders with backgrounds in commerce, finance, law, philanthropy and sports management. Mike Tamburro will be the CEO and Lou will maintain his role as VP/General Manager.
We have met some of the new ownership and it was quite refreshing to see how excited they are with the PawSox. All of us agree that with the folks we met they all very nice and professional. They are all ready to have at it and Defend The Cup in 2015!
It’s rather safe to say that we all enjoy what former PawSox players are doing now. Recently we heard that former PawSox Catcher Corky Miller was a new coach for the Cincinnati Reds organization for the 2015 season. I contacted Corky via phone to ask how he was doing with his new role as coaching. He told me that it feels a little weird not getting ready for Spring Training as a player. Since 1998 Corky has gone to Spring Training as a player.
Corky will spend time based with the Dayton Dragons the Single A Affiliate of the Reds. Here is the story from the Dragons website:
DAYTON, OH -The Dayton Dragons announced today that popular former Cincinnati Reds catcher Corky Miller has been added to the Dragons coaching staff for the 2015 season. Miller will join manager Jose Nieves, pitching coach Tom Browning, and hitting coach Luis Bolivar on the Dragons staff. Miller will also visit other Reds affiliates on select dates in a catching instructor role in 2015.
Miller completed a 17-year professional playing career in 2014. On August 31, 2014, he became the first player in the history of the Triple-A Louisville Bats to have his number retired by the club. He is the Bats all-time career leader in games played, first appearing in a game with Louisville in 2001.
Miller spent parts of 11 years in the Major Leagues, mostly with the Reds. He also played for the Braves, White Sox, Twins, and Red Sox. He made his big league debut with the Reds in 2001 and played in his final Major League game in 2013 at age 37, becoming the oldest Reds player to start a game at catcher since 1951. He was originally signed by the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 1998.
“We are excited to transition Corky Miller onto our Minor League coaching staff in 2015,” said Jeff Graupe, Reds Director of Player Development. “Corky will be based out of Dayton and will split his time working with the Dragons and roving around our system developing our catchers. As a player, Corky was well-known throughout the game as a terrific defensive catcher with outstanding fundamentals and quality relationships with his pitchers. He will be a tremendous asset for our young catchers to learn from.”
Miller’s Career Highlights:
- Hit two home runs in one game for Reds vs. Cubs on October 3, 2001, his first year in the Major Leagues.
- Notched what turned out to be the only stolen base of his big league career when he stole home on September 27, 2001 vs. Philadelphia. He became the first Reds catcher to steal home since Johnny Bench in 1976.
- Selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game in 1999 as a member of the Rockford club, which relocated to Dayton the following year.
- Voted the “player you want most in your clubhouse” and “player who will make the best future manager” in a poll of the Southern League in 2000 by USA Today Baseball Weekly.
- Enjoyed his best Minor League season in 2001 when he batted .309 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI over 103 games with Chattanooga and Louisville.
- Made the Reds opening day roster in 2004 and 2005. Made the White Sox opening day roster in 2009.
- Spent parts of 14 consecutive seasons in the Triple-A International League from 2001-2014.
Corky was one of those players that was always a fan favorite no matter what team he played for. When the PawSox played the Louisville Bats in Louisville, you could clearly see the popularity after the game with when fans young and old surround Corky for autographs and/or pictures. Corky has been called the most intimidating player in the International League and I believe it’s because of his size and his very well-groomed mean looking mustache…The Louisville Bats even had a special Fear the Stache night with Corky Miller T-Shirts.
As for being intimidating, everyone would agree that between the lines Corky is quite the imposing figure you wouldn’t want to get in a collision with at home plate. Off the field however he is always polite and well spoken. He really enjoys the game that he’s been playing professionally for more than 15 years.
Corky was always positive and always had time for a teammate or fan. In the aforementioned story he was voted as the player you wanted most in your clubhouse. He loved baseball and loved winning. Former PawSox Broadcaster and current voice of the Cincinnati Bengals Dan Hoard was a big Corky fan and had a chance to interview him before a game in Cincy
Corky had a tremendous career playing with The Reds, The Twins, Red Sox, Braves, White Sox and ending his career with the Reds. It came full circle for him after making his Major League Debut with the Reds as a September call up in 2001 and his last game in the Majors was with the Reds in September of 2013. During that time he was the catcher for former PawSox Pitcher Bronson Arroyo…
Just by talking with him you can hear how much he loves the game of baseball. He told me, “I love the game man. Like I said it feels a bit weird not coming to Spring Training as a player but I’m really looking forward to being a coach and doing anything I can do to help. I love this organization and I’m very excited to learn so much from the people around me.”
When asked what was some of the moments that stuck out in his mind from all those years he replied, “There are so many. Really there are just so many from over the years. Making it to the playoffs in the Big Leagues was a lot of fun. I’ll tell you what was really cool was playing for the White Sox when Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye hit back-to-back homeruns giving both of them 300 home runs each. It was the first time in history that happened and it was awesome to see.”
It was nice talking with not only a very good ball player but a great man. There is always the question of what is Corky’s real name? Well, it’s Corky! Actually his full name is Corky Abraham Phillip Miller. He explained his name during an interview with David Zingler in 2002:
“My uncle’s wife’s brother’s name was Clark and they called him Corky,” Miller responded when asked about the origins of his name. “They kind of named me after him…. I guess I have to like it, I’ve had it for almost 30 years…everybody doesn’t believe that it is my real name.”
“It’s funny, my mom didn’t want me to have the name Corky if I ever became president,” he continued, “I can change it to Abraham if that was to ever happen.”
Corky was the catcher for Jon Lester in April of 2006 against the Durham Bulls. After being called out on strikes, Delmon Young stood there for a while looking at the ump and then walked away. Delmon must have said something to the umpire who ejected him from the game. He then tossed the bat at the ump hitting him in the chest protector and earned him a 50 game suspension. You can see after the bat hit the umpire, Corky pulls down his catcher’s mask, not sure if he thought any other projectiles may be coming towards the plate.
We all wish Corky great success as he begins his coaching career. The Stache will be in baseball for many years to come. Being a mustache guy myself, I can truly appreciate such a work of art. I will confess that I am happy that he was not a contestant in the Best Mustache contest put on by Aaron The Bull the Clubhouse Manager for the Durham Bulls. There were some great Staches to go against including Sgt. Slaughter and former Red Sox Catcher and current Buffalo Bisons Manager Gary “Mugsy” Allenson. One of the rules was you had to look mad and mean.
But at the end of the contest, there was only one Stache standing……..Its the guy on the right! (The guy on the left is former PawSox Manager and current Red Sox First Base Coach Arnie Beyeler)
As we all deal with these mounds of snow we have to remember that spring is just around the corner. Spring Training is going on and before you know McCoy Stadium will open the gate to Defend The Cup in 2015! Do not hesitate! Get your tickets now. Bring out a group or come with your family.
Flex tickets are a nice way to thank customers and reward employees! There are many options for a group or family outing. Enjoy the game cheering on your local team, dance to the music and perhaps see yourself on the enormous video board, the team store has all the latest Red Sox and PawSox gear..Its awesome and affordable family fun!
In just a shade over a month it will be time to Play Ball! Come visit us, we’ll be………….”Here For You!”
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Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
On my previous blog I let everyone know that today Paws would be at Massapoag Lake in Sharon, Massachusetts for a Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics. Leaving the house to pick up Paws and head to Sharon, it was -1! It was below zero!!!!
When I picked up Paws he was excited to take part in this great benefit and meeting new people. We stopped and I got a coffee and Paws wanted a big cup of ice-cold water! When we arrived at the road that leads to the lake we were stopped by a Police Lieutenant who advised us that we would have to park across the way and there was a Sharon Police Department shuttle that would take you to the Community Center. The Lieutenant saw Paws and let us pass
We have never been to this area and it was beautiful. The snow-covered frozen Lake Massapoag must be awesome in the summer months. However, on this day there would be no Plunging on this frozen lake…
However the Plunge must go on! Evidently there are some pretty brilliant minds in Sharon, Massachusetts who were able to construct a Fake Lake. Local Police and Fire personnel with some other volunteers built a plunging lake, complete with a stairway, ramp, slide, platform and even a little patio are with a beach chair. Yes, those are chunks of ice floating!
They used heavy equipment to move the snow around and needed to do a lot of shoveling.
Remember, this had to be accomplished within just a few days! No doubt the work was hard and freezing!
The big tent on the left is the “warm house” for the Plungers coming out of the Lake who want to warm up a bit. There’s a propane heater in the tent providing a bit of heat.
It was ingenious using wooded pallets for the snow walls so people could walk on snow
Some sand was added to the top of the snow wall to provide traction so people were not slipping and becoming a Plunger if they didn’t want to be. A true handmade lake. The local fire department filled the lake.
The signs provided some very important information. Air temp with wind chill was -11 degrees! That wasnt a typo, (minus) -11 degrees. Water temp was 35. Feels like 65? Nope!
Inside the warmth of the Community Center people were getting ready for The Plunge. The Six foot eight inch Batman who in reality is Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots Tackle Nate Solder poses with Paws, penguin, Teddy Polar Bear. volunteers and a couple of Special Olympians
The community center was pretty crowded and Paws met some great people and posed for pictures. He met with Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn…
Paws posed with a bunch of plungers..Elvis, Superman, The Bunnies and a boxer.
He joined Nate Solder again with a Police Tactical Team…
Now it was 11:00 am and time to Plunge! the handmade lake had a nifty slide that allowed plungers to gently slide into the freezing, ice filled water!
Batman/Solder was one of the first to take the plunge, and walks gently down the slide.
And took the plunge! Making a splash that a 6’8″ guy makes! He is fully submerged!
Solder then pops out of the water with his hands raised like Gronk had just scored a touchdown!
Perhaps at this point he is wishing he was getting ready to tackle a monster back…
Paws is there to congratulate the plungers when they come out and get their warmer blankets.
We made some new friends in Sharon at the event. They were all PawSox fans and even some of the plungers were season ticket holders looking forward to Opening Night…
There was coffee and hot chocolate. Hot dogs, hamburgers and soup. About $40,000 was raised for Special Olympics! congratulations to everyone who made the event a huge success! Paws looks forward to attending next year.
Paws looks forward to seeing everyone at McCoy Stadium on April 16th for opening night. The weather will be warmer and we’ll have hot dogs, hamburgers, coffee and hot chocolate and plethora of other treats. Come cheer on the PawSox as they defend The Cup! You can count on us being……………”Here For You!
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Yours in Baseball.