Hello PawSox Fans!
Earlier this evening the PawSox busted out the hitting sticks scoring 9 runs in the top of the 9th. With each run more people headed for the exit. The PawSox win 12-2. Earlier in the day in was a bit overcast and the forecast called for a 70% chance of rain at the 6:30 game time. Everyone is thankful that the 30% beat the odds!
This afternoon I headed to pick up my driving partner at Detroit-Metro Airport. The PawSox play their last game here in Toledo tomorrow morning at 10:30 in the morning. After that, we load up the truck and head home sweet home.
On the way back from the airport we pass this building with a sign “Glass City Pro Wrestling Academy.” I ask Lou if he wants to check it out to which he laughs and replies, “Are you crazy?” As he is saying it, I pull into the lot. When we enter the place we are greeted by one of the wrestlers known as Jake Frost. He welcomes us in to check the place out. It’s a nifty place with the office window adorned with autographed pictures and stories of wrestlers from the WWE.
There is a wrestling ring and a young man known simply as Boss is practicing, running from rope to rope and going over some moves. I ask Jake Frost what is Glass City. He tells me that Toledo is known as the Glass City, something I never knew. Already I have learned something. This is headquarters for the Universal All Pro Wrestling.
Jake tells us this is where young men and women come to learn wrestling. He explains it’s like the minor leagues of baseball where they hope to some day make it to the big leagues like the WWE. They promote wrestling shows and have a big show coming up titled “Meltdown at the Ice House.” It’s scheduled for June 18th.
Kevin Clifford, the owner of the business arrives and Jake introduces us. We all chat a while and another wrestler arrives and hops in the ring with Boss and also begins working out. It’s all very interesting and I ask if I can give it a whirl. Lou starts laughing and says wait, let me get the camera. Boss will be my friendly opponent.
I jump onto the ring and through the ropes. I begin my warm-up stretching routine.
Boss and I collide at center ring and lock up.
Before long I find myself in a Boss choke hold.
Luckily, I am able to escape and apply a painful arm bar to Boss. I was hoping for a submission, but no such luck. These guys are tough!
The match is called a draw and we both demand a re-match next season. This was an exclusive match seen only by the lucky few. They were great guys and I wish them all the best in their careers. If I was in Toledo on June 18th, I wouldn’t miss the Meltdown at the Ice House. I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting evening.
Speaking of exciting evenings, the PawSox begin a home stand on May 26th. Come out and be part of it. Get your PawSox tickets by visiting pawsox.com or by calling 401-724-7300. Dont miss a minute of the action. There are still good seats available for the May 29th spectacular fireworks show. We have mug night and photoball night during the home stand and all details are able to be viewed on the website. There is still plenty of baseball left to take full advantage of the flex ticket packages. It all about the fan experience…………we are all………….”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
Sunday was a beautiful day for a ballgame at Fifth Third Field. It seems like the weather is now breaking and people are in full baseball mode.
I arrive at the stadium just before game time. I say hi to Nourm who minds the door to the upper level suites and the press box. He runs a tight ship and you don’t have a chance of getting by him without a ticket or a pass.
After making it by Nourm with my pass and taking my annual razzing from him for being a Sox fan, I head to the press box where Dan and Steve begin their broadcast. I take some shots and after a short while head down to the seats.
I take a truckload of pictures to send back to Kevin who is the media creation guy for the PawSox. He keeps a file of all the photos and sometimes uses them for the website. Today is a day that he uses one of the shots on the website for the game recap. A great shot I must say, of winning pitcher Tony Pena.
I take shots from the third base side and head over to first. It’s a great game. I try to get a photo of the player who is instrumental in helping their team win. Neither team wants to budge until Tony Thomas rips a double and comes home on a Ronald Bermudez hit. Tony Pena is pitching a masterpiece and I realize he has a no-hitter going. Right after that thought, the batter sent a ground ball through the infield. Within seconds the bases are loaded with one out. The PawSox escape without a run being scored and subsequently end up winning the game 2-1.
There’s a bird that’s flying around the stadium just above the heads of the crowd. I try taking some pictures of it but can never quite get the shot. I want to test my picture-taking skills and attempt to follow a ball in flight. A ball was hit in the air and I make every attempt to track it. I see the people looking up, pointing and yelling, “I got it!” I did get some photos, but the ball is nowhere in sight.
I see that most of the people remain standing looking to the left.
The foul ball that I was attempting to track, ended up bonking some woman in the head. She watched the game holding an ice pack to her forehead.
The two teams play again tomorrow evening and a morning game on Tuesday. After that game, the truck gets loaded and we head Home Sweet Home! We look forward to seeing you at the next exciting homestand at McCoy! Bring your family, friend, co-workers, clients and heck, even take one of your enemies and try to patch things up at a ball game. We all look forward to being………..”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
The PawSox lost a tough one a few hours ago here in Toledo against the Mud Hens in 11 innings. As fans we all know there are ups and downs throughout the season. This game was one of the downs. However, it’s important to not be just a fair weather fan but continue to support your team. How many of us wanted to give up on the big club before that championship in 2004? It makes it exciting to support and cheer on your team through thick and thin.
Every player will tell you they love the home field crowd cheering them on. It’s known throughout the world that PawSox fans are very knowledgeable and passionate about the sport and their teams.
I arrived in Toledo last evening at about 11:00. It was about a 2.5 hour drive. I had called the clubhouse manager to let him know I was on the way and called again when I was about a half hour away. They had the crew waiting and the truck is unloaded. The PawSox have 4 games here and then head home for a great home stand.
It was an easy trip from Columbus to here. It was nice seeing all the great staff in Columbus; I look forward to seeing them every year. The second game last evening was a fast one; the truck was loaded quickly by the clubhouse staff.
I say good-bye to America’s favorite baseball couple, George and Carla. George is the Director of clubhouse operations and Carla also works for the Clippers.
Of course everyone must say bye to Marvin. His granddaughter stopped by to see him.
The Clippers won the Triple A Championship last season and the rings are beautiful. They have banners and flags flying to let everyone know they were King of the Hill last season. While you wait for the elevator you see it again.
When you enter the elevator you see the celebration. I look forward to the day when the PawSox display their championship flags and banners!
The first day in Toledo was a nice sunny day. I headed to the Laundromat just a couple of miles up the road. One of the things I miss while on the road is a washer and dryer. Most of the hotels have them but this one doesn’t. I believe that you will always see certain things in a Laundromat. Washers, dryers, tables, those wire baskets on wheels to put your clothes in and some screaming, misbehaving kids.
This particular one had a couple of pinball machines and those candy/chip vending machines. These kids thought it would be a great idea to pound on and scream at both! As a rescue and police car drove by with sirens blaring, the decibel level was about the same as these screaming kids. I headed for the door with my folded clothes in my portable hamper and a new headache.
The skies had clouded up and it began to rain. At game time it was raining and the teams played most of the game in the light rain. Tomorrow is an afternoon game and I am crossing my fingers for some sun and a win.
I seen and heard that the world was supposed to come to an end today. I don’t think it happened and look forward to returning back home to McCoy for the next home stand. There is a lot going on during the home stand and you’re not going to want to miss a game! Grab some tickets now; we look forward to seeing at the Park. its fun for all and you’ll see we are…………”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
Finally we are playing baseball. I am sitting alongside Dan Hoard and Steve Hyder as they broadcast from the open air radio booth. There’s a nice breeze, bit of a cloudy sky but no damn rain!
The game last evening was suspended due to rain, so the game today resumed in the bottom of the fourth with the PawSox trailing 2-1. It’s now the bottom of the seventh with the PawSox taking the lead 4-2. The game started at 5:05 and at the end of this game, there will be a short intermission and a seven inning game will start. This will be our last evening in Columbus. After the game we head to Toledo to play the Mud Hens tomorrow. Just about a 2.5 hour drive. I will certainly miss this fine city.
Yesterday was a very exciting day. I had the very fortunate opportunity to spend time with Joe Santry. Joe is the public and media relations guy for the Clippers and is known as the “Dean of Baseball Historians.” He is numero uno! His knowledge of players, past and present is astounding. Before each game he takes his spot in the press box.
As we drive around the city he points out different historic tidbits of different locations. Columbus is a bustling city and at around 12:30 there are a lot of people walking the streets and using the mass transit system.
The State House is a beautiful building.
We are heading to lunch at The Mohawk. One of the specialties of the house is turtle soup. Legend has it that back in circa 1928, during the Prohibition Era, the Mohawk was a speakeasy and a brothel. It’s even rumored that Al Capone spent a lot of time here. They had turtle races at the location where people would wager on which turtle they thought would be the fastest. It’s also whispered that when the Feds were in town in attempt to stop the wagering, the owners would put up a sign, “Turtle Soup Today.” That would be the code for we are being watched.
As we head into what is known as the German Village the road becomes unstable cobblestones. Yellow stones make up the center line, and the houses are these quaint brick structures. Another impressive area of Columbus.
The Mohawk has a great crowd this time of day, and we walk in everyone in the place greets Joe with a big smile and taking the time to chat with him a bit. A lovely staff named Kim comes over and shows us to our table. We both order the meatloaf and more people including the manager come over to greet Joe. It sure is evident this isn’t his first time in this watering hole.
In speaking with Joe, I learn he has only one signed piece of baseball memorabilia he displays. A baseball signed by former Red Sox third baseman Frank Malzone. After learning her dad was a Frank Malzone fan, Joes’ young daughter sent Frank a letter and a ball to autograph. He signed and returned it and Joe still has it to this day.
The meat loaf arrives and it’s a great portion. It’s about the size of a twin bed with a nice heap of mashed potatoes and gravy. The gravy was so tasty I considered ordering it as a beverage. It was the best I ever had!
I inquired about the turtle soup. Feeling brave I order a small cup to sample some. I tried to erase out of my mind the pet turtles I had as a youngster, or the ones that lived in the pond where I was brought up. Kim brought over a poster explaining that turtle soup is the real deal not just some gimmick, but the meat from a real turtle. Again I wonder how much meat can there be on a turtle. If the turtle is without a shell is it homeless? Naked? Or Both?
Anyway, my little cup of turtle soup comes and I give it a try. At first it tastes a bit like vegetable soup. Once you chomp on the turtle meat, it’s a whole new flavor that can’t really be explained. I’m not really sure if I like it or not. I think it may be an acquired taste. At this point in life, I really don’t have much interest in that acquisition.
During lunch Joe filled me with so much information about those who had an impact on baseball. I encourage you to Google the name of Harry Stevens for some remarkable information. It’s been reported that Harry even invented the straw for the soft drink so you could drink and watch the game at the same time.
I thank Joe for taking time to spend with me. It was very enjoyable. He truly is a credit to the Columbus Clippers and the Baseball world. To me he will always be the Dean of Historians, and I know if I need to settle an argument about baseball, I will call Joe. It was a great day indeed.
Please check out pawsox.com for all the upcoming events and promotions starting on May 26th. On the May 27th, its travel mug night. The 28th is the photo baseball and the 29th is the spectacular fireworks show! Tickets are available for all these and future games. Order by phone at 401-724-7300 where you will be helped by a live staff. No automated service that will put you and hold. Order online and print your tickets, or come right to the box office to buy them. Anyway you choose to get your tickets, you will have a fantastic time and watch the PawSox organization live up to the oath of being……….”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
Several hours ago the PawSox closed out a double-header, winning the first and losing the second. With some talk of rain the night was basically a nice one but a little chilly. The attire of Dan and Steve is evident that there was indeed a chill in the air. Huntington Park, home to the Columbus Clippers has an open air broadcast booth.
I always look forward to coming to this awesome ballpark. It’s located in the beautiful Arena District downtown. I love seeing the staff, even Marvin. George, the director of clubhouse operations, has become a great friend. The entire staff is so welcoming.
We were scheduled to play on Tuesday but due to rain the game was postponed. Our game was rained out on Monday giving us a head start to make the trip from home to here.
Monday morning started with me getting up around 7:00am. I packed, got ready for work, did a little shopping for the trip and headed to McCoy arriving about 11:30am. The weather was overcast with some drizzle. As game time approached, it was still uncertain of what the weather would be like at game time.
The staff prepares like it does for any other game day/night getting everything ready to welcome the crowd and play ball. The grounds crew tends to the field and the concessions prepare food. Subsequently the game gets postponed and we will play a double header when the Scranton Yankees return at a later date.
My driving partner Lou has arrived at the stadium. We make a couple of sandwiches, grab a couple of sodas and by 8:30pm we are heading to Columbus, Ohio. I have added a “safety feature” to the truck. I use a bungee cord to prevent the rear door from opening. I do not want a repeat of the Buffalo trip and it gives me some peace of mind.
We hit some traffic in Connecticut and the George Washington Bridge in New York. Both are expected. We stop for gas in New York and its $4.43 a gallon. Lou and I both discuss how we can solve the fuel prices problems with our ideas of alternative fuels sources. At the end, none of it would really work. Lou dozes off and I continue on.
I grab a sandwich, a soda and munch on some Pringles. Pringles make terrific travel food because the chips are in a tube. No rummaging around looking for the opening to a chip bag, just a flip of the top, hold the tube in your hand, and you’re good to go. Unknowingly I grab a tube that’s almost full. I thought it was the one with just the broken chips and the crumbs.
Flip off the top, tilt my head back, open my yapper wide and pour. This tube is almost full. The chips pour all over my face, down my shirt and on the seat. There are Pringles all over! A couple of pieces even end up in my shoe. Now every time I move in the seat there is crunching.
Before I know it, it’s time to refuel again. We pull into a place called Funcks in Lebanon, PA. They have a little country store that is open all night. Lou and I head in and grab a coffee. While paying for the coffee I see these little clear wrappers with the writing, “Deviled Eggs.” They are made by the Amish and sold in stores. I ask the clerk how long they been there because when I pick them up they are as hard as a rock. She tells me that they’re really made of chocolate. Impressive! We pass on the eggs and head out to the truck.
Lou takes over the driving after cleaning all the Pringles off the seat. It has been raining on and off as we crossed into all the states. I pop in my iPod and listen to music and try to get some sleep. You don’t really sleep in the truck; it’s more like you doze. After sitting in the passenger side for a bit, dozing and talking about everything under the sun, it’s time to switch again.
We stop at a truck stop and get fuel. The sun is coming up and it’s still unsettled weather. As we’re trucking along we see the sign “Entering Columbus.” Always a great feeling. George, the director of the clubhouses has been calling throughout the night checking on us and making sure everything was alright and if we needed anything. I let him know we are closing in!
When we arrive at the ballpark, George is waiting there with his crew. We unload the truck, tell each other we will see them later and Lou and I head to the hotel to get some rest.
We head into the Hyatt Hotel lobby and are told the rooms are not ready. Whhhhat? Not Ready? What now? We’re told that the hotel was sold out the previous night and the rooms are not ready. They were very nice about it, and the team was due in about 1:30. It was 11:00 and we decided to grab some lunch at the Mongolian Grill.
We still had some time to kill so we took a ride to the old Clippers field, Cooper Stadium. Columbus is such a great city with great looking landscape, businesses and buildings. Have you ever wondered why they are called buildings? Shouldn’t they really be called Built? They are no longer building them; they are completed and now built. Who do I see about changing that?
We head back to the hotel where they have set up a lounge for the PawSox until the rooms are ready. They have pitchers of water, pastries and some coffee with a nice welcome sign.
At about 2:00 they let us know the rooms are ready. I head up to the room and it’s gorgeous. The Columbus Clippers had called and told us that we could use their 12 passenger van to transport the players back and forth between the hotel and the field due to the rain. Although walking distance, it is a bit of a hike in the rain. After we had unloaded the equipment, I took the van back with me. Now I was told that the first trip to the field would be at 2:30 and another at 3:30. So much for getting any sleep!
After making the last run, I head to my room for a great shower and some rest. The game is scheduled to start at 6:35 so I have a little time to shower and relax. While shaving, the phone rings and I’m told the game has been postponed and we will play a double header the following day! I’m told that they want pickups at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00. No time to rest! I need to head back to the ball park. I try to nap in the elevator on the way down from the 18th floor. No such luck as the elevator stops 3 times before we hit the lobby.
When I arrive at the stadium radio broadcaster Dan Hoard tells me that Randy Mobley, the International League President wants to take him, Steve Hyder and me out to dinner. How can I say no? I tell him I will meet them at the hotel after I make the last pickup.
Steve Hyder cannot make it because his daughter is receiving some awards right here in Columbus and he will be attending. I meet Dan and Randy at the hotel and we head to the Buckeye Grill. When you hear that Ohio is the Buckeye State, you better believe it! There is Buckeye everywhere! Randy Mobley himself is a Buckeye and has been his whole life, growing up in the area.
The food is outstanding and the conversation excellent. I learn that Mr. Mobley has been involved in baseball since college. Now the President of the International League his passion for the game is intense. It was an awesome dinner that made me forget about how tired I was. They have the first Heisman Trophy won by Archie Griffin in a very secured, alarmed trophy case. Incredible!
Mr. Mobley then drives us back to our hotel where I make a promise to myself that I will not let anything interfere with me getting to my room and getting some rest. We say our good nights, and I finally jump into bed. Mr. Mobley loves the PawSox organization. He loves how the franchise was built up and how we are always………”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
What a beautiful day! Happy Mothers Days to all the Moms in the world. As the sun shines bright today, this son also shines bright as I thank my Mom for being the best in the world. Bound for sainthood. If you can believe this, I was a bit of a mischievous child. Quite frankly, I don’t know how my mom and dad were able to put up with me. My dad died when I was 17 years old and at an age where I had all the answer. My mom was always there for support, love and an iron fist keeping me on the right path. As I continue in life just a shade over 50, I am still a “Mama’s Boy.” Thanks Mom!
On the topic of Moms, just think how proud Dan Hoards’ mom is at his success. Getting to know Dan over the last several years I found him not only to be a great broadcaster who spends so much time researching players stats, teams and little tid bits, he is also a terrific human being. As I wrote in a post during last season, it is very difficult to stump Dan with sports trivia. I learned that Dan likes his wings not too hot and not too mild. 10 wings wont do it and 20 are too many. No matter what city or town you are in, you can count on seeing him jog in the morning. Whenever I had a computer issue on the road, he was the first call I made. The reason I am able to have pictures on my blog is because of him. Always someone you could count on. A great family man who often misses his lovely wife and the little handsome man cub.
I will miss the laughter with him and our sometimes heated political debates. Its bitter-sweet knowing that Dan will be leaving the PawSox at the end of the season, but I also know it’s the dream of every broadcaster to make it to the Big Leagues. With every broadcast he did you learned something. The Bengals are a very lucky organization to have him. All the best my dear friend.
Just prior to the season, members of the staff are required to work a Saturday. Yesterday was my day. On my last post I explained how the PawSox are always involved in the community. Another example is that McCoy Stadium was host to the Rhode Island High School baseball All-Stars. Just another example of the community involvement.
Tomorrow we start our 8 game home stand. The weather has broken and we are all hoping for sunny days until the end of the Minor League Baseball Championship game. The PawSox start with 4 games against the Gwinnett Braves and after that, the Scranton Yankees roll into town which will be a battle for first place.
Thursday will be “Older American Day” as the PawSox welcome all our senior fans at discounted ticket prices. The weekend will be loaded with fun and excitement! Saturday will be the first Free Youth Clinic. Kids will have a chance to take the field with the players and learn tips from the pros. After there will be an autograph session. There will also be a motorcycle and classic car show complete with a live band and several booths with business hawking their wares.
When the gates open, the first 5000 fans will receive a 2010 card set for free! You don’t want to miss it. Call 401-724-7300 for tickets or just order online. To order online or to check out the upcoming events and promotions visit www.pawsox.com Dont miss a minute of the action. We are all looking forward to seeing you at the park to show we are…………….”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
It has indeed been a while since I posted a blog. It has been a busy time. The season is off to a tremendous start. The weather is breaking and the team is playing hard and winning more than they are losing which is always a good thing. There is fun and excitement at McCoy Stadium and, oh yeah, some great baseball!
The PawSox are very involved in the community. Paws and Sox along with a staff will head to a school and do a reading to a group of kids. A luncheon to benefit a charity or a senior center where the guest speaker is Ken Bell. May has been designated as Older American Month and the PawSox have made the May 12th game, a day for our senior citizens. All seniors are welcome to the game that begins at 12:05 for discounted $4.50 tickets. Recently I was able to attend the North Kingtown Senior Center for the Gentlemens Breakfast with Ken Bell. It was awesome!
When the team returns the PawSox will recognize the Most Improved students throughout the region. They will honor the girl scouts.
On Saturday they host a “Shred It” event in the parking lot. The trucks are at McCoy bright and early all lined up. The bosses talk about how they will do it. People get up before the rooster crows and line up with all their documents they want shredded.
The documents get emptied into a container and emptied into the shredder. All just another example of community involvement.
The weather is finally warmer, the team is playing very well and there is fun and excitement in the air. Enjoy the new video board entertaining the fans. The 50/50 raffle where you invest a buck and win a bunch! We have a classic car show coming up and Star Wars at McCoy. You don’t want to miss any of it! Grab some tickets and see for yourself how FANtastic McCoy is! We are all………………”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,