The Old and the New

I can’t believe that I have been writing my blog for FIVE years! It’s astounding the amount of changes that have happened in that amount of time.

I’ve quit my job and moved 1,000 miles to pursue my love of all things baseball and Disney. We’ve moved from a condo into a house we have built.

New website home

But the biggest visible change for you, is the total reconstruction of my website, BASEBALLBETSY.com. Last week after a lot of soul-searching I decided I had to totally blow up my original site that I had built on Apples’ iWeb platform. I liked iWeb. It was incredibly easy for a noob like me to set up and run and it didn’t cost monthly fees for maintenance. Sadly, last fall Apple discontinued the program and also made it so it would not be supported on their new operating system, therefore, I could no longer update my old laptop without causing me to be unable to do anything to my website.

I contacted my hosting provider and signed up for their template service. I like it, I think the new website format is much more visually stunning and at least I can make changes and updates. The only negative was my first 9 months of my blog was accidentally erased in the move. I had been told that I could “orphan” that one page and then just add the link to that page from the new site. That wasn’t true so I lost all nine months of my blog.

I was really upset, who wouldn’t be? I lost hours and hours of work and photographs (at least as they were tied to the posts). Then I remembered, I had a copy of the original blog saved in iWeb on the laptop. Thank goodness.

I am now in the process of rebuilding and adding these original posts here.

I decided to use this to my advantage. I have reprocessed the photos and watermarked them so that hopefully, they won’t be stolen and I’ve been able to replace any dead and outdated links.

I think the thing that sticks out to me the most is the trip down memory lane. Seeing how my views have changed, how my style of blogging has changed and how the equipment I used to take photographs has so greatly improved. When I began I had this little Kodak single lens point and shoot camera that really wasn’t good for the high speed and low light action of night baseball. Photos were grainy at best and unusable over half the time. Now, I’ve moved up to a Nikon D3200 with a 200mm lens and it makes a world if difference. Even my iPhone has better resolution that that old Kodak!

So in the coming days I hope to finish recreating the old posts (there’s about 30 left, ugh) and hope to get it finished before Spring Training. New season, new website and a complete blog. That’s the goal.

I also hope you enjoy sort of a “Best of” series a look back at former Phillies like Hunter Pence, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Tuffy Gosewisch.

16 Days and Counting

mlb spring training logo fla

There’s sixteen days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. I’m excited.

The best thing of living where I do is that I am almost equidistant from two MLB teams, the Phillies and the Blue Jays. I can walk three blocks to the Jays’ Stadium, however, their minor league complex is 3 miles from my home. The Phillies are five miles away.

The Phillies are a team in the midst of major confusion and rebuilding. They’ve picked up a gross ton of free agents that are older and also have the greatest number of prospects on the top 100 list at seven. It will be interesting to see how they blend the experience of the veterans with the raw talent of these up and comers.

The Blue Jays are a team who came “Oh-So-Close” to making the World Series. They haven’t made as many changes but have made strong choices and look to be cocked and loaded to take a shot at the top.

Which team will prevail? What approach will bear fruit? It’s only 9 months until we find out.

In the meantime, I’ll be at both camps to keep tabs on their progress.

Check it out!

Today I undertook the monumental task of revamping the Baseballbetsy.com website! I added a few things…Namely ROSS!

Right now, it’s a little on the sparse side and I lost my earliest blog posts that were hosted on iWeb…but it’s all good.

I think the new site is pretty sharp and Ross and I hope you like it…

Ross even has his own email! Ross@baseballbetsy.com

Betsy is Betsy@baseballbetsy.com

I think you’ll like the improvements and if you want to leave any comments, please do!

 

 

 

Thirty-Six Days Until Spring Training

IMG_2276

It’s getting close. Spring Training is coming. Both the Phillies and the Blue Jays have been working on their respective fields.

Driving by the Carpenter Complex on US 19, it seems all work has been completed.  You can see the grass, all green and pristine, just waiting for the players to report. The Jays fields, well that’s a different story.

After Marcus Stroman’s injury due to tripping over a sprinkler head, the Jays did a complete overhaul of their fields. The main practice field at the Englebert complex was stripped down to the bare dirt, about six inches and dozens of truckloads of old field was carted away.

Once that was done, a new irrigation system was installed and the field surface is being finished. Rumors of an observation tower being built next to this field are also being passed.

The other fields also were revamped and local little leagues were no longer permitted off-season usage of the fields to keep them in pristine condition. (To be fair, the Jays renovated the little league fields and for one, added fencing to simulate the size of the Englebert fields.) The half-field next to the stadium has also been renovated and when I last looked, they were about to lay the new grass.

It won’t be long until the “boys of summer” are back in town…and I can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

The Baseball Season Is Over, Or Is It?

Ahh, fall. The time of knit sweaters, hot lattes, boots and flannel is here. Baseball is over, right?

Not here in the Baseball household.

Here in Florida, we are still stuck in summer. Every day so far in November has been higher than average-with some days more than 13 degrees higher. We still have days in the 90s with near 100% humidity!

The other thing that hasn’t changed since the end of baseball season, is well, our season isn’t over. You see, Baseball Ross and I are still watching baseball on a regular basis. “But how?” you ask. One of our “baseball sons”, Ranfi Casimiro, is playing this year in the Dominican Winter League. He plays for the Águilas Cibaeñas. We have been able to stream the games on my iPad and then to our Apple TV so that we are seeing them in all their full-size glory.

Ranfi Casimiro-Photo Courtesy of the Aguilar Cibanas

Ranfi Casimiro-Photo Courtesy of the Aguilar Cibaenas

It’s a great way to spend an evening and watch our “son”.

Likewise, we have also taken to watching players such as Roman Quinn, Logan Moore, Rhys Hoskins and Cord Sandberg in the Australian Baseball League. We often send it to the big screen via the Apple TV…The only “difficult” thing is that some of the games start at 3 am due to the time difference. Before you ask, yes, there are times when Ross and I either get up or stay up so that we can watch the games. Now THAT, is dedication!

So for us, the season really isn’t over, at least for a few more weeks.

Ruth Hartman, A Reading Icon Passes Away

 

Ruth Hartman's Queen of Baseballtown Trophy

Ruth Hartman’s Queen of Baseballtown Trophy

Ruth Hartman, Queen of Baseballtown, a fixture at the Reading Fightins games and a personal hero of mine, passed away yesterday. She was 89.

You can read about the details of the accident HERE.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth years ago,  She was a lively lady walking through the sheep barn at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Ross’ cousin also shows sheep so they were friends and he introduced us. I went home and started reading about her. She became a hero of mine.

As a young girl in the 70s, there really wasn’t a lot of female sports heroes, other than figure skaters. When I saw A League of Their Own, I was impressed. It wasn’t something I had heard of before and immediately those women became heroes. When I met Ruth, who was so unassuming, it made me admire what she had achieved.

Ruth Hartman sits at the Head of the table in Red.

Ruth Hartman sits at the Head of the table in Red.


Ruth Hartman's Autograph

Ruth Hartman’s Autograph

I met her again, albeit briefly when the then Reading Phillies, had a “All American Girls Professional Baseball League” night. They had quite a few of the former players there. I wrote an article about it back in 2011. You can read it HERE.

The summer of 2014 when Ross and I were in Reading, I really wanted to ask her if I could interview her for my blog. A friend of mine who works for the Fightins thought she might do it, but I was so shy to ask someone I admired so much for an interview, that I didn’t. It will be something I will always regret.

So as I sit here writing about one my personal heroes, I’m weeping. The baseball world seems a little dimmer with out one of it’s stars, the Queen of Baseballtown, Ruth Hartman. Rest in Peace, Ruth, rest in peace.

Ruth’s obituary can be read HERE and the Reading Fightins just added THIS VIDEO TRIBUTE