Irma Cancels FSL Championship Series-Will Have Co-Champions 


Hurricane Irma has already caused the cancellation of the Florida State League Championship which would have been held over the weekend. Instead the 3-game semifinal will determine the co-champions-with the winner of each division being named.

So who will it be? Tampa or Dunedin and either Palm Beach or Fort Myers. 

Currently, Dunedin and Tampa are tied 1 game each and the final game will be this evening (they contracted the series to be finished today.)  Currently, Palm Beach won Game 1 and is winning game two. If Ft Myers does not come back it will go to Palm Beach—if they do, game 3 will be played later this evening.

Since my Threshers are out–GO JAYS!

When Baseball and Entertainment Collide-How I Met Jamie Lynn Spears

Back on April 14, 2014 I won a contest that the Clearwater Threshers held. During that week, they hid a Threshers garden gnome somewhere in Clearwater. It would be located at one of their sponsors’ locations and whomever figured out where it was based on a picture of the gnome at the location (close up so you had to know the location), a cryptic clue and took a picture of themselves with the gnome, won the contest. I figured out that they had hidden the gnome in the lobby of the Holiday Inn just up the street from then Brighthouse Field.

The prize that I won was 2 tickets to a meet-and-greet with the Friday concert performer, Jamie Lynn Spears.

Jamie Lynn Spears performs after the Threshers game in the Brighthouse Friday Concert series on April 14, 2014
Jamie Lynn Spears performs after the Threshers game in the Brighthouse Friday Concert series on April 14, 2014

Here’s the baseball “twist”…Jamie Lynn Spears, who starred in Zoey101 on Nickelodeon, is the kid sister of Britney Spears who dated Justin Timberlake-who is the nephew of Threshers’ general manager John Timberlake. Whew!

During the game, we were taken downstairs in the stadium to the dining room and were introduced to Jamie Lynn.

Jamie Lynn Spears and Baseball Betsy
Jamie Lynn Spears and Baseball Betsy

After meeting her, she signed an autograph for me.

Jamie Lynne Spears Autograph Picture
Jamie Lynne Spears Autograph Picture

She was very sweet. She made an impression on me because she was so kind and personable. She was launching her country music career and I stayed after the game to listen. I enjoyed the music.

Earlier this week, her 8 year old daughter Maddie was in an ATV accident and was trapped underwater in the ATV. They life flighted her to a hospital where she was unconscious. I said prayers for her. I was overjoyed by the news today that Maddie was awake and talking with no apparent permanent damage.

Sometimes baseball can introduce you to someone you wouldn’t have otherwise met. Here’s to hoping that little Maddie keeps improving and goes home soon.

 

Merry Christmas to all…


Today is Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah. Baseball Ross and I wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays.

Maggie and Veronica tear into their gifts.
Maggie stands in the midst of the wrapping paper
I leave you with this, perhaps the best reading of The Night Before Christmas as read by the late, great Harry Kalas:
Watch HERE.

The best present of all? Only 51 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training!

A merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Hurricane Hermine and Damage at the Phillies Carpenter Complex 

Hurricane Hermine’s bands of rain moved onshore here this morning. While it was obvious that’s the Threshers game against the Dunedin Blue Jays in Dunedin would be cancelled, our baseball son was still required to report to Brighthouse field. 

It wasn’t too hard of a trip but Old Coachman was closed from the Complex to NE Coachman. There was a few heavy bands of rain and a few periods without rain.


I also took video driving through the area…you can watch it HERE.

Here are a few pictures of the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium where the game was to take place tonight…


Earlier today, the final game of the GCL Phillies was cancelled and it locked them in as the first place team so (weather permitting) the play off game would be held tomorrow. I sincerely doubt it will be played.

So it’s a very wet night.they have added the Clearwater area to the Tropical Storm warning area and we are also under a tornado warning tonight.  Baseball Ross and I live outside the 100 year flood plain so we should be safe.  

Hang in there baseball fans….

Batter up! Hear that Call! The All American Professional Baseball League Gets a New Home

The Logo of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (Photo courtesy of the AAGPBL)
The Logo of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (Photo courtesy of the AAGPBL)

One of my favorite things about baseball is a part that is often forgotten. The All American Girls Professional Baseball League. At a time when most women got married before they turned 20 and stayed home to raise the children, these women were part of a change that is still felt today.

World War II forced many women into the workforce, while “Rosie the Riveter” is often celebrated, the women who played professional baseball are often forgotten. Then came Penny Marshall and the movie, “A League of Their Own”. While it’s technically a “historical fiction” as many characters are composites, the spirit is there. If you want to read a great article that Time Magazine did on the players, you can read it HERE. (Be sure to click on the link to the photo essay about half way through the article.)

I can’t tell you how that movie changed my life. I had been raised with traditional values. I remember seeing the “Broad Street Bullies” Flyers of the early 70’s and telling my father that I wanted to play hockey to which he replied, “You are a girl, you will figure skate, that’s what girls do.” It took me more than 15 years to get my father to allow me to play on his non-contact hockey team and the ALOTO movie was a big part of that.

I have been rather obsessed with the AAGPBL since then, I’m working my way through THREE different books on the league. In many ways, Rosie the Riveter and the AAGPBL did for women what Jackie Robinson did for people of color.  I was lucky enough to meet several of the players in Reading, you can read the blog HERE.

On August 8, the Winnebago County Officials and the Park District (where Beyer Stadium of the Rockford Peaches was located) announced that the International Women’s Baseball Center would be moving the center from California to a location directly across the street from where Beyer Stadium once stood. The official announcement will be make at There will be training and educational facilities as well as a museum dedicated to girls’ and women’s baseball. You can read the new statement on the IWBC’s announcement on their site HERE.

I am beyond excited! In June, I very nearly drove the five hours from my aunt’s house to Rockford just to see the commemorative plaque at Beyer Stadium. The stadium was torn down in the early 1990’s and recently, the Friends of Beyer Stadium have worked hard to build a new baseball field on the site as well as dugouts and a beautiful fence. They are working hard to help future generations remember the importance of AAGPBL! You can read more and see many pictures of the hard work they have done on their Facebook page HERE.

I can promise you that when the new museum opens, I will be there! I have to, I mean where else can I see the Peaches’ bus?

 

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.

Dream Comes True-Publication of One of My Photos

For many years, my passion was writing and I was lucky to actually be paid to do so, only one catch, I was a ghost writer. In the ten years I wrote, only ONE official document bore my name.  Seven years ago, I started my blog and wrote what I wanted and put my name on it. That felt good, the fact that people read it made it seem real.

Then I started to supplement my blog with pictures. I slowly purchased better cameras, eventually learning how to manual focus and other advanced techniques-while I’m not a master, I like what I do. Photography is my new passion.  However, the only place to see it was on my blog and Baseball Ross’…until today…

Today I was contacted by the hometown paper of the Threshers’ Andrew Pullin. They were doing a story on him and wanted to know if they could use one of my photos. For the first time, one of my photos will be published, both in the online and PRINT editions! 

From the time we talked until it was up on their site was less than an hour. It’s been a whirlwind and one of my life dreams realized. 

I’m sure the The Chronicle-Serving the Greater Lewis County, Wash. Area Since 1889 would like some traffic…

You can click HERE to go to the front page of their Sports section.  The article is: Pullin Swinging Away In Phillies System.

The article is subscription only, but I can assure you, the article is well done and you might want to help the print media…

I’m including a snap of the first bit that includes my photo so that you can see it:

 
It’s a dream come true and they were kind enough to be mailing a paper copy-which I will be framing and hanging in my office. 

I’m too excited to sleep. It’s 2:15 a.m. and I decided to blog, so I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors, I promise to correct them when I return from Cloud 9.

Oh! What a night!

This was one of those amazing nights that I won’t soon forget. Not just for the game but a lot of things.

Baseball Ross and I went to the Threshers game tonight and it was Ladies’ Night where they give away a gift basket. On a whim, I signed in and we got something to drink and took our seats.  It was hot, really hot. We were not getting any air and the game was moving very slowly. 

By the top of the 4th, the Threshers were down 7-0 to St. Lucie and Ross and I were drenched with sweat. We thought we’d wait to see if I won the gift basket before we left.

I won!

I went to pick up the basket and suddenly the Threshers picked up 3 runs! I got back to where Ross was standing and we took some pictures:

   
  
And then my friend Phinley came over:

 

Then Ross suggested we take one with the field in the background…and with the distraction of taking pictures we failed to notice that the Threshers has loaded the bases so as Ross took the picture…they were scoring on Andrew Pullin’s GRAND SLAM! The game was tied at 7!

  

The basket was awesome!   There were two bottles of wine, two huge coffee mugs, a hat (sparkly too), a headband, tickets to a concert and two coozies!  

We took the basket to the car we realized we needed to walk our dogs…so we ran home and took care of the pups.

My mother was one of those “always send a thank-you card” kind of people. So I sent the Threshers a modern day version, a tweet of the picture of me with Phinley with my note of thanks—AND IT WON PHOTO OF THE NIGHT!

To claim the prize I needed to pick it up tonight before the game ended…they were tied 8-8 so I prayed for extra innings and dashed back to Clearwater…

I must be good luck, because just as I claimed my second prize of the night, Aaron Brown hit a walk off single to score Dylan Cozens in the bottom of the ninth! They literally won at the same time! 

I win the basket- they get a grand slam, I win photo of the night and they walk off winners too…coincidence?

The photo of the game prize was a pizza at the Galley, which is just a mile or so from my house and another hat:

 
My total “haul”

  

I gave the 2nd hat to Ross and we will get pizza for Fathers’ Day on Sunday-what a great night we had! I don’t think I’ve ever been so lucky! What an amazing time!

  

There’s a New Love in my Life–The Dunedin Blue Jays

There’s a new love in my life, but let me start a different way…

I was born in Central Pennsylvania, I’m a Phillies fan at heart and always will be, but since we moved to Florida there’s been someone else. Well, may be I should say, someones else.

You see, I live three blocks from the Dunedin Blue Jays’ stadium. At first, I went there just when the Phillies or Threshers were there, like you’d expect, but the more I went, the more I was hooked. You see, there is something different about Dunedin, you feel like you belong. Go to a few games and they get to know you. There’s a smile as you walk through the gates, a wave from the ladies at the concession stand (even if you don’t need anything) and a real sense of community. It doesn’t feel like a big corporation, it feels like a team that belongs to the town, you feel like you’re part of something.

Every game a local charity holds their 50/50 drawing, there’s a toy drive for the local children’s Christmas charity, there’s the annual charity bowling tournament, sponsorship of little league teams, you name it, the Blue Jays are there for the community.

That’s why when I saw this article in the paper today, I smiled because OF COURSE they’d support TJ…

Boy with Famous Lemonade Stand Takes Pitch to Dunedin Blue Jays Playoff Game

In case you missed the original story: Dunedin neighbor is sour on boy’s lemonade stand

Then there was this: Dunedin boy with lemonade stand reaps windfall; neighbor under city review

So, now you know why, I’m seeing someone else…at least some of the time. So if you’re looking for me tomorrow night, you’ll know where I’ll be…

photo

Yappy Hour Makes Veronica Happy

Tonight was “Yappy Hour” or as it’s better known as Bark in the Park.

I took my youngest dog, Veronica. Baseball Ross and I have come to realize she is not a “normal” dog. She’s extremely intelligent and actually seems to enjoy a baseball game.

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It was really hot (the main reason we could not bring our other dog, Maggie. She is 14 years old, and the heat really bothers her.) At one point, the sun was on our seats and the heat became very uncomfortable. So we made a little bed under the seat for Veronica.

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She really seemed to have a good time and even gave me a big smile when I asked her she was having fun.

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And at the end of the night she even was a little silly, trying on my hat.

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Don’t think we forgot our other dog, Maggie. We took homehalf a hot dog for her so she wasn’t left out. And if you knew a new Maggie, all she would’ve wanted tonight anyway was the hot dog.

Veronica so loves going to baseball games. She’s quiet, attentive and honestly she’s more well-behaved than most children. I wish she could go to every game, and I think she does too.