I’m crushed. Roy Halladay has always been a favorite of mine. Quiet, but always seemingly approachable. Once he was retired he lived in the Clearwater area and it wasn’t unheard of someone saying they’d seen him around town.
Last time I saw him in person was at the end of the season this year. He and his wife were at a Threshers game and I so wanted to say hi, then I saw he was hanging out with his friends and I respected his privacy so I didn’t.
I wish I had told him how much I enjoyed watching him pitch and how I appreciated what he does for the community. You see, last summer, he donated a bunch of memorabilia to the local police who have a charity softball game and auction every year. I was lucky enough to win Doc’s game used and autographed glove as well as a plaque commemorating his perfect game that was also signed.
Until I won the glove I had a “no memorabilia in the living room” rule, which promptly went out the window. I didn’t even get home from the game before I had gone out to Amazon and bought a glass case for the glove. It sits proudly on my piano with a ball he signed for me in Spring Training along will balls signed by Carlos Ruiz, Jim Bunning, Don Larson and Yogi Berra.
While I was working on this the family released a notice to public that included:
A celebration of Halladay’s life will be held Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. The service is open to the public.
My prayers go out to the family and friends of a kind, hardworking guy who was taken much too soon.
Baseball Ross likes to say that he loves baseball because every game you watch, you see something you’ve never seen before. Today, that was seeing the sons of 3 major league stars bat, 1-2-3 in Dunedin’s line up.
Today was the final regular season game for the Threshers and Blue Jays. The Jays eliminated the Threshers on Thursday night so the last three games have been less than thrilling, shall we say. There was a reason, however, that I chose to go out in the 90* heat this afternoon to watch a game that was essentially meaningless. It was the fact that the sons of three major league players batting 1-2-3 in the order.
First up was Bo Bichette, son of Dante Bichette who played for the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds and Red Sox. He was a 4 time all-star who finished 2nd in MVP voting in 1995. Dante Bichette, Jr., Bo’s older brother plays for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees AA farm team. Bo split the season between the Lansing Lugnuts and Dunedin Jays. He had 14 home runs, 74 RBIs, 42 walks and a batting average of .362.
Second up was Cavan Biggio, son of Craig Biggio who played his entire career with the Houston Astros. He was a 7-time National League All Star and is often regarded as the best player in Astros history. Cavan, played the entire season in Dunedin and had 11 home runs, 60 RBIs and 74 walks with a .233 batting average.
Third in the order today was Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. He is the son of Vladimir Guerrero who played for the Expos, Angels, Rangers and Orioles. He was voted the American League MVP in 2004. Jr, had a rather impressive season starting with the Lansing Lugnuts before moving up to Dunedin. In total, he had 13 home runs, 76 RBIs and 76 walks with a batting average of .323. The thing that struck me the most about him is that he doesn’t “act” like a star. I’ve seen him retrieve balls and hand them to the batboy (most guys just ignore them) and I’ve seen him spent a lot of time signing autographs after a game, with a smile on his face.
It’s made for an interesting second half of the season. I’ve enjoyed watching them and plan on going down to the stadium on Tuesday to see the first game of the first round of the playoffs. It may just be the first time that three sons of three major leagues play together on a team that wins a playoff game. I’m sure Stats.inc. has someone one who knows for sure, but even if it has, it’s nothing we’ve ever seen before and that’s why we love baseball.
When was the last time you saw the home team PROMOTING a player FROM THE OPPOSING team?
Apparently, Tebow-Mania has created such a frenzy, that the Threshers are promoting an opposing player. Not only that, they are THROWING HIM A 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY!
What in the ever-loving…..
Ok, I have nothing against Tebow. I admire the guy for staying true to himself, his convictions and for chasing his dream. I hope to get his autograph for just those reasons alone. What I don’t get is why my team is using an opposing player for promotion.
Granted, there’s been studies of the “Tebow-effect” on Minor League ball. Wherever he plays, attendance soars. Tampa usually draws around 700-800 a game, Saturday night they had 7,157–almost TEN TIMES normal. May be if the teams advertised like this for all the games, attendance would be higher too. The Threshers have been advertising this on local cable quite a bit, where the rest of the summer I’ve only seen a handful of commercials.
Spectrum Field is speculating that we will have “Spring Training-Like” crowds with at least one night being close to being sold out, if not sold out. Spectrum Field seats around 7,600 and can hold around 10,000 with berm and standing room added.
So we shall see what happens. Stay tuned to my Twitter @BaseballBetsy for updates as they happen tonight as well as pictures and photos of the spectacle.
It is with a heavy heart that I heard that Darren “Dutch” Daulton passed away today at age 55. Daulton, who was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2010, was originally diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2013.
He recovered and made a triumphant return to Spring Training in 2015. I was there that day. He had looked like a new man and he strode proudly onto the field while fans called out to him. (You can read my article about that day HERE.)
I will always keep this picture of him in my mind and hope that he rests in peace now that his long fight against cancer is over.