Before Nolan there was “Rapid Robert” Bob  Feller

 




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steve's photos 046.jpgMax so was pumped that he had the opportunity to meet Bob Feller and so was his dad.  Check out the letter that he sent Max describing his most memorable baseball moment.  “Rapid Robert” and a few earlier pitchers achieved the triple-digit feat of throwing a baseball over 100mph.  Being a hitter at 60′-6” away from the mound-and having a baseball travel at that speed is a nightmare.  The reaction time is fractions of a second-amazing!

feller.jpgHis Hall of Fame career started in 1936 and continued until 1956-playing for the Cleveland Indians his entire big league career.  He had a total of 266 wins, 2,581 strikeouts and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1962.  Max and his dad met Bob Feller at a signing several years ago.

Meeting the “Ryan Express” was phenomenal!

 

Nolan.jpgThe two brothers always do their best to get in the action.  We have been watching Nolan Ryan pitch for nearly 20 years and it was his last visit to the Kingdome in Seattle.  Watching Nolan pitch as an Angel was our most memorable time because we were kids and of course in awe of his power.  As adults-it was even more incredible to see the hurler top unbelievable speeds.  This photo was his final game in Seattle-it was 1993-and he pitched only a few innings.  It was as if he was pitching like he was 26-but he was 46.  No other pitcher will come close to the 5,714 strike outs that he achieved.  Incredible! 

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Citizens Bank Park has it all-what a great stadium!

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DSC04077.JPGWe had a chance to make a road trip to see a couple of stadiums back east.  Unfortunately we were in town for only a few days because we had to hop on a cruise ship to hit Bermuda.  We went to Camden Yards and saw the Red Sox beat the Orioles and we watched the Phillies get beat by the Marlins.  The Phillies were unfortunately starting their slide-so we didn’t witness a start to the rally that should have been.  We even hit the Rocky Steps! 

 


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DSC04044.JPGIf anyone likes to eat, the stadium has it all!  I’m a porker, so I tested everything out.  When we were at Camden Yards, a local fan said that we needed to try Schmitters (sp?) out.  They have some awesome sandwiches.  I waited in line for a Philly Cheese Steak and of course hit the “Bull’s BBQ!” 

DSC03994.JPGThe Ball Girls are very fan-friendly.  They asked where we were sitting because they wanted to score us some baseballs.  What a nice welcome!  I was wearing my Richie Ashburn T-Shirt too.  Philadelphia is an awesome place to visit.  Everyone was very friendly and the transit system works well…very impressed.

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Greg Luzinski-Bull’s BBQ….great food!

One of the greats of the game-an Ambassador to baseball-Mr. Buck O’Neil

 

buck.jpgIt’s April 15, 2008 and sixty-one years ago Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for Major League Baseball.  It was Branch Rickey that gave him the opportunity.  Another important name in baseball is Buck O’Neil.  He helped renew widespread interest in the Negro Leagues and played a huge role in establishing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

At 94 years old, Buck learned that he had not been elected to the Hall.  He spoke to about 200 well-wishers and told the crowd:  “God’s been good to me.  They didn’t think Buck was good enough to be in the Hall of Fame.  That’s the way they thought about it and that’s the way it is, so we’re going to live with that.  Now, if I’m a Hall of Famer for you, that’s all right with me.  Just keep loving old Buck.  Don’t weep for Buck.  No, man, be happy, be thankful.”  It’s a shame that Buck never had his day. 

My brother had the opportunity to meet Buck O’Neil a couple of years ago at a spring training game.  I remember when my brother called me and said that he got his autograph.  We have a lot of autographs-but I told him that this was probably the most treasured.  My brother took this picture of Buck O’Neil.  The lady on the right is my brother’s friend-“Tidbit.”  She was a good friend of Buck’s.  “Tidbit” will be attending her 37th consecutive All-Star game.  You go girl!

When A-Rod turned 21

 

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez.  It’s amazing what talent these three individuals possess.  They are out of this world compared to all of the other athletes.  Everyone knew that A-Rod would be phenomenal-and look at what he is doing.  He continues to be the youngest player to do this and that in baseball-and will shatter the record books in a number of categories.

 

DSC08094.JPGMy brother, daughter and friend got a rare photo opportunity with A-Rod on his 21st birthday at the Kingdome.  It only took me 12 more years to get his autograph as a Yankee-and I got crushed in the process.  Sometimes it’s easier to get something when you have the chance-and look how close we were to him.  What a gamer!

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It’s all about the kids!

It begins with a ball in your hand and evolves to throwing it in the back yard, the park and playing the sandlot games.  Baseball is the greatest game on earth.  One learns the names Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson.  The numbers 714, 2,130 and 1947 have significance-and he or she begins to understand them. 

You get your first autograph book and can’t wait to get that signature.  Here comes your favorite player-and he spots you-coming right up to sign your book.  You thank him, shake his hand and look up at your dad with a huge smile.

 

DSC08254.JPGThis is Max’s life.  He’s been going to baseball games and events before he could walk.  This is what you see at the ball park-a family environment.  It’s all for the kids-and we are all kids-big and small.  Baseball-what a game!

Fergie Jenkins held his first annual Fergie and Friends Celebrity Baseball Game at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Arizona on March 28, 2008-and we were able to attend the event.  It was a must to get the VIP pass.  Here is a photo with Max and two Hall of Famers-Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams.  If you get a chance to see an event like this-don’t pass up on it.

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Max with Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams.

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Hey-Mike Blowers, send me some Rally Fries!

Here is a photo from Fan Fest with Mike Blowers.  He created the “Rally Fries” craze in Seattle-and it continues when the M’s play on the road.  Mike currently is a TV and radio commentator for the Seattle Mariners. 

He shares a couple of Major League records:  He was the 13th player to hit grand slams in consecutive games on May 16th and 17th, 1993 as a Seattle Mariner.  He also shares an American League record by committing 4 errors in one game at third base as a New York Yankee in 1990. 

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